Recent Items

Links 12/28/2012

Posted on by

Wild Dolphins Give Gifts To Researchers Studying Them In Tangalooma, Australia HuffPo

Bondholders add twist to Argentina debt spat FT. The pari passu clause.

Falling Off the Fiscal Cliff  Dallas Fed

Hopes for fiscal cliff deal fade FT

Why they want to go over the cliff Politico

Fiscal cliff’ focus shifts to Senate; estate tax emerges as key in talks The Hill

Obama To Meet With Congressional Leaders Friday TPM

Hoyer compares GOP debt limit tactics to hostage taker threatening to shoot child CNN. Stay classy!

Euro doomsayers adjust predictions after 2012 apocalypse averted Reuters

Sistine Chapel Visitors To Be Vacuum-cleaned Corriere della Sera

Odd job UK: booming black market economy is propping up jobs figures Independent

Optimism on course of state and personal finances grows Ekathimerini. Pessimism down to 71% from 80%.

Let’s call it failure LRB

2013 Is the Year to Go to Work, Not Go on Disability Bloomberg (Atrios). “Suffering at work.”

Home Depot to Lowe’s Busiest Season Threatened by Strike Bloomberg

Underwater Homeowners Will Work for Less Pay: Cutting Research Bloomberg. All things work together for good!

Charting the state of the U.S. economy Economics Policy Institute

Future Inequality, According to the CBO Krugman, Times. Robots.

In an economy not so far, far away FT. Robots.

The robot economy and the new rentier class FT Alphaville. A tad stale but OTOH a beat ahead.

The rise of the attention economy Esther Dyson, Al Jazeera. Old catchphrases not bubble material?

Have US police forces become too militarised?  Al Jazeera

GOP and Feinstein join to fulfill Obama’s demand for renewed warrantless eavesdropping Glenn Greenwald, Guardian

The Mantoloking miracle: Why did Sandy spare this one lone home? Star Ledger

Now Piers Morgan tells Americans the Bible is ‘flawed’ (and he doesn’t think much of their US constitution either) Dailly Mail. Mad as hell…

Hewlett-Packard Says Justice Department Probing Autonomy Bloomberg

Who killed Newsweek? The Spectator

USPS may start selling mag subscriptions CJR

Where The Journal News went wrong in publishing names, addresses of gun owners Poynter

Suggested New Year’s resolution: start a blog Mathbabe. But Facebook!

Should Retirees Emigrate? Yglesias, Slate

Antidote du jour:

turtle

Print Friendly
Twitter11DiggReddit0StumbleUpon0Facebook0LinkedIn0Google+0bufferEmail

50 comments

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      My thought was that Glaeser [link] could hire some 60-year-old crippled Walmart stocker to work in his office bringing him books from his many bookshelves. That way, Glaeser wouldn’t have to get out of his chair at all, and he could be a job creator, too.

      “Joe, would you bring me that copy of Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals? No, the other one. Thank you!”

    2. Butch in Waukegan

      Slackers — suck it up, cope, and take this bromide we have for you:.

      Ultimately, the best recipe for fighting poverty is investment in human capital. This starts with improving our education system, an undertaking that should include experiments with digital learning, incentives for attracting good teachers and retooling community colleges so they provide marketable skills to less-advantaged Americans.

      I know 2 people who receive disability payments. My stepson, developmentally challenged, who supplements is meager income as a grocery store bagger, and a women in her 50s. She worked 30 years at a water equipment factory, until the company sent all the jobs to China. (Did China “experiment with digital learning” to win them?) Her knees are shot from years of lifting heavy boxes, yet she worked there until the factory closed.

      Just two of the millions sucking on Alan Simpson’s “milk cow with 310 million tits.”

    3. Wendy

      safety nets “penalize earnings” and create an “implicit tax” that discourages people from working. ugh. pretty high-brow language just to call out (so-called) welfare queens.

      can there be ANY kind of reasonable conversation with this type of person?

