Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Servant Economy

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
— Theodor Seuss Geisel, author of Dr. Seuss books

Almanac: C.S. Lewis on “hating the sin”

“For a long time I used to think this a silly, straw-splitting distinction: how could you hate what a man did and not hate the man? But years later it occurred to me that there was one man to whom I had been doing this all my life—namely myself. However much I might dislike my own cowardice or conceit or greed, I went on loving myself.”
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C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

We’re Trying To Teach People That Failure Is Just An Opportunity To Improve. But What If It Isn’t?

According to the theory, if students believe that their ability is fixed, they will not want to do anything to reveal that, so a major focus of the growth mindset in schools is shifting students away from seeing failure as an indication of their ability, to seeing failure as a chance to improve that ability. As Jeff Howard notedalmost 30 years ago: ‘Smart is not something that you just are, smart is something that you can get.’ – Aeon

"Virtually all ‘great systems’ are hopelessly bureaucratic by year #10.”
—TOM PETERS of BC fame

Facebook and Instagram outage spreads to users across the globe

It's not just your Facebook page that's down.

From 'master coach' to bribery probe: A college consultant who went off the rails

"I think my first reaction was... 'So that's what he was up to'," said one person who worked with the man at the centre of a massive US college admissions fraud scheme.
The Servant Economy
The article examines the rise & fall of companies using the digital disruption model. It argues what the combined efforts of the Uber-for-X companies created is a new form of servant, one distributed through complex markets to thousands of different people.  Venture capitalists have subsidized the creation of platforms for low-paying work that deliver on-demand servant services to rich people, while subjecting all parties to increased surveillance. These platforms may unlock new potentials within our cities and lives. They’ve definitely generated huge fortunes for a very small number of people. But mostly, they’ve served to make our lives marginally more convenient than they were before.

The latest data reveal that 97 out of every 100 taxpayers reporting over a million dollars of income were not audited last year. And for these millionaires the puny number of IRS audits has been cut in half since 2010.

Better Reporting of Government-wide Data Would Increase Transparency and Facilitate Oversight

Fees, Fines, and Penalties: Better Reporting of Government-wide Data Would Increase Transparency and Facilitate Oversight GAO-19-221: Published: Mar 7, 2019. Publicly Released: Mar 7, 2019.

“Federal agencies collect hundreds of billions of dollars annually in fees, fines, and penalties, such as national park entry fees and penalties for violations of federal telemarketing law. Government-wide data could help Congress identify trends in collections and significant changes that could be an indication of an agency’s performance. Currently, there is no comprehensive, government-wide report that identifies specific fees, fines, and penalties. We made 4 recommendations to enhance the Office of Management and Budget’s current reporting on these collections, such as making more specific data publicly available…”

New York Times op-ed:  How to Think About Taxing and Spending Like a Swede, by Monica Prasad (Northwestern):
Europe has less inequality and more social mobility because its taxation schemes reach deeper into society and do more for everyone.
In the recent rush of proposals to tax the rich, Democrats have forgotten — or never really cared to learn — an important lesson: The countries that have been most successful at reducing poverty and inequality have not done it by taxing the wealthy and giving to the poor.
Take Sweden, a country often cited by progressives for its extensive social programs. Sweden has very low poverty and inequality, and economic mobility is significantly higher than it is in the United States; a poor Swede is much more likely to become middle class than a poor American is.

Wall Street Journal, The Trouble With Taxing Wealth:

Elizabeth Warren’s proposed tax on net worth seems like a nearly surgical strike at inequality, but it may not be efficient.
Around the world, governments in recent decades have sought to lighten the burden on capital by reducing taxes on dividends, capital gains, corporate profits and wealth. The motivation is straightforward: more capital means more investment, higher productivity and faster growing wages. Capital is also highly mobile: Tax it too much, and it will go elsewhere, undermining growth.

For Major League Baseball players, three teams are at the bottom of the standings on state taxes: the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants.

That’s because California is in a league of its own on personal income taxes. We’ve got by far the highest state rate in the nation, topping out at 13.3%.

By contrast, Pennsylvania has a low flat rate for every taxpayer regardless of income. It’s just 3.07%. That’s one reason why superstar slugger Bryce Harper signed an eye-popping 13-year, $330-million contract last week with the Philadelphia Phillies, spurning the Dodgers and Giants.

How hostile managers damage output at work
WORKPLACE BULLYING: How do we deal with abusive managers and violation of fairness? A new study provides recommendations.

Economic profit impossible if the Murray-Darling keeps eroding
MURRAY-DARLING BASIN: Geoff Edwards discusses balancing the economic, social and environmental outcomes of this vital water resource.

An innovative step toward truly empowered citizen governance
GOVERNANCE MODEL: A small city tries out a new way of managing important sociopolitical issues, writes Luca Belgiorno-Nettis.

NSW SES commissioner resigns amid misconduct allegations

Movers & shakers: addendum
UPDATED: Jenny Atta confirmed as departmental secretary following last year’s post-election reshuffle.

Privacy, consent and winning the trust of citizens
MANDARIN EVENT: Facilitated by Editor of The Mandarin, Harley Dennett, this live online panel discussion will deep dive into this complex and wicked problem. Wednesday 20 March. Find out more.
Senator Patrick is the second politician this week to wade into the Boyle whistleblower scandal. Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh confirmed he organised a meeting on Friday with Mr Jordan to discuss the case against Mr Boyle and the ATO’s broader whistleblowing policy.

'Clear duty to intervene': Government under pressure to save whistleblower

Handling the 'pariah' policy of climate change
VERONA BURGESS: Despite possessing so much interest and information, Australia isn't any closer to having to a long-term policy for handling climate change.
CSIRO staff ask chief executive to defy government over staffing levels
STAFFING: APS leaders work to a strict cap on average staffing levels even when it seems absurd; why are independent statutory agencies also applying the limit?
WA commissioner to Japan fired on corruption investigation

Why releasing data alone is not effective
Making data available and accessible is an important part of public sector engagement. But ensuring the message is clearly understood can be the biggest challenge. 

How can the APS maintain trust at a time of significant disruption? 
ON-DEMAND WEBCAST: Sven Bluemmel, Victorian Information Commissioner and Scott Miller, CEO of Volunteering Victoria discuss the need for greater trust and transparency, and how government can meet citizen expectations. Access the on-demand webcast today. Guy Debelle: climate change and the economy
The Reserve Bank will now factor climate change in as a "key policy concern" in monetary policy deliberations, says the RBA Deputy Governor in a keynote speech.

Brexit: An Article 50 extension is becoming inevitable—the question is how long?

Joe Owen, of the Institute for Government
The UK is set to leave the EU on 29 March, when the two-year Article 50 countdown ends. But will that really be the date the UK leaves?