The Eroding Premium on Truth and Trust

Via: Of Two Minds

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The premium in America has shifted from truth to self-serving distortion, and from trust to manipulation.

The premium we place on truth and trustworthiness is self-evident. Truth is uniquely productive feedback from the real world. Truth (including factual data) is indispensable, for it alone enables us to correct errors, learn from mistakes and improve our effectiveness and communication.

We pay a premium for trust because the cost of dishonesty and artifice is steep.Would you pay more to buy a used car from someone you trust? If you place no premium on trustworthiness, then you buy the “great deal” used car you found online: oops, the “new” battery was spray-painted black, the crankcase leaks, the engine is shot and doesn’t pass smog, and the certificate of ownership is forged.

The premium on truth and trust is eroding under the constant onslaught of officially manipulated data and markets, and a vast array of distortions and propaganda designed to serve the interests of ruling Elites and key constituencies.

We all know the negative premium placed on fact: telling the truth will get you fired. And not just in the corporate world: politicians from the President on down all worship at the altar of the carefully distorted unemployment rate.

The officially sanctioned lying and manipulation are now shameless. Never mind that millions of people have become statistical phantoms (i.e. not in the workforce) to generate that low rate, and college graduates working 3 hours a day (if they’re called in at all) are gleefully counted as employed, as if there is no difference between a full-time job and a marginal one.

President Obama is touting rising auto sales as proof of the “recovery” (and implicitly, of his wise stewardship), studiously avoiding the fact that these stupendous auto sales are the result of offering low-interest rate auto loans to marginal borrowers with near-zero collateral (i.e. skin in the game).

How did blowing a credit bubble and securitizing the debt turn out last time?

Read more: here

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Aspartame in Milk Without a Label? Big Dairy Petitions FDA For Approval

Via: The Daily Sheeple

February 23rd, 2013

Two powerful dairy organizations, The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), are petitioning the Food and Drug Administration to allow aspartame and other artificial sweeteners to be added milk and other dairy products without a label.

The FDA currently allows the dairy industry to use “nutritive sweeteners” including sugar and high fructose corn syrup in many of their products. Nutritive sweeteners are defined as sweeteners with calories.

This petition officially seeks to amend the standard of identification for milk, cream, and 17 other dairy products like yogurt, sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, and others to provide for the use of any “safe and suitable sweetener” on the market

They claim that aspartame and other artificial sweeteners would promote healthy eating and is good for school children.

Read more: here

Why should they have to tell us what’s in the food?
I mean, C’mon man…

-Moose

The ‘It Can’t Happen Here’ Syndrome

Via: WND

Exclusive: Patrice Lewis tries to warn distracted Americans of looming economic crash 

Here is a short quiz for you. Ready?

What’s the current situation with Lindsay Lohan’s rehab?

Who won the latest “Dancing With the Stars”?

Name five celebrities with “baby bumps.”

Explain how the Cypriot banking crisis could impact the European economy.

If you answered the first three questions but are clueless on the fourth, you’re in good company. Estimates are that up to half the population in America is ignorant about the situation in Cyprus. Oh sure, they hear snippets on the evening news, but since it’s far away and happening to other people, they don’t worry about it.

These people are suffering from a Normalcy Bias.

Just what is a Normalcy Bias? Wikipedia defines it as a mental state that “causes people to underestimate both the possibility of a disaster occurring and its possible effects.” It’s sometimes called the “It can’t happen here” syndrome. The assumption is that since a particular disaster has never occurred before, it never will. Any disturbing indications that something bad may happen are dismissed or trivialized.

Read more: here

Open the Slaughterhouses

Via: The NY Times

By JEDEDIAH PURDY
Published: April 8, 2013

“How could ag-gag laws possibly pass the 1st Amendment test?”Jay Casey, Arkansas

 IN 1999, as a writer for The American Prospect, I went into a slaughterhouse undercover, with the help of some rebellious employees. The floor was slick with the residue of blood and suet, and the air smelled like iron. A part of my brain spent the whole time trying to remember which of Dante’s circles this scene most resembled.

Today, under legislation being pushed by business interests, that bit of journalistic adventure could earn me a criminal conviction and land me on a registry of “animal and ecological terrorists.” So-called ag-gag laws, proposed or enacted in about a dozen states, make, or would make, criminals of animal-rights activists who take covert pictures and videos of conditions on industrial farms and slaughterhouses. Some would even classify the activists as terrorists.

Read more: here

If people would only be this concerned about the treatment of people…
-Moose

Recovery: Disposable Income Takes Biggest Plunge Since Monthly Records Began in 1959

Via: Bloomberg

By Michelle Jamrisko – Mar 1, 2013 6:18 AM PT

Consumer spending in the U.S. rose in January even as incomes dropped by the most in 20 years, showing households were weathering the payroll-tax increase by socking away less money in the bank.

Household purchases, which account for about 70 percent of the economy, climbed 0.2 percent after a 0.1 percent gain the prior month, a Commerce Department report showed today in Washington. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 76 economists called for a 0.2 percent advance. Incomes slumped 3.6 percent, sending the saving rate down to the lowest level since November 2007.

 Jonathan Golub, chief U.S. market strategist at UBS Securities LLC, talks about the outlook for the U.S. economy, the possible impact of federal budget sequestration on consumers and fiscal policy. He speaks with Tom Keene, Sara Eisen and Robert Litan on Bloomberg Television’s “Surveillance.” David Riley, managing director at Fitch Ratings, also speaks. (Source: Bloomberg)

Employment gains, the rebound in housing and growing demand for autos will probably keep supporting consumer spending in the first quarter as the world’s largest economy picks up from an end-of-year slowdown. Even so, rising gasoline prices and the need to rebuild nest eggs may make it difficult for households to match last quarter’s performance.

“It’s going to be touch and go for the consumer for the next few months,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania, who correctly projected the 3.6 percent drop in income. “The consumer is going to be able to support the recovery, but they’re not going to be able to take it” to a higher level, he said.

Read more: here

Recovery: Disposable Income Takes Biggest Plunge Since Monthly Records Began in 1959

Via: Bloomberg

By Michelle Jamrisko – Mar 1, 2013 6:18 AM PT

Consumer spending in the U.S. rose in January even as incomes dropped by the most in 20 years, showing households were weathering the payroll-tax increase by socking away less money in the bank.

Household purchases, which account for about 70 percent of the economy, climbed 0.2 percent after a 0.1 percent gain the prior month, a Commerce Department report showed today in Washington. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 76 economists called for a 0.2 percent advance. Incomes slumped 3.6 percent, sending the saving rate down to the lowest level since November 2007.

 Jonathan Golub, chief U.S. market strategist at UBS Securities LLC, talks about the outlook for the U.S. economy, the possible impact of federal budget sequestration on consumers and fiscal policy. He speaks with Tom Keene, Sara Eisen and Robert Litan on Bloomberg Television’s “Surveillance.” David Riley, managing director at Fitch Ratings, also speaks. (Source: Bloomberg)

Employment gains, the rebound in housing and growing demand for autos will probably keep supporting consumer spending in the first quarter as the world’s largest economy picks up from an end-of-year slowdown. Even so, rising gasoline prices and the need to rebuild nest eggs may make it difficult for households to match last quarter’s performance.

“It’s going to be touch and go for the consumer for the next few months,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania, who correctly projected the 3.6 percent drop in income. “The consumer is going to be able to support the recovery, but they’re not going to be able to take it” to a higher level, he said.

Read more: here