In internet terms, this article's a bit "old" at this point, but Emma Catherine's piece for Truthout from last week deserves a boost. In the piece Catherine takes issue with presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' recent declaration that he considers, among others, "Social Security, Medicare and the police" to be "socialist institutions" because it seems to suggest that government programs are by definition "socialist," which is a really superficial and lazy understanding of "socialism" that you might expect from the Tea Party (also, classifying the police as "socialist" is especially bizarre, but hey). I especially like Catherine's takedown of Sanders' perspective on Social Security: "Social Security, on the other hand, is intervention into the capitalist economy. Rather than building workers' power, Social Security gives them 'social insurance' based on the very same unequal metrics - wages that created the need for the intervention." She also points out that historically, "social democrats like Sanders have demonstrated in the past that at crucial moments, they will side with the right wing over actual socialists." Also this kicker: "There is nothing pragmatic about the dead end of social democracy. And there is nothing revolutionary about socialism in name only." (Brandon Soderberg)
Josh "The Fat Jew" Ostrovsky is a social-media funny-guy who managed to parlay his jokes and large following into a book deal. Problem is, Ostrovsky has been exposed as a serial plagiarist. Still, the publisher didn't seem to mind and the book, titled "Money Pizza Respect," came out earlier this week. What's the best way to get back at a joke-stealer? Leak every page of said book on Twitter is the answer, which is just what an account called @updog7 did. Here's the recap from Death and Taxes Magazine. "[I]t would almost certainly be disastrous for Ostrovsky, who is likely desperately trying to sell enough books to earn back his advance, if random people across the internet downloaded it and posted it for free on Instagram and Tumblr and Twitter and Facebook with fun 'transformative' captions.
"Let's just hope they remember to cite the original source — @updog7." (Brandon Weigel)
Gawker's Hamilton Nolan asks, "What would you say is a fair amount to pay a savvy, sophisticated hedge fund manager for taking a pile of your money and making it smaller?" That's a good question. As you probably know, hedge fund managers take large sums of money and invest them in start-ups and other companies. How's that going? "According to a new story in Chief Investment Officer magazine, the hedge fund industry as a whole lost about 1.6% in the year ending in September," reports Nolan. Eesh, losing money doesn't seem like a good way to manage your clients' assets, wouldn't you say? That same CIO report says hedge fund managers with mid-size portfolios make, on average, $950,000 a year, down 8 to 11 percent. As Nolan concludes: "A million bucks a year to lose money. From Wall Street to Main Street, everyone is struggling these days." (Brandon Weigel)