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Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday Water Cooler

In typically tepid, too-little-too-late style, Hillary has proposed a tax credit for businesses that hire apprentices (, a measure guaranteed to accelerate (not stem) the ongoing crapification of American jobs. Does Ms. Clinton not get the idea that people need real, full-time, benefits-paid, non-poverty-wage jobs, in massive numbers? Is this her "jobs program"? Apprentice Nation? Really? [Insert Trump joke here!]

New AAP figures show e-book growth mostly flat (

WalMart is hiding $76 billion in offshore tax havens (

WalMart's (other) black mark ( "Cambodian workers producing garments for global retail giant WalMart say they are subjected to a slew of workplace abuses ranging from forced labour to sexual harassment."

Programmed to kill: U.S. Navy's unmanned X-47B.
Rise of robotic killing machines has a cautious world talking ( Drones, not droids, will do the killing, without human oversight, in some cases.

Mt. Everest could be ice-free by end of century (

Sanders has 200,000 donors ( and the Koch brothers have every reason to be afraid.

Republican conservative base shrinks ( "The percentage of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who describe themselves as both social and economic conservatives has dropped to 42%, the lowest level Gallup has measured since 2005."

Why the Warren Buffett Economy's Days Are Numbered ( Read Part 4 of David Stockman's series on the U.S. economy and learn why current unemployment statistics are pure nonsense.

World Bank urges Fed inaction ( "We at the World Bank have just switched on the seat belt sign." World Bank joins IMF in urging Fed not to act. Apparently the QE bubble  world economy is a precious delicate snowflake that can't withstand even a 25-basis-point Fed rate hike.

IMF Says Inequality Is Hurting Growth, Calls For Wealth Redistribution ( The full study (PDF) is here. "High and sustained levels of inequality, especially inequality of opportunity, can entail large social costs." Ironically, the same International Monetary Fund that has called so many times for cuts in social programs in Greece is now saying income should be redistributed.

Historic bond move is upon us ( Yields rise as worldwide selloff continues. The inevitable recoil response to years of wanton QE.

Chinese hack got "crown jewels" ( Intelligence sources compromised.

What is code? ( An extremely long(winded) post, at 31,000 words, but a good read.

College textbooks are absurdly expensive for no good reason (

Hagoromo Fulltouch Chalk is going out of business. Chalk fanatics are panicking.

Why Mathematicians Are Hoarding This Special Type of Japanese Chalk ( Might I suggest looking into a soft pastel by Sennelier instead? Around $3 a stick, but oh so worth it.

Why Congress should not cut funding to the social sciences (WaPo).

Join us here every Friday for freakonomic news of the weird and workish! Share the link, please!


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