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2:00PM Water Cooler 2/13/15

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

2016

Hillary Clinton meets with (200? [snicker]) foreign policy experts. “The major takeaway from these private talks is that she wants a strategy more suited to shaping conditions overseas, as opposed to reacting to events as they arise, people familiar with the meetings said” [Wall Street Journal]. Great.

Establishment

“Jeb Bush’s team has hurriedly redacted the social security numbers and other identity details of 12,000 people from emails released online covering the putative presidential candidate’s eight years as Florida governor” [Guardian]. Of course, whoever sucked down the files already has an unredacted version. And my question remains: So who let that happen? Sure, they threw the tech dude under the bus for it, but nobody else on the Bush campaign thought to ask what was in the data? Sure hope they don’t treat donor email like that!

“If Bush’s well-known last name did not provide him with such epic fundraising capacity, in fact, he’d be George Pataki” [Atlantic]. Ouch!

Principled Insurgents

Walker drawing on his donor network, New York hedgies and real estate interests, the Kochs, and Stanley Hubbard, a Minnesota billionaire in the broadcasting industry [Wall Street Journal]. Yes, that Hubbard.

“An Open Letter to Scott Walker” [The Marquette Educator]. Another example of Walker’s relationship status with Truth: “It’s complicated”. At least Reagan had the good sense to tell his fibs about made-up characters, not actual, living citizens who could stand up and call him out.

Clown Car

53% of New Jersey voters view Christie unfavorably [Bloomberg].

“Fact Check: Did Mike Huckabee’s son kill a dog?” [Florida Times-Union]. Yes, says Snopes.

“Huckabee’s False Witnessing” [FactCheck.org]. Ouch! On Obama’s speech to the so-called National Prayer Breakfast.

Huckabee, Cruz, and Walker are all the sons of Baptist ministers [WaPo]. Which is why Walker can dog-whistle so well.

Wall Street’s top 16 political donors [Business Insider].

The Hill

TPP would send users to prison for non-commerical copyright infringment; for example, viral memes [EFF].

Herd on the Street

“Apple Bans ‘Bonded Servitude’ at Supplier Factories Worldwide” [Bloomberg].

Prada: Too many shops, too little fresh product [The Fashion Law].

Political Economy

Krugman utters phrase “modern money” [New York Times]. And there’s this:

[L]et’s simply note that the Fed’s “liabilities” consist of cash, and those who hold that cash have the option of converting it into, well, cash. No, the Fed can’t fall victim to a bank run.

So, the currency issuer can never go bankrupt…

Stats Watch

Consumer sentiment, February 2015: “Very solid,” but down below expectations. Current and expecations both down [Bloomberg].

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“FBI director acknowledges racial bias in policing” [Toronto Star]. A fine Twitter stream from Dan Froomkin.

Chapel Hill shooter “appears to have functioned as a self-appointed watchman in the complex” [New York Times]. Gee, that sounds familiar. And some thoughts on the media ecology that drove (or not) the story [News-Observer].

“I said: ‘Mrs. Baker, I’m a Holocaust survivor. I lost 46 members of my family, what can I do for you?’ ” [Inquirer]. Picking out the goodness in a horrid story.

Theory that decrease in children’s exposure to lead decreased crime given some mainstream criminological traction [Kevin Drum, Mother Jones].

ObamaCare

Key question in King v. Burwell: Do the plaintiffs have standing? Arguably not [Bloomberg]. Could be an attractive option for the court, if they want to throw the case out without ruling on the merits.

The problem with the ObamaCare marketplace is that it’s a marketplace, as even [Bloomberg] now understands:

[Y]ou could argue that the exchanges are called “marketplaces” for a reason — people who choose to buy anything less than platinum-level plans can see beforehand the copayments and deductibles they’ll face, and make their decision accordingly.

But that assumes that insurance shoppers will take the time to read the details and understand them. It also assumes that people can do a good job of predicting the health-care services they’ll need. [It also assumes the insurance companies won’t obfuscate and game the system.]

