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A nationwide operation targeting thousands of undocumented migrant families will reportedly begin Sunday. The New York Times says raids are expected to take place in at least 10 major cities. They will be conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Omar Villafranca reports.
- U.S. President Trump said on Thursday that he was looking "very seriously" at intervening in the hard-fought commercial battle for a $10 billion Pentagon cloud computing contract for which Amazon.com Inc, is seen as the leading contender. - U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to name Eugene Scalia as his next secretary of labor, according to two people with direct knowledge of the decision, tapping the son of former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for a position with vast responsibility over the U.S. work force. - The Trump administration said on Thursday it is imposing economic sanctions on two former provincial governors and two militia leaders in Iraq, citing human rights abuses in the north of the country.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- By the time it crossed the Mississippi River at Burlington, Iowa, last week, our California Zephyr was running more than eight hours late on its journey from the San Francisco Bay Area to Chicago. The last meal, a free, off-menu beef stew, had just been served in the dining car. My wife and I opted instead to consume a couple of Maruchan Instant Lunch cups, purchased in the cafe, accompanied by a half bottle of Kendall-Jackson chardonnay, also from the cafe. Occasional wafts of sewage odor tainted the air, the aging Superliner cars creaked and rattled, and the dining- and sleeping-car staff exuded fatigue and resignation. Even the conductor, who had just gotten on at Ottumwa, sounded appropriately defeated when he reaffirmed over the loudspeaker that, yes, every connecting train in Chicago, including the Lakeshore Limited to New York for which we had tickets, would be leaving before our train got there.Things did improve a little once we entered Illinois. My wife got an unexpected email from Amtrak with a PDF ticket attached for the next day’s Lakeshore Limited, in more spacious accommodations than what we had originally booked. The train also started going consistently faster, mostly between 70 and 80 miles an hour, chipping away at our estimated arrival time by a minute here and a minute there until we were forced to sit still outside the Chicago suburb of Naperville to let a Metra commuter train go by. After a lovely day in Chicago (we stayed with friends, but Amtrak would have put us up in a hotel if needed), we boarded the train to New York only to learn that its departure would be delayed two hours to wait on two very late trains arriving via different routes from Los Angeles, the Southwest Chief and Texas Eagle. The conductor sounded irked about this rather than resigned, and over the next 20 hours we made up about a third of the lost time, arriving in Manhattan in the middle of a minor blackout that spared Penn Station but made getting home from there something of an adventure. Isn’t long-distance train travel great!?!Actually, it is. I’m not hankering to get on the California Zephyr again anytime soon, but I’m glad to have had the experience. It offered spectacular scenery, mealtime encounters with interesting people from all over (if you’re in a party of less than four, you’re always seated with strangers), and hour after hour after hour of mostly blissful reading and napping. A few months ago, the New York Times Magazine had a detailed account by journalist/humorist Caity Weaver of a trip from New York to Los Angeles on the Lakeshore Limited and Southwest Chief that captured the vibe quite nicely, so I’ll stop here with the travelogue and start with some numbers.Yes, that’s right: The California Zephyr, with one eastbound train a day and one westbound, lost more money last year than any other service operated by the National Railroad Passenger Corp., aka Amtrak. On a per-passenger-mile basis, it wasn’t so bad (the three-times-a-week Sunset Limited was the worst), but still, the operating losses from the California Zephyr, Southwest Chief and Empire Builder together nearly equaled Amtrak’s total fiscal 2018 operating loss of $170.6 million. Since the start of fiscal 2019 in October, the California Zephyr alone has lost $40.9 million, even as Amtrak’s operating loss has dwindled to $50.9 million and is projected to approach zero for the full fiscal year.This is possible because Amtrak also operates on shorter routes with much more frequent services that carry many more passengers and in some cases even turn big operating profits:These numbers include subsidies from the states, which add up to about 7% of overall operating revenue, with California and Illinois the biggest contributors. They leave out capital expenditures, which are highest for the Northeast Corridor along which the Acela and Northeast Regional trains travel because Amtrak owns most of the track and is thus responsible for its upkeep. The California Zephyr uses track owned and maintained by freight railroads BNSF, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., and Union Pacific Corp. But that’s actually a big part of the problem faced by it and other long-distance routes.The 1970 federal law that released private railroads from the obligation to carry passengers and created Amtrak decreed that its trains be given priority over freight. But because Amtrak’s long-distance trains run infrequently on tracks controlled by others and a certain amount of schedule unpredictability is inherent in the distances they travel — and because, Amtrak complains, the freight railroads aren’t obeying the law — they are constantly being delayed by conditions outside their control.The California Zephyr that I traveled on started out about an hour late because of engine problems, kept getting later because of congestion and track work, had to restrict its speed while climbing the Rockies in Colorado because it was hot out, took a seeming eternity to back into and then pull out of Denver’s Union Station, endured more track-repair-related slowdowns amid the waterlogged cornfields of Nebraska, then came to a halt because the conductors and engineer had been on the job for 12 hours straight and another federal law required that they sit tight until a replacement crew came in from Lincoln. On the westward journey two weeks earlier, my wife and son (he and I each flew one way) spent several early-morning hours parked near the Nevada-Utah border after their train pulled onto a siding to let a faster-moving freight train pass, and the freight engine promptly broke down.On track that Amtrak owns or otherwise exercises some control over — or even just uses frequently enough that its comings and goings can be counted upon — these problems are less pronounced. Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor trains were on time at 76.2% of their stops in fiscal 2018 and its other short-haul trains 77.7%. For the long-distance trains, that percentage was only 52.1%, even though they’re subjected to a looser definition of “on time” than shorter routes are.(1)Amtrak, then, is really running two train systems. One provides residents of cities in the Northeast, Midwest and along the West Coast with regional train service that’s not great by Western European or East Asian standards but is useful to lots of people and seems like it could get by on ticket revenue, state subsidies, and some federal help with financing big capital projects such as that much-needed new tunnel under the Hudson River. The other consists of 15 longer routes that have appeal for tourists, residents of some isolated towns and airplane-shunning Amish folk (if riding Amtrak through the Midwest was your only experience of this country, you’d think it was about 10% Amish) but cannot survive without ongoing operating subsidies from Congress. The $1.9 billion that Congress appropriated to Amtrak for fiscal 2019 amounts to only about 0.04% of total federal spending, and one could perhaps argue that subsidies for long-distance rail are worth it in some kind of nation-building or nation-advertising sense. But those subsidies do seem to reduce Washington’s appetite for investments to upgrade Amtrak’s more heavily traveled intercity offerings, which are of far more economic value.Current Amtrak Chief Executive Officer Richard Anderson, who once held the same job at Delta Air Lines Inc., has considered this situation and, as the Wall Street Journal’s Ted Mann described a few weeks ago, understandably concluded that the