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    FiveThirtyEight's Deconstruction of the Rigged Primary Myth - @community
    05/30/16 09:08:14AM
    I came across a data driven article by the folks at 538 that attempted to tackle this simmering claim (espoused quite often by Donald Trump, of all people) that the democratic primary system has been rigged and Hillary is only winning because it has been rigged in her favor. The article is from May 26, but I haven’t seen it diaried here yet, so if I missed it, forgive me.  One of the claims most frequently made is that Hillary is winning because in a lot of states, independents cannot vote in the democratic primary, and that if more states allowed independents to vote, then Bernie would have won. Putting aside the fact that Hillary has won a majority of contests that have open primaries, Nate Silver and Harry Enten ran their models and used simulations to estimate what the results would have been had the non-open primary contests (including caucuses) held open primaries instead. Their simulation shown below in table 1, indicated that Bernie would have won Kentucky and Connecticut, instead of Hillary, but Hillary would have won Washington and Wyoming instead of Bernie. Indeed, when Washington held a meaningless non-binding primary, Hillary won, despite having lost the caucuses where voter turnout was about a third of the non-binding primary. Moreover, Hillary’s pledged delegate lead, instead of being at 272, would be at 294, and her popular vote lead would still be a very comfortable 2.2 million (instead of the ~3 million it is now).      POPULAR VOTE (THOUSANDS) PLEDGED DELEGATES STATE WINNER   CLINTON SANDERS CLINTON SANDERS IOWA CLINTON +24 301 182 27 17 NEVADA CLINTON +18 188 130 21 14 AM. SAMOA CLINTON +60 4 1 5 1 COLORADO SANDERS +6 331 373 31 35 MINNESOTA CLINTON +1 402 394 39 38 LOUISIANA CLINTON +39 240 100 36 15 NEBRASKA SANDERS +5 79 88 12 13 KANSAS SANDERS +23 90 144 13 20 MAINE SANDERS +16 91 127 10 15 N. MARIANAS CLINTON +30 3 2 4 2 FLORIDA CLINTON +20 1,159 760 129 85 ARIZONA CLINTON +4 267 248 39 36 UTAH SANDERS +39 52 120 10 23 IDAHO SANDERS +37 33 72 7 16 HAWAII SANDERS +17 63 88 10 15 WASHINGTON CLINTON +6 471 418 53 48 ALASKA SANDERS +50 16 48 4 12 WYOMING CLINTON +2 19 19 7 7 NEW YORK CLINTON +4 1,146 1,049 129 118 PENNSYLVANIA CLINTON +0 915 907 95 94 CONNECTICUT SANDERS +6 176 200 26 29 DELAWARE CLINTON +9 58 49 11 10 MARYLAND CLINTON +18 581 399 56 39 GUAM CLINTON +31 11 6 5 2 KENTUCKY SANDERS +10 205 256 24 31 OREGON SANDERS +25 251 418 23 38 CURRENT OPEN PRIMARY STATES CLINTON +12 8,146 6,429 956 715 TOTAL CLINTON +8 15,298 13,024 1,782 1,488 PROJECTED RESULTS IF EVERY STATE HAD HELD AN OPEN PRIMARY FIVETHIRTYEIGHT’S ANALYSIS IF ALL CONTESTS WERE OPEN PRIMARIES   The piece also considered scenarios where all the contests where primaries (but open/closed as they currently are), all closed primaries (hint, Hillary would win both scenarios by a lot) and if they were all open caucuses (the only scenario in which Bernie comes out ahead). What their simulation shows is that when more people do participate in the democratic system, Hillary does better and the only way Bernie would have won is if every contest were caucuses, which dramatically limit voter participation. So in fact, the system (through caucuses) has actually overstated Bernie’s support, rather than being rigged against him. I’d also like to point out some misconceptions that the Bernie campaign has brought forward that were also debunked by that 538 article. One such misconception (I would call it propaganda) was enunciated by former front pager on Daily Kos, Shaun King. id="twitter-widget-0" class="twitter-tweet twitter-tweet-rendered" style="box-sizing: border-box; width: 500px; border-width: initial; border-style: none; padding: 0px; position: static; visibility: visible; display: block; height: 571.484px; max-width: 100%; min-width: 220px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;" title="Twitter Tweet" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" data-tweet-id="733354162105294848"> This line of thinking goes that since 2383 delegates are required for the nomination, all 2383 of them must be pledged delegates, or we have to wait until the convention for the superdelegates to formally vote. This is simply wrong. This is akin to saying we won’t know who will be President, even after election day in November, until theelectoral college formally meets in December to formally elect the next President and Vice President. At the root of this claim is the fact that Bernie will lose the pledged delegate race on June 7 (mathematically he can still win, but politically he can’t — Hillary will get enough delegates from CA, NJ, PR and NM, contests demographically favorable to her, to get to 2026 pledged delegates and win the pledged delegates outright). The claim that the superdelegates will hand the nomination to the loser of the pledged delegates is even more laughable than offensive. Even Hillary’s losing 2008 campaign didn’t make the risible claim that there is no nominee until the superdelegates formally vote at the convention, because they could always switch. (Hillary tried to claim in early June 2008 that it wasn’t clear that Barack had reached the magic number in delegates, not that we needed to wait until the convention because she could flip superdelegates already committed to him).  