Wolves howl like humans, new voice recognition study shows The Conversation
Psychopaths ‘have empathy switch’ BBC
Megastore for Thai Monks Brings One-Stop Retail to Buddhism Wall Street Journal (Lambert)
WATCH: A BAR MITZVAH INVITATION LIKE NO OTHER Jewish Reporter (furzy mouse). I want this kid’s parents.
All the important and surprising trends in mobile web browsing, in seven charts QZ (Lambert)
Future U.S. Energy Production Threatened by Water Shortages OilPrice
Bo Xilai to face trial on corruption charges Financial Times
China bans building of government offices Financial Times
Abenomics has worked wonders but can it save Japan? Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph
Dozens die as Spanish train derails BBC
Can Greece get out of the Eurozone now? Should it? Comments on Munchau and Sinn Yanis Varoufakis
No-fly zone in Syria ‘no less than an act of war,’ top general says Christian Science Monitor (furzy mouse)
Syria’s exodus: a crisis for the world Guardian
Egypt: Preparing The Repression Moon of Alabama
Doctors picking their own prices Washington Post. WaPo is taking up the Washington Monthly story we flagged last week on AMA pricefixing.
Health Law’s Success Rests on the Young Wall Street Journal
Louisiana Agency Sues Dozens of Energy Companies for Damage to Wetlands New York Times
Mismeasuring Our Economy: Why the GDP is Not Useful Triple Crisis
Obama’s Economy Speech July 24,2013: Screaming Goat Version YouTube (Dr. Kevin). I can’t put my finger on why this appeals to me. Maybe because the only audience that will buy what Obama is selling is screaming goats. Or maybe it’s just silly.
920 ‘Moral Monday’ Arrests Made, NC Movement Vows to Push Back on Senate Voter ID Bill Real News Network
Tax writers promise 50 years of secrecy for senators’ suggestions The Hill (furzy mouse)
Senators promised 50 years of secrecy on their tax reform proposals Linda Beale
MOOCs, their failure, and what is college for anyway? mathbabe
The troubled promise of reshoring Guardian
Watchdog: Borrowers in Obama housing program re-defaulting CNN (Scott). If you read the piece, the redefaulters are most often the ones that received small and presumably inadequate mods.
Petitions versus Larry Summers at the Fed: MoveOn and Daily Kos. Please sign both. No point in taking chances. Howeve, when Ezra Klein ran a piece earlier this week declaring Summers to be the White House’s fave, a connected colleague begged to differ, saying a clique at the White House was pushing Summers, which was not the same thing. The rapid reaction by party stalwarts seems more in line with my buddy’s reading than Klein’s.
Banks should keep out of mines and warehouses John Gapper, Financial Times
Antidote du jour (Edge of the Plank). Also furzy mouse’s 95 year old mother died. Please give her your condolences.
Dear FruzyMouse, I’m sorry to read the loss of your grandmother. I can only imagine 95 years of priceless experience, she left for your continuous unfolding.
Remember: “Love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone.” Thank You for all your shares and diligent work.
My sincere condolences for loss of your mother.
Dear furzy mouse;
I’m sorry to hear about her death. You have my sympathy and appreciation. You are her legacy, and she obviously did a very good job.
Condolences on your loss furzy. 95 years is an impressive run, we should all do as well. You are exceptionally lucky to have had the gift of that much time to spend with your mother.
My condolences. Treasure all the time you had with her, and comfort yourself with memories of all the things — personal, family, and world-wide she got to see during her long life. So many of her generation, esp. young men, never got to live past their late teens and early twenties. And thanks for your many links references.
Deepest sympathy on the loss of your mom.
Fruzy, please forgive me i just now noticed my mistake. my grandmother passed just short of her 95th birthday, we were soul mates and i miss her all the time. my heart felt condolence for your loss and i do hope your memories remain as close and dear to you as my Mama Liza’s are to me.
even the knowledge that such a thing is inevitable, and being well prepared after such a long life as your mother had does not make the experience, when it does happen, any more bearable.
hopefully all of your years together were truly well spent.
Thank you all very much for the encouragement and condolences. My Ma was indeed a tough old bird, and lived life to the max,haranguing her grandsons up thru her last day at the nursing home!
