Daily Digest 12/14 – 401(k) Plans Not Working For Most, What’s Wrong With the American Diet?


Here’s proof that 401(k) plans are not working for most Americans — can you guess who they are working for? (Adam)

With almost half of all working-age families having zero in retirement savings, the fact that the median family had only $7,800 in these accounts shouldn’t come as a surprise. At the same time, the 90th percentile family had $320,000 and the top 1% of families (which isn’t shown on the chart) had $1,663,000 or more.

“These huge disparities reflect a growing gap between haves and have-nots since the Great Recession as accounts with smaller balances have stagnated while larger ones rebounded,” the EPI’s Monique Morrissey wrote.

Trump’s children must undergo mandatory training to learn how to avoid defrauding charities (edelinski)

In addition to paying $2 million, the president also had to admit that he misused foundation funds to fund his own presidential campaign, pay off his businesses’ legal expenses, and to buy a $10,000 portrait of himself that wound up being displayed at one of his Florida hotels.

Lackluster U.S. retail sales dim fourth quarter economic growth outlook (Adam)

“Just as the Fed was in the middle of a victory dance, convinced they have returned the economy to a position of strength after just three rate cuts, the consumer waves a red flag,” said Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Stifel in Chicago. “Any signs the consumer is waning could have sizeable negative consequences for growth at year-end and into next year.”

The “Trade Deal”: A Pathetic Parody, Credibility Squandered (Don R.)

How is this “deal” not a pathetic parody of a real deal? A real deal is signed by both parties and is made public, so the business community can make informed decisions. The leaders who sign the agreement have to sell their respective nations on the benefits of the deal and explain the horse-trading that is part and parcel of any voluntary agreement.

Baltimore police sergeant charged with assault, false imprisonment released on $200,000 unsecured bail (newsbuoy)

Attorney Joe Murtha told The Baltimore Sun that Sgt. Ethan Newberg, 49, must return all firearms he has and must surrender his passport. A trial date was scheduled for April 21 for Newberg, Murtha said.

What’s Wrong With the American Diet? (newsbuoy)

The Western diet is the prudent diet reflected in a carnival mirror. Everything is backwards: Red meat and other fatty foods take the forefront, while fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are pushed aside. In addition to fat and calories, the Western diet is loaded with cholesterol, salt, and sugar. If that weren’t bad enough, it’s critically short on dietary fiber and many nutrients — as well as plant-based substances (phytochemicals) that help protect the heart and ward off cancer.

Ring’s Hidden Data Let Us Map Amazon’s Sprawling Home Surveillance Network (tmn)

Examining the network traffic of the Neighbors app produced unexpected data, including hidden geographic coordinates that are connected to each post—latitude and longitude with up to six decimal points of precision, accurate enough to pinpoint roughly a square inch of ground.

Race Rules the Day in Mr. de Blasio’s Neighborhood (thc0655)

“We understood the necessity for these programs a long time ago,” Cornegy said. “Myself, as the former chair of the Black and Latino and Asian Caucus, was able to get several letters written from the Caucus, and support from the Caucus, to reinstitute those programs.”

Oh that it should come to this: Part 16 (Jesper A.)

In retrospect we think this was perfectly honourable persons, but they were for the most part creative counter-culture expressions, especially as we come to the 18th the notion of ‘literature’ and the ‘novel’ was more or less wrought out of the steel that melted at the foundaries or discontent. Hence the ideas of Riesman matter, for he says the person matters in some periods less in others it is he feels a kind of see-saw, so that inner-directedness matters more at times; these are I think the kinds of times that the yrs 1500 to 1789 present, and in the middle of which a TRAGIC SHIFT (as we saw) took place, happened, was implemented so that theatre was increasingly politicised.

It’s a Vast, Invisible Climate Menace. We Made It Visible. (tmn)

Operators of the sites identified by The Times are among the very companies that have lobbied the Trump administration, either directly or through trade organizations, to weaken regulations on methane, a review of regulatory filings, meeting minutes and attendance logs shows. These local companies, along with oil-industry lobby groups that represent the world’s largest energy companies, are fighting rules that would force them to more aggressively fix emissions like these.

House Defense Bill Would Mandate Carbon Capture Program for the Military (edelinski)

There’s still a lot of math to work out, but sequestered carbon can be used to make fuel, which offsets (but does not surpass) the cost of capturing it. David Keith, founder of a company called Carbon Engineering, last year published a commercialized breakdown of the costs of conversation using modern methods in the academic journal, Joule.

We are ‘doomed’ without action on climate change: UN chief (Roger B.)

Scientists say that current pledges are nowhere near enough to stabilize the earth’s climate in time to avert catastrophic sea-level rise, prevent severe damage to agriculture and stop droughts and floods generating waves of forced mass migration.

Climate inaction will turn into ‘survival of the richest’: UN chief (Roger B.)

He cited a study showing that shifting to a low-carbon economy could create 65 million new jobs worldwide by 2030 and boost growth by $26 trillion dollars.

Scientists say countries need to stop burning fossil fuels by 2050 at the latest to ensure global temperatures don’t rise more than 2.7 Fahrenheit this century.

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