LA Sheriff’s Department Admits Hiring 80 Problem Officers; May Not Be Able to Fire Them

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) has admitted
that they hired 80 officers in 2010 knowing that they had problems
in their past including 
misconduct at other law
enforcement agencies, solicitation of prostitutes, falsifying
police records and unlawfully discharging firearms. The department
is still figuring out what it will do with the officers, but

Assistant Sheriff Todd Rogers told the Los Angeles Times
that
they may not be able to fire these officers:

Rogers said sheriff’s officials are considering
terminating some but likely won’t be able to legally fire employees
for misconduct that sheriff’s officials knew about when they hired
them.
 What’s more realistic, he said, is moving
the problem hires to less sensitive positions, giving them more
training and putting them on administrative monitoring to limit
future misconduct.

The admission comes on the heels of a LA Times
investigation
, which reviewed taped interviews with LASD
applicants and hiring investigation files that were leaked to the
paper. The union that represents LASD
deputies 
tried
in September 2013 to stop the records from being
unveiled
 because the paper and reporter
possessed ”stolen property.”

On December 9, The U.S. Attorney’s Office charged 18
officers with civil
rights and corruption violations including conspiracy, obstruction
of justice and making false statements. From the
U.S. Attorney’s Office
:

LOS ANGELES – Five criminal cases that charge a
total of 18 current or one-time deputy sheriffs of various ranks
were unsealed today as part of ongoing and wide-ranging FBI
investigation into allegations of civil rights violations and
corruption involving members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s
Department. Four grand jury indictments and one criminal complaint
allege crimes that include unjustified beatings of jail inmates and
visitors at downtown Los Angeles jail facilities, unjustified
detentions and a conspiracy to obstruct a federal investigation
into misconduct at the Men’s Central Jail.

For more on the LASD and misconduct in the department,
read and watch LA
County Sheriff’s Hassle Photographer, Trample Constitution, Get
Lauded by Bosses
:


from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/17/la-sheriffs-department-admits-hiring-pro
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LA Sheriff's Department Admits Hiring 80 Problem Officers; May Not Be Able to Fire Them

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) has admitted
that they hired 80 officers in 2010 knowing that they had problems
in their past including 
misconduct at other law
enforcement agencies, solicitation of prostitutes, falsifying
police records and unlawfully discharging firearms. The department
is still figuring out what it will do with the officers, but

Assistant Sheriff Todd Rogers told the Los Angeles Times
that
they may not be able to fire these officers:

Rogers said sheriff’s officials are considering
terminating some but likely won’t be able to legally fire employees
for misconduct that sheriff’s officials knew about when they hired
them.
 What’s more realistic, he said, is moving
the problem hires to less sensitive positions, giving them more
training and putting them on administrative monitoring to limit
future misconduct.

The admission comes on the heels of a LA Times
investigation
, which reviewed taped interviews with LASD
applicants and hiring investigation files that were leaked to the
paper. The union that represents LASD
deputies 
tried
in September 2013 to stop the records from being
unveiled
 because the paper and reporter
possessed ”stolen property.”

On December 9, The U.S. Attorney’s Office charged 18
officers with civil
rights and corruption violations including conspiracy, obstruction
of justice and making false statements. From the
U.S. Attorney’s Office
:

LOS ANGELES – Five criminal cases that charge a
total of 18 current or one-time deputy sheriffs of various ranks
were unsealed today as part of ongoing and wide-ranging FBI
investigation into allegations of civil rights violations and
corruption involving members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s
Department. Four grand jury indictments and one criminal complaint
allege crimes that include unjustified beatings of jail inmates and
visitors at downtown Los Angeles jail facilities, unjustified
detentions and a conspiracy to obstruct a federal investigation
into misconduct at the Men’s Central Jail.

For more on the LASD and misconduct in the department,
read and watch LA
County Sheriff’s Hassle Photographer, Trample Constitution, Get
Lauded by Bosses
:


from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/17/la-sheriffs-department-admits-hiring-pro
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Is ADHD a Pretext for Selling Speed?

