"If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties."
~ Sir Francis Bacon
Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
This bit is even nerdier
18 minutes ago
The commentary above is succinct and instructive for those still considering the implications of austerity for a society. We the people should be quite careful what we wish for...
- Default is better than austerity. Governments don't function like businesses.
- Governments can default because they do not like the terms of their loans.
- Austerity favors debt holders, not governments.
- When a country's economy contracts, austerity is the worst thing a government can implement. It leads to stagnation.
- A country can default, wipe out their debt, and raise new capital with higher interest rates.
- There's no proof that austerity works.
The evolution of executive grandeur — from very comfortable to jet-setting — reflects one of the primary reasons that the gap between those with the highest incomes and everyone else is widening.Source: Whoriskey, P (2011, June 18), With Executive Pay, Rich Pull Away from Rest of America, Washington Post.
For years, statistics have depicted growing income disparity in the United States, and it has reached levels not seen since the Great Depression. In 2008, the last year for which data are available, for example, the top 0.1 percent of earners took in more than 10 percent of the personal income in the United States, including capital gains, and the top 1 percent took in more than 20 percent. But economists had little idea who these people were. How many were Wall street financiers? Sports stars? Entrepreneurs? Economists could only speculate, and debates over what is fair stalled.
Now a mounting body of economic research indicates that the rise in pay for company executives is a critical feature in the widening income gap.
The largest single chunk of the highest-income earners, it turns out, are executives and other managers in firms, according to a landmark analysis of tax returns by economists Jon Bakija, Adam Cole and Bradley T Heim. These are not just executives from Wall Street, either, but from companies in even relatively mundane fields such as the milk business.
The top 0.1 percent of earners make about $1.7 million or more, including capital gains. Of those, 41 percent were executives, managers and supervisors at non-financial companies, according to the analysis, with nearly half of them deriving most of their income from their ownership in privately-held firms. An additional 18 percent were managers at financial firms or financial professionals at any sort of firm. In all, nearly 60 percent fell into one of those two categories.
Other recent research, moreover, indicates that executive compensation at the nation’s largest firms has roughly quadrupled in real terms since the 1970s, even as pay for 90 percent of America has stalled.
The Pentagon has no idea where $6.6 billion in Iraq reconstruction money went, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. At the height of the reconstruction effort, C-130 Hercules cargo planes were carrying $2.4 billion each in shrink-wrapped bricks of $100 bills. "They sent an initial full planeload of cash, followed by 20 other flights to Iraq by May 2004 in a $12-billion haul that US officials believe to be the biggest international cash airlift of all time," reports Paul Richter. "This month, the Pentagon and the Iraqi government are finally closing the books on the program that handled all those Benjamins. But despite years of audits and investigations, US Defense officials still cannot say what happened to $6.6 billion in cash."Clearly, the US government has too much money at its disposal...
Employment consists of all persons who, during the reference week (the calendar week including the twelfth day of the month), (a) did any work at all (at least 1 hour) as paid employees, worked in their own business or profession or on their own farm, or worked 15 hours or more as unpaid workers in an enterprise operated by a member of the family, or (b) were not working but had jobs or businesses from which they were temporarily absent because of vacation, illness, bad weather, childcare problems, maternity or paternity leave, labor-management dispute, job training, or other family or personal reasons, whether or not they were paid for the time off or were seeking other jobs.... The civilian noninstitutional population consists of persons 16 years of age and older residing in the 50 States and the District of Columbia who are not inmates of institutions (for example, penal and mental facilities and homes for the aged) and who are not on active duty in the Armed Forces.Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
We’ve always been able to say how much a Bachelor’s degree is worth in general. Now, we show what each Bachelor’s degree major is worth.... The report finds that different undergraduate majors result in very different earnings. At the low end, median earnings for Counseling Psychology majors are $29,000, while Petroleum Engineering majors see median earnings of $120,000.Follow the link below to download copies of the full report.