I'm an engineer, getting on a bit now, and this sort of collusion has been a fact of life my entire career. Whenever there's a group of similar tech companies in the same area, you have to go outside the area even to get a job interview. Once you get out of the area for a while, though, any of those companies will hire you back.
It can't be stopped, at least not so long as nobody goes to jail for doing it.
An interesting thought, but just coincidence, and anyway, they don't line up very well. That graph shows top incomes rising towards 1929; the New Editions graph is falling. Also, the New Editions graph shows a recent rise for the sole reason that new books stay in print a few years. By 2025, the copyright bathtub will be longer and the early 2000s will be as flat as the 1980s.
When I first got on the (wired) internet, I had a plan that allowed me 40 free megabytes a month. Of course files were much smaller then, as were hard drives, and there was no streaming music or video, but I still used 40MB in two days and had a monthly bill bigger than my mortgage. I cancelled the plan. The ISP called me, terribly mystified and hurt, and I told him why. I must not have been the only one, because a year later, every ISP was offering unlimited plans.
At the present time, we suffer from a terrible lack of competition in cellular services. But it will not always be so. Let AT&T piss everyone off; it will just hasten the day when data caps and annual contracts are a distant memory like 40MB/mo wired plans.
I removed Ubuntu from my machines a couple of years ago, not over this, but because it tried too hard to distance itself from the familiar. I didn't have the time nor the inclination to learn a whole new way of doing things. If Shuttleworth were to design a car, he'd probably differentiate it from General Motors by putting the accelerator on the left. And he'd weld the hood shut.
Interesting viewpoint, AC. I wonder where you're sitting as you view it.
From where I sit it's true there doesn't appear to be a lot of debate going on, but it's a rare day when it doesn't come up several times in conversation at the office. In fact, it seems to be creating future political activists out of thin air. If you were to spend a little time researching the left-wing and libertarian blogs you would see the debate is far from over - though of course, it's suppressed on the "establishment" conservative blogs as a dissenting opinion, so you wouldn't see much there.
Anyway, I don't think TD is going to drop the subject, and as an insider, I thank you sincerely for your contribution to the debate.
Heck's only been in Congress for three years, yet he's already on three important committees, takes $80k (that we know of) from defense lobbyists, and got TV commercials for the last election - his first re-election - paid for by the US Chamber of Commerce. A pretty meteoric career for someone who framed himself as a humble citizen who just wanted to make a difference.
Incidentally, he got an amendment of his own passed in that same debate, thanks to which the nation will now spend many millions of our tax dollars buying Iron Dome missile systems from Israel.
That's splitting hairs, Mike - we know what he meant.
I wrote to my Congressman asking why he voted against Amash. He sent me a lengthy reply full of weasel phrases like "a substantial amount of misinformation about these programs has been spread, mostly through independent, unaccountable media sources" and "I have twice sworn an oath to preserve, defend, and uphold our Constitution. I take this oath very seriously". Then at the end he linked to a press release put out by his office - https://heck.house.gov/press-release/why-i-voted-against-amash-amendment-defense-appropriations-a ct
That he felt obliged to put this out suggests that I was far from the only person to contact him about the matter.
A great deal of the hunger in the world is not caused by actual shortages, but by index commodity speculation that drives prices up out of reach of the poor. Index commodity speculation is quite different from the normal kind of commodity futures trading, known as physical hedging. It has nothing to do with leveling market supply and demand. It's a purely financial instrument created by the likes of Goldman Sachs to allow people with massive amounts of money to gamble on the commodity exchanges, which they were previously barred from doing by the 1936 Commodity Market Act. Goldman quietly got the rules changed around 2003.
Note, they're not actually trading commodity futures. They're doing "Commodity Index Swaps". From Wikipedia, "A Commodity swap is similar to a Fixed-Floating Interest rate swap. The difference is that in an Interest rate swap the floating leg is based on standard Interest rates such as LIBOR, EURIBOR etc. but in a commodity swap the floating leg is based on the price of underlying commodity like Oil, Sugar etc. No Commodities are exchanged during the trade." In other words, you give your money to the Wall Street bank and if the price of your commodity goes up by 10%, you get it back with 10% extra, less fees of course. But the sheer amount of money sloshing around in this business is enough to influence the market price on its own, and naturally, the bank has an interest in moving it in one direction.
This speculation, and not supply and demand, is the reason you're paying $3.50 a gallon for gas today. Speculation drove the price from $40 a barrel to $140 in 2008, then the bubble burst and it fell back to $33 by year's end. Now they've driven it back up to around $100 again, though in fact, supply has increased and demand fallen since 2008. 2008 was also a peak year for speculation in soy beans, wheat, rice and other staples, which is why just the revelation that the Japanese rice stock existed was enough to collapse the price.
I wrote to my congresscritter to ask why he voted against the Amash amendment. Part of his reply reads as follows:
[S]ince this disclosure a substantial amount of misinformation about these programs has been spread, mostly through independent, unaccountable media sources. ... The simple truth is that this authority has thwarted 54 terrorist plots since its creation.
If this is what you get from a member of a group allegedly committed to reducing the size of the Federal Government, there is no hope.
It didn't work out so well for Joseph Nacchio, former CEO of Qwest. Perhaps he really was guilty of insider trading, but it seems improbable he would have been prosecuted and given six years for it if he hadn't stood up to the NSA.
I'm surprised that Baker would bring 9/11 into it, considering how precariously the lid has been secured on that can of worms. There is plenty of evidence that if there was a "failure to connect the dots", it was willful. Some agency was tracking these guys during their time at the flight school in Florida, and other agencies had been told to leave them alone. This is not to say that anyone knew what they were planning to do, but they were certainly already "persons of interest" to someone. As for the FBI, it's been adequately documented by Daniel Hopsicker (http://www.madcowprod.com/newvideo/dvd/flyingcircus2.html) and others that their primary concern after the event was not investigating, but gathering up and concealing evidence and warning inconvenient witnesses to keep their mouths shut.
Not only that, but they're available within minutes of an episode airing anywhere. It's possible for a guy on the West Coast to download and watch an entire episode before it even starts to air in his local time zone. Consider the appeal of that for someone who has to be up for work before 5am the next morning. It's convenience they would pay for.