Week of August 13, 2018

A few things from around the Internet this week…

Wide

Sobering exploration of our current situation from Ben Hunt.

And when I say that those are your only options, let me pour some cold water on the idea that there are centrist candidates who could carry votes from both parties in a general election, or that the time is somehow ripe for a third political party. Hahahahahahahahaha. No, gentle reader, the idea that Ben Sasse or Joe Biden can ride a purple wave to victory in 2020 is completely and utterly wrongheaded. Look again at that chart. Look again at the size of that purple area today versus its size in the past. In 1994 or 2004, that purple area is where Bill Clinton and George Bush lived and thrived. Today, that purple area is where political candidates go to die.

Waldo

Scapegoat

This one post explains so much about the economy, inequality, markets, pensions, the retirement crisis and what to expect in the future.

We have plenty of economic problems in this country, but buybacks are not the reason for our problems and eliminating them is not the answer.

I am not on a crusade against capitalism. The alternatives, socialism or communism have proved time and again to be a failure. Capitalism is a big reason why the United States is the most powerful country in the world, and why I can order a car to pick me up on my handheld computer. I consider myself very fortunate to have been born here, and there is no place I would rather live and raise my children. However, I do think we are going down a dangerous path.

The quality of life in the 21st century is light years beyond what people experienced in the 19th century, but people compare themselves with their neighbors, not with their ancestors.

Rigged

It’s funny to have lived through the time period this took place in and be completely unaware that it ever happened.

Jerome Jacobson and his network of mobsters, psychics, strip-club owners, and drug traffickers won almost every prize for 12 years, until the FBI launched Operation ‘Final Answer.’

Space

Great profile of Mark Stucky, the lead test pilot for Virgin Galactic, in the New Yorker:

“I don’t know where to start,” Stucky said. “Some of us have been waiting years to do that again!” Not only had they resumed launching manned rockets; they were flying them. And, for the first time, Virgin Galactic had done it all on its own: with its pilots, its rocket motor, its spaceship. “Richard has been waiting longer than all of us,” Stucky said. “Hopefully, we gave him a good flight.”