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Dan Crawford

Dan Crawford

aka Rdan owns, designs, moderates, and manages Angry Bear since 2007. Dan is the fourth ‘owner’.

Articles by Dan Crawford

Polar Ice Is Lost at Sea

3 days ago

Via Naked Capitalism and published orinially at Grist  Polar Ice Is Lost at Sea:
Our planet reached another miserable milestone earlier this week: Sea ice fell to its lowest level since human civilization began more than 12,000 years ago.
That worrying development is just the latest sign that rising temperatures are inflicting lasting changes on the coldest corners of the globe. The new record low comes as the planet’s climate system shifts further from the relatively stable period that helped give rise to cities, commerce, and the way we live now.
So far, the new year has been remarkably warm on both poles. The past 30 days have averaged more than 21 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal in Svalbard, Norway — the northernmost permanently inhabited place

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Competition Is for Losers

4 days ago

The Wall St. Journal quoted Peter Thiel’s business plans. It is mostly behind a paywall.

By Peter Thiel          Sept. 12, 2014 11:25 a.m. ET

What valuable company is nobody building? This question is harder than it looks, because your company could create a lot of value without becoming very valuable itself. Creating value isn’t enough—you also need to capture some of the value you create.

New Republic points us to the politics of Democrats of monopoly:
What drives monopolization is not business know-how or technological innovation, but public policy—a political environment that permits or even enables an investor like Jeff Bezos to engage in a massive accumulation of economic power. Not that long ago in America, no company as large and

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Consumption tax may not make sense

10 days ago

By  Steve Roth   (reposted from Evonomics)
Consumption tax may not make sense
You often hear calls out there — mostly from Right economists but also from some on the Left — for a consumption tax in the U.S. As presented, it’s a super-simple idea: tally your income, subtract your saving, and what’s left is your consumption. You pay taxes on that.
We want to encourage thrifty saving and discourage profligate consumption, so what’s not to like?
Lots. Before getting into the idea’s economic virtues and vices, consider the accounting. Whaddaya mean by “saving”? Economists are deeply confused about that word, so it’s worth sorting through a bit.
Start with a simple pared-down household. The only accounting complication is that they own a house:

How much did

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Angry Bear 2018-02-11 21:30:09

10 days ago

(Dan here…another post lifted from Robert’s Stochastic Thoughts)
Contra Mannheim

First rules of blogging.  I type as I please.I haven’t read anything by Karl Mannheim but I think he wrote the phrase “social construction of truth”. I think that is a bad phrase and all use of it or similar phrases should be criticized.
My reason is simple. I think anything true which can be said including the phrase “social construction of truth” can also be said using “social construction of belief”. I think that all such valid claims amount to the assertion that our beliefs develope as part of a process of interaction with other people. I don’t think many people have noted that beliefs are socially constructed, because the fact is so obvious that it (almost always) goes

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Drum goes easy on Goldberg

13 days ago

(Dan here…Lifted from Robert’s Stochastic Thoughts)
Drum goes easy on Goldberg

It is progress that hack conservatives are bothsidesing now. Jonah Goldberg correctly notes that the problem isn’t just Trump but also broader extreme partizanship. He asserts that both parties are to blame. He seems to know he can’t defend this assertion and declines to try. I think he may be sincere — the extreme partisanship of Republicans means that in the Conservabubble it was generally agreed that Obama exceeded his authority. Many of the conservative attacks on Obama were due to the progressive insanity of the conservative movement. Goldberg has noticed that Trump is extreme and a threat to the Republic, but he won’t bother to re-examine what he thought back when he was

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What Happened to All the Jobs Trump Promised?

14 days ago

Hat tip Linda Beale contact forwards this Propublica job tracker post:
What Happened to All the Jobs Trump Promised?
President Trump has made many claims promising that individual companies such as Amazon, Alibaba and Boeing will hire large – and specific – numbers of American workers, a total of 2.4 million in all … We found that only about 206,000 of those jobs have been created so far … Roughly 136,000 of those were genuinely new positions, as opposed to slots that were planned before the presidential election … And some 63,000 of them are potentially attributable to Trump, according to the companies that did the hiring…
Carrier, Alibaba, Saudi Arabia, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, GE…mostly not in the works as Public Relations suggests. Worth a read, very

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau update

18 days ago

David Dayen at The Intercept points us to the latest on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:
On Tuesday night, he (Trump)stood before the nation and boasted about the lowest unemployment rate on record for African-Americans. But just hours before his State of the Union address, his lieutenant and handpicked head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Mick Mulvaney, told staff in an email that he was seizing control of the unit responsible for policing anti-lending-discrimination laws.
CFPB Acting Director Mulvaney, in a previously unreported move, said that he would be putting the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity, or OFLEO, under his direct control, startling consumer protection and civil rights advocates, and raising concerns that

