Links 7/10/17

Teen bit in head by bear wakes up to “crunching sound” ABC

Pair of bears join runner for a morning run near Lake Auburn Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal

Judge approves $142-million class-action settlement in Wells Fargo sham accounts scandal Los Angeles Times

Forget an IPO, Coin Offerings Are New Road to Startup Riches WSJ (AF). AF: “This seems crazy, such pure gambling and for what?” I think I can answer that… Yves: “I also can’t believe this is legal. It has to run afoul of blue sky laws.”


The performance of July 5th: That’s how our day went 1000 Gestalten (ML). Zombies at G20 (photos).

This Is the Closest We Have To a World Government Der Spiegel

Donald Trump’s alarming G20 performance Larry Summers, FT

Priebus: Trump ‘absolutely did not believe’ Putin CNN


As Night Falls In Syria, U.S. And Russia Brokered Cease-Fire Appears To Be Holding NPR

Mosul Is Liberated! My Congrats To Iraq Moon of Alabama

Tillerson Travels to Kuwait in Hopes of Brokering Qatar Deal VOA


Theresa May prepares to publish flagship Brexit legislation FT

Theresa May plays G20 Trump card in attempt to quell Tory rebellion Telegraph. Certainly she’d be negotiating from a position of strength [snicker].

UK business group: Government has no ‘clear plan’ for Brexit Politico

Brexit: German business warns May its priority is to protect single market, not a good trade deal with UK Independent

Brexit: France to cut income tax and open international schools to entice London’s bankers to Paris The Local. What could go wrong?

Reasons for Corbyn LRB. “The coincidence of the Corbyn surge with the horror of Grenfell Tower has created the conditions – and the demand – for a kind of truth and reconciliation commission on forty years of neoliberalism.” I’d love to see that here.

From misery to Momentum: the strange rebirth of the Labour Party The New Statesman

Federal government officially apologizes to Omar Khadr Globe and Mail. Trudeau following in Obama’s footsteps. Oh, wait…

North Korea

North Korea: Jake Sullivan on America’s policy dilemma Lowy Institute

Full text of Moon’s speech at the Korber Foundation The Korea Herald

Trump as JFK? How haters and the media are underestimating the US president on North Korea Niall Ferguson, South China Morning Post. Ugh, Niall Ferguson.


China India standoff raises memories of 1962 war Asia Sentinel. If Xi needs a conflict for domestic reasons, this is a better choice than others I can imagine.

How a city’s borrowing practice highlights China’s daunting financial risks South China Morning Post

China: Laws Amended to Allow Prosecutors to Bring Public Interest Lawsuits Global Legal Monitor

New Cold War

Trump says ‘time to move forward’ with Russia FT

Tillerson Says Russia Must Restore Ukraine Territory, or Sanctions Stay NYT

Trump backtracks on cyber unit with Russia after harsh criticism Reuters

1 big thing: Trump’s other Russian dilemma Axios. (Search on the page for this headine.)

* * *

Trump’s Son Met With Russian Lawyer After Being Promised Damaging Information on Clinton NYT. Sourcing: “three advisers to the White House briefed on the meeting and two others with knowledge of it.” As Nina Illingworth writes: “The two core accusations behind Russiagate are: A) Trump is an intel asset; B) Russia rigged the election. You don’t get to change it to “Trump knows some guys who know Russians” and “Russia wrote stories on RT” and declare f*cking victory. NO.”

Donald Trump Jr.’s stunning admission to the New York Times WaPo. It’s getting so I skip any story with a headline that includes gaslighting words like “stunning,” “terrifying,” or — let me just go check Alternet, here — “dangerous,” “nightmarish,” “horrendous”….

The Collusion Walls Start to Close In on the Trump Family Washington Monthly. See Nina Illingworth, supra.

The Latest Russia Non-Bombshell National Review

* * *

Comey’s private memos on Trump conversations contained classified material The Hill. Sourcing: “according to interviews with officials familiar with the documents.”

Democrats in Disarray

The “Iron Stache” Curtain: Randy Bryce, Russophobia and the Gain-Nothing Left Paste

Obama returns to political fray for a Democratic Party cause WaPo. The National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC). Maybe Hillary and Barack can hit the trail together…

There Is No Major “Good” Government Leader Ian Welsh (MR).

When the appeal of a dominant leader is greater than a prestige leader PNAS

Trump Transition

The World’s Learning How to Handle Donald Trump, but It’s Tricky Bloomberg

The Secret Goal of Trump’s Voting Commission Slate

The Trump Administration Is Planning an Unprecedented Attack on Voting Rights The Nation

The Scholar Who Will Help Lead Trump’s Assault on Rules NYT

House panel votes to split Air Force, create new US Space Corps Federal News Radio

Republicans Won’t Stop Fighting With Each Other Bloomberg

Profiting Off Pain: Trump Confidant Cashed In on the Housing Crisis Truthdig (JT McPhee). JT McPhee: “Nothing like honest context — not a mention of the other Barack’s role in making this Barrack’s predation possible. And profitable.”

Health Care

Putting Profits Ahead of Patients NYRB

Republicans voice growing doubts on U.S. healthcare bill’s fate Reuters

Our Famously Free Press

Google is funding a new software project that will automate writing local news Recode. That really is evil.

News Outlets to Seek Bargaining Rights Against Google and Facebook NYT

The National Enquirer’s Fervor for Trump The New Yorker

US police arrest left-wing protesters, far-right blooms Al Jazeera

Class Warfare

Plan for U.S. tax increase on rich not being considered: Mnuchin Reuters

The death of big-box stores is speeding up suburbia’s slide into poverty Business Insider

Republicans in several states are lowering the minimum wage — yes, you read that right Salon

Minimum Wage Wars: The Media Celebrate Job Loss Dean Baker, CEPR

Boiler blast kills again! Daily Star (Bangladesh).

In one year, drug overdoses killed more Americans than the entire Vietnam War did Vox

Google Home Breaks Up Domestic Dispute By Calling the Police Gizmodo (CL).

Most sportsmen cheat – they’d be mad not to The Spectator

Praying Mantises Can Kill Birds and Eat Their Brains All Around the World Newsweek (RS). RS: Best anti-antidote EVAH! (Original.)

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus video. This is sad, but the sweetness may counter the anti-antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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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.


  1. Livius Drusus

    I am not surprised about the lowering of the minimum wage in some states. Many people have contempt for those who work in low-wage jobs and feel that they don’t deserve higher wages. Americans love to punch down and this is a major problem for left-populists. How do you convince middle-class people that so-called “burger flippers” deserve to make higher wages?

    1. Carla

      You would think that when part-time burger-flipping is the only job their adult children can get, and said “children” can’t afford to move out of the parental home, that would do it.

      But apparently, you (and I) would be wrong.

      1. ambrit

        Fear is a powerful motivator, or, in todays’ system, anti-motivator. The fear on not belonging to the perceived elites makes people do self destructive things. That one never truly belonged to, as George Carlin famously put it, the exclusive club, is conveniently double thought away. The perception of being included in the world of the “Rich and Famous” is enough to cloud most minds. Only later, when the cows come home, but the home is no longer yours, does the awful truth make itself felt.