    4. Kokuanani

      Good grief!!! Is the link to Glaeser — and the ones to The Hill and Politico — part of a “know your enemy” campaign?

      Please, give us a warning so we won’t reward this crap with clicks.

    5. citalopram

      Taken from the website:

      “Glaeser directs Harvard’s Taubman Center for State and Local Government and the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston. … Glaeser received his B.A. from Princeton and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. ”

      I’m shocked.

  1. juneau

    Dolphins giving gifts-my vote is that they think we are lousy hunters and need a hand. The video on animal laughter by one of my personal heroes, Dr. Balcombe, who studies animal psychology through Humane Society University, is a nice bonus below the fold….Thanks Lambert!

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      No one, I repeat, no one wants to be studied.

      Do you like some weird guys poking around studying you?

      Why do we think atoms, animals and vegetables like to be studied?

      ‘I will study you’ is to be taken as a threat.

      ‘No, I will STUDY you!’ should be the proper infantile response.

      To study something means you are in control and you are higher on the totem pole/hiearchy than the thing/being being studied.

      After you have been studied, you become vulnerable.

      Just ask Nature herself.

  2. craazyman

    whoa! David Graeber Rocks!

    Went to check out “Debt: First 5000 Years” from the library yesterday, couldn’t find it on the shelf then saw it there sitting in the book bin for restocking, and thought “Oh Jeez. It’s gonna take me 5000 years to read that thing. It’s as thick as the dictionary.”.

    I didn’t know if I’d get past page 5 or not.

    Whoa! I’m already on page 73 flyin like a jet airplane and it’s only been one day! Dr. Graeber is a fluid, intelligent writer with a sense of humor and blows doors off their jams with one mind shot after another. If yuz get bored with peanut gallery blockheads who need 20 mg of Pacifex to calm down and youze wants a book written by a contemplative, thoughtful scholar that you can read like a gentleman in front of the fire (while your gun rests in its rack on your wall) go for this one.

    1. psychohistorian

      I am glad to hear you reading it.

      Have you got to the story about “…Up in our country we are human!………Up here we say that by gifts one makes slaves and by whips one makes dogs.” ?

      1. craazyman

        yeah that’s on pg. 79 in the hard cover book I have. this stuff is just like my instructor, Profeser Delerious T. Tremens, NFL, GED — who I think is actually a space alien — teaches me in my mind when I ride the bus. Nobody would believe me, but when somebody like Dr. Graeber puts it in a hard cover book you can find in a library, it gives it credibility. I’m past page 100 now and flying like a rocket. I should be at page 160 by dinner, but I’m paying attention to every word. :)

        1. Hypothetical_Taxpayer

          Is Dr. Graeber for it or against it? Debt I mean, not space aliens – tho I always like hearing stories about both.

          1. craazyman

            well I’m only on page 164 and there’s 391 pages in all, not including footnotes and bibliography.

            But so far it doesn’t seem like he’s for it.

            He says stuff like “If we have become a debt society, it’s because the legacy of war, conquest and slavery has never completely gone away. It’s still there, lodged in our most intimate conceptions of honor, property, even freedom. . . ” In fact that’s on page 164.

            Before that, he links the emergence of debt and money directly with the taking into bondage of individuals as repayment for feudal-like obligations that can not possibly be repaid, like farmers with failed harvests owing repayment to the local strong man but having their daughters taken into bondage as a substitute for payment.

            He also quotes a French anthropologist who comes very close to citing my theory of money as an abstraction of the life force. Although there’s more to it than just that. This gets into Contemporary Analysis which I studied at the University of Magonia, mostly by myself with Dr. Tremens.

            Clearly I cannot do 164 pages justice in a few unfocused references. This is good stuff. Professor Graeber is a thoughtful guy who’se not afraid to think for himself and is actually capable of it.

