News: Real Estate, Risk, Economics. Oct. 10, 2017

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Table of Contents
(Click to sections below.)

1) White House wants to end Social Security numbers as a national ID | Ars Technica

2) Indiana's Tax Cuts Under Mike Pence Are Not a Model for the Nation

3) This Is What a Real Middle-Class Tax Cut Would Look Like – The Atlantic

4) Security Bugs in Dnsmasq Affect Computers, Smartphones, Routers, IoT Devices

5) I Just Sold Half of My Rental Portfolio. Here's Why That Should Make You Nervous!

6) Return of the Tooth Fairies ["dynamic scoring" is a farce] | Econbrowser

7) Tax Cuts, Sold as Fuel for Growth, Widen Gap Between Rich and Poor – The New York Times

8) Homebuyers rush to riskier mortgages as home prices heat up

9) Houston Considers Flood Control Projects While Recovering from Harvey

10) Trouble in the Making? The Future of Manufacturing-Led Development

11) How We Think About the Deficit Is Mostly Wrong – The New York Times

12) Have the past 35 years really been as great as Philip Hammond says? | TUC

13) Public Banking advances in Los Angeles as receptive City Officials meet with Public Bank Team – Public Banking Institute

14) Trump Wants to Curtail Flood Insurance in Flood-Prone Areas

15) Trump Administration Seeks $29B in Hurricane Disaster Relief Funds

16) Man Arrested for Burning Down Mobile Home, Insurance Fraud | South Carolina News | US News

17) Houston-Area Residents: Toxic Chemicals Found in Soil, Water After Plant Fire

18) US Rents Are Getting More Affordable—as the Renters Get Richer | National Real Estate Investor

19) Treasury Plan Calls for Easing Dozens of Wall Street Rules – Bloomberg

20) Best places to buy rental property 2017 – Business Insider

21) Big Tech has big plans to help reconnect Puerto Rico – ABC News

22) Your Local Bank Could Be the Central Bank – Bloomberg

23) Hurricanes Cause Job Loss, But Household Survey Points to New Low in Unemployment Rate

24) The Catalan Question and the Future of Europe | Outside the Box Investment Newsletter | Mauldin Economics

25) DOD, HUD Defrauded Taxpayers Of $21 Trillion From 1998 To 2015

26) Cryptocurrencies: How hackers and fraudsters are causing chaos in the world of digital financial transactions | The Independent

27) Policies easing impact of job automation backed by most in US | Pew Research Center

28) Massive fires in Napa and Sonoma counties burn structures, force evacuations, close hospitals – SFGate

29) 10 dead as Wine Country fires burn at least 1,500 structures, force evacuations – SFGate

30) Santa Rosa Fire: Hundreds of structures burned, hospitals evacuated | The Sacramento Bee

31) Carbon Emissions From Soil Could Lead To 'Unstoppable' Global Warming

32) US Already Ties Record Year for Costly Weather Disasters

  1.    White House wants to end Social Security numbers as a national ID | Ars Technica

    It's about time. The US government is examining the use of a "modern cryptographic identifier."

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  2.    Indiana's Tax Cuts Under Mike Pence Are Not a Model for the Nation

    Since the signing of these tax cuts, average income growth in Indiana has trailed both the national average and the level of growth seen in neighboring states, as seen in Figure 2.

    Indiana's recent economic performance, while better than some tax-cutting states such as Kansas, has not been particularly "tremendous." Trump has argued that "it's time for Washington to learn from the wisdom of Indiana." But with officials such as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin publicly asserting that their proposed tax cuts will lead to supercharged economic growth, it's important to recognize that Indiana's experience offers no evidence in support of such wild claims.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  3.    This Is What a Real Middle-Class Tax Cut Would Look Like – The Atlantic

    … a $1 trillion expansion to the EITC. The plan would give about 50 million households an average tax benefit of roughly $3,000 ….

    For one, that would help your renters more easily afford their rent payments.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  4.    Security Bugs in Dnsmasq Affect Computers, Smartphones, Routers, IoT Devices

    The race is on. Patch/update before the hackers learn the exploits.

    … seven vulnerabilities are sneakily dangerous because they affect Dnsmasq, a tool that provides a simple DNS server, DNS forwarder, route advertisement, and DHCP capabilities for the devices it is embedded with.

    Unknown to most users is that Dnsmasq is currently deployed with Linux and its various modified distributions used for IoT devices and SOHO routers, but also in Android-based devices.

    You may not necessarily be using it, but:

    Example info on it's use: https://wiki.debian.org/HowTo/dnsmasq

    Helpful additional info on the bug and uppdates: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/10/02  /dnsmasq_flaws/

    Regardless, you should update in my opinion.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  5.    I Just Sold Half of My Rental Portfolio. Here's Why That Should Make You Nervous!

    I think it's called motivational-challenge marketing (if not, it should be).

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  6.    Return of the Tooth Fairies ["dynamic scoring" is a farce] | Econbrowser

    The sooner everybody comes to understand that "dynamic scoring" is a farce the better things will be.

