In Michael Lewis’s book, "The Fifth Risk," the author makes the point that most Americans have very little idea of what government does. Many federal departments have titles that are not very descriptive of the roles the departments play. For example, the Department of Energy is responsible for ensuring United States nuclear weapons are maintained and have as many safety mechanisms in place as possible, keeping track of nuclear materials around the world, and with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is responsible for dealing with spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste. Governmental agencies such as the National Weather Service and Centers for Disease Control have vital roles to play in our daily life. The National Weather Service is responsible for compiling worldwide weather data, which is used in a number of ways by a multitude of organizations and institutions. The mission of the Centers for Disease Control is to help saves lives and protect people from health threats by … [Read more...] about Op-ed: Federal shutdown devalues so-called ‘non-essential’ workers
Computer auto shutdown
Defeat in Wappingers shows change is hard, Jan. 21, In the Village of Wappingers Falls, the people have spoken in telling ways. They have voted by a large margin – 486 to 294 – against abolishing the village police department and having the county sheriff’s office handle the work instead under contract at a considerable financial savings to Wappingers. And so it goes. People talk a lot about streamlining government, but they don’t always vote that way. Efforts to dissolve villages, for instance, often fail in New York. People identify with their hometowns and the services provided to them through their tax dollars, and change is difficult... While the economy has rebounded from the depths of deep recession, localities still are under intense financial pressure from the state-imposed property tax cap and from many other forces. Consolidation efforts will have to be judged on their individual merits. Voters in Wappingers Falls said “no” in this … [Read more...] about Journal reviews key editorials of 2018
General Motors' planned shutdown of its Detroit-Hamtramck plant would leave only one auto assembly factory in the city known for "putting America on wheels," but the closure and job losses are not expected to stall-out Detroit's comeback since its 2014 bankruptcy exit. Experts say a more tech-driven and medical industry economy is moving Detroit further from a reliance on manufacturing and that GM's downsizing in the name of cost-cutting and investment in autonomous and electric vehicles won't hurt as much as past mass layoffs and plant closings. Detroit once was home to about a dozen massive assembly plants. A Fiat-Chrysler facility on the east side would be the last if GM closes its Detroit-Hamtramck plant. About 1,500 people work at the GM plant while Fiat-Chrysler's Jefferson Avenue plant employs about 5,000. Fiat-Chrysler reportedly plans to reopen a former engine plant on the city's east side to make Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs with three rows of seats starting with the … [Read more...] about GM plant closing not expected to stall Detroit’s rebound
Car dealer Bernie Moreno took a small step outside of the tax payment comfort zone to show that bitcoin one day could be much more than a buzzword. Moreno, 51, converted U.S. dollars into bitcoin in late November and paid off some taxes relating to car leases to the state of Ohio – gaining the Facebook bragging rights that he was the first ever to use bitcoin to pay some type of state taxes in the country. “Digital currency and blockchain are really the next tech revolution,” said Moreno, president of The Bernie Moreno Cos auto dealership in Olmstead, Ohio. Ohio is the first state in the United States to accept cryptocurrency. The state allows payment of 23 different business taxes via the portal, including the state sales tax, cigarette taxes, the public utilities tax, withholding tax and assorted other taxes. "From mom and pop coffee shops to Fortune 100 companies, businesses now have the ability to pay their taxes with OhioCrypto.com," the Ohio … [Read more...] about Why Ohio bitcoin tax gimmick is like paying with Beanie Babies
Good Friday. Want this by email? Sign up here . The Nasdaq is close to bear territory Stocks tumbled yet again on Thursday, taking the continuing sell-off to new depths. The Nasdaq is now almost in a bear market. The tech-heavy index fell 1.6 percent yesterday, pushing it 19.5 percent below its late-August peak. (A fall of 20 percent puts it in bear territory.) The S&P 500 fell 1.6 percent, and is down more than 15 percent from its peak. What they’re saying. “There’s just a constant selling pressure,” Paul Hickey, a founder of Bespoke Investment Group, a financial market research firm in Harrison, N.Y., told the NYT. “It’s just any excuse is an excuse to sell.” And there’s a long list of excuses to pick from. Here are several worth singling out: New U.S.-China tensions after a fresh batch of hacking indictments (more on that below); a malaise over the Fed’s rate increases; technology stocks falling out of favor; the threat … [Read more...] about DealBook Briefing: Can You See That Bear Market Coming?