New York Times
reporter Alan Schwarz, who for the last year or two has been

wondering
what’s up with all the speed kids are taking these
days, has a
long article
 in Sunday’s paper on “The Selling of
Attention Deficit Disorder.” Unfortunately, Schwarz barely mentions
the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the organization that
identified ADD, later relabeled “attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder” (ADHD), as a disease that can be treated with
prescription stimulants such as Adderall, Ritalin, and Vyvanse.
Instead he focuses on the companies that make those stimulants,
which he accuses of encouraging “overdiagnosis” to maximize
sales.

Schwarz surely is right that companies such as Shire, which
sells Adderall, and Ciba-Geigy, which makes Ritalin, have a
financial interest in pushing as broad a definition of ADHD as
possible. But none of this would be possible without the APA’s
blessing, and Schwarz pays scant attention to the problem of saying
whether someone does or does not have a disease for which there is
no objective test. Here is the sole reference to the APA in his
5,300-word story:

Like most psychiatric conditions, A.D.H.D. has no definitive
test, and most experts in the field agree that its symptoms are
open to interpretation by patients, parents and doctors.
The American Psychiatric Association, which receives
significant financing from drug companies, has gradually loosened
the official criteria for the disorder to include common childhood
behavior like “makes careless mistakes” or “often has difficulty
waiting his or her turn.”

ADHD, like every other condition listed in the APA’s
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, is
whatever the current edition of the DSM says it is.
Since the official definition is broad and “open to
interpretation,” it is hard to know what Schwarz means by
“overdiagnosis.” Here is his best stab at explaining:

Few dispute that classic A.D.H.D., historically estimated to
affect 5 percent of children, is a legitimate disability that
impedes success at school, work and personal life. Medication often
assuages the severe impulsiveness and inability to concentrate,
allowing a person’s underlying drive and intelligence to
emerge.

But even some of the field’s longtime advocates say the zeal to
find and treat every A.D.H.D. child has led to too many people with
scant symptoms receiving the diagnosis and medication. 

Evidently Schwarz accepts the legitimacy of Classic ADHD while
turning up his nose at New ADHD. But since neither purported
disease can be objectively verified, it is not clear on what basis
Schwarz prefers the narrower definition. It seems to me that
Schwarz, who started his career as a sports reporter, is making a
moral judgment about when it is acceptable to use
performance-enhancing drugs: If you have a “legitimate disability,”
it’s OK, but not if you are merely
trying
to turn a B+ into an A. He dresses up this moral
judgment in the language of medical science, but it remains a moral
judgment, and a questionable one at that.

As Schwarz concedes, stimulants help many people, adults as well
as children, pay attention and perform better in school and at
work. The relevant question is not, as Schwarz seems to think,
whether all of these people “really” have ADHD (whatever that
means) but whether the benefits of stimulants outweigh their risks.
Schwarz tries mightily to magnify those risks:

Psychiatric breakdown and suicidal thoughts are the most rare
and extreme results of stimulant addiction, but those horror
stories are far outnumbered by people who, seeking to study or work
longer hours, cannot sleep for days, lose their appetite or
hallucinate. More can simply become habituated to the pills and
feel they cannot cope without them.

Notice how Schwarz mixes “rare and extreme…horror stories”
with a common, often welcome effect of stimulants, implying that
users experience suicidal thoughts, insomnia lasting for days, and
hallucinations (presumably due to the aforementioned sleep
deprivation) about as often as appetite suppression. His final
warning—that people may “become habituated to the pills and feel
they cannot cope without them”—is little more than negative spin on
a situation he elsewhere describes as taking a “medication” to
compensate for a “disability.” Schwarz’s most laughable attempt to
scare people away from stimulants is his grave warning that “these
drugs are classified by the government among the most
abusable substances in medicine.” Yes, and according to the
government, marijuana is
even more dangerous
.