Another claim debunked by the article is that we can’t say for sure who has the most popular votes, since some caucus states don’t report actual voter numbers. id="twitter-widget-1" class="twitter-tweet twitter-tweet-rendered" style="box-sizing: border-box; width: 500px; border-width: initial; border-style: none; padding: 0px; position: static; visibility: visible; display: block; height: 336.156px; max-width: 100%; min-width: 220px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;" title="Twitter Tweet" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" data-tweet-id="733357861808529408">  Now, I’m not sure why Mr King would mention that Washington has 7.2 million people (perhaps he wants to suggest that 71% of those people support Bernie?), but we do have very good estimates of the amount of people who participated in the Washington caucuses (about 230,000 -240,000 people), and if you include the estimates of the other caucuses (none of which is anywhere close to the 230-240k of Washington), Hillary’s popular vote lead would be around 2.9 million.  Now some will probably say that this diary doesn’t help the cause of “unity” between the Hillary and Bernie camps. Perhaps. But you also know what doesn’t help “unity”?Repeating propaganda aimed at delegitimizing Hillary’s win. If the results go as expected between now and June 7, Hillary Clinton will be the presumptive nominee of the democratic party. And more than that, she would have won it fair and square, by every metric.

    The difference between 'I'm a businessman' Trump and the Domino's owners who stole wages? Not much - @community
    05/30/16 08:54:46AM
    In the movie Billy Madison, Adam Sandler’s character is competing in an “academic decathlon" against his rival, an, ahem, ethically challenged executive, for control of his father’s company (please don’t ask me to explain any more). Way ahead on points, the sleazeball—played by Josh Lyman of The West Wing no less—just has to answer one more question to win. He has to: "explain business ethics, and how they are applied today.” Unable to offer a single coherent thought, he screams and pulls out a gun. Then things really go downhill. As is the wont of many men my age, I relate real world events to things I’ve seen in stupid movies. The aforementioned scene popped into my head this week when Donald Trump responded to an attack from Hillary Clinton that cited his 2006 comment regarding the possibility of a housing market crash. When she slammed him for saying—in an audiobook created by Trump University of all things: "I sort of hope that happens because then, people like me would go in and buy," he threw up his hands and said, “I’m a businessman, that's what I'm supposed to do.” Then, trying it out in reverse order, he added: “That's what I'm supposed to do. I mean, I'm a businessman.” Trump might rather have screamed and pulled out a gun—he hasstated that he “always carries” one on him—but even he probably understands that would be unpresidential. “I’m a businessman.” Maybe that’s what the thieving Domino’s executives and franchise owners were saying to themselves to justify stealing the earnings of low-wage employees, many of whom likely struggle just to make their monthly rent payment. The corporation-wide system shorted workers’ hours across the board. Domino’s knew the system didn’t work, yet still required the franchise owners to use it. That’s why New York State’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sued the corporation—the entity responsible for the fraudulent system. Of course, Domino’s isn’t the only one committing wage theft, as the Department of Labor has won judgments totaling more than $1 billion in such cases over the past six years.     Across the country, lawsuits involving wage theft have been on the rise. Broadly defined, wage theft involves employers’ violating minimum-wage and overtime laws and not counting work hours, and management wrongfully taking employees’ tips. The surge in lawsuits, according to labor advocates, is a reflection of the changing nature of the American workplace. Increasingly, corporations are using franchises, subcontractors and temp companies to fill jobs. One result is fierce competition to fill jobs with people who will work for the lowest possible wages. And, in turn, corporate franchisers can insulate themselves from charges of wage violations by creating a degree of separation between the corporation and the employees. Corporations are all too happy to have these—to paraphrase another movie with a bit more artistic