        1. reslez

          Plenty of comfortable centrists buy into the relentless FUD-mongering that a rise in the min wage “kills jobs”.

          As if we need poverty-creating jobs that take more than they pay.

      2. Arizona Slim

        I was one of those kids who bought into the “to get a good job, get a good education” theme that was so popular during the 1960s and 1970s.

        Well, I’m here to tell you that my good education didn’t prevent me from taking jobs as a dishwasher and cashier. In early 1980s Pittsburgh, those were the jobs that were available and I felt [family blog] lucky to have them.

      3. Louis

        You would think that when part-time burger-flipping is the only job their adult children can get, and said “children” can’t afford to move out of the parental home, that would do it.

        But apparently, you (and I) would be wrong.

        Minimum-wage opponents almost always resort to a straw-man argument that jobs like retail clerk and burger flippers were not meant to provide a living-wage and should be viewed as jobs that are stepping stones to better paying ones. This argument probably comes from an antiquated view that only teenagers looking for a bit of disposable income hold these jobs.

        In reality, as many of us know too well, there simply aren’t enough jobs that pay a living-wage, by any definition of the term, to go around—there are many people working low-wage jobs with bills to pay or families to feed and the minimum-wage simply isn’t enough.
        When you try point this out, minimum-wage opponents, say these people should have gotten an education. When you point out that there are, in fact, a sizable number of people with educations working these jobs they trot out the argument about how people shouldn’t have gotten “worthless degrees.”

        Opposition to the minimum-wage probably has less to do with than the actual economics of it than the some king of value judgement. In other words, a person’s financial worth as their moral worth: i.e. the rich are virtious and the poor are moral failures who should be ashamed of themselves for being burdens on society. The belief seems to be that if we make humiliate the poor enough or allow them to starve, they’ll magically stop being poor.

        1. JohnnyGL

          “jobs that are stepping stones to better paying ones” – Yes, these are called “internships”, or perhaps “entry level positions”. The former are obligated to teach you useful skills on the job, which, of course, costs the employer more money! The latter should be paid a decent wage.

          No one ever seems to question the wisdom of the business model that can only scrape by with $5/hr workers. Really, are these the kind of people we want as entrepreneurs? Is this not a massive waste of capital allocation to keep these businesses (assuming the exist) afloat?

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            This really is the point.

            What defense can there be for an “economy” made up of businesses that cannot “afford” to pay a living wage? What good are they?

            1. Toske

              Right. As someone has said, if your business isn’t viable without exploitation, then it isn’t viable.

            2. Louis

              I think for some it is a belief, however naive it may be, that we live in a meritocracy, thus people earning $5 hour are either just starting out or are lazy–anyone who is willing to work will do better. For others, perhaps for many, it’s the libertarian ideal of “I got mine, to hell with everyone else” and if people are not making enough to live on it’s their problem.

            3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              The minimum wage in 1964 was $1.25, or five silver quarters. Today the silver value of five silver quarters is +/- $15.00, a reasonable minimum wage. Their face value however is not. So we don’t have a “wages” problem, we have a “money” problem.

              Money stores labor and lets you transport it across space and time. Money that requires no labor to produce cannot reliably store labor.

              That’s not to say other forms of money cannot serve as sound money proxies, they can by being backed by taxation, guns, legal tender laws, or just community consensus. But since they require no work to create the temptation is always too great to produce them in quantities that reduce their buying power against real-world goods and services. IMO.

              If a scientific experiment produced the same result over 4,000 years you would think it would gain some credence. When other similar experiments during that same time period have a 100% failure rate you would think they would be discounted. Alas.

              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                In the year 241 a reasonable-quality men’s outfit (a Roman toga) cost one ounce of gold to buy. Today a reasonable-quality men’s suit can be had for +/- $1200, or one ounce of gold. That’s storage of labor across time.

              1. Procopius

                Capitalist theory says they should fail. Instead, under neoliberal economic theory, the government must subsidize them because freedom. Or something.

        2. Ed

          Actually, these sorts of jobs now tend to be filled by immigrants, if they are illegal even better from the employers’ standpoint. Native born teenagers who would likely work on the books no longer need to apply. Minimum wage laws are a reasonably effective anti-immigration measure.

          1. jrs

            right in many places those jobs are mostly filled by immigrants (and many probably illegal) rather than teenagers.

        3. Left in Wisconsin

          Opposition to the minimum-wage probably has less to do with than the actual economics of it than the some kind of value judgement.

          We should be clear that the vast majority of Americans, even in red states, support a higher minimum wage. It is a category error to say that opposition is a voter issue. It is a BS (bought-and-sold) politician (and economist) issue.

        4. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Ideally –

          1. There are enough good paying jobs for adults.
          2. That leaves room for low paying jobs for teenagers starting out in life, to gain experience.

          Now, thanks to outsourcing and robots, the former is not impossible more and more these days.

          The solution, if and when we get around to it, should include addressing that, and leave minimum wages the same, for those under 18 (they form a special case).

          And why should teenagers (under 18, to be more specific) be paid less? Well, why should they not be allowed to vote, or in many states, not able to marry? Are they less human?

          So, maybe we can pay them less…or maybe not.

          1. Louis

            > worthless degrees

            So one goes into debt for a lifetime to get credentials in a “marketable” field that may disappear. Seems legit


            I put “worthless degrees” in quotes for a reason.

            While I don’t think it’s fair characterization of the situation may people find themselves in, when you argue with people opposing the minimum-wage they usually use that phrase, especially if you’ve pointed out that many people in low-wage jobs are adults with bills to pay and yes more than a few of them have tried to get an education.

            Many, though certainly not all, of those against raising the minimum-wage have long ago made up their minds that the minimum-wage is bad, and are not going to change their mind no matter how many facts or data you trot out.

        5. Tom Dewey

          How can the “actual economics of it” be more valid than the “some king (sic) of value judgement,” when the “actual economics of it” has been shown to be, prima facie, fatally flawed.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Early childhood intervention is the best way.

      Starting from the first grade, it’s ‘we share things…including exam answers, answers to questions like, what is the purpose of life.’

      Probably have to re-train our teachers.

      Then, middle class people, your A and B students, will not look down on burger flippers, or your ‘C- students in this Darwinian life.’

      Instead, we have this ‘Yes, this genius is going to Berkeley. See you later, you football jocks. The nerds will revenge,” though I have heard, or perhaps imagined, an urban legend of someone yielding his admission spot to a more needy, slower learner in his class…”Take it, you need it more than I do.”