I don’t mean to imply that prescription stimulants—or their
illegal counterparts, many of which, impurities aside, are
chemically very similar or identical (e.g., Desoxyn vs.
black-market meth)—carry no hazards at all. But the risks are the
same whether or not consumption of the drug has been blessed by a
doctor’s prescripton, and whether or not Alan Schwarz thinks that
prescription should have been written. People should be free to
weigh the risks for themselves, without having to obtain the
magical piece of paper that transforms crime into medicine.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/17/is-adhd-a-pretext-for-selling-speed
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New Report: How Much Money Is The Federal Government Wasting On Outrageous Crap?

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) just released his office’s annual
report on outrageous and frivolous federal government expenditures.
The 2013 Wastebook breaks
down the details of 100 of the Feds’ most egregious expenses from
this year.  

A few highlights:

Mass Destruction of Functional Weapons: $7
billion

The military has destroyed more than 170 million pounds of
usable vehicles and other military equipment. Twenty percent of the
U.S.’s total war material used in Afghantistan wil be scrapped.
Why? Because officials fear that if the military sells used
equipment, it could drive down prices and hurt the defense
industry. 

Popular Romance Education: $914,000

The National Endowment of the Humanities awarded the Popular
Romance Project a nearly $1 million grant to build a website,
create a documentary, host an academic symposium and embark on a
nationwide library tour exploring the presentation of romance in
popular culture. So if you’re curious about the cultural
significance of Edward and Bella’s relationship
in
Twilight, you’re in luck. (Never mind that
countless
 blogs have
managed to explore the subject sans government funds.)

Sugar Industry Subsidies: $171.5 million

Through the U.S. Sugar Program, domestic sugar companies can
repay government loans with sugar rather than money. In 2013 alone,
the government lost $171.5 million
because sugar companies could not repay their loans.
Under the Feedstock Flexibility Program created in 2008, the
government is required to purchase surplus sugar and re-sell it to
ethanol producers. This fall, the Feds sold the surplus product at
a $56 million loss. 

Furloughed Non-Essential Federal Workers Paid For Not
Working: At least $400 million

During the shutdown, thousands of federal workers deemed
“non-essential” were asked to not show up to work for a few weeks.
More than 100,000 of these “non-essential” furloughed
employees receive a salary of at least $100,000. Each of these
workers was paid $4,000 for their time off work. 

Superman Propaganda: $10 million

To encourage enrollment in the military, the National Guard
teamed up with Warner Bros. Studios. The government designed a
Superman-themed ad campaign, complete with commercials, online
videogames, sports car design-wraps and a series of fitness videos,
to be aired around the release of the film Man of
Steel

Obamacare, Healthcare.gov: At least $379
million

The Wastebook has strong feelings on this one:

With nearly half-a-billion dollars in government funding put
behind promoting a product relatively few people seem interested in
purchasing from a website that doesn’t
work, Obamacare is perhaps the biggest marketing flop
since Coca-Cola introduced the world to “New Coke” in
1985. 

The cost to build Healthcare.gov is estimated at $319 million so
far. “The total amount to be spent nationally on publicity,
marketing and advertising will be at least $684 million,
according to data compiled [by] The Associated Press from federal
and state sources.”

Sen. Coburn, who’s
known as “Dr. No”
(along with former Rep. Ron Paul) for
vetoing almost all new spending initiatives, is an outspoken
opponent of much discretionary spending and an advocate of
entitlement reform. However, he is not opposed to all government
spending. He begins the Wastebook with a condemnation of the Feds
for skimping on what he considers important programs, such as
military pay and housing assistance for the disabled
elderly, while funding frivolous ones. Additionally, as a
devout social conservative, the Wastebook includes some
questionable criticisms. For example, he bemoans Nevada’s
prostitution industry being allowed to file for standard business
deductions.

Read the
full report here
.  