            I don’t quite know where all this is going to end up but I have a feeling it’s still building. It may help me revise my theories, in fact, that money is an accelerant of individuation and an unconscious creation borne instinctively from the universal mind like a myth or totem or taboo but as an antidote to hierarchical and downright psychopathic social structures, fostering instead of a hive-like group consciousness the growth of a universal individual awareness and moral sentience — as each person comes to possess his or her “share” of the group life force in the form of units of it called “money”, advancing the teleological purpose of life and provoking, upon completion across all consciousness, the eschaton. But it may be that it can decelerate it too. And that might be equally relevant to a complete theory. But then you just end up with the conventional dualism and Manicheeism and that always seems to open the door for a Godless nihilism. Even my hero the shoe salesman (Albert Camus) never quite figured that one out. Even in THE REBEL he had to sort of blur it up and word fog it there a little, postulating several self-evident and somewhat lyrically sentimental absolutes that didn’t reduce to logical argument. They never do, that’s the problem. It’s not easy being a philosopher and making sense at the same time.

            We’ll see how it goes from here. I’m a little distracted ’cause Sunday is a Big Game — Redskins/Cowboys epic battle for division title. It’s hard to concentrate when Talk Radio is buzzing with game day speculations.

          2. Hypothetical_Taxpayer

            At least he’s taken a position on the subject. It always bugs me when they drone on and on and never seem to make their point or conclusions.

            But, ya, the bondage thing is heavy. I was bummed when I found out Santa Bank repo’d his elves.

            I was a fan of your theory “money as an abstraction of the life force”. Seems to ring true – and I’m excited that this new book is stimulating your thought process towards more abstraction and expansion of your core theory – but in a mobeius strip sort of way so that it still stays focused and concise. I think mobeius strips are cool.

            But speaking of space aliens, I wonder if the Borg know something we don’t? That 7 of 9 chick was hot, btw.

            But don’t worry about philosophers never making sense. Just because they can’t doesn’t mean you can’t.

      2. scraping_by

        “Up here we say that by gifts one makes slaves and by whips one makes dogs.”

        So, it’s a story about Topsy-Turvy Land?

        I mean, dogs are wolves that entered a cooperative relationship with our hunter ancestors, helping out the incompetent trackers for a share of the kill.

        And of course, the ultimate situation of slavery is ‘work or die.’ The brutality short of death is just a reminder. The factories connected to the WWII concentration camps it is was explicit.

        So, no science, no history, no common sense. Only ringing slogans…

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That should go well with reading ‘Fire, the First 500,000 years’ and ‘The Wheel, the first 5,000 years.’

      Hmmm, The Wheel and debt arrived at around the same – coincidence? Maybe not…

        1. skippy

          Whee[a]l… The earliest known use of this essential invention was a potter’s wheel that was used at Ur in Mesopotamia (part of modern day Iraq} as early as 3500 BC.

          Archaeologists assumed it was probably invented around 8,000 B.C. in Asia, even tho, the oldest wheel known, however, was discovered in Mesopotamia and probably dates back to 3,500 B.C.

          Skippy… same old story… discovered in the east… claimed in the west. lol. BTW potters build storage vessels… eh… eh.

    3. TK421

      I received “Econned” for Christmas and am finding it utterly fascinating. If anyone enjoys Yves Smith’s work here at NC you should definitely give “Econned” a look. It’s about so much more than just the crash of ’08.

    4. diptherio

      I got Graeber’s tome for x-mas (along with Keen’s Debunking Economics and Yves’s Econned, which I’m flying through right now) and can’t wait to dig in. With the current weather in Montana, curling up with a ridiculously thick book (and a kitty) is exactly the right thing to do. Maybe you, me and Psychohistorian should start an NC book club.

  3. ex-PFC Chuck

    In re the Al Jazeera link about militarized USA police forces I quote a comment I made earlier this morning on the thread of the NC cross-post from Washington’s Blog:

    On the day after Christmas my wife had her hair done by the same woman who has served her for about twenty years. The hair dresser, whom I’ll refer to as “C”, and a partner started their own business about 8 years ago and it was successful from the get-go. We all live and work in the same middle class suburb west of Minneapolis, Minnesota. As my wife sat down in the chair, C asked her if she wanted to hear a horror story.