      1. ambrit

        I agree with your sentiment, MLTPB, but must argue against the meritocrat framing of the problem. Too often, I have experienced well connected “C” students in positions of power. The “A” and “B” students end up working for the “C” students, and grumble, but do nothing substantive to change the situation. The system, qua system, remains in place. I imagine that this is basic Capitalism. It is not interested in “extraneous” issues like fairness or social justice; Money (really Power,) is its’ God.
        Education, especially that of Character, is the key. However, we encounter a “chicken or the egg” situation here. To effect change of such a basic nature, we need courageous and well balanced individuals to do the actual changing. Such individuals are not only not encouraged to flourish, they are actively discouraged, and, in the case of, say, Occupy, forcefully suppressed. Those pesky “C” students in positions of influence were smart enough to spot an existential challenge to their hegemony, and acted accordingly.
        So, I for one will not disparage Trump, despite his numerous faults. He is an exemplar of the Late Stage Capitalist socio-political system. If he can “tear down these walls,” wittingly or not, upon which our socio-political jailers stand, more power to him.

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          I tried to make a distinction between C- students in the classroom, and C- students in this Darwinian life.

          The A and B students in school are easily C- students in life.

          There is no shame in being a C- student in school or in this Darwinian life. Each of us tries our best.

          Often, the A and B students in school (easily C- students in life) work for C- students in school (who by cheating, inheritance or otherwise, are A+ students in life, as graded by our consumerist, money-is-everything world).

          That’s what I mean by “C- students in this Darwinian life.”

          1. ambrit

            Sorry. I committed a category error in interpreting your comment. You of all people I should never have suspected of harbouring meritocrat proclivities. My sincere apologies.
            The problem still remains; how to classify people in relation to the society they inhabit.
            One final thought, with which I think you would agree. Everyone throws around the Darwinian framing of life as if it were immutable Natural Law. I disagree with that framing. I was bought up to believe, and yes, it is an article of faith, that Humankind is perfectible. We are capable of much better, and Late Stage Capitalism is a frantic rear guard action by the forces of “Priviledge” against the necessary realignments of people and capital that “progress” will entail.
            That is why I wince when I view Trumps “performance” as President, but secretly cheer him on. He is enabling the wholesale bankruptcy of the present iteration of the Capitalist system. An important, but often overlooked aspect of the fable of “The Emperors New Clothes” is the fact that the crowd at the parade initially refuses to recognize the reality of the Emperors nakedness. It takes the outcry of a naif, the semi socialized member of the crowd, the child, to dispel the glamour of the Invisible Vestments. Here’s hoping that sites like Naked Capitalism fill the need for and place of that “still small voice.”

            1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

              My dear Ambrit, Trump is, it seems to be, doing a reductio ad absurdum…taking the case to its logical, absurd end.

              Some can see it coming; others must be shown conclusive evidence (when it’s too late).

              The American Shiva is here.

              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                Is he really a “Destroyer of Worlds’? Or just the emperor’s new clothes boy, making the glaringly obvious visible to all.

            2. Adam Eran

              Even better: Rather than saying “Hey, thanks for pointing out I was naked,” the Emperor “grimly continues the parade.”…That’s the end of that tale.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > Late Stage Capitalist

          The phrase “Late Stooge Capitalism” popped into my mind. That might be fun to use.

          That said, I don’t believe in “Late Stage Capitalism” as a concept; the metaphor is that history proceeds in “stages,” like a disease, say, and that the stages can be recognized. I don’t accept that history has a teleology; that was one of the many problems with vulgar Marxism, IMNSHO.

          1. WobblyTelomeres


            Freeing oneself from teleology is the first step to wisdom. Otherwise, we all end up searching for meaning and purpose. Sorry, Bill Moyers. I know you really want to believe everyone has a purpose. There is none.

          2. ambrit

            Hmm.. Just got back from taking Phyl to see a specialist in Jackson, MS. Got to go back tomorrow to see about some middling surgery. Facing crapification of services and unequal provision of resources to the population makes Marxism not so “vulgar” if it promises the surcease of pain to all. The provision of said Marxist Paradise services is all in the political will bought to the task.
            Indeed, Trump does look and act like one of the “missing” Stooges. However, I would not confine him to the Three Stooges category, but generously include him in the Iggy Pop Stooges clique as well. Hillary could well play the Ted Healy character to Trumps Comrade Stooge.
            If history does not have a teleology, then what about the driver of history; the Human Psyche. That indeed has patterns of behaviour and stages of development and regression that are discernible and somewhat predictable. To that end, “Late Stage Capitalism” is an artifact of human population dynamics. Marx is regarded as a Romantic Era thinker. That movement emphasized the human dimension in life. “Late Stage Capitalism” would therefore be directed by the human psyche in that “powers'” drive for design and order. I posit an indirect teleology for the economic forces at work in human culture.
            I’m tired. Thanks for the reply. It makes me think a bit longer and ‘harder.’

    3. Vatch

      Fortunately, the reduction has been enacted in only one state so far: Missouri. But it’s probably only a matter of time before Republicans in other states succeed in lowering the minimum wage. This is yet more proof that Republicans are worse than Democrats (and some Democrats are very bad indeed).

      1. Left in Wisconsin

        This is not really true. Here in Wisconsin, and I believe in other states though I don’t have data off-hand, voters in cities (both Madison and Milwaukee here in Wisco) have approved increases in the local minimum wage that have then led the state to rapidly pass state pre-emption to prevent the increases from going into effect.

        I’m not sure what the Salon article says because I can’t get it to load – I can close the first ad page that comes up but not the second. I guess this is a new, liberal click-bait strategy: use headlines to get clicks but then just give them ads, no story.

        1. Vatch

          You’re right — I read the article too quickly. Apparently Iowa is another state that preempted local increases in the minimum wage.

      2. DJG

        Vatch and Left in Wisconin: Here in Illinois, the latest dustup is that three so-called hotbeds of liberalism, Oak Park, Evanston, and Skokie, all attempted to rescind the rise in minimum wage through home rule. (All three of these towns are above 60,000 and well over the threshold for home rule.)

        There was much organizing and protesting. The attempted blocking of raises failed in all three. Yet the usual reasons for the attempts were brought up: The chambers of commerce were nervous, blah blah blah. (There was no action at the state level beause, well, Government-as-Business Rauner exists.)

        For many of us leftists, these sudden last-minute (within days of the hikes) attempts are just one further sign that liberals cannot be relied upon politically. One more factor to consider in putting together meaningful coalitions: Are white liberals trustworthy, or what?

      3. Eureka Springs

        More like proof of rotating villains. What better way for one of the villains to look ‘better’ by occasionally muttering for 12 instead of 15, much more 22.00 plus, which should have been federal law years ago? All while reverse or zero is what’s tacitly agreed upon among all of villains and their owners…

    4. Matt

      “James Dill, a Democratic state senator in Maine, had resisted that position but changed his mind after he received hundreds of of emails and phone calls from waiters and bartenders asking him to support lowering the amount that tipped workers must be paid.”

      Apparently, Dill was too thick to realize these were scared, low-wage workers who had the fear of God put into them by their employers that a few more dollars an hour would lead to the elimination of their jobs.

