“The Roberts Court is not radically different from its predecessor. As on the Rehnquist Court, the conservatives hold the majority, but their advantage is razor-thin. Many of the most politically heated cases are decided by 5–4 votes. And therefore, no matter who is chief justice, the real power to decide close cases is held by the least conservative of the conservative justices. The center defines the Court, not the chief justice. And while the Roberts Court includes four of the most deeply conservative justices ever to serve on the Supreme Court—Roberts, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas—they cannot prevail unless they can appeal to Kennedy (or, very rarely, one of the four liberal justices) for a fifth vote.”
— ‘The Anti-Court Court' via New York Review of Books
“The federal government will make $184 billion in profits from student loan debt over the next decade.”
— ‘The Hi-Tech Mess of Higher Education' via New York Review of Books
“Mirroring the continuing decline in homeownership, the demand for rentals remains strong: In 2013, the overall vacancy rate fell to 8.3%, while rents rose 2.8%, exceeding the inflation rate of 1.5%. In the 20 most desirable cities, rents rose more steeply, averaging 6%, quadruple the inflation rate.”
— via Journalist’s Resource, The state of the nation’s housing, 2014
“Median household income continues to fall, dropping 1.4% in real terms in 2012, the lowest level in nearly two decades. “The steepest declines have been among younger adults. The median income for households aged 25-34 fell an astounding 11% from 2002 to 2012, leaving their real incomes below those of same-aged households in 1972.”
— via Journalist’s Resource, The state of the nation’s housing, 2014
“Rising student loan debt is putting a significant burden on younger would-be buyers: “Between 2001 and 2010, the share of households aged 25-34 with student loan debt soared from 26% to 39%, with the median amount rising from $10,000 to $15,000 in real terms…. For these borrowers, the need to pay off these outsized loans will likely delay any move to homeownership.”
— via Journalist’s Resource, The state of the nation’s housing, 2014
“[Rudolf Elmer] accepts that he faces an uphill struggle. He argues that the government’s case against him is driven by political considerations as much as legal principles, and that it is supported by a “morally corrupt” judicial system that “bends and stretches the law” to protect financial secrecy, even when it is used to shield those who knowingly break other countries’ laws.”
“The “winner-takes-all” nature of modern economies may amplify the substitution effect. The scale of the global market means businesses that innovate tend to reap huge gains (think of YouTube, Apple and Goldman Sachs). The returns for beating your competitors can be enormous. Research shows that the same is true for highly skilled workers. Although they do not immediately get overtime pay for “extra” hours, the most successful workers, often the ones putting in the most hours, may reap gains from winner-takes-all markets. Whereas in the early 1980s a man working 55 hours a week earned 11% more than a man putting in 40 hours in the same type of occupation, that gap had increased to 25% by the turn of the millennium.”
The Economist, Nice work if you can get out
“If you look behind the jobs report, the 288,000 jobs created, Tom, you find many of the jobs came in terms of part-time jobs. Full-time jobs actually went down in the month compared with the previous month. Second, wages increased by a mere 2 percent year-on-year. When you count inflation, wages have gone down in real terms. These are not people who are going to support the economy during the coming months. I’m not optimistic on consumption.”
— Komal Sri-Kumar, via Bloomberg
“To advance the public interest, the department should consider, among other subjects, how antitrust law applied to Amazon might assure greater diversity of economically workable authorship and publishing—cultural and democratic competition, that is, not just price competition. To argue that antitrust should focus merely on price and market numbers is to ignore the law’s deeply political and public-minded history.”
— Steve Coll, ‘Citizen Bezos' via New York Review of Books