Even if those things hold true, cost sharing on the exchanges is still typically far higher than for the employer-based coverage that about half of Americans still have. Maybe that’s a necessary price to pay for extending government-subsidized health care. But it also means that when people complain about the high cost of care, they’re not wrong.

And that’s before we get to the shopping and the account maintenance, which is a tax on time.

Corruption

“Gov. John Kitzhaber’s office last week requested state officials destroy thousands of records in the governor’s personal email accounts, according to records obtained by WW and 101.9 KINK/FM News 101 KXL” [Willamette Week]. This at a time when Fitzhaber was promising to be open! State officials, to their credit, refused. “Kitzhaber spokeswoman Amy Wojcicki said the request to delete emails was routine.” So that’s alright, then.

Oregon Democratic leader meet with Fitzhaber, tell him he should resign [Oregon Live].

Computers and servers wiped out at 1MDB, a “strategic development company,” wholly owned by the Government of Malaysia. [Sarawak Times].

It is generally acknowledged that 1MDB has become the single biggest threat facing the Malaysian economy, according to observers with borrowings now standing at over $USD40billion and a number of assets widely believed to have been highly inflated in value.

There is also a mysterious black hole at the centre of the fund, which its managers have found impossible to account for. This is an alleged billion dollars, which it is claimed is resting in a redeemable Cayman Islands account, having been allegedly repaid to the fund by the company PetroSaudi, which originally received the loan.

But wait! “Malaysia’s debt-heavy strategic investor 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) settled a RM2 billion loan yesterday with money from billionaire T. Ananda Krishnan, six days before bankers triggered a default, say sources” [Malaysian Insider]. Wonder if any 1MDB Nßew York real estate was collateral for the loan? Gloriously seamy! And do we have any Asia hands who can expand on this?

Militias form in Guerrero province of Mexico as the locals lose faith in the State [New York Times]. The story of the 43 students who were killed and burnt isn’t going away; here’s long-form reporting from Francisco Goldman’s series on this topic [New Yorker]. Any NC readers who are familiar with Mexico, please chime in!

Class Warfare

“Agreeable, conscientious” personalities more likely to deliver shocks to the innocent than “more contrarian, less agreeable personalities”, Milgram-like experiment finds [MIC]. Here’s why this link is under “Class Warfare”:

The study also found that people holding left-wing political views were less willing to hurt others. One particular group held steady and refused destructive orders: “women who had previously participated in rebellious political activism such as strikes or occupying a factory.”

“Temp Hides Fun, Fulfilling Life From Rest Of Office” [The Onion].

News of the Wired

  • A recent paper in the Journal of Advertising suggests that online commenting may sway people as much as public service announcements (PSAs) from health authorities [Ars Technica]. Yikes!
  • It’s enough trouble running a home WiFi router without running all your household devices on WiFi too [Gizmodo]. The smart home is a solution in search of a problem. Why not get up off the couch and flip the lightswitch?
  • Of 12 Silicon Valley day care facilities affiliated with tech companies, six—that’s half—have vaccination rates that are below average and do not confer herd immunity, according to the state’s data [Wired]. Darwin Award material…
  • “Monster hurricanes struck U.S. Northeast during prehistoric periods of ocean warming” [NSF].
  • Global nonprofit Endeavor launches an affiliate in Detroit to help firms that “are on the cusp of extraordinary growth” [Crains].
  • The presidents of the Knight, Ford, Mozilla, MacArthur and Open Society foundations pledge new commitments to  support novel ideas and finance new research [Medium].
  • Signs a couple is heading for divorce [Vox].
  • Note to First Draft: Philly’s “iconic condiment” is not cream cheese (manufactured in Chester, NY) but wooter ice [New York Times].
  • Atlantic City and the Revel Casino disaster [Medium]. On the bright side, Morgan Stanley lost a bundle.
  • So Heather Cho, Korean Air exec and daughter of the Chair, is going to jail for a year because she forced a plane back to the gate over some poorly presented macadamia nuts [The Economist]. And so we see that Korea’s political economy is far healthier than our own.