    5. tongorad

      Imagine if we had the same amount of contempt, complaint, protest, etc for low-wage employers as we have for racist or sexist employers.
      It is precisely this disconnect that I observe in many anti-racists that makes me doubt their commitment to meaningful solidarity.

    6. Ian

      Quite simply, you do not treat the people who handle your food with contempt or you will be consuming various bodily fluids and other fun stuff when you eat there.

    7. DH

      I am tired of hearing the people who want to pay minimum wage say that they can’t find good workers.

  2. Abigail Caplovitz Field

    I’ve been thinking about the WSJ article on company fundraising by ‘minting’ ‘coins’ to purchase future goods and services–not ownership/control of the company like stock or fixed returns like bonds.

    It seems a necessary feature that the product/service with restricted supply (if supply is not restricted, how could demand bid up the coins? The article’s analogy is Hamilton on Broadway, but that ticket is hot because of a limited number of seats and a limited number of performances by the initial cast.) Most products/services would be like forever stamps or Chuck E Cheesy tokens. In addition, the product/service would be have to be so unique that it’s intrinsically a monopoly, because otherwise competition will provide a ceiling on the price of the ‘coin’

    The companies mentioned in the article both involve platforms. So do the coins buy access to the platform? (golden ticket willy wonka style) or Time on it (like cell phone minutes)

    I worry that even if there is a scenario in which this approach could make sense from an investor’s perspective–

    any individual investor betting a small amount of money, coupled with a product/service with the right characteristics for a potential price spike (extreme risk mitigated by low stakes and correct type of opportunity)

    that the reality will be lots of coins sold to people who can’t afford the loss and coins sold for products/services that don’t have the right characteristics to have a possible bidding up of price.

    Also, how does all the economics work from the company’s perspective? I’ve got a product, it’s not ready for sale yet, I don’t really know how much it’s going to cost, ultimately, to make/sell/maintain and therefore I don’t know how much to price my product for. Still, I’m selling “discount” coins. When I start offering my product to the public (*if* I start offering my product to the public) how will people cashing in those coins affect my bottom line? How may coins will be pre-purchased relative to demand at launch? etc. etc

    What stage are these coins being offered at anyway? Is it instead of an IPO, or instead of another round of venture capital? If the former, surely the product already really exists, so it seems the latter, which just highlights how crazy it is.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Sounds like gift cards.

      “I’d like to buy a gift card for myself, for one appendectomy,”

      Years, later:

      “Honey, go to the top drawer over there and get out that gift card I purchased decades ago….when everything healthcare related was so much cheaper, then, drive me to the hospital…quickly.”

      1. CD

        Seriously, don’t we have that idea around now, as health care vouchers? You get or save so much money, and then when ill can spend it, but no more.

        “Sorry we can only remove $10,000 of your cancer. That’s the limit of your health debit card.”

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      The ICO model is “exit first, then build a real product with real customers and real revenue”. Some may pull it off, but as the enforcement head of the SEC said the other day “even if these do not fall under strict definitions of securities the issuers still have fiduciary responsibilities”. So they best lawyer up. And how would a “coin” that requires the distribution of a prospectus beforehand work?

  3. cnchal

    Most sportsmen cheat – they’d be mad not to The Spectator

    Athletes are no more dishonest than anyone else. They do not want to cheat. But the rewards for winning are too great, the penalties for cheating too light, and the chances of being caught too vanishingly small. Put in their position, most sane people would do the same, for the simple reason that doping pays the bills and feeds the family.

    This is the logic of the hangman, or bankster.

    1. Carolinian

      I’d say this article makes a valid point. When you live in societies that say money is the thing we value then it’s hypocritical to pretend to be shocked when people act accordingly. Also if we are going to start treating dishonesty in sport as the ultimate sin and disgrace we might want to apply that to other areas as well. If there’s a culture of cheating then it is much more widespread than just people who ride bicycles for a living. Many of those who say high profile sports figures need to set a good example–think of the children as it were–do not of course apply that same standard to themselves.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Googling ‘do animals cheat,’ I got a lot of articles.

        Googling ‘do plants cheat,’ I got nothing, except cheatgrass, and something about (human readers) cheating when gardening.

        Still, I am sure plants cheat…like parasitic plants…unless being parasitic is different from cheating.

        1. cnchal

          > I am sure plants cheat…

          I am watching a plant battle in the garden, and ascribing human viewpoints to what is happening raises some questions.

          The battle is over sunlight and groaf. A huge squash plant with gigantic leaves and stalks has a cucumber vine wrapped around a stalk exactly two turns with a cucumber kinking and pulling down the stalk and opening the sky so the cucumber vine can keep climbing. It appears the vine is the aggressor because it’s action bent the squash stalk, and that the vine is an opportunist for getting to sunlight by this dastardly method. However, were the vine to be peaceful and not bother climbing the squash it would die from lack of sunlight, so it’s do or die for the vine.

          If one transforms this to our situation, the squash can represent the elite and vine the peasants. The peasants need the nutrients being gorged on by the elite, which they won’t give it up voluntarily, yet some elite stalks are getting very spindly and tall, and over leveraged.

          Ripe for a pull down.

      1. Toske

        That’s actually how the “until dead” part got added to the phrase “hanged by the neck until dead.” :)

    2. vidimi

      it’s the gresham dynamic. if others are cheating and not getting caught then the only way to compete is for you to cheat as well.

    3. John Wright

      I took a college physical education class taught by a former Olympic athlete.

      On the subject of performance enhancing drugs, he simply said “When you are number two, the pressure to take drugs is tremendous”.

      Note, it was legal to use anabolic steroids through the 1972 Munich Olympic games.


      “The IOC…added anabolic steroids to the list of banned substances in 1975..”

      The margin of victory in some 100meter sprints is sometimes 0.01 seconds, this corresponds to about 10cm (4 inches) in a 10second 100M race.

      When a sprinter loses by this small margin, one could see that they could be strongly motivated to find any sort of edge for future races.

    4. CD

      Is this like the health care field? Where there’s the potential for real money, there’s also the likelihood of theft, cheating, and the life.

      So maybe the “rewards” in both fields should be greatly lowered? Bank robbers don’t like towns without banks.

    5. bdy

      Zero sum games for more money than you can spend in a lifetime. If that isn’t criminogenic I don’t know what. There are way worse things a kid from Kansas can get into than ‘roids. And to judge a 16 year old with a million to one shot on a rare talent – when 2nd place spells precariat at best – is more than a little harsh.

      A hidden motor on a bike, now … That’s just hilarious. I’m dying to know who had the 10 year exclusive. Hmmm, 1998 on…

      Anybody remember “the look” on the slopes of Alpe d’Huez? lols.

      1. cnchal

        Among engine builders in racing there is a saying. “It ain’t cheating if you don’t get caught”.

    6. Lambert Strether Post author

      > pays the bills and feeds the family

      This is another reason I don’t like “working families.” Emphasizes the “hostages to fortune” aspect while dulling the imagination for what those families could really have, and in our lifetime.

