Cell Phones and Competition

Source: EconLog
by Kevin Corcoran

“Here’s a hot shopping tip that I suspect most readers won’t be able to take advantage of – at the moment, Apple is discounting the iPhone in China. But I don’t bring that up because I’m actually hoping to influence anyone’s shopping behavior. … They rarely – almost never, in fact – sell their devices at a discount. … why is Apple now offering their top-end iPhones at discounts equal to hundreds of dollars in China, when they don’t offer anything like that kind of a discount in the United States during the quintessential holiday discount shopping event? It’s because in China, Apple is facing steep and increasing competition from companies like Huawei – competition it doesn’t have to face in the United States market, because the United States government has banned those companies from competing in the US market on transparently thin ‘national security’ grounds.” (05/28/24)


Five Reasons to Make the Trump Tax Cut Permanent

Source: Town Hall
by Stephen Moore

“No issue defines the diametrically opposite economic philosophies of Joe Biden and Donald Trump than their position on the Trump tax cuts. Trump wants to make those tax cuts permanent; Biden has repeatedly promised to tax America back to prosperity by repealing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. But there are so many factual errors swirling around regarding the Trump tax cuts that it’s a wonder that the ‘truth screeners’ on the internet haven’t flagged this all as ‘disinformation.’ So, as a public service I will help do their job for them and review ‘just the facts, ma’am,’ using the official government data, on how after five years the tax cuts have impacted jobs, the economy, tax fairness and the simplicity of the tax code …” (05/28/24)


T-Mobile to acquire most of US Cellular for $4.4 billion

Source: Axios

“T-Mobile has agreed to buy U.S. Cellular’s wireless operations and select spectrum assets for $4.4 billion, the companies announced on Tuesday. The deal ushers in more telecom consolidation and strengthens T-Mobile’s position after having already combined with Mint Mobile parent Ka’ena and Sprint. … The boards of U.S. Cellular and its parent company, Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. (TDS), approved the deal. It is expected to close in mid-2025, subject to regulatory approvals.” (05/28/24)


World’s rarest record album to go on display in Australia

Source: BBC News [UK State Media]

“An album so rare and valuable that only a few ears have ever listened to it is set to go on display at an Australian gallery, giving the public a taste of the uber-exclusive tracks. Housed in an ornate silver box, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin – recorded in secret by the Wu-Tang Clan over six years – was designed to be a piece of fine art. Only a single CD copy exists. The record by the pioneering hip-hop group is the most expensive ever sold. Currently, it is on loan to Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art (Mona). Over 10 days in June, Mona will host small listening parties where members of the public can hear a curated, 30-minute sample of the album. The album is part of its Namedropping exhibition, which examines status, notoriety and ‘the human pursuit.'” (05/28/24)


Gaming Out a Guilty Verdict

Source: The Dispatch
by Chris Stirewalt

“I don’t know how the betting odds on a Trump conviction have been running, but it would hardly be a long shot for him to be found guilty. This is Manhattan, in a county where Trump got 12 percent of the vote four years ago. He’s behaved boorishly throughout the proceedings and attacked a process that by now, jurors probably feel pretty proud to be a part of, even if they’re ready to go home. But the question the world has really been asking isn’t about the disposition of the case, but the disposition of the electorate about it. The most recent Marquette University Law School poll in key battleground Wisconsin suggests a logical conclusion by voters: Without a conviction, Trump led President Joe Biden by a robust 6 points. With a conviction, Biden led by 4 points.” (05/28/24)


Creating an All-American Homeland Security Campus

Source: TomDispatch
by Michael Gould-Wartofsky

“The academic year that just ended left America’s college campuses in quite a state: with snipers on the rooftops and checkpoints at the gates; quads overrun by riot squads, state troopers, and federal agents; and even the scent of gunpowder in the air. In short, in the spring semester of 2024, many of our campuses came to resemble armed camps. What’s more, alongside such brute displays of force, there have been congressional inquisitions into constitutionally protected speech; federal investigations into the movement for divestment; and students suspended, evicted, and expelled, not to speak of faculty disciplined or simply dismissed. Welcome to Repress U., class of 2024: a homeland security campus for the ages. But don’t think it all only happened this spring. In reality, it’s an edifice that’s been decades in the making, spanning the George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden administrations.” (05/28/24)


Boeing’s first astronaut flight now set for June, after review of small leak on new capsule

Source: SFGate

“Boeing is now aiming for its first astronaut launch at the beginning of June, after spending the past few weeks struggling with more problems on the space capsule. Officials for the company and NASA said Friday that intensive reviews indicate the Starliner capsule can safely fly two test pilots to the International Space Station, despite a propulsion system leak. The small helium leak was discovered following the first launch attempt on May 6 that was scuttled by an unrelated rocket problem now fixed. Engineers suspect a defective rubber seal the size of a shirt button, and say that even if the leak worsens, it could be managed in flight. All of the capsule’s other seals checked out, said NASA’s commercial crew program manager Steve Stich, prompting managers to target June 1 for the launch.” (05/28/24)


Sunak’s “national service” won’t foster national pride

Source: spiked
by Rakib Ehsan

“The Conservative Party’s plan to bring back a form of national service if it wins the General Election has proven more than a little controversial. … It’s all very well trying to use a revamped form of national service to encourage a sense of national belonging and civic responsibility among young people. But any gains will be cancelled out by an existing economic, social and political arrangement that is stacked against young people. They struggle to get decent-paying jobs and find it near impossible to get on the housing ladder. If the Tories were serious about cultivating a sense of national belonging among our youth, they would be outlining a fairer socio-economic settlement – one that offers teenagers and twentysomethings the opportunity to have a meaningful stake in society.” (05/28/24)


US Discrediting All Arguments For Why It Should Lead The World

Source: Caitlin Johnstone, Rogue Journalist
by Caitlin Johnstone

“One by one, the US empire is discrediting all of its own arguments for why it should lead the world. All the violence, tyranny and injustice it claims to be keeping at bay with its globe-dominating leadership is being inflicted by the empire itself, in more and more brazen and egregious ways each year. The entire premise behind the empire’s containment strategies, military encirclement and cold war brinkmanship with China is that obviously the PRC needs to be stopped from rising and displacing the US as the global leader, and arguments about the need to control Russia and Iran by any means necessary arise from the same premise. These arguments are accepted as a given by many on the basis that the US is a free and democratic country which promotes liberal values and opposes authoritarianism …” (05/28/24)