Wednesday, June 30, 2010

3 Biggest Lies about U.S. Economy

From The three biggest lies about the U.S. economy Brett Arends ROI - MarketWatch.
  1. Myth 1: Unemployment is below 10% - There are 79 million men in America between the ages of 25 and 65. And nearly 18 million of them, or 22%, are out of work completely. (The rate in the 1950s was less than 10%.)
  2. Myth 2: The markets are panicking about the deficit - Rates on U.S. bonds have been plummeting recently. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond down to just 4%. By historic standards that's chickenfeed. Panicked? The bond markets are practically snoring.
  3. Myth 3: The U.S. is sliding into "socialism" - Corporate profit margins rocketed to 36% in the first quarter [of 2010]. Since records began in 1947 they have never been this high. The highest they got under Ronald Reagan was 30%.
For further consideration:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Unsustainable Resource Skews for Dummies

Don't be confused by long sounding words. The everyday reality is obvious to every five year old on the planet.

"The wealth of the walmart family in US = same as the combined income of the bottom 40% of population."

Just let that sink in for awhile if you don't have time to read the whole blog today.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

What is the right amount to pay bankers?

"The bottom line is that much like in other areas of our lives, we are not perfect, we are not rational, and there are multiple hidden forces that shape our abilities and decisions. We can continue to assume that we are perfect, but this will only set ourselves up for more fantastic failures. If instead we were to realize where we fall short, where we fail, and try to do something about it, our future could indeed be brighter -– and not just in the domain of banking and salaries."
SOURCE: TED Blog: Dan Ariely asks, What is the right amount to pay bankers?

Germany's Take on a Basic Income for All

According to a growing bloc of Christian Democrats—under the leadership of Dieter Althaus, former premier of the German state of Thuringia—the problem isn’t that the state is providing insufficient incentives to work, but rather that the state is enforcing a duty to work at all. The only way that Germany can honor people’s right to material dignity while freeing the labor market of distortions, they argue, is by means of bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen, or unconditional basic income: a single monthly payment, pegged to levels currently received by the unemployed, guaranteed to every citizen from cradle to grave.

More fundamentally, basic-income advocates argue that the duty to pursue work is based on the mistaken assumption that there’s work to be had. A growing number of economists suggest that Germany reconcile itself to the fact that in the postindustrial age, the country will provide ever fewer opportunities for low-skilled workers. In this context, policies in pursuit of full employment make no sense; indeed, the demands currently made on the out-of-work are nothing less than perverse.

Furthermore, the advocates of basic income say, the contemporary mind-set has allotted to salaried work an exaggerated role in shaping personal identity. Basic income would allow Germans to combine different avenues of part-time work or pursue types of labor that aren’t normally honored with pay, such as caring for the elderly. (This is an important difference between Murray’s concept and the German one: Murray sees his yearly $10,000 grant as a spur to work; the German variation pivots on the belief that many Germans ought to be taking up pursuits outside the classic economic framework.) Also, basic income would encourage citizens to think more like entrepreneurs in pursuing work and allow unfettered labor markets to regain control over wages. (Emphasis by ed.)

via StatusNet message from Olivier Auber at Sun 06 Jun 2010 09:09:01 AM PDT:
RT @NeuerWeg: [City Journal USA] A Basic Income for All? #Grundeinkommen #revenudevie #basicincome