long-distance routes aren’t a priority. Last year, for example, Anderson said that rather than pay to maintain a 219-mile stretch of Southwest Chief track that owner BNSF no longer uses, Amtrak would replace the train with bus service between Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Dodge City, Kansas.The White House has taken a similar stance, arguing in the proposed fiscal-year 2020 budget that:The Long Distance network has not changed from its original iteration 40 years ago. It does not provide efficient services in areas where passenger rail is a competitive form of transportation and inadequately serves low population areas through which they [sic] travel with infrequent and inconvenient service. The Budget proposes that Federal operating support for Long Distance routes would now be provided through the Restoration and Enhancement (R&E) Grant program, not Amtrak's annual grant, and then phased out entirely.Senators from the affected states forced Anderson to back down on his Southwest Chief plan, though, at least through this fiscal year. And President Donald Trump — who seems at best only faintly aware of the things that Office of Management and Budget Director (and acting chief of staff) Mick Mulvaney puts in the annual budget proposals — surely isn’t going to make cutting rural train service a priority in the run-up to the 2020 election, and wouldn’t make any headway on Capitol Hill even if he did. If I’ve read the maps correctly, the 10 money-losing long-distance trains in the table above travel through 36 states, while the 10 most popular routes touch just 14. Amtrak definitely has a future, with ridership up 41% since 2000. But the arithmetic of U.S. Senate representation and Electoral College votes may keep it chained to its past for a while yet.(1) Trips of up to 250 miles are considered on time if they arrive less than 10 minutes beyond the scheduled arrival time; 251-350 miles, 15 minutes; 351-450 miles, 20 minutes; 451-550 miles, 25 minutes; and greater than 550 miles, 30 minutes.To contact the author of this story: Justin Fox at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Brooke Sample at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Justin Fox is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering business. He was the editorial director of Harvard Business Review and wrote for Time, Fortune and American Banker. He is the author of “The Myth of the Rational Market.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The inaugural "Summer of '69" issue will coincide with The New York Times coverage of the 50-year anniversary of that summer. As part of the collaboration, there are plans for five subsequent issues devoted to other historical events, significant milestones and cultural subjects.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Time has likely worn the sharp edges off the boot prints and turned the landing module dark and dingy – a faded shadow of the pictures from 1969. The flag at the Apollo 11 site appears from orbit to be gone, probably blown over by exhaust from the ascent module. Erosion is different on the moon: There’s no water, wind or animals, but there are ultraviolet light, micrometeorites and cosmic rays that over time will turn humankind’s creations and symbols to dust.But something of the Apollo 11 site could last for hundreds or thousands of years – remains that will tell a story that should inspire people when we reach the 500th or 1,000th anniversary of those first footprints on the moon, made 50 years ago this month. These pieces of history need our protection.Citizens of the far future may have developed space travel technology that makes rocket science look simple-minded, but that won’t quench their interest the history of exploration. Our modern air travel hasn’t cooled interest in the low-tech voyages of Magellan, Lewis and Clark, and Shackleton.There are about 50 sites with human artifacts – six sites of human exploration plus dozens of dead rovers, crash-landed and soft-landed craft, and orbiters that have fallen, said Alice Gorman, a space archaeologist from Flinders University in Australia. There’s equipment that originated in China, India and Israel as well as the U.S. and the Soviet Union.How safe are those relics? The sites are tiny, and the moon’s surface large, so there’s surely no reason to disturb these treasures for the sake of science, mining, tourism or whatever else people want to do on the moon. NASA has designated the Apollo landing areas as “heritage” sites, though they don’t currently have any legal protection from any nation or any international treaty, as explained last week in the New York Times.Scientists might find justification to return to those sites, say, to see whether samples taken from the Apollo missions are unique or typical. But that, said Gorman, can be done without getting close enough to disturb any human artifacts.But of course scientists, tourists or hobbyists operating drones may want to revisit the Apollo sites simply because they are the most interesting parts of the moon. “As tempting as it is – and I’m a space archaeologist so I would love to see these sites – I think we should show a little bit of self restraint,” said Gorman.Some have proposed visiting the Apollo sites with the goal of preserving them, she said, by putting up a cosmic-ray cover and micrometeorite-proof shell or some other scheme. The important thing, she said, is that we wait till we know what we’re doing. Humanity may have a brand new technique for investigating the sites without disturbing them by 2050, she said, “and it would be a shame if in 2025 some idiot in a lunar rover drove over the top of the Apollo 11 site.”While the history of lunar exploration is preserved in pictures, records and archives, nobody knows whether those will last, and how their interpretation might change over the millennia. Future humans may run into problems that leave big gaps in their understanding of space exploration. And when people return, they may want very much to put together the story of space travel’s 20th century origin. Natural elements will wear away our heritage sites slowly, and we may not be able to stop that, but we owe it to the future to save them from ourselves.To contact the author of this story: Faye Flam at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Philip Gray at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Faye Flam is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. She has written for the Economist, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Psychology Today, Science and other publications. She has a degree in geophysics from the California Institute of Technology.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
New York Times Co NYSE:NYTView full report here! Summary * Perception of the company's creditworthiness is neutral * ETFs holding this stock are seeing positive inflows * Bearish sentiment is moderate and declining * Economic output in this company's sector is expanding Bearish sentimentShort interest | PositiveShort interest is moderate for NYT with between 5 and 10% of shares outstanding currently on loan. However, this was an improvement in sentiment as investors who seek to profit from falling equity prices reduced their short positions on July 12. Money flowETF/Index ownership | PositiveETF activity is positive. Over the last month, growth of ETFs holding NYT is favorable, with net inflows of $5.25 billion. This is among the highest net inflows seen over the last one-year and the rate of additional inflows appears to be increasing. Economic sentimentPMI by IHS Markit | PositiveAccording to the latest IHS Markit Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) data, output in the Consumer Services sector is rising. The rate of growth is strong relative to the trend shown over the past year. Credit worthinessCredit default swap | NeutralThe current level displays a neutral indicator. NYT credit default swap spreads are within the middle of their range for the last three years.Please send all inquiries related to the report to email@example.com.Charts and report PDFs will only be available for 30 days after publishing.This document has been produced for information purposes only and is not to be relied upon or as construed as investment advice. To the fullest extent permitted by law, IHS Markit disclaims any responsibility or liability, whether in contract, tort (including, without limitation, negligence), equity or otherwise, for any loss or damage arising from any reliance on or the use of this material in any way. Please view the full legal disclaimer and methodology information on pages 2-3 of the full report.
