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What We Read Today 27 November 2016

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

This feature is published every day late afternoon New York time. For early morning review of headlines see "The Early Bird" published every day in the early am at GEI News (membership not required for access to "The Early Bird".).


Every day most of this column ("What We Read Today") is available only to GEI members.

To become a GEI Member simply subscribe to our FREE daily newsletter.

The rest of this post is available only the GEI Members.  Membership is FREE -  click here

Topics today include:

  • It Takes Only Two Things to Keep People in Chains

  • Why Medicare Running Out of Money is a Scare Scam

  • If You Cut Taxes on the Rich, They'll Invest that Money and Create Jobs for Everyone

  • Global Shipbuilding Collapses

  • Trump Say He Won the Popular Vote, Too

  • Why Democrats Can't Win for Many Years

  • Is Trump Keeping His Middle-Class Promises?

  • Judge Suspends Obama's Overtime Rule

  • Why Trump's Infrastructure Plan Won't Create Jobs and Won't Build Infrastructure

  • Trump's Infrastructure Plan is a Tax Boondoggle for Developers

  • GOP Senators Wary of Outlawing Filibuster

  • Did Bill's Dream Become Hillary's Nightmare?

  • Watch All the People Who Laughed and Said Trump Would Never Be President

  • Will Trump End Democracy as We Know It?

  • Watch Trump's 'Back to the Good Old Days' Campaigning

  • Francois Fillon Sweeps to Conservative Nomination in France

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • Shipbuilding in Japan, Korea, China Collapses in Death Spiral of Orders (Wolf Street)  Globally, orders for ships plunged 77% so far this year through October. But 2015 had already been down 13% from 2014. And 2014 had been down 26% from 2013, the first good year since before the Financial Crisis. In 2007, orders had peaked at 92 million compensated gross tons (CGT). So far this year, orders are down to 10 million CGT.  At this rate, 2016 will be the worst year in BIMCO’s data series going back to 1996. Even back then, orders amounted to 18 million CGT.



  • Why down-ballot Democrats could be in the minority for years to come (The Washington Post)  Some results are still coming in, but it looks as if in 2017, Republicans will continue to control up to 69 of 99 state legislative chambers. And controlling state legislative chambers is one of the keys to controlling government. Once a decade, in most states, lawmakers get to draw the very lines that elect state and congressional lawmakers.  In theory, lawmakers are recalibrating their districts to better reflect new census data. In practice, many lawmakers also take this redistricting opportunity to rejigger the lines to benefit their parties for the next decade.  While Republicans have total control of 25 state governments, Democrats have only 4.  Republicans will have a big gerrymander advantage for years to come.

During his campaign, President-elect Donald Trump promised that he would take the side of American workers against economic elites when evaluating policy. Yet, the policy proposals he put forth during the campaign had nothing in them that would actually help working- and middle-class Americans. Now that more plans and potential cabinet appointments are coming into focus, it looks worse than many of us thought even before the election. Across a broad range of crucial issues, the incoming Trump administration appears likely to betray the promises he made to the American middle class. Here’s a rough sketch of how.

  • Judge Suspends Rule Expanding Overtime for Millions of Workers (The New York Times)  A federal judge in Texas issued a nationwide injunction on Tuesday against an Obama administration regulation expanding by millions the number of workers who would be eligible for time-and-a-half overtime pay.  The regulation was scheduled to take effect on Dec. 1. It would raise the salary limit below which workers automatically qualified for overtime pay to $47,476 from $23,660.  The judge, Amos L. Mazzant III of the Eastern District of Texas, ruled that the Obama administration had exceeded its authority by raising the overtime salary limit so significantly. The ruling was hailed by business groups who argued the new rules would be costly and result in fewer hours for workers.

  • Trump’s infrastructure plan is not a simple public-private partnership plan, and won’t lead to much new investment (Economic Policy Institute)  This article argues that the Trump infrastructure plan will not create many jobs or build much infrastructure.  Instead, it is said, the plan is simply an enrichment plan for developers:

The still-sketchy details of Trump’s plan, however, are a cause for concern. What we know is that the plan is to provide a tax credit equal to 82 percent of the equity amount that investors commit to financing infrastructure. In the coming days, this will invariably be described as creating public-private partnerships (P3s). P3s are a standard model for financing infrastructure that can in theory be used with little downside compared to direct public provision. However, this description of the Trump plan is both not that comforting and incorrect. It’s not comforting because the real-world record of P3s is much spottier than textbook models would suggest. And it’s not accurate because Trump’s plan isn’t as simple as encouraging new P3s. It is instead (at least in its embryonic form), simply a way to transfer money to developers with no guarantee at all that net new investments are made.

  • GOP senators wary of nuking filibuster (The Hill)  Senate Republicans are wary of making a historic move to nix the filibuster despite growing pressure from conservatives.  Roughly two weeks after Donald Trump White House win, GOP lawmakers are already facing calls to overhaul Senate rules and help push through the real estate mogul's agenda.  The calls to go "nuclear" are only likely to intensify next year when Democrats begin to carry out their pledge to fight Trump's agenda on areas where they disagree.  But Senate Republicans are openly skeptical about making a rules change they believe could come back to bite them, when they are inevitably back in the minority.

  • How Bill's Dream Turned into Hillary's Nightmare (Michael Yardney)  This article from Australia convincingly argues that the biggest reason Hillary Clinton lost the election was the presidency of her husband.

  • People Who Laughed at Trump and said he would never be President Donald Trump Compilation (The Saker) 


  • Fillon scores huge win in French conservative presidential primaries (Reuters)  Francois Fillon, a socially conservative free-marketeer, won France's center-right presidential primaries on Sunday, setting up a likely showdown next year with far-right leader Marine Le Pen that the pollsters expect him to win.  With votes from four-fifths of 10,228 polling stations counted, Fillon, who went into Sunday's second-round run-off as firm favorite, had won over 67% of the vote in a head-to-head battle with another ex-prime minister, Alain Juppe.

Other Scientific, Health, Political, Economics, and Business Items of Note - plus Miscellanea

  • It takes only two things to keep people in chains (Rodger Malcolm Mitchell, Monetary Sovereignty)  RMM has contributed to GEI.  This article discusses why the existence of a large national debt in the U.S. is based on what the author calls "the big lie".  This lie exists because of the choice that has been made to abdicate the constitutional authority to create money and delegate that to private banking.  RMM asserts that the result is the enduring bondage of the citizenry to the overlords of the private banking system.  For more, see the next article. 

  • It takes only two things to keep people in chains: Part II, Medicare (Rodger Malcolm Mitchell, Monetary Sovereignty)  RMM has contributed to GEI.  More discussion of why there is no need for taxation for the purpose of funding government spending.  That we think that way is a choice, and RMM asserts, a bad choice.  In this article, he discusses Medicare specifically and health care in general.  From his conclusion:

It takes only two things to keep people in chains: The ignorance of the oppressed and the treachery of their leaders.


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