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant:

nasturtium_5

The end of nasturtium week. I think I’ll do cactus next.

If you enjoy Water Cooler, please consider tipping and click the hat. It’s the heating season!

Talk amongst yourselves!

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

39 comments

  1. trent

    Agreeable, conscientious” personalities more likely to deliver shocks to the innocent than “more contrarian, less agreeable personalities”, Milgram-like experiment finds [MIC]. Here’s why this link is under “Class Warfare”:

    Ward Churchill was right

  2. DanB

    Re Hillary’s meeting with foreign policy experts: “The major takeaway from these private talks is that she wants a strategy more suited to shaping conditions overseas, as opposed to reacting to events as they arise,” As Mel Brooks said in Blazing Saddles, “Now who can argue with that!” Actually, one can argue with the premise -that the USA is capable of and should play this “indispensable nation” role- but the logic of Hillary and her experts matches Brooks’ quip about authentic frontier gibberish.

    1. rfdawn

      Indeed. We already have some very Bad Things that were triggered by “shaping conditions overseas”.

    2. JerseyJeffersonian

      Well, geez, I sure hope that she gets her chance to implement this excellent strategy. After all, it is just inarguable that the “proof of concept” demonstrated by the roaring success in Libya should silence the skeptics.

      Hillary does Heavy Meddle. Whoo hoo.

    3. Tom Denman

      As for “shaping conditions overseas,” Hellary and her neocon friends would do well to show a little Christian humility.

      I can almost hear Jim Morrison on the subject of petitioning the Lord with prayer:

      “Shaping conditions overseas.”

      Shaping conditions overseas.”

      YOU CANNOT SHAPE CONDITIONS OVERSEAS!!!

  3. Ivy

    My colleague’s neighbor grew nasturtiums. She looked out her kitchen window to see one of the neighborhood Cambodian refugees picking the leaves, and learned that those are delicacies. She also told my colleague that all the stray cats in the neighborhood had disappeared!

    1. ambrit

      A similar feline population bust was remarked in Belle Chasse Louisiana after the Vietnamese refugees started arriving after we ‘secured freedom’ for them in their own country, which ceased being their exclusive domain after ’75. Even then, locals freely admitted that a lot of it was xenophobic exaggeration. Some jokes about “Pho Phur” did the rounds. I still like that noodle soup.

  4. JerryDenim

    Onion piece on office temp, Ha, ha. So much truth in this little tidbit of satire, but this last part seemed a bit of a stretch for $8.44 an hour. “Just yesterday, somebody asked me about my last temp job,” Braxton said. “It ended in May, but I told them it ended in June. See, after it ended, I took about a month off and just kind of dicked around, traveling around Europe until my money ran out.

    Even with the recent depreciation of the Euro, Europe is still stinking expensive for yankees. Backpacking in South America for a month maybe, South East Asia could be do-able for a guy like this if he could scrape together the money for airfare which would be more than a month’s salary. I suppose I’m taking this light-hearted bit of comedy too serious, but it irks me just a tiny bit that this Onion piece seems to suggest it is easy to be extremely happy by shirking careerist aspirations. I believe this to be true to a certain extent if you can train yourself to be content with less, but a 35 year old male attempting to live a quasi self-respecting existence on $17,000 a year (pre-tax) in the high-cost Boston metroplex is going to struggle with basic survival needs. Even if this guy is living for free with his parents or a run-down flop house with 27 roommates for $200 a month I don’t see how he would have any money left over for movies, hobbies, or especially dating. Is he still paying back Sallie Mae for his liberal arts degree? Can he ever afford to go to the dentist or doctor? I myself have attempted to achieve a career/lifestyle somewhere in the middle, and I think I have done extremely well in that regard compared to most of my peers, but the debt-heavy, cut-throat, winner-take-all, Darwinist nature of modern American capitalism makes it extremely hard for an individual to opt out and still find happiness. Everyone I know in the States who has free time on their hands is really too broke to travel or enjoy their free time, and everyone else who is full-time employed with a little disposable income is stressed out and uses what tiny bit of free time they have for themselves and nuclear relationship maintenance/repair.