(Bloomberg) -- A chunk of New York City plunged into darkness for hours as 72,000 customers on Manhattan’s West Side lost power on the anniversary of the historic 1977 blackout. Energy supply has since been fully restored, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.The outage on Saturday night affected an area stretching from Fifth Ave. to the Hudson River, and from West 42nd through 71st streets, an area that includes Times Square and Central Park. Subway services to as far away as Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx were disrupted as the power failure took a toll on the “entire system.”“While this situation was luckily contained, the fact that it happened at all is unacceptable,” Cuomo said in a briefing before he headed to a substation that caused the outage. He’s directed “a full and thorough investigation into the cause of tonight’s blackout and we will hold all parties accountable in ensuring this does not happen again,” he added.A substation explosion and fire that created a surge was the cause of the outage, in turn affecting four other substations, Cuomo said earlier in the evening, citing an update he received from Consolidated Edison Inc. or ConEd, the city’s utility. He said no passengers were stranded on trains and there have been no reports of injuries so far.Singer Jennifer Lopez canceled her concert at Madison Square Garden and said people were evacuated from the venue. The outage also caused all but three Broadway theaters to close, the New York Police Department’s Times Square Command said.The power failure happened on the 42nd anniversary of the infamous blackout that left most of the city without power. The outage led to widespread looting and arson that cost an estimated $310 million in damages, the New York Times reported.(Updates with Governor Cuomo’s comments in third paragraph.)\--With assistance from Aibing Guo.To contact the reporters on this story: Shoko Oda in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.org;Will Wade in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Matthew G. Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org, Linus Chua, Shamim AdamFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
George Houraney, a Florida-based businessman, organized an exclusive “calendar girl” party at Mar-a-Lago. He was bringing 28 girls. He was surprised to find out that only Jeff Epstein and Trump would be there.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Call it progress: When President Donald Trump unveiled a plan in May to reform the U.S. immigration system, he said that the number of immigrants granted green cards each year would remain unchanged. That’s a U-turn from his 2017 endorsement of a bill that could’ve halved annual admissions, currently running at about 1.1 million. The new plan promotes a merit-based system that privileges skills and education over extended family ties. But it is short on detail, lacks political support even from Republicans, and is at odds with the administration’s record of imposing new restrictions on skilled immigrants.This ambivalence and disarray, although more pronounced in Trump’s administration, exemplifies the approach America has taken to the issue for decades. Even as the country grows more dependent on new arrivals, its policies toward immigrants — skilled and unskilled, legal and illegal, refugees and asylum seekers — remain confused and ill-considered. Change has rarely been so urgent.It’s true that the U.S. has undergone a significant demographic shift in recent decades. In 1970, only 4.7 % of its inhabitants were foreign-born. By 2017, the number had risen to 13.6%, close to its historical peak of 14.8% in 1890.But the fact is, the country needs more immigrants of every kind. It needs innovators, entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers and other skilled workers for its economy to thrive. It needs crop-pickers and health-care workers to do jobs native-born Americans generally don’t want. It also needs to resolve the status of more than 10 million undocumented residents. And as the world’s most powerful democracy, whose strength and legitimacy depend on living up to its values, it has compelling reasons to fix its broken systems for aiding asylum seekers and refugees.The starting point for thinking about these challenges is to recognize how important immigrants are to the U.S. economy. According to the New American Economy Research Fund, immigrants and their children established nearly half of today’s Fortune 500 companies. In 2017, they made up about 17% of high-skilled working males. In Silicon Valley, more than half the workers in STEM fields — and an even higher proportion of software engineers — were born overseas.In all likelihood, the importance of immigrants will grow in the digital age. There’s good evidence that high-skilled immigration promotes innovation. Immigrants are almost twice as likely as the native-born to start new businesses, and in 2014, they made up about 20% of all entrepreneurs. Figures compiled by Bloomberg show that “states with the greatest concentration of immigrants create the most jobs and biggest increase in personal income.”Demographics, meanwhile, are making America’s needs more acute. A country with fewer babies and more old people has greater need of immigrants. Last year, the U.S. population grew at its slowest pace since 1937. Nearly one-fifth of states have lost residents during the last two years. Alaska, Maine and Vermont — along with numerous cities and towns across the country — are even offering bounties to newcomers.Other things equal, this means slower economic growth, and an aging workforce pushes the same way. Fewer workers supporting more retirees will put Social Security and other public pension plans under further strain.In short, the U.S. can’t afford an immigration system that saw its last major overhaul half a century ago.Related: Hard Questions on Immigration Deserve Straight AnswersBy any measure, America’s formal immigration processes are confusing and often arbitrary. Every year, for instance, 50,000 visas are allotted by lottery (in 2018, nearly 15 million people applied). Currently, the U.S. allocates 140,000 visas each year to employment-based immigrants — only about 12% of the total admitted in 2017. Two-thirds were granted on family ties.On balance, it makes sense to prioritize an increase in skill-based immigration — as Trump proposes — where the economic benefits are greatest and most obvious to current citizens. But how might this be done?Consider the system as it stands. Like most U.S. immigration procedures, the road from bright student to happy permanent resident is tortuous. Let’s say you get a student visa. Upon graduation, you’re entitled to a period of paid practical training. If your goal is to stay in the U.S., you find a company to sponsor you for an H-1B visa as a specialized worker. But Uncle Sam allocates only 85,000 of these annually, so you have to pray that yours is picked in a lottery. This year, 201,011 petitions were submitted. If you’re one of the lucky ones, your petition and visa must then be approved. Retaining your visa depends on retaining your job. Hold onto both and you can apply for a green card. But guess what? There’s a per-country cap of 7% of allotted visas each year. If you’re from a high-demand country like China or India, you’re in for a long wait — as of April 2018, it amounted to 17 years for Indians with bachelor’s degrees and, perversely, 151 years for those with advanced degrees.No wonder Canada has made the U.S. process a selling point for its own visa program, or that Australia came out ahead of the U.S. in a recent survey of national attractiveness to talented migrants.The Trump administration seems determined to make things worse. Student visa issuances fell from about 678,000 in 2015 to 390,000 in 2018. Even though the law regarding H-1B visas hasn’t changed, the denial rate surged from 5% in 2012 to 32% in 2019, including for seasoned petitioners such as Amazon.com Inc. Proposed regulations will put new limits on the time students can stay in the U.S., strip work permits from spouses of H-1B holders, and narrow eligibility for work visas.In fairness, the still-undefined points system Trump has aired could be an improvement. Similar systems in Australia, Canada and New Zealand balance the need for high-skilled workers with longer-term objectives, and create a more transparent and objective process. A comparable approach could be applied to semi-skilled workers in agriculture, health care or other fields in demand. Among other benefits, such an arrangement could avoid the per-country caps that have kept the U.S. from turning China and India’s brain drain into America’s gain.But the transition will face a big obstacle: What to do about the nearly 4 million immigrant petitions, most of them family-based, already on file? To keep faith with those applicants, give them the option of staying in the existing lengthy queue or submitting an application under a new system that awards some points for family ties, with the prospect of a speedier entry. The U.S. could also afford to ease the overall backlog — so long that applicants are dying out of the system — by increasing the number of green cards per year, say to 1.4 million or so.