Rust never sleeps, and neither do I. Here are your July Fourth holiday reads:

• Why are the super-rich so angry? (New Yorker) see also Paulson’s Puerto Rico Paradise Woos Rich Fleeing Taxes (Bloomberg)
Uh Oh: No doubt aboot it: Canada is better than America in at least seven ways (Vox)
• Segway Inventor Dean Kamen Thinks His New Stirling Will Get You Off the Grid For Under $10K (Forbes) see also Stirling Engines (DEKA Research)
• Corporations are people — and they have more rights than you (Daily Dot)
• Tax cuts in Kansas have cost the state money — and job creation’s been terrible (WonkBlog) see also Kansas Tax Cut Leaves Brownback With Less Money (The Upshot)
• How the American diet has failed (WonkBlog)
• Obama no longer cares whether the GOP is outraged (MSNBC) see also Obama’s annoyance with Congress boils over (WaPo)
• John Roberts, abysmal failure: How his court was disgraced by corporations and theocrats (Salon)
• Google is being forced to censor the history of Merrill Lynch — and that should terrify you (Business Insider) see also Peston’s Picks: Merrill’s Mess (BBC)
• Censorship and What Freedom of Speech Really Means: Comedian Bill Hicks’s Brilliant Letter to a Priest (Brain Pickings)

What are you reading?


July 4 Barbecue Costs Climb to Record
Source: Bloomberg

Category: Financial Press

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

19 Responses to “10 July Fourth Reads”

  1. VennData says:

    The Iraqi Army Just Retook Saddam Hussein’s Birthplace — A Huge Symbolic Victory

    See… If we would have listened to Cheney and the neo con’s the Americans would have the glory of this victory! Wiping our boot heels in the face of our enemies, cleaning our soiled utes with their dental floss, capturing below market prices on everything from petroleum to camel toe.–a-huge-symbolic-and-tactical-victory-2014-7

    I am ashamed at our so-called Commander-in-Chief (the worst ever) for denying us this optic on this, Independence Day from the very people who put him in power, the taxers.

  2. VennData says:

    Supreme Court grants corporations protections for their religious beliefs.

    On a related note, with our new issue of exercisable preferred shares for a capital infusion from the Abu Dhabit Investment Authority Gap customers are now limited to dishdashas for the boys, and abayas for his four unclean daughters of Babylonian Jezebels

  3. theexpertisin says:

    Enjoyed the trip down memory lane with Bill Hicks. His staunch defense pertaining to freedom of speech is masterful. I can only imagine what his quips would be today on political correctness, climate change and organic foods.

  4. rd says:

    I am a little bit baffled by people moving to Puerto Rico to avoid US federal income and capital gains taxes when moving to a place like Canada doesn’t accomplish that.

    By the way, one of my kids was going to school in Canada in 2013, received a large cash infusion (slightly over $10k) into their Canadian bank account from a student loan, and had to file an FBAR this June . I assume that this is the type of tax dodger that the US is trying rein in but the Peter Schiff’s have enough tax lawyers working for them that they think they can avoid paying taxes.

    Another interesting thing is that many of the states with Tea Party members of Congress get over 40% of their roads and bridges state budgets from the US government while “taker” states like NYS only get 15%. I assume that one of the goals of the Tea Party is to shut down their roads and bridges in their states while attracting new business to their states from places like NYS with state and local tax deals. I assume those companies won’t actually need to transport any of the goods or people.

    • Concerned Neighbour says:

      Your first mistake was looking for rationality in the Tea Party movement.

      • rd says:

        It may simply be amusing watching them implode their own states’ economies or possibly having their own state legislators drastically raising taxes to replace federal funding. I am assuming that their voters are anticipating these outcomes.

  5. Molesworth says:

    I would prefer having an atheist on the Supreme Court. The majority of this court are being driven by a narrative, a religious narrative, they believe to be the truth. It seems as if they – especially Alito and Roberts – imagine themselves as Pilgrims freshly over from Europe, seeking personal freedom from persecution.

  6. RW says:

    Student Loan Justice Summary Statement

    The federal student loan system has become predatory due to the Congressional removal of standard consumer protections and congressionally sanctioned collection powers that are stronger than those for all other loan instruments in our nation’s history. The resulting lending system is causing great harm to citizens who borrow for college, but also causes harm to all students due to the unchecked inflation (sic) that is enabled by this problem. Other systemic problems have also arisen within the lending system as a result of the financial motivations of the various system elements being aligned against, instead of with the students. These include a high default rate, poor quality of education, poor loan administration, systemwide corruption, inexcusably bad oversight, governmental secrecy, and others.

