Monday, March 16, 2020

Thomas Piketty Q & A: The History of the URL

 Every great fortune—every one—is founded on evil, usually on crime
The inspiration for Mark Ruffalo’s character in the film Dark Waters, Rob Bilott believes the battle to protect polluted communities is far from over

Opinion: Moving Our Pharmaceutical Factories Overseas Was A Huge Mistake Buzzfeed

Piketty’s Latest Charge Willem Buiter, Project Syndicate

We Must Seize The Means Of Toilet Paper Production
      The Harvard Gazette has a Q & A with Thomas Piketty. 
       His Capital and Ideolog is due out this week -- see the Harvard University Press publicity page, or get your copy at or --; I haven't seen it yet, but hope to have a look. 
       See now also Paul Krugman's review in next week's The New York Times Book Review

‘Grotesque Level of Greed’: Owned by World’s Richest Man Jeff Bezos, Whole Foods Wants Workers to Pay for Colleagues’ Sick Leave During Coronavirus Pandemic

Jeff Bezos continues to abuse his workers, this time (or more accurately, again) at Whole Foods.

Super-rich jet off to disaster bunkers amid coronavirus outbreak Guardian.

Totally unrelated: most of these bunkers (many in rural New Zealand) can be and have been geolocated through press photos from bunker construction companies. Cross reference with visible construction on Google Earth and Sentinel Playground. 

In 1969 the bestseller “The Godfather” by Mario Puzo was released with an epigraph credited to Balzac. The novel was a popular sensation which was made into an acclaimed film: 10

Life is like a tube of Vegemite. Don’t try it all at once...

Oh my, Mr Hanks, not even the bravest Aussie would put THAT much vegemite on a piece of toast!
Tom Hanks mocked for excessive Vegemite in coronavirus photo

How Inigo Philbrick Became The Talented Mr. Ripley Of Art Dealers

“Inigo Philbrick probably didn’t set out to become one of the art world’s great enigmas when, at the age of 24, he opened a gallery and consultancy in London” and went on to become a conspicuously big spender. “Not if what he really wanted was to be seen nowhere but talked about everywhere. Yet that is what happened in the fall of 2019: a vanishing act.” He hasn’t been charged with a crime (yet), but he is definitely a fugitive. – The New York Times 

The NSW Liberal Party has moved closer to stopping property developers becoming councillors after an internal committee resolved to change the party’s rules and ban them from contesting elections as Liberals.

  DOJ Tax issued this press release:  Alabama Salesman Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion: Defendant Used Offshore Insurance Wrapper Accounts to Conceal Assetshere.  The criminal information and plea agreement are here and here.

Key excerpts are:
According to court documents and statements made in court, Ivan Scott “Scott” Butler was an automobile industry consultant and sold automobile warranties as an independent salesman. In 1993, Butler stopped filing tax returns and attended tax defier meetings and purchased tax defier materials

New York Times, The Tax Code Is Overtaxed:

When a working-class divorced couple takes turns caring for the kids, who deserves a hefty income subsidy to help offset the cost?

Do the fees that college students pay to join a club or play a sport count as an education expense? What about the books they buy?

Should at-home genetic tests count as a health care expenditure worthy of a public subsidy? How about acupuncture, or massage?

These are the types of questions that, under the U.S.’s peculiar approach, fall not to elected officials, nor to the agencies in charge of family welfare, education and health care. Rather, they are the province of the Internal Revenue Service.

In 2019, the Seventh Circuit decided an Establishment Clause question that had been percolating through the courts for two decades [Gaylor v. Mnuchin]. It held that the parsonage allowance, which permits “ministers of the gospel” to receive an untaxed housing allowance, does not violate the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. It grounded its conclusion in part on the “historical significance” test the Supreme Court established in its Town of Greece v. Galloway decision.
In coming to that conclusion, the Seventh Circuit cited a 200-year unbroken history of property tax exemptions for religious property. According to the Seventh Circuit, that history demonstrated that both the Founders and subsequent generations of Americans recognized that there was no constitutional problem with exempting parsonages.
This week, Young Ran (Christine) Kim (Utah) reviews a new work by David J. Shakow (Pennsylavania), Taxing Bitcoin and Blockchains—What the IRS Told Us (and Didn't), 166 Tax Notes Fed. 241 (Jan. 13, 2020).  

Two men who impersonated a French minister to trick wealthy people out of more than €55m (£48m) have been jailed by a court in Paris.
They denied fraud and usurping Mr Le Drian's identity but were found guilty.
Franco-Israelis Gilbert Chikli and Anthony Lasarevitsch conned their victims by impersonating Jean-Yves Le Drian, often wearing a silicone mask.

Chikli was jailed for 11 years and fined €2m while Lasarevitsch received a seven-year sentence and a fine of €1m. 

GETTING THINGS DONE: What are successful women networkers doing differently to everyone else? Harvard Business Review interviewed Ford Motor Company’s Julie Lodge-Jarrett to learn her networking techniques.

The History of the URL

Gretchen McCulloch, author of Because Internet, has developed a Weird Internet Career as an internet linguist. In the first installment in a series on such jobs, McCulloch explains what they are:
Weird Internet Careers are the kinds of jobs that are impossible to explain to your parents, people who somehow make a living from the internet, generally involving a changing mix of revenue streams. Weird Internet Career is a term I made up (it had no google results in quotes before I started using it), but once you start noticing them, you’ll see them everywhere.
Weird Internet Careers are weird because there is no one else who does exactly what they do. They’re internet because they rely on the internet as a cornerstone, such as bloggers, webcomics, youtubers, artists, podcasters, writers, developers, subject-matter experts, and other people in very specific niches. And they’re careers because they somehow manage to support themselves, often making money from some combination of ad revenue, t-shirt sales, other merch, ongoing membership/subscription (Patreon, Substack), crowdfunding (Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Ko-Fi), sponsorship deals, conventional book deals, self-published ebooks, selling online courses, selling products or apps or services, public speaking, and consulting.
I’ve had a Weird Internet Career for more than 15 years and even though it’s much more normalized now than when I started (folks generally know that people make money from being popular on YouTube or Instagram), it’s still a struggle to explain. Usually someone will ask me what I do and I tell them. Them, wide-eyed: “That’s your job?!” Then there’s a long pause and eventually their curiosity overwhelms their politeness and they tentatively say: “Can I ask…uh…how do you make money doing that?”

Chelsea Manning recovering after attempted jail suicide USA Today

Rights body turns its sights on UK over Assange The Law Society Gazette

Eric Hylton, the new head of the Small Business/Self-Employed Division at the IRS, discusses employment tax, recent high-income nonfiler visits, and the use of data analytics.

Unrigging the Economy Will Require Enforcing the Tax Laws ...
Center for American Progress
Washington, DC March 12, 2020
A flurry of recent news stories highlights the scourge of tax dodging by wealthy individuals and large corporations.

“It’s not really a matter of if the taxation office will get access to that information, it’s a matter of when”

Australian Taxation Office Commissioner Chris Jordan will announce the income tax performance for high wealth private groups in a speech to the Tax Institute in Sydney today. This reveals that over 90% of the high wealth private groups’ income tax was paid voluntarily or with little intervention from the ATO in 2016–17.

JACK WATERFORD. The Life and Legacy of Len Hewitt

Jack Waterford writes on the life and legacy Len Hewitt, former secretary of the Prime Minister and feared government man. Continue reading

TED TRAINER.-Why the rich and powerful want Assange silenced.

Now you will understand why it is so important to prevent people like Ellsberg and Chelsea Manning and Snowden and Assange from exposing the nasty things that are done to secure our empire. Continue reading