******Unfortunately, Trump’s approaches to the other huge challenges facing the immigration system are less coherent — or even counterproductive.Start with the undocumented. Trump’s fixation on an expensive and ineffective border wall has diverted resources from other priorities. His slandering of undocumented immigrants has sown division and made it harder to resolve their fate politically. And his administration’s cruel and incompetent enforcement strategies have gravely harmed families and children while failing to deter newcomers and damaging America’s reputation and relations with its neighbors.If Trump wants to reduce illegal immigration, he should instead be pushing long-delayed initiatives such as an effective entry/exit system that can curb the visa over-stayers who have outnumbered illegal border crossers in recent years. He could encourage wider use of the E-Verify system to block illegal workers, and step up prosecutions of those companies that employ them; last year, only 11 employers faced charges. Instead of cutting aid to Central America, he should bolster it, while also using U.S. leverage to persuade its leaders to invest more in their people instead of exporting them to earn remittances.As for the millions of undocumented already living in America, Trump proposes mass deportations — an idea that would take years, cost several hundred billion dollars, and likely cause U.S. GDP to contract by more than $1 trillion. (The U.S. deported about 295,000 people in 2017, down from 435,000 in 2013 under Obama.) For all Trump’s hyperventilating about an “invasion” of the U.S., the undocumented population fell from 12.2 million in 2007 to 10.5 million in 2017.The quickest, smartest and most compassionate way to shrink the undocumented population further would be to legalize the million-plus people in the U.S. already under some form of temporary protection. More than 400,000 immigrants, for instance, have been given Temporary Protected Status from deportation back to countries suffering from natural disasters, war or civil unrest. Another 700,000 — the so-called Dreamers — have had temporary protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.Both groups deserve compassion. Dreamers were brought to the U.S. by their parents, raised and educated there, and know no other home. Many under TPS have now been in the country for decades. In 2017, the two groups contributed more than $5.5 billion in taxes, and represented $25 billion in spending power. The lives they’ve built include businesses, jobs and homes, as well as nearly 300,000 children who are U.S. citizens by birth. Sending them back to their countries of origin, especially the Dreamers, would not only betray America’s values but squander taxpayers’ investments in their educations and upbringing. Far better to legislate a path to legal status and terminate or revamp TPS to avert the creation of similar limbos in the future.Asylum is another area where Trump’s approach is making a bad situation worse. Nothing illustrates the absurdity of his wall preoccupation more than the tens of thousands of Central American asylum-seekers wanting to turn themselves in to the Border Patrol rather than evade it. The system is undeniably broken: Families seeking to escape poverty, not persecution, exploit its inconsistencies and weaknesses with the help of criminal gangs that profit from their misery.But the answer to these problems isn’t more troops at the border or overblown states of emergency. It’s more judges and clerks for the immigration courts, more asylum officers who can process cases quickly, and more humane shelters that don’t prompt fervid comparisons with concentration camps. The best way to deter future unmerited claims is to resolve them quickly so the word gets out. And yes, there’s nothing wrong with deporting families whose asylum claims have been rejected: If you want the public to support asylum, it must believe that the system is credible as well as compassionate.A final concern is refugees. Trump has done his best to transform America’s policies from a beacon of global hope into a darkening blot on its reputation. One of his first acts in office was to suspend refugee admissions, citing dubious security threats. (Unlike asylum applicants who simply show up at U.S. borders, refugees must undergo extensive screening before they’re approved for resettlement.) Since then, he has repeatedly lowered the ceiling for refugees and slow-rolled even those reduced admissions: Last year, when the ceiling was set at 45,000, the U.S. admitted just 22,491 refugees — the lowest number since passage of the 1980 Refugee Act. This year, with the number of displaced people worldwide at a record high, the ceiling is even lower: 30,000. In 1980, the U.S. admitted 207,116.America’s moral standing aside, such stinginess does the country no favors. A 2017 government study, which the Trump administration tried to suppress, estimated that from 2005 to 2014, refugees actually generated $63 billion more in government revenue than they cost. They’ve revitalized ebbing communities in Maine, Missouri, New York and more. Their rate of entrepreneurship is higher even than ordinary immigrants. And they’re more likely to become U.S. citizens — a proven boost to everything from income to home ownership. Dollar for dollar, person for person, the 3 million refugees that the U.S. has resettled since 1980 have been an invaluable investment.******Fortunately, overall attitudes about immigration have undergone a positive sea change in the U.S. since the 1990s, the decade that saw the second-biggest jump in the proportion of the foreign-born population (after the 1850s). Polls show much greater recognition of the benefits that immigrants bring, and a diminished sense of the threats they pose.Yet underlying this shift is a polarizing trend that impedes serious reform: Even as Democrats and independents have become much more supportive of immigrants and tolerant of illegal immigration, Republican attitudes have slightly hardened. The partisan gap on immigration is by some measures at a historic high. At its crudest level, this dynamic has translated into a Republican Party that resists even modest fixes to immigration laws, and a Democratic Party that refuses to talk seriously about enforcing them.Republican intransigence, for instance, is largely to blame for the failure of the last big attempt at comprehensive immigration reform. In 2013, House Speaker John Boehner refused even to hold a vote on the Senate’s so-called Gang of Eight bill, a bipartisan and badly needed measure that included a more merit-based system and a path to citizenship.Today’s Democrats, meanwhile, don’t exactly talk the walk on enforcement. When the New York Times recently asked 21 of the 2020 Democratic candidates for president if they thought “illegal immigration is a major problem in the United States,” only four mustered a yes or no. The rest served up the kind of soggy waffles you’d expect at a campaign diner stop.The fact is, both parties are going to have to commit themselves to making significant changes in the American immigration system in the coming decades and reconciling their differences. Fat chance of that, you might think — especially given the polarized discord on the issue since the failure of the Gang of Eight bill and the coming of Trump. Yet the past offers a hopeful precedent. In 1977, Congress stiff-armed President Jimmy Carter’s proposals on immigration reform, which were sparked by rising illegal Mexican immigration. But that defeat helped birth initiatives and bills that led to the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, the last big reform Congress passed.Resolving today’s even more complex challenges will require the kind of bipartisanship and pragmatism that have proved elusive in recent years. Let’s hope that the presence of more than 10 million undocumented residents, the crisis at the border, and the growing global competition for immigrant talent prove to be catalysts that recall Americans to their senses. The demographic and economic future of the United States depends on it.To contact the author of this story: James Gibney at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Timothy Lavin at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.James Gibney writes editorials on international affairs for Bloomberg Opinion. Previously an editor at the Atlantic, the New York Times, Smithsonian, Foreign Policy and the New Republic, he was also in the U.S. Foreign Service from 1989 to 1997 in India, Japan and Washington.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
If you see advertisements for a mall that look like they came straight out ofthe '80s on today's print edition of The New York Times, fire up Google Lens
The counselor to the president, on her visit to the friendly confines of “Fox & Friends,” talks about the recent tussle between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and four freshman Democrats.