    C and her husband and son live on a two acre spread on a busy feeder road, and last Sunday near midnight they were closing up after watching a movie on their DVD player when they heard some racket outside. C opened the front door to see what was going on and found half a dozen police officers in SWAT gear, including a K-9 unit, and the one with the bullhorn ordered her and her husband to come out with their hands up. At first she thought it was a prank but quickly realized otherwise. They went outside and were immediately cuffed and told to kneel down in the snow. They asked what this was about and were told nothing, and the officers proceeded to enter and search the house. There son awakened and was terrified, as were their dog and the two friend’s dogs that they were taking care of while their owner was away. Finally, after what C said was a half hour or so, they were uncuffed and told that someone had called 911 saying that as they’d driven by they’d seen a man with a gun threatening a woman in the front yard. But at no time did they ask C if she was OK or had been threatened. I have no idea if C or her husband asked if they had a search warrant or were even asked if the house could be searched in lieu of a warrant. When they asked about the phone call they were told that the 911 operator didn’t get the phone number. This sounds fatuous, considering that 911 operations, TTBOMK, see through blocked caller IDs. Although we are not personal friends with them, Mary Jo has never heard anything from C that might signal an abusive relationship. The only thing C knew of that took place outside was when heir son had taken the garbage out shortly before he’d gone to bed fifteen minutes or so before the nightmare began..

    As I said to my wife when she related C’s story to me, this is what people in the inner cities have been putting up with for decades. Now it’s coming to the burbs.

    1. Yves Smith

      Actually, in NYC they handle domestic abuse calls quite differently.

      A close friend of a close friend married what turned out to be an alcoholic (everyone could see this marriage was gonna be a disaster, but it was one of those where the sex was clearly great). She had it barely under control, but when she moved to NYC and then didn’t have enough business of her own, she went from working in an office (which meant she didn’t start hitting the bottle until 8 PM or so) to working at home (which meant she started drinking at 10 AM).

      She would do stuff like take all her clothes off in front of people and insist her husband was abusing her. She once showed up at my apt for a drink (I wasn’t clued at that point into her drinking problem) and proceeded to insist her hubby had hit her. She then strips down to show a big bruise on the side off her butt. She is fair and this is the ONLY mark on her.

      It was really clear she’d gotten drunk, passed out, fell, and couldn’t remember what had happened and so it had to be his fault (she was also evidencing short term memory problems, and was later diagnosed as a stage 4 alcoholic with visible shrinkage of her brain in scans).

      When he made it clear he wanted to divorce her, she’d scream at him and either call the cops or carry on near the wall and the neighbors would call the cops (and he is really calm, has a schizophrenic brother and prima donnas at his workplace and never gets riled).

      The motivation was that she wasn’t capable of supporting herself, they hadn’t been married long enough for her to expect much of anything, and he had just come out of bankruptcy so there wasn’t much to get. Except…..he had a large rent stabilized apartment.

      In NYC, it has become not uncommon for spouses in relationships on the rocks to try to get a restraining order on the partner who has the lease. They have to stay away from their soon to be ex, who stays in the cheap apt. And the spouse who has the restraining order against them has to keep paying the rent so as to not lose the rights to cheap housing.

      You would think it would be easy for the alcoholic spouse to pull this off. She was all of 5’3″ and small framed. He was well over 6 feet and imposing (large frame and overweight).

      Every time the cops came, they’d haul her away to the drunk tank.

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        C and her husband met with the police chief yesterday and were told that whenever there is suspected misuse of firearms the procedure is to respond as I described (based on C’s description of the event to my wife), and that because of the possible firearm violation they have the right to detain suspects and search the premesis with no need for a search warrant. The only “guns” they found (C told my wife they don’t own any) were in a collection of wooden model guns made by their precocious, preteen son. The police report described the officers as “disturbed” by the “gun shrine” they found in his room. (C told me this personally this evening when she responded by phone to an email my wife had sent her earlier today.) The boy’s main interest is gourmet cuisine, and from all accounts he has a discerning palate way beyond his years.

