When will consumers awake to the idea that they have a right to decide who gets to collect info about them and what info can be collected?
Its one thing to voluntarily give info to a service such as FB in return for whatever perceived value that service gives the user. Its another to let that service track the user’s activity all across the internet and across devices.
It is time for legislative limits to and definitions of what private data can be collected and sold.
This op-ed piece makes a good point about studies which show the advantages of early education for children and lifestyle education for their parents.
We can clearly see that the penal system is not working to solve societal problems. The case for early intervention seems like a good economic trade off when pitted against the alternative cost for increased spending in the judicial and penal system.
The downside may be that interests entrenched in the profits to be made from inefficient and ineffective educational programs may get their teeth into the program and reduce the overall benefit we would see.
NYTimes: Do We Invest in Preschools or Prisons?
We need laws that hold financial executives personally responsible for actions that society deems harmful. And we need banking rules that make the system safer. The $13 billion in this deal buys us neither.
An analogy simple enough to help Tea Party mouth breathers understand that you can’t trust business (or the free market) to do whats right for the country.
a simple separation of commercial and investment banking. That would end the too-big-to-fail problem by splitting the federally insured restaurant of deposit taking and lending from the risky casino of trading.
An additional element of dysfunctional political fundraising:
Politicians are often extorting special interests not just being manipulated by them.
In a year which clearly showed that public opinion has no effect on our governing bodies and that no amount of tragedy, crisis, or farce will actually get our government to do a better job, its unreasonable to expect that the government shutdown would bring about change. So put political finance reform on next year’s wish list. Meanwhile lobbyists and politicians will continue to give each other the business.
Short video summary of the state of self driving technology. Who in the world wouldn’t want to own a selfie?
Self driving tech update
This is a fine example of what’s wrong with politics and the idea that a free market system is an ideal situation for business.
Lobbyists for the medical device industry and their conservative stooges would have us believe that a tax on medical devices is unfair and would inhibit innovation. They spent a lot of money getting their political henchmen to bring our government to a standstill over what is nothing but an attempt to legislate a business advantage for them. An advantage which is particularly anticompetitive.
Not only can the medical-device industry easily afford the tax without compromising innovation, but the industry’s enormous profits are a result of anticompetitive practices that themselves drive up medical-device costs unnecessarily. The tax is a distraction from reforms to the industry that are urgently needed to lower health care costs.
The medical-device industry faces virtually no price competition. Because of confidentiality agreements that manufacturers require hospitals to sign, the prices of the devices are cloaked in secrecy.
Competitive pressures from public and private payers would provide incentives for the industry to become more innovative, producing technologies that actually lowered costs and offered truly advanced breakthroughs.
This article shows the depth of the dysfunction in our electoral process. It points to the outsized power business interest lobbyists have in Congress.
After the 2010 elections, the Chamber and other business interests funneled millions of dollars into Republican redistricting efforts around the country, helping draw overwhelmingly safe Republican districts whose occupants — many among the most conservative House members — are now far less vulnerable to challenges from more moderate Republicans.
The staff here finds a perverse sort of enjoyment in the idea that an entrenched, but fundamentally broken system can be upset by a small band of elected misfits. There is certainly something good about politicians not bowing to their corporate overlords. It’s the context of holding the entire governmental process and the country itself hostage in the process that rankles the staff. We would prefer to see fundamental change that makes the government more fairly representative of its constituents, not its special interests.
Moreover, business leaders and trade groups said, the tools that have served them in the past — campaign contributions, large memberships across the country, a multibillion-dollar lobbying apparatus — do not seem to be working.