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Big socialist hack, Bernie Sanders, scolds companies leaving the US seeking lower corporate taxes as having “absolutely no loyalty” to the country.

Well, how about this you big dummy, the country hasn’t been very loyal to businesses by taxing them higher than any other country on the planet.  This is very simple, lower the corporate tax rate and the businesses won’t seek tax shelters.  Once again, big government stands in the way of the prosperity of this country.  Now, the power hungry cretins like Sanders want to shame them into staying or worse, force them.

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Externalities: When Is a Potato Chip Not Just a Potato Chip?

People who dismiss the unemployed and dependent as ‘parasites’ fail to understand economics and parasitism. A successful parasite is one that is not recognized by its host, one that can make its host work for it without appearing as a burden. Such is the ruling class in a capitalist society.
—  Jason Read
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I didn’t even know about this yesterday when I wrote that long post on Empowerment, but apparently there is some pretty big empowerment stuff going down right now. Or, at least trying to go down.

If you haven’t been following it, there was a whole bunch of scandal stuff recently in the indie gaming scene. I don’t really care. The important part is: a group called The Fine Young Capitalists - geared toward bringing more female developers into games and black representation in manga - has been under fire, getting slandered and having press coverage denied. And in the midst of it all, 4chan of all places has been banding together to come to their aid.

This is still a pretty fresh issue and essentially involves a fracturing of feminism, so I’d encourage you to look into it and draw your own conclusions before supporting anyone. Personally though, I really agree with the approach The Fine Young Capitalists are taking. It mirrors a lot of my feelings on empowerment - there is a recording where they talk about it at length. The important part:

We tried to explain this to journalists, and everybody just [said] “you need to have a woman who is oppressed, and to discuss it”. And it was very disheartening because we just wanted to do something were I could just point to them and say “This game. I helped this woman make this game. And the only reason I did it was because I really liked the game”. And it’s just… that was apparently the last message I should be giving. 

The Fine Young Capitalists have been having a hard time getting attention. There’s no figure they’re demonizing, no message of oppression they’re forwarding, nothing but this positive idea that women can make awesome games. And yet, they’ve been getting flak for everything from their transgender policy (requesting that entrants in their female-only game contest have self-identified as female for at least six months) to the very fact that their organization is accepting money from 4chan. You know, accepting money to give to female game developers and charities.

They asked 4chan what they could do to gain attention, and at their suggestion TFYC has been doing a video series on significant women in the games industry. Not ranting about how the industry is unfair to women, or all the reasons women can’t become successful, but focusing on the awesome women who helped shape gaming today. 

I guess what I’m asking is: don’t let this group fade away. Gaming news outlets are refusing to cover them - possibly because they were doxxed, slandered, and ddos’d by a relatively popular name in and indie gaming. I’d encourage you to look into this group yourself, and if you like what they’re doing, show some support. 

Here’s a fascinating — if not exactly uplifting — look at the economics, business, and design strategies that led to our throwaway culture came about: Modern Waste is an Economic Strategy « Discard Studies:

About one third of MSW [municipal solid waste] —food scraps, and to a debatable extent, yard trimmings—are present in pre-modern waste.

The rest of modern MSW are disposables: paper, plastics, aluminum, textiles, and packaging.[i] In 1956, Lloyd Stouffer, editor of Modern Packaging Inc., famously (and controversially at the time) declared: “The future of plastics is in the trash can” (Stouffer 1963: 1).

Stouffer’s idea addressed an emerging problem for industry. Products tended to be durable, easy to fix, and limited in variation (such as color or style). With this mode of design, markets were quickly saturating (Packard 1960; Cohen 2003). Opportunities for growth, and thus profit, were rapidly diminishing, particularly after America’s Great Depression and the two World Wars, where an ethos of preservation, reuse, and frugality was cultivated.

In response, industry intervened on a material level and developed disposability through planned obsolescence, single-use items, cheap materials, throw-away packaging, fashion, and conspicuous consumption. These changes were supported by a regimen of advertising that telegraphed industrial principals of value into the social realm, suggesting the difference between durable and disposable, esteemed and taboo.

American industry designed a shift in values that circulated goods through, rather than into, the consumer realm. The truism that humans are inherently wasteful came into being at a particular time and place, by design.

There’s a ton of great info in this piece, it really is a good read. The over-arching point is that the shifts are so massive that we can’t solve them via individual behavior-change (recycling, etc.) alone; we need policy-level solutions.

I half-agree: Yes, we need policy-level solutions, but we’re more likely to get there by way of individual-level action, behavior change, and engagement. Which is what this site encourages.

If America has a very, very, very rich 1%, and an underpaid, debt-ridden middle class looking for relief, why shouldn’t the billionaires adopt multiple members of the middle class as … concubines? 

The billionaires’ concubines: the middle class looks for economic ‘recovery’ and doesn’t find it

Photo: Musée du Louvre/R.M.N./H. Lewandowski

Sarah Treanor:

For while other countries have struck oil and then binged on the revenues, by contrast Norway is continuing to invest its oil and gas money in a giant sovereign wealth fund.

The fund, worth about $800bn (£483bn), owns 1% of the entire world’s stocks, and is big enough to make every citizen a millionaire in the country’s currency, the kroner. In effect, it is a giant savings account.

1% of all the stocks in the world. Crazy (smart).

We’ll see how this plays out in the long run, but it strikes me as smart for any “boom” town to diversify as much as possible when they can — before they can’t, and they’re screwed.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that the apparent energy efficiency gap has multiple explanations whose relative contributions differ across groups of energy users and types of energy uses.”

Why don’t people invest in seemingly attractive energy efficiency improvements? It turns out that there are many explanations, ranging from market failures to inaccurate engineering estimates to systematic behavioral biases in decision-making. Understanding these biases may hold the key to solving the “energy efficiency paradox.” 

Kenneth Gillingham and Karen Palmer are the authors of “Bridging the Energy Efficiency Gap: Policy Insights from Economic Theory and Empirical Evidence,” from Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, which you can read free online.

Gif via giphy.com

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Ta-Nehisi Coates and the case for reparations

In a wide-ranging interview with Vox’s Ezra Klein, Ta-Nehisi Coates explains how he reported his essay in The Atlantic on “The Case for Reparations,” why he tries to approach journalism as a historian rather than as a “Senate aide,” and what you should read next if you want to understand American racism.

Read the article here: The Atlantic

* This is a long interview, but its really well worth the watch. (Pls don’t fucking argue with me about this unless you watch the whole thing, or have read the article.)

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