retirement system

One embittered jobless graduate (Hankinson, 2010) wrote, ‘Baby boomers had free education, affordable houses, fat pensions, early retirement and second homes. We’ve been left with education on the never-never [student debt] and a property ladder with rotten rungs. And the financial system which made our parents rich has left us choosing between crap job or no job’.
—  Guy Standing, The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class

Republicans have always hated career federal employees, so now’s their chance

According to the Washington Post, and confirmed by the Office of Management and Budget, President Trump’s fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget request, expected to be released next week, will propose significant changes to federal employee retirement benefits. Specifically, the proposal would:

• Significantly increase Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) employee contributions by about 1 percentage point each year until they equal the agency contribution rate.translating into a massive pay cut.

• Base future retirement benefits on the average of the high five years of salary instead of the current high three.

• Eliminate the annual cost of living adjustments (COLA) for the pensions of current and future employees.

• Reduce the COLA for the pensions of Civil Service Retirement System employees by about 0.5 percent from what the current formula would provide.

Note that this is taking away from current and future retires, so it’s basically stealing promised money, just like they want to do for social security. I mean, they don’t want anyone to actually be able to retire, for fucks sake.

Too Cute to Kill

Boba Fett/Reader

Reader is a bounty hunter for Jabba the Hutt’s cousin, who wants Jabba’s most treasured bounty hunter killed.  She is offered 15 million imperial credits to hunt and kill the notorious Boba Fett, who just so happens to be hunting the reader as well.  When the fight breaks out between the two, an interesting twist of events causes a change of heart within both of them.

 Author: Charlee

Anon Asked:  i didnt know you guys did boba fett fics! Maybe a fic where Boba Fett and the Reader are both assigned a contract to kill each other without knowing it, and maybe during a fight their helmets get knocked off and they’re just like, ‘shit, they’re cute’ and they decide to just back out of the bounty and start dating?

Word Count: 1176

Warnings: Swearing, close quarter combat/fighting 

A/N:  I cannot turn down Boba Fett requests…. i wrote this in like 30 minutes because i was so excited inspired….

If there was one thing you knew for sure, the Hutts were the most dysfunctional family in the galaxy.  If you needed easy money, go ask a Hutt.  Chances were that one of them needed another stabbed in the back.  This particular Hutt you were working with had given you an offer you could not refuse.  15 million Imperial Credits to take out the notorious Boba Fett, the favored bounty hunter to Jabba the Hutt.  You assumed this Hutt was related to Jabba somehow and wanted to screw him over, but you didn’t think twice about it. 15 Million could see you retire to a system far away, never to worry about anything ever again.

Boba Fett, though.  This was the bounty hunter you knew not to mess with.  But the credits…

Keep reading

Employee notice

Due to the current financial situation caused by the slowdown in the economy, Congress has decided to implement a scheme to put workers of 50 years of age and above on early mandatory retirement, thus creating jobs and reducing unemployment. This scheme will be known as RAPE (Retire Aged People Early).

Persons selected to be RAPED can apply to Congress to be considered for the SHAFT program (Special Help After Forced Termination). Persons who have been RAPED and SHAFTED will be reviewed under the SCREW program (System Covering Retired-Early Workers).

A person may be RAPED once, SHAFTED twice and SCREWED as many times as Congress deems appropriate.Persons who have been RAPED could get AIDS (Additional Income for Dependents & Spouse) or HERPES (Half Earnings for Retired Personnel Early Severance).

Obviously persons who have AIDS or HERPES will not be SHAFTED or SCREWED any further by Congress.Persons who are not RAPED and are staying on will receive as much SHIT (Special High Intensity Training) as possible. Congress has always prided themselves on the amount of SHIT they give our citizens.

Should you feel that you do not receive enough SHIT, please bring this to the attention of your Congressman, who has been trained to give you all the SHIT you can handle.

