February 01, 2005

Schemes for Social Security privatization assume that investing in stocks will yield a rate of return of 6.5 or 7% after inflation, for at least the next 75 years. Paul Krugman shows how that rate of return is essentially impossible.

President Bush is proposing