And I thank all of you for your contributions to NC. I am very gratified by the fellowship we create with “our” NC blog snippets and discussions…it certainly invigorates my cyber-sphere…Thank you everyone….Furzy Mouse
Senators promised 50 years of secrecy on their tax reform proposals Linda Beale
“Keeping the submissions confidential for a half century, the aide added, was “standard operating procedure for sensitive materials including investigation materials.””
In light of the Snowden leaks alone, how STOOPID could a Senator be to believe the above? In the Land of Leakers, who will be in charge of these sensitive materials? Any Monks available?
The question then: in a Society of distrust and diminishing (by the minute) Rule of Law, who you gonna trust? No one.
On the contrary, so few people leak anything that you can count whistleblowers using your fingers.
I mention that because TPTB has made “conspiracy theory” a dirty word. They prefer people not engage in speculation because it can lead to asking questions and then to eventual discovery. They prefer us to be lazy and assume that: “if there’s anything important going on that we should know, someone will tell us.”
@ “No-fly zone in Syria ‘no less than an act of war,’ top general says”
Obama the drone president, however, is undeterred:
This is good news for the Mercosur block (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela and Bolivia). The more tar-babies the US gets bogged down with in the Middle East and central Asia, the less resources it has to harass South America.
And one prominent Republican keeps popping up as being Obama’s ever-present sidekick in the bipartisan crime syndicate:
Rogers could be seen leading the posse in pursuit of Snowden, and was also front and center in the fight against the Amash Amendment. He, like Obama, has never seen a measure to expand the scope and size of the Security and Surveillance State (SSS) that he didn’t like.
And not everyone is ignorant of the fact that Obama and Rogers are arming Islamic extremists and potential terrorists, just like we did with Operation Cyclone** in Afghanistan.
For folks like Obama and Rogers, the need for terrorists is so great (see Adam Curtis’s The Power of Nightmares http://sophistryandillusion.com/videos/Adam-Curtis/The+Power+of+Nightmares+-+part+1.flv.php ) that if they don’t have a terrorist, they have to get one.
**Operation Cyclone was the code name for the United States Central Intelligence Agency program to arm and finance the Afghan mujahideen prior to and during the Soviet war in Afghanistan, 1979 to 1989. The program leaned heavily towards supporting militant Islamic groups rather than other, less ideological Afghan resistance groups. Operation Cyclone was one of the longest and most expensive covert CIA operations ever undertaken.
In the late 1980s, Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, concerned about the growing strength of the Islamist movement, told President George H. W. Bush, “You are creating a Frankenstein.”
Arming rebel groups in Syria is just so f*cking crazy it gives me a headache thinking about it. It’s arguably more dumb than anything Bush ever did. And that really is saying something, because Bush was arguably the greatest foreign policy blunderer of any president ever.
Giving modern weaponry to al qeada’s bitches , in the middle east, In THIS f*cking DAY AND AGE. Wow. With 25% of the country supporting it. Just spastic.
Selectively quoting wise, peace loving, unbiased generals in order to figure out what would be the best moral and realistic course of action?!
That BBC story on psychopaths being able to turn on their empathy is fascinating.
I wonder if it works in reverse. Maybe our economics teachers are turning off empathy switches in our future financial professionals.
I think you might be on to something there. Free riding seems to be one of the abiding tenets of orthodox economic indoctrination:
I think you might be on to something there. Free riding seems to be one of the abiding tenets of orthodox economic indoctrination:
Maxwell and Ames, thanks for that from Mexico.
—“Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterised by superficial charm, pathological lying and a diminished capacity for remorse.”—
Criminologist Shadd Maruna (whose work on desistance is very interesting) asks ‘What are Psychopaths For?’ http://lx.iriss.org.uk/content/what-are-psychopaths He takes a while to get into his stride, but if you have the patience to get through the warm-up, it may lead to your being wary of the term.
Lynn Parramore says:
“I’d like to point out something about the diagnosis of ‘psychopath.’ It’s a term that came into vogue through the work of an idiosyncratic Georgia psychiatrist named Hervey Clerkley. He also gave us ‘multiple personality disorder’, a diagnosis that has been much discredited. Both terms have been popularized in film and the media for many decades.
