From Pine View Farm

Mammon category archive

Usury 0

My local rag has an article recounting the stories of Virginians caught in the spiderweb of “payday lenders.”

I got nothing to add. Just read it.

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The Pusher Men 0

PoliticalProf.

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Gamed 0

At Psychology Today Blogs, Andrew Fishman notes that U. S. Senator Josh Hawley has introduced a bill to ban “free to play” games that include “loot boxes” and other money-making “features.” Fishman a look at the pros and cons of the legislation and some of the issues involved. Here’s a bit;

What’s the problem?

Most of their revenue is earned by relying on “whales,” an industry term for the tiny percent of players who choose to spend money on otherwise free games. Even though whales usually constitute less than 5% of all players, they pay enough to subsidize the game for everyone else.

(snip)

Regardless of whether or not it is a true addiction, few would argue that this type of game is not a problem, especially because games that include optional spending often specifically target children.

Much more at the link.

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Caravan 0

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The Pusher Men 0

And this surprises you how?

Some of the nation’s largest pharmaceutical companies – including Teva, Sandoz and Pfizer — are among 20 accused in a federal civil complaint of illegally conspiring to hike generic drug prices, costing billions of dollars in overcharges and undermining government efforts to get medical costs under control.

(snip)

The conspiracy was hatched at trade shows, cocktail parties, and golf outings, according to a statement by the state Attorney General, Gurbir S. Grewal, who said that one of the meetings included more than a dozen high-ranking company executives and was held at a Bridgewater steakhouse, which was not identified in the complaint.

Much more at the link.

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Busters Busted 0

One thing I learned in studying the labor movement is that unions are a creation of management.

If management treats employees fairly, employees have no interest in unions.

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The Pusher Men 0

A small move toward truth in vending . . . .

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Wednesday the Trump administration has finalized regulations requiring drug companies to disclose list prices of medications costing more than $35 for a month’s supply.

(snip)

Drug companies responded that adding prices to their commercials could unintentionally harm patients.*

Much more at the link.

__________________

*Yeah. Right.

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The Art of the Con 0

Shaun Mullen.

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Chartering a Course for Disaster 0

Writing at AL.com, Kyle Whitemore cites evidence that rules are for public schools, not for charters.

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The Pusher Men 0

Older lady at pharmacy window labeled

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Prisoners of the Privatization Scam 0

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Mythreading History 0

In The Roanoke Times, Jeff Thomas takes a scathing look at the myths that white Southerners, particularly Virginians, have created to shield themselves from their history. Here’s a bit:

Money is the root of this. Virginia was founded as The Virginia Company of London, and the same people who owned the state also dominated the state’s politics. The nature of political power over four centuries has not changed even as capitalism transformed the seats of economic wealth from dynastic families to immortal corporations.

How did this happen?

Virginia’s ruling class invented a state religion about the myths of Saint Jefferson and General Lee to control the population. The myth and reality are symbiotic. If everything is great, then why change?

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Everybody Must Get Fracked 0

The Environmental Pollution Agency decides (again) against regulating fracking waste. A nugget:

The corrosive salt-laden wastewater from fracked wells has been spread on roads as a de-icer. It’s been sprayed into the air in the hopes of evaporating the water — a practice that spreads its blend of volatile chemicals into the air instead. Oil industry wastewater has even been used to irrigate crops — in California, where state regulators haven’t set rules to keep dangerous chemicals like the carcinogen benzene out of irrigation water.

If equally contaminated waste came from other industries, it would usually be designated hazardous waste and subject to strict tracking and disposal rules designed to keep the public safe from industrial pollution. But in July 1988, after burying clear warnings from its own scientists about the hazards of oilfield waste, the EPA offered the oil and gas industry a broad exemption from hazardous waste handling laws.

The EPA‘s decision this week echoes that.

Much more at the link.

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The Snaring Economy 0

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The New Overseers 0

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the spread of an Amazonian tyranny of quotas in the workplace. A snippet:

  • At the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, housekeepers can’t go home until they clean a predetermined number of rooms, even though, housekeepers say, rooms vary in cleanliness depending on factors like length of stay and whether guests declined service during their stay.
  • At retail chains, workers say they have to convince a certain number of customers to share their email addresses or open store-brand credit cards, or else face a cut in their work hours.
  • UPS uses sensors to track its drivers’ stop times, backup speeds, and seat belt use. The company is not allowed to fire workers based on these numbers but only because the Teamsters, the union that represents UPS drivers, fought for that language in their contract.

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Facebook Frolics 0

Facebook, connecting the world to you.

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The Fee Hand of the Market 0

Plutocrat in flying car soaring above a wasteland of devastation.  Caption reads,

Via The Bob Cesca Show Blog.

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The Creation of Capitalism 0

Title:  The First Board Meeting.  Image:  Cavemen sitting around a stone table.  One says,

Click for the original image.

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Chip Joint 0

Potato skins or pricey Pringles?

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The Art of the Steal 0

Monopoly Man says,

Via Job’s Anger.

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