The total number of U.S. households grew by 7.6 million over the past decade, Pew reported. However, the number of households headed by owners remained relatively flat, while households headed by renters grew by nearly 10 percent during the same time period.
Staving Off the Coming Global Collapse (Andre P.)
Basu is the former chief economist of the World Bank, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and professor of economics at Cornell University, so he is no flake in the economics department. But this does not prevent a display of alarming ignorance of both the power of exponential growth and the state of the ecosphere. Income and consumption doubling every four years? After just 20 years and five doublings, the economy would be larger by a factor of 32; in 50 years it will have multiplied more than 5000-fold! Basu must inhabit some infinite parallel universe.
Having lost its past status of “pre-eminence”, the U.S. now inhabits a dangerous, unpredictable “post-primacy” world, whose defining feature is “resistance to authority”.
Danger comes not just from great power rivals like Russia and China, both portrayed as rapidly growing threats to American interests, but also from the increasing risk of “Arab Spring”-style events. These will erupt not just in the Middle East, but all over the world, potentially undermining trust in incumbent governments for the foreseeable future.
Cyberwar looms as diplomats dither (Terry L)
Cyber intelligence operations could increase the risk of accidental war, according to researchers at the Australian National University’s National Security College.
Early results published earlier this month supported the idea that the world is sleepwalking to war, much like Europe did in the early years of the 20th century.
There are certain parts of the Chinese internet that have to be seen to be believed. Coming from outside the country, it’s hard to comprehend that Facebook or Google can be completely blocked until you are forced to do without them. It’s tough to fathom how critical the messenger app WeChat is for everyday life until the sixth person of the day asks to scan your QR code — a sort of bar code — to connect the two of you.
Asset forfeiture is a disputed practice that allows law enforcement officials to permanently take money and goods from individuals suspected of crime. There is little disagreement among lawmakers, authorities and criminal justice reformers that “no criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime.” But in many cases, neither a criminal conviction nor even a criminal charge is necessary — under forfeiture laws in most states and at the federal level, mere suspicion of wrongdoing is enough to allow police to seize items permanently.
Is Gerrymandering a Threat to Democracy? (Tiffany D.)
In Politico’s “Gerrymandering Isn’t Evil,” much of the argument is called a myth, a too-simple explanation for bitter partisan battles promoted by well-intentioned reformers. Evidence from political science research shows only weak correlations between gerrymandering, polarization and electoral competitiveness.
Is it really a dire problem, the solution of which will right all wrongs?
A Stock Market Crash Is Coming (GE Christenson)
The Fed and other central banks have added many $ trillions to their balance sheets since 2008. Official U.S. national debt is roughly $10 trillion larger in ten years. Consumer prices are higher, stocks and bonds have been levitated, the DOW and S&P are trading at all-time highs, and the markets haven’t crashed … YET. Something will puncture the bubble in stocks and bonds. Bubbles in currencies and confidence in central banks also await pins.
As usual, the internet gets the blame. The shift to online shopping has taken its toll on traditional mall anchors, such as Macy’s, JC Penney and Sears. But there are other issues. America has too much retail space and too many crappy malls. “It’s much less about technology than it is about overbuilding,” says Bruce Batkin, chief executive of Terra Capital Partners, a commercial real estate lender.
The Mall of America is different and its survival points to what has gone wrong in retailing and where it is heading. It’s a shift that will have profound consequences.
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