Small and large cap stocks are widely popular for a variety of reasons, however, mid-cap companies such as The New...
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Now that the Fourth of July has slipped past, let’s take a quick look at a trio of controversies over history and tradition that erupted just as the holiday was creeping up on us.The most prominent was the uproar over Nike’s decision to withdraw a version of its Air Max 1 Quick Strike honoring Betsy Ross, which was to go on sale around Independence Day. The shoe displayed on its heel the original U.S. flag with its 13 stars — which Ross either did or didn’t create — and was pulled after former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick pointed out to the company “that the Betsy Ross flag had been co-opted by groups espousing racist ideologies.”I have two observations.First: White supremacists shouldn’t get to decide for the rest of us the meaning of our historical symbols. I’m old enough to remember the Ku Klux Klan — not today’s pale shadow, but the Klan to which many Southern politicians of the 1960s still pledged open allegiance. The group’s rallies always featured American flags in abundance — you know, the 50-star kind — and nobody thought the rest of us had to give up on the symbol by letting the bad guys control its significance. In that sense, Nike’s action might be seen not as a strike against the white supremacists but as a surrender to them.True, it’s not just the supremacists. The New York Times notes that some find the 13-star flag an offensive reminder of our nation’s “painful history of oppression and racism.” Fair point. But I’m a great believer in confronting rather than avoiding the burdens of history. And besides, if the 13-star flag must be hidden away as a symbol of racism, what about the 13 stripes on the 50-star flag?Second observation: Furious about Nike’s decision, the governor of Arizona has canceled the $1 million in subsidies that the company was promised in return for opening a $184 million factory in the state. OK, this sort of political tit-for-tat happens all the time — but the Supreme Court has recently made things interesting. At the end of its most recent term, the justices ruled in Iancu v. Brunetti that the federal government cannot refuse to register a trademark for being “scandalous” — which the court defined as giving offense — because such a power would amount to viewpoint discrimination, which the First Amendment forbids.Hmm. You get the Arizona subsidy if you sell the shoe with the 13-star flag but not otherwise? Sure sounds like viewpoint discrimination to me. I don’t expect Nike to sue Arizona for violating the company’s First Amendment rights, but goodness that would be a fun case.*Now let’s travel to St. Louis Park, Minnesota, where the city council voted in June to end the practice of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to open its meetings. At least part of the motivation seems to have been to emphasize that the town is “very welcoming and increasingly diverse.” This decision has led to predictable fury — and not just from the right. The editorial board of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, no bastion of conservatism, weighed in against the city, which in turn has promised to revisit its position later this month.Although a government institution can certainly do the people’s business without regularly pledging allegiance, the U.S. Congress opens its sessions with the Pledge of Allegiance. So does the town council in the Connecticut hamlet where my wife and I live. Since St. Louis Park is in Minnesota, let’s add this: The Minnesota legislature begins its meetings with the pledge. Minnesota public school students are required by law to recite it at least once a week unless they opt out.Moreover, the claim that the pledge is anti-diversity seems rather obscure. Wherever people might have come from originally, whatever the state of their documentation, whatever their religion or creed, most of those who live in the U.S. are here because they want to be. In its aspirational language, the Pledge of Allegiance arguably promotes rather than hampers diversity.(1) Certainly there are threats to diversity; but the pledge isn’t high on the list.Besides, as the Star-Tribune editorial pointed out, people who object to the pledge needn’t recite it; and they can even register their protests. I’ve long argued that a respect for vigorous dissent is at the heart of the American idea. The recital of the pledge to open a meeting signals only that those in positions of authority believe in what the flag stands for. The rest of us are free to do as we like.*Finally, let’s move on to Charlottesville, Virginia, which has voted to scrap its traditional commemoration of Thomas Jefferson’s birthday. Henceforth the city will celebrate instead Liberation and Freedom Day, marking the entrance of Union troops into the city on March 3, 1865. Unsurprisingly, social media erupted. Some critics accuse the city of hypocrisy, given that Charlottesville itself has a long history of racism.Regular readers know I’m no fan of sweeping disagreeable history under the rug, but let’s not be too hasty. Here’s the Wall Street Journal on the city council’s motivation: “Charlottesville has been grappling for years with its history of discrimination. Those efforts intensified after white nationalists gathered in the city in 2017 for a rally that descended into violence.”Well, “descended into violence” is one way to put it. What actually happened was that a self-proclaimed white supremacist deliberately drove his car into a crowd of counter-demonstrators, killing one and injuring two dozen.Still, on the merits, let me note that I’m not as anti-Jefferson as a lot of my friends. He did terrible things, like owning human beings, and he also did good and important things, like drafting the Declaration of Independence. I have no problem with those who want to celebrate him, as long as they don’t hide how mixed his legacy is.But I’m entirely onboard with the city council’s decision to celebrate the end of enslavement. My great-great grandfather Stanton was enslaved in Fauquier County, a bit north of Charlottesville, and was thrice carried back to Virginia in chains after escaping. In the end, Stanton successfully liberated himself. Alas, most of the South’s captive labor force was not as fortunate. Commemorating the end of this great national evil seems to me ... the patriotic thing to do.(1) Whatever you think of the “Under God” part, added by Congress in the 1950s, the Baptist preacher who wrote the pledge didn’t include it.To contact the author of this story: Stephen L. Carter at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Newman at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Stephen L. Carter is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a professor of law at Yale University and was a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. His novels include “The Emperor of Ocean Park,” and his latest nonfiction book is “Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America's Most Powerful Mobster.” For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- When I heard on Tuesday night that Lee Iacocca had passed away, I was momentarily taken aback. Not so much because he had died — he was, after all, 94 — but because, for someone who had been such a larger-than-life figure for so much of his career, he had been out of the limelight for so long.Iacocca first burst into the public consciousness in 1963, when he made the covers of both Time and Newsweek(1) in the same week, standing in front of the brand new Ford Mustang, which he had (allegedly) masterminded as a top Ford executive. His last public act took place in 1995, when he and the financier Kirk Kerkorian made a foolhardy attempt to take over Chrysler. Although he later formed an investment company, and dabbled in this and that, this once unforgettable figure spent the last two decades of his life, well, forgotten.In the headline of its obituary, the New York Times described Iacocca as a “Visionary Automaker Who Led Both Ford and Chrysler.” And that’s true, so far as it goes. Having accrued most of the credit for the Mustang, he was promoted to Ford’s president by the time he was 46. But in 1978, even though Ford was going great guns, Henry Ford II fired him. Supposedly, Ford said he was canning Iacocca because he didn’t like him.Then came his tenure at Chrysler, which was on the brink of collapse when he took it over. He persuaded the federal government to give the company $1.5 billion in loan guarantees, and used that money to orchestrate a brilliant turnaround, spearheaded by the Chrysler minivan — a car