Project LinX 10/01/2018 — Wheels Within Wheels

There are tons of links out there. Here are some of the best stories from the past week.

>“World still waiting for wages boost despite stronger economy: Hays” | Reuters
“In this world of low inflation … it’s very difficult to pass on increased costs (from pay rises) to your consumers and customers. So to pay for wage inflation you really need to get productivity up.”

>“China thinks the trade war isn’t really about trade” | The Washington Post
““The United States’ intention to disrupt China’s development process has been thoroughly exposed,” the state People’s Daily reported in the lead-up to Trump’s decision to slap tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. It said that Stephen K. Bannon, previously a top adviser to the U.S. president, once claimed that the United States needed only five years “to defeat China economically.””

>“By the numbers: Americans are barely in control of their money” | Axios
“5% of Americans with checking accounts rack up more than 50% of all the country’s overdraft and bounced-check fees. It’s a $35 billion income stream for the banks, even after Dodd-Frank. Needless to say, those 5% of Americans are precisely the people who can least afford to pay dozens of fees per year at an average cost of $35 apiece.”

>“Footnotes to Plato : David Hume : Revealing wheels within wheels” | Times Literary Supplement
“Descartes had claimed that the mind is what we know best, and that it is free – exempt from the causation that governs the material world. Hume wrote that “the essence of mind is equally unknown to us with that of external bodies”.”

>“The New YubiKey Will Help Kill the Password” | Wired
“On Monday, the hardware authentication company Yubico is announcing a new generation of its physical YubiKey tokens that support password-less login. The Series 5 YubiKeys get this streamlined mojo from FIDO2, a new version of an open source standard that facilitates secure authentication. As companies like Microsoft adopt the standard over the next few months, all you’ll need for a secure log-in is to plug in and tap your new YubiKey. That’s it.”

>“Time to Wake Up: the Neoliberal Order is Dying” | Counterpunch
“[Tony] Blair made Labour useful to power by re-styling the turbo-charged neoliberalism Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative party of the rich had unleashed. He made it look compatible with social democracy. Blair put a gentler, kinder mask on neoliberalism’s aggressive pursuit of planet-destroying power – much as Barack Obama would do in the United States a decade later, after the horrors of the Iraq invasion. Neither Blair nor Obama changed the substance of our economic and political systems, but they did make them look deceptively attractive by tinkering with social policy.”

>“One Reason for Slow Wage Growth? More Benefits” | The New York Times
“Companies have kept most of the benefits of economic growth in recent years in the form of higher profits, so the shift toward benefits appears to be a rare example of workers getting something they want, albeit a consolation prize. There is longstanding evidence that workers would prefer a larger share of compensation in the form of benefits. Unionized workers, who have greater leverage to negotiate the mix of wages and benefits, have long used that power to insist on better benefits. The average unionized worker last year received 40 percent of their compensation in the form of benefits, compared with just 29 percent for the average non-unionized worker, the federal data shows.”

>“GDP Growth Is Not the Same Thing as Real Economic Growth” | Mises Institute
“A recession is about the liquidation of various activities that spring-up on the back of the previous loose monetary policies of the central bank. A loose central-bank monetary policy sets in motion a diversion of real wealth from wealth generating activities to non-wealth generating activities. In the process, this diversion weakens wealth generators and this in turn weakens their ability to grow the overall pool of real wealth.”

>“About time: why western philosophy can only teach us so much” | The Guardian
“The universalist thrust has many merits. The refusal to accept any and every practice as a legitimate custom has bred a very good form of intolerance for the barbaric and unjust traditional practices of the west itself. Without this intolerance, we would still have slavery, torture, fewer rights for women and homosexuals, feudal lords and unelected parliaments. The universalist aspiration has, at its best, helped the west to transcend its own prejudices. At the same time, it has also legitimised some prejudices by confusing them with universal truths. The philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah argues that the complaints of anti-universalists are not generally about universalism at all, but pseudo-universalism, “Eurocentric hegemony posing as universalism”. When this happens, intolerance for the indefensible becomes intolerance for anything that is different. The aspiration for the universal becomes a crude insistence on the uniform. Sensitivity is lost to the very different needs of different cultures at different times and places.”

>“The Child Abuse Contrarian” | ProPublica
“In the past seven years, Holick said, he has consulted or testified as an expert witness in more than 300 child-abuse cases throughout the U.S. as well as the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Germany and Canada. In almost every case, he has made the same finding: instead of blaming any injuries on abuse, he has diagnosed the child with a rare genetic disorder, Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a condition that affects the connective tissues of the skin, bones and joints. A handful of studies on adults have linked EDS to bone fragility, and Holick argues that children with the disorder have weaker bones, which can fracture from normal handling. So far, his theory is not supported by the scientific literature, but Holick is convinced that “thousands, if not tens of thousands,” of parents worldwide have been falsely accused of fracturing their children’s bones. “It’s just terrible,” he told me. “I feel so sorry for these parents.””


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IMAGE SOURCE: gears-1600359 (CC0 Creative Commons)

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