Sincerely,

The Committee for

Economic Value of Individual Lives ( E V I L)

PS -Due to recent budget cuts and the rising cost of electricity, gas and oil, as well as current market conditions, the Light at the End of the Tunnel has been turned off

10

The M42 Duster Appreciation Post

During the course of the Korean War, the U.S. Army decided to phase out all vehicles based on the M24 Chaffee chassis, such as the M19 Gun Motor Carriage 40 mm Anti-Aircraft, in favor of designs that utilized the chassis of the M41. Since the 40 mm guns were still seen as an effective anti-aircraft weapon, the turret of the M19 was simply mounted to the M41 chassis with few changes except a partial redesign to accommodate the larger turret ring of the M41 and designated as the M42.

Production of the M42 began in early 1952 at GM’s Cleveland Tank Plant. It entered service in 1953 and replaced a variety of different anti-aircraft systems in armored divisions. In 1956, the M42 received a new engine and other upgrades along with other M41 based vehicles, becoming the M42A1. Production was halted in Dec. 1959 with 3,700 examples made during its production run.

Sometime in the late 50s, the U.S. Army reached the conclusion that anti-aircraft guns were no longer viable in the jet age and began fielding a self-propelled version of the HAWK SAM instead. Accordingly, the M42 was retired from front line service and passed to the National Guard with the last M42s leaving the regular Army by 1963, except for the 4th Bn, 517th Air Defense Artillery Regiment in the Panama Canal Zone, which operated two batteries of M42s into the 1970s.

The HAWK missile system performed poorly in low altitude defense. To ensure some low altitude anti-aircraft capability for the ever increasing amount of forces fielded in Vietnam, the Army began recalling M42A1s back into active service and organizing them into air defense artillery (ADA) battalions. Starting in the fall of 1966, the U.S. Army deployed three battalions of Dusters to the Republic of Vietnam, each battalion consisting of a headquarters battery and four Duster batteries, and each augmented by one attached Quad-50 battery and an artillery searchlight battery.

Despite a few early air kills, the air threat posed by North Vietnam never materialized and ADA crews found themselves increasingly involved in ground support missions. Most often the M42 was on point security, convoy escort or perimeter defense. The “Duster” (as it was called by U.S. troops in Vietnam) was soon found to excel in ground support. The 40 mm guns proved to be effective against massed infantry attacks.

Most of the Duster crew members had their AIT training in the 1st. Advanced Individual Training Brigade (Air Defense) at Fort Bliss, Texas. Some of the Duster NCOs had received training at the Non Commissioned Offices Candidate School which was also held at Fort Bliss, Texas.

The 1st Battalion, 44th Artillery was the first ADA battalion to arrive in Vietnam on November 1966. A self-propelled M42A1 Duster unit the 1st of the 44th supported the Marines at places like Con Thien and Khe Sanh Combat Base as well as Army divisions in South Vietnam’s rugged I Corps region. The battalion was assigned to First Field Force Vietnam (IFFV) and was located at Đông Hà. In 1968 it was attached to the 108th Artillery Group (Field Artillery). Attached to the 1/44th was G Battery 65th Air Defense Artillery equipped with Quad-50s and G Battery 29th Artillery Searchlights. The 1/44th served alongside the 3rd Marine Division along the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in I Corps thru December 1971.

The second Duster battalion to arrive in Vietnam was the 5th Battalion, 2nd Air Defense Artillery. Activated in June 1966 it arrived in Vietnam in November 1966 and was diverted to III Corps, Second Field Force (IIFFV) and set up around Bien Hoa Air Base. Attached units were D Batter y71st Air Defense Artillery equipped with Quad-50s and I Battery 29th Artillery Searchlights. The “Second First” served the southern Saigon region through mid 1971. D-71st Quads remained active through March 1972.

