Sunday, December 28, 2008

An Odd Thought

The latest wave of fraud (Madoff) and the first wave of fraud (subprime) have both featured ethnic ties exploited by hucksters. Madoff was a pseudo-mensch who preyed upon the Jewish community. During the subprime debacle lots of of minorities were led into terrible mortgages by Judas goat Mortgage brokers who were their race or spoke their language.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Class Warfare

Dean Baker: More Class Hatred in the Washington Post
The Post editorial, after deploring the fact that bailout money was diverted from Wall Street to the real economy, celebrated the pay cuts that the bailout would impose on UAW workers. For some reason, the Post attaches enormous importance to reducing the pay of auto workers who earn $28 an hour. It shows no comparable concern for reducing the pay of auto industry executives to parity with their foreign competitors. (The top executives at Toyota, Honda, and other successful companies get paid in the neighborhood of $1-2 million a year. Unlike their U.S. counterparts, they don't get paychecks in the tens of millions of dollars even in the best years.) The Post has allso never felt the need to insist on large pay cuts for Wall Street executives even though their banks are now wards of the state.

Somehow resenting the excess pay of someone who makes 1000 times as much as you is the "politics of envy" while resenting the pay of someone who makes a few percent more than you do is "populism".

Monday, December 08, 2008

WMDs on Wheels?

Today's Trucking: Poultry a Road Hazard?

Apparently, it's not diesel exhaust exposure you should worry about when pacing behind another tractor-trailer. Instead, you might want to roll up the windows and hold your breath if you're ever trailing a live chicken hauler.

According to a new study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, chickens hauled in crates on open flatdecks can release antibiotic-resistant bacteria along the highway and into vehicles traveling behind them.

There's a happy thought if the Bird Flu ever goes virulent.