Upsetment
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Upsetment
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Fact-checking Donald Trump’s speech to the Detroit Economic Club

Fact-checking Donald Trump’s speech to the Detroit Economic Club | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Donald Trump's economic speech was filled with facts and figures, but they were not always reliable.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
For the most part, Mr. Trump seems to be making a lot of stuff up and distorting other things. Here's a decent fact check of his economic speech. Please note that I post such fact checks about both candidates' speeches when I can. Hopefully, Sect. Clinton will be more real in her remarks. 
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Clean energy won’t save us – only a new economic system can do that

Clean energy won’t save us – only a new economic system can do that | Upsetment | Scoop.it
It’s time to pour our creative energies into imagining a new global economy. Infinite growth is a dangerous illusion
Kenneth Weene's insight:
A thought provoking article about the sustainability of our way of life. Perhaps it is climate change and global warming  that we should fear but the growth of an economy that is beyond sustainability.
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How psychologists used these doctored Obama photos to get white people to support conservative politics

How psychologists used these doctored Obama photos to get white people to support conservative politics | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The results show one reason why Obama's presidency has been so divisive.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
While these studies have design flaws and deal with tiny differences, I thought them worth noting. The complex interplay of race and economics in American politics is a topic deserving of much research. 
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Bernie’s greatest legacy: Suddenly, it’s OK to question capitalism!

Bernie’s greatest legacy: Suddenly, it’s OK to question capitalism! | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Sanders will never be president, but he unveiled an explosive political truth: Capitalism has eaten democracy
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The real problem is that we don't have capitalism in America. First and foremost, the capitalist system requires information in the marketplace, and let's be realistic, the American consumers have next to know real information.Second, it requires real competition between producers. Duh, in America? Third it requires easy flow of capital from investment to investment. Not happening here. Fourth, it can only exist when the government willingly takes on the economic tasks that do not lend themselves to profit or from which profit should not be gained, such as building roads, operating police forces, running prisons and courts. Our government has ground to a halt on many of those or is distorting them by outsourcing. The goal of capitalism was never the amassing of wealth but the best system of distribution of goods and services. To that goal, it provides a method of valuation that should be based one real utility. Clearly, in today's skewed economy, capitalism has failed. 
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Democrats are wasting their time obsessing over this Depression-era law

Democrats are wasting their time obsessing over this Depression-era law | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The debate over the Glass-Steagall Act distracts from needed banking reforms.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The simple reality is that there has to be better oversight of the financial industry, including banking, investing, and insurance. The 2008 debacle was based the result of manipulative and exploitative behavior, especially in the creation of assembled debentures that hid real dangers. It was fueled by unbridled greed and and the profitability of churning markets. None of these would have been different if Glass-Steagall were in place. We need supervision of ethical practices and that takes a society that values ethics. 

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Conservative lawmakers weigh bid to call for constitutional convention

Conservative lawmakers weigh bid to call for constitutional convention | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Proponents seek a balanced budget amendment, but opponents say delegates could take up any issue.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I think it time for a new constitutional convention, but what makes the conservatives think the American people will support the amendments that the right wants? The only thing they think we all agree on is that the government needs over the long haul to balance its budget. However, even that isn't totally clear since some government borrowing is necessary for the bond markets to function and for the government to be able to stabilize the economy. On  the other hand, there is great agreement on campaign finance, on appropriate checks on gun buyers, and on limiting the tax exemption of religious bodies. My guess is that a true constitutional convention could be very contentious with the right being the big losers. And, in the end, who's to say that the balanced budget amendment won't mandate tax on the wealthy rather than reduced spending on social welfare. My advice to the smart-ALECs. "Be careful of what you wish for, you may get it."

