How the “sharing economy” has turned San Francisco into a dystopia for the working class. Oh, Canada! I’m writing you from Berkeley, California to warn you about this thing called “the sharing economy.” Since no one is really sharing anything, many of us prefer the term “the exploitation economy,” but due to its prevalence many in the Bay Area simply think of it as “the economy.” Whatever you want to call it, the basic idea is that customers can outsource all the work or chores they don’t want to do to somebody else in their area. [more inside]
Washington Monthly examines the rapid increase in the numbers of middle managers at universities and the correlation to the rampant increase in tuition costs at American universities.
Over the past couple of weeks, Wonkblog has examined the fast rising cost of college tuition in the United States and its effects on society. [more inside]
Income based repayment is touted as a solution to rapidly rising college costs in the US. But there is a hefty tax bill looming for people who take advantage of this program.
“We’re getting a lot of calls from high earners who are asking whether they should get out of France,” said Mr. Grandil... “Even young, dynamic people pulling in 200,000 euros are wondering whether to remain in a country where making money is not considered a good thing.” French president François Hollande's plan to tax income above a million euros ($1.24 million) a year at 75% is alarming some.
"Dwarfing even the $2 trillion borrowed for the Railway Ministry’s high-speed networks since 2008, and the thousands of kilometres of 4–6 lane toll roads with barely a vehicle on them, China’s building binge is the most striking example of what Prime Minister Wen Jiabao famously, but impotently, denounced in 2007 as the country’s “unbalanced, unstable, uncoordinated and unsustainable” model of economic development. Now, with house prices and sales sagging in response to government restrictions aimed at deflating history’s biggest ever property bubble, and with local governments as deep in bad debt as the developers, I asked the businessman what was to prevent the bubble actually bursting, in a spectacular financial explosion? "
People in Korea now have a new vocation available to them: snitching on other civilians for cash payouts from the government.
Patsy Campbell has been fighting her foreclosure in Florida courts for the past 25 years. She has not made a mortgage payment since 1985 while foiling the efforts of several banks to evict her from her home in Okeechobee, Florida.
The New York Times visualizes the proposed $3.83 trillion budget for 2011.
Governments around the globe are opening up their data vaults allowing us to check out the numbers for ourselves. This is the Guardian’s gateway to that information. Search for government data here from the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand — and look out for new countries and places as they are added. Read more about this on the Datablog. [more inside]
"The Lighter Side of Pain: What’s Up with Our Global Economy" with P.J. O'Rourke. The keynote talk at the annual Tom Wolfe Weekend Seminar at Washington & Lee University. Prefaced by some rambling remarks by Tom Wolfe '51 himself.
The Right to Walk Away Has panarchist thinking finally come of age in 2009? With world leaders of big governments failing to find any new solutions to old problems, should we have the right to walk away from those governments?
TARP, SSFIP, EESA, CPP, TALF, MMIFF... Are you feeling overwhelmed by all the new acronyms coming out of the US Treasury Department lately? Here's a handy PDF reference guide to untangling the US government efforts to rescue banks, financial corporations, and other companies.
"Real unemployment right now -- figured the way that the average person thinks of unemployment, meaning figured the way it was estimated back during the Great Depression -- is running about 12%. Real CPI right now is running at about 8%. And the real GDP probably is in contraction." Bill Fleckenstein, writing at MSN Money, provides a summary of an interview with economist John Williams on government number crunching. The full interview, with Kate Welling can be found here (PDF link) . More from John Williams at Shadow Stats.
I'm curious, isn't this exactly opposite of what we're being told? I'm always hearing the wealthy are benefitting somehow from GWB's new tax plan. I'm certainly no-where near the top 5%, and now I don't want to be.
The need for an economic stimulus bill appears to have taken on new urgency, now that the recovery is already underway. I'm glad both parties found enough irrelevent stuff they wanted to pass anyway that they could get a bill through.
The House has passed the bankruptcy reform bill that Clinton vetoed at the end of the last session. I'm mildly optimistic that it won't pass the Senate, given that the Democratic vote in the House was split. But should we be worried at all? At first glance, it doesn't seem like a bad idea. But so many consumer groups are against it, and it seems to benefit credit card companies while hurting individuals, so I'm inclined to think we should leave things as-is. Especially since personal bankruptcies are down and credit card issuers' profits are up. Anyone know more about this?