Can’t read anything with your eyes closed and your brain draining out into the ether.
This is not the time for the usual demands by business for fewer regulations and lower taxes. The economy is too fragile and the deficit too high — in no small part because the George W. Bush administration spent eight years giving business and the wealthy exactly what they asked for.
Instead, business leaders should be pushing Washington for what is needed to avoid another recession: more near-term spending to stimulate the economy, more revenue to help pay for it, and a balanced approach to the long-term deficit by reducing health care costs and strengthening the tax base.
via Surely They Can Read a Spreadsheet – NYTimes.com.
How dare a credit rating agency that got it so wrong, and should itself be investigated for malfeasance in the creation of the banking meltdown, dictate public policy? For S&P to insist on massive government cuts that would only increase joblessness is like a burglar shifting blame for his crimes to the poor quality of locks.
This from a credit rating agency that, as NYT columnist Joe Nocera points out, “has consistently fallen short.” S&P judged Enron to be an exemplary company until shortly before the corporation imploded, and it gave its triple-A seal of approval to the toxic securitized mortgage debt that caused the great recession. There are serious problems with the US economy, but they are not the ones that Standard & Poor’s outlined when it sent the stock market into a tizzy.
via Another Bailout Joins the Goofball Economy | The Nation.
The top 25 hedge fund managers in the United States collectively earned $22 billion last year, and yet they have their own cushy set of tax rules. If they operated under the same rules that apply to other people — police officers, for example, or teachers — the country could cut its national deficit by as much as $44 billion in the next ten years.
via If the Top 25 Hedge Fund Managers Paid Taxes Like You and Me, We’d Cut 44 Billion of the National Deficit | | AlterNet.
The need to put a premium on sustainability is not widely acknowledged in the investment community and certainly not among our elected officials, policy-makers and advisers. This presents an opportunity for astute companies and investors. In the long term, companies will benefit from aggressive action to dematerialize, substitute renewable energy for fossil fuel–based sources, increase energy efficiency, reduce water use and promote reuse, and tighten up sourcing and distribution channels. Investors with an eye on long-term gains will seek companies that are addressing these issues.
via A Richer Shade of Green: The Wisdom of Sustainable Investment Funds | The Nation.
BTW: BitCoin may be just the start of good things to come. The infrastructure that is being built around can pave the way for hundreds of different currencies, each with different characteristics and features. If so, the fragmentation of money has finally begun. Nice.
via JOURNAL: The Mt.Gox Flash Crash – Global Guerrillas.
Copyright and patent laws are being used not for the public good, as intended by the Constitution, but to try and keep control of information and ideas themselves. Mega-corporations have extensively extended patents into areas such as information coding—including software and bioengineering, the two greatest examples. The past few decades have seen the extension of copyright far beyond the life of any personal creator, in order to ensure what might be deemed the immortal life of the corporate owner.
via Open Source Politics: Safeguarding the Free Flow of Information | The Nation.
But in the wake of the financial crisis, they [ideas and initiatives in socially and environmentally responsible economics] have proliferated and earned a surprising amount of support—and not only among the usual suspects on the left. As the threat of a global climate crisis grows increasingly dire and the nation sinks deeper into an economic slump for which conventional wisdom offers no adequate remedies, more and more Americans are coming to realize that it is time to begin defining, demanding and organizing to build a new-economy movement.
At the cutting edge of experimentation are the growing number of egalitarian, and often green, worker-owned cooperatives. Hundreds of “social enterprises” that use profits for environmental, social or community-serving goals are also expanding rapidly. In many communities urban agricultural efforts have made common cause with groups concerned about healthy nonprocessed food.
via The New-Economy Movement | The Nation.