Friday, May 05, 2017

Certainties: Big Families and Big Communities

Sunday Times Rich List: UK's 10 richest couples revealed

The Supreme Court says cities may sue banks over predatory lending The Economist

Ro Khanna Wants to Give Working-Class Households $1 Trillion The Atlantic (UserFriendly). Interestingly, a shout-out from Khanna to Stephanie Kelton. This paragraph caught my eye:

People want to be useful. I think it would be very patronizing to go to folks who are coal miners and say, “Look, here’s your check because all the productive work is going to be done on the coasts.” These are hard-working people who believe they’ve contributed to the country, whose dignity and sense of self-esteem is linked to work and productive work. I think a better argument is to say, “Look, we’re going to help prepare these areas for diversification, so they can succeed economically.” Then boost wages through the EITC  

Despite attempts to force government departments in the UK to work together, the "age-old tension" between Whitehall and the Cabinet Office continues – and that's according to anannual report by Parliament's Public Accounts Committee. In its bird's eye view of departmental working, the committee said it still sees issues where departments repeatedly don’t do what they have been told or asked to do by the centre. The report cited the lack of buy-in by departments to shared service centres 
"In this case the Cabinet Office did not intervene in a timely and effective manner... in part because it had no clear mandate, for example, to instruct departments to keep to the migration timetable but, also, because it did not see this as its role."
Cabinet Office losing grip on UK government departments – report The centre cannot hold...

Adam Thimmesch (Nebraska), Transacting in Data: Tax, Privacy, and the New Economy, 94 Denv. L. Rev. 145 (2016):

The technological developments of recent decades have allowed data to emerge as the functional equivalent of a currency in the digital economy. One result is that individuals now have the ability to obtain a wide variety of benefits, from cash discounts to access to news, social media, and online software, in exchange for their personal data. Scholars in a variety of fields recognize these personal-data transfers as market exchanges and have questioned the functioning and impact of the personal-data market. That market is currently invisible, however, for tax purposes.

Super-rich private equity stars rue ‘lousy’ reputation, say they are misunderstood  Reuters

High Ground Is Becoming Hot Property as Sea Level Rises Scientific American

Jack Townsend, Fascinating Case on Jury Instructions on Definition of Element of the Crime Beyond the Statutory Definition. “I offer it because the most interesting holding in the case involved a prior tax crimes case and the setting of when a jury instruction might turn into a directed verdict.”

Carl Smith, Taft v. Comm’r: Innocent Spouse Relief Generates a Refund (Procedurally Taxing). “In any event, the Taft opinion provides a useful reminder of some of the rules on getting a refund under the innocent spouse provisions.”

Lew Taishoff, CLEAR THE COURTROOM. “This is a very rare occurrence in Tax Court. I can remember only one prior instance, as to which see my blogpost ‘The Carousel Is Closed,’ 10/10/14, anent the mystery fact witness in the great Amazon case.”

TaxGrrrl, More Arrests – And A Guilty Plea – In IRS Phone Scams
. “The suspects are alleged to be responsible for almost $8.8 million in schemes that defrauded more than 7,000 victims.”

Jim Maule, Pretending a Tax Payment Is For Something Else. “There’s a man in Montana who is unhappy that the county treasurer has not cashed the check he wrote in November to pay his property tax bill… In the memo line, he wrote, ‘sexual favors.'”

19% of all people at work in the UK don't make enough to pay tax

Leslie Book, Whistleblower Who Prompted Voluntary Compliance Not Entitled to Reward (Procedurally Taxing). “The opinion concludes that a whistleblower who provides information that exposes taxpayer misconduct and brings about a voluntary change in a taxpayer’s behavior in future years is not entitled to receive a reward.”

Gap between gig economy’s winners and losers fuels populists FT

“Because we’re fixated on our coffee stain (or whatever we happen to be self-conscious about), we assume others must be, too. But when nothing in particular draws our attention to ourselves, we neglect the fact that we may nevertheless be an object of other people’s interest. In short, we pay too much attention to what we’re paying attention to.”

Judi Dench Decries “Laziness” Of Young Actors

She suggested that younger actors were not curious. “It is not laziness, it is just non-curiosity. I think it is terribly important to know that whole history of theatre we have, why you’re in it, what people did before, the lives of actors.”

Once A Decade: Granta Picks The 21 Young American Writers To Watch

The literary magazine has a stellar track record picking writers. Rather than make a yearly list, Granta picks looks over the course of a decade to choose writers it thinks will make an impact.

Why Are Contemporary Families In Novels So Often Confined To One Or Two Children?

Emma Donoghue says, “My publishers initially choked when I offered them a novel about eight children, with four parents. One editor suggested I trim this down to a ‘big family of five kids.’ But by my standards (having grown up in an Irish Catholic clan in the 1970s), five was a puny total. Also, I needed the kids to outnumber the parents, to create enough pleasurable havoc. So we compromised: I culled the kids to seven.”

Online Dating Sites Report That What You Read (Or Whether You Read) Makes A Difference In Dating Success

According to eHarmony, women who listed The Hunger Games among their favourite books saw the biggest boost to their popularity, while men who read Richard Branson’s business books were approached most often. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was a hit for both genders. But crucially, reading anything is a winning move; men who list reading on their dating profiles receive 19% more messages, and women 3% more.

The Holiday When People Give Their Beloveds Books Along With Roses

It’s April 23, el dia de Sant Jordi (St. George’s Day), the Catalan counterpart to Valentine’s Day – except that it’s a book and not a box of chocolates that goes along with the bouquet for your true love. Natasha Lomas gives us a look at the celebration, for which €20 million worth of books are sold each year.

"Weary working warriors of Australia, we need to talk about what your heroic long hours, your selfless overtime, and your lack of self-care is doing to our nation’s mental health." (Your sons and your daughters: mental health in the age of overtime: GriffithReview)

Mount Everest is so crowded this year, there is a risk of ‘traffic jams’ WaPo