The third Duster battalion to arrive was the 4th Battalion, 60th Air Defense Artillery. Activated in June 1966 it arrived in Vietnam in June 1967 and set up operations in the Central Highlands, based out of An Khê (1967-70) and later Tuy Hoa (1970-71). Attached units were E Battery 41st Artillery equipped with Quad-50s and B Battery 29th Artillery Searchlights (which were already in country since October 1965). Members of these units not only covered the entire Central Highlands, but assets also supported firebases and operations along the DMZ to the north and Saigon to the south.

Each Duster Battalion had four line batteries (A,B,C,D) and a headquarters battery. Each battery had two platoons (1st, 2nd) which contained four sections each containing a pair of M42A1 Dusters. At full deployment there were roughly 200 M42 Dusters under command throughout the entire war. The Duster and Quads largely operated in pairs at firebases, strong points and in support of engineers building roads and transportation groups protecting convoys. At night they protected the firebases from attack and were often the first targets of enemy sappers, rockets and mortars. Searchlight jeeps operated singularly but often in support of a Duster or Quad section at a firebase.

Between the three Duster battalions and the attached Quad-50 and Searchlight batteries over 200 fatalities were recorded.

The three M42A1 equipped ADA units (1/44th, 4/60th & 5/2d) deactivated and left Vietnam in late December 1971. Most if not all of the in-country Dusters were turned over to ARVN forces. Most of the training Dusters at Ft.Bliss were returned to various National Guard units. The U.S. Army maintained multiple National Guard M42 battalions as a corps level ADA asset. 2nd Battalion/263 ADA headquartered in Anderson SC was the last unit to operate the M42 when the system was retired in 1988.

4

Meet the culmination of bad ideas, terrible marketing, over pricing, and poor business partnerships. Otherwise known as the Pioneer LaserActive. This behemoth was released in 1993 as a “high end” gaming console poised to compete against the Phillips CD-i and the 3DO; but in a brilliant marketing move, required the consumer to purchase add-on modules in order to play games. There were several modules (called PACs) released, the most popular being the Sega Genesis/CD PAC and to a lesser degree, the NEC TurboDuo PAC. There were others released such as a karaoke and computer interface PAC, the latter allowing you to hook it up to a home computer. The LaserActive retailed for about $950 and the Sega and NEC PACs going for about $600 each, relegating it to an extremely niche market of rich kids with no friends. The LaserActive played comically oversized proprietary 8" or 12" Laserdiscs (a precursor to DVD’s) as well as standard CD’s. If you had the appropriate PAC, it also played Sega Genesis, Sega CD, TurboGrafx and TurboCD games. The console had very few exclusive games, but mostly consisted of adding FMV or cd audio to games that were already on the Genesis or TurboGrafx. Sufficed to say, it didn’t stay on the market for too long. Oddly enough, Pioneer continued making Laserdisc players all the way up to 2009 before finally retiring the format! This system definitely has an interesting history and I hope to own one someday, but it has very little to offer beyond being just a cool collection piece.

The inside story behind the new Microsoft Surface Pro

I’ve been waiting for Microsoft’s Surface Pro 5 for what seems like years. Now I know that my wait will never end.

There will be no Surface Pro 5.

There is a Surface Pro.

On Tuesday in China, Microsoft finally unveiled the follow-up to its popular convertible/ultra-portable the Surface Pro 4 and, as rumored, it’s simply called the Surface Pro.

SEE ALSO: With the Surface Laptop, Microsoft leads the PC industry back into the light

The device will be instantly recognizable to Surface Pro 4 fans, but promises a brighter screen, 20% better performance, 13.5 hours of battery life and sub-1.7-pound weight.

Plus, there’s that retired numbering system.

Microsoft didn’t invent the number drop. Years ago, Apple cleaned up its iPad product line by first calling an iPad update “The new iPad” (sort of) and eventually just “iPad.”

For Microsoft, though, the change may be more meaningful.

“It’s really important that people understand this is it — this is the product where all four generations have come together, and there’s this massive leap, this meaningful leap that comes with this product that, we think, brings to life customers’ needs, through and through,” Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Devices Panos Panay said during a private meeting at Microsoft’s Building 88 in Redmond, Washington, where he gave me a preview of the new device.