    The Reagan tax cut did have a positive effect on the economy, but the prosperity of the '80s is overrated in the Republican mind. In fact, aggregate real gross domestic product growth was higher in the '70s — 37.2 percent vs. 35.9 percent.

    Moreover, GOP tax mythology usually leaves out other factors that also contributed to growth in the 1980s: First was the sharp reduction in interest rates by the Federal Reserve. The fed funds rate fell by more than half, from about 19 percent in July 1981 to about 9 percent in November 1982. Second, Reagan's defense buildup and highway construction programs greatly increased the federal government's purchases of goods and services. This is textbook Keynesian economics.

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  7.    Tax Cuts, Sold as Fuel for Growth, Widen Gap Between Rich and Poor – The New York Times

    "We have not paid enough attention to macro distributional linkages," said Jonathan D. Ostry, deputy head of research at the International Monetary Fund, who has published groundbreaking research linking inequality and growth. "Even if you are only interested in the aggregate gains, you are forced to think about equity, because equity matters for the aggregate. The distribution might come back to bite you."

    That's a fact! I've been writing that for years and years.

    Laffer has been shown he's wrong. He pushed his plan in Kansas and sank Kansas. Why is he being allowed to get away with it?

    The answer is the greed of those who know he's wrong but get more of the pie by duping people.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  8.    Homebuyers rush to riskier mortgages as home prices heat up

    The number of adjustable-rate mortgage originations jumped just over 40 percent from the first quarter of this year to the second.

    Homebuyers rush to riskier mortgages as home prices heat up from CNBC.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  9.    Houston Considers Flood Control Projects While Recovering from Harvey

    "If you spend money on the front end on mitigation projects, you'll save a lot of money and potential loss of life on the back end."

    Prevention!

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  10.    Trouble in the Making? The Future of Manufacturing-Led Development

    Companies once influenced by the prospect of inexpensive labor costs are beginning to favor locations that can better take advantage of new technologies.

    … according to the report, the threat of automation to today's jobs may be a relatively modest two to eight percent for developing economies.

    How can countries prepare for change? ….

    … lower trade restrictions on manufactured goods, and lower trade restrictions on services.

    Automation taking only two to eight percent is nonsense. These people want you to believe that profitable automation will hit some ceiling. It won't. There is no way that human labor will be able to remain competitive with automation.

    Naturally, that means lowering trade restrictions won't have anything but a temporary impact (often a negative one regardless).

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  11.    How We Think About the Deficit Is Mostly Wrong – The New York Times

    Stephanie isn't telling the whole story. She's a leading MMTer is mostly why. The whole story must include the fact that we don't need to increase the deficit or increase or cut taxes to pay for a massive increase in government funding/spending. The only issue is price inflation, which can be handled via planning and not simply by limiting ourselves to current unused capabilities. We can fund increasing our capabilities. If we do that properly, we can grow our economy as never before and without any inflation problems. I've been telling the MMTers this for nearly a decade.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  12.    Have the past 35 years really been as great as Philip Hammond says? | TUC

    Over the past 35 years, prosperity has increasingly slipped through our fingers. Real earnings, economic growth, unemployment, inequality and even the very conventional measures of productivity and the public finances all performed worse over the past 35 years than they did in the 'bad old' 35 years before that.

    Margaret Thatcher's economics guru was Friedrich Hayek. Hayek was wrong.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  13.    Public Banking advances in Los Angeles as receptive City Officials meet with Public Bank Team – Public Banking Institute

    The wave …

    It's part of the movement to progressivism versus the plutocracy we're still unfortunately under. Most people have no idea how much money is unnecessarily counter-productively leeched off towns, cities, counties, and states by gigantic commercial banks.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  14.    Trump Wants to Curtail Flood Insurance in Flood-Prone Areas

    … climate activists, who have battled Trump, called the idea smart.

    I agree with them.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  15.    Trump Administration Seeks $29B in Hurricane Disaster Relief Funds

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  16.    Man Arrested for Burning Down Mobile Home, Insurance Fraud | South Carolina News | US News

    York County Sheriff's Office spokesman Trent Faris says Baldwin is accused of burning down the mobile home ….

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  17.    Houston-Area Residents: Toxic Chemicals Found in Soil, Water After Plant Fire

    This is why environmental deregulation is generally a bad idea.

    In 2016, an analysis led by Texas A&M University researchers identified Arkema's facility as one of the biggest risks in a corridor with the country's greatest concentration of petrochemical plants.

    Obviously, that plant should not have been there considering the lack of environmental regulation concerning CO2 global warming. The Houston area's deficient codes and zoning is a huge issue too.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  18.    U.S. Rents Are Getting More Affordable—as the Renters Get Richer | National Real Estate Investor

    … there's currently a shortage of more than 7 million housing units affordable to the poorest U.S. households, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  19.    Treasury Plan Calls for Easing Dozens of Wall Street Rules – Bloomberg

    These are all bad ideas. If we go down the deregulation path advocated by the libertarians again, we'll have another crash, only worse. Meanwhile, they'll bet it will happen.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  20.    Best places to buy rental property 2017 – Business Insider

    … HomeUnion analyzed 30 rental markets to determine which have the best local economies, the highest annual investment returns after operating costs (including insurance, taxes, and maintenance), and the strongest real estate market conditions considering rent increases, rent-to-income ratios, turnover times, and supply of new construction.