    This story is funny no doubt as it contains a sizable kernel of truth and wisdom, but it stretches the limits of what one can achieve on a true shoe-string budget. Maybe 30k?

    1. Ormond Otvos

      17000 is plenty for survival, and libraries are still free. A cell phone can be ten a month, couch surfing is fun, clothes from Goodwill, dates with sane women, mass transit. Medicaid, food banks, hitchhiking, free wifi, on and on.

      Don’t put down what you haven’t done. I’ve done this and could do it again.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        @Otvos — Not sure I agree with your idea that Denim is putting down the lifestyle in the Onion piece. I have lived somewhat as you’ve described. Do you really think couch surfing is fun? Where do you find “sane” women to date? Where do you find mass transit? Medicaid doen’t fix my teeth and I do not enjoy toothaches or a hiatus in my teeth. Maybe a young person might do fine on $17K and be able to live well in a very small town in Wyoming but Boston!?

        I am glad you can so well enjoy the opportunites available to you. I don’t believe your experiences typify the experiences of most people earning $17K in the Boston Metro area. While I congratulate you on your great successes I remain skeptical of their broader applicability.

      2. ambrit

        We’ve done what you mentioned. Fine perhaps for a singleton “on the road.” Try doing this with kids. We did, and though they will wax nostalgic about it, they all still show some signs of anxiety about security issues. The worry that Mommy and Daddy try to hide from the kids can never be hidden. D H Lawrences’ “The Rocking Horse Winner” superbly tells this tale. Even in his best “Beat” lifestyle, Kerouac had his sisters’ families’ place in Carolina to fall back upon. As the song says, “Every form of refuge has it’s price.”

      3. cripes

        @Ormond Otvos
        Maybe you did this in…1972? Not today.
        And $17,000 will put in the ObamaCare hellhole, too much to qualify for medicaid as a single person.
        So clearly, you’re not in that category today, or you would know this already.
        Now, with a dependent child, you can get medicaid, and that $17,000 will go soooo much further!

  5. L.M. Dorsey

    Finally, results also show that when the relevant expertise of online commenters is identified, the effectiveness of the PSA’s advertising message is moderated by the interactive effect of the online comments and their associated perceived credibility.

    I suppose it depends on what “the relevant expertise” is… (what? read the entire article before rushing to make a snide remark — pfft). But it is comforting to know that we don’t roll over for the asseverations of just any old sockpuppet. That has to be a sockpuppet we trust.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      My theory is we comment to sway ourselves, to discover who we are and what we are for.

      “Throw it down on paper and see what you got.”

      “If you are not good at writing, try and try again. And hopefully one day you improve.”

    2. MartyH

      Fortunately, few know what my “relevant expertise” is … especially not me <self-deprecating humor>

  6. Max

    A little random, but the temp in that Onion article is experimental musician Tyondai Braxton, best known for his work in the band Battles. Tyondai is also the son of noted avant-garde free jazz weirdo musician/composer Anthony Braxton.

  7. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit

    Is “Fitzhaber” just a typo, or is that some sort of subtle mockage that’s flying over my head?

  8. TarheelDem

    A recent paper in the Journal of Advertising suggests that online commenting may sway people as much as public service announcements (PSAs) from health authorities [Ars Technica]. Yikes!

    How close to “little to not at all” are those two?
    And then there’s this stunner:

    The participants were led to believe that the pro-vax message was sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the anti-vax message sponsored by the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC). A pretest confirmed that these organizations were seen as equal in credibility.

    That speaks to ignorance or confusion of who these two organizations are, their history, and their sources of facts. And the deception in naming what is essentially a cultural movement with an official government-sounding title. It also shows that naming organizations might be more important to credibility than the content of PSA’s or the claimed occupation of a commenter.