“Clinical psychiatrists hardly ever use the psychopath diagnosis; it has become highly controversial. Forensic psychiatrists, however, use it all the time. The diagnosis is extremely useful in swaying juries because it raises the specter of a killing machine who will continue to kill if released. It’s also extremely vague and has the perverse logic associated with it that the more ‘normal’ a person appears, the more diabolical he is supposed to be. ‘But he’s sitting there so calm!’ ‘Exactly! That’s what a psychopath does.’ And so on. The term ‘witch’ was used with much the same efficacy in earlier trials in our judicial system. Morris has an intriguing chapter on the use of the [psychopath] diagnosis in A Wilderness of Error.”
Lynn Parramore said:
That seems to be a highly inaccurate assesment of where the science is. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, who has spent many years studying the intersection of psychopathy and the law, has an entirely different take:
Shadd Maruna says:
“[T]he labeling of others as deviant seems to serve a key scapegoating function, whereby they assume blame for all the problems of the rest of us. I have a paper I am working on about the psychopathy diagnosis as an example of this. If you read the psychopathy literature it is amazing how many of the characteristics of so-called psychopaths sound suspiciously like contemporary society (they are motivated purely by selfish interests, they want only money and power, they don’t care about others, they seem charming and warm, but underneath they are pure rational calculators seeking to rip us off). I am sure that there are people who are like this. I have met plenty of them. Yet, one can’t help but see our obsession with psychopaths as a kind of scream for help from our individualistic, market society. We are so frightened by the cold commodification of everything around us, that we project these fears onto a scapegoat figure of the psychopath.”
This isn’t true. I’ve spent much of my life working with members of the psychiatric profession and can’t recall encountering anybody who denied the existence of sociopathy. A clinician outside the criminal justice system would likely not list it as an official diagnosis however due to third party reimbursement issues. It is also not considered valid prior to the age of 18, though ominous signs may be seen much younger.
I can’t imagine anybody with appreciable experience in the field denying the existence of individuals who lack empathy and a conscience, especially since not all sociopaths are charming and clever. Some make no effort to pretend to be anything except the cruel and heartless individuals that they are. I refer the reader to Capote’s true novel, In Cold Blood.
The existence of multiple personality disorder IS more controversial. It’s quite rare, at the very least, and overdiagnosed, IMO. The most convincing case for its existence I ran across was in a 10 year old whose mother used to hang him upside down and put Tabasco sauce in his eyes.
Lucy, per your statement viz. some sociopaths make no effort to hide it: Exibit A: Bank Stooge, Former Treasury Secretary, Woman-Hating Harvard Pres., etc. Larry A. Summers. Tim Geithner – naw, just not that clever, but effective nonetheless.
“Let’s be clear. Psychopaths are extremely charismatic and likeable. They attract vulnerable people to them like sh*t attracts flies. When I interviewed the first sociopath to write a memoir, she suggested that Obama may be a sociopath. Remember, the smartest sociopaths don’t go to jail. They don’t get caught. They run companies. They get elected. Then they break laws with impunity, as Glenn Greenwald describes in his book, With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful.”
also, Thanks Tim Mason for linking the Shadd Maruna lecture…i’ll be blocking out quality time for this!
On a similar note, you might find these two lectures by Amanda Pustilnik and Nita Farahany interesting. I too want to set aside some quality time to listen to them, as well as the lecture by Shadd Maruna.
muchas gracias Mexico! i so look forward to these video’s. mental health always resides at the top of my list of studies.
“Not he who has much is rich, but he who gives much.” (bet your loaded Mexico’)
The second link, to Nita Farahany’s talk, is a must watch. It’s only 15 min. long. Neuroscience, the Law, and DARPA. It would appear that MK ULTRA is still a going concern, only now they’re using oxytocin instead of LSD.
”Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterised by superficial charm, pathological lying and a diminished capacity for remorse.”
That sounds like our current president and the Bush and Clinton families that preceded him.
Imagine — if you can — not having a conscience, none at all, no feelings of guilt or remorse no matter what you do, no limiting sense of concern for the well-being of strangers, friends, or even family members. Imagine no struggles with shame, not a single one in your whole life, no matter what kind of selfish, lazy, harmful, or immoral action you had taken…
We are not commonly aware of, nor do we usually identify, the larger number of nonviolent sociopaths among us, people who often are not blatant lawbreakers, and against whom our formal legal system provides little defense…
What differentiates a sociopath who lives off the labors of others from one who occasionally robs convenience stores, or from one who is a contemporary robber baron — or what makes the difference between an ordinary bully and a sociopathic murderer — is nothing more than social status, drive, intellect, blood lust, or simple opportunity.