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As U.S. hits debt limit, Treasury takes steps to extend borrowing

As U.S. hits debt limit, Treasury takes steps to extend borrowing | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Treasury Department has started taking steps to extend the federal government's borrowing ability as the U.S. hits its debt limit again Monday, Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew told lawmakers Friday.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The farce that is Washington continues. A few simple suggestions: cut waste and interdepartmental duplication. Cut back on pentagon weapons procurement that is based on political goals instead of actual military requests. Offer rewards to government employees who save money by innovation. Increase taxes on corporations and the very wealthy. Reduce the number of foreign military bases. Require allies such as South Korea and Japan to help pay for American forces providing their protection. Increase grants that might lead to greater national income, such as to science and technology. Repair the infrastructure and improve the railroads; both of which will increase the current GNP and will provide for economic growth. It isn't rocket science to figure out that today's wealth concentration system is not the best economic model.

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Obama to Outline Proposals to Bolster a Lagging Housing Sector

Obama to Outline Proposals to Bolster a Lagging Housing Sector | Upsetment | Scoop.it
President Obama will seek to address the disappointing housing sector Thursday, lowering insurance rates on federally issued mortgages to first-time home buyers, minorities and struggling Americans.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Every America should have the possibility of a decent place to live. Private home ownership is good because it gives people a stake in their communities. However, artificially stimulating home ownership was one of the major causes of the last recession. Inducing banks to play with mortgages (and derivatives) was a fool's errand. We should not be going down that road again. If the government wants to encourage home ownership among the less wealthy, then build the housing and sell it to them for less. Guarantee mortgages as long as people are honestly trying to work and keep their homes, much as we give Social Security to those who become disabled and welfare to those who lose their jobs without fault of their own. But let us not play the mortgage tinkering game again.

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The Hole in Holder’s Legacy

The Hole in Holder’s Legacy | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Justice Department under Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. failed to prosecute cases related to the financial crisis.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The bottom line so often seems to be the bottom line. Our government no longer seems to be a balance between business and the public but is rather primarily a servant of corporations and the wealthy. We have moved back to the late nineteenth century. We need another Teddy Roosevelt to lead the charge up the hill of money.

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Kansas bond rating downgraded after tax cuts

Kansas bond rating downgraded after tax cuts | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Big tax cuts and no spending cuts means Kansas has to pay more to borrow.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Anybody for a Republican government? Somehow they just don't get it, those tickle down and increased revenues from tax cut ideas just don't work in the real world. 

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The Founding Fathers backed Thomas Piketty – and feared a powerful 1 percent

The Founding Fathers backed Thomas Piketty – and feared a powerful 1 percent | Upsetment | Scoop.it
This 4th of July, remember the truth about founding fathers, and their prescient warnings about income inequality
Kenneth Weene's insight:

If you don't know who Thomas Piketty is; no, he was not a founding father. He is a modern French economist who proposes a worldwide tax on wealth to stop the growth of inequality. Meanwhile, the review of the thought of some of our great American heroes is very instructive and interesting.

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Where the World's Unsold Cars Go To Die | Zero Hedge

Where the World's Unsold Cars Go To Die | Zero Hedge | Upsetment | Scoop.it
In the past several years, one of the topics covered in detail on these pages has been the surge in such gimmicks designed to disguise lack of demand and end customer sales, used extensively by US automotive manufacturers, better known as "channel stuffing", of which General Motors is particularly guilty and whose inventory at dealer lots just hit a new record high. But did you know that when it comes to flat or declining sales and stagnant end demand, channel stuffing is merely the beginning? Presenting... Where the World's Unsold Cars Go To Die
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is strong evidence that the "capitalist" system of Adam Smith is not the way our actual economic system is working. Excess supply should drive down prices or supply, but that isn't happening. Instead we have collusion among the manufacturers, which is why we need government supervision of markets.

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The Scariest Environmental Fact in the World | TIME.com

The Scariest Environmental Fact in the World | TIME.com | Upsetment | Scoop.it
China is burning almost as much coal as the rest of the world combined. We won't solve global warming until that changes
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Another example of why unbridled econmic growth is not the best plan for the world. What good is all that stuff if we end up breathing crap?

