How The Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio
 actually makes a case against austerity
 and for redistribution, but also for money printing
(and, arguably, for bailouts), while stressing the need to keep making productivity-improving public
investments. However, it could be equally entitled: How The Industrial Age Political-Economy Doesn't Work Anymore
, viz. Surviving Progress (2011)
... [more inside]
PayPal locked down the developer’s account, and said it could only have 50% of the funds. The rest would be released as development continued, based on PayPal’s assessment of the situation. PayPal was, essentially, going to become a producer going forward. Crowdfunding's Secret Enemy is PayPal
In a “third-world” city, a self-styled tour guide might be tipped in return for leading a group of sightseers. In Italy, a Neapolitan street urchin might offer to protect a parked car in return for a gratuity.
In both cases, the inference is clear: if you don’t employ me, I will hurt you.
This thinly veiled extortion is the subtext to much tipping: if the propertied individual doesn’t comply with the demands of the semi-employed
, something terrible might happen to them or their things. So tipping began essentially as a way to stave off violence by the indigent, forgotten people; it is a social contract adhered to by the privileged class who fear and disdain the less fortunate and are aware of the failure of their own class to create equity
The costs of cash.
Economists know that using cash has a built-in cost
, compared to electronic forms of payment like credit cards or direct deposits. (Prepaid cards, not so much
.) This creates a "digital divide
" that may contribute to income inequality.
A new study
out today from Tufts quantifies these costs, which hit the poor over three times as much as wealthier folks, on average.
You've more than likely heard this early recording of Money
by the Beatles, or perhaps this version
by the Rolling Stones. But Barrett Strong
, the man who originally recorded
it and who was the primary songwriter hasn't shared in the millions of dollars the song has earned over the years
, member of the Oscar
award-winning group Three 6 Mafia
has offered $50,000 to promote his single 'Scholarship
'. [more inside]
More than half the population of small, rural Madras, Oregon (population: ~6059) and its surrounding community is served by one clinic: Madras Medical
. At the beginning of 2006, the clinic's doctors and nurses decided to ban pharmaceutical reps from visiting their practice. No more free lunches. No more free drug samples. No more gifts. And yet.... "It's made us better doctors." (Via) [more inside]
"We condition the poor and the working class to go to war. We promise them honor, status, glory, and adventure. We promise boys they will become men. We hold these promises up against the dead-end jobs of small-town life, the financial dislocations, credit card debt, bad marriages, lack of health insurance, and dread of unemployment. The military is the call of the Sirens, the enticement that has for generations seduced young Americans working in fast food restaurants or behind the counters of Walmarts to fight and die for war profiteers and elites."
-- War is Betrayal. Persistent Myths of Combat
, an essay by Chris Hedges
of Truthdig. Responses within. [more inside]
Don't go to art school.
Why it's a bad idea and what you can do with the money instead.
Sly Stone's history of drug addiction and eccentricity is well known. But, a recent California Court of Appeals ruling details how a series of ill advised business deals left Stone destitute. [more inside]
The thrill and rush of possibly winning started to wear off after about the twentieth losing ticket. Each card had a couple of “Life” symbols on them, and every time you got a second you just dreamed of seeing the third one under the remaining graphite. However it never appeared and never will and it just kind of turned depressing. How could people put themselves through this humiliation and teasing every day of their lives?
The classic criticism of the lottery is that the people who play are the ones who can least afford to lose; that the lottery is a sink of money, draining wealth from those who most need it. Some lottery advocates . . . have tried to defend lottery-ticket buying as a rational purchase of fantasy—paying a dollar for a day's worth of pleasant anticipation, imagining yourself as a millionaire. But consider exactly what this implies. It would mean that you're occupying your valuable brain with a fantasy whose real probability is nearly zero—a tiny line of likelihood which you, yourself, can do nothing to realize. . . . Which makes the lottery another kind of sink: a sink of emotional energy. [via]
Prom spending rising again, average of $1,139
The USA Today story is based on a recent VISA press release about prom spending
that comes out every year. The VISA press release breaks down how prom spending is highest among Northeastern families, with Northeasterners averaging $1,528 compared to Midwesterners paltry $722. It also shows a breakdown by income category with families earning less than $50,000 spending an average of $1,245 while those from higher earning families spend $1,129. [more inside]
Tom Roeser was unhappy about the decline of his town, Carpentersville, IL. So he decided to do something about it. Roeser bought some foreclosed properties, renovated them, and then rented them out for below market value.
Economists and the theory of politics
- "why unions were often well worth any deadweight cost" [more inside]
Guilt, gratitude, music photography.
Freelance Australian music photographer Leah Robertson writes about being underpaid, and how pervasive it is in the industry. Check out rates from around the world at Who Pays Photographers?
: "The parents of China’s post-1980 generation [the bā líng hòu (八零後)] (themselves born between 1950 and 1965) grew up in a rural, Maoist world utterly different from that of their children. In their adolescence, there was one phone per village, the universities were closed and jobs were assigned from above. If you imagine the disorientation and confusion of many parents in the West when it comes to the internet and its role in their children’s lives, and then add to that dating, university life and career choices, you come close to the generational dilemma. Parents who spent their own early twenties labouring on remote farms have to deal with children who measure their world in malls, iPhones and casual dates." [more inside]
Can the UK's 'toilet circuit' of small music venues survive? From Coldplay to PJ Harvey, a lot of big British rock acts started out playing tiny pubs and clubs around the UK. But with many of these venues closing, who will keep the rock'n'roll dream alive?
