"History is a joke played by the victors on the vanquished in front of an audience that dares not laugh." -- Michael Rivero

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by Tyler Durden

With the 2024 election season heating up, which should translate translate to our elected officials paying close attention to voter preferences, Americans have mixed feelings about various parts of the government.

To that end, Visual Capitalist's Pallavi Rao and Sam Parker have taken the results of a recent opinion poll conducted by the Pew Research Center between March 13-19, in which 10,701 adults were asked whether they felt favorably or unfavorably towards 16 different federal agencies?

More via Visual Capitalist:

Americans Love the Park Service, Are Divided Over the IRS

Broadly speaking, 14 of the 16 federal government agencies garnered more favorable responses than unfavorable ones.

Of them, the Parks Service, Postal Service, and NASA all had the approval of more than 70% of the respondents.

Only the Department of Education and the IRS earned more unfavorable responses, and between them, only the IRS had a majority (51%) of unfavorable responses.

There are some caveats to remember with this data. Firstly, tax collection is a less-friendly activity than say, maintaining picturesque parks. Secondly, the survey was conducted a month before taxes were typically due, a peak time for experiencing filing woes.

Nevertheless, the IRS has come under fire in recent years. As per a New York Times article in 2019, eight years of budget cuts have stymied the agency’s ability to scrutinize tax filings from wealthier and more sophisticated filers.

At the same time poorer Americans are facing increasing audits on wage subsidies available to low income workers. According to a Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse report, this subset of filers was audited five-and-a-half more times the average American

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By Linda Schadler of PhysOrg

The income of many people around the world has considerably increased due to the economic globalization of the last 50 years. However, these income gains are unevenly distributed. A study by Dr. Valentin Lang, junior professor of political economy at the University of Mannheim, and his co-author Marina M. Tavares of the International Monetary Fund shows that the top 10% of the national income distributions, in particular, have benefited from this development.

In their study, published in The Journal of Economic Inequality, the researchers tried to answer the questions if and how the globalization of the last 50 years has affected inequalities between people worldwide.

Their research found that globalization has led to greater income inequalities within many countries. The gap between rich and poor has widened particularly in countries that have become more integrated into the global economy, such as China, Russia and some Eastern European countries. At the same time, globalization has reduced inequality between countries. The differences between countries therefore play an increasingly minor role in the global inequality rate.

"The influence of globalization on income inequalities worldwide was greater than we had expected," summarizes Valentin Lang, junior professor of International Political Economy at the University of Mannheim and author of the study. "We were particularly surprised that these differences were mainly due to the gains of the richest and that the lower income groups benefited little or not at all."

Increasing skepticism towards globalization

The study also shows that globalization in its early and middle stages led to considerable income increases in the individual countries but that the growth effects diminish as the degree of globalization increases. "The benefits of globalization become smaller during the integration process, while the costs of distribution become higher. This matches the increasing skepticism towards globalization which can be observed in countries with a high level of economic integration," Lang concludes.

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by Tyler Durden 


The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, has revealed more details about President Biden's big announcement regarding China tariffs scheduled for next Tuesday. 

Officials are particularly focused on electric vehicles, and they are expected to raise the tariff rate to roughly 100% from 25%, according to the people. 

An additional 2.5% duty applies to all automobiles imported into the US. The existing tariff has so far effectively barred Chinese electric vehicles, often cheaper than Western-made cars, from the US market. Biden administration officials, automakers and some lawmakers worried that 25% wouldn't be enough given the scale of Chinese manufacturing.

Bloomberg first reported that the Biden administration was planning to announce China tariffs on semiconductors, solar power, and electric vehicles. 

We suspect Beijing is actively planning a tit-for-tat move later next week as the administration has made their next move very clear in news stories published in US corporate media outlets through anonymous sourcing. 

*   *   * 

The Biden administration is expected to make a major announcement on China tariffs as soon as next week that will impact semiconductors, solar power, and electric vehicles, according to Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter. While the possibility of additional tariffs has been widely known, the specific industries to be targeted have now been identified. Moreover, Beijing will likely release angry comments after Biden's speech next week, followed by a tit-for-tat response. 

Two of the people said the decision to hit China's "new three" green goods comes after a review of Section 301 tariffs, which were first implemented under former President Trump in 2018. The tariffs primarily target electric vehicles, batteries, and solar cells, with existing tariffs being maintained. They said the announcement is planned for Tuesday. 