that, in addition to making the company gobs of money, had a profound impact on American society. (Just ask any parent.)All well and good.But Iacocca influenced the culture in another way as well. The celebrification of chief executives can be traced directly to him. Yes, there had been other famous corporate chieftains before Iacocca — John D. Rockefeller and Walt Disney come to mind — but they were the exceptions to the rule that CEOs should be low-key, boring even. Iacocca(2) made it okay for a chief executive not just to gain fame, but to desire it.When had a chief executive made himself the centerpiece of his company’s ad campaign before Iacocca did it at Chrysler? When had one made himself a selling point in asking Congress for help? Or taken a public victory lap the way Iacocca did after the Chrysler turnaround, posing for magazine covers from Life to the Saturday Evening Post? Or publicly muse about running for president? Oh, and when had a chief executive written an autobiography that became one of the best-selling books of all time? Not business books, mind you. Books. Published in 1984, there were more than 7 million copies sold by the end of the following year.After Iacocca did it, other CEOs put themselves in their companies’ ad campaign: Dave Thomas, founder of the Wendy’s Co., and Victor Kiam, who owned Remington Products Co., maker of electric shavers. (His tag line: “I liked it so much, I bought the company.”) CEOs became less bashful about granting interviews and posing for magazine covers. (By 2002, Bill Gates had posed for Fortune’s cover 25 times.) Or bragging about their accomplishments to anyone who would listen. (I’m talking to you, Jack Welch.)And then there were the ghost-written CEO autobiographies, which poured forth into bookstores after the success of “Iacocca: An Autobiography.” “Pizza Tiger,” by Tom Monaghan, founder of Domino’s Pizza Inc. “Work in Progress,” by Michael Eisner, former chief executive of The Walt Disney Co. “Straight From the Gut,” by Welch, CEO of General Electric Co. “Sam Walton: Made in America,” by Walmart Inc. founder Sam Walton. “Father, Son & Co.: My Life at IBM,” by Thomas Watson Jr.(3) And lest we forget: “The Art of the Deal,” by Donald Trump. That came out three years after Iacocca’s book.I never covered Iacocca myself, but I’ve long realized that much of my career has been spent taking advantage of the trail he blazed. My very first business story, in 1982, was about T. Boone Pickens’s first hostile takeover attempt, which I wrote for Texas Monthly. When Pickens decided to write his autobiography a few years later, he hired me as his ghostwriter. (It ended badly for me, but that’s a story for another day.)During my decade at Fortune, getting to know CEOs, interviewing them, writing stories about them — and getting them to pose for the cover — was at the heart of the enterprise. I did a short documentary about Warren Buffett. At the New York Times, my readership always spiked when I wrote a column about Steve Jobs and Apple. Now at Bloomberg, I still find myself drawn to columns about CEOs. Readers care about the comings and goings of chief executives in a way they never did before Lee Iacocca.So I guess what I should say as I bid adieu to Iacocca is simply this: Thank you. Maybe that’s what we should all say.(1) And those were the days when making the cover of Time or Newsweek really meant something!(2) I should also note that Iacocca wasn’t just a business celebrity but an Italian-American celebrity. In 1963, when he first became famous, that was something Italian-Americans took pride in; by the time he left Chrysler in the 1990s, Italian-American celebrities had become no big deal. That’s progress.(3) For the record, the Watson book, written with Peter Petre, is in my view, the best CEO autobiography ever written. It is a deeply personal account of not just running a company but dealing with a larger-than-life father, who founded IBM.To contact the author of this story: Joe Nocera at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Tobin Harshaw at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Joe Nocera is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering business. He has written business columns for Esquire, GQ and the New York Times, and is the former editorial director of Fortune. His latest project is the Bloomberg-Wondery podcast "The Shrink Next Door."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- One hundred years ago this week, the U.S. was firmly in the grip of the Red Scare. “All Police Power Turned Upon Reds,” screamed the front-page headline of the New York Times on July 4, 1919. And, indeed, around Independence Day the police power was fully unleashed against the radicals, who had recently sent a series of bombs to public officials. But there was a lot more to the Red Scare than standing guard against bombings. It was the ideas themselves that the nation sought to restrict.How little things have changed. In the summer of 1919, public and private power were turned against ideas considered dangerous. The nation is now gripped by a similar fervor. True, the censored views are those hated by the left rather than those hated by the right. But today’s campaigns to ban and remove and deplatform target the same enemy as yesterday’s: the ability to communicate those dangerous ideas.In the summer of 1919, after first denying it, the New York Public Library admitted to possessing a copy of Mikhail Bakunin’s “God and the State.” Perhaps worse, as the New York Times reported, the city’s librarians, discovering that they were missing some issues of the radical newsletter “Bread and Freedom,” had actually tried to fill out their collection.During that same summer, Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer proposed extending the notorious wartime sedition act to peacetime. The goal — as a young government lawyer named J. Edgar Hoover noted in a memorandum — was to prevent “the actual printing and sale” of radical literature.(1) Federal agents, unconcerned about legal authority, seized from the mails literature they deemed seditious, in order to prevent its delivery.Not just organizations but individuals were targets. A few years earlier, concerned about the “radical” views of the economist Scott Nearing, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business had dismissed him from its faculty. During that Red Summer of 1919, the state of New York raided Nearing’s new office at the Rand School, a socialist educational institution in Manhattan, searching for — no surprise — radical literature.Which brings us to the summer of 2019. We, too, live in an era when activists are determined to prevent the circulation of dangerous ideas. Today’s preferred method is the ban — from campus, from social media, from internet search results. But it’s the same mischief.One might argue that the goals pursued by today’s censors are more worthy than those of the Red hunters. Maybe so. But if history teaches us anything, it’s that sometimes the tool rather than the goal is the problem. Once you decide that speech is a privilege available only to those who don’t offend the values of the movement, it’s a short and easy step to cheering as a mob roughs up a journalist whose views the movement deems objectionable.The mobs were cheered on in 1919 too, as they broke up Socialist marches on May Day and beat up radical speakers and journalists. An editorial in the Austin (Texas) Statesman blamed the victims: “Everywhere the red flag appeared it stirred the people to anger against those bearing it.” The Washington Post, too, knew which side was at fault. The paper’s editors wrote that the “violence and bloodshed” of the riots were the predictable result of the effort to spread a radical message that “invited the indignant resistance” of “loyal citizens.”But the problem, argued the Post, went deeper: “A stop must be put to the lying propaganda preached by men of reputed intellect, which incites mental defectives to deeds of violence.” The time had come to prevent the radicals from spreading their “vicious and malicious lie.” It sounds an awful lot like arguments made today against the spread of fake news.It’s true, of course, that there’s a difference between the pursuit of censorship by government and the same behavior by private actors who happen to own the means of mass communication. Surely private actors have the right to promote what messages they like and deny forums to others.