Panay, who is one of the more intense and effusive people I know, is beaming.

The Surface Pro is instantly recognizable and yet subtly different.

Image: Lance Ulanoff/Mashable

“I’m in this place where I get so excited about it, I think partially because Surface Pro is my baby,” he tells me. And it’s true: I first met Microsoft’s Surface device at the same time as I met Panay, and his enthusiasm for the then-nascent brand and unusual product design was off the charts. It’s one reason I started using the Surface Pro 3 (and eventually 4) as my everyday device. Panay always believed passionately in the Surface Pro, which made me believe, too.

As he prepared to show me the Surface Pro, Panay reminded me of what was, for him, a key moment in the life of the Surface brand, when he spotted me, a tech reporter, using it at CES. He told me that I was one of the first in my field to jump on it, adding, “I’m 100% sure of that because I track you guys more than you think.’” Leaving aside the concern that Panay might be paying maybe a little too much attention to the tech press, I get it. 

People like me try different products every day, but it’s the rare one that we invite into our everyday lives. I did it because I saw something special in, what was at the time, the Surface Pro 3. Could this eponymous update live up to its predecessors?

The vent channel is now super thin, which is probably fine since all models, except for the Intel Core i7 one, are fanless.

Image: Lance Ulanoff/Mashable

Panay told me the new product perfectly aligns with Microsoft’s mission of empowering every person and organization of the planet to achieve more and the conviction, shared by Panay and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, that great software must be accompanied and brought to life by great hardware.

“The new Surface Pro is the crescendo for that moment,” said Panay.

While it may seem odd to reach the crescendo in China, Panay told me that Surface is “a global brand now, and China happens to be the Surface line’s second biggest market. 

What’s new

Even though Panay tells me that the update to the new Surface Pro features 800 new parts, I have trouble, at first, discerning the visual differences. Perhaps that’s because most of the design changes are quite subtle.

The Surface Pro 4 vent channel, which runs around the perimeter of the display, is now so thin you can no longer see the vent grill. Also, the Surface Pro’s recognizable, flat chassis edge now has a pleasing little arc. I tease Panay that this finger-friendly curve might help Microsoft prepare for the future, long-rumored Surface Phone. 

Is Microsoft trying to make the Surface Pro more appealing to the masses with a little curve?

Image: lance ulanoff/mashable

The screen, which is a bit more brilliant, is still 12.3 inches with a 2,736 x 1,864 resolution. Microsoft didn’t want to change it for change’s sake.

Image: Lance Ulanoff/Mashable

“Good, good, that’s a good thought,” laughed Panay, adding playfully, “There’s a lot of questions about that, but I don’t really remember any of the answers.”

Beyond that, though, the materials, screen size and resolution, ports (still USB 3.0, no USB-C) and other design elements are virtually the same as they were with the Surface Pro 4 and, as Panay sees it, with good reason.

“We know people love it,” he said, adding that he doesn’t want customers relearning how to use it. “My job isn’t reinventing that every time,” he said.

That’s why so many of the changes in the Surface Pro are either inside or an extension of an existing feature.

The product’s kickstand and hinge, for example, now folds almost all the way onto the back of the tablet, supporting a new “Studio Mode” — a possible reference to the easel-size Surface Studio. To do so, Microsoft had to redesign the hinge, not only to support the freedom of movement, but to ensure that someone leaning on the screen while writing or drawing wouldn’t break it.

Nope, we didn’t break the new Surface Pro. This is just Studio Mode.

Image: lance ulanoff/Mashable

Studio Mode is enabled by a redesigned hinge. Lean on it to write and draw, it’s okay.

Image: lance ulanoff/mashable

Studio Mode, is also an effort to encourage more Surface Pen use. The other portion of that strategy comes in the Pen itself, which, like the Surface Pro, looks unchanged on the outside, but has new technology in the inside.

