Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Daphne Caruana Galizia: Abuses and Social MEdia

Use Spare Older Workers to Overcome ‘Labour Shortages


Daphne Caruana Galizia Politico (Richard Smith)
Her last tweet:

Getting tough about age discrimination would help address the alleged shortage of workers.

Jay A. Soled (Rutgers) & James Alm (Tulane), W(h)ither the Tax Gap?:, 92 Wash. L. Rev. 521 (2017):

For decades, policy makers and politicians have railed against the “tax gap,” or the difference between what taxpayers are legally obligated to pay in taxes and what they actually pay in taxes. To close the gap, Congress has instituted numerous reforms, with varying degrees of success. Notwithstanding these efforts, the tax gap has largely remained intact, and, if anything, its size has gradually grown over the last several decades.

IMF Fiscal Monitor, Tackling Inequality, October 2017:

Rising inequality and slow economic growth in many countries have focused attention on policies to support inclusive growth. While some inequality is inevitable in a market-based economic system, excessive inequality can erode social cohesion, lead to political polarization, and ultimately lower economic growth. This Fiscal Monitor discusses how fiscal policies can help achieve redistributive objectives. It focuses on three salient policy debates: tax rates at the top of the income distribution, the introduction of a universal basic income, and the role of public spending on education and health.


The International Monetary Fund delivered a blunt warning to international policy makers ahead of the fund’s annual meeting this week: Governments risk undermining global economic growth by cutting taxes on the wealthy.

The message, while aimed broadly at all developed nations, carries particular resonance in the United States as the Trump administration and Republican lawmakers push a tax plan that critics say will exacerbate income inequality by reducing taxes for the richest Americans. ...

Adam B. Thimmesch (Nebraska), David Gamage (Indiana) & Darien Shanske (UC-Davis), The Case for Consumer-Based Use Tax Enforcement, 85 State Tax Notes 1049 (Sept. 11, 2017):
This essay argues that state governments’ current focus on getting vendors to collect their sales and use taxes is insufficient, especially in regard to e-commerce transactions. If state governments want their use taxes to serve as effective and lawful backstops to their sales taxes — as state governments claim is their goal — then states must also focus on the consumer side of the use-tax equation.

New York Law Journal, Judge Hands Two-Year Sentence to Ex-Herrick Tax Head:

Four months after pleading guilty to tax charges, former Herrick Feinstein partner Harold Levine in New York was sentenced Wednesday to 24 months in federal prison for his role in a scheme to defraud the IRS.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff of the Southern District of New York in Manhattan handed down the sentence against Levine, who was indicted a year ago this month on wire fraud and tax evasion charges.

The Register: “Two members of the US House of Representatives today introduced a law bill that would allow hacking victims to seek revenge and hack the hackers who hacked them. The Active Cyber Defense Certainty Act (ACDC) [PDF] amends the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to make limited retaliatory strikes against cyber-miscreants legal in America for the first time. The bill would allow hacked organizations to venture outside their networks to identify an intruder and infiltrate their systems, destroy any data that had been stolen, and deploy “beaconing technology” to trace the physical location of the attacker. “While it doesn’t solve every problem, ACDC brings some light into the dark places where cybercriminals operate,” said co-sponsor Representative Tom Graves (R-GA). “The certainty the bill provides will empower individuals and companies use new defenses against cybercriminals. I also hope it spurs a new generation of tools and methods to level the lopsided cyber battlefield, if not give an edge to cyber defenders. We must continue working toward the day when it’s the norm – not the exception – for criminal hackers to be identified and prosecuted.”
  • “I never thought of it this way. It’s basically the cyber version of being allowed to murder someone for entering your property.” — MalwareTech (@MalwareTechBlog) October 13, 2017

Human Brain and Why Social Media such as LinkedIn sucks

LOCAL NEWS DESERTS: Has Facebook killed off local newspapers through its advertising algorithms? This seems to me to be the crux:
Facebook in particular was meant to be part of the solution to the problem of sustaining hyperlocal publishers. The publishing tools and hosting services Facebook offers for free are compelling. But in sparse or poorer areas, they do not allow for the traditional civic bargain of the local press, wherein the businesses and individuals who can afford to advertise, in effect pay for the journalism that covers a community.
When you get down to it the problem was summed up by Terry Pratchett quite nicely in The Truth:
People like to be told what they already know. Remember that. They get uncomfortable when you tell them new things. New things…well, new things aren’t what they expect. They like to know that, say, a dog will bite a man. That is what dogs do. They don’t want to know that man bites a dog, because the world is not supposed to happen like that. In short, what people think they want is news, but what they really crave is olds…Not news but olds, telling people that what they think they already know is true.
Social media tends to provide the “olds” quite readily. Without the olds, a “news” paper is very thin – and who is willing to pay for that, civic bargain or no?

Are you a 21st century-proof public manager?

