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Daily Archives: January 7, 2018

Massive new data set suggests economic inequality is about to get even worse

Washington Post – “…inquiries into how fast wealth grows relative to the economy have been hampered by a lack of good, complete, comparable long-term data on the rates of return for various assets: stocks, bonds, real estate and the like. You’d want this to know what you’d expect a “natural” rate of return to be in an economy such as ours: How much would you expect home prices to appreciate over time? What about the expected return on the stock market over the decades? How about government bonds? Now a working paper, written by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco economist Òscar Jordà and others, purports to calculate just that: “The Rate of Return on Everything.” After compiling this first-of-its-kind data set, Jordà’s team makes a startling conclusion: If anything, Piketty’s book underestimates the historical rate of return on wealth. “The same fact reported [by Piketty] holds true for more countries and more years, and more dramatically,” the researchers conclude. Wealth accumulates faster — much faster — than economies can keep up. If this is true, it means that in coming years, wealth inequality could grow even faster than Piketty feared. The gap between wealth accumulation and economic growth has been a constant feature of the world’s most advanced economies for nearly the entire period from 1870 to 2015, the researchers found. They compiled a database of the annual rate of return on four major types of wealth: government bonds, treasury bills, stocks and residential real estate…”

California Senate to Hear EFF’s License Plate Cover Bill

EFF – “Across the country, private companies are deploying vehicles mounted with automated license plate readers (ALPRs) to drive up and down streets to document the travel patterns of everyday drivers. These systems take photos of every license plate they see, tag them with time and location, and upload them to a central database. These… Continue Reading

Legal Boot Camp for New Judges in New York

NYT – “Each new year, about 100 freshly sworn-in New York State judges get robe fittings, courthouse assignments, chambers and staff members as they prepare to take the bench. But there is one thing these new jurists lack: judicial experience. So the state sends them to “Judge School,” a four-day judicial boot camp offered the… Continue Reading

Nuclear War Would Be ‘Devastating’ So C.D.C. Wants to Get People Prepared

NYT – “President Trump’s recent tweets about his big nuclear button may have been intended to deter a nuclear weapons exchange with North Korea, but the nation’s top public health agency is taking the prospect of a nuclear attack seriously. On Jan. 16, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will present a workshop titled… Continue Reading

Americans’ online news use is closing in on TV news use

“The gap between the share of Americans who get news online and those who do so on television is narrowing. As of August, 43% of Americans report often getting news online, just 7 percentage points lower than the 50% who often get news on television, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in August.… Continue Reading

Replacing your iPhone battery? Here’s what you need to know.

IFixIt.org: “I’m afraid. Is this really something that I can do myself? If your ten-year-old cousin can build a Millennium Falcon out of LEGO bricks, you can swap out your iPhone battery. Don’t believe us? Watch one of our repair videos and read through a step-by-step guide first to see if you’re up to the… Continue Reading

Military Service Records, Awards, and Unit Histories: A Guide to Locating Source

CRS report via FAS – Military Service Records, Awards, and Unit Histories: A Guide to Locating Sources. Nese F. DeBruyne, Senior Research Librarian; Barbara Salazar Torreon, Senior Research Librarian. January 2, 2018. “This guide provides information on locating military unit histories and individual service records of discharged, retired, and deceased military personnel. It also provides… Continue Reading

Acquisition Reform in the FY2016 – FY2018 National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAAs)

CRS report via FAS – Acquisition Reform in the FY2016-FY2018 National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAAs) Moshe Schwartz, Specialist in Defense Acquisition. January 4, 2018″Congress has long been interested in defense acquisition and generally exercises its legislative powers to affect defense acquisitions through Title VIII of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), entitled Acquisition Policy, Acquisition… Continue Reading

Membership of the 115th Congress: A Profile

CRS report via FAS – Membership of the 115th Congress: A Profile. Jennifer E. Manning, Senior Research Librarian, January 3, 2018: “This report presents a profile of the membership of the 115th Congress (2017-2018) as of January 3, 2018. Statistical information is included on selected characteristics of Members, including data on party affiliation, average age,… Continue Reading

Anywhere.link offers free video conferencing for up t0 5 participants

“Anywhere.link is a one-click video conference solution. After signing up for an Anywhere.link account, users can create a video conference. The system provides a url to join the conference that can be sent to up to six participants. Recipients of this link need only click it to join the video conference – they will not… Continue Reading