economics, ethics, government

Should BILLIONAIRE$ pay less tax than YOU?

Someone in the American IRS leaked to Propublica:

  • Warren Buffett ~ 0.10% true tax rate
  • Jeff Bezos ~ 0.98% true tax rate
  • Michael Bloomberg ~ 01.30% true tax rate
  • Elon Musk ~ 3.27% true tax rate

What’s your true tax rate?

American politicians write complicated tax laws which result in loopholes used by the richest donors.

BUT — can it be fixed?

The best summary of the issue I’ve seen is the second podcast in this list.

The Story of Simone Biles The Daily

This episode contains mentions of sexual abuse.Simone Biles, 24, showed up on the national stage at 16, when she competed in and won the national championships. She equally impressed at her first Olympics, in 2016 in Rio.Going into the Tokyo Games this year, Ms. Biles — who is considered one of the greatest gymnasts of all time — was expected to win the all-around. So she shocked many this week when she pulled out of the competition.What prompted her decision?Guest: Juliet Macur, a sports reporter for The New York Times. Sign up here to get The Daily in your inbox each morning. And for an exclusive look at how the biggest stories on our show come together, subscribe to our newsletter. Background reading: Ms. Biles was widely embraced as the latest elite athlete who had the courage to acknowledge her vulnerability. In pulling out of the Olympics, she rejected a long tradition of stoicism in sports.By withdrawing from competition citing concerns over her mental health, Ms. Biles showed that resisting expectations could be more powerful than persisting through them.For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 
  1. The Story of Simone Biles
  2. Why Is China Expanding Its Nuclear Arsenal?
  3. The Saga of Congress’s Jan. 6 Investigation
  4. The Vaccine Mandate Conundrum
  5. Breakthrough Infections, Explained
economics, ethics, government

Smartmatic sues FOX for $2.7 billion

FOX just might lose this court case. That would really reduce future deliberate propaganda campaigns.

There are a number of other court cases against the same FOX bad actors already dropped and yet to come.

Smartmatic is a multinational company that builds and implements electronic voting systems.

BUT during the 2020 election their product was used only in one California county.

FOX and the the Four Seasons Total Landscaping lawyer knew this — yet deliberately waged a “disinformation campaign” blaming Smartmatic for election fraud.

Damages were done to the company. Perhaps $600 million. It should be easy to prove their case.

On February 4, 2021, Smartmatic sued Fox CorporationFox News Network, and its anchors Lou DobbsMaria Bartiromo, and Jeanine Pirro for $2.7 billion in the New York State Supreme Court as well as Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, who spread baseless claims of election fraud on Fox.

The 276-page complaint alleges that Fox, its anchors, Guiliani, and Powell spread a “conspiracy to defame and disparage Smartmatic and its election technology and software” by making new business opportunities increasingly scarce.

wikipedia

Here’s a FOX host talking to Giuliani, for example.

economics, health & fitness

Post Corona optimism

Over the past year my main economics / tech guru has been Professor Scott Galloway.

He summarized his thinking in a new book:

Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity

I’ve not been so optimistic about the future since February 2020.

IF we can survive another 6 months or so — psychologically, financially — we could see another boom like the Roaring Twenties.

A new Roaring Twenties.

… a period of economic prosperity … Everything seemed possible through modern technology …

That’s how people reacted after the pandemic of 1918.

We got lucky this time. Vaccine technology has improved so quickly that I’m likely to get the Oxford before having to join the herd immunity segment of the population.

IF the majority of the population has either had the virus or taken one of the vaccines, I might be able to avoid it myself.

IF only 5% of those who were infected have lifelong problems — and most of those not too serious — …

OK. This is the most optimistic scenario.

Hope for the best. Plan for the worst.

books, economics, ethics, Facebook, internet, product complaints

Zucked by Roger McNamee (2019)

Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe

Roger McNamee was early mentor to Mark Zuckerberg. And an early investor.

A big Facebook promoter.

ZUCKED is McNamee’s intimate reckoning with the catastrophic failure of the head of one of the world’s most powerful companies to face up to the damage he is doing.

I’ve not heard any other critic as astute, nor as fair, as to exactly why Facebook is harming and even killing some of their customers around the world.

As Facebook is unable to police itself, governments should step in.

books, economics, education, ethics, government, happiness, human rights, internet

The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly

Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future

The Inevitable is a 2016 nonfiction book by Kevin Kelly that forecasts the twelve technological forces that will shape the next thirty years:

  1. Becoming: Moving from fixed products to always upgrading services and subscriptions
  2. Cognifying: Making everything much smarter using cheap powerful AI that we get from the cloud
  3. Flowing: Depending on unstoppable streams in real time for everything
  4. Screening: Turning all surfaces into screens
  5. Accessing: Shifting society from one where we own assets to one where instead we will have access to services at all times.
  6. Sharing: Collaboration at mass scale. Kelly writes, “On my imaginary Sharing Meter Index we are still at 2 out of 10.”
  7. Filtering: Harnessing intense personalization in order to anticipate our desires
  8. Remixing: Unbundling existing products into their most primitive parts and then recombining in all possible ways
  9. Interacting: Immersing ourselves inside our computers to maximize their engagement
  10. Tracking: Employing total surveillance for the benefit of citizens and consumers
  11. Questioning: Promoting good questions is far more valuable than good answers
  12. Beginning: Constructing a planetary system connecting all humans and machines into a global matrix

Though it might sound scary, the book is surprisingly upbeat and optimistic about the future.

Kevin Kelly (born 1952) is the founding executive editor of Wired magazine, and a former editor/publisher of the Whole Earth Review.

Amazon

 

economics, ethics, Facebook

Would you pay for ad-free Facebook?

I would.

In addition I’d want personal controls over my feed.

As Professor Galloway points out so clearly, it’s the algorithm driving monetization that causes MOST of the problems with Facebook.

Both right and left leaning Americans are convinced that Facebook currently is biased against their beliefs. Both GOP and DEMs want to change Facebook.

Facebook is a private company and can do anything it wants — unless laws are changed. And they will be.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ad-free-facebook.jpeg
Results of one online survey.

Facebook would continue their free service with advertising, of course.

Click PLAY or watch it on Twitter.