The incomparable Michael Hudson warns us about "The Coming War on Pensions." After all, as Paul Craig Roberts said years ago, pensions are all that's left for Our Glorious Elites to steal from us. Mr. Hudson points to Wall Street management of pensions as the major problem, banksters being in it for themselves and "fiduciary responsibility" being rarely enforced by our government. He also shows us that lawmakers seem to have designed supposedly beneficiary pension laws to fail, which I'll admit is dispiriting, but once you can diagnose problems, you can overcome them.
The FCC announces it will finally release a new net neutrality proposal shortly and vote on it by the end of next month. Let me guess: it will release this proposal on a Friday, or maybe even a Sunday. If they release a bad proposal, the backlash from the people will be swift and furious, and though President Obama will be able to do little about it (though his stated support for strong net neutrality provisions did, and does, mean something), Congress won't be able to give the FCC any cover, either, even though Republicans control both houses. But the end result of all that is more FCC dithering, note that the FCC won't be able to enforce any net neutrality regulations in the meantime -- meaning the big telecoms will be on an honor system, which is a hell of a thing to count on.
Philadelphia D.A. drops civil forfeiture proceedings against two families who stood to lose their homes over alleged drug sales at the properties. Fun fact number one: the city tried to seize one home over a $40 drug deal by the homeowner's son. Fun fact number two: Philadelphia seizes more money this way than Brooklyn and Los Angeles County combined, despite having about 60% of Brooklyn's population and a mere 15% of Los Angeles County's. The good news? No reasonable folks in Philadelphia are shouting WE'RE NUMBER ONE!!!! about this achievement.
Paul Buchheit reminds us that corporations don't pay their state taxes, either, which means, as you know, that small businesses have to pick up the slack, and also that you have to pick up the slack. And we feel the pinch at the state level perhaps more acutely than we do at the federal level, because state taxes fund public schools, which, according to Apple, no longer produces people "with the skills we need." Well, as far as the "skills" Apple "needs," I sure hope public schools never start teaching the "skill" of exchanging millions in campaign donations for billions in unearned tax breaks.
Finally, Emily Atkin at Think Progress reminds us to have a little perspective when Keystone XL supporters say ZOMG TEH PIPELINEZ WILL CREATEZ 42,000 JOBZ!!!!! It doesn't matter so much that they're temporary jobs as that 42,000 jobs is about what our economy creates in one week these days. And we don't have to choose between 42,000 pipeline jobs on one hand and the extreme likelihood that TransCanada will pollute heartland drinking water and accelerate climate change on the other -- we can create more jobs, and longer-lasting jobs at that, by investing in renewable energy. But CEOs don't want to do that, since (as Ralph Nader said long ago) they can't own the sun.