Politcs? Ethics? Rules? Cheating?
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Politcs? Ethics? Rules? Cheating?
If everyone in the Business, Economic and Political world would play by the rules and be ethical - what kind of world would we have?
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Joseph Stiglitz: Only outrage will stop tax evasion - via @wef1

Joseph Stiglitz: Only outrage will stop tax evasion - via @wef1 | Politcs? Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
Almost two years after the Panama Papers, the global tax system is still broken – and it's time to get indignant, says economist Joseph Stiglitz.
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Turning Soybeans Into Diesel Fuel Is Costing Us Billions

Turning Soybeans Into Diesel Fuel Is Costing Us Billions | Politcs? Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
This year, trucks and other heavy-duty motors in America will burn some 3 billion gallons of diesel fuel that's made primarily from vegetable oil. They're doing it, though, not because it's cheaper or better, but because they're required to, by law.

The law is the Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS. For some, especially Midwestern farmers, it's the key to creating clean energy from American soil and sun. For others — like many economists — it's a wasteful misuse of resources.

And the most wasteful part of the RFS, according to some, is biodiesel. It's different from ethanol, a fuel that's made from corn and mixed into gasoline, also as required by the RFS. In fact, gasoline companies probably would use ethanol even if there were no law requiring it, because ethanol is a useful fuel additive — at least up to a point. That's not true of biodiesel.
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Stone Campaign Hired Online Company That Helped Win Brexit | The Tyee

The campaign of BC Liberal Party leadership candidate Todd Stone has hired a social media advertising company that is under investigation by officials in British Columbia and the United Kingdom following its role in the Brexit Vote Leave campaign.
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‘What Are We Going to Do About Tyler?’

‘What Are We Going to Do About Tyler?’ | Politcs? Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it

"Tyler Haire was locked up at 16. A Mississippi judge ordered that he undergo a mental exam. What happened next is a statewide scandal.


“It is therefore ordered and adjudged,” Gregory wrote on April 23, 2013, “that the defendant Tyler Douglas Haire be given a mental evaluation at the earliest possible date.” Tyler’s evaluation would not happen for three and a half years. During the 1,266 days Tyler spent in the Calhoun County jail before he received his evaluation, he was never once visited by a psychiatrist. He went without any of the multiple drugs he had taken as a boy. He received no educational instruction. His father, who’d had his own brushes with the law, had friends of his in jail with Tyler give the boy a beating for the trouble he’d caused his family. His mother came to see him when she could afford the gas money. Once Tyler was found naked in the woods after he ran off during a stint on a work detail."

 
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Trashed: Inside the Deadly World of Private Garbage Collection — ProPublica

Trashed: Inside the Deadly World of Private Garbage Collection — ProPublica | Politcs? Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
Shortly before 5 a.m. on a recent November night, a garbage truck with a New York Yankees decal on the side sped through a red light on an empty street in the Bronx. The two workers aboard were running late. Before long, they would start getting calls from their boss. “Where are you on the route? Hurry up, it shouldn’t take this long.” Theirs was one of 133 garbage trucks owned by Action Carting, the largest waste company in New York City, which picks up the garbage and recycling from 16,700 businesses.

Going 20 miles per hour above the city’s 25 mph limit, the Action truck ran another red light with a worker, called a “helper,” hanging off the back. Just a few miles away the week before, another man had died in the middle of the night beneath the wheels of another company’s garbage truck. The Action truck began driving on the wrong side of the road in preparation for the next stop. The workers were racing to pick up as much garbage as possible before dawn arrived and the streets filled with slow traffic. “This route should take you twelve hours,” the boss often told them. “It shouldn’t take you fourteen hours.”
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How a Local Bureaucrat Made Millions Amid the Rush to Build a Border Fence

How a Local Bureaucrat Made Millions Amid the Rush to Build a Border Fence | Politcs? Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
For Homeland Security, it was simple, one-stop shopping — no protests, no environmental hurdles, no need to buy land. Over the next several years, the federal government poured more than $174 million into the bank accounts of the Hidalgo County Drainage District No. 1 to build a fortified levee. The result was unique among the 654 miles of fence constructed by the agency across the U.S.-Mexico border: a looming, 15-foot-high vertical wall of concrete, topped in places by another 18 feet of rusty metal fence.

