Wednesday, March 23, 2016

There’s No ‘Shore’ Thing even at Husky

I think that life would suddenly seem wonderful to us if we were threatened to die just as you say.  Just think of how many projects, travels, love affairs, studies it – our life – hides from us, made invisible by our laziness, which, certain of a future, delays them incessantly.
But let all this threaten to become impossible for ever, how beautiful it would become again! Ah! if only the cataclysm doesn’t happen this time, we won’t miss visiting the new galleries of the Louvre, throwing ourselves at the feet of Miss X., making a trip to India.
The cataclysm doesn’t happen, we don’t do any of it, because we find ourselves back in the heart of normal life, where negligence deadens desire. And yet we shouldn’t have needed the cataclysm to love life today.  It would have been enough to think that we are humans, and that death may come this evening
~ Bathroom Quote

Brussels airport rocked by two explosions

Brussels airport blast

It’s time for news organizations to embrace Creative Commons  

Why would Cards Against Humanity distribute their card game for free? I think it has to do with exposure and impact. Lots of people download the cards and realize they want a better experience, so they purchase the cards online. Other people download the cards, and their friends realize that they want their own version but can’t be bothered making their own set. So they buy them. The result is that more people know about Cards, which largely spreads through word of mouth The creative commons

Lose that worldview, citizen: attending public Oklahoma university requires “changing our worldview to accommodate others’ experiences of oppression.” [Audra Brulc via @DouglasLevene]
Leading tort law scholar Victor Schwartz describes as “pure fiction”Hillary Clinton’s claims that the 2005Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) gave gun manufacturers a sweeping immunity from litigation

More of tha pure fiction My family - Richest 1% Now Own Half Of World’s Politicians

Public Service Commissioner John Lloyd condemns strike as cynical and disruptive

Why People Are Confused About What Experts Really Think
NY Times, 12/2/16. Both studies suggest that “weight of evidence” reporting is an imperfect remedy. It turns out that hearing from experts on both sides of an issue distorts our perception of consensus — even when we have all the information we need to correct that misperception.

If Google and Facebook can flip elections does code now rule the real world? New Internationalist

2. The economics of PLoS.
3. An excerpt from Todd Rose’s The End of Average, a book with almost entirely original anecdotal examples.
- See more at: excerpt from Todd Rose’s The End of Average, a book with almost entirely original anecdotal examples.
Todd Rose’s The End of Average, a book with almost entirely original anecdotal examples.

In the Changing Global Supply Chain, There’s No ‘Shore’ Thing
Knowledge @Wharton, 3/3/16. Offshoring, reshoring, nearshoring — manufacturing and supply chains around the world are undergoing some seismic locational shifts, many of which the conventional wisdom did not see coming, and for reasons that may surprise you.

New York millionaires pen letter asking governor for tax hike 

These engineers are developing artificially intelligent hackers
The Guardian, 4/3/16. In a sign of the autonomous security of the future, a $2m contest wants teams to build a system that can exploit rivals’ vulnerabilities while fixing its own

Facts and lies 

Cuba casts aside rancor to welcome Obama on historic visit Reuters. Hopefully the next time there’s blowback from the overthrow of one of our pet dictators, we’ll be able to settle the matter more rapidly

Brazil Is Engulfed by Ruling Class Corruption — and a Dangerous Subversion of Democracy Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept

Peter Reilly, IRS And Liquor By The Wink. Wherein a glorified bar isn’t a tax-exempt social club

TaxGrrrl, You Can Thank Excise Taxes For Guinness Stout. That wouldn’t have occurred to me

Robert Wood, Confusing Personal With Business On Your Taxes Can Mean IRS Penalties Or Jail Expecially when “confusing” means “pretending.”

The Enduring Employment Impact of Your Great Recession Location Danny Yagan. Exactly like ObamaCare. Some people go to Happyville, some people go to Pain City, the suffering is random with respect to jurisdiction, and there’s no help for it.

Half of U.S. May Endure ‘Lost Decade’ of Depressed Employment WSJ. So the greatest recovery ever won’t reach half the country ’til the 2020s. Thanks, Obama!

Something really weird is driving inequality in the UK and economists don’t understand why it’s happeningBusiness Insider. Will Upton Sinclair please pick up the nearest white courtesy phone

Report of 10,000 severe workplace injuries might be only half the problemWaPo

Calculate Your Economic Risk NYT.Here is the calcuator. I’m not sure I’m impressed.