    NB: Misusing the word ‘inflation’ in an economics/financial debate can damage an argument in three ways: (1) it weakens the formal meaning of the term as it applys to the rate of change in general prices — that is prices broadly across the board — which in turn (2) allows debaters to redefine the term in ways that favor their argument rather than offering clarity or validity and thus (3) serves to masks a real problem which, in the case of the current student loan system, has nothing to do with money supply or currency purchasing power and everything to do with rent seeking on the part of the finance and education industries.

    “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.” -Thomas Pynchon

    • howardoark says:

      Yeah, the issue is though that everyone who borrows to go to a 4-year college could declare bankruptcy on the way down the stairs from collecting their diploma. That would end the market for student loans and freeze working class kids out of the market.

      What he meant by inflation is that since there’s this huge pool of money available to borrow (and almost risk free to lend) to go to college, colleges have very little incentive to keep prices in line and hence the cost of a college education rises faster than prices in the rest of the economy.

      There’s no good answer. The President’s plan to forgive all college debts after 20 years and limit loan payments to 10% of income is a good first step. Forcing universities to put some skin in the game by making them responsible for everything more than 10% of their graduate’s incomes on debt repayment and everything left after 20 years would help. Forcing colleges to accept credits for on-line classes (at least half the classes I took would have been just as good if not better if I’d taken them on-line and I studied engineering) would dramatically reduce costs.

      The bottom line is that making our best young people indentured servants is not good for the country’s future so something will eventually get done or we will all suffer the consequences.

  7. Molesworth says:

    There a weird creepy religious vibe emanating from the Supreme Court. I would like to see a solidly secular voice in there to help awaken the tunnel vision mindset.

  8. CD4P says:

    Re: “July 4 Barbecue Costs Climb to Record”

    What a mean little graph to be greeted by on The Big Picture today!!! With the labels on the axes too small to read, the apparent visual is the bar on the right (commonly reserved for the current value) is about 8-10 times the size of the bar on the left (commonly taken to be some year in the past), inferring the value of the American dollar has been crushed versus the value of the BBQ meal. DAMN YOU BERNANKE!!!!

  9. swag says:

    Great interview with econo-blogging pioneer, Dr. Mark Thoma –

  10. hue says:

    Survival of the shyest: Timidity’s surprising benefits (New Scientists) you’ll need to register

    “Jaws” Is Ridiculous, Say Kids Who Owe Everything to “Jaws” (Mojo)

    It’s Like Vietnam All Over Again: We Got Lit Up by Viet Cong… in North Carolina (Vice) Bill Hicks Banned on Letterman (YouTube)

  11. hidflect says:

    I’m reading Naked Capitalism every day. And especially the comments..

  12. Jojo says:

    The Intersect
    What was fake on the Internet this week: Glee, ‘bubbling’ and a modeling contract for ‘hot felon’ Jeremy Meeks
    By Caitlin Dewey July 3 at 4:25 PM

  13. Jojo says:

    Shallow, shallow people. Yes, there is a sucker born every minute, sigh.
    Crime Pays When You’re Sexy
    Jul 3, 2014

    “If you need a place to hide from the police, my door is always open…”

    – A commenter on felon Jeremy Meeks’ ‘fan page’

    Two weeks ago, Jeremy Meeks was arrested in Stockton, California on eleven felony counts, including weapon and gang-related charges. In Stockton, California, a city notorious for its high crime rates, the arrest didn’t particularly stand out — until Meeks’ mugshot hit the internet.

    Instead of being acknowledged as a danger to society, Meeks, who a Stockton officer calls “one of the most violent criminals” he’s ever dealt with, was celebrated for his shockingly good looks. His photo went viral on Facebook, fan clubs were created, and his incriminating tattoos — a teardrop (which often indicates murder), and “NC” (the notorious gang, Northside Crips) — were brushed off as “bad boy cuteness.” In wake of the attention he’s received, Meeks has been offered numerous high-paying modeling jobs, and recently signed on an ex-porn star as his booking agent, all from the confines of his holding cell.

    But years of social psychology research indicate that Meeks’ story shouldn’t come as a surprise: it pays to be an attractive felon.


  14. Jojo says:

    Fourth of July Fact Round Up
    Daven Hiskey July 4, 2014

    For those in the United States celebrating Independence Day and looking to have something interesting to talk to your friends and relatives about at your respective barbeques, here is some conversation fodder to both make yourself look smarter and avoid having to discuss once again how your cousin’s three year old daughter is already showing every sign of being the next Beyoncé:

  15. catman says:

    Barry and all – Happy 4th. Thanks for the prudent financial input that allows us to continue to afford bbq brats and burgers here on the tundra.