    I would never do this without including catastrophic-risk analysis, which would include the government's plans to prevent and mitigate, etc.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  21.    Big Tech has big plans to help reconnect Puerto Rico – ABC News

    This is a first on this scale: so many companies and with so much news coverage about it all. Let's make sure there will be plans quickly put into place for massive public and private coordination going forward with future catastrophes.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  22.    Your Local Bank Could Be the Central Bank – Bloomberg

    If history is any guide, central banks will reassert their minting monopoly by prohibiting private currencies and making the national e-minted 'fedcoins' the only legal e-tender. Whatever they decide, remaining on the sidelines is no longer an option.

    I've been clear about my position on this for some time now. The libertarian/anarchist capitalist framework is ripe for crime. We've seen that with Bitcoin and ransomware and other criminal vectors. While I'm fundamentally opposed to the private/public system known as The Federal Reserve, I'm solidly for a single national currency (and, in fact, a single international one after a number of democratic preliminaries have been met). I'd much rather the US Treasury were the central bank of the US, and I'd rather the decision about how much money to have in circulation to avoid the bad types of price deflation and price inflation be regulated via equations untouchable by crony representative-politics.

    Regardless, the discussion began many years ago and I trust it will continue gaining steam.

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  23.    Hurricanes Cause Job Loss, But Household Survey Points to New Low in Unemployment Rate | Jobs Bytes | Data Bytes | Publications | The Center for Economic and Policy Research

    The impact of the hurricanes has to work through the system before we'll really know where we are on the unemployment/wage/inflation front.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  24.    The Catalan Question and the Future of Europe | Outside the Box Investment Newsletter | Mauldin Economics

    In France Macron has sketched out a plan that includes the first pan-European taxes, Franco-German tax harmonization, and a common eurozone budget. But although German politicians have made encouraging noises, the Free Democrats, chancellor Angela Merkel's likely new partners in a "Jamaica coalition" have so far spoken coolly about any possible steps towards a fiscal transfer union.

    The FDP, which is likely to take the finance ministry in a new coalition government, prefers a strengthened version of the current Fiscal Compact backed by a beefed-up European Stability Mechanism. Whether such a formula will be sufficient in a future downturn is doubtful. A fiscal transfer union would stand far more chance of averting an existential crisis for the eurozone.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  25.    DOD, HUD Defrauded Taxpayers Of $21 Trillion From 1998 To 2015

    We cover economics, risk, and real estate via this blog, and this linked article goes to the heart of each.

    The accounting "errors" are so huge and frequent that it is a near certainty (statistically/probabilistically astronomically unlikely) that they aren't intentional for the most part.

    Where is the money going, and why are we allowing it to continue?

    Why isn't there a rule that all accounting errors will count against future money releases? Is it because of "national defense and security"? Cut the money off and the fraud will stop very quickly. We'd be more and not less secure. The homeless would be better off too.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  26.    Cryptocurrencies: How hackers and fraudsters are causing chaos in the world of digital financial transactions | The Independent

    In case you we're still wondering why we haven't, and won't, accept Bitcoin or anything of the like …

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  27.    Policies easing impact of job automation backed by most in US | Pew Research Center

    This is very interesting.

    I encourage automation to replace all required work. Of course, I don't want automation doing a worse job then the best humans could do at the same job.

    The most interesting thing though is the question as to just what people who don't agree with a guaranteed living income regardless of automation taking jobs expect people to do. Just what would those displaced workers be expected to do to pay for goods and services to survive? Have those opposed to the guarantee really thought it through? The inevitable result of their position is that people would be left to starve to death and such or turn to massive crime to survive. That's unacceptable.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  28.    Massive fires in Napa and Sonoma counties burn structures, force evacuations, close hospitals – SFGate

    This was just breaking news when I added it to this aggregation.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  29.    10 dead as Wine Country fires burn at least 1,500 structures, force evacuations – SFGate

    Well, it's not just breaking anymore: terrible fires.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  30.    Santa Rosa Fire: Hundreds of structures burned, hospitals evacuated | The Sacramento Bee

    Very bad …

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  31.    Carbon Emissions From Soil Could Lead To 'Unstoppable' Global Warming

    From what I've been given to understand, mulching is a major way to not only reduce soil releasing carbon but also a way to sequester a great deal of the CO2 released since the beginning of AGW.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.


  32.    U.S. Already Ties Record Year for Costly Weather Disasters

    Damage figures are adjusted for inflation; records for billion-dollar disasters go back to 1980.

    Add your comment. Including the article/link number will help.

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