You knew this already, but Jim Hightower explains how Amazon destroys small businesses and local economies. As usual, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos damns himself more effectively than even his enemies -- witness him advising his underlings to deal with small book publishers "the way a cheetah would pursue a sickly gazelle." Maybe he thinks he was joking -- everybody thinks they're a damn comedian these days! -- but his actions say he wasn't. I still think the very same internet that made Mr. Bezos enough money to buy the world's biggest clock can help small businesses gain a lasting foothold. Even people who shop small or shop local often do it on the internet, after all.
CBPP researcher Michael Maserov does a terrific job slaying the zombie lies right-winger promulgate about state income taxes. Long story short: people don't flee allegedly high-tax states for allegedly low-tax states with any degree of regularity, not when three in four folks say they're moving because of a new job or because of family, not when 19 of 20 entrepreneurs cite some reason other than low tax rates as a reason to locate in a particular state, not when the nine states with the highest income taxes get nine new residents for every ten that move out. All of which you either knew or suspected, because you live in the real world.
Surprise, surprise, study finds that CEO pay has extremely little to do with how well a corporation performs, or even the returns shareholders get on their investment. While the study's finding that "most compensation plans have a long-term outlook that isn’t actually long-term" (read: most CEOs don't give a damn about anything but how much money they can bleed out of their corporations how fast) is welcome, I insist that such a statement only begins to describe a corporation's value, and that corporate boards will have to develop "metrics" that don't just count money.
Remember when we told Gap (which owns Old Navy) to stop charging more for plus-sized women's clothing when it doesn't charge more for plus-sized men's clothing? Well, a Gap spokeshack has responded with a ten-paragraph flatugasm of PR silliness. She does apologize, not for her employer committing an act of obvious sexism, but for "not (doing) enough to celebrate what is unique and special about Old Navy’s plus line." The failure is mine for failing to make you see why you're so, so wrong always wins hearts and minds, especially when spelled out. Oh, and they won't make prices the same: after all, "(i)t’s priced differently because it is different. We invest more in our product, and we’re proud of what we deliver." Plus-size men will no doubt be happy to learn that Gap just doesn't invest as much in their product.
Finally, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has resigned -- under pressure, we are meant to understand, from a President who now has more in common, foreign policy-wise, with Mr. Bush than (even) with Mr. Hagel. By the way, paragraph 13 of the Post article informs us that Mr. Obama "has reluctantly been dragged back into the Middle East," which sounds rather self-serving, coming from the biggest cheerleader for war among major "liberal" media newspapers. I guess we'll be reading about how we're "reluctantly" killing people there for decades.