Are you a 21st century-proof public manager?
Volatility and complexity will play an increasing role in the public sector manager’s work, argues Associate Professor Zeger van der Wal. He outlines the five attributes public servants will need

Have we outgrown Yes, Minister? | The Spectator Australia

Jay A. Soled (Rutgers) & James Alm (Tulane), W(h)ither the Tax Gap?:, 92 Wash. L. Rev. 521 (2017):
For decades, policy makers and politicians have railed against the “tax gap,” or the difference between what taxpayers are legally obligated to pay in taxes and what they actually pay in taxes. To close the gap, Congress has instituted numerous reforms, with varying degrees of success. Notwithstanding these efforts, the tax gap has largely remained intact, and, if anything, its size has gradually grown over the last several decades.

Hard Things to Do at Latitude East and North whe surrounded by resume writers  ..., by Ben Horowitz of Andreessen-Horowitz, the venture capital firm.  While it is hard to pull bits from the broader stories, here are a few:
Most business relationships either become too tense to tolerate or not tense enough to be productive after a while.  Either people challenge each other to the point where they don’t like each other or they become complacent about each other’s feedback and no longer benefit from the relationship.
People always ask me, “What’s the secret to being a successful CEO?”  Sadly, there is no secret, but if there is one skill that stands out, it’s the ability to focus and make the best move when there are no good moves.  It’s the moments where you feel most like hiding or dying that you can make the biggest difference as a CEO.
The first rule of organizational design is that all organizational designs are bad.
The purpose of process is communication.
By far the most difficult skill I learned as CEO was the ability to manage my own psychology.
CEO is an unnatural job.
Definitely recommended, it is one of my five favorite management books ever.  Furthermore, its lessons are relevant for people in academic, media, and policy worlds, unlike many other management books.  Is that because of an emphasis on talent evaluation and also work in teams and small groups? 

Sovereignty or service

We often talk about an organization having a mission, as if the organization exists as some separate entity with its own individual will. But increasingly I’m wondering if that attribution hasn’t always been upside-down. Organizations ... read more

Heather M. Field (UC-Hastings), Aggressive Tax Planning and The Ethical Tax Lawyer, 36 Va. Tax Rev. 261 (2017

This Place Lets You Pay Your Taxes In Bitcoin

How Norms Change The New Yorker

Italians turn to fortune-tellers and occult as economy slumps - the sector is now worth an estimated eight billion euros a year

Conference on Artificial Intelligence - "AI: Intelligent Machines, Smart Policies"

Treasury is top target for cybercriminals, 5/10/17. Corporate treasury is a top target for cyber-criminals. Treasury’s trove of personal and corporate data, its authority to make payments and move large amounts of cash and its often complex structure make it an appealing choice for cyber criminals, a survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit and Deutsche Bank revealed.

North Korean hackers stole US-South Korea war plans, official says CNN. Probably makes the situation more stable, not less, assuming the plans aren’t chicken feed.

Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2018

How to Build a Self-Conscious Machine - Perhaps the best thing to come from AI research isn’t an understanding of computers, but rather an understanding of MEdia Dragons

Accounting in the Age of Digital Currencies: Bitcoin & Blockchain – the new disrupters

HEAVEN OR HELL?: A glimpse at what life might be like when lived on the blockchain.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

How the world’s greatest financial experiment enriched the Rich Families

Higher taxes to hit 1.6 million Australians, Parliamentary Budget Office report reveals

The top 0.1 percent of earners projected to pay more to the IRS than the bottom 80 percent combined. This year, official government datashow, the top 20 percent will pay 95 percent of all income taxes.
Not just that: It’s hard to cut tax rates on moderate-income people without simultaneously benefiting the rich. That’s because everyone pays the same marginal tax rates on, say, their first $50,000 in income, regardless of how much they make in total. So cutting, for example, the 15 percent tax bracket helps the poor and rich alike.

As an American blogger recently pointed out:

Competent establishments are not deposed — because they’re competent. They are nimble, react well to changing circumstances and growing discontent, and tweak their course to maintain their power and authority.

Only incompetent establishments provoke a rebellion.
Have we outgrown Yes, Minister? | The Spectator Australia
Politicians open Parliament House dining room to public - Good Food

So You Want to Buy a Stake in a Private Equity Manager? The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation

'Israel hacked Kaspersky and caught Russian spies using AV tool to harvest NSA exploits'

To Russia, with love: Greek court now says Bitcoinfraud suspect could be tried at home

US and Moscow both want to extradite Alexander Vinnik, 38, but minister of justice will decide

Legal Current – “Free wi-fi is widely available and tempting to use, especially when traveling.  Hotels, airports, coffee shops, even NYC subway stations provide it. But the dangers of public wi-fi are many-fold.  Not only are they hunting grounds for hackers, but a new report from security firm FireEye claims a Russian hacker group known as APT28, or Fancy Bear, used hotel Wi-Fi networks to spy on high-value guests. While use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) can safeguard against unsafe wi-fi networks, recent bans of VPNs by Russia and China further complicate matters. Bob Braun with Jeffer Mangels, Butler & Mitchell, says when using any public wi-fi, you are inherently at risk. To listen, click here (or to download and listen later, right-click)”