The passing scene – August 4, 2015

These are links to interesting articles I came across yesterday and today.  I may add links during the day.   The comment thread is available for general and off-topic comments.

If This Is Munich, We Must Be Germany by Doug Muder for The Weekly Sift.

In the Iran nuclear negotiations, it has been the United States that has done all the demanding and Iran that has done all the appeasing.

A Company Copes With Backlash Against the Raise that Roared by Patricia Cohen for the New York Times.

239 Years Ago, Adam Smith Predicted Fury of Seattle Business at CEO Who Pays Workers Well by Jon Schwartz for The Intercept.

Dan Price, the CEO of a small credit card processing firm called Gravity Payments, announced that he will raise the minimum  salary of his firm to $70,000 a year over a period of three years while reducing his own compensation.

Many of his peers and business customers are infuriated, illustrating what Adam Smith wrote in The Wealth of Nations in 1776:Masters are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform, combination, not to raise the wages of labor above their actual rate.  To violate this combination is everywhere a most unpopular action …”

Coffee in crisis: The bitter end for our favorite drink? by David Robson for the BBC.

The world’s coffee crop is threatened by drought, flooding and plagues of pests, caused by climate change, and by the vulnerability of the Arabica variety of coffee to disease and to changes in climate.

The Trans Pacific Trade Deal Stumbled, Now Is the Time to Walk Away by Sam Cossar-Gilbert for Common Dreams.

Negotiations over the TPP are stalled due to opposition from many groups, including American labor unions, Japanese rice farmers, Australian environmentalists, and people in many countries concerned about the price of drugs.  The longer agreement is postponed, the better the chance for the democratic opposition.

The TPP, the WTO, the 21st Century Global Trade Mess and the Poverty of Nations by Jean-Pierre Lehmann for Forbes.

The goal of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement is to create a trading bloc that excludes China.   In other words, it is a tactic in a trade war, not a means of promoting increased economic activity worldwide.

Top 5 Ways Obama’s ‘All of the Above’ Politics Led to Sanders & Trump by Juan Cole for Informed Comment.

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