What distinguishes all these people from the rest of us is an utterly empty hole in the psyche, where there should be the most evolved of all humanizing functions.
–MARTHA STOUT, The Sociopath Next Door
i popped in b&n an read ‘bush on the couch’ as soon as it came out (no way was i buyin it and why wait to ck it out of a lib. when there so much more to read’)…it had some interesting thoughts but i found it difficult to trust the details, as Frank does admit to the lack for transference. i didn’t know Frank did Obama until just now (like i said there so much more to read n enjoy’)…here’s part of a critique that standouts, for me anyway:
In “Obama on the Couch,” Frank argues that the president’s performance in office has been shaped “not only by political preferences but by idiosyncratic unconscious factors that he himself does not recognize,” especially the challenges of growing up as the mixed-race child of a nurturing (and perhaps naively idealistic) white mother and an absent black father.
According to Frank, Obama’s “pathological accommodation” to right-wing Republicans has its roots in his failure “to allow himself to feel his rage” at Barack Obama Sr. or to “own his aggression” against the beloved Stanley Ann Dunham for abandoning him as well. Caught in an “unconscious repetition compulsion,” a need to relive “the conflict and pain he felt as a child,” he transfers his anger onto his followers, “putting them in the role of little Barry,” in the hope of a different outcome.
i’m a bit shocked Frank wove the Tea Party into this book:
Racism, envy, the demonization of the Other, and other dynamics we’ve been discussing all come together in the Tea Party, a group of people who feel the government, personified by the president, has robbed them of what they once had: a lost, white America where they had the freedom to do what they wanted, even if they accepted that they couldn’t own slaves anymore. The fantasy of being robbed of the freedom we once had and think we still deserve is familiar to all of us because we once were children and felt and lost such freedom… Members of the Tea Party are stuck at this level of emotional development, obsessed with the unchallenged fantasy of frustrated, stolen freedom… To a Kleinian psychoanalyst, the Tea Party is allied with destructiveness out of hatred toward the reality of modern life and resentment that they feel like strangers in their own land and can’t see themselves in their president.
‘shocked’ isn’t the correct reaction…more like ‘merrily surprised’ heheee
There are some great possibilities from this reasearch. Among other useful results, Corporate America could eliminate the problem of empathic managers by training them to turn off the empathy switch in the brain.
I imagine a future where hearing the phrase “shareholder value” automatically flips the switch.
No one wants to confront the Dark Side of Science.
I disagree that psychopaths have “empathy”, which is the ability to feel others’ feeling as if they were our own, with attendant sympathy and desire to help if need be.
What psycopaths have is a strong sensitivity to vulnerability in others, which they use to exploit the other. OTOH, psychopaths have cut themselves off from their own vulnerability, possibly because it was too painful as a result of childhood trauma (one line of thinking posits), or perhaps they weren’t born with any. It’s one reason serial offenders don’t stop until they’re put away or killed.
There has been research done on physical brain anomalies found in psychopaths. Here is one:
Strangely enough, when I researched “psychopaths+anomalies”, every single webite was blocked by my firewall. I added this one to my exceptions. Hhhmm…
Yes, it look like it’s actually a physical brain anomaly…
I’m equally skeptical that psychopaths can experience empathy. They can be quite clever at imitating empathy however.
This is what always worries me about any ‘new scientific discovery’ – how do we know psychopaths now won’t use it to make more psychopaths, if they know about the ‘switch?’
Is this sort of ‘Reverse Moral Dunning Krueger’ that also afflicts MMTers?
I hope not, as we should not assume strangers will be more moral or virtuous than our all-to-imperfect selves.
Give them only limited powers.
I agree. After the universal bailout with new, full legal tender fiat (to force the banks to accept it) fiat should be demoted to its proper role as legal tender for government debts only and purely private monies allowed for private debts only.
See how this would limit the government’s ability to overspend relative to taxation?
Definitely should limit how much the NSA can spend on drones.
This is kind of on-topic but also a digression.
The best examples of a sociopath were represented as Byronic heroes; a charming person with something missing.
I suspect that there is more than one kind of sociopath. There are some preditors who act the same, but lack the charm. The ones with the charm do the most damaage.
An example: Byron’s semi-autobiographical epic narrative poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (1812–1818) was described by the historian and critic Lord Macaulay as “a man proud, moody, cynical, with defiance on his brow, and misery in his heart, a scorner of his kind, implacable in revenge, yet capable of deep and strong affection”.