Today is a new day in Canadian specie
, being the last day that the Royal Canadian Mint
will distribute the penny. Cash transactions will now be rounded to the nearest $0.05. CBC posts an obituary
. [more inside]
"Defacement of currency is a violation of Title 18, Section 333 of the United States Code. Under this provision, currency defacement is generally defined as follows: Whoever mutilates, cuts, disfigures, perforates, unites or cements together, or does any other thing to any bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt issued by any national banking association, Federal Reserve Bank, or Federal Reserve System, with intent to render such item(s) unfit to be reissued, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both. Defacement of currency in such a way that it is made unfit for circulation comes under the jurisdiction of the United States Secret Service." - source
"Defaced Money" tagged Tumblr posts
, 11 more impressive examples of creatively defaced currency
, 101 Unusual, Impressive And Illegal Pieces Of Defaced Currency
, and some cool guitar picks
Eunuchs of the Universe: Tom Wolfe on Wall Street Today: [Daily Beast]
"As America teeters on a cliff, Tom Wolfe draws up a sterling indictment of our unscrupulous financial culture. Twenty-five years after Bonfire of the Vanities, the author returns to Wall Street to see what happened to the Masters of the Universe."
attempts to collect and classify images of all the world's paper currency, both historical
, whether it's sublimely beautiful
or utterly worthless
. If you prefer your banknotes with snarky commentary, hasten to James Lileks' Engraveyard
The African King With A Multi-Billion Dollar Empire RBH functions as a communitybased investment company whose primary investment aim is to generate the income required for the funding of sustainable projects. Income generated from RBH’s commercial interests is invested in infrastructural development, as well as in the members of the Nation itself. Over the past decade, more than R4 billion ($475 million) has been spent on roads, utilities, schools, clinics and other public amenities. This has benefited not only the Bafokeng, but other people living in the North West Province of South Africa, the area which the RBN calls home.
The day would come when many West Virginians recalled the story of Jack's Powerball Christmas with a shudder at the magnitude of ruination: families asunder, precious lambs six feet under, folks undone by the lure of all that easy money.
Who's the Shop Steward on Your Kickstarter? "The true product for sale on Kickstarter is not your art project, but your community and networks. ... Our projects that facilitate the funding are a side effect, a cost of doing business—the business of drilling our relationships for all they are worth."
At least 112 workers died in Tazreen garments factory fire in Bangladesh.
The reasons of the fire are the subject of investigation, but the firefighters put the blame for the tragedy on the lack of fire exits
. Since 2006, over 500 garment factory workers died in Bangladesh fires
caused often by poor safety standards and shoddy electrical installations. The garments made in the Tazreen factory were sold by C&A, among others. Clothing makes up 80 percent of the country's $24 billion in annual exports.
Last year saw the 100th anniversary of another such tragedy
In last night's episode of Independent Lens
on PBS, filmmaker Alex Gibney
presented the case that America's richest citizens
have "rigged the game in their favor," and created unprecedented inequality in the United States. "Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream
The Absurd Quest for Euro Crisis Images: The Greeks aren't the only ones sick of the euro crisis. Photographers are reaching the end of their tether too, struggling to shoot images of euro coins in various states of distress to illustrate the story. Though some of the photos are absurd, they still get published -- because news outlets are equally desperate. Gallery
Thought the "rubber rooms" where New York City teachers were sent to wait for disciplinary hearings were closed? Not so much. [more inside]
Kevin Roose of Nymag.com posted about a brand new North Carolinian hedge fund
that seemed less than impressive. The fund then started to use a sarcastic quote from Kevin's post as a kind of ringing endorsement on their website. Uh oh
Cigarettes: The Most Stable International Currency
. In China, expensive cigarettes
(not to be confused with counterfeits
of popular brands) are sometimes used as bribes
Cash can be difficult to handle, or outright illegal, in some places. Since a smoking ban (and subsequent black-market trade
) in US prisons, canned mackerel
on MetaFilter) has become the exchange medium of choice. [more inside]
Librarian Jenica Rogers wrote an interesting post on how her library decided to cancel their ACS subscription. Walking away from the American Chemical Society
where she talks about money issues all too familiar to librarians but maybe not well known in the general public. Her post was picked up by The Chronicle Of Higher Ed
The ACS only said "We find little constructive dialogue can be had on blogs and other listservs where logic, balance and common courtesy are not practiced and observed..."
Things took a turn
on a discussion list, where The Director of Office of Public Affairs for the ACS said "But I think you would agree that vulgarity and profanity postings do not lend themselves to meaningful, productive and civil discourse, thus our decision not to engage any further with her on this topic." Many other bloggers have taken up the torch including Walt Crawford
, Jonathan Eisen
, Iris Jastram
, Chris Zammarelli
and Steve Lawson
, Any Woodworth
, John Dupuis
and one on ChemBark
The National Bureau of Economic Research has published a new paper analyzing 138 years of economic history in 14 advanced economies, which proves that high levels of private debt cause severe recessions.
Money As Debt