Posted September 29, 2011 at 11:53 pm
by Stacy Curtin
For 12 days, the Occupy Wall Street movement has taken to the streets of downtown Manhattan and used Zuccotti Park as a base, a location not far from the former site of the World Trade Center.
But it wasn’t until the protesters’ march from Liberty Street and Broadway to Union Square on Saturday, Sept. 24, that the media and the rest of the country began to really take notice. Nearly 80 people were arrested for blocking traffic and committing other minor offenses, while reports of excessive police force, including a group of girls who were pepper-sprayed, flooded the Internet and TV news broadcasts.
The incident on Saturday not only set to further galvanize the group, it also grabbed the attention of celebrity activists Susan Sarandon and Michael Moore. [WV staff note: click his name to learn how he has already attempted to suck the life out of capitalism by feeding into the victimitis-thinking, non-producers of the world]
Both visited the park this week along with popular political activist Dr. Cornel West. Now, copycat groups are popping up in other big cities across the country, from Boston to Chicago to San Francisco.
Accounts of who these protesters are and what they are actually protesting have been mixed and not always entirely clear. No single and unified message has been delivered, but for many of them, an interest in effecting change to the U.S. system of capitalism ranks high on their wish list.
So The Daily Ticker’s very own Aaron Task took to the park to find out for himself what this movement is all about.
He found a leaderless movement comprised of people from all walks of life. But they did seem to have common threads for what brought them to demonstrate.
Two prominent themes include dissatisfaction with the growing income inequality between the wealthy and the poor in this country and dissatisfaction over big corporate interests, rather than ordinary voters, controlling Washington.
Posted September 29, 2011 at 1:59 am
by Leigh Drogen
In some ways, I’m happy that main stream financial media continues to be completely bereft of any value or understanding of how markets actually work.
The truth is, the more suckers there are out there, the more inefficiency there is in the market for us to take advantage of. All these little lemmings walking off the cliff with the money honeys of CNBC and Fox Business News.
And in other ways it makes me sick that the average guy out there just trying to earn 7% a year so that he can retire is being sold all of these lies and ridiculous crap by people who don’t know a damn thing about the market.
Look I get it, financial media isn’t there as a service to us, it’s there as entertainment, like 99% of news these days. If they took the time to get it right, you wouldn’t watch, because it wouldn’t be any fun.
On top of that, why would anyone who has a real clue how markets work want to be in financial media, writing articles that no one pays for, doing television no one really watches.
The majority of financial media is made up of either journalists who have never run money in their lives, or investment managers who’s only goal is to garner assets.
Either way, you as the consumer are not only getting nothing out of it, you’re getting sold a bucket of info that has [continue]…
Posted September 28, 2011 at 10:15 am
by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
Several years ago, the police entered the office of a young professor at a reputable university and arrested him for an online crime. They took the professor away, booked him, and then offered him a deal: admit guilt and get off easy.
The professor said to the few people to whom he was permitted to speak that this was crazy because he was innocent. His lawyer warned him: fight this and you could get life; admit guilt and you will get a suspended sentence. He took the deal. It was a trick. Now he languishes in jail, his life wrecked as far into the future as he can see.
This doesn’t happen in America, does it? Yes, it does. Not only that, it is increasingly the norm. Those raised on a steady diet of courtroom television shows believe that they are true to the way justice is meted out.
This is completely naive. Trials in federal criminal cases are rare. Nine in ten cases are settled in pleas like the above case. Only 3 percent of the cases go to trial. Among those that go to trial, the defendant wins once in every 212 times.
What this means is that there is no way out for the accused. The prosecutors have all the power.
Not even the judge has discretion because lawmakers have mostly taken that liberality away in the name of [continue]…
Posted September 26, 2011 at 11:11 pm
by Sam Hananel
The federal government has doled out more than $600 million in benefit payments to dead people over the past five years, a watchdog report says.
Such payments are meant for retired or disabled federal workers, but sometimes the checks keep going out even after the former employees pass away and the deaths are not reported, according to the report this week from the Office of Personnel Management’s inspector general, Patrick McFarland.
The government has been aware of the problem since a 2005 inspector general’s report revealed defects in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund. Yet the improper payments have continued, despite more than a half dozen attempts to develop a system that can figure out which beneficiaries are still alive and which are dead, the report said.
“It is time to stop, once and for all, this waste of taxpayer money,” it said.
Office of Personnel Management spokesman Edmund Byrnes said he could not immediately comment on the findings. But the report said OPM Director John Berry agrees that stopping the improper payments should be a priority.
There are about 2.5 million federal workers who receive over $60 billion in benefit payments from the program each year.
Federal officials have tried matching the fund’s computer records with the Social Security Administration’s death records, checking tax records and improving the timeliness of death reporting.
OPM has also sampled its records of all recipients over 90 years old to confirm whether they are still alive. In 2009, there were more than 125,000 recipients identified as over 90 and about 3,400 over 100 years old.