Emily Brontë was a fan of Byron and developed Heathclife in Wuthering Heights as her Byronic hero.
In his novel “A Hero of Our Tiime”, the Russian writer Lermontov purposefully developed the characer Pechorin as a Russian example of a Byronic Hero. (He stated his intention in a foreward to the novel.)
Ian Fleming in an early magazine interview claimed that James Bond was patterned after Lermontov’s Pechorin.
In a literary sense, for whatever it’s worth, this establishes that Lord Byron was James Bond’s grandfather.
As I understand it (tell me if I’m wrong), there is a difference between empathy and sympathy. The successful sociopath has a fine capacity to understand how the other thinks and feels, and often knows exactly what is needed/desired. That is why, ISTM, Obama can always find the right words. He knows. But he exploits it. He has no sympathy, which is feeling compassion for the other, thus opening up the next step, willingness to help.
Narcissists have little capacity for either empathy or sympathy because they cannot see outside themselves. “Other” only functions as “part object” to the world-which-is-self and therefore they generally do not even understand that there are complete people/things that function independently of them.
These disorders exist on continuums and there are overlaps.
Hasn’t the DSM subsumed these terms under anti-social personality disorder? Very clumsy, if so, ISTM.
Psychopaths need to run some pseudoempathy process (probably in some neurally sandboxed VME) in order to perform predictive analysis on their prey’s likely behavior. Doing so increases the efficiency of the psychopath.
My condolences for the loss of your mother. She must have been very special to raise someone who shares such great antidotes!
My condolences as well, Furzy.
Caption for antidote:
Don’t buy teddy bears if they look like this.
“I am not a toy!”
I know you liked this, so I’ll give you an Encore Presentation
Teddy has an Operation
I won’t watch since I LOVE Teddy.
The medical intervention has a positive outcome for teddy..
“Throw a stick, and the servile dog wheezes and pants and stumbles to bring it to you. Do the same before a cat, and he will eye you with coolly polite and somewhat bored amusement. And just as inferior people prefer the inferior animal which scampers excitedly because someone else wants something, so do superior people respect the superior animal which lives its own life and knows that the puerile stick-throwings of alien bipeds are none of its business and beneath its notice. The dog barks and begs and tumbles to amuse you when you crack the whip. That pleases a meekness-loving peasant who relishes a stimulus to his self importance. The cat, on the other hand, charms you into playing for its benefit when it wishes to be amused; making you rush about the room with a paper on a string when it feels like exercise, but refusing all your attempts to make it play when it is not in the humor. That is personality and individuality and self-respect — the calm mastery of a being whose life is its own and not yours — and the superior person recognizes and appreciates this because he too is a free soul whose position is assured, and whose only law is his own heritage and aesthetic sense.” Lovecraft
It took a while, but I got two cats to let me hold them upside down like a baby and pet their bellies with the back of my hand. With one, I would sit down, lay him upside down on my thighs, hold him gently by the thighs and let him have a huge, gravity-assisted stretch down my legs with his paws reaching past my feet. He liked.
My cat lets me do this, but only because he like it!
interesting that most of the RSS readers where i have them matched have the time stamp on these links earlier than linda beale’s tax post linked above; only DIGG has linda’s 8 minutes before yves’s here…
Re: Obama Speech/ Screaming Goats…
Enjoyed that,…made want to see a few goats on the next MTP panel—screeching away at the absurd comments of David Brooks or Andrea Mitchell and at the buffoon David Gregory.
goats could be added to lamberts color coded analysis. no wait … that’s really not a good idea.
“The inspector general said it found some “clear patterns” in its own research. Homeowners who were most likely to re-default were the ones who received the smallest reduction in their loan payments or overall debt, were still underwater on their mortgage or had subprime credit scores and high overall debt at the time the modification took place.”
This program was part of Obama’s reelection PR and never had any meat on the bone. The housing crash is still unfolding and teaching millions of Americans that a owning a mortgage is not home ownership.
WARNING: Prominent Activists Being Framed With Child Porn
A disturbing trend is unfolding where some entity is attempting to frame prominent anti-establishment activists and alternative media organizations with child pornography.
These activists are being sent emails with malicious attachments containing images of child porn in a seeming attempt to discredit them or set them up for arrest.