  4. ambrit

    True. It is also the logic of competition for resources, versus cooperation in the procurement of and sharing of resources.

      1. ambrit

        Hmmm… So, the Neo-Liberal Dispensation is really a Long Con. That actually makes sense! Thanks polecat!

        1. polecat

          Perhaps the ‘Long Con’, as you put it, will slide on down into James Kunstler’s ‘Long Emergency’.

          … hell, we’re probably swirling thru both, simultaniously !

          1. polecat

            As for conservatism, well, modern contemporary conservatism is really nothing short of ‘establishment hooliganism’ …. nothing cautious, or conservative about it !

  5. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Lambert.

    Further to Brexit, another tidbit from Buckinghamshire: Many families, mainly from Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, are leaving / have left – and have taken / took their children out of school (mainly Catholic primaries) early. Term ends this or next Friday. Some of the parents work on farms, many of which are owned by aristocratic landowners, and are having to be hastily replaced as the harvest nears. A batch of Sri Lankans have arrived with their families in tow. The children are having to be found schools for entrance this September even though admission closed late last year.

  6. Colonel Smithers

    Further to the famously free press, perhaps a new category should be opened, “I watched / listened to it, so you don’t have to.”

    On Fox on Friday evening, the presenter, just arrived from Bloomberg, which may explain why she is still a brunette, said that if the minimum wage goes up, the US will become (a basket case) like France.

    Yesterday, CNBC Europe, but using US commentators, followed up that piece of comedy gold with these gems: “The post of FLOTUS is recognised by the US constitution. Saudi Arabia has never accepted Qatar’s independence from the kingdom. There is a difference in hierarchy between an Emir (of Qatar) and a King (of Saudi Arabia).” When Michael Gove and Jacob Rees-Mogg, now 16-1 to be PM and shortening according to the bookies at Sandown Park on Saturday, said that one should be sceptical of experts, I can see where they are coming from.

      1. Alex Morfesis

        The sauds never “accepted” qatar independence…ouch…hit my head falling off the barstool…certainly prince erdo would just live the notion…

        the current claimant of the former Othman government would appreciate at least the return of all unoccupied former territories…

        Since you’re not actually using that there piece of desert…don’t mind those tanks…just keeping everybody safe…”securing” it…

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Great news on Rees-Mogg, he’s a garden variety aristocratic corporo-fascist but at least he understands the nature of money and has a residual trace of noblesse oblige and an appreciation of England’s 700-year policy of trying to keep the Continent from uniting.

  7. HotFlash

    Re Wells Fargo

    $142-million class-action settlement to compensate possibly millions of customers who had unauthorized accounts opened in their name.

    Let’s say low end of ‘possibly millions,’ and say two million customers. That’d be $71 per customer, before deducting legal fees. Be still, my beating heart.

  8. CronyCapitalist

    re ‘Profiting Off Pain’. I had the same thought after reading this piece. Hilarious that the other Barack was given a free pass for selling Joe public down the river, only mentioned in passing as if this was all part of an inevitable trajectory. Just confirms my thesis that you don’t get one without the other.

  9. Carolinian

    The NYRB article on healthcare costs is spot on and the real question is why there aren’t more articles like this. Quite likely TPTB regard any attack on a rentier system like US heathcare to be an attack on all rentier systems–the entire rotten edifice might come crashing down.

    Dems need to stop defending the status quo and admit that the healthcare system is broken. Unfortunately they get paid–as a party–not to say that.

    1. CD

      No one will take a whack at health care, since a lot of profit and a lot of jobs are involved. One estimate is that a third of health care revenues are waste, unnecessary.

      That comes to about a million surplus health care jobs. Which national politician wants to lower health care prices and fees so as to rationalize the industry, and thereby lose a million voters?

      And which national pol wants to turn off corporate donors over losing health care profits?

      Unfortunately, health care will get fixed only when it fails, and when that failure is plainly evident to all. Right now about two-thirds of Americans are happy with their health care.

      1. Carolinian

        Unfortunately, health care will get fixed only when it fails, and when that failure is plainly evident to all.

        Which is why some of us were hoping the Obama administration would seek other avenues for his “legacy.” The ACA was merely a scheme to use government largesse and compulsory taxing power to bail out a failing system.

        Still, anecdotally, lots of people seem to hate it. Do you have a link for the two thirds claim?

        1. CD

          I heard that figure on “This American Life,” on public radio, years ago, maybe ten. The estimate was from the Atlas studies of American health care done at Dartmouth College, using Medicare data, I think.

        2. beth

          The CIA’s website shows health care as a % of GNP/GDP spent by each country. All of the developed countries spend up to 12% covering all citizens and the US spends 17.5% as of 2015. And the U.S. doesn’t cover millions of citizens. I saw it two summers ago & hope it is still there.& hope it is still on the internet. Notice that this is before ObamaCare.

  10. Anon

    A happy Monday to all in the commentariat this morning!

    Re: Profiting Off Pain

    Thankfully, someone left a comment that speaks sense, which I’ll quote here:

    The guy is your typical wealthy scumbag; but it is a big stretch to blame his actions on Trump.

    This all occurred while Barack Obama was bailing out and subsidizing the wealthy, while the non-wealthy lost their houses, and now housing is unaffordable for tens of millions of Citizens.
    That Barack Obama prevented his Justice Department from prosecuting wealthy law breakers, simply emboldened wealthy law breakers.

    The type of behavior shown by the individual in the article is enabled, and has the seeming approval, of the Democratic and Republican Party.

    Blame Trump for actual policy, and things he does.

    I wonder if Obama will ever be hit with the blame cannons or if more people will ever begin to see his presidency as the relative nothing-burger (from a concrete material benefits standpoint).

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        That’s why the Democrats lost the Senate in 2010 (besides running a terrible candidate against Scott Brown). Thomas Ferguson and Jie Chen:

        Passage of the health care reform bill has convinced some analysts that the Massachusetts
        Senate election might be a fluke. In fact, polls taken after the legislation passed show Republicans
        widening their lead in fall congressional races. This paper takes a closer look at
        the Massachusetts earthquake. It reviews popular interpretations of the election, especially
        those highlighting the influence of the “Tea Party” movement, and examines the role political
        money played in the outcome. Its main contribution, though, is an analysis of voting patterns
        by towns. Using spatial regression techniques, it shows that unemployment and housing price
        declines contributed to the Republican swing, along with a proportionately heavier drop in
        voting turnout in poorer towns that usually provide many votes to Democratic candidates
        . All
        these factors are likely to remain important in the November congressional elections.

        To this very day, liberal Democrats are virtue signaling that they did this great thing with ObamaCare and got punished at the polls in 2010 for it (which led to the redistricting debacle that eight years later they’re all excited about). No. They lost in 2010 because Obama shat the bed on the foreclosure crisis, and because he “foamed the runway” for the banksters, and stood between them and “the pitchforks.” Of course, Larry Summers throwing out the high estimate on the stimulus package, so that sucked too. To be fair, Putin forced Obama to hire Larry Summers. So there’s that.