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Amazon business model

19 days ago

Via Naked Capitalism:
In a scoop, Business Insider reports on how Amazon is creating massive turnover and pointless misery at Whole Food by imposing a reign of terror impossible and misguided productivity targets.
Anyone who has paid the slightest attention to Amazon will see its abuse of out of Whole Foods workers as confirmation of an established pattern. And even more tellingly, despite Whole Foods supposedly being a retail business that Bezos would understand, the unrealistic Whole Foods metrics aren’t making the shopping experience better.
As we’ll discuss below, we’d already expressed doubts about how relevant Bezos’ hyped Amazon model would be to Whole Foods. Proof is surfacing even faster than we expected.

The Business Insider story on

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Focus Economics top 101 economics blogs

21 days ago

Angry Bear maintains its status as one of FocusEconomics Top Economics and Finance Blogs of 2018. Econospeak is on the list as well, whose authors contribute to Angry Bear.

Angry Bear
The Angry Bear blog is a multi-author blog that covers news, politics and economics. The contributors to the blog are some of the best in the business such as emeritus professors, tax law experts, historians, business consultants, economics PhDs, finance professionals and many more. The articles on Angry Bear cover just about everything under the sun related to economic and political issues, yet the coverage of each issue does not suffer in quality. Each article is deep, well-researched, well-written, and also engaging. Topics covered on Angry Bear include global and U.S.

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Perfect worker on the cheap

24 days ago

Via Bloomberg Obsession for the Perfect Worker Fading in Tight U.S. Job Market points to an issue in hiring that has been discussed here at AB:
This is a problem because, at 4.1 percent last month, U.S. unemployment is at the lowest level since 2000 and companies from Dallas to Denver are struggling to find the right workers. In some cases this is constraining growth, the Federal Reserve reported last week.
Corporate America’s search for an exact match is “the number-one problem with hiring in our country,” said Daniel Morgan, a recruiter in Birmingham, Alabama, who owns an Express Employment Professionals franchise. “Most companies get caught up on precise experience to a specific job,” he said, adding: “Companies fail to see a person for their abilities

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“Naskh”

25 days ago

By Mike Kimel
“Naskh”
I think it was sometime in the late 90s when I first heard someone say that Reagan could never be elected to anything at the time as a Republican. This was because the Republican Party had tacked so far to the right in a decade that many who worshipped Reagan would have found his actual policies to be hopelessly leftist. I doubt Mr. Reagan would have a place in his own Party today either.
I believe a similar effect exists for the Democrats. For example, this video shows a few clips of Diane Feinstein discussing immigration in the early 1990s. While Feinstein stated in one of the clips that her views were moderate, the reality is that California Democrats have generally been left of center at every point in my lifetime.
A decade later,

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Republicans Are Killing Social Security One Tiny Service Cut at a Time

25 days ago

Nancy Altman reminds us that Social Security is NOT off the table for Republicans via this post Republicans Are Killing Social Security One Tiny Service Cut at a Time at Slate:

Republicans have made no secret of their long-standing desire to destroy Social Security as we know it. Indeed, Sen. Marco Rubio revealed just before Christmas that congressional Republicans plan to go after Social Security yet again.
Their strategy includes both direct and stealthier efforts—death by a thousand cuts to services. And Republicans are poised to plunge the knife in again soon.
Republican politicians are making it increasingly difficult, time-consuming, and aggravating to access our earned Social Security benefits, in the hope of undermining support for the extremely

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Amazon moves closer to breaking the bank with “HQ2”

29 days ago

(Dan here…late to post at AB…more on the way)
by Kenneth Thomas
Amazon moves closer to breaking the bank with “HQ2”

Yesterday (Jan. 18), Amazon announced the 20 finalists for its “HQ2” project, that will supposedly create a second headquarters (why?) for the company somewhere in North America, most likely in the United States. With an alleged 50,000 jobs and $5 billion in investment, this development attracted 238 bids from cities and counties in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
The finalists: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Montgomery County (MD), Nashville, New York, Newark, northern Virginia, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Toronto, and Washington.
The finalists will now be subject

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The GOP’s Biggest Charter School Experiment Just Imploded

29 days ago

Mother Jones tells the story here in graphic detail.
The GOP’s Biggest Charter School Experiment Just Imploded
How a washed-up lobbyist built a charter school empire and siphoned millions from public schools.
“Now, with ECOT imploding, some state politicians have floated the idea that Lager, who has made millions in profits off the school and come a long way from the Waffle House, should be personally held responsible for paying back some of the $80 million owed to the state. But while the coming days will reveal if the political will or mechanisms exist to make this happen, it’s unclear how he might ever be held accountable—because the real scandal is that ECOT grew up legally, with the support of state politicians and national GOP power brokers, and

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Filiblustering?