(2)Perhaps — but during the Red Scare era, too, private actors who owned the means of communication tried to prevent the dissemination of dangerous ideas. Mainstream publishers became loath to bring out radical volumes. Privately controlled print shops also got involved — such as the several white-owned presses that refused to print a special edition of the black-owned Chicago Defender during the city’s 1919 race riot (again, the basis was the prevention of what we now call fake news.)And the practice didn’t end when the era did. I’ve mentioned before in this space the travails of my great-uncle, hounded and imprisoned by the federal government during the 1940s and 1950s for his Communist views. Back then, as during the Red Scare, the great technology of communication was the printing press. Most were privately owned. And one by one, they refused to print books or pamphlets deemed radical. A private means of communication open to everyone else was denied to Communists or those thought to have Communist leanings.The publication of radical views was driven underground — in some cases literally underground, for the FBI investigated reports that my great-uncle was part of a cell using a clandestine mimeograph machine in a Washington basement.In short, the notion that we combat wrong ideas by restricting their spread isn’t an exciting new idea. It’s a vicious and oppressive old one. Between those who pursue it today and those who pursued it in the past there is little to choose.A final point about the Red Scare of 1919. Eventually the liberal establishment found its voice. A team of lawyers including future Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter published a report critical of government efforts to target the so-called “radicals.” The House of Representatives offered Palmer the opportunity to testify in response. The attorney general was unrepentant: “I apologize for nothing that the Department of Justice has done in this matter. I glory in it. I point with pride and enthusiasm to the results of that work.”Which was then and is now the heart of the problem. Proud and enthusiastic certainty about the rightness of your cause does not absolve you of responsibility for the wrongness of your methods. I’m not saying that no speech is ever dangerous and hateful. I’m saying that, during this 100th anniversary of the Red Summer, we should remember that how we achieve our goals is as important as their achievement.Happy Independence Day. (1) For these and other examples, see chapter 3 of this book as well as pages 176 to 177 of this book. Another excellent source is this book.(2) If you doubt that corporations have First Amendment rights, you’re presumably appalled by censorship by tech companies.To contact the author of this story: Stephen L. Carter at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Newman at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Stephen L. Carter is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a professor of law at Yale University and was a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. His novels include “The Emperor of Ocean Park,” and his latest nonfiction book is “Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America's Most Powerful Mobster.” For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- “Insanity is relative. It depends on who has who locked in what cage.” ― Ray BradburyWe’ve now had several months of reports of inhumane and obscene conditions at the migrant detention camps managed by the Trump administration along the southern U.S. border with Mexico. The myriad, sordid details are already part of a larger stain on America’s collective ethos; they will disfigure the country’s reputation for generations to come.A report released on Tuesday by the Department of Homeland Security’s independent monitor found that overcrowding or prolonged detention at five centers in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley represented “an immediate risk to the health and safety” of detained migrants, and violated laws governing how detainees should be treated. DHS inspectors visited the facilities in June and found that adults were crammed into cells with only room to stand and that children weren’t given hot meals or showers.Migrants forced to clean themselves with wet wipes or subsist on bologna sandwiches had developed constipation and other medical problems. They were so desperate to leave the detention centers, the report said, that when they saw inspectors they “banged on the cell windows, shouted, pressed notes to the window with their time in custody.” Detention camps meant to keep migrants for days while they awaited deportation or a transfer to longer-term facilities are now housing people for weeks on end.The DHS report came on the heels of statements from several members of Congress (all Democrats), who toured facilities in Clint and El Paso, Texas on Monday and described equally squalid conditions. Two of the lawmakers said border patrol agents had told detained migrant women that running water wasn’t available and that they should drink from toilets.Last week, the Texas Tribune reported that while some migrants at a facility in Donna, Texas, described their treatment as humane others held in camps in McAllen and Del Rio, Texas, weren’t allowed to bathe or brush their teeth. “They don’t have the humanitarian conditions for people to be there,” one migrant told the newspaper. “There were more than 200 of us in a single cage — seated on the floor, standing, however we could fit.” The same person said that “the stench inside overflowing toilets was so bad it made him gag and caused children to vomit.”In late June the New York Times reported that the Clint facility wasn’t providing migrants with toothbrushes, toothpaste or soap. “Children as young as 7 and 8, many of them wearing clothes caked with snot and tears, are caring for infants they’ve just met,” the Times wrote of the Clint camp. “Toddlers without diapers are relieving themselves in their pants. Teenage mothers are wearing clothes stained with breast milk.”Last year, after the Trump administration launched its “zero tolerance” policy aimed at discouraging migrants from crossing the southern border by charging them with crimes and separating children from their families or caregivers, the DHS wasn’t prepared to deal with the humanitarian crisis that ensued. The department, according to another of its own reports, lied about maintaining a non-existent “central database” it claimed it was using to keep track of separated parents and children. U.S. Border Patrol agents didn’t tell migrant parents that they would be separated from their kids until after it happened, according to that DHS report.Some Border Patrol agents have seemed content to bring a cold-blooded, racist approach to their work for quite some time. On Monday, ProPublica, a non-profit investigative news organization, reported that a secret Facebook group for current and former agents with 9,500 members had circulated posts over the last three years that included agents joking about migrant deaths. One recent post shared by the group included speculation about a highly publicized photo, taken by the photojournalist Julia Le Duc, of a dead migrant father and his young daughter lying face down in the Rio Grande river. A member of the group wondered if the photo had been doctored because “I HAVE NEVER SEEN FLOATERS LIKE THIS.”The ProPublica account follows last year’s reporting about the prosecution of one Border Patrol agent, Matthew Bowen, for using his pickup truck to run down a migrant in southern Arizona. Investigators found text messages on Bowen’s phone shared among several agents in which they referred to migrants as “subhuman,” “wild ass shitbags,” “beaners” and “guats.” Bowen’s attorney said in a court filing that his client’s views were common among Border Patrol agents. Migrants are “disgusting subhuman shit unworthy of being kindling for a fire,” Bowen wrote in one text. “PLEASE let us take the gloves off trump!” he wrote in another.President Donald Trump, of course, has let everyone take the gloves off, including the young xenophobe who shapes his immigration policy, Stephen Miller. There’s ample White House spin meant to distract from the reality of what that policy means in the real world. The president’s wife Melania has made much of being a “BeBest Ambassador” committed to improving “the lives of children everywhere.” The president’s daughter Ivanka purports to be an advocate for empowering women globally. None of those fine sentiments extends to the migrant children and women caged along the southern border.It’s possible that the president and Miller are happy to let this humanitarian crisis fester because they see it as a useful tool for dissuading migrants from making the journey north to flee the drug wars and economic distress in Central America. There certainly wasn’t a border crisis until Trump and Miller began implementing their handiwork.Apprehensions