Posted: December 28th, 2012 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: Bailout, Business News, News | Tags: Budget, Business News, Economy, Fiscal Cliff, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, US Politics, US President Barack Obama, Washington | Comments Off
US president Barack Obama will return to Washington – from vacation in his home state of Hawaii – to host congressional leaders, including his bitter Republican rivals, in a last-ditch attempt to halt America’s slide over the fiscal cliff.
A White House spokesman said the president would meet House speaker John Boehner and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, and Democratic allies Senate majority leader Harry Reid and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi.
The meeting – scheduled for Friday afternoon local time – comes amid bitter partisan exchanges and mounting pessimism over whether a budget deal can be struck.
Before leaving his Hawaiian Christmas vacation, President Obama telephoned congressional leaders to discuss the situation, which could push the US back into recession.
He returned to Washington overnight, but Senator Reid said a deal to avert the $US600 billion package of higher taxes and spending cuts, due to kick in with the New Year, looked unlikely.
With the deadline to solve the latest potential economic crisis in the US rapidly approaching, you have probably heard of the fiscal cliff – but what is it? :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: November 11th, 2011 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: Bailout, Digital Media, Favorite New Thought . . ., Media, Michael Courtenay, Online Media, Print Media, Social Media, Socially Engineered, Standout | Tags: Digital Media, Fairfax Family, Fairfax Media, Favorite New Thought . . ., From The Web, Indeep Media, Media, News Ltd, Online Media, Standout | Comments Off
Today sees the end of an era at Fairfax Media, and Australian newspaper publishing, as the family that built the countries first publishing empire announced it had sold its remaining stake in the company. The news affirms that the demise of paper publications is set to become chronic. People can now easily and freely access news from virtually anywhere in the world using digital media via phones, tablets and computers, leaving the humble broadsheet close to redundant. Printed newspapers and magazines continue to struggle on both the standard measures, circulation and copies sold, as the industry waits hand in pocket, for a combined readership measure for both print and digital editions, hold your breath, it’s coming, really it is? And while the Fairfax family might have shed it’s under-performing publishing stock, those still sat around boardrooms must have some serious scowls, the Audit Bureau of Circulation figures for the September quarter contained little good news for either of the major Australian publishers, News Ltd or Fairfax Media. News Ltd’s Sydney Morning Herald saw its overall circulation shrinking by almost 5 percent in the quarter, while News Ltd’s weekend editions copped a steep fall of close to 8 percent. The Fairfax model for publishing has missed several key opportunities over the past decade, positioned well 5 years ago, Fairfax Digital should have become the companies flagship, instead the group made several bad attempts at resuscitating it’s print business? oops! M★C READ MORE
Posted: October 15th, 2011 | Author: Verity Penfold | Filed under: Bailout, Blip, Favorite New Thought . . ., Revolute, Social Media, Socially Engineered | Tags: bailout, Blip, Blipvert, Celebrity News, Get Out of the House, Kiss My . . ., New York, News Update, Occupy Wall Street Protest, Protest, Revolute, Standout, That Human Condition, Wall Street | Comments Off
A quick roundup via words and pictures of the wonderfilled world of passive revolution . . .
15 October 2011: Hundreds of protesters are celebrating after New York City postponed the evacuation of the park at the epicentre of weeks of anti-Wall Street demonstrations.
The owners of the private square suspended their request for the city to evacuate it for routine cleaning on Friday (local time) and said they believed they could reach an agreement with the protesters. No reason was given for the delay, but it averted what many feared could have sparked a showdown between authorities and protesters. Protesters celebrated the postponement at the publicly accessible park, where the mood was festive :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: October 8th, 2011 | Author: Marcus Dangerfield | Filed under: Bailout, Blip, M.Aaron.Silverman, Socially Engineered | Tags: bailout, Economy, Greece, Greek Financial Crisis, James Surowiecki, Shadow Economy, Tax Card, Tax Evasion, The New Yorker | Comments Off
The only thing certain in life is death and taxes!
Unless you live in Greece, where, as our favorite New Yorker – James Surowiecki - puts it, “Tax Evasion is the National Pastime.” To fix the problem, the government is going to start tracking its citizens’ spending in real-time.
Surowiecki has attributed many of Greece’s financial woes to its huge untaxed shadow economy, which is estimated to be more than 25% of GDP. Some studies suggest that Greece is missing out on more than $30 billion in taxes, so the cash-strapped country is trying something new: forcing consumers to track their spending with a government-issued tax card.
The cards look like credit cards, but contain no personally identifiable information beyond the person’s tax id number. They will swipe during a purchase; the amount of the sale will be sent to their bank; and then the banks will report the spending to the Ministry of Finance at the end of each month. The cards have been made available at Greek banks this week and are voluntary – for now.
