Its outrageous how the money flows around Washington. Its amazing how little our politicians do for the People. Its inevitable that they serve only two purposes; get re-elected and then payback the lobbyists and campaign funders who got them re-elected.
We have got to take the money out of campaigns. We have got to get rid of PACs and backdoor gift giving and campaign funding.
NYTimes: A Loophole Allows Lawmakers to Reel In Trips and Donations
NobodyisFlyingthePlane when the Olympics are held in a country in which terrorist incidents are likely to interrupt the event.
NobodyisFlyingthePlane when Big Sport is so powerful that it can get away with murder. Whether its Murderously Mad Ray Lewis, or Money Mad FIFA, something is wrong when an industry is so powerful that it’s not held to modern standards of civility and conduct.
FIFA is funding the widespread Middle Eastern practice of slave labor.
NYTimes: Qatar’s Showcase of Shame
A really good high level look at what is going on in the Arab world.
It cannot be possible to use the word pluralism more often in an article, but clearly that’s what is missing most from the Arab world. To hear Friedman tell, it the book’s author makes a great case for the underlying cause of all the unrest in the Middle East. It sure does help us look less culpable for their woes.
Too bad we couldn’t have been more aware of this in March 2003.
NYTimes: Not Just About Us
This guy’s TED Talk sounds a lot like NobodyisFlyingthePlane. Lots of complaints, not too many solutions.
The staff here is a fan of TED Talks, the whole idea behind NobodyisFlyingthePlane is that things could be much better than they are, and that it wouldn’t be all that difficult if we could collectively see our problems in a different way. That seems to be the gist of a lot of TED stuff.
I doubt anyone would dispute that a lot of good ideas get heard because of TED Talks. Its surprising that more hasn’t come of them; that more action and changes haven’t resulted. It’ll be interesting to see if anybody rebuts this speaker in the coming weeks with lists of TED related accomplishments.
With all of the Silicon Valley bravado about disrupting, changing, and making money whilst doing it, I find it surprising that somebody hasn’t mashed up TED Talks and Kickstarter and gotten a few things done along the way.
Article/commentary on the talk.
Direct to the video on YouTube.
An interesting look at how happy, well paid workers result in more profits. The author also discusses benefits that work-force-management software can bring not by minimizing the workers needed, but better allocating them to where and when they are needed most.
many of those big-box retailers have been making a strategic error: Even the most coldhearted, money-hungry capitalists ought to realize that increasing their work force, and paying them and treating them better, will often yield happier customers, more engaged workers and — surprisingly — larger corporate profits.
From a study by a Wharton professor:
For every dollar of increased wages, one retailer that was studied by Fisher brought in $10 more in revenue. For more-understaffed stores in the study, the boost was as high as $28.
The staff here has long wondered why so much economic theory is predicated on continual growth. Growth in demand, growth in population, growth in production, growth in exports.
There must be a way in which our country can be economically successful without being dependent on continual growth.
Can the new normal be a point at which citizens’ needs are met and businesses profit without relying on a million new customers a year?
Some economist think so and they’re starting to talk about it publicly.
NYTimes: A Permanent Slump?
This article is a must read. Its filled with incisive statements about whats wrong in food, agriculture, economics, politics, and lobbying.
American food policy has long been rife with head-scratching illogic.
We spend billions every year on farm subsidies, many of which help wealthy commercial operations to plant more crops than we need. The glut depresses world crop prices, harming farmers in developing countries. Meanwhile, millions of Americans live tenuously close to hunger, which is barely kept at bay by a food stamp program that gives most beneficiaries just a little more than $4 a day.
As small numbers of Americans have grown extremely wealthy, their political power has also ballooned to a disproportionate size. Small, powerful interests — in this case, wealthy commercial farmers — help create market-skewing public policies that benefit only themselves, appropriating a larger slice of the nation’s economic pie. Their larger slice means everyone else gets a smaller one — the pie doesn’t get any bigger — though the rent-seekers are usually adept at taking little enough from individual Americans that they are hardly aware of the loss. While the money that they’ve picked from each individual American’s pocket is small, the aggregate is huge for the rent-seeker. And this in turn deepens inequality.
It takes real money, money that is necessary for bare survival, from the poorest Americans, and gives it to a small group of the undeserving rich, in return for their campaign contributions and political support.
NYTimes: The Insanity of Our Food Policy