        What I take away from all this is that the next time I get really pissed off at someone I should call 911 from a pay phone that is out of the view of a surveillance camera but in the general vicinity of the home of the target of my wrath, tell them I saw someone threatening someone else with a gun and the chortle with glee as I hear the sirens converge on my hapless enemy.

  4. dearieme

    It’s obviously reasonable to assume that the Constitution is flawed: that’s why The Founding Fathers – who are well known to have been flawless – built in the possibility of amendment, and then quickly used it themselves with the Bill of Rights.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Retirees emigrating?

      Young people are thinking about it too. Ask Yves.

      Of course, corporations started moving out years ago.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        I thought it was interesting that the idea finally bubbled to the service at Yglesias’s place.

        Seriously, just because Obama shoves me out on an ice floe doesn’t mean I have to stay there; the world is a lot bigger than the US, especially the cramped and ugly US we’re living in now.

  5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    I think the antidote du jour cameraman missed the hare playing video games on its iPhone about 50 KM behind our friend here.

  6. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Fiscal cliff.

    ‘If the fiscal cliff does not come to us, we must go to the fiscal cliff.’

    Who said that?

  7. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    My New Year resolution: do not forget the resolution.

    You older posters will appreciate what I mean.

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Euro doomsayers adjusting.

    Too bad they can’t consult with the ancient Mayans.

    ‘It was only later, when the foretune tellers looked back, that they realized 2012 was the Year of Mistakes…’ thus it was written.

  9. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Odd job UK: booming black market economy propping up jobs market.

    Black market economy as in…unregulated???

    Is that where jobs are aplenty and where things are booming?

    Are we to say then more should go unregulated???

    Are those jobs even safe? Are they legal?

  10. PeonInChief

    It’s not surprising that more people are on disability. Employers do not want to make reasonable accommodation for workers with, for instance, arthritis, and once they are laid off, it’s very difficult to get another job. (And yes, discrimination is prohibited, but in a job market where you have 3 potential employees for every job available, it’s not likely that the worker with a disability would be hired. So long as the employer is not so stupid as to tell the worker that s/he is not being hired because of disability, the discrimination can’t be proved.)

  11. Synopticist

    You guys can forget it if you think we’re having Piers Morgan back.
    You paid for him, you own him.

  12. Hugh

    Owen Matthews gets some right and a lot wrong in what killed Newsweek. He’s right when he points out Meacham as a prime player in its decline, but Meacham could not do what he did if he didn’t have backup from the parent company. Meacham basically wanted to take Newsweek small, to denationalize it, to make it a long form Politico for Washington Villagers. It was supposed to be an end run around the perceived inevitable decline of the paper media due to the inroads of cable news and the internet. These covered much the same areas and did so in real time, not days later. There were several kinds of hubris in the train wreck that followed.

    The first was Meacham’s decision to dump the peasants and turn Newsweek from a mass publication into an elites only one. I never really understood how anyone expected it to make any money by turning its back on most of its market.

    Nor was there any evidence that Meacham’s vision of a long form Politico filled a need or a niche that actually existed. Its and Meacham’s rapid downfall shows there wasn’t one. I can’t help seeing Newsweek’s demise as a wickedly funny experiment in supply side economics Versailles-style.

    There were also deeper problems which Newsweek had and which it shared with the rest of the mainstream media. To be blunt, it was just another neoliberal propaganda rag. Matthews reports with a straight face and gives equal weight to Newsweek’s civil rights reporting back in the 60s with its coverage of Monica Lewinsky in the 1990s and Dominique Strauss-Kahn more recently. For Matthews, Fareed Zakaria is an intellectual heavyweight and not the trite neocon he is.