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Why Home Solar Panels No Longer Pay in Some States

Why Home Solar Panels No Longer Pay in Some States | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Utility regulators are upending the financial dynamics of residential solar as they try to meet their obligations to customers who don’t have roof panels.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
As a strong supporter of solar energy, I want to see home-solar supported, but more importantly we do have to have a workable electric grid that can deliver power for all. What really bothers me is the very end of this article, in which we find" He installed his panels “with the understanding that the rules were going to be the rules,” he said. “And then they changed the rules.” Now isn't that what businesses are always saying about government interference and rule making when it comes to profits? Yet, when it applies to their customers, these mega electric companies have no hesitation in doing the same to customers who might find a way to get ahead. When I was a kid, my brother would always change the rules of a game if I was winning. He was bigger and could get away with it. Maybe, that's just the way the world is; but I personally prefer fairness. Sure there have to be rule changes. But, when the government changes rules, it should compensate business for the cost. Certainly these customers should also be compensated. 
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Why Bigness Became a Bipartisan Cause on Capitol Hill

Why Bigness Became a Bipartisan Cause on Capitol Hill | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A source of anger in an election year
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The key ingredient for workable capitalism is the existence of free markets in which competitors can vie for customers with both price and quality and in which informed consumers can take advantage of that competition to search for the best deals. Today, the consumer-producer interface is almost non-existent as megalithic structures such as banks, holding companies, and box-stores have gobbled up the economy in a feeding-frenzy. Now, they are trying to take over the political process using unlimited money, hidden mechanisms like ACORN, and distraction possible by controlling the media. Will there be enough resistance to generate a new political party? Can we as a nation rethink and recreate our democratic system? From my perspective, we are facing not a slippery slope but a precipice. It is time for America to take herself back from the money changers. 
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Revealing his utter ignorance, Trump threatens to default on U.S. debt and crash the global economy.

Revealing his utter ignorance, Trump threatens to default on U.S. debt and crash the global economy. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Yesterday, Donald Trump gave an interview to CSNBC in which, among other things, he described his approach to the national debt. And it’s awful. Just awful.


Trump said in a television interview Thursday that he might seek to reduce th
Kenneth Weene's insight:
What this article misses and what is essential is that a businessman who approaches his business with this attitude towards debt is basically unethical. You don't raise money with such a cavalier attitude towards your investors unless you don't give a damn about anything except money. Do we want an unethical person in the White House? Is this the best the party of "family values" can do? 
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Snapshot of a broken system: How a profitable company justifies laying off 1,400 people & moved their jobs to Mexico

Snapshot of a broken system: How a profitable company justifies laying off 1,400 people & moved their jobs to Mexico | Upsetment | Scoop.it
When a Carrier air conditioner factory was closed, and its jobs outsourced, it wasn't because of financial hardship VIDEO
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Marx had it wrong. It isn't that workers have become alienated from their jobs but that management and ownership have become alienated from their companies. Once the goal of corporations was to allow shared risk and shared investment towards the making of products that in turn would sell at a profit; but the current goal of capital is more capital through the Ponzi scheme that is the stock market. The actual product no longer matters, and that is the best argument for Democratic Socialism. 
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Large Companies Game H-1B Visa Program, Costing the U.S. Jobs

Large Companies Game H-1B Visa Program, Costing the U.S. Jobs | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Critics say a program meant to help American firms hire foreigners with special skills is instead being dominated by outsourcing companies that move jobs offshore.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

It is time to recognize that large corporations exist that have no purpose that is helpful to the economy but rather a plan to milk it for all that can be taken. There goal in hiring abroad is not to find just the right employee but to find a source of relatively cheap labor. Thankfully, on Tuesday, Senators Richard Durbin of Illinois, a Democrat, and Charles H. Grassley of Iowa, a Republican, introduced a bill to change the H-1B program and another temporary work visa, the L-1B, to raise wage requirements, increase monitoring and enforcement and add other protections for American workers. “The H-1B visa program was never meant to replace qualified American workers,” the senators said.