    1. perpetualWAR

      It surprises me when I talk to people who’ve lost their homes, yet DON’T blame Obama.

      I just ran into one of those people this weekend. We had a long convo. Even with all my arguments and evidence, she still spouted “Bush set up the whole subprime thing!” I sat shaking my head.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Osama won, he tipped us over from a nation of laws to a nation of men, we have all the laws on the books we need for a just society and a just world, what we lack is the will to enforce them.

        1. John Wright

          And what did Osama’s operation cost?


          “As part of the “bleed-until-bankruptcy plan,” bin Laden cited a British estimate that it cost al Qaeda about $500,000 to carry out the attacks of September 11, 2001, an amount that he said paled in comparison with the costs incurred by the United States.”

          In 2011, per the Atlantic, the Cost of Bin Laden: $3 Trillion Over 15 Years

          Defining Return on Terrorism Multipler ( ROTM) as (USA spend in response)/(Osama spend to initiate), so at a ROTM of 1, the USA would only spend $1 in response to Osama spending $1.

          But 3Trillion/500K = 3 x 10E12 / 500E3 = This is a ROTM of 6 MILLION.

          The Atlantic article mentions the Stiglitz/Bilmes estimate of 4 to 6 trillion, so the ROTM could be 12 million before intangible costs are added in.

          Throw in loss of privacy via NSA/CIA/FBI, loss of civil liberties, loss of life both USA military and civilians overseas, several countries who had no involvement with 9-11 destroyed and the ROTM (Return On Terrorism Multiplier) is astounding.

          One could argue that the USA response to 9-11 showed terrorism can be astoundingly cost effective in doing harm to ones’ enemy.

    2. different clue

      Obama’s Presidency was not a relative nothing-burger.

      Obama’s Presidency was a mad cow disease hamburger.

  11. Vatch

    I recently learned that Trump has nominated torture advocate Steven Bradbury to a position in the Department of Transportation. The nomination is currently pending in committee.

    In May 2005, in response to requests from the CIA, Bradbury authored the “2005 Bradbury Memo” confirming that 13 so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” did not constitute torture, including waterboarding, nudity, walling, stress positions, slapping or striking a prisoner, exposure to extreme temperatures, dousing with cold water, and forced sleep deprivation of up to 180 hours (7.5 days). A second memorandum, the “Combined Techniques Memo” found that the techniques did not constitute torture, even when used in combination. These memoranda found the CIA’s practices to be lawful if applied in accordance with specified conditions, limitations, and safeguards, including those set forth in the agency’s interrogation procedures. Later in May, Bradbury signed a third memo, the “Article 16 Memo”, which contained the opinion that the CIA’s use of these techniques did not violate the Article 16 of the United Nations Convention against Torture, which forbids “other acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment which do not amount to torture”. These memoranda were described by Democrats as an attempt to sidestep anti-torture laws and subvert a 2004 public Justice Department legal opinion characterizing torture as “abhorrent”. These memoranda were publicly released by the Obama Administration on April 16, 2009.

    Do we really want this man to be in the U.S. government? Here’s the contact information for Senators, so you can let them know what you think about this nomination:

    1. ewmayer

      Maybe Bradbury can waterboard some self-driving vehicles which are involved in accidents to see if they are part of a terrorist plot. Cf. the Terry Gilliam / Monty Python animation “The Killer Cars.”

    2. DH

      Actually, his past positions on torture are going to be very useful in determining the appropriate times to do massive system shut downs to do emergency fixes because routine maintenance wasn’t done. He will be the ideal candidate to evaluate how to inconvenience the most people possible for the longest time while keeping routine maintenance costs down as much as possible.

  12. Editor of the Fabius Maximus website

    About Joshua Yaffa’s New Yorker article about Trump & Putin.

    The Russian journalists interviewed might be great. Yaffa, not so great.

    ” It appears that the primary sources for many Washington-based reporters are U.S. intelligence agencies, which unanimously concluded that the effort to disrupt the election was directed by Putin and emanated from Russia. That makes it possible that American journalists know more about the hacking than their Russian colleagues do.”

    After months of debunking, even the NYT admits only three agencies “concluded” that. But it’s too useful a lie to die. That’s how propaganda works.

    1. Stormcrow

      Fake News on Russia in the New York Times, 1917-2017
      by Edward S. Herman / July 8th, 2017

      Long but devastating. Well worth reading. How propaganda works in our society. I’m glad to see that Herman is still around.

      It has been amusing watching the New York Times (Times) and its fellow mainstream media (MSM) cohort express their dismay over the rise and spread of “fake news.” They take it as an obvious truth that what they provide is straightforward and unbiased fact-based news. They do offer such news, but they also provide a steady flow of their own varied forms of genuinely fake news, often in disseminating false or misleading information supplied them by the CIA, other branches of government, and sites of corporate power. An important form of MSM fake news is that which is presented while suppressing information that calls the preferred news into question.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        An important form of MSM fake news is that which is presented while suppressing information that calls the preferred news into question.

        Another is through selective presentation, often simply done by timing the issue for public digestion.

        Maybe we talk about Russia today, and health care 3 years later.

        In another decade, they can proudly claim, ‘hey, we gave even more coverage to health care than to Russia, in the past 15 years.’

    1. DH

      This would explain why everybody in the White House appear to be suffering from rabies (frothing at the mouth and exhibiting erratic, aggressive behavior).

  13. Colonel Smithers

    On the anniversary of Theresa May’s accession to the throne, UK readers may want to laugh or cry about and non-UK readers may want to commiserate.

    I am hoping to catch up with a friend, former colleague and Tory activist over a long and liquid lunch soon and will update. In the spring of 2016, the cider countryman told me that Cameron would have to go immediately if he lost the referendum and to bet against Boris as he had observed the blond bombshell from close up and sold his shares in the autumn of 2015.

    When we caught up last, around the turn of the year, he said that most Tories – and Blairite fanatics holding out – wanted an early election to kill off Labour / Corbyn. It was not just May who wanted an early poll, although she is now being blamed for going early and squandering a working majority.

    1. vlade

      Do let us know Colonel – my Tory souce gone dry (I assume in embarassement). If it wasn’t for the millions who are going to suffer as the result of the idiotic decisions in the past two years (and it can’t be called anything but idiotic IMO, because these aren’t decisions that will be easily swayed back by the next elections. Trump may be stopped in his track as early as next year. The UK shambles will stay with us for a decade at least) are those who can least afford it.

  14. Ed

    On the minimum wage, there is a somewhat ridiculous argument, which I was exposed to in my economics courses for by MBA program, that people may prefer to work for very low wages in the absence of any other work, and employers may be willing to provide jobs at those wages but not higher ones.

    This is one of those things that if you think about for more than a few minutes, you can see its non-sensical. Among numerous possible objections, historically people have often sold themselves into slavery, should that be allowed? A minimum wage is essentially legislation giving enforcement to a ban on slavery. Also, if you are in a situation where employers are simply not willing to employ people at wages above subsistence, then its time to institute income support through means other than private sector employment (eg welfare). You don’t just have large numbers of people working at sub-subsistence wages.