Watch a Reason TV interview with Sen. Coburn about how both
parties bankrupted America:

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/17/new-report-how-much-money-is-the-federal
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Monday NSA Ruling Increases Likelihood of Sen. Rand Paul Filing Suit

A class-action suit that includes every single American? A lawyer's dream.Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
has been recruiting potential plaintiffs, considering a
class-action lawsuit against the National Security Agency to try to
halt its massive phone records collection. Judge Richard Leon’s

ruling Monday
that the collections are a violation of the
Fourth Amendment may be tipping the senator’s hand toward pushing
ahead.

A staffer
spoke
with U.S. News:

The senior staffer, who spoke with U.S. News on background, says
hundreds of thousands of people volunteered online as possible
plaintiffs after Paul first floated the idea of a class-action
lawsuit in June.

The senator has not firmly decided to file suit and it’s still
possible Paul will choose to instead assist with three
already-filed lawsuits against the NSA.

If Paul does file a lawsuit it would be the fourth major legal
attack against the NSA’s bulk collection and five-year storage of
American phone records.

Read the whole story
here
.

Follow this story and more at Reason
24/7
.

Spice up your blog or Website with Reason 24/7 news and
Reason articles. You can get the
widgets
here
. If you have a story that would be of
interest to Reason’s readers please let us know by emailing the
24/7 crew at 24_7@reason.com, or tweet us stories
at 
@reason247.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/17/monday-nsa-ruling-increases-likelihood-o
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Guest Post: Collapse Is In The Eye Of The Bagholder

Submitted by Dmirty Orlov via The Burning Platform blog,

Nomenclature means a lot to our pride. People take offense if they are told they are living in a collapsed culture. Collapsed implies over. Collapsed implies hopeless. Collapsed implies that we have failed. But at some point we have to look at people like my angry friend and admit that we are failing—on many, many levels. My friend was once a middle-class woman with a college degree and a profession. She raised children on her own after her husband died. And as she tried to push forward, her career started moving backwards. And then somehow, eventually, it came to a point where she was willing to do work of questionable legality to pay her bills and keep a roof over her head. The horror that awaited her if she were to became homeless was arguably much worse than the controlled environment of the massage parlor, even taking into account the occasional police raids.

Our culture is such that half of Americans probably think “If the money is good, so what?” There is no thought given to the proper way to live and to relate to people. There is no thought given to what such work does to the soul of this woman. The American thinking process jumps to the bottom line of the financial transaction, and declares victory if cash has changed hands. The woman is “richer” so for them she is better off. These same people see the American economy as rebounding. People are spending. Some people are getting rich. What’s the problem?

When everything is calculated in a purely financial light, we start to lose any sense of decency or community. I saw the end result of this process when I recently visited Philadelphia to look at properties. There are houses there under $10,000. While checking out the neighborhoods where these properties are, I made an astounding observation. Almost every block in these neighborhoods has at least one abandoned home. These homes are impossible to miss because of the state of disrepair they were in: porches or parts of roofs are literally collapsed. As if there could be any question as to their status, the city posts large warning signs when boarding them up. The visually offensive chartreuse or neon orange signs warn that “trespassers” could end up spending two years in jail. I wondered which the city had more of—abandoned houses or homeless families. Sadly, I actually saw an occasional homeless person wander through the area. I was tempted to go purchase them some tools and hardhats, and organize a take-over of abandoned buildings by the homeless.

I got in contact a friend who is well-connected in Philadelphia politics. I pressed him with the obvious question: shouldn’t the city be teaching the homeless how to fix up these abandoned eyesores that litter the urban landscape? His answer was a resounding “No.” Apparently the city has to protect the rights of property owners, who are hoping to turn a profit on these places. I wondered what kind of financial alchemy could possibly turn a profit on ugly houses in depressed neighborhoods that are in need of serious labor. It must have something to do with “quantitative easing.”

