The passing scene: January 3, 2015

Social Programs That Work by Ron Haskins in The New York Times.

Many social welfare programs fail.  The Obama administration has identified some that succeed.   While this does not change my unfavorable opinion of the President’s policies overall, I think he is entitled to credit for having this research done.

This City Eliminated Poverty and Nearly Everybody Forgot About It by Zi-Ann Lum for Huffington Post.

Between 1974 and 1979, the small city of Dauphin, Manitoba, guaranteed all residents a basic income—employed or not, able to work or not.  What was the ultimate outcome of this radical experiment?  Nobody ever bothered to check and find out.

What’s Wrong With Georgia? by Alana Semuels for The Atlantic.

Scott Walker has failed Wisconsin and Minnesota is the proof by Jimmy Anderson for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Georgia and Wisconsin are the latest American states to discover that a Third World economic strategy—low wages, low taxes, low services and low regulation—is not a successful formula for creating jobs and promoting economic growth.

The Demise of Acute Health Care in Quincy, Massachusetts, by Sandy Eaton, RN, for Seachange Bulletin [Bill Harvey]

The closing of the 124-year-old Quincy Medical Center by a subsidiary of Cerberus Capital Management, a Wall Street investment firm, is in violation of federal and state law and of a covenant that the company signed in 2011 with the state of Massachusetts.

Banking Culture Stimulates Dishonesty by Francesca Gino for Scientific American.

Preoccupation with money is the root of much evil. Experimental psychology shows that the more you think about money, the less honest you are likely to be.  Just thinking quantitatively makes you less honest. Self-reflection makes you more honest.

Say Goodbye to ‘Made in China’ by Scott Minter for Bloomberg View.

China’s largest steel company is shifting more than 10 percent of its production to South Africa in order to hold down wages and escape expensive pollution regulations.   The race to the bottom isn’t won by any nation, including those on the bottom.

Obama Takes Care of Business by Andrew Levine for CounterPunch

Barack Obama is the most successful implementer to date of Ronald Reagan’s policies.  Hillary Clinton will be the same or worse, because she lacks Obama’s best quality—his hesitancy, which has saved him from some truly disastrous decisions.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Could Be the Worst Thing Obama Ever Does by Erik Loomis for Lawyers, Guns & Money.

Unfortunately this is one issue in which the President may get bipartisan support from the Republicans.

A Consistent Imperial Strategy: Rapprochement Between the United States and Cuba and Sanctions Against Venezuela by William Camacaro and Frederick B. Mills for CounterPunch [Bill Harvey]

What Would Happen if the Int’l Criminal Court Indicted Israel’s Netanyahu? by Juan Cole for Informed Comment [Jack C]

Israel ex-minister: Settlement funding is corrupt by the Associated Press [Jack C]

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