    What Matthews doesn’t get is that Newsweek, whether under the Meacham version or the Tina Brown one, was a failure before it failed. It continued to dish the same Establishment schlock, but with greatly reduced staff, so we are talking poorer quality schlock. All Meacham and Brown did, despite their very different styles, was change the packaging. It would not occur to either of them or the Grahams and Harman to go back to a tradition of hardhitting reporting, to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. That was so far off the screen it wasn’t even in the same city. Instead it was about adjusting the flavoring of the propaganda. Meacham’s approach was “Forget the rubes. Let’s just talk to ourselves.” Brown’s was “We need the rubes for the cashflow. Look, nice shiny objects.”

    Newsweek just flamed out earlier and more ignominiously than the other mainstream media brands out there. Time magazine’s parent had deeper pockets. Time made fewer unforced errors and benefits from the disappearance of its main competitor. But Newsweek was also an example of the wider problem in our media. They remain an organ of Establishment propaganda and so committed to serving, not the public interest, but those of corporations, the rich, and the elites.

  13. j.s.nightingale

    Should Retirees Emigrate?

    Combine this with the realization that (a) Spanish housing prices are still dropping, (b) lots of Spanish are available for work and (c) the Spanish government is on the point of offering resident visas to anyone who buys a house worth upwards of 150,000 Euros.

    And they have actual workable trains and actual walkable cities in Spain. And Spanish is not so alien a language that you can’t get your ears and your tongue round it in your extensive spare (retirement) time.

    Oh, and unlike Mexico, they have a European approach to guns and murder, rather than an American approach.

    1. Expat

      Kept secret for 30 years because of the British equivalent of “national security”? These papers are dynamite, even though any mildly observant person could have guessed that these characters were out to destroy the democracy that so foolishly gave them power.

      And how many Americans keep within their consciousness the fact that the US has been under a state of emergency since 2001, renewed every 6 months by the liberals’ hallowed Obama. I promise you, the only “law” in the US under these conditions is the cya kind, like certain other dictatorships since departed.

      It’s transparently obvious that if any documents are ever revealed regarding our era, they will prove, like these British cabinet papers, that “national security” does not mean preservation of constitutional democracy or protection of the people.

  14. Ms G

    Iglesias to retiring/retired Americans: Would you please just move to another country?

    Iglesias rationalizing (i.e. dressing up his disgraceful message for messaging purposes): Because Globalization and Free Trade — Win-Win-Win!

  15. diptherio

    On the increasing inequality front, I made this little graph today whilst playing with FRED on the St. Louis FRB website:

    http://research.stlouisfed.org/fredgraph.png?g=e61

    The blue line is total personal US income from 1947 to present. The red line below it is total US salary and wage income. The green line shows the increase in non-wage/salary income as a percentage of total income (right hand scale).

    It’s pretty clear what’s happening: those who make their money by not working are gaining a larger and larger portion of the wage share, while those of us who rely on wages and salaries are getting a relatively smaller slice of the pie.

    1. skippy

      Umm… velocity of money… black holes… snicker.

      Skippy… trickle down should be rephrased… too… Hawking Price Radiation… dbl snicker…

  16. Lidia

    Antidote to the antidote: for some reason both “local” Northern NE papers subscribed to in my household featured an AP story about a Southern uni. student researcher who discovered that a significant portion of drivers (esp. college-age males) will intentionally steer in order to crush, rather than avoid, a turtle crossing the road.

    (Study carried out with fake turtles)
    http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/12/27/3748693/clemson-students-turtle-project.html

    South Carolina author Pat Conroy, in his novel “The Great Santini” based on growing up with his Marine father, has the fighter pilot father run over turtles during a late night drive when he thought his kids and wife were asleep. But his wife confronts him, saying: “It takes a mighty brave man to run over turtles.”

    The father denies it at first, then claims he hits them because they are a roadway hazard. “It’s my only sport when I’m traveling. My only hobby.”

    This is why humanity is in crisis.

  17. tatere

    i WISH i would be able to emigrate when i retire. i just suspect that by then all the other countries in the world will have had their fill of Americans…

Comments are closed.