At one point during my Philadelphia adventure I walked toward an old abandoned factory which, in a better city, would have been turned into hipster lofts, and I saw a bookstore. I was overjoyed. The bookstore seemed like a beacon of light in this dark ghetto—right until I got close enough to read what was painted in huge letters on its wall. “We ship to prisons! Ask inside.” I didn’t. I already knew these clever people were doing very brisk business. In the early 2000s I would occasionally volunteer for Books Through Bars, an organization that sent donated books to the incarcerated. Back then jailed people seemed somehow more distant. As the end of the decade approached and I returned to America after living abroad, the prison system seemed much closer. I lived with my mother temporarily, and I would ride the bus to work. Every day, on the bus, I heard men loudly discussing their parole officers on their cellphones. What I might have overheard whispered in hushed voices in my childhood was now a subject the transit riding public could hear about loud and clear, whether they wanted to or not. Nor did the women seem any more reticent, as they discussed what they were planning to do with their food stamps and benefit money. Even if I wore earplugs I would not have been able to avoid hearing these people, or smelling the drugs they occasionally lit in the back of the bus.

All life seemed to revolve around the trifecta of prisons, handouts and drugs. Every few days a van would park directly in front of our house before visiting “friends” across the street. “What are they doing?” asked my mother angrily. “Dealing drugs,” I would explain flatly. Based on their shiny new van, the dealers were certainly doing better than I was. I was waiting to be credentialed as a doctor, and worried about being unable to afford my bus rides to work. They were making so much money they could eat endless restaurant-cooked meals in their van and leave the trash on my mother’s front lawn. “I don’t know why the police don’t do something about the fact… they are littering, LITTERING!!” my mother would start screaming indignantly. “The police are in on the action,” I informed her.

On a recent trip home I noticed that the drug delivery van has left the neighborhood. I wondered whether it was a sign of the times getting better or worse. Are they getting better prices somewhere else? Have drugs finally become an item for the middle class? Had the neighborhood demographics tipped it toward prescription drug abuse? Sadly, one of the least probable possibilities is that the police had actually done their job.

When looking at a country as large and complex as the USA, one can make any number of contradictory assertions and still be factually correct. The economy doing extremely well, and the economy is going to hell. One need look no farther than the banking industry to figure that out: the banks are bankrupt and require bail-outs; the banks are doing well and making healthy profits. American banks are in every way typical of American corporations: they are corrupt, reliant on the government to subsidize and support them, and produce mind-boggling riches for those that run them. At the bottom of the bank hierarchy are the tellers. The polite, well dressed tellers wear conservative new clothes and jewelry. They exude the kind of stability and class that reflects well on the banks. Yet about a third of them earn little enough to qualify for public assistance. They have joined the ranks of retail workers, restaurant workers, hotel workers and other service industry personnel who must rely on the welfare system in order to work. I suspect they will be joined by more and more recent college graduates who can not actually earn a positive sum after subtracting their student loan payments.

But rest assured that from each and every payment or delinquency notice or collection activity someone somewhere is making a profit. In this economy every action is monetized, even our very socializing. As you randomly clicked around the Internet to find this article, you generated income for tech companies. At some point, as every last penny was pushed or pulled out of your pocket, you began shifting from consumer to producer: you became a prosumer… and the machine that is American capitalism milked more profit still from your existence. Your eyeballs and clicks generated inc
ome based on some strange calculations by marketers. American-style capitalism now has you in debt and producing for it even as you consume, but that is now a middle class privilege, and no one is forcing people to make these choices.

At the bottom of the food chain are the forced producers. Those people are so broke that they have become superfluous to the normative economy. They seem to be channeled in one way or another into the prison system, where they become the ultimate producers. Their very bodies create profits for prison corporations simply by existing in prisons, while their arguably forced labor is compelled at pennies on the dollar to produce cheap consumer goods. The American economy seems to be succeeding at monetizing everything while producing fewer and fewer goods or services of any real value to anyone but a few rich people profiting off the entire system.