The Biden administration is making a bold move against Beijing in an election year as polling data spirals lower as Bidenomics has become a complete failure. It's not us just saying this. Billionaire investor and Duquesne Family Office Chairman & CEO Stan Druckenmiller told CNBC's Joe Kernen earlier this week that Bidenomics is a disaster

Last month, the president said he would impose  25% tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum. Earlier this week, the administration said it would revoke Intel and Qualcomm's export license to supply semiconductors to Chinese firm Huawei. 

If China were to retaliate, in a tit-for-tat effort, they could hit Elon Musk's Tesla or continue reducing US agricultural exports of corn and soybean. 

"Instead of correcting its wrong practices, the United States continued to politicize economic and trade issues," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian said Friday, adding, "To further increase tariffs is to add insult to injury." 

Meanwhile, if reelected, Trump has promised to hit China with a tsunami of tariffs, vowing a 60% tax on all Chinese imports

Claire's Observations: To President Biden and former President Trump:  Gentlemen, a word, please.

Talking tariffs against Chinese imports may "sound great" in an election year; but what will you be doing, please, to encourage US EV makers to create EVs that Americans will want to buy, because the current "bugs" in their design will be fixed, like freezing in cold weather, and battery replacements which come at prohibitively high prices?!?

The plain truth right now, is that EVs are not yet "driver ready", and that has been the proverbial "fly in the ointment"  in attempting to force Americans to get US cars off of gas power and into electric power. And please, don't get me started on alleged "self drive" mode, or exploding batteries that catch fire!!! 

 Intelligent, thoughtful engineering can resolve these issues, but they are not resolved at this point in the evolution of these vehicles.

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Israel & US Fume As UN Votes To Elevate Palestine's Status


by Tyler Durden
Saturday, May 11, 2024 - 01:00 AM

There were fireworks at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Friday as Israel tried to fight back against a Palestinian bid to become a full UN member.

The assembly adopted a new resolution which puts the 'State of Palestine' on the pathway to future full membership in a vote of 143 to 9, with the US and Israel on the 'no' side. The resolution recognizes Palestine as "qualified to join" and the resolution text was described as essentially a global survey on the open question of full membership

The move formally recommends to the UN Security Council that it "reconsider the matter favorably." Since 2012 Palestine has been a non-member observer state. But now the General Assembly "determines that the State of Palestine…should therefore be admitted to membership" and it “recommends that the Security Council reconsider the matter favorably," according to the resolution text.

A few extra procedural rights were also granted by Friday's vote: "The General Assembly resolution adopted on Friday does give the Palestinians some additional rights and privileges from September 2024 — like a seat among the UN members in the assembly hall — but they will not be granted a vote in the body," Times of Israel writes.

Israel is of course fuming, and the below spectacle played out before the UN General Assembly, complete with an interesting prop...

Foreign Minister Israel Katz also chimed in, describing the upgrade in status of Palestinians in the UN a "prize for Hamas" in a statement released by his office.

"The absurd decision taken today at the UN General Assembly highlights the structural bias of the UN and the reasons why, under the leadership of UN Secretary-General [Antonio] Guterres, it has turned itself into an irrelevant institution," Katz said.

US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield agreed that it was unnecessary and does nothing to advance peace:

"Since the attacks of October 7, President Biden has been clear that sustainable peace in the region can only be achieved through a two-state solution, with Israel’s security guaranteed, where Israelis and Palestinians can one day live side by side with equal measures of freedom and dignity. It remains the US view that unilateral measures at the UN and on the ground will not advance this goal. The General Assembly resolution being debated today is no exception and so the United States will be voting “no” and encourages other Member States to do the same,” the US mission said.

"Efforts to advance this resolution do not change the reality that the Palestinian Authority does not currently meet the criteria for UN membership under the UN Charter," she added.

Claire's Observations:  UN Representative Thomas-Greenfield does an utterly brilliant job of ignoring the obvious, and that is the following reality;  Israel will never allow an independent Palestine to exist, if it thinks it can prevent it, even to the extent of attempting to butcher every Palestinian woman child left standing, as it is doing now in Gaza.  In an allegedly "civilized" world, "self-defense can NEVER be conflated with genocide, which is precisely what Israel is doing in Gaza right now, and is attempting to "sell" to an increasingly skeptical world.  


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