Traditional Economics Failed. Here’s a New Blueprint. Evonomics (readerOfTeaLeaves). “Why true self-interest is mutual interest.”
The other side of that disturbing Silicon Valley lawsuit CNN

Uber drivers carry more passengers per mile driven or hour worked than do taxi drivers. In other words, the Uber system is more productive than the taxi system. That’s the big finding from a new paper by Judd Cramer and Alan B. Krueger. - See more at: 

Uber drivers carry more passengers per mile driven or hour worked than do taxi drivers. In other words, the Uber system is more productive than the taxi system. That’s the big finding from a new paper by Judd Cramer and Alan B. Krueger. 
Krueger co-authored an earlier paper on Uber drivers commissioned by Uber but this paper was not commissioned ;-)

"Federal Judge Repeatedly Removed From Cases": Today at her "Trial Insider" blog, Pamela A. MacLean has a post that begins, "A Federal Appeals court has taken the unusual step of taking four cases away from U.S. District Judge Robert Clive Jones of Reno, and warning him about his conduct in a fifth, largely for his animosity toward out-of-state lawyers." 

Canada: An “outspoken Hamilton judge blasted warring parents for squandering $500,000 on their bitter child custody battle. ‘How did this happen?’ asked exasperated Ontario Superior Court Justice Alex Pazaratz. ‘How does this keep happening? What will it take to convince angry parents that nasty and aggressive litigation never turns out well?'” [Toronto Sun

Were urged to follow strict protocols to preserve clients’ secrecy when traveling abroad. UBS workers were advised not to carry any client data, and to coordinate a “story” with travel companions in case they were questioned by customs.
“If you have sensitive data with you [on your UBS laptop], type three times a wrong PIN and access will be blocked,” employees were advised should authorities have demanded to inspect their computers ICIJ

“IRS attention to auditing very large and giant corporations has plummeted from FY 2010 through the first five months of FY 2016. This is a consequence of Congress’s continued sharp cuts in IRS budgets, according to a new analysis of agency records by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University.  The likely result: even steeper reductions in government revenues. Among the Key Findings:
  • Revenue agent hours aimed at corporations with $250 million or more in assets in the period from FY 2010 through FY 2015 period have declined by more than a third (34%), while unreported taxes uncovered by IRS that would otherwise have been lost to the government dropped by almost two thirds (64%).
  • Declines were even sharper for the giants of the business world — those with $20 billion or more in assets.
  • Even more recent data through February of 2016 indicate that business audits of large companies are running 22 percent lower this year than for the same period last year.
  • As a result, the potential loss to the government now amounts to $15 billion or more a year.
  • This report on IRS audit and collection practices is the latest in a series of such special studies that have been posted on TRAC’s IRS website since March 1997. For more details, IRS Cutbacks Result in Billions in Lost Revenue

The Untold Story of Why the SEC Paid Whistleblower Eric Hunsader $750,000 Pam Mertens and Russ Martens. Not a great headline but a good piece. Another example of SEC window-dressing, this time on HFT…
On March 8, 2016 the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) wired $750,000 into the bank account of Eric Hunsader as a whistleblower award for spotting and documenting an illegality at the New York Stock Exchange. Hunsader is a trading software and market data expert and founder of Nanex LLC, a market data company that also provides a boatload of free research on behalf of the public interest. Hunsader is one more thing: he’s the SEC’s biggest critic when it comes to its failure to restore integrity to U.S. stock exchanges and U.S. markets.
The SEC doesn’t release the names of its whistleblowers but Hunsader alerted the media himself to his award in order to silence critics and one particular executive at the New York Stock Exchange who had, heretofore, disparaged in public Hunsader’s allegations about the NYSE’s discriminatory dissemination of market data in order to benefit high frequency traders.
Jack Townsend, Tax Court Holds FBAR Penalty Collected Is Not in the $2,000,000 Threshold for Whistleblower Award under § 7623(b)

The CalPERS Soap Opera: Getting Weirder and Weirder Tony Butka, CityWatch
As an antidote to increasing inequality, policymakers and academics frequently call for heavier taxes on the wealthy. To those outside the tax academy, proposals such as increasing marginal rates, implementing a wealth tax, or strengthening the estate tax likely sound like variations on the same theme. Many discussions of using the tax system to fight inequality therefore ignore differences among tax instruments. As this Essay shows, using the tax system to fight inequality requires careful consideration of both normative and practical concerns.