What the federal government didn’t know was that Garza negotiated an unusual contract with county commissioners that earned him 1.5 percent of every dollar the drainage district spent on the levee project — in addition to his six-figure salary. In the end, Garza’s personal yield totaled at least $3.5 million, according to county records.
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How Congress Ignored Science and Fueled Antibiotic Resistance

How Congress Ignored Science and Fueled Antibiotic Resistance | Politcs? Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
Kennedy was a scientist, accustomed to weighing evidence; in the language he spoke, potential and likely had weight. But the politicians who were his audience did not receive what he said as proof. They heard it as a supposition, and also as a threat, to an enormous industry with outsize political influence. By this point, almost every food animal raised in the United States was receiving antibiotics sometime in its life: close to 100 percent of the chickens and turkeys, 90 percent of veal calves and swine, 60 percent of cattle.
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Mining Company Loses 5-Year B.C. Lawsuit Meant to ‘Silence’ Critics

Mining Company Loses 5-Year B.C. Lawsuit Meant to ‘Silence’ Critics | Politcs? Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
The Wilderness Committee has won a landmark defamation case brought against it by Taseko Mines Ltd. but, despite the win, the non-profit environmental group will suffer financially after fighting the company in court for five years.

The case is being held up as a textbook example of why anti-SLAPP legislation is needed in B.C.

“We are very proud to have stood our ground, but B.C. very much needs anti-SLAPP legislation. We were completely innocent and yet this company was able to keep us in the courts for five years — and their pockets are much deeper than ours,” said Wilderness Committee national campaigner Joe Foy.

Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) cases are usually launched by companies trying to silence their critics. B.C. briefly had Canada’s first anti-SLAPP law which was brought in by the former NDP government, but repealed by the BC Liberals who feared it would lead to a “protest culture” shortly after their election in 2001.

Ontario and Quebec are currently the only provinces with such legislation.

ICYMI: Laws Needed to Protect Citizens from Industry, Government SLAPP Suits: B.C. Civil Liberties Association
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United States of America v. 15.919 Acres of Land (more or less)

United States of America v. 15.919 Acres of Land (more or less) | Politcs? Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
IN 2007, the Department of Homeland Security began building 654 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border. To complete the job, the agency had to seize land from private landowners, most living in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. A decade later, some landowners have yet to reach agreement with Homeland Security on the amount they are due for the land they have lost. This is the story of one such case.
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Dozens of Companies Are Using Facebook to Exclude Older Workers From Job Ads — ProPublica

Dozens of Companies Are Using Facebook to Exclude Older Workers From Job Ads — ProPublica | Politcs? Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
This story was co-published with The New York Times.

A few weeks ago, Verizon placed an ad on Facebook to recruit applicants for a unit focused on financial planning and analysis. The ad showed a smiling, millennial-aged woman seated at a computer and promised that new hires could look forward to a rewarding career in which they would be “more than just a number.”

Some relevant numbers were not immediately evident. The promotion was set to run on the Facebook feeds of users 25 to 36 years old who lived in the nation’s capital, or had recently visited there, and had demonstrated an interest in finance. For a vast majority of the hundreds of millions of people who check Facebook every day, the ad did not exist.
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Homeless in Germany's financial hub ordered to pay fines for sleeping rough | News | DW

Homeless in Germany's financial hub ordered to pay fines for sleeping rough | News | DW | Politcs? Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
A new measure in Frankfurt now requires those who sleep in public places to pay an on-the-spot fine. Homelessness in Germany has risen dramatically in recent years, with hundreds of thousands sleeping rough nationwide.


In Frankfurt, the wealthy epicenter of Germany's finance sector, homeless people will now have to pay fines for sleeping on downtown streets. The move came as German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier called for better support for the nation's homeless on Monday.

Anyone who has alighted at Frankfurt's central train station will be familiar with the paradox of the city's central avenues: In the shadows of the city's skyscrapers and a branch of the European Central Bank, a surprising number of destitute citizens regularly seek shelter on the streets.
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Employers would pocket $5.8 billion of workers’ tips under Trump administration’s proposed ‘tip stealing’ rule

Employers would pocket $5.8 billion of workers’ tips under Trump administration’s proposed ‘tip stealing’ rule | Politcs? Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
On December 5, the Trump administration took its first major step toward allowing employers to legally pocket the tips earned by the workers they employ. The Department of Labor (DOL) released a proposed rule that would allow restaurants to take the tips that servers earn and share them with untipped employees such as cooks and dishwashers.1 But, crucially, the rule doesn’t actually require that employers distribute “pooled” tips to workers. Under the administration’s proposed rule, as long as tipped workers earn minimum wage, employers could legally pocket those tips.
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The Populist Hoax – Getting The Far Right and Post-Fascism Wrong

The Populist Hoax – Getting The Far Right and Post-Fascism Wrong | Politcs? Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
During my latest stay in the UK, I met some of my friends, who, surprisingly, told me that they felt the pro-Brexit campaign was very similar to the anti-semitic campaigns of the 1930s in Europe, and especially in Nazi Germany. The scapegoated EU was to blame for everything bad in the country. The argument struck me a lot.
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The Red Cross Helped an Executive Get a Job at Save the Children After Forcing Him Out For Sexual Harassment — ProPublica