    There is some truth to the argument when the issue is setting the minimum wage too high, which is possible to do, though in the USA there is really not much danger of that happening.

    By the way, in substance this is an old argument. The Supreme Court struck down minimum wage legislation because, among other reasons, it interfered with people’s right to enter into grossly unequal contracts. Thees justifications are just never going to go away.

    1. Left in Wisconsin

      “This is one of those things that if you think about for more than a few minutes, you can see its non-sensical.”

      I spotted your mistake.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > people may prefer to work for very low wages in the absence of any other work

      All these arguments presume that there’s no underground economy… (System D). A very idealized view of the market for labor power.

  15. DJG

    LRB article by Davies, Reasons for Corbyn, applies to the U S of A as well. The article makes some good points about the glaring problems and glaring ineffectiveness of postmodernism. It is as if we are indeed stuck in an eternal present with no forgetting yet no inkling of a future. So we fight over Trump’s tweets.

    I was also put in mind of some consequences of this eternal present, and I didn’t understand that this famous epigraph used by Eliot came from the Satyricon by Petronius. Hmmm. From eternal present to our long Occidental continuous past. >>

    I saw with my own eyes the Sibyl at Cumae hanging in a cage, and when the boys said to her: “Sibyl, what do you want?” she answered: “I want to die.”

    “Nam Sibyllam quidem Cumis ego ipse oculis meis vidi
    in ampulla pendere, et cum illi pueri dicerent: Σίβνλλα τί ϴέλεις; respondebat illa: άπο ϴανεΐν ϴέλω.”

  16. allan

    Trump’s FBI Pick Christopher Wray Earned $9.2M Partnership Share at King & Spalding [NLJ]

    Christopher Wray, the King & Spalding white-collar partner who was nominated to replace fired FBI director James Comey, reported earning $9.2 million in his annual partnership share, according to financial documents made available Monday. Wray, a King & Spalding partner for nearly 12 years in the firm’s Washington and Atlanta offices, also revealed numerous big-name clients in the required disclosure, released by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics. Wray is set to appear Wednesday for his confirmation hearing. …

    Nominated on the Mary Jo White theory of law enforcement.

  17. Randall Stephens

    The Slate piece headline “The Secret Goal of Trump’s Voting Commission” … That goal is only secret to folks that haven’t been paying any attention to the oft repeated, though never supported, claims of wide spread voter fraud for the past 15 + years.

    Take for instance this paragraph from the July 20, 2016, en banc determination by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in Veasey v. Abbott. The case related to the 2011 Texas voter ID law, or SB 14:

    “The Legislature is entitled to set whatever priorities it wishes. Yet, one
    might expect that when the Legislature places a bill on an expedited schedule
    and subjects it to such an extraordinary degree of procedural irregularities, as
    was the case with SB 14, such a bill would address a problem of great
    magnitude. Ballot integrity is undoubtedly a worthy goal. But the evidence
    before the Legislature was that in-person voting, the only concern addressed
    by SB 14, yielded only two convictions for in-person voter impersonation fraud
    out of 20 million votes cast in the decade leading up to SB 14’s passage.24 See
    id. at 639. The bill did nothing to combat mail-in ballot fraud, although record
    evidence shows that the potential and reality of fraud is much greater in the
    mail-in ballot context than with in-person voting.25 Id. at 641, 653.”

    I speak English better than I speak math but I’m fairly certain that 0.0000001 isn’t a very high percentage, and doesn’t equate to something being “wide spread.”

  18. Toolate

    Telling that Groopman only could go so far as to encourage the public option but not Medicare for All. The public option too is designed to fail.

  19. Altandmain

    The Democratic Party Needs to Address the Passive Racism in Their Own Ranks: Aiding marginalized communities when it’s politically expedient isn’t enough

    Democrats struggle to find a message …. when you’ve lost the BBC :p

    Jimmy Dore on Democrats selling people out on single payer:

    Study on high military casualties and votes for Clinton

    Comcast spends millions in lobbying on net neutrality, without their news networks disclosing their spending

  20. nechaev

    more on the Hobby Lobby antiquities- smuggling affair:
    Thou Shall Not Covet thy Neighbor’s Cuneiform

    While Hobby Lobby, may be “new” to the world of acquiring antiquities, the fact that it has purchased more than 40,000 objects since November 2009 does not in any way make it a neophyte collector of ancient art.

    In addition to the cuneiform tablets seized in this well publicized case, the Green Collection already had in its possession the third largest holding of cuneiform tablets in North America (over 10,000 pieces). This means Green and Hobby Lobby by proxy had ample prior opportunity to explore what could and should go on any customs declaration for objects that contain writing first developed by the ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia between 3500-3000 BCE.

    Hobby Lobby’s Legal Expert Speaks: “I can’t rule out…they used my advice to evade the law.”

    Pitching Green and Carroll that day in the UAE warehouse were two Israeli antiquities dealers and a third local dealer (all unnamed in the complaint.) They were offering some 1,500 cuneiform tablets, 500 cuneiform bricks, 3,000 clay bullae, 35 clay envelope seals, 13 extra-large cuneiform tablets and 500 stone cylinder seals, according to a federal forfeiture complaint filed last week….

    They were “displayed informally,” according to the complaint –– “spread out on the floor before him, arranged in layers on a coffee table, and packed loosely in cardboard boxes, in many instances with little or no protective material between them.”

    They belonged not to any of the three dealers present but to a fourth, who claimed they had come from his “family collection” in Israel. As for their provenance, the dealers claimed the objects had been “legally acquired in the late 1960s” from “local markets.” Bizarrely, they also said the objects had been sent to Mississippi for storage in the 1970s and had recently been in Washington DC before being shipped to the UAE for that day’s inspection.

    The final red flag: the objects were being sold at a deep discount. Carroll thought the objects were worth approximately $11.8 million, but were being offered for sale that day for $2 million.

    ps- both the above-linked-to sites issue gratis frequent newsletter reports on the antiquities racket in general and its various thieves and fraudsters…well worth subscribing to….

    1. Alex Morfesis

      Hate sounding misogynist, but dr patty is part of the provenance laundering industry…that “approves” certain types of “paleo” looting but hates having the “accepted” & “acceptable” “grandfathered” “legacy” museum, institutions and collectors finding themselves with new competition in the presentation of “stolen” patrimony…

      Not that it is not easy to be swayed or misled by either credentialed criminals or self proclaimed “historians” & archaeologist/treasure hunters…

      In dealing with the marine archeology/treasure hunting start up…could not find anyone who had clean hands…

      even the “great” sylvia earle “forgets” to mention her first marriage and the business she and her husband were involved with here in Florida…

  21. Goyo Marquez

    Re Minimum Wage Wars
    “According to the analysis, there was a reduction in average hours worked among those in the low wage labor market that more than offset the gain in wages.”