Both the Obama administration and Congress have made it a higher priority to crack down on improper government payments.
Last year, government investigators found that more than [continue]…
Posted September 25, 2011 at 11:25 pm
by Justin Rohrlich
According to USA Today, “About one in five Americans combine a view of God as actively engaged in daily workings of the world with an economic conservative view that opposes government regulation and champions the free market as a matter of faith.”
“They say the invisible hand of the free market is really God at work,” sociologist Paul Froese, co-author of the just-released Baylor Religion Survey [PDF], tells the paper. “They think the economy works because God wants it to work. It’s a new religious economic idealism.”
Froese says this group believes the Bible is the “ultimate truth in the world, and new economic information of cost-benefit analysis is not going to change their mind about how the economy should work.”
The study reveals a number of interesting insights.
For one, more Americans believe that wealth — or lack of it — is [continue]…
Posted September 23, 2011 at 3:48 am
by Simon Black
Earlier this month, some economic luminaries in the United States Congress introduced a new bill, H.R. 2835. The bill intends to “establish a joint select committee of Congress to report findings and propose legislation to restore the Nation’s workforce to full employment…”
Great idea, fellas. After failing to ignore your way out of recession, spend your way out of recession, lie your way out of recession, and print your way out of recession, you now intend to legislate your way out of recession.
This bill exemplifies how completely clueless the leadership is, and highlights the common demeanor of the political class. By definition, people are in government because they believe that government is the solution, not the problem.
Legislating your way to full employment is as fantastical as prancing unicorns and the Tooth Fairy. It’s impossible. The only employment created by legislation are government jobs to staff all those new agencies and bureaus. And naturally, those jobs must come with some task, some responsibility.
With each new job is created an additional burden upon the taxpayer, and an additional bureaucratic hurdle for the productive class. From opening a bank account to going to see the doctor, things that used to be simple are now fraught with paperwork and regulation, just so some government worker somewhere has something to do.
Here in South Africa is an absolutely mind-numbing example of this mentality. A few years ago, the city of Cape Town installed digital parking meters– the high-tech kind where you could pay the parking toll on your mobile phone through an SMS… or the good ole’ fashioned way with coins should you so choose.
Then some politician decided they needed to create more jobs. So the city hired a bunch of workers to go through town ripping out the digital parking meters. In their place, the local government hired a small army of curbside parking attendants– human beings to replace the machines.
If you think this was a triumph of humanity over profit, then I have a modest proposal [continue]…
Posted September 21, 2011 at 3:55 am
by Michael Alison Chandler
SAT reading scores for graduating high school seniors this year reached the lowest point in nearly four decades, reflecting a steady decline in performance in that subject on the college admissions test, the College Board reported Wednesday.
In the Washington area, one of the nation’s leading producers of college-bound students, educators were scrambling to understand double-digit drops in test scores in Montgomery and Prince William counties and elsewhere.
“Once you hit a certain mark, you want to maintain that,” said Frieda Lacey, deputy superintendent for Montgomery schools. “Don’t think the decline didn’t bother us. It really did.”
Nationally, the reading score for the Class of 2011, including public- and private-school students, was 497, down three points from the previous year and 33 points from 1972, the earliest year for which comparisons are possible. The average math score was 514, down one point from last year but up five from 1972.
Posted September 12, 2011 at 1:16 am
WASHINGTON – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator John S. Pistole today announced approximately $44.8 million for the purchase of 300 millimeter wave Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) machines for deployment to airports nationwide – further strengthening security at U.S. airports.
The machines purchased today will be deployed with new automated target recognition software –designed to enhance passenger privacy by eliminating passenger-specific images while improving throughput capabilities of the technology and streamlining the checkpoint screening process.
“Advanced imaging technology is one of the best layers of security we have to address the threats of today and tomorrow,” said TSA Administrator John S. Pistole.
“We remain committed to deploying this integral counterterrorism tool in order to ensure the highest level of security for the traveling public.”
TSA plans to begin deploying the additional units in the coming months, and will [continue]…
Posted August 29, 2011 at 2:31 am
With the unemployment rate stuck above 9 percent for over two years, millions of Americans have had a lot more free time on their hands. How have they been spending it?
According to a new study by economists at Princeton and the University of Chicago, they’ve been doing a whole lot of sleeping and watching TV. Job hunting? Not so much.
The study’s sample also included the “underemployed” — people with part-time jobs who want full-time work but can’t find it — and those who have given up on looking for a job.
[ Source: TheDaily.com ]
Posted July 26, 2011 at 1:32 am
Midway police bust none other than a lemonade stand, because the three girls running it didn’t have a business license. The three girls thought if they sold enough lemonade, they could make money to go to the water park Splash in the Boro. Well they thought wrong. Midway police say, they’re breaking city law and have to go.
“It’s kind of crazy that we couldn’t sell lemonade. It was fun, but we had to listen to the cops and shut it down,” 14-year-old Casity Dixon said.