Friday, December 30, 2011

DOJ settles discrimination suit with Countrywide Financial for $335 Million

The Department of Justice settled a mortgage discrimination lawsuit with Countrywide Financial Corporation (now part of Bank of America for $335 million dollars. Here.

National Center on Family Homelessness

Reading stuff on the website of the national center on family homelessness. Here. One in 45 children was homeless for part of the year which is about 1.6 million children. The publish a homelessness report card for states. Here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Low Black-on-Black Spending in Philly.

Ayana Jones writes in the Philadelphia Tribune about the low level of spending by Black Consumers with Black Businesses: Here. The original story on the event is featured: Here.

A Link to National Association of Market Developers - Philadelphia Chapter

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Nielsen Media Reseach: State of the Black Consumer

Nielsen Media Research, which is best known for TV rating, has released a reseach report on the Black Consumers. You can get a copy here or read the on-line edition here.

A lot of the information comes from the census. Here are some highlights. While we are projected to spend more than a billion dollars by the year 2015, we remain relatively poor. The majority of us earn less than $50,000 as detailed in the income section, P.6. We are heavy smartphone users. (p.12). What Blacks buy is interesting on page 18. And the complete lack of influence of men on the spending process(p.18). And, we are above average consumers of charcoal.

Forbes: If I were a poor black kid

Forbes ran an opinion piece, by Gene Marks, a contributor, called: "If I was a Poor Black Kid," here. Basically, the author suggests using technology to help poor kids, but comes off as racist and condescending. We will try an tease out some good points in our other blog: The Evil Black Economist.

Forbes: If I were a poor Black kid

Forbes ran an opinion piece, by Gene Marks, a contributor, called: "If I was a Poor Black Kid" here. Basically, the author suggests using technology to help poor kids, but comes off as racist and condescending. We will try an tease out some good points in our other blog: The Evil Black Economist.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Support for inheritance taxes

A nice piece supporting inheritance taxes as a way to support equality, merit and innovation. Here. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/opinion/bring-on-the-death-tax/article2194710/

Monday, December 12, 2011

Past happiness and moving to Flourishing

Martin Seligman claims to have a better definition of happiness: Flourishing. You can read about the concept here.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hyatt threatening to cut of workers healthcare

Hyatt, which fired all the workers at it's Boston hotel, is threatening to cut off healthcare for it's Chicago employees during a labor dispute. Here.

How much does that Medical Procedure cost ?

In healthcare, Market mechanisms work very, very poorly. Most of us have only a rough idea what our healthcare costs. We have no idea if a price is a reasonable price. We cannot objectively evaluate the quality of the care we are receiving. There is no "consumer reports" of healthcare.


Dr. Leslie Ramirez is trying to fill the information gaps with a medical procedure price list called Leslie's List. Leslie's list is price list of many common procedure, tests, and drug prices. Her goal is to help people find more affordable healthcare.

A rival site is Healthcare Blue Book.

Here idea is so simple, I cannot understand why it has not been done before. The financial side of the healthcare industry must has some incredibly powerful incentives.

Healthcare price list

Here.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Newt Gingrich says "Poor people need jobs"

No, Newt Gingrich did not say something that smart. What he really said was something much more stupid, racist and degrading, but judge for yourself.

The story is here. Here.
and here.

Newt really said the wrong thing. He repeated the same old garbage about poor people not wanting to work. It just reinforces the same old sterotype that his audience loves. What his audience really hears hears: "Those people are lazy and don't WANT to work so I have no responsibility to help them. There plight is 100% their own fault, not mine, so don't use any of MY taxes to help them."

Hidden in all of this is a very good point about human development in the 21st century. In today's society, a job is an important experience required for full human development. Work is part of raising a fully developed child. The experience is need to develop happy, productive citizens.

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