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Washington’s Big China Screw-up

Washington’s Big China Screw-up | Upsetment | Scoop.it
In March alone, France, Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom have now all agreed to join a major, China-led initiative that could one day rival…
Kenneth Weene's insight:

It is time for the U.S. government and we the people to understand that we are not in charge of the world nor should we try to be. When I was a kid I learned that it was never a good idea to play with a kid who, because he owned the ball, always had to be captain. Sadly, those kids never got it that as soon as the other kids could buy their own ball they would and would not want to be friends anymore. A simple playground lesson lost on Washington.

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North Korea’s growing economy — and America’s misconceptions about it

North Korea’s growing economy — and America’s misconceptions about it | Upsetment | Scoop.it
There’s plenty of trade across the border with China — and you might be wearing pants from North Korea.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Sadly in the modern world ruled as it is by money there are far too many forms of slavery. It seems like the best thing we can do is buy products made in democracy such as the U.S. and most of Europe and hope that despite the right wing workers will retain their rights. It is only when we all support the rights of workers everywhere that we can hope for a true capitalist system.

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Voters are punishing Obama for this one economic failure

Voters are punishing Obama for this one economic failure | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Obama's economic performance has been middling compared with other presidents, except for one key thing.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Until we have a political party willing to address the issue of income distribution, willing to recognize that the concentration of wealth is the real issue in every system, nothing will be accomplished to address the stagnation of incomes.

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United States' Highest-Paid CEO Works for Company That's Never Turned a Profit

United States' Highest-Paid CEO Works for Company That's Never Turned a Profit | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Here's something fun I saw on Bloomberg TV (whose Market Makers is truly the morning show of champions and/or people who are really interested in the bond market) earlier today: The highest-paid CEO in the United States, Charif Souki, works for a company that has never turned a profit. Souki...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Two things seem obvious to me. One is that executive compensation should be tied to realities of production and function not to the creation of market fantasies. The other is that a system of taxation which makes it meaningful to just suck a company dry is not good for the economy in the long term.

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Feds stop public disclosure of many serious hospital errors

Feds stop public disclosure of many serious hospital errors | Upsetment | Scoop.it
As of this month, the federal government no longer publicly reports when hospitals leave foreign objects in patients' bodies or make a host of other life threatening mistakes.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

It seems that in this information age the role of government has not been to make information more available to consumers but rather to protect businesses by concealing the information we deserve to have for our decision making. This is the antithesis of capitalism. Sadly, many Americans think corporatism, which is our actuality, is the same as the capitalism of free markets. NOT!

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In Modi, Indians hope for an economic miracle-worker | Al Jazeera America

In Modi, Indians hope for an economic miracle-worker | Al Jazeera America | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Indians overlook new PM's hardline, sectarian rhetoric in hopes he can revitalize the slumping economy
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I think this is wishful thinking on the part of the press and perhaps many Indians. There are two things going on, and one of them is definitely the desire for a Hindu state, not necessarily religious but certainly cultural instead of non-sectarian. Second, is a hope for economic growth. However, his secret to date has been to more his state into a better competitive position against other states in India. This model is very much like the model in the U.S., a model in big business has ended up getting all the real benefits as states compete.  As a love of India, I wish Mr. Modi well, but as a realist and skeptic, I wait to see.

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5 companies that excel at screwing over customers

5 companies that excel at screwing over customers | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Time Warner Cable, Wal-Mart and others have made treating you like crap part of their basic business model
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The market only works if there is information. Here is some information that might well influence your consumer behavior. The two biggies for me are Walmart, against which I am always warning people, and Sprint, about which I have heard many complaints. Of course I don't live near the Time-Warner market.

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