UMass-Amherst economist says that banksters wind up costing the average American household well over $100,000 over the course of a lifetime. Not just with credit card late fees, ATM fees, and overdraft fees -- and, for poorer families, with payday loans -- but with a lot of retirement funds, whose managers have limited or no fiduciary responsibility to work on your behalf, and who charge exorbitant fees for funds that perform little or no better than the stock market does as a whole. What are banksters good for? For redistributing your wealth upward -- to themselves.
National Labor Relations Board upholds appeal of earlier ruling permitting the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America to endorse a boycott of Israel. The Israeli legal center bringing the original suit (and the appeal) cited labor law preventing unions from encouraging workers at "neutral employers" (that is, employers not involved in a dispute between the union and its workers' employer) to stop work or go on strike in arguing that unions also could not encourage workers to "cease doing business with Israelis and Israeli companies." If it seems like a bit of a leap from one to the other, well, you're not alone. And now I'm rather interested in rolling back the law preventing unions from encouraging other workers to go on strike, as it seems a plain violation of their First Amendment rights.
New CFPB rules mandate that debt collectors now have to make some effort to prove that debtors actually owe them any money. New rules would make debt collectors limit their number of weekly contacts, notify debtors when statutes of limitation have passed on old debts, and get a whole lot more information about your supposed debt than just your phone number -- among many other absolutely needed reforms (though not all the reforms we'd like, of course). But please, Republicans, keep mouthing off about how the CFPB is just another "bureaucracy" preventing honest businessfolk from making money, when it's actually a tool to keep banksters from running roughshod over our lives.
University of Zurich study suggests that internet trolls are more obnoxious, not less, when they're using their real names. But only in limited contexts, it seems to me -- the study looked at comments on online petitions, where you have to give your real name but can request the petition manager to withhold your name from public exposure; the study doesn't look at, for example, Facebook or Twitter comments, though it seems to me you'd more likely find obnoxious behavior there than on online petitions. So clearly, this subject needs further research.
Finally, 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals strikes down North Carolina's Voter ID law, finding that the state legislature went very far out of its way to "target African-Americans with almost surgical precision." Gov. McCrory of course replies with the whole you-need-ID-to-buy-Sudafed-so-you-should-also-need-it-to-vote, as if he's never, ever heard anything anyone has ever said about the matter. And no Republican appeal of this law will ever survive Supreme Court scrutiny, not when your legislature not only goes very far out of its way to find out exactly how many non-whites their law will hurt and not only enacts that law anyway but writes all of their doings down.