Monday, August 08, 2016

French workers 'pay the most taxes in Europe'

Tough times never last, but tough people do...
 ~ Robert H. Schuller 

The vorking (sic) culture that is French: “French town flooded with wine after protesters crack open vats. 

What Does a Beer Historian Do?

EY Sure Seems Excited About Its Interns

Staying safe during the war on inequality  FT Alphaville 

Lovers of trashy films are highly educated cultural omnivores

I say blame the voters but still there is a grain of truth to this  Still, the ethic of individual responsibility should be paramount here, and that leads us back to the voters 

Robert Reich's contribution to the inequality debate [Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few (2015)] is to show how clients of large law firms use their power 
to shape the "free market" that we unthinkingly accept as a state of nature. In Reich's universe, rules define the market, and states create the rules. More precisely, elite lawyers create the rules. They also game them. 

Inexplicable, almost unthinkable acts of violence; audacious, nihilistic, adolescent self-righteousness: Looking for ISIS in a 1907 novel... MCMVIi 

Raising the minimum wage could improve public health Economic Policy Institute 

Via FAS, CRS Report – Pay Equity: Legislative and Legal Developments, Jody Feder, Legislative Attorney; Benjamin Collins, Analyst in Labor Policy. May 20, 2016.
“According to some federal data, on average, full-time female workers earn approximately 20% less than full-time male workers

Maybe British Voters and Workers were not so Dumb ... As The Smart Elite Alleges - By David Miles, Imperial College Business School. Originally published as a chapter in the VoxEU ebook, Brexit Beckons: Thinking ahead by leading economists, available to download free of charge

… Machiavelli Explains What Makes Republics Tick - WSJ. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

One can scarcely read Machiavelli’s “Discourses” without reflecting on their significance for our day. When he writes that “no kingdom can stand when two feeble princes follow in succession,” one thinks of recent American history and its string of poor presidents. His explanation of how good men were excluded from office, owing to the valuation of wealth over honor and the insidious influence of corruption, so that men of merit gave way to those with ambition merely, makes one think of current American politics.

First Blood
“Back there I could fly a gunship, I could drive a tank, I was in charge of million dollar equipment, back here I can’t even hold a job PARKING CARS!” –John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) 

Worrying About Money Is Tough on Wallets and Wrinkles ...
The effects that stress can have on your body are well documented and numerous, but a recently published study suggests that financial stress specifically can affect the aging process and make people look older.
As someone who often struggles to make ends meet, I often feel like I want to just curl up in a ball and never leave my house. During the worst months, I often found that it took a toll on my appearance. The dark circles under my eyes started to sag, my face would break out in pimples, and I’d gain weight. Of course, that only added to the stress.

“The kiosks offer affordable and traditional drinks and snacks, conversation and community – and also employment in a country struggling with the staggering levels of unemployment and recession gripping much of western Europe.” NPR

European Parliament Think Tank – Precarious Employment in Europe (Volume 1: Patterns, Trends and Policy Strategies; Volume 2 – Country Case Studies): “This Policy Department A study examines precarious employment, its patterns, trends and policy strategies in Europe.

Uber hired CIA-linked research firm to investigate Seattle union politics The Verge


Last week's issue of The Economist had three letters to the editor on executive compensation that seemed noteworthy:
Regarding executive pay (“Neither rigged nor fair”, June 25th) what harm would come from limiting the pay of chief executives to, say, 40 times that of the average worker? Do we honestly think there would be a tragic exodus of managerial talent? Such limits would help restore workers’ faith in the economic system, which, as Joseph Stiglitz argued in “The Price of Inequality”, would increase productivity. A ratio linked to workers’ pay would also help bosses understand, and even increase, the pay of the rank and file.
PETER COLBY Professor Bainbridge...

The boards of all these organizations are receiving contradictory messages. … On one hand, they’re being told, ‘You have to raise more private money.’ On the other, they’re being told, ‘You need to diversify and elect people who may or may not be able to raise that money.'”  The New York Times

Socialism always starts with the same glowing promises, but always winds up like this:  Venezuela calls for mandatory labor in farm sector

Chinese Communist Mao didn’t invent class hatred and violence. He had a handy model in the Soviet Union of Lenin, Stalin and their successors. He and his children of his cruel revolutions are even more ambitious ... Nadezhda Mandelstam’s Quote from Hope Against Hope sumarises well my book Cold River:

“There were once many kind people, and even unkind ones pretended to be good because that was the thing to do. Such pretense was the source of hypocrisy and dishonesty so much exposed in the realist literature at the end of the last century. The unexpected result of this kind of critical writing was that kind people disappeared. Kindness is not, after all, an inborn quality—it has to be cultivated, and this only happens when it is in demand. For our generation, kindness was an old-fashioned, vanished quality, and its exponents were as extinct as the mammoth. Everything we have seen in our times—the dispossession of the kulaks, class warfare, the constant ‘unmasking’ of the people, the search for an ulterior motive behind every action—all this has taught us to be anything you like except kind.”

The alarm should have been sounded  a couple of months ago when Chinese commentators began quoting Vladimir Putin, that "if a fight is inevitable, go and fight first".
But warning bells are ringing loudly now after China declared this week Russia will send warships into the disputed South China Sea to conduct joint navy exercises Experts wary about China's new coziness with Russia in the South China Sea 

Mao’s Crimes Against Humanity

Microaggression: you’re outta here. Smash vintage stained glass window on purpose: welcome back to Yale family [Inside Higher Ed, John McGinnis]

Mediatel Newsline, 26/7/16. Looks at how behavioural science and emerging technologies can improve the way we advertise.

Prof. Bainbridge on why U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is off base in proposals to put workers on company boards, tinker with executive pay (related here and here);