    I have noticed the professional credibility angle being used on lefty blogs by people who seem to be paid pharmaceutical industry or biologics social media employees, who claim credibility but are vague about where exactly their secret knowledge comes from.

    IMHO, the whole anti-vaxxer movement blew out of proportion as a result of PhRMA’s insistence on absolute indemnification of vaccines during the Bush administration. What had been a bunch of tort cases, wild claims, and a spurious Lancet article was given great credibility by the industry’s panicked and cynical response of using government to protect it.

    1. ambrit

      Well of course. A rational actor doesn’t spend all that money buying government to not use it! Sheesh. Otherwise, what’s corruption for?

  9. ChrisM

    Hmm, from your “News of the Wired” – “Of 12 Silicon Valley day care facilities affiliated with tech companies, six—that’s half—have vaccination rates that are below average”

    Let’s review: half of the population sample has values below average??? Is it time to panic, or is it time to review the mathematical definition of “average?”

    1. Vatch

      I get your point, and it’s rather funny. However, the chart in the article shows that at 3 of the 6 below average day care centers, the level of vaccination is far below average. Those 3 are also very far below the level needed for herd immunity to work.

      1. ambrit

        Hence, the herd is culled. Sounds rational to me. Maybe there is something to that Gaia theory after all.

    2. Propertius

      As Bill Clinton might observe, it all depends on what your “mathematical definition” of “average” is.
      Mean, median, or mode?

  10. Ernesto Lyon

    My wife’s aunt was a healthy 90 year old. She lived alone in her own house. She got the flu vaccine, immediately got sick, and was dead 12 days later. The doctor said it was a coincidence.

    My friend’s 15 month old daughter had a severe reaction to a vaccine and developed a seizure disorder that she had no symptoms of before the vaccination. The doctors said it was a coincidence.

    If you look into it, there are a lot of these anecdotal coincidences around vaccines. They are not investigated and do not go into any kind of safety register because the doctor decided it was a coincidence. How does he or she know that for sure? There may be significant patterns that show up when larger sets of data are evaluated that an individual doctor may pick up on his or her own.

    So called “anti-vaxxers” may not be stupid, they may be trying to warn us about something, against a medical establishment that doesn’t want to be embarrassed.

    The fact that more educated parents tend to be the most concerned about vaccine safety maybe an indicator of the validity of their concerns, and not a paradox.

    1. PQS

      I’m sorry, but you are very much mistaken. There is both a reporting mechanism and an injury fund for people who have been injured by vaccines.

      http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/index.html
      http://vaers.hhs.gov/index

      People who are afraid of vaccines (even with lots of advanced education) either don’t know what they’re talking about, or suffer from a “special snowflake” condition in which they believe they are either immune by magic or their children are too special to get vaccinated. The science on vaccination is quite clear. Measles was considered eliminated in America due to vaccinations introduced in the 1960s. Herd immunity works and the reason it is breaking down is because people are not vaccinating, and viruses are returning with a vengeance. As they have throughout history.

  11. Keith Howard

    One of my best old friends always refuses to eat Brussels Sprouts. Why? “I ate one once. It gave me chickenpox.” Best,

    Keith Howard

  12. Andrew Watts

    VICTORY! JUSTICE! THE AMERICAN WAY! Oregon Gov. Kitzhaber resigns! YAY!

    Not only did he prove to be incredibly corrupt but he also proved himself to be a complete fool by not resigning on Wednesday. As for his fiancee she’ll find out that it’s illegal to dig for gold without a permit in the state of Oregon.

    Har, har!

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      People are angry. Four or five years ago, he would have tried to hang on. Look at Blago. I would say Taliban Bob, but I think the whole establishment misread the public anger. Elected Democrats wrote op-eds explaining how Bob may have acted unethical but not illegally. An element might have begun to recognize voters are tired of politicians.

      1. Andrew Watts

        Yup, they sure did. Don’t forget the role the news organizations played along with in this game. They first covered up and downplayed the whole incident with Kitz until they figured out how mad people were getting. The longer this ridiculous farce went on the more details were going to come out.