According to a remarkable presentation that a member of Greece’s central bank gave last fall, the gap between what Greek taxpayers owed last year and what they paid was about a third of total tax revenue, roughly the size of the country’s budget deficit. The “shadow economy”—business that’s legal but off the books—is larger in Greece than in almost any other European country, accounting for an estimated 27.5 per cent of its G.D.P. (In the United States, by contrast, that number is closer to nine per cent.) And the culture of evasion has negative consequences beyond the current crisis. It means that the revenue burden falls too heavily on honest taxpayers. It makes the system unduly regressive, since the rich cheat more. And it’s wasteful: it forces the government to spend extra money on collection (relative to G.D.P., Greece spends four times as much collecting income taxes as the U.S. does), even as evaders are devoting plenty of time and energy to hiding their income.
Surowieki wrote that “the reason tax reform will be such a tall order for Greece, in sum, is that it requires more than a policy shift; it requires a cultural shift.” Perhaps knowing that Big Brother is watching every loosening of the purse strings will help accomplish that.
Read Surowiekis Full article: www.newyorker.com
source: the new yorker
Posted: October 2nd, 2011 | Author: Verity Penfold | Filed under: Bailout, Blip, Blipvert, Celebrity News, Get Out of the House, Kiss My . . ., News Update, Revolute, Standout, That Human Condition | Tags: New York, Occupy Wall Street Protest, Protest, Revolute, Standout, Wall Street | Comments Off
UPDATE OCTOBER 5: At least 5,000 protesters of the Occupy Wall Street movement took to the streets of New York’s financial district, angry that their taxes were used to prop up banks in the 2008 financial crisis. They heard speeches decrying that wealth is concentrated in the hands of some, while others lose their jobs or have their houses repossessed. After their march, the protesters returned to the downtown park where they have been camped out for more than two weeks, but what had been a festive atmosphere turned sour. Scuffles broke out when some of the activists tried to move outside the permitted protest zone.A dozen people were arrested in New York, including one who was charged with assault on a police officer who was knocked from his scooter, according to police spokesman Paul Browne. Others who were arrested had tried to break through a police barricade, Mr Browne said.
One police officer fired pepper spray as a “group of demonstrators charged a line of officers” standing at the intersection of Wall Street and Broadway, he said. The movement has surged in a matter of weeks from a ragged group in downtown Manhattan to protesters of all ages demonstrating from Seattle to Tampa. Filmmaker Michael Moore was among the crowd in New York, shaking hands and posing for pictures.
“Everywhere you go in this country, you see the Occupy Wall Street movement,” said Moore. ”In the first days, people were putting it down, saying these are a bunch of hippies.
“But the average American who has lost health care, who is going to lose his job, whose home is in foreclosure can relate to this,” he said.
OCTOBER 3: Around
400 700 anti-Wall Street protesters have been arrested after blocking traffic lanes on the Brooklyn Bridge and attempting an unauthorised march across the span, police and witnesses said. On the second week of protests by the Occupy Wall Street movement, a large group of marchers broke off from others on the bridge’s pedestrian walkway and headed across the Brooklyn-bound lanes.
“Approximately 400 were arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge late this afternoon after multiple warnings by police were given to protesters to stay on the pedestrian walkway,” a police spokesman said.
“Some complied and took the walkway without being arrested.
“Others locked arms and proceeded on the Brooklyn-bound vehicular roadway. The latter were arrested.”
Both the walkway and Brooklyn-bound car lanes were shut to traffic, snarling traffic, but it was later re-opened by police. Witnesses described a chaotic scene on the famous suspension bridge as a sea of police officers surrounded the protesters using orange mesh netting. Some protesters tried to get away as officers started handcuffing members of the group. Dozens of protesters were seen handcuffed and sitting on the span as three buses were called in to take them away, witnesses and organisers said.
The march started about 3:30pm on Saturday (local time) from the protesters’ camp in Zuccotti Park, in downtown Manhattan near the former World Trade Centre. Members of the group have vowed to stay at the park through the winter. In addition to what they view as excessive force and unfair treatment of minorities, including Muslims, the movement is also protesting against home foreclosures, high unemployment and the 2008 bailouts.
Filmmaker Michael Moore and actress Susan Sarandon have stopped by the protesters’ camp, which is plastered with posters with anti-Wall Street slogans and has a kitchen and library, to offer their support. On Friday evening, more than 1,000 demonstrators, including representatives of labour organisations, held a peaceful march to police headquarters a few blocks north of City Hall to protest what they said was a heavy-handed police response the previous week. No arrests were reported.
A week ago, police arrested about 80 members of Occupy Wall Street near the Union Square shopping district as the marchers swarmed onto oncoming traffic.
A police commander doused a handful of women with pepper spray in an incident captured on video and spread via the internet, galvanising the loosely-organised protest movement.
The group has gained support among some union members. The United Federation of Teachers and the Transport Workers Union Local 100, which has 38,000 members, are among those pledging solidarity.
The unions could provide important organisational and financial support for the largely leaderless movement.
Similar protests are sprouting in other cities, including Boston, Chicago and San Francisco.