Open thread July 11, 2014 Dan Crawford | July 11, 2014 10:16 am Tags: open thread Comments (8) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
Why throw away Israel – the 78% of Palestine absorbed in 1949 — for a bowl of soup – the 5%? If by some sorcerer’s black magic the 78% went missing one morning – what would the 5% of misappropriated West Bank land amount to – a big Jewish neighborhood?
New York demographics: ”After dropping from a peak of 2.5 million in the 1950s to a low of 1.4 million in 2002 the population of Jews in the New York metropolitan area grew to 1.54 million in 2011.”
400,000 Jews in the West Bank — maybe not even so big.
I compare Israel’s fetish with West Bank settlements with the Irish Republican Army’s (IRA) fetish with Northern Ireland’s six counties – to a native New Yorker, just a big British neighborhood. I’d love to ask the IRA dopes: If Ireland were not an island (as in surrounded by water), how would they know that the six counties were Irish? J
Approaching 60 years (three generations!) of infinitely more serious – and totally self-imposed — “troubles” for a little more land in the sand, must Israel go on forever being as dumb as the IRA?
“There’s actually a famous anecdote about a prominent surgeon named Alton Ochsner. When he was a medical student in 1919, he was called in to observe a lung cancer surgery. He was told at the time he might never see another case of lung cancer, it was so rare. He actually didn’t for another seventeen years. Then he started seeing bunches–among men who had begun smoking during the war.”
Good piece by Andrew Leonard on Salon re: The Scalping Economy http://www.salon.com/2014/07/11/the_1_percents_loathsome_libertarian_scheme_why_we_despise_the_new_scalping_economy/
His mention of StubHub as legalized scalping made me recall my own personal attitude about reselling tickets. I see a lot of live music but have never sold a ticket for anything but face value. I just can’t justify extracting a return out of something I added such little value to. It violates my own ideas about ownership and the intrinsic worth of things. A ticket to a sold out show doesn’t increase in value because it’s in my pocket.
If all this technology is doing is creating a new variety of even sleazier rentiers why bother?
“The problem: Over the past few decades, the labor market has undergone a profound “fissuring,” with workers being insulated from the people who effectively dictate the terms of their employment. Vertical integration is so 1950s; outsourcing is the new hotness. Some big companies barely “employ” anybody at all, hiding behind the franchises, temp staffing agencies and contractors that actually do the hiring and firing (or work for themselves). That makes it nearly impossible for unions to gain any leverage …”
“The big movie studios, after all, haven’t directly employed the people they depend on — like writers, set designers and lighting techs — since the 1940s. But they all know they have to deal with the unions that represent them, which set standard rates for their services. “You get access to all that labor, but you’re going to pay minimum terms,” says Fisk. “People who work in Hollywood recognize that if they all start working for half as much, writers won’t be able to pay their mortgages.”
Things could work similarly in other types of service industries, if it were clear that a large employer couldn’t just pick the contractor that agreed to provide labor for cheap.”
Interesting report out today from CBO re: Social Security. This is an analysis of a dozen different options to bring SS into long term balance.
CBO concludes that the current shortfall is 3.54% of taxable payroll (1.2% of GDP). Table 2 of the report measures various option and calculates them as a % of the shortfall.
Two interesting results (to me). Eliminating the cap fixes 45% of the shortfall. Raising the cap to capture 90% of taxable income only covers 30% of the shortfall. Some combo of these plus some tax increase is required.
thanks for bringing this to our attention. i’ll try to write something about it soon.
meanwhile, i do NOT advocate raising the cap. that would turn SS into “welfare”, exactly what Roosevelt was careful to avoid.
then, we need to remember that raising the payroll tax by 3.54% first, can be done one tenth of one percent per year, meaning that the higher tax would not really begin to be felt, it ever, only on those who will be making a good deal more money than we are, and who will live a longer time in retirement … and get their money back with interest. The 3.54% would be $1770 per year for a person making 50k. This may seem like a lot of money to them, unless they can keep in mind it will make the difference between being able to retire when they need to, and not being able to retire.
Moreover, most workers would only see half of that increase… about 900 dollars per year or about $17 (seventeen) dollars per week. And a low income earner, would only see about an $8 per week increase, and, if this were phased in sensibly, they wouldonly see about a 40 cents per week increase each year while their wages ought to be increasing at least $4 per week per year.
I hope people will understand this. This cost of Social Security is going to go up because they are going to live longer. The cost is not going to be so much more that they will even feel it. But they would very much feel it if the cost did not go up but the benefits were reduced to less than they will need when they want to retire.
If general fund money goes out the pentagon doors to the tune of $600B a year forever, then the general fund can cut them off and send the cash to SS.
I do not think old people need to eat catfood, nor poor do without A/C so the US war profiteers can give security to billions of foreigners.
Ilsm: EXACTLY!!! Why TAX workers more in the future when they will make only the shoddy wages they are getting now???