Archive for October, 2010|Monthly archive page

Why Capitalism Cannot be Tamed

A little more than a year ago, I posted a note using football as a metaphor for the futility of effective regulation.

 

http://michaelperelman.wordpress.com/2009/09/13/the-futility-of-financial-regulation-lessons-from-science-and-professional-football/

 

Some people dismissed the football metaphor.  The Wall Street Journal today has a story about how people design new psychotropic drugs to get around regulation.  It may be that these new drugs are more dangerous than banned drugs.  In all likelihood, they can design these drugs faster than the government can make regulations.

 

How in the world can regulators get ahead of financial industry or tax lawyers, even if the lobbyists were not writing the regulations or the tax codes.

 

Whalen, Jeanne. 2010. “In Quest for ‘Legal High,’ Chemists Outfox Law.” Wall Street Journal (30 October).

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704763904575550200845267526.html?mod=WSJ_World_LeadStory

The url’s for my videos

A friend asked if I would collect the urls for my videos.  Here they are, beginning with the most recent.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PsurH6pxQg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h9xpmM14BU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3w6hRP6oiYE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8blnkRNq2A

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hNt_qc-RvM

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/8850114

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/8702391

The Ironies of the Commodity: My New Video

I just posted a new video regarding the ironies of the commodity, taking up from the respective analysis of Marx and Smith and the behavior of business.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PsurH6pxQg

Privatized Education Ripoff in the Homeless Shelters

Golden, Daniel. 2010. “The Homeless at College.” Bloomberg Business Week (30 April).

Here is how the article begins:

“Benson Rollins wants a college degree. The unemployed high school dropout who attends Alcoholics Anonymous and has been homeless for 10 months is being courted by the University of Phoenix. Two of its recruiters got themselves invited to a Cleveland shelter last October and pitched the advantages of going to the country’s largest for-profit college to 70 destitute men.”

“Their visit spurred the 23-year-old Rollins to fill out an online form expressing interest. Phoenix salespeople then barraged him with phone calls and e-mails, urging a tour of its Cleveland campus. “If higher education is important to you for professional growth, and to achieve your academic goals, why wait any longer? Classes start soon and space is limited,” one Phoenix employee e-mailed him on Apr. 15. “I’ll be happy to walk you through the entire application process”.”

“Rollins’ experience is increasingly common. The boom in for-profit education, driven by a political consensus that all Americans need more than a high school diploma, has intensified efforts to recruit the homeless. Such disadvantaged students are desirable because they qualify for federal grants and loans, which are largely responsible for the prosperity of for-profit colleges. Federal aid to students at for-profit colleges jumped from $4.6 billion in 2000 to $26.5 billion in 2009. Publicly traded higher education companies derive three-fourths of their revenue from federal funds, with Phoenix at 86%, up from just 48% in 2001 and approaching the 90% limit set by federal law.”

It gets worse:

Read More at:

Golden, Daniel. 2010. “The Homeless at College.” Bloomberg Business Week (30 April).

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_19/b4177064219731.htm?chan=magazine+channel_features

Do No Evil: Pay No Taxes

Bloomberg has an excellent article describing how Google saves billions in taxes. Besides showing how Google constructs its international network of tax dodges (similar to what other high-tech companies use), the article discusses how taxes helped to create the company and how the federal government gave its blessing to the Google racket.  I assume that I will also see the article tomorrow when my BusinessWeek arrives.

The article has too much in it to cull snippets.  Here is the source so that you can read it for yourself:

Drucker, Jesse. 2010.”Google 2.4% Rate Shows How $60 Billion Lost to Tax Loopholes.” Bloomberg (21 October).

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-21/google-2-4-rate-shows-how-60-billion-u-s-revenue-lost-to-tax-loopholes.html

Privatized Education Fraud: Stripping to Pay Tuition

Bloomberg Businessweek has done a good job of tracking the scandal of privatized colleges.  I will post another piece in which the magazine describes these “colleges” peddling education in homeless shelters, knowing that the Feds will cover the inevitable defaults.

Hechinger, John. 2010. “What’s This Degree Worth?” Bloomberg Businessweek (9 August): pp. 66-69.

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_33/b4191066612953.htm?chan=magazine+channel_features

“Carrianne Howard dreamed of designing video games, so she enrolled in a program at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, a for-profit college part-owned by Goldman Sachs. Her bachelor’s degree in game art and design cost $70,000 in tuition and fees. After she graduated in December 2007, she found a job that paid $12 an hour recruiting employees for video game companies. She lost that job a year later when her department was shuttered. These days, Howard, 26, makes her living in a way that doesn’t require a college diploma: by stripping at the Lido Cabaret, a topless club in Cocoa Beach, Fla. “I didn’t know what else to do,” she says. “I’ve got a worthless degree. It’s like I didn’t attend school at all”.” Continue reading

Overview of Economic Crises

I just uploaded another YouTube talk on the overview of economic crises.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h9xpmM14BU

Bill Gates: Teachers’ Pest

Business Week seems a lot better since Bloomberg took it over. The magazine has done an especially good job in covering privatized education. Here is an excellent example.

Golden, Daniel. 2010. “Teachers’ Pest.” Bloomberg Businessweek (19-25 July): pp. 58-63.

http://www.businessweek.com/print/magazine/content/10_30/b4188058281758.htm

58: “Starting in 2000, the Gates Foundation spent hundreds of millions of dollars on its first big project, trying to revitalize U.S. high schools by making them smaller, only to discover that student body size has little effect on achievement.”

58: “It has since shifted its considerable weight behind an emerging consensus — shared by U.S. Education Secretary and Gates ally Arne Duncan — that quality of teaching affects student performance and that increasing achievement is as simple as removing bad teachers, identifying good ones, and rewarding them with more money. On this theory, Gates is investing $290 million over seven years in the Tampa, Memphis, and Pittsburgh school districts as well as a charter school consortium in Los Angeles. The largest chunk of money, $100 million, will go to Tampa’s Hillsborough County school district, the eighth-largest in the U.S., with 192,000 students and 15,000 teachers. These carefully selected programs, which will favor or penalize teachers depending on whether students make larger or smaller gains than their test scores in prior years would have predicted, are intended as models that, if proven successful, can be rolled out nationwide.” Continue reading

Excessive Executive Compensation?

Does this Supreme Court decision mean what I think it does.

Is the term “spoliation” still relevant?

U.S. Supreme Court, Rogers v. Hill, 289 U.S. 582 (1933), Rogers v. Hill, No. 732, 289 U.S. 582

http://supreme.justia.com/us/289/582/case.html

“While the amounts produced by the application of the prescribed percentages give rise to no inference of actual or constructive fraud, the payments under the bylaw have by reason of increase of profits become so large as to warrant investigation in equity in the interest of the company. Much weight is to be given to the action of the stockholders, and the bylaw is supported by the presumption of regularity and continuity. But the rule prescribed by it cannot, against the protest of a shareholder, be used to justify payments of sums as salaries so large as in substance and effect to amount to spoliation or waste of corporate property.”

 

Analytical Biography Updated

Many of you told me that I should reedit this.  See if you like this better.

http://michaelperelman.wordpress.com/an-ideological-biography/

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