The battery-powered, Bluetooth Surface Pen now recognizes 4,096 levels of pressure (up from 1,024), includes tilt sensitivity, and activates with just 12 milligrams of pressure (down from 20).

Those are exciting specs for digital-pen and stylus enthusiasts, but Panay wants to show me something else. I watch as he signs his name on the Surface Pro screen. The digital ink appears to be coming out of the tip of the Surface Pen. 

I’m not imagining things. 

Inking performance is now next-level.

Image: Lance Ulanoff/Mashable

Microsoft developed a new piece of silicon that sits between the display and graphics controllers, opening a communication channel between the pen and the display that makes pen flow virtually instantaneous.

“It’s a leap in pen performance,” said Steven Bathiche, whose title is distinguished scientist, Microsoft Applied Sciences. He’s showing me research prototypes to illustrate the wizardry behind the new pen and ink technology.

Bathiche described a custom piece of silicon, which sits on the display, that decreases ink latency by 130%. “The latency is so low it’s almost ahead of the app,” said Bathiche.

Steven Bathiche, distinguished scientist of Microsoft Applied Sciences, showed me how, when he turned on Microsoft’s new chip, the screen tracking noticeably sped up.

Image: lance ulanoff/mashable

To demonstrate the power of the new silicon, Bathiche shows me a display teardown where he could turn the chip on an off. On the screen was a red square. Bathiche had me touch the square and use my finger to drag it around the screen. It followed well enough but was lagging behind my digit just enough that I could always see the whole red square. Then Bathiche turned on the accelerator. Now, the square remained under my fingertip, no matter how quickly I moved it around.

An early Surface Pen update prototype that enables tilt recognition.

Image: lance ulanoff/mashable

“Ink is a Microsoft birthright,” said Han-yi Shaw, group program manager, Office hardware innovation team, who told me that simulating paper and pen is not new, but it’s never really been done in an accurate way. Shaw believes that’s changing with this product.

Microsoft made other adjustments to the pen technology including the new electrode near the tip that lets the operating system keep track of angle. Bathiche showed me an original, working prototype so I could see how the system keeps track of the pen tilt in real-time.

When I asked about this semi-deconstructed Surface Pro, Bathiche told me, “We have real Frankenstonian models before we go to engineering. This is research.”

Image: lance ulanoff/mashable

As mentioned, Microsoft also dropped the amount of pressure needed for the pen to mark the screen, to 12 milligrams. “The slightest touches, [it] captures nuances. It’s about digitizing intent and expression,” said Bathiche who encouraged me to try lightly drawing with one of the new pens on the new Surface Pro. I did and was impressed with how lightly I could draw and still get a faint line.

Microsoft is also extending the Pen utility with Windows Ink enhancements like the ability to find your favorite pen settings on any Surface device where you’re signed in. There’s also a new Whiteboard application, which is essentially a shared Whiteboard that supports real-time inking and collaboration on a virtual whiteboard for multiple Surface users.

Performance and connectivity

Microsoft is also extending the fanless design up to an intel Core i5 CPU, which means most of Surface Pro users may have completely silent systems. Core i7 systems will still need a fan. “We push the i7, we push hard,” said Panay.

It’s also worth noting that the sub-1.7 lb. weight is only for the Intel core m3. The i5 model weighs 1.7 lbs. and the i7 (all 7th Generation) weighs 1.73 lbs. Memory options range from 4G up to 16 GB of RAM and storage ranges from 128 GB SSD up to a 1 TB option. There’s also a micro-SD slot for storage expansion.

The Surface Pro will finally join the mobile broadband universe, adding an undetectable LTE antenna. Panay turned the Surface Pro over in his hands and pointed out there are no antenna lines or windows (like the LTE iPad’s distinctive strip).

A Wi-Fi only Surface Pro launches on June 15. The LTE version should arrive a few months later.

