Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Lawmakers as Job Buyers

 It used to be said that governments are terrible at picking winners but losers are good at picking governments

THIS IS MY SHOCKED FACE:   Chinese Consulate in Houston Intervened in US Political Movement

Edward W. De Barbieri (Albany), Lawmakers as Job Buyers, 88 Fordham L. Rev. 15 (2019):

In 2013, Washington State authorized the largest state tax incentive for private industry in U.S. history. It is not remarkable for a state legislature to use tax benefits to retain a major employer—in this case, the global aerospace manufacturer Boeing. Laws across all states and thousands of cities routinely incentivize companies such as Amazon to relocate or remain in particular areas. Notably, however, Washington did not recover any of the subsidies it authorized despite Boeing’s significant post-incentive workforce reductions. This story leads to several important questions: (1) How effective are state and local legislatures at influencing business-location decisions?; (2) Do such incentive programs actually achieve their goals of increasing and maintaining jobs?; (3) Is the public protected from imprudent spending? This Article looks specifically at the role of state and local governments in encouraging businesses to locate in their jurisdictions. In such cases, state and local lawmakers act as buyers of jobs.

VICTORIA's Parliamentary Budget Office has a new report out today. It makes for grim reading. As an independent office, the PBO doesn't comment on policies or make recommendations.

What it does do is provide policy costing and advisory services to all members of parliament. Key to the report is the fact that despite three decades of growth for the Victorian economy, COVID-19 has wreaked havoc with key revenue sources.

That comes as no surprise. Treasurer Tim Pallas has been flagging since April that we're in a bit of strife. But our sensitivity to government revenue is also highlighted in the report. Unlike the federal government, which draws most of its revenue from taxing labour and capital incomes, state revenue relies heavily on payrolls and property.

Grants, mainly through GST distributions, make up almost half of our revenue. State taxes make up another third



Aaron Coleman, the 19-Year-Old Progressive Who Won His Kansas Primary, Speaks About His Troubled Past and Promising Present Intercept. Glenn Greenwald.


Octavia Butler on How (Not) to Choose Our Leaders

“To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears. To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool.”


Lawyers Are Not Uniquely Unhappy, But They Abuse Alcohol At Very High Rates

Yair Listokin (Yale) & Ray Noonan (J.D. 2021, Yale), Measuring Lawyer Well-Being Systematically: Evidence from the National Health Interview Survey, 18 J. Empirical Legal Stu. ___ (2020):

Conventional wisdom says that lawyers are uniquely unhappy. Unfortunately, this conventional wisdom rests on a weak empirical foundation. The “unhappy lawyers” narrative relies on nonrandom survey data collected from volunteer respondents. Instead of depending on such data, researchers should study lawyer mental health by relying on large microdata sets of public health data, such as the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) administered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The NHIS includes data from 100-200 lawyers per year. By aggregating years, an adequate sample size of lawyers can readily be obtained, with much greater confidence that the lawyers in the sample resemble the true population of U.S. lawyers. When we examine the NHIS data, we find that, contrary to the conventional wisdom, lawyers are not particularly unhappy. Indeed, they suffer rates of mental illness much lower than the general population. Lawyer mental health is not significantly different than the mental health of similarly-educated professionals, such as doctors and dentists. 

Barnaby’s Boondoggle: documents reveal $80m price for ‘Watergate’ licences was nearly twice valuation (Michael West Media August 17, 2020)

The Coalition paid the tax haven-linked Eastern Australia Agriculture nearly double what independent valuers recommended for water licences. Most of the record $80 million from the sale ended up with a Cayman Islands company established by Energy Minister Angus Taylor. Investigative journalist Kerry Brewster has this exclusive report.

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Meatpacking Companies Dismissed Years of Warnings but Now Say Nobody Could Have Prepared for COVID-19 ProPublica


Monopolization as a Challenge for Both Parties American Compass. Matt Stoller.


Even With a Strong Crop This Year, U.S. Farmers Are Suffering WSJ


If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich? Turns out it’s just chance. MIT Technology Review


Exclusive: Cyprus sold passports to criminals and fugitives Al Jazeera


Ex icare head’s wife paid $800,000 under contract awarded without tender, inquiry hears

NEPOTISM ALLEGATION: The inquiry on Monday heard that Nagle’s wife had received $750 a day to train icare staff between 2016 and 2019.


Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, August 23, 2020 – Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss, highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and security, often without our situational awareness. 
Four highlights from this week: Instagram requires government ID to verify suspicious accounts; How to Clean Up Your Social Media Accounts Without Deleting Them; CBP Shifts to Enterprise Approach to Manage Phone Searches at U.S. Borders; and Amazon shares your private info unless you do these steps.

The erosion of The Age is like the erosion of society

Following its new owners excessive devotion to “entertainment news”, The Age has hit on a new recipe: curated stories to feed closed minds. Continue reading