Friday, October 26, 2012

Joseph E. Stiglitz and the Price of American Inequality as a Heavy Burden on the US Economy

For years, we have been posting at LawPundit about the inequality of wealth and income in America, and we see that Joseph E. Stiglitz has a New York Times article titled Some Are More Unequal Than Others, relating to his recent book, The Price of Inequality (2012), which made The New York Times best seller list.

As written at the Wikipedia, Stiglitz, currently a Professor at Columbia University, won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2001, has served as senior vice president and chief economist of the World Bank, and is "one of the most frequently cited economists in the world".

Via Yahoo Finance, in an interview by Matthew Craft of the Associated Press in Nobel economist: Inequality weighs on US economy, Stiglitz is quoted as follows:
"[Question]: ... you make the case that income inequality is more important than ever. How so?

[Answer]: Because it's getting worse.... For two decades, all the increase in the country's wealth, which was enormous, went to the people at the very top.... Inequality has always been justified on the grounds that those at the top contributed more to the economy — "the job creators."

Then came 2008 and 2009, and you saw these guys who brought the economy to the brink of ruin walking off with hundreds of millions of dollars. And you couldn't justify that in terms of contribution to society.

The myth had been sold to people, and all of a sudden it was apparent to everybody that it was a lie.

Mitt Romney has called concerns about inequality the "politics of envy." Well, that's wrong. Envy would be saying, "He's doing so much better than me. I'm jealous." This is: "Why is he getting so much money, and he brought us to the brink of ruin?" And those who worked hard are the ones ruined....

The story we were told was that inequality was good for our economy. I'm telling a different story, that this level of inequality is bad for our economy."


The $2 Million Smartphone: 250,000 Patents in a Smartphone, but Apple Wanted $48 for 6 Patent Licenses from Samsung

The Apple v. Samsung patent battle in the last analysis is about money, and it shows how far from monetary reality the Cupertino Koh court has thus far been in assessing the monetary patent situation with respect to smartphones.

Kim Yoo-chul and Cho Mu-hyun at the Korea Times quote Santa Clara Law Professor Brian J. Love in By Apple's logic, Galaxy should cost $2 mil.
"Some have estimated that smartphones are covered by about 250,000 U.S. patents."

He said, without providing data, that Apple wanted Samsung to pay $48 per phone for six patents. "If all 250,000 patents were valued at the same amount, Samsung would have to charge the ridiculous price of $2 million per phone just to break even."
Indeed, the $1 billion jury verdict in Cupertino is estimated to amount to a ludicrous ca. $8 per smartphone, vastly out of proportion to the importance of any of these minor patents to the total "patent" value of the smartphone.

The appellate courts must start to come down hard on lower courts such as the Cupertino Koh court for permitting these kinds of absurd judgments.


WELLness at the New York Times: Sitting Is Definitely Out -- If You Want to Improve Health and Prolong Life

For wellness, see Well! at the New York Times.

I think that what Gretchen Reynolds writes at Get Up. Get Out. Don't Sit. may be an indicator that we are going to have to start cutting down our "sitting" computer time.

It appears that a lot of sitting may not be good for your health.




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