America’s political economy has changed incrementally enough that many people have not noticed what is really happening. It’s over for most of us. You can call it collapse, or you can call it restructuring. You can even call it a recovery. But you can not call it sustainable, or pleasant. The overall trajectory is toward decline, decay, destitution…

I’m sure some dyed-in-the-wool patriots will be angered or confused by this article. They may live in a safe, posh area of a city or a suburb, and see none of the decay I observed. Or perhaps, based on some vague ideas they heard at the university, they can guess that this different America is a place into which I have been redlined by my ethnicity. They can’t yet see that the fact that they can, for the time being, shield themselves so completely from this other America is a symptom of our problem—which is going to become their problem. There is little sense of a larger American community where people care for their fellow citizens.

But then no one seems particularly concerned with the plight of the doomed, and perhaps no one ever was. So what is the fundamental shift that is happening—one that we could call “collapse”? Well personally, if I look at myself as a black American, I’m not really in a culture of depression or collapse. It’s just more of the same, and in some ways things have never looked better. Arguably the issue that really has some people upset is the increasing equality—albeit an equality of suffering. Now that middle class success is no longer achievable for many young middle class white people, who are being called “the lost generation,” everyone can suddenly see what the rest of us have been complaining about for decades. This collapse is the collapse of dreams, hopes and expectations, not an obvious one like the collapse of the currency or the government. And if you have no hopes or dreams, and your expectations are sufficiently low, then you might not even be aware of it.

A really painful and obvious collapse isn’t in anyone’s interest, not even the people suffering under the unjust rule of America’s empire. The USA admits to a military presence in a staggering number of countries, and many middle class young people in all of these countries sit around in cafés cursing American imperialism. In reality, while the end of America might mean fewer drone strikes and assaults on the sovereignty of other nations, it might also mean misery and death for the emerging global middle class—the very class that supports the young global intellectuals who whine about the injustice of this arrangement. For the time being, what is really in everyone’s interest, here and abroad, is to keep playing along. Collapse? What collapse? We all have to keep pretending everything is fine, or things will get even worse quickly – for us. But if things are continuing to get worse for us in any case…


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/Gxm2nJC9tE4/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Goldman’s Top 100 Charts Of 2013 – Part 2

On Friday we presented the first part of Goldman’s Top 100 Charts of 2013. Among the themes presented were the interweaving links between key investment themes, and the implications of these for companies, sectors and countries. They include the widening disparity in relative energy costs, the rising cost of growth in emerging markets, the increasing ubiquity of technology in most sectors, the disruptive technologies that are changing how things are made and consumed, the growing influence of governments, and also, the twin challenges of fewer jobs and longer lives. Below we present the second half of the best charts of 2013.

The size and influence of governments is rising

 

A taxing subject

 

Tracking the habits of global consumers

 

Fast food is a global phenomenon

 

Dominance takes many shapes

 

…and so does disruption

 

Ill gotten gains?

 

The geography and nature of conflicts are changing

 

Going places

 

Diversions

 

Some market charts

 

On a parting note, did you know…

 

For reference


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/DNDgKSRtKRo/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Goldman's Top 100 Charts Of 2013 – Part 2

On Friday we presented the first part of Goldman’s Top 100 Charts of 2013. Among the themes presented were the interweaving links between key investment themes, and the implications of these for companies, sectors and countries. They include the widening disparity in relative energy costs, the rising cost of growth in emerging markets, the increasing ubiquity of technology in most sectors, the disruptive technologies that are changing how things are made and consumed, the growing influence of governments, and also, the twin challenges of fewer jobs and longer lives. Below we present the second half of the best charts of 2013.

The size and influence of governments is rising

 

A taxing subject

 

Tracking the habits of global consumers

 

Fast food is a global phenomenon

 

Dominance takes many shapes

 

…and so does disruption

 

Ill gotten gains?

 

The geography and nature of conflicts are changing

 

Going places

 

Diversions

 

Some market charts

 

On a parting note, did you know…

 

For reference


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/DNDgKSRtKRo/story01.htm Tyler Durden

If You Have Children, You Need To See These Numbers

Submitted by Simon Black of Sovereign Man blog,

According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, just 33% of Americans think their children will have a better life than they did. On the other hand, 62% believe their children will be worse off.