The Red Cross Helped an Executive Get a Job at Save the Children After Forcing Him Out For Sexual Harassment — ProPublica | Politcs? Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
A senior Red Cross official harassed a subordinate and was accused of raping another. The charity’s now-general counsel David Meltzer praised him on his way…
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Company Cross-Border Transfer Rules Must End ‘Regime Shopping’

Company Cross-Border Transfer Rules Must End ‘Regime Shopping’ | Politcs? Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
For decades, the European trade union movement has been urging EU authorities to put an end to ‘regime shopping’, which allows companies in Europe to move their headquarters to another Member State where they pay fewer taxes and lower wages, regardless of where their operations take place.

Artificial commercial arrangements permitted within the single market lead to exploitation of workers and a downward spiral in social conditions, perpetuate wage gaps between Member States, cut revenues for vital public services and create unfair competition for responsible employers.

For example, so-called ‘letter-box’ companies are little more than mailing addresses set up in countries with lenient tax and regulatory regimes, enabling businesses to minimise legal obligations such as taxation, social contributions, VAT and minimum wages. A study last year by the ETUC found that 96% of foreign investment in Luxembourg and 83% in the Netherlands goes into ‘special purpose entities’ – i.e. letter-box-style companies.
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Doing Less With Less: Mental Health Care in Mississippi

Doing Less With Less: Mental Health Care in Mississippi | Politcs? Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it

"A national recession. Years of state budgets cuts. It’s no surprise requests mental health resources for prisoners are routinely rejected.


THE STATE OF mental health care in Mississippi has been in freefall for years. As a consequence of the ripple effects of the financial crisis, Mississippi saw its state support for mental health care slashed by $42 million from 2009 to 2011, roughly 15 percent of the Department of Mental Health’s budget. The state, which had 1,156 psychiatric beds in 2010, has just 486 today. In 2016, after years of failing to heed warnings from federal prosecutors, Mississippi was sued by the U.S. Department of Justice for failing to deliver adequate care to its residents. The cutbacks in funding, however, have only continued, with another $14 million of cuts coming in 2017, amounting to another 6 percent of the Department of Mental Health’s budget."

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New evidence that access to health care reduces crime

New evidence that access to health care reduces crime | Politcs? Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it


"Most people who cycle through our criminal justice system have serious health care needs. Three out of every five state prisoners and sentenced jail inmates have a substance abuse problem. Half of state and federal prisoners and two thirds of jail inmates are in serious psychological distress or have a history of mental illness. Substance abuse and mental illness surely contribute to the difficulty many individuals have escaping the criminal justice system: two-thirds of those released from prison will be rearrested within three years. Jails and prisons provide some treatment services, but what if we increased access to treatment in communities, so that people could get help before they get into trouble? New research shows that offering broad access to treatment for these problems is not only compassionate, but also a cost-effective way to reduce crime rates."

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The IMF still has the same spots

The IMF still has the same spots | Politcs? Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
Just before Xmas (December 22, 2017), the IMF proved once again that leopards don’t change their spots. Thy released a Working Paper (No. 17/286) – Australia’s Fiscal Framework: Revisiting Options for a Fiscal Anchor – that demonstrated they hadn’t learned a thing from the last decade of crisis and fiscal interventions (stimulative and opposite). The paper demonstrates no understanding of context, history, or the role that fiscal policy should play in advancing general well-being. It is a technical exercise laden with the ideology of mainstream macroeconomics that fails badly. The problem is that the mainstream political parties (on both sides of the fence – Labor and Conservative – although pretending there is a fence is somewhat far-fetched these days) will use it against each other, and, in their shameful ignorance, against the best interests of the nation and the people that live within its borders. And … on reflection using the leopard example is an insult to the leopards. The IMF is an ugly, destructive institution that should be defunded and their buildings given over to the homeless.

The IMF authors are all ‘insiders’, by which I mean have had careers in the network of mainstream institutions (central banks, European Commission, World Bank, IMF etc). The reinforcing Groupthink that this sort of career path engenders is powerful.

It is no wonder they produce total garbage like this devoid of any critical scrutiny or self-awareness.

Rational expectations, no unemployment in long-run, real effective exchange rate (REER) balances the current account, and more – GIGO – garbage-in, garbage-out – sort of stuff.