of undocumented immigrants had been at a decades-long low prior to Trump’s inauguration. According to the DHS report released Tuesday, 99,835 migrants were apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley area between October 2017 and May 2018; the figure was 223,263 during the same period a year later. The Trump administration hasn’t been able to manage that massive jump and the detention facilities clearly can’t absorb such huge numbers of people.The nation’s conscience shouldn’t keep absorbing these obscenities and crimes either. On Tuesday a federal judge ordered lawyers for migrants and the federal government to resolve a dispute over allowing independent doctors and health experts to inspect detention facilities in Texas, including those in the Rio Grande Valley. It’s part of a court action that seeks to sanction the government for breaking the law at the camps. Like much in the Trump administration, it ultimately may be up to the law — rather than the president’s Republican Party or common decency — to rein in the White House’s war on migrants.To contact the author of this story: Timothy L. O'Brien at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Timothy L. O’Brien is the executive editor of Bloomberg Opinion. He has been an editor and writer for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, HuffPost and Talk magazine. His books include “TrumpNation: The Art of Being The Donald.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The calls to break up Facebook — or at least to consider it — are growing louder by the day. On the left, Elizabeth Warren got on the antitrust bandwagon early with a plan for dismantling the company and other tech giants, while on the right Republican Senator Josh Hawley has mused, “Maybe we’d be better off if Facebook disappeared.” They are just two of many.But what exactly is this growing chorus of critics trying to solve by threatening to dismember Facebook? The answers show why their solution would be both inappropriate and ineffective.Take the arguments of those who are concerned about privacy. Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, for example, went so far as to argue that federal regulators should hold Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg “individually liable for the company’s repeated violations of Americans’ privacy.” The company records how you are voluntarily using its platform, and sells that information to advertisers. Personal responsibility seems to get completely lost in this discussion. No one is being forced to use Facebook. If you don’t want your personal choices and parts of your life in the public domain, then keep them off social media. Regardless of your views on the importance of individual responsibility, breaking up Facebook would do nothing to protect privacy. Whether there are 10 Facebooks or one hardly matters if you are worried that information about your behavior is being sold to third parties. Another common worry is that foreign governments, especially Russia, are using Facebook to spread false information and interfere in U.S. elections. Chris Hughes, a co-founder of the company who now supports breaking it up, argued that in 2016 “Russian actors” manipulated “the American electorate.” This is a real concern, but as with privacy, it’s not clear why having 10 Facebooks rather than one would adequately address this threat. What Russia can do on one social media platform, it can presumably do on several.Another criticism of Facebook is that it is addictive, impairing cognitive function and the development of healthy interpersonal skills, especially among children. Hawley describes it as “a digital drug – and the addiction is the point.” Valid or not, these fears are linked to the way a social media platform is used and the amount of time spent on it. They wouldn’t be mollified if people had more platforms to choose from. The same is likely true when it comes to doubts about Facebook’s ability to filter out violent livestreams, stop the spread of racist and hate speech, and protect data. If anything, economies of scale might make it easier for one social media platform to solve these problems rather than 10.Then there is the complaint that Facebook has too much control over the public debate. But remember that in the decades before Facebook, Google and a few other companies came on the scene, most people consumed news from one of three nightly network television broadcasts and perhaps one or two local newspapers. Breaking up Facebook would make it harder, not easier, for me to access information I might have missed.A related accusation against the company is that it is suppressing viewpoints — content from conservatives, in particular. President Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz, among others, are up in arms about this. Consumer pressure seems like a good remedy here. Conservatives, who are enthusiastic about entrepreneurship, should consider starting rival companies if they don’t like the way Facebook moderates content. There have been some high-profile cases of right-wing figures being banned (correctly, in my view) from Facebook. But how serious of a problem is this overall? The complaints from Trump and some conservatives seem odd in light of his 2016 campaign’s effective use of Facebook. And as Vice News reported this spring, “In the Trump era, Fox News has cemented itself as the most dominant news publisher on Facebook as measured by engagement,” regularly beating out the New York Times and CNN, for example. What about traditional antitrust issues? Facebook’s critics charge that it has stifled innovation and competition, and decreased consumer welfare. There are reports that the government is ramping up an antitrust inquiry of its practices and those of other tech companies.As I have argued in this column before, this borders on the absurd. Monopolies charge consumers high prices, while Facebook is free to users. It is competing for consumers by being a top corporate spender on research and development, and plowing money into innovation. It is experimenting with ways to respond to its users’ concerns about privacy. Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram is cited as an example of how it suppresses innovation. But in reality, Facebook took a big bet on Instagram’s improbable success, and won. That was a good business decision, not a threat to consumer welfare. A study released this spring by Edison Research and Triton Digital finds that Facebook has lost 15 million users in the last two years, with declines heavily concentrated among younger people. (The Guardian summarizes the situation nicely: “Parents killed” Facebook for young people.) It hardly seems that Facebook is an entrenched, immovable monopoly. None of this is to say that the company shouldn’t make changes in the way it operates. Privacy questions could be addressed by requiring it to tell users what items of their data have been sold. This would allow users to make better informed decisions about whether, and how, to continue using Facebook. Criticism of Facebook’s role in the public square could be addressed by requiring that all of its accounts be held by actual human beings, rather than bots, and by requiring that political ads hosted on the platform be labeled. Indeed, in a conversation at the Aspen Ideas Festival with my Bloomberg Opinion colleague Cass R. Sunstein, Zuckerberg argued that current laws on political ads are “very out of date.” If Facebook were required to publish information on which content and users it kicked off its platform, conservatives might have a better yardstick for judging whether the company is biased. There is a lot of ground between breaking up a company and regulating it. Facebook’s users, and the company itself, might benefit from more regulation, done right. But breaking up one of the most innovative and successful American companies would be a gross abuse of government power. And for nothing. To contact the author of this story: Michael R. Strain at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Katy Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Michael R. Strain is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is director of economic policy studies and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He is the editor of “The U.S. Labor Market: Questions and Challenges for Public Policy.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The New York Times Company (NYT) has been contemplating new avenues of revenue generation in a bid to counter dwindling print advertising revenues.
In fiscal 2019, John Wiley (JW.A) returns $76 million in cash to its shareholders through dividend payments and $60 million through buyback.