        The local Republicans didn’t want to make a big deal about it during the election because going negative is a guaranteed way to lose in this state. They also probably figured that it’d blow over after the election. But this wasn’t about the election or even Kitz himself.

        It’s about principle dammit.

  13. Vince in MN

    Somewhat off topic, but I just got back home from seeing “CitizenFour”, the Poitras movie about Snowden. Such integrity. Applauses all around in the audience at the end. Highly recommended

  14. skippy

    Good News…!!! We found Waldo… and he seems to have the missing productivity… Phew…

    “Confidential documents obtained from the Tax Office under the Freedom of Information Act show Australia’s corporate tax base is in crisis because of the explosion in tax haven dealings by multinational companies.

    The alarming data in these internal documents is at odds with the public position of the Australian Tax Office (ATO), which maintains the tax regime in this country is functioning well and most large corporations pay their fair share of tax.

    One of the most telling FOI findings is a comparison between real trade and international related party dealings. In 2012, Australia’s largest trading partner, China, accounted for 20 per cent of total trade but just a fraction of related party trade, whereas Singapore and Switzerland accounted for 40 per cent of related party trade.

    In layman’s terms, the purpose of these related party deals is often to siphon profit out of Australia to avoid paying tax on it. Because Australia has a 30 per cent corporate tax rate, the aim of the game is to declare as little profit in this country as possible, and instead to somehow transfer the profit to a low tax regime such as Singapore, which touts rates as low as 5 per cent for big deals.

    One of the most cherished tricks is for a related company in, say, Singapore to award a large loan to its related Australian business. The Australian business pays interest on the loan – payments that are funnelled off to Singapore, often tax effective to boot, thanks to the interest deductibility on loans.

    Besides interest on loans, the two other ruses for the multinational tax trickster are to get the money out via dividends on shares or by royalty payments on intellectual property.

    In recent years there has been a dramatic escalation in related party dealings – that is, in multinational companies striking deals with themselves. Not to put too fine a point on it, Australia’s budget is being plundered by Switzerland, Singapore and an array of islands in the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

    The documents show there is “… a disparity between IRPD (international related party dealings) transactions and the pattern of Australia’s international trade. Given the level of IRPD, Switzerland and Singapore should be the giants of Australian trade and China relatively insignificant.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/tax-haven-explosion-puts-hole-in-corporate-tax-20150213-13dnh8.html#ixzz3RgmL9HkM

    Bernays is alive and well…

    “As the parliamentary inquiry into corporate tax avoidance looms, lobbying by vested interests has been furious, commensurate with the size of the dollars at stake.

    Among recent developments, the “big four” accounting firms – the architects and promoters of profit shifting – lifted their collective contribution to political parties, mostly the Liberal Party, by almost 20 per cent last year to $551,498.

    PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG were the most enthusiastic, collectively doubling their “contribution to the democratic process” during 2013-14.

    Moreover, the push to shut down proposals for greater tax transparency proceeds apace. In its submission to the inquiry, peak accounting body CPA Australia has called for the government to abandon plans for increased disclosure. Incredibly, its argument is that disclosure leads to uninformed public comment.

    “Accordingly, to review taxpayers based predominantly on information they disclose will inevitably continue to lead to uninformed public comment,” CPA said. “This could be both unfair and damaging to company reputations and their businesses, where companies complied fully with their legal obligations but are perceived by some commentators to have paid insufficient tax.”

    Riposte from Hell…

    “On this logic, if the CPA was about a few thousand years ago it would have advised Moses to stage a cover-up of the Ten Commandments, just in case the Israelite commentators got the wrong idea and challenged the views of the Rabbinical elite.”

    Skippy… tragedy… farce… abstraction… mental ward???

  15. cnchal

    But that assumes that insurance shoppers will take the time to read the details and understand them. It also assumes that people can do a good job of predicting the health-care services they’ll need. [It also assumes the insurance companies won’t obfuscate and game the system.]

    Oh oh. Three assumes in a row. Ass u me is usually the result.

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