|—||Middle Class Political Economist: Basics: Real Wages Remain Below Their Peak for 39th Straight Year|
Not that we’re that sensible:
“…Petrol prices in America are substantially below levels elsewhere in the rich world, and this is almost entirely due to the rock bottom level of petrol tax rates. The low cost of petrol encourages greater dependence; the average American uses much more oil per day than other rich world citizens. This dependence also impacts infrastructure investment choices, leading to substantially more spending on highways than transit alternatives. And this, in turn, reduces the ability of American households to substitute away from driving when oil prices rise.
“There are any number of good reasons to raise the petrol tax rate. The current rate no longer brings in enough money to cover current highway spending. Petrol taxes are an efficient way to raise revenue, and the government needs revenue; President Obama’s deficit commission recommended an increase in the federal petrol tax rate. Burning oil produces carbon emissions, and dearer fuel would reduce America’s sky-high per capita carbon footprint. But a higher tax rate would also diminish the possibility that a sudden rise in oil prices would throw the economy into recession. That would be a nice risk to minimise! And yes, higher tax rates would hit consumers just like rising oil prices. But those prices are rising anyway; better to capture the revenue and use it, all while improving behaviour….”
& not to mention that proactive weaning off of petroleum before post-peak declines force the issue is probably the less painful choice . … .
…Stahl recalled one of her most famous stories for “60 Minutes” — an expose on the 1984 Reagan re-election campaign that aired the night before the election. In a blitz of images showing a benevolent Reagan appearing at nursing home openings and hospitals, Stahl narrated that Reagan had, in fact, cut the budget for such projects. Stahl feared the backlash of the White House the next day; instead, phone calls of praise began to pour in from Reagan’s administration thanking her for the “positive” newscast and free advertising the night before. Stahl was befuddled. Her broadcast was obviously meant to question Reagan’s budget cuts.
It was then that she was told a stark reality that the news media had not been aware of before: “No one heard what you had to say in that piece,” Reagan’s staffer told her. “They just saw the pictures.”
It was then that Stahl realized the pure power of pictures. “Pictures drowned out my words,” she said. “Pictures are emotional and passionate and are capable of influencing viewers much more than mere words. We form judgments about what we see, and our leaders are aware of this. Visual images are much more powerful and remain with us longer.”…
…Despite manufacturers’ coded claims that multivitamins ward off chronic illness…a large 2009 study of postmenopausal women published in Archives of Internal Medicine found that multis didn’t protect against any of the diseases studied, including heart disease and lung, breast, and colon cancer. A 2011 study involving nearly 39,000 women reached similar conclusions.
What’s more, if you’re the kind of person who takes a multi you may literally be pissing away your hard-earned dollars. According to another oft-cited study, typical vitamin users are more likely than nonusers to get their quota from food alone. And with so many fortified products crowding supermarket shelves, it’s not hard to exceed recommended daily limits for certain vitamins and minerals. In some cases, that can be dangerous. Several studies link excessive folic acid intake—the amount you might get from popping a multi and eating two bowls of Total—with lesions that can lead to colorectal cancers. For seniors, who usually get all the iron they need from fortified rice, cereals, and sliced breads, a multi with iron can increase the risk of heart disease. And pregnant women who pop standard multis containing the retinol form of vitamin A may boost the likelihood of birth defects. (Prenatal vitamins are formulated to be very low in retinol.)…
Map of US Military and CIA Interventions since World War II
“We came, We saw, We destroyed, We forgot” by William Blum
An updated summary of the charming record of US foreign policy. Since the end of the Second World War, the United States of America has …
1. Attempted to overthrow more than 50 governments, most of which were democratically-elected.
2. Attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries.
3. Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries.
4. Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries.
5. Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.
In total: Since 1945, the United States has carried out one or more of the above actions, on one or more occasions, in the following 69 countries (more than one-third of the countries of the world):
- British Guiana (now Guyana)
- Congo (also as Zaire)
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- East Timor
- El Salvador
- Germany (plus East Germany)
- North Korea
- South Africa
- Soviet Union
- Vietnam (plus North Vietnam)
- Yemen (plus South Yemen)
The first democratically elected government the CIA overthrew was actually Iran’s in 1953 through Operation Ajax. Democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadiq and his National Front Party planned on nationalizing the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now known as BP). To protect British interests, the CIA and MI6 overthrew Mossadiq, reinstalled the Shah, and set up a secret police known as SAVAK. Until the Iranian Revolution in 1979, the Shah and SAVAK killed over 20,000 Iranians.
|—||Two Points on the Bloomberg Article on Wall Street Bonuses: Rentiers and Bonus Culture | Rortybomb|