January 21, 2018

Lifted from comments on the post Our thoughts and opinions are with you, reader Mark Jamison writes:
Comment:
The filibuster is fundamentally undemocratic in a body that is already constructed undemocratically. The filibuster is an accident of history that has weaponized in the last twenty years.
Yes, in particular circumstances it seems like a firewall but ultimately it does far more damage than good.
What would the ACA have looked like if the Democrats hadn’t had to operate and negotiate under filibuster rules (yes, I know they ultimately used reconciliation for final passage but the bill was constructed under the assumption of needing 60 votes)?
Would Republicans have been more inclined to participate in the negotiations if they knew 51 votes were

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Court Orders Nonprofit Law Firm to Pay $52,000 to Oil and Gas Company for Defending Local Fracking Waste Ban

January 21, 2018

Via rjs newletter via Naked Capitalism:
“Among its claims: The injection well ban violates the corporation’s rights as a “person” under the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments; the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment; and the Contract Clause and Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.”
Court Orders Nonprofit Law Firm to Pay $52,000 to Oil and Gas Company for Defending Local Fracking Waste Ban –In early January, a federal judge ordered the nonprofit law firm Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) to pay $52,000 to an oil and gas exploration company for defending a rural Pennsylvania township’s ban on underground injections of frack waste.This sanction comes at the request of Pennsylvania General Energy Company (PGE) and the

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Our thoughts and opinions are with you

January 20, 2018

(Dan here…..lifted from an e-mail via iphone and I am tossing it out to the fray)
by new deal democrat
A few thoughts, hopefully from 30,000 feet, about the shutdown:
1. It looks like Schumer is getting rolled again. The reason the Bush tax cuts became permanent, even when the Dems held almost all the cards at the end of 2012, is that Obama failed to take a vacation to Hawaii and come back January 2 to negotiate from the new, more favorable status quo, but even more importantly because Schumer offered McConnell a deal to extend the Bush tax cuts if the GOP would agree to sequestration, thinking McConnell would never take the deal. Since the GOP holds tax cuts for billionaires sacred, though, McConnell took the deal (realizing he could roll Dems on the

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Carbon footprint conundrum

January 20, 2018

Carbon footprint conundrum would be my title.  Personal involvement is important (macro is too but not the point here), but this list points to involvements well beyond many our imaginations to implement as individuals.  Personal decisions are much harder for the top activities mentioned, and from personal contacts not much on the radar of people’s decision making.  How do you go about connecting to the things “in our own control” on these points?
According to a recent study in the journal ”Environmental Research Letters,” the four steps that most substantially shrink a person’s carbon footprint are: eating a plant-based diet, living without a car, avoiding air travel and having a smaller family.
Go car-free. Short of having one less child (which cuts the

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Fair use…linking as copyright infringement

January 20, 2018

Via David Dayen comes Playboy sues Boing-Boing:
You can read our motion here, and EFF’s press release here. We’ll have more to say after the judge issues his ruling.
Here’s the introduction from our motion to dismiss:
This lawsuit is frankly mystifying. Playboy’s theory of liability seems to be that it is illegal to link to material posted by others on the web — an act performed daily by hundreds of millions of users of Facebook and Twitter, and by journalists like the ones in Playboy’s crosshairs here.
Defendant Happy Mutants, LLC (“Happy Mutants”) is the corporation behind Boing Boing, a blog created and written by five people to share “mostly wonderful things.” For three decades, Boing Boing has reported on social, educational, political, scientific,

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How Amazon’s Accounting Makes Rich People’s Income Invisible

January 18, 2018

By Steve Roth (reposted)

Image you’re Jeff Bezos, circa 1998. You’re building a company (Amazon) that stands to make you and your compatriots vastly rich.
But looking forward, you see a problem: if your company makes profits, it will have to pay taxes on them. (At least nominally, in theory, 35%!) Then you and your investors will have to pay taxes on them again when they’re distributed to you as dividends. (Though yes, at a far lower 20% rate than what high earners pay on earned income.) Add those two up over many years, and you’re talking tens, hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes.
You’re a very smart guy. How are you going to avoid that?
Simple: don’t show any profits (or, hence, distribute them as dividends). Consistently set prices so you

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