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Monday, 4 April 2016

American Profits Excessive: Business Needs to Compete


How Long Can it Last?

Although the industry is now suffering from low oil prices, it is a rare example of entrepreneurial spirit taking on a stodgy industry to the benefit of all. A new commitment to competition could be the source of optimism that America is desperately searching for. After all, it is only a healthy dollop of greed and a belief in a better future that prompts people to start from scratch and try to cross the moat that has been dug around corporate America.
The Economist



Too Much of a Good Thing

Profits are too high. America needs a giant dose of competition


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AMERICA’S airlines used to be famous for two things: terrible service and worse finances. Today flyers still endure hidden fees, late flights, bruised knees, clapped-out fittings and sub-par food. The profit bit of the picture, though, has changed a lot. Last year America’s airlines made $24 billion—more than Alphabet, the parent company of Google. Even as the price of fuel, one of airlines’ main expenses, collapsed alongside the oil price, little of that benefit was passed on to consumers through lower prices, with revenues remaining fairly flat. After a bout of consolidation in the past decade the industry is dominated by four firms with tight financial discipline and many shareholders in common. And the return on capital is similar to that seen in Silicon Valley.



Thousands Could Lose Food Stamps as States Restore Pre-Recession Requirements 
During and after the latest recession, which ended in mid-2009, most states qualified for waivers from the time limits. But the time limits will be in effect this year in more than 40 states. In 22 states, the limits are coming back for the first time since the recession.
As the economy improves, the Food and Nutrition Service said, many places no longer qualify for time limit waivers.


They want to keep a country in existence paying up forevermore. Now, they could do that, in this case, in several nasty ways. The threat on Greece, first of all, is to declare a default, and that will freeze the system. Secondly, they could declare a bail-in of all the money in the Greek banks, and Greek depositors would lose all their money.
There are other sinister possibilities by which the IMF and the West, generally, can use threats against Greece to force it to bend to their will, which is so that it becomes a debt serf or a debt peon forevermore.


And that is when things go horribly wrong. Applying blanket policies on heterogeneous groups, trying to force behaviours that contradict man’s evolutionary traits, positive or otherwise, enforcing one-size-fits-all rules to tame the inherent unpredictability of human nature, it’s all basically tantamount to hubris. As a direct result, we have seen the intended and unintended consequences of these grand designs wreak havoc with the lives of law abiding citizens, entire societies splinter apart and once-great nations razed to the ground. Toxic ideas, cultivated in this environment of delusional omniscience and absolute certainty, fostered by reckless arrogance, soon metastasised to politics and became the law of the land: Central planning, state monopolies, interventionism, they are all a thorny rose by any other name.




Study Confirms World’s Coastal Cities Unsavable If We Don’t Slash Carbon Pollution




A new study confirms what leading climate scientists have warned about for many years now: Only very aggressive climate action can save the world’s coastal cities from inundation by century’s end.
We still could limit sea level rise to two feet this century if we keep total warming below 2°C, according to analysis using these new findings. Otherwise, we should be anticipating five to six feet of sea level rise by 2100 — which would generate hundreds of millions of refugees. That isn’t even the worst-case scenario.
This latest research from the journal Nature underscores that what the nation and the world do in the next decade or two will determine whether or not cities like Miami, Boston, New York, or New Orleans have any plausible chance to survive by 2100.
The study, “Contribution of Antarctica to past and future sea-level rise,” analyzes “new processes in the 3-dimensional ice sheet model.” It makes use of mechanisms involving the impact of warming oceans on the unstable Antarctic ice sheet “that were previously known but never incorporated in a model like this before.” It then tests its findings “against past episodes of high sea-levels and ice retreat.”

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