The Surface Pen looks the same, but is more powerful. Battery life — a year or more — is, Microsoft said, unchanged.

Image: lance ulanoff/mashable

There are a handful of other noticeable changes, like an improved Type Cover keyboard with better key travel that, for me, improved an already excellent typing experience, a more precise trackpad, boosted speakers for 20% more volume and something that seemed to disappear.

Micosoft is offering more colors on its Type Cover, which now has a better typing experience.

Image: Lance Ulanoff/Mashable

Microsoft didn’t bother to upgrade the 8- and 5-megapixel back and front cameras, respectively, but it’s harder to see where the front-facing camera sits in the chrome just above the screen.

“We basically made them [the cameras] go away with new technology in our black mask that let us mute the look of the cameras a bit,” said Panay.

Leaning forward

Any time you alter a successful brand, there’s concern that you lose or muddle the identity. The Surface Pro 4 and the Surface tablets before it all have that iconic look: the magnesium body and sharp, almost retro edges. 

“This is the icon.”

Image: Lance Ulanoff/Mashable

Is Panay concerned that, by smoothing things out and making the device a little more approachable, he’s messing with an icon?

Panay took the nearest Surface Pro and turned it so I was staring at its profile. “This is the icon, Lance. This is the icon that the product leans on,” he said gesturing to the kickstand. “That’s what the product was created on. We won’t touch that.”

WATCH: Someone drilled a hole in an iPhone to make a fidget spinner because… the internet

America’s economic problems go far beyond rich bankers, too-big-to-fail financial institutions, hedge-fund billionaires, offshore tax avoidance or any particular outrage of the moment. In fact, each of these is symptomatic of a more nefarious condition that threatens, in equal measure, the very well-off and the very poor, the red and the blue. The U.S. system of market capitalism itself is broken.

[…]

America’s economic illness has a name: financialization. It’s an academic term for the trend by which Wall Street and its methods have come to reign supreme in America, permeating not just the financial industry but also much of American business. It includes everything from the growth in size and scope of finance and financial activity in the economy; to the rise of debt-fueled speculation over productive lending; to the ascendancy of shareholder value as the sole model for corporate governance; to the proliferation of risky, selfish thinking in both the private and public sectors; to the increasing political power of financiers and the CEOs they enrich; to the way in which a “markets know best” ideology remains the status quo. Financialization is a big, unfriendly word with broad, disconcerting implications.

[…]

The changes were driven by the fact that in the 1970s, the growth that America had enjoyed following World War II began to slow. Rather than make tough decisions about how to bolster it (which would inevitably mean choosing among various interest groups), politicians decided to pass that responsibility to the financial markets. Little by little, the Depression-era regulation that had served America so well was rolled back, and finance grew to become the dominant force that it is today. The shifts were bipartisan, and to be fair they often seemed like good ideas at the time; but they also came with unintended consequences.

[…]

This sickness, not so much the product of venal interests as of a complex and long-term web of changes in government and private industry, now manifests itself in myriad ways: a housing market that is bifurcated and dependent on government life support, a retirement system that has left millions insecure in their old age, a tax code that favors debt over equity. Debt is the lifeblood of finance; with the rise of the securities-and-trading portion of the industry came a rise in debt of all kinds, public and private. That’s bad news, since a wide range of academic research shows that rising debt and credit levels stoke financial instability. And yet, as finance has captured a greater and greater piece of the national pie, it has, perversely, all but ensured that debt is indispensable to maintaining any growth at all in an advanced economy like the U.S., where 70% of output is consumer spending. Debt-fueled finance has become a saccharine substitute for the real thing, an addiction that just gets worse. (The amount of credit offered to American consumers has doubled in real dollars since the 1980s, as have the fees they pay to their banks.)