Two weeks ago Luke Rudkowski of WeAreChange.org was sent an email from a @tormail domain with attachments containing child porn.
Rudkowski communicated more with his attacker who warned “We plan to not just set you up with child porn but every alternative media founder and master on the planet.”
Rudkowski’s attacker has apparently made good on this threat. Two more prominent liberty activists have now been targeted using the same tactic.
Stewart Rhodes from Oathkeepers and Dan Johnson from People Against the NDAA discuss a recent attempted set-up. As they document with their Internet security tech, this was a more sophisticated attempt to install child porn than the attempt made a short while ago against Luke Rudkowski.
It’s a warning to all activists to be extra vigilant as the establishment attempts to discredit, and apparently imprison, those who seek to tell the truth.
(short video messages incld)
This kiddie-porn scare is not an attack on activists, it’s an attack on tormail. Planting evidence on activists is risky. You know what’s not risky? If you scare them away from the privacy of tormail so you can keep surveilling them. Who has access to kiddie-porn, anyway? The feds – they sell it themselves when they bust a site, to roll up the customers.
Tormail’s great. It’s pretty close to a killer app for NSA, once a lot of people start to use it. The feds are doing to tormail what they did to i2p and freemail, which is try to tar it with kiddie porn associations.
It’s like your civic duty to get on tormail and i2p and freemail, it strengthens the networks and makes the NSA work for its totalitarian state.
Freenet, that is, not freemail
interesting…appreciate the 411
RE: Tax writers promise 50 years of secrecy/The Hill
Max “Trainwreck” Baucus is at it again, this time taking on the tax code–FROM SCRATCH. How is this even taken seriously?
“Lawmakers” afraid to write their garbage pile ideas on paper because someone might find out whose idea it was. Again, seriously?
Are you sure this article didn’t come from The Onion?
We’re gonna need the guys who outed J.K. Rowling.
Toilet-Tissue ‘Desheeting’ Shrinks Rolls, Plumps Margins
Improved Product Means Fewer Sheets Needed to ‘Get the Job Done,’ Company Says
Kimberly-Clark Corp. KMB +0.41% recently rolled out new Kleenex tissue that it says is 15% “bulkier.”
It’s also stingier. Each box has 13% fewer sheets than before.
Consumer products makers call this “desheeting”—reducing the number of sheets of toilet paper or tissues in each package while holding retail prices constant. Earlier this week, Kimberly-Clark executives told analysts that they expect the practice to benefit the company’s consumer-tissue unit in the second half of the year.
Companies, particularly in the food business, have long shrunk packages as an alternative to hiking prices in the face of higher raw-material costs. Cereal boxes and bags of chips have in many cases become lighter over the years in what the food industry refers to as taking “weight out.” A regular Snickers bar now weighs 1.86 ounces, down from 2.07 ounces in the past, which Mars says was done to cut calories to 250 per bar. Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice is now sold in 59 ounce bottles, versus 64 ounce cartons prior to 2010.
The practice also has been a tried and true strategy for makers of tissue and toilet paper, allowing companies to quietly, and effectively, raise prices per unit.
They’re just taking a page from the boss’s playbook– Sounds to me like the consumer’s equivalent of a stealth wage cut by way of demanding increased productivity without raising wages.
It’s called “hidden inflation” and I last saw it in the 80s, iirc.
Dang! When will we learn to do money correctly?
Well, a few more retired or laid-off engineers with time on their hands and they’ll do what economists haven’t because to be a decent engineer one MUST have a streak of honesty as well as math skills.
I dunno…the jury is still out on ‘economic engineers’…some are still in the Tacoma Bridge stage.
Well, at least most engineers learn from their mistakes. Most economists? Since when?
Engineers still have the numerical advantage though…probably installing more plant-growth inhibiting Wi-Fi routers as we speak.
Sounds like the private sector version of Chained CPI. Whittling away at people’s earnings from both sides.
Does this kind of thing get included in inflation calculations at all?
Thanks for including the Linda Beale blogpost in addition to the opaque and pointless article from The Hill.
I think I speak for most Montanans when I say that Max Baucus’s retirement cannot come soon enough. He’ll probably be replaced by an R, but at least an R will get pushback from the ‘left.’
Doctors picking their own prices.
Why can’t plumbers do the same?
