WIRED | Gig-ing, the next economy

20130917-191617.jpgThe Gig Economy: The Force That Could Save the American Worker? BY MICHA KAUFMAN, 09.17.13

Back to the future, the steady job ‘created’ by Henry Ford and his cohort will fade from center stage after about a century of centrality, making economists’ jobs even harder. My belief that this is already happening and is part (probably a tiny part) of the official jobless recovery problem.

NYT | power by the hour, Light by the cent

The Next Wireless Revolution, in Electricity : By TINA ROSENBERG : September 11, 2013
Great synopsis piece on how the spin offs of our mobile life is creating an underpinning for a financially, socially and ecologically sound human social revolution. Or at least that’s what we can hope for.

German / Euro Green Dogma vs Cold Green (eyeshades, cash) Reality

At PhysOrg.com:German energy giants pull plug on conventional power
by Mathilde Richter20130818-201745.jpg

Lightning fills the sky above a wind farm near Jacobsdorf, eastern Germany in May 2013. With political clout firmly behind renewables, priority is given in the national power grid to so-called “clean” electricity.

Back at the beginning, the smart money knew the War on Drugs was lost before it started

From the: Hoover Institute: defining ideas: Losing the War on Drugs by George P. Shultz

First, who knew George Schultz, who was in the news all the time when I was young, was still alive? Glad of it! A hard nosed realist with polish and vast experience. I just hope this is part of a change in policy thinking…but I fear the vested interests!

A vast torrent of our resources among the some part of our morale stature, our trust and lawfulness, have been poured into the maw of the beast never to be seen again. Worse, the ruthless torrent has eroded our very ability to gate it.

Criminalizing human behavior does not stop it, it gives you (the one trying to mitigate harm) leverage. When that leverage works double, triple or more for the other side, you are the fool dangling off the end of your supposed ‘advantage.’

There’s a reason this bull is smirking

20130814-140218.jpg
Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
You Can’t Afford Your Broker, at Any Price By Megan McArdle Bloomberg Aug 13, 2013 11:49 AM ET
Your broker does not have a fiduciary responsibility to you! She makes her money off of you!

This is why talking to the neatly turned out young things at any financial shop gives me the heaves. But they wangle it so it’s difficult not to, once in a while.

Best advice for the small investor, put the money in, keep an eye on the economy and your situation and try to forget about it….uhh, while, you know, keeping an eye on the …..etc…

Fences MAY improve neighbors but Walls, however ‘great,’ DO NOT

20130713-174112.jpgThe Atlantic: The Great Wall of Texas: How the U.S. Is Repeating One of History’s Great Blunders
Great little piece, good use of references to Rome, China and Great Britain’s Empire. The title is a bit ExcelaCorridor sneering but that’s the editors fault. I am proud to have been born in Britain and be a Naturalized US citizen. I’m also a wonk-geek-nerd-intellectual-libertarian I think the sealing of the border is fantasy/pandering/bunk, a channel for more neo graft cronyism.

We need immigration reform and border security but in a nation the size of the US, physical barriers are a boondoggle. Reform immigration and border security becomes easier since the vast huge immense majority of folks coming will want to come through the check points and follow the rules. The guys out in the desert, at sea or in the booneys looking to cross without being checked will be much easier to spot.

Too complex an issue you say? Not so say I:

  • 3 types of entry visas, you to apply in person, provide a little information, name, age, place of birth, current residence, phone/cell phone/eMail address, one or two people of some repute who will vouch for you ( if you apply for citizenship up front it’s a bit more complicated, see below.)
  • Visitor: One year, do anything you want, report your location via web when you move, pay taxes, work if you want using your visa # in lieu of SSN. SocialSecurity/WorkersComp ‘fees’ held in accounts with no interest, returned to you as lump sum after you exit and apply for it through US consulate in your country of citizenship. Subject to immediate deportation on conviction of a felony, if you are incarcerated in the US in full you are still subject to deportation. You can convert to a work visa or ask for a citizenship review at any time. If you overstay without upgrading it is an automatic felony and deportation, you are not a citizen though basic constitutional law applies you do not get trial by jury.
  • Work: unlimited stay, once a year report your location in person at any government office state or federal, use your visa number in lieu of a SSN pay all taxes. SS, MC, etc, fees go in a holding account with no interest, convert to regular SS, MC if you retire in the US or if you become citizen, otherwise returned to you as lump sum after you exit and apply for it through US consulate in your country of citizenship. Subject to immediate deportation on conviction of a felony, if you are incarcerated in the US in full you are not subject to deportation. You are not a citizen though basic constitutional law applies you do not get trial by jury regarding deportation. Time on a work visa does not lead to citizenship, you can ask for a citizenship review at any time.
  • Citizenship: you can ask for a citizenship review at any time, when applying for a visa in your country of origin or once in the US. Once approved for a citizenship track visa you are still effectively on a working visa but after seven years you can apply for citizenship and after a second review (same process as the first one) you will be approved for naturalization. The process is fee based and administrative, you will pay a fee for a background check to be carried out by US Immigration not a contractor. A US state or federal judge will be chosen at random in your state of residence, to review your case and approve disapprove. You can apply more than once, after a one year wait, you always pay the fee. If you object to a negative ruling you can pay for a court hearing with another Judge and a lawyer from immigration (two hours of J&L, a one hour hearing and a letter response, Yes/No), you can have a lawyer as well at your own expense, only one review a year. Have to be eighteen to ask for citizenship in your own right. A minor less than 12 becomes a citizen if one or both parents become one and ask for it. A minor over 12 cannot become a citizen until he/she is eighteen but if one or both parents have become naturalized citizens in that interim the child can ask for and immediately receive citizenship as long as they pass the administrative hurdle
So what about large number of illegals in the US, what have you done to discourage illegals:

  1. make it illegal to be in the us without a valid visa#
  2. Most folks come to work and want to be treated fairly, as a legal you have most of the protections of a citizen
  3. Those already in the US will be able to apply for a work visa and will have limited immunity since it is currently not illegal to be in the US without a visa. However you will be required to return to your country of origin ( or if you are a refugee apply for asylum ) before you can apply for citizenship track
  4. require employers to use eVerify for SSN, Visa#, for employees or contractors, make the system extremely simple to use. For example: as an employer or employers agent, you enter your number, it flashes your picture on the screen and the employee taps in his/her number and their picture flashes up, you hit confirm, you are done.
  5. failure to eVerify is subject to stiff fines and public shaming

What about quotas, dumping, the hoards who will flood in, all those aliens? You wail…and let’s get this right this what helps give zombie flicks their grist these days….

  • I would get rid of quotas fo awile and see what happens, but keep the quotas for those coming by boat or plane if you must but simply enforce the visa at the land boarders
  • no this won’t stop all the tramping across the boarder but will make it much less prevalent and industrialized
  • most immigrants come to work and plan on going home, it was more than a decade before my parent’s realized they didn’t want to go back, and it was near run a few times
  • Immigrants (other than a tiny fraction of a sliver) want to make a better life for themselves
  • if they stay it is to make America their home and a better place for their children
  • make it easier to come and go and you will find the flow goes both ways
  • population growth drives economic growth, US natural pop. growth is nearing zero even with lots of youngish immigrant, more would be better for us not worse
I’m not sure why a law implementing the above takes more than five to ten pages, the regulation details will be much longer that’s what bureaucracies are for, but with a simple law comes simple administration. In general a WVisa holder should be treated as a US citizen get rid of layers of special rules make it easy to comply, make it worth complying. But over all – KISS – keep it small and simple…

Is it zeitgeist? Hadn’t seen this when I ranted a bit on MBA’s

Read more at : MeganMcardle.com: Is the MBA Going Away? 9July 2013

… it is the graduate schools that the collapse has begun. That doesn’t mean that graduate education will go away (after all, neither tulip bulbs nor stock exchanges went away when those bubbles collapsed); rather, the market will get dramatically smaller, with the shakiest programs going bust, others retrenching, and the top ones continuing to draw more students than they can enroll. If it spreads to college, we should expect to see the same pattern: top tier schools surviving and even thriving, while lesser ranked schools pitched into financial crises by declining enrollment.

Also: Don’t Go to Business School! by Megan McArdle at The Daily Beast Jan 9, 2013 10:36 AM

Unless you can get into a top program, professional school may cause more problems than it solves