[…]

Remooring finance in the real economy isn’t as simple as splitting up the biggest banks (although that would be a good start). It’s about dismantling the hold of financial-oriented thinking in every corner of corporate America. It’s about reforming business education, which is still permeated with academics who resist challenges to the gospel of efficient markets in the same way that medieval clergy dismissed scientific evidence that might challenge the existence of God. It’s about changing a tax system that treats one-year investment gains the same as longer-term ones, and induces financial institutions to push overconsumption and speculation rather than healthy lending to small businesses and job creators. It’s about rethinking retirement, crafting smarter housing policy and restraining a money culture filled with lobbyists who violate America’s essential economic principles.

It’s also about starting a bigger conversation about all this, with a broader group of stakeholders. The structure of American capital markets and whether or not they are serving business is a topic that has traditionally been the sole domain of “experts”—the financiers and policymakers who often have a self-interested perspective to push, and who do so in complicated language that keeps outsiders out of the debate. When it comes to finance, as with so many issues in a democratic society, complexity breeds exclusion.

— 

Rana Foroohar, American Capitalism’s Great Crisis

It will take an actual revolution – the Human Spring – to straighten out the financialization of the world.

A change to featured tag pages

For several years now our tag editors have done the heavy lifting of finding and surfacing the best posts for featured tags (like #lol and #landscape, which showed a curated collection of posts), a gargantuan task that we appreciate mightily. As Tumblr has grown we’ve had to build new tools like Search and Explore to keep up with the volume, and in a few weeks we’ll be retiring the tag editor system. Those tags will display posts in the order published, like the rest of our tag pages.

wsj.com
What Does Nevada’s $35 Billion Fund Manager Do All Day? Nothing
Nevada’s employee pension fund manager Steve Edmundson runs a ‘barebones’ operation, eats leftovers at his desk, and tops other states’ returns by trying to under-react.
By Timothy W. Martin

Steve Edmundson has no co-workers, rarely takes meetings and often eats leftovers at his desk. With that dynamic workday, the investment chief for the Nevada Public Employees’ Retirement System is out-earning pension funds that have hundreds on staff.

His daily trading strategy: Do as little as possible, usually nothing.

The Nevada system’s stocks and bonds are all in low-cost funds that mimic indexes. Mr. Edmundson may make one change to the portfolio a year. 

[…]

From his one-story office building in Carson City, Mr. Edmundson commands funds whose returns over one-year, three-year, five-year and 10-year periods ending June 30 bested the nation’s largest public pension, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, or Calpers, and deeply-staffed plans of many other states.

I think this guy is my hero.

Listen

A Republican lawmaker wants to get rid of Montana’s public employee and teachers’ retirement systems.  Representative Wayne Stahl (R-Saco) says replacing the systems with an annuity program will save the state money in the long run.  Montana Public Radio’s Emilie Ritter has details…

No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to Montana Public Radio. 

We’re not experiencing a crisis of capitalism but rather the triumph of crisis capitalism. “Crisis” means: government is growing. Crisis has become the ultima ratio of the powers that be. Modernity measured everything in relation to the past backwardness it claimed to be rescuing us from; now everything is measured in relation to its impending collapse. When the salaries of Greek civil servants are reduced by half, it’s while pointing out that one could just as well no longer pay them at all. Every time the period of pension contribution of French wage earners is lengthened, the rationale has to do with “saving the retirement system”. The present crisis, permanent and omnilateral, is no longer the classic crisis, the decisive moment. On the contrary, its an endless end, a lasting apocalypse, an indefinite suspension, an effective postponement of the actual collapse, and for that reason a permanent state of exception.
—  To Our Friends - The Invisible Committee

I am so angry and sad.

250,000 children in poverty.

A generation of New Zealander’s who will never own their own home.

A generation of New Zealander’s who can’t afford to retire.

A privatised education system. A privatised health system.

Workers losing all their paid breaks. Workers losing their right to unpaid breaks.

A prime minister who says, “If you have nothing to fear you have nothing to hide.”

Congratulations, New Zealand.

Welcome to a neo-liberal fascist hell.