Please see the following blogs (among others) for more discussion about these sorts of models:
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The uncertain future of democracy

The uncertain future of democracy | Politcs? Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
Trust in political institutions – including the electoral process itself - are at an all-time low. New converts to democracy in Europe and the Middle East are sliding back into authoritarian rule. And populist leaders who are expected to curb certain civil liberties are winning votes. Societies the world over are experiencing a strong backlash to a system of government that has largely been the hallmark of developed nations for generations.
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What We Discovered During a Year of Documenting Hate — ProPublica

What We Discovered During a Year of Documenting Hate — ProPublica | Politcs? Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
Hate crimes often fall through the cracks in our justice system, and we've only just scratched the surface of understanding why.
by Rachel Glickhouse Dec. 26, 8 a.m. EST

DOCUMENTING HATE
Tracking Hate Crimes and Bias Incidents

The days after Election Day last year seemed to bring with them a rise in hate crimes and bias incidents. Reports filled social media and appeared in local news. There were the letters calling for the genocide of Muslims that were sent to Islamic centers from California to Ohio. And the swastikas that were scrawled on buildings around the country. In Florida, “colored” and “whites only” signs were posted over water fountains at a high school. A man assaulted a Hispanic woman in San Francisco, telling her “No Latinos here.”
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The Billion-Dollar Loophole — ProPublica

The Billion-Dollar Loophole — ProPublica | Politcs? Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it

This article is a collaboration with Fortune.

The idea seems like the perfect marriage of environmentalism and capitalism: Landowners give up their right to develop a piece of property, and in exchange they receive a special tax deduction. Nature is preserved and everybody benefits.

That’s traditionally how what are known as “conservation easements” worked. In California’s Napa Valley, for example, a former biology professor and museum director named Giles Mead agreed not to develop 1,318 hilltop acres in 1983 and got a deduction in return. The property, Mead Ranch, features vernal pools and rare and endangered plants. Two entirely new species were discovered there. Bears, bobcats and mountain lions roam the grounds. Mead allowed groups of hikers, birders, and plant enthusiasts to visit. He sometimes greeted them with glasses of wine from the family’s vineyard. Since Mead’s death, his daughter has kept the property available to the public.

 
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These are the Job Ads You Can’t See on Facebook if You’re Older

These are the Job Ads You Can’t See on Facebook if You’re Older | Politcs? Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
It is against the law to discriminate against workers older than 40 in hiring and recruitment. But through a ProPublica crowd-sourcing investigation, we found dozens of companies who bought Facebook ads aimed at recruiting workers within limited age ranges. Some companies said these ads were not representatives of their wider recruitment strategies. Others said it was a mistake, and vowed to fix it.
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Trump’s CDC directive isn’t just a war on words. It’s a war on science.

Trump’s CDC directive isn’t just a war on words. It’s a war on science. | Politcs? Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it


"Author Scott Andes Fellow - Centennial Scholar Initiative, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Initiative on Innovation and Placemaking @scott_andes


When it comes to science policy, we should take President Trump at his word.

On Friday, the Trump administration prohibited officials at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention from using seven words and phrases within 2018 budget documents: “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based,” and “science-based”. 

Public outrage flared up against the Orwellian-style censorship, but the depressing reality is that this is the logical next step in the president’s anti-science policy agenda. Trump wields the bully pulpit by way of provocations that serve as dog whistles to his anti-science base, while suggesting to the rest of us “this is just Twitter, not legislation.” The rhetorical tactic works. It’s strangely calming to write off Trump’s words as just midnight musing. The alternative—that he means everything he says and only a lack of political mandate has kept sweeping policy from enactment—is harder to swallow."

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Eastern Europeans in German meat industry decry conditions, pay, hours | Europe | DW 

Eastern Europeans in German meat industry decry conditions, pay, hours | Europe | DW  | Politcs? Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
Despite a new law supposed to improve their situation, eastern European employees in German slaughterhouses decry lousy working conditions. DW's Alina Kühnel has been investigating.
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Two billion dollars in stolen wages were recovered for workers in 2015 and 2016—and that’s just a drop in the bucket

Two billion dollars in stolen wages were recovered for workers in 2015 and 2016—and that’s just a drop in the bucket | Politcs? Ethics? Rules? Cheating? | Scoop.it
What this study finds: In 2015 and 2016, a total of $2 billion in stolen wages ($880.3 million in 2015; $1.1 billion in 2016) were recovered for workers by the U.S. Department of Labor ($246.8 million in 2015; $266.6 million in 2016); by state departments of labor and attorneys general in 39 states ($170.0 million in 2015; $147.5 million in 2016); and through class action settlements ($463.6 million in 2015; $695.5 million in 2016). These represent wages stolen by employers who, for example, refuse to pay promised wages, pay employees for only some of the hours worked, or fail to pay overtime premiums when employees work more than 40 hours in a week.
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