value (sorry, Mr. Sandler)—“buffers.” And that brings us back to Mr. Trump. Deborah Garcia was a catering employee at Trump SoHo, a Manhattan hotel. The hotel slapped a 22 percent service charge on the bill for catered affairs. According to New York law, a service charge applied to the bill is considered a tip unless it explicitly says otherwise—which Ms. Garcia claims did not happen. The law alsorequires that any tip must go to employees, not the establishment. Ms. Garcia never got any of those tips, and so she’s suing for wage theft. She isn’t suing Trump directly because—remember the buffers—Trump SoHo uses a subcontractor to hire its catering staff. Of course, the more profitable the subcontractor’s business, the better for the hotel. What’s that you say? How about Trump himself stealing? Yeah, we’ve got that too. Just this week the UK’s Telegraph broke this story: Exclusive: US presidential hopeful Donald Trump signed off on a controversial business deal that was designed to deprive the American government of tens of millions of dollars in tax, the Telegraph can disclose. The billionaire approved a $50 million investment in a company – only for the deal to be rewritten several weeks later as a ‘loan’. Experts say that the effect of this move was to skirt vast tax liabilities, and court papers seen by the Telegraph allege that the deal amounted to fraud. That’s right. Donald Trump stole from American taxpayers. That’s not only a bad move politically, it’s a crime. This story is pretty convoluted, and Trump isn’t the one behind the scenes doing the actual dirty work. Nevertheless, he’s got an equity stake in the deal, and he put his name on the dotted line approving the fraudulent re-characterization of an investment of capital—something that would have triggered a significant tax bill and potentially an even bigger one down the road if it proved a profitable investment—as a loan, a transaction that would mean a zero tax liability. The handy accompanying images from theTelegraph make clear that Trump’s minions knew exactly what they were doing. The money quote—literally and figuratively—comes from Julius Schwarz, executive vice president of the company that Trump partially owned and which was at the center of this fraud. When asked how to characterize the deal, Schwarz said:  Call it equity, but for tax purposes it’s debt. Otherwise we write a huge check to the IRS. As a 49 per cent equity partner they are still equity. There is no other way around it. Separate from any criminal investigation, Donald Trump is vulnerable politically. He’s vulnerable on tax evasion, and on his refusal to release his tax returns. The two are connected. Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren have both hit him on his returns in recent days, after he claimed that the tax rate he pays is “none of your business.” Greg Sargentthinks Trump’s defense that he “fight[s] very hard to pay as little tax as possible” could work, as Trump will essentially be saying to the American people: “You’re damn right I’ve been a scummy businessman. Now I want to be a scummy businessman on your behalf and on America’s behalf.” However, Warren has crafted a powerful counter-argument, highlighting Trump’s statement that paying taxes is like “throwing money down the drain,” and then hammering him for having torn up the social contract that binds us as a society—which obviously includes paying taxes. Sen. Warren condemned Trump as someone who “inherit[ed] a fortune from his father,” but has been “keeping it going by scamming people.” Warren then connected this attack to Trump having said he hoped for home prices to crash, noting that that hope reflects Trump’s basic character as someone who “roots for people to get thrown out of their house,” and “doesn’t care who gets hurt, as long as he makes a profit.” Trump thus personifies the “I got mine, go screw yourself” philosophy of the Republican Party. Secretary Clinton alluded to that point in her criticism of Trump’s “hope” for a housing crash, saying: “And now he says he wants to roll back the financial regulations that we have imposed on Wall Street to let them run wild again. Well I will tell you what—you and I together, we're not going to let him.” Additionally, Hillary connected Trump’s comments on taxes, his refusal to release his returns, and his rejection of the social contract: “He goes around saying, 'Well we have got to have a stronger military.'...Well he certainly doesn't want to pay a penny to protect our men and women in uniform.” Yes, Donald Trump is a businessman. But that word doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone. He uses it as an excuse for things he’s done and said, the details of which continue to emerge—as this week’s revelation on his company’s tax evasion makes clear. The goal of Democrats must be to convince the American people that Trump is not a savvy businessman who’ll work on their behalf, but a schemer and a thief who’s only in it for himself.

