Interesting & Important News & Analysis, November 7, 2019

I thought I was done with the security-system config issue. However, a cropped reply from a vendor sent me back to it. I narrowed down the problem a bit more, but doing so did take away from time spent on other matters, such as getting this post out. For that and other reasons (updates, updates, updates), another day and a half went by before posting.

Russia is reportedly ‘going all in’ on Libya conflict

While there is fear Hifter would rule Libya as a military strongman, Russia and the other foreign powers appear to appreciate that attribute. They believe he’s the best chance to stave off the rise of political Islam in the country.

I would hardly call it “going all in.” Regardless, it’s not mere political Islam that they fear. It’s extreme anti-monarchical sharia for some and just extreme sharia for others.

Putin hates Islamic terrorists, such as al Qaeda and the “Islamic State.” They pose a real terrorist threat to not only Russia but the entire rest of the planet if left unchecked.

The US has continually made the huge error of “using” Islamic maniacs to cause trouble for those the US neocons and so-called liberal interventionists want to topple, such as Putin. The terrorists have always come back to indiscriminately bite the American people. Putin’s approach is vastly superior, though I’d rather have global peace; but, I think Putin would to.

There’s a big dust-up, as the Brits call it, over who’s right, Bernie or Elizabeth, concerning taxes and M4A. Try as I have, I’ve not been able to get the ball rolling with the truth that neither has the right approach.

Before I say more, I want to make clear that before I ever heard of MMT (Modern Monetary Theory) or any of the founders of that economic school of thought, I knew full-well that government money didn’t come by way of taxing but by way of the government issuing the money while also issuing interest-bearing debt to match. The government issuing interest-bearing debt is not only completely unnecessary, it’s actually totally counter-productive. It’s a scam. It’s the way the major banks control the money supply rather than the money supply being completely controlled democratically directly by the People. It’s how the banks stay in business in such a high place in the economy. It’s why they were bailed out when the rest of us weren’t. They created the Federal Reserve System for themselves, not for the People.

So, how should M4A be funded? That’s easy. The government should simply issues the money and not issue any debt when doing so.

That would put some inflationary pressure on the economy because it would free up all, and I main all, of the money currently going into paying premiums. There would be all that money added to the money supply while goods and services wouldn’t have ramped up already to match the new supply of dollars. Of course, many bright people would pay down debts and also put money away as savings. Others, however, would spend on necessities first and then, finally, to get things they simply want but don’t really need. It’s that last part that would be most inflationary.

If the economy were to heat up too much, if we were to start experiencing too much price inflation, we would simply tax excess money out of the system.

The issue would be in fine tuning the new system. We’d have to be careful as to how much tax to apply to have a smooth landing, so to speak. It’s much as the Fed does now with interest rates. It’s quite doable, especially if we have one public bank, the US Treasury, not the Fed, handling the entire thing on automatic pilot via algorithms tweaked the way interest rates are tweaked but in real time.

Naturally, the bankers hate this whole idea. That shouldn’t stop us from bringing it forth. We need M4A and plenty more too. There’s no shortage of money. There’s only a shortage of will. The bankers know it. Now you do too. They hate that. They don’t want you to know. They especially don’t want you spreading it now that you do. It’s why you haven’t read it in the MSM (yet).

Steven Rattner’s Rant Against Warren

Apple pledges $2.5B to expand affordable housing in California

“In an ideal world where local governments had enough money for infrastructure, where people who already live in communities weren’t desperate to pull up the drawbridge against anyone new moving in and were elected officials were courageous enough to stand up and say we need more homes …. Tech companies wouldn’t need to be asked to do this,” Schwartz told Smart Cities Dive. “Unfortunately, those conditions don’t exist, so in this world tech companies do need to show leadership. They can help with money and by creating space for elected officials to be braver and approve new long-term measures.”

Which country offers the cheapest mobile data?

India, where fewer than 2% of users connect over a landline, has the cheapest average data cost at just 26 US cents per gigabyte, according to a survey of over 6,000 mobile data plans in 230 countries.

In the United States, the average cost of a gigabyte of data is more than $12, putting it at number 182 in the rankings.

How about ranking the cost by income and other expenses?

Is Rising Concentration Hampering Productivity Growth?

Running out of excuses for high inequality

In a recent article, Alex Bell, Raj Chetty, Xavier Jaravel, Neviana Petkova and John van Reenan found that higher taxes on the wealthy would not cause a reduction in the number who chose innovative career paths. Instead, what drove them to become innovators had more to do with other factors other than monetary rewards, such as their exposure to innovators at early stages of their lives.

Between theory and empirical evidence, the argument that we need to accept high inequality to achieve greater innovation does not have strong support. Tax policy needs to consider not only how the money is raised but also how it is spent. How many more promising young innovators in disadvantaged communities could emerge if every school had a great entrepreneurship program?

The success of Silicon Valley itself owes much to government research programs — funded by tax revenues. Those who want to protect the wealthy from taxes will have to look elsewhere for an economic rationale.

