Everything Is Broken Up and Dances: The Crushing of the Middle Class [EPUB]
27 March 2018, 14:11
2018 | EPUB | 1.84MB
This extended autobiographical essay explains in clear, engaging terms how the role of economics and finance in the Western world has shifted in the twenty-first century, from cultivating wellbeing in society to eroding the wealth of the middle class.
Just a handful of years into the new millennium, globalization has had a profound impact on economies and societies throughout Europe and America. In this accessible yet literary work, Edoardo Nesi and Guido Maria Brera illustrate its effects in Italy through the changes that occurred in their own lives: while the former was forced to sell the textile company his grandfather founded before World War II, the latter became one of the key figures in European asset management.
Between Bill Clinton's remarks at the Lincoln Memorial on December 31, 1999 that closed the American Century, and Donald Trump's inauguration speech, economics and finance stopped functioning as instruments constructing a healthy society and became weapons to destroy the middle class. As demagogues seduce citizens of nations across the globe, Everything Is Broken Up and Dances tells the critical story of how we corrupted what we might in retrospect call "the best of all possible worlds"--a world without banking crises, unemployment, terrorism, and populism, in which it was impossible to think that a state might default on its debt.
Scorched Worth: A True Story of Destruction, Deceit, and Government Corruption [EPUB]
27 March 2018, 14:07
2018 | EPUB | 7.27MB
To effect just outcomes the justice system requires that law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges be committed—above all—to doing justice. Those whose allegiance is to winning, regardless of evidence, do the opposite of justice: they corrupt the system. This is the jaw-dropping story of one such corruption and its surprise ending.
On Labor Day 2007, a forest fire broke out in California’s eastern Sierra Nevada and eventually burned about 65,000 acres. Investigators from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the United States Forest Service took a mere two days to conclude that the liable party was the successful forest-products company Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI), founded as a tiny sawmill nearly sixty years earlier by Red Emmerson.
The investigative report on the fire declared that SPI’s independent logging contractor had started the conflagration by driving a bulldozer over a rock, creating a spark that flew into a pile of brush. No fire had ever been proven to start that way, but based on the report the U.S. Department of Justice and California’s attorney general filed nearly identical suits against Emmerson’s company. The amount sought was nearly a billion dollars, enough to bankrupt or severely damage it. Emmerson, of course, fought back.
Week by week, month by month, year by year, his lawyers discovered that the investigators had falsified evidence, lied under oath, fabricated science, invented a narrative, and intentionally ignored a mountain of exculpatory evidence. They never pursued a known arsonist who was in the area that day, nor a young man who repeatedly volunteered alibis contradicted by facts.
Though the government lawyers had not known at the start that the investigation was tainted, they nonetheless refused to drop the suits as the discovery process continued and dozens of revelations made clear that any verdict against Emmerson’s company would be unjust.
Scorched Worth is a riveting tale that dramatizes how fragile and arbitrary justice can be when those empowered to act in the name of the people are more loyal to the bureaucracies that employ them than to the people they’re supposed to serve. It’s also the story of a man who refused to let the government take from him what he’d spent a lifetime earning.
Censored: Distraction and Diversion Inside China`s Great Firewall [PDF]
27 March 2018, 10:38
2018 | PDF | 5.15MB
A groundbreaking and surprising look at contemporary censorship in China
As authoritarian governments around the world develop sophisticated technologies for controlling information, many observers have predicted that these controls would be ineffective because they are easily thwarted and evaded by savvy Internet users. In Censored, Margaret Roberts demonstrates that even censorship that is easy to circumvent can still be enormously effective. Taking advantage of digital data harvested from the Chinese Internet and leaks from China's Propaganda Department, this important book sheds light on how and when censorship influences the Chinese public.
Roberts finds that much of censorship in China works not by making information impossible to access but by requiring those seeking information to spend extra time and money for access. By inconveniencing users, censorship diverts the attention of citizens and powerfully shapes the spread of information. When Internet users notice blatant censorship, they are willing to compensate for better access. But subtler censorship, such as burying search results or introducing distracting information on the web, is more effective because users are less aware of it. Roberts challenges the conventional wisdom that online censorship is undermined when it is incomplete and shows instead how censorship's porous nature is used strategically to divide the public.
Drawing parallels between censorship in China and the way information is manipulated in the United States and other democracies, Roberts reveals how Internet users are susceptible to control even in the most open societies. Demonstrating how censorship travels across countries and technologies, Censored gives an unprecedented view of how governments encroach on the media consumption of citizens.