Call one on a Sunday and they will ;-)
Luckily, I always make my appointment a couple of years ahead…something we Americans should learn from our ex-Soviet friends.
Re. one of my earlier rants about the financialization of trades in general; it’s the investors in the syndicates, and not the good anarcho-syndicates at that, who get the price inflation going by adding an expansionary layer to the prices. It’s probably like the phenomenon I read about attendant to inventions; the capitalists who underwrite the development and marketing of a new invention who reap the lions share of the rewards. The actual inventor, being, I’ll guess, more creatively attuned, rather than financially savvy, gets somewhat shafted in the main.
By the way, you’ve just perfectly described one of the drivers of the degradation of the American homeowners infrastructure; cost aversion.
@ rich: while I agree there is inflation (just price bread at the store!), manufacturers diminishing sizes but keeping prices stable is not some conspiracy to bilk you. Shoppers’ resistance to raising prices is very hard to overcome, even when one hasn’t raised prices in years. And freight to manufacturers & retailers increases too, so *actual costs* keep rising. What would you have makers do, take increasing losses so your price doesn’t go up? Would you never complain at price rises?
@furzy_mouse: my condolences, when I lost my mother at 83 it felt like my world tipped over sideways.
Congrats on NC ranking #9 of best finance blogs, Yves. Should be higher, but at least you beat Daily Beast, Rolling Stone, Forbes, and Greg Mankiw.
In my humble opinion (IMHO – for the tech savvy), we should be #1.
Richard Wolff: Detroit a “Spectacular Failure” of System that Redistributes Pay From Bottom to Top
Kicking off a series of speeches about the economy, President Obama told a crowd in Illinois on Wednesday that reversing growing inequality and rejuvenating the middle class “has to be Washington’s highest priority.” During his remarks, Obama failed to mention the bankruptcy filing by Detroit, where thousands of public workers are now fighting to protect their pensions and medical benefits as the city threatens massive cuts to overcome an estimated $18 billion in debt. Detroit’s bankruptcy “is an example of a failed economic system,” says economist Richard Wolff, professor emeritus of economics at University of Massachusetts. “There are so many other cities in Detroit’s situation, that if the courts decide that it is legal to take away the pension that has been promised to and paid for by these workers, you have [legalized] theft. It is class war, redistributing income from the bottom to the top.”
Why not One United Pension Plan for all and defend it till the last standing senior?
United we stand.
I agree. The monetary sovereign (e.g. US Treasury) is the ONLY entity that can provide a risk-free pension.
We don’t need any monetary sovereignty for that.
We just need to make sure to take back what has been stolen from the 99.99% by the 0.01%, that is to say, invoke our political sovereignty.
That might invoke something like what happened to Spain during their Civil War. “Stand Your Ground” against Tyranny!?
And it’s not just public workers whose retirements are at risk. Many people are also holders of munis, either directly or through their 401K’s or their company’s pension plan, accepting crappy interest rates in exchange for alleged ‘low risk’ of default. These bankruptcies might finally wave in some trickle down economics.
Most of Detroit’s muni bonds are insured. It’s the bond insurers that will lose… not individual investors or mutual funds:
Escrow, the new subsidy for banksters
So very, very sorry, furzy, especially in these times when it is so very, very hard to take care of one’s self enough to even be able to help their parents the way one almost always wants to do (even when it is in past tense recollect).
MOST PARENTS DO NOT NEED THE $TATE TO FO$TER THEIR OFFSPRING OFF TO A $ANDUSKY, IN FACT, NONE DO. … Some, likely need other humans to take their children under wing though.
May the powers reigning rot in the hell they’ve created …and may we survive their insanity.
;0( Stay strong furzy!
My sympathies, furzy mouse.
My sympathies, furzy mouse, in the difficult days ahead when you mourn the loss of your mother, but also celebrate her life.
Very good summary of what changed in the early 1970s and why the US has been circling the drain since then. 30 mins.
Pirate Television: Financializing America with Randy Mandell
I am sorry for your loss, furzy mouse.
The Common Belief Fallacy – David McRaney, Big Think
Welcome to your future. It’s not looking good with all those criminals passing as ‘government’.
I am sorry for your loss furzy mouse. Thank you for the warm and sweet photo contributions. I hope you are doing well.
Well worth a visit.
You think you have it bad in the States? In Britain, venture capital invests less than the 2 Manchester clubs spend on footballers’ salaries.