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Government

This category contains 19 posts

Corporate Welfare is Receiving Some Necessary Scrutiny

(NYS) Recent analysis [pdf] of NYS subsidies to business in the form of tax credits and other give-aways of public money is gathering attention among tax-policy specialists and a highly acclaimed journalist from WNY. This analysis continues a decades-long trend showing that only very little or no benefit can be rightfully attributed to corporate welfare. … Continue reading

Congress Fails to Remove another Threat early next Year of Default

(Analysis) Congress finally passed a bill this week that allowed the federal government both to reopen fully, and to borrow funds in order to pay for spending on programs already approved by Congress. After more than two weeks of brinkmanship, the solution to a crisis manufactured solely by Congress – especially by republicans in the … Continue reading

Surveillance in the Era of Big Data

(Review) Not too much to add to this post here (via Next New Deal)… using quite standard mathematical techniques and network analysis, the author is able to identify some very interesting characteristics of individuals from basic meta-data. This analysis is quite simple computationally today, and it is based on relatively unobtrusive monitoring of group membership. … Continue reading

The Growing American Rule-of-Law Deficit

(Analysis) Throughout much of US history, rule of law has been enshrined as a beacon to many parts of the world. Whereas other countries suffered from preferential treatment of elites, often aristocratic, the US rightly criticized such practices. Continued criticism by the US Government of other countries for failing to practice rule of law now … Continue reading

Update the Post Office for the 21st Century

(Analysis) The US Post Office is facing financial insolvency from its traditional “snail mail” service. Designed as a means to allow affordable home mail delivery for every US citizen – the private sector would price delivery for many recipients out of reach under a true market solution – technology and deregulation are eroding the ability … Continue reading

Austerity Holding Back US Recovery as GDP Growth Revised Downwards to 1.8%

(Analysis) The US BEA revised downwards the rate of growth (annualized) during the first quarter of 2013 by 0.6% to 1.8%. This is a relatively large revision for a third and final revision to real GDP, so it is safe to assume that this new estimate is a surprise to many observers. The BEA identifies … Continue reading

Concerns over Succession at Fed Likely Trumping Desire for Simple Transparency

(Analysis) Chairman Bernanke gave forward-looking guidance of Fed policy last week that left markets in some degree of chaos. By stating that continued quantitative easing (QE) would be contingent on an unemployment rate of 7+%, and revealing optimistic forecasts by the Fed of the unemployment rate, Bernanke was interpreted by markets to mean that “tapering” … Continue reading

Snowden Affair Reveals Dangers from Privatizing Government Services

(Analysis) Edward Snowden, an employee of Booz Allen Hamilton doing contract work for the US intelligence agency NSA, recently fled to Hong Kong with sensitive and classified data. He is reported to be destined for Ecuador, where he will presumably receive political asylum. Snowden has revealed information to the media – and potentially to foreign … Continue reading

The Niagara Frontier Tax Give-away, Part II: How Does Your Local IDA Compare?

(WNY) NYS recently shined a spotlight [pdf] on the state-sponsored industrial development agencies (IDAs), seeking to deliver a minimum of oversight and transparency as the IDAs dole out tax exemptions and other public goodies to business. There is previous WNY-WJ content about this here, and the table from that content is now updated (see table … Continue reading

NYS Economy Can Save Over $9 Billion Each Year

(Analysis) As NYS citizens collectively make do with less because the private sector is incapable of delivering either full employment or the economy’s potential for output, and government officials refuse to stimulate the economy in order to reach either mark, here’s one way we can collectively clear an estimated $9 billion per year: set up … Continue reading