    So the people worked less hours and got paid, more or less, the same, and this is a bad thing because…?

    1. Goyo Marquez

      The abstract (You have to pay for papers produced by NBER?) says:
      “…we conclude that the second wage increase to $13 reduced hours worked in low-wage jobs by around 9 percent, while hourly wages in such jobs increased by around 3 percent.”

  22. allan

    Disruptive innovation can finally revolutionize healthcare [The Hill]

    How health coaches can disrupt transform and improve primary care

    Recognizing this giant gap in the market, startups such as Iora Health, Oak Street, Omada, Docent, ChenMed, WellMed, Landmark Health, and Aledade are gaining traction with a model known as holistic care teams. These teams typically include a physician, a behavioral health specialist, nurses, and a registered dietician — all supported by technology that tracks a consumer’s health. But most essentially, the teams are quarterbacked by health coaches who do things that doctors typically don’t —and at much lower cost than they ever could.

    This is a classic disruptive model, which typically begins with inferior performance along traditional dimensions — in this case, coaches appear inferior because they have no formal clinical training and, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, make an average of about $21 per hour. Yet the care team model is superior in different ways, such as in helping consumers take more responsibility for their own health. Health coaches follow up with patients and engage in an ongoing dialogue. These individuals are hired for their empathy and demonstrated experience in solving problems for consumers in order to advance their health journeys. …

    Please no one tell Lambert.

    1. Moocao

      But most essentially, the teams are quarterbacked by health coaches who do things that doctors typically don’t —and at much lower cost than they ever could.

      I have some words to say about this: It is because of MBAs causing the current socioeconomic nightmare called neoliberalism that is causing the pain and suffering of millions of Americans. Worse, neoliberalism’s infection of the Health Care model has metastasized through healthcare providers. PCPs now have barely enough time to see patients. As a result of PCPs not spending enough time per patient as per the recognized excellence of the MBA class, MDs are unable to provide adequate nutrition recommendations as their time is not paid for such trivial but life altering education. Dietitians are not covered by insurance, therefore patients are likely to receive life-saving basic healthy interventions on diet related matters, and are instead forced to medications. Ever see patients whom have DM2+CHF and still enjoy hot dogs/burgers/buns/sodas? Are they all just stupid patients or were they never actually taught how to cook healthy using herbs and spices properly (salt) and use proper cooking techniques for making nutritious food?

      Now there are health coaches! How amazing! They provide what value? “Helping consumers take more responsibility for their own health. Health coaches follow up with patients and engage in an ongoing dialogue. These individuals are hired for their empathy and demonstrated experience in solving problems for consumers in order to advance their health journeys”. Do these “Health coaches” train patients on having proper diets, weight themselves daily, encourage excercise, encourage to take their medications as prescribed and work towards a healthy self so that medications may be weaned, orient patients to choose a healthy lifestyle vs their previous lifestyle? Or do they just talk a good talk?

      Guess what really works? Insurance coverage for patient’s medical needs, such as diet education/PT-OT work, giving MDs enough time to interact with patients and provide adequate medical consultations, capping what pharmaceutical companies charges for medications, medication formularies that work for patients while provide best practice care at a reasonable price for the patients, more interactions between PCP and patients, and give the healthcare primary team a chance to make a difference in patients’s lives.

      And whom, pray tell, are our “disruptive leaders” from?

      Authors: Clayton Christensen is the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and co-founder of growth strategy consulting firm Innosight. Andrew Waldeck is a senior partner at the growth strategy consulting firm Innosight, where he leads the firm’s healthcare practice.

      See any doctors?

      1. HotFlash

        Seems to me that “Now there are health coaches!” is a really good hook for for-profit ‘colleges’, right up there with medical insurance coders. Maybe failed ‘personal trainers’ can get some credits applied?

  23. nechaev

    a harrowing report on the medical experiments performed on Yemeni & other immigrants in Israel, 1950s:

    Radiation and ringworm: a tale of social policy, racism, and health care

    On June 14, 2017, the Israeli newspaper, Israel Hayom, published an extraordinary report documenting medical experiments on mostly Yemenite children who subsequently “disappeared”; those who died were autopsied without parental consent, the parents were often not allowed to see their dead children, and no death certificates were provided……

    In the 1950s, approximately 100,000 Jewish immigrant children from Arab countries were taken from their parents and without parental consent, their heads were shaved, their hair was plucked, they were placed on a table, sometimes in restraints, and given radiation doses up to 600 rads. The dangers of leukemia were known in the 1920s and by 1952 scientists understood that 0.3 rads was the maximum safe weekly dosage. The now adult victims speak with sorrow and rage of the thousands who died (buried in unmarked graves), either as children from radiation poisoning or in early adulthood from cancer, of a lifetime of scalp pain, open sores, high cancer risk, epilepsy, infertility, and social and psychological damage. It was gripping testimony that left me in tears and shock and I am hard to shock. It is worth watching.

    The program was run by Dr. Shiba, Director of the Health Ministry, Division of Social Medicine, who was not only obsessed with ringworm as a contagious fungus, but more as a symbol of a social disease, a “black plague,” and of children that needed to be decontaminated, medically and socially. …

    Dr Shiba traveled to the US to fundraise and acquired a collection of Picker x-ray machines, old, outdated, and possibly army surplus. Treatments were performed by nurses with no training in radiotherapy and the machines were certainly not designed to treat ringworm with high dose radiation.

    1. Optimader

      In their cases, Radiation Set Them Free
      A special exhibit for the Holocaust Museun?

    2. HotFlash

      Ah. Romans threw Christians to the lions, then when the Christians got the upper hand, they remembered and threw others to the lions. Or the inquistion, the stake, the water-test, or whatever was fashionable that particular decade.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      And maybe a list of 95 theses.

      “We’ve had enough of you fake moderate Republicans.”

  24. Oregoncharles

    “There Is No Major “Good” Government Leader Ian Welsh”

    Really, really good. Welsh at his best.

    1. witters

      “Putin has many admirers, but he is a bad man, and if you don’t believe it, it is because you don’t want to know.”

      At his best? I hope not. WHAT don’t I want to know?

  25. robnume

    And for all of those who think that the poor do not work enough or if they do work those low paying jobs are all “those people” are worth: Using the theme “Shit Happens,” Taoism: Shit happens. Buddhism: If shit happens, it’s not really shit. Islam: If shit happens, it’s the will of Allah. Protestantism: Shit happens because you don’t work hard enough. Judaism: Why does this shit always happen to us? Hinduism: This shit has happened before. Catholicism: Shit happens because you’re bad. Hare Krishna: Shit happens rama rama. T.V. Evangelicals: Send more shit. Hedonism: There’s nothing like a good shit. Christian Science: Shit happens in your mind. Agnosticism: Maybe shit happens, maybe it doesn’t. Existentialism: What is shit anyway? Stoicism: This shit doesn’t bother me. Rastafarianism: Let’s smoke this shit. Hope this doesn’t offend anyone too much. Specially rich folk.

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