America Will Keep Losing Its Middle Class as Long as “The Free Market” Dominates the Economic Debate

The goal of a truly successful and workable industrial policy should be to create an environment that supports and sustains value creation and that socializes the benefits of the R&D for society as a whole, rather than simply licensing it or selling it on to private companies so that it just becomes a vehicle that sustains rent extraction for private profits alone.

We are slowly but surely starting to move away from market fundamentalism, but we still have yet to make the full conceptual leap toward a sustainable industrial policy that creates an economy for all. At least this is now becoming a fit discussion as far as policy making goes, as many of the neoliberal shibboleths of the past 40 years are gradually being reconsidered and abandoned. That is a start.

Why Secondary and Tertiary Markets Present a Compelling Multifamily Investment Opportunity

Rising construction and labor costs contribute to the lack of supply, as does the fact that most multifamily housing built in the last 10 years is class-A. When you look at the cost to build new multifamily product, higher rents are necessary to make the project profitable unless a tax credit or subsidy is in place.

Should You Consider Investment Properties Constructed with These Building Materials?

Routine Replacement Expenses: “Multifamily’ s Dirty Little Secret”

Latest Data Show Trump’s Most Touted Economic Policies Have Failed US Workers

By far, the largest chunk of the tax cut that President Trump pushed through Congress in 2017 was slashing the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. This was justified in part by the idea that the lower tax rate would go along with an elimination of loopholes.

By closing loopholes, revenues collected would be something closer to the legislated tax rate. It also would reduce the resources wasted in tax avoidance. The other justification for the lower tax rate was that it would lead to an investment boom. This was the basis for the claim that the growth from the tax cut would allow it to pay for itself. More rapid growth was supposed to lead to higher tax revenue, more than offsetting the reduction in revenue from the tax cut.

It is now very clear that neither part of this story is true.

Protesters in Chile Have Been ‘Murdered, Tortured, and Disappeared’

Chile’s President Piñera says foreign intervention and a conspiracy are behind the recent protests. But protesters say what’s happening is an explosion of long-contained rage against poverty, inequality, and oppression.

Study Shows Age Not a Major Factor in Brain Changes Among Youth Football Players

UT Study: Earthquakes in West Texas Have Dramatically Increased

… earthquake activity coincided with a large increase in oil and gas production in West Texas ….

With a Laser, Researchers Say They Can Hack Alexa, Google Home or Siri

… they had discovered that the microphones in the devices would respond to light as if it were sound. Inside each microphone is a small plate called a diaphragm that moves when sound hits it.

That movement can be replicated by focusing a laser or a flashlight at the diaphragm, which converts it into electric signals, they said. The rest of the system then responds the way it would to sound.

Brooklyn Hospital Loses Patient Data In Ransomware Attack

While the notification to patients indicates that the hospital did not give in to the criminal demands, which is recommended by both the infosec community and law enforcement, it also suggests that Brooklyn Hospital Center did not have a proper backup system implemented.

Experts: Don’t reboot your computer after you’ve been infected with ransomware

… two stages of a ransomware recovery process they have to go through.

The first is finding the ransomware’s artifacts — such as processes and boot persistence mechanisms — and removing them from an infected host.

Second is restoring the data if a backup mechanism is available.

It’s the DNC, Stupid: Democratic Party, Not Russia, Has Delegitimized the Democratic Process

… how can one expect the outcome of a 2020 Democratic Primary — or even the general election – to be any fairer or transparent than 2016?

Right when China, and totalitarian dictator Xi in particular, are starting to really feel it, everyone in the US is supposed to get cold feet and cave into the whining of the “free marketeers.”

Chinese exporters start to take trade war hit – but US consumers also hurting, UN study shows

$11 trillion U.S. mortgage market has a shadowy new player

Quicken Loans Chief Executive Officer Jay Farner said the focus should be on an institution’s capital and its ability to withstand fluctuations in the economy, rather than on whether it’s a bank or nonbank.

“We’re better capitalized than 93, 94% of the FDIC-insured institutions,” he said.

That may be true, but they are FDIC insured where Quicken Loans is not. It matters.

Cost vs. Value 2019 | National | Remodeling

Wow, take no hostages.

Saagar Enjeti: ABC caught red-handed covering for Epstein

Gabor Maté on the misuse of anti-Semitism and why fewer Jews identify with Israel

Physician, mental health expert, and best-selling author Dr. Gabor Maté, a survivor of the Nazi Holocaust, offers a personal and historical perspective on anti-Semitism, Zionism, and Israel-Palestine.

You’ll need to listen for a bit before Kim really gets into territory I’m pretty sure will be completely new to the vast majority of you.

The Real Reason Hillary Clinton is Attacking Tulsi Gabbard

BTW, being a great deal older than Kim, let me add that the “Center for a New American Security” is really a replay of the “Project for a New American Century”: still totally neocon but with a new “liberal” twist. Hillary isn’t so much bitter as attempting to be a good false-propagandist. Well, the new generations have apparently had it with false propaganda, thank God!