    America's Best Large Employers - @community
    05/30/16 08:20:28AM
    Which companies are offering America's employees the very best situations? Statista and Forbes decided to find out by asking 30,000 American workers at large U.S. companies, nonprofit institutions, government agencies, and U.S. divisions of multinationals this question: how likely would they be to recommend their employer to someone else on a scale of 0-10? Their answers helped formulate America's Best Employers 2016. Large companies with over 5,000 employees formed a crucial aspect of the research. Marathon Petroleum is America's Best Large Employer this year, scoring 9.58 out of 10. The Findlay, Ohio based company has an excellent reputation among its employees due to numerous perks as well as a good work life balance and pay. Silicon Valley companies are legendary for their innovative working atmosphere and generous benefits, so it comes as no surprise that Google is in second position, scoring 9.54. Costco came close behind, scoring 9.50 out of 10.   This chart shows the top 10 U.S, large employers as rated by employees on a scale of 0-10 in 2016.   https://www.statista.com/chart/4537/americas-best-large-employers/

    Which Countries Pay The Most Income Tax? - @community
    05/30/16 08:15:09AM
    When it comes to income tax, a single person living in Belgium faces the heaviest burden out of all OECD countries. The tax rate for a Belgian single earner comes to 55.3 percent compared to 40.4 percent for a worker married with two children. In the United States, the income tax rate stands at 31.7 percent, according to a recent report from the OECD.   This chart shows the % taxes on wages in selected OECD countries in 2015.     https://www.statista.com/chart/4652/which-countries-pay-the-most-income-tax/

    The Most And Least Stressful Jobs - @community
    05/30/16 08:09:30AM
    You can choose your job according to your skills and talents, or you could choose your profession depending on your level of stress resistance. Overall, stress has a bad reputation. Then again, some people seem to need a measure of stress to get going at all. Here’s a list of jobs for the stress-averse and those who get a kick from being stressed-out. The career site CareerCast.com has come up with an index for stress at work. They take into account 11 stress factors, such as the amount of travel involved, working with deadlines, competitiveness, physical demands, risk to one’s own life or other’s lives or beeing in the public eye. “The amount of stress a worker experiences can be predicted, in part, by looking at the typical demands and crises inherent in his or her job”, CareerCast.com states on its website in the way of an explanation. I doesn’t come as a surprise then, that men and women enlisted in the armed forces are top of the list. At least soldiers on active duty on the frontlines have to endure extremely high levels of stress. Though the level of stress probably drops off the further you get away from the battlefield. Even so, stress can also be caused by having to move from base to base, which isn’t one of the factors counted in by CareerCast.com. (Incidentally, being a soldier is one of the worst paid jobs, at least for the rank and file.) Overall, it’s jobs in the security forces and services, the soldiers, firefighters and police officers, who rank high on stress. The amount pilots have to travel causes a lot of stress too. Also, those who have to engage with the public are likely to get stressed-out. Professions such as public relations, reporter or broadcaster are among the top-ten, also because they work with tight deadlines. Taxi drivers, who have to navigate congested streets and are constantly on the move are prone to stress too. If you can’t cope with stress whatsoever, you can still contemplate getting a job a security related job, namely as an information security analyst. With a score of 3.8, it’s the last position on the list of stressfulness. (Incidentally, it's one of the best aid jobs). You are likely to get more stressed being a librarian or a jeweler, which already rank low. Surprisingly, being a university professor is one of the least stressful jobs. Then again, it’s specifically talking about tenured positions.     https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/dont-get-stressed-most-least-stressful-jobs-dyfed-loesche?trk=hp-feed-article-title-hpm

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