Samir’s Selection 03/09/2016 (p.m.)

  • “The alternative to saving for retirement is to delay retirement, possibly indefinitely.” This was the grim message from a report on pension provision published last week. The report, commissioned by the UK Labour party, said that many people were

    tags: employment retirement pension policy LabourParty population demographics

  • tags: ElizabethWarren middleclass economics policy corruption freedom fairness inequality USpolitics

    • Middle class income stagnation wasn’t caused by some unstoppable force of nature, like gravity. It was caused by changes in government that favored those who could hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers, and that left everyone else behind. Now, instead of an economy that works well for everyone, America has an economy that works well for only about 10% of our people.
      • So how can we level the playing field?
        • Close corporate tax loopholes so we have the money to invest in colleges, in building a 21st century infrastructure and in medical and scientific research – the things that help us build a future for all of our kids.
        • Raise wages – starting by raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
        • Require equal pay for equal work (amazing that this is still an issue!).
        • Protect workers’ right to organize because unions help increase wages for all workers, union or not.
        • Adopt paid family and medical leave and paid sick days, so that taking a little time off work doesn’t mean financial ruin.
        • Ensure fair and predictable work scheduling (try planning a budget, or planning for child care, if you don’t know when/if you’re working next week).
        • Enforce labor laws on the books – two-thirds of low-wage workers experience wage violations (theft is theft, and stealing from the working poor is despicable).
        • Fix outdated and broken overtime rules so more Americans are eligible for overtime. Companies shouldn’t be able to make a $28,000-a-year worker an “assistant manager” just to escape paying overtime.
        • Protect and expand Social Security, so after a lifetime of work, people can retire with dignity.
    • Before anyone does the oh-this-is-just-fantasy-dance, please look up the polling. Most of America – Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, Contrarians, Vegetarians – support nearly all of these proposals by about two-to-one. Our problem isn’t that we don’t know what we need to fix. Our problem is that the US Congress won’t pass these fixes.
  • tags: design intellectualproperty copyright law UKSupremeCourt Trunki

    • A company that sells children’s ride-on suitcases has lost a court battle with a rival over product design.

      Magmatic – which sells Trunki suitcases decorated to look like animals or insects – said PMS International’s Kiddee Case range infringed registered design rights.

      Five Supreme Court judges analysed the dispute at a hearing in November and have now ruled against Magmatic

      Lawyers said the ruling will have “profound” design implications.

    • But in its ruling on Wednesday, the Supreme Court backed the Court of Appeal – a move experts described as a “massive blow to Trunki”.

      Lawyer Mike Gardner, a partner at law firm Wedlake Bell, said the case showed how difficult it could be for businesses to protect their designs.

      He said: “The court expressed sympathy with Magmatic that, in this case, it could not do anything to stop the sales of a product copied by a rival.

      “But design law did not protect ideas – it protected the appearance of products. “

  • Those G.O.P. elites sold their own souls and their party so many times to charlatans and plutocrats that you wonder when it’s going to show up on closeout on eBay: “For sale: The G.O.P. soul. Almost empty. This soul was previously sold to Sarah Palin, the Tea Party anarchists, Rush Limbaugh, Grover Norquist, the gun lobby, the oil industry, the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson and Fox News. Will bargain. No offer too low.”

    Normally smart people, like Mitt Romney, discarded all their best instincts to suck up to this ragtag assortment of self-appointed G.O.P. commissars, each representing a different slice of what came to be Republican orthodoxy — climate change is a hoax; abortion, even in the case of rape or incest, is impermissible; even common-sense gun laws must be opposed, no matter how many kids get murdered; taxes must always be cut and safety nets shrunk, no matter what the economic context; Obamacare must be destroyed, even though it was based on a Republican idea; and Iraq was a success even though it was a mess.

    tags: DonaldTrump USpolitics conservative ThomasFriedman

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