They’re likely to be right.  The typical American family has seen its real income (adjusted for inflation) fall for 5 consecutive years now, and it earns less in real terms that it did in 1989.

According to the Census Bureau, median household income fell in 2012, and it languishes 8.3% below the pre-crisis peak in 2007.

The Brookings Institution, meanwhile, calculates that real incomes for working-age men in the US have fallen by 19 per cent since 1970.

(Of course, if you’re fortunate enough to be a member of the super-rich who, thanks in large part to central bankers driving up asset prices, saw their real incomes rocket by 20% in 2012.)

In Europe things look even more dire.  Just 28% of Germans think their children will be better off than they were.  In the UK it’s 17%, in Italy 14%, and in France just 9%.

In Britain, research by the Financial Times shows that those born in 1985 are the first cohort to suffer a living standard worse than those born 10 years before them.

Contrast this gloomy picture with China, where 82% think their kids will have it better than they did. In Nigeria, the number is 65%. In India, 59%.

It’s blatantly obvious that the West is in decline. And most people seem to understand this.

But this isn’t a bad news story. Wealth and power has constantly shifted throughout history. Five hundred years ago, it was the West that was rising and Asia in decline. Today it’s the exact opposite.

As Jim Rogers has said so many times before, if you were smart in the 1700s, you went to France. If you were smart in the 1800s, you went to England. And in the 1900s, you went to the US.

Today, it’s the developing world. That’s where the long-term opportunity is – Asia, Africa, and South America.

What’s happening in the developing world is nothing short of remarkable. One billion people are being pulled from the depths of poverty into the middle class… bringing with them untold possibilities for business, employment, and investment.

That’s one of the reasons why I travel so much, and why I spend so much time in Chile. I’m constantly amazed at the tremendous opportunities I come across in this country (which is still largely off the radar of most people).

It’s also what I encourage my students to do each summer at our entrepreneurship camps – seek out opportunities in countries that are rising suns, not setting suns.

If you have children, this is a great direction to influence them. Encourage them to learn another language, travel, and apply what they want to do to how the world is going to be in the future.

As Wayne Gretzky said, skate to where the puck is going to be.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/KClTlk-xgoc/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Fight Over Greek Feta Blocks US-EU Trade Talks

When one imagines the world’s two largest bureaucracies – the European Union and the US – trying to coordinate what may be the world’s most sophisticated free-trade agreement, one would expect things like genetically modified crops, chlorine-washed chicken, and beef quotas to be key sticking points. One would not expect Greek Feta cheese to be among the main hurdles. Which is precisely what it is, because as Kathimerini reports “a fight over who can call Greek-style cheese “feta” is blocking the way toward the world’s largest free-trade deal. Of course, in a world in which something as “consequential” as who gets to call Feta by its name will require days if not weeks of negotiations, one wonders why bother with trade when central planners can just print commerce and wealth all day long anyway.

From the Greek media outlet:

US and European Union negotiators will determine a list of sticking points this week in Washington during their third round of talks, and food issues are expected to be chief among them.

 

At a time of low economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic, EU-US free-trade negotiations seek to integrate two markets representing almost half the world’s economy in a sophisticated agreement going far beyond lowering tariffs.

 

But food is different and the old issues that have bedeviled many trade talks around the world are likely to complicate the ambitious Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between Brussels and Washington.

 

The EU is determined to write into any deal its system of geographical indications, which protects countries’ or regions’ exclusive right to product names, such as France’s champagne, Greek feta cheese or Italian Parma ham.

 

US groups say this demand “defies credibility” because in the cause of free trade, US producers would, for example, no longer be able to market cheeses as “feta.”

Sadly, every day we are witness to far more insane things in this centrally-planned world. As for the “Free-trade agreement” between the US and Europe, we can’t wait for the two biggest economies to pass it only to find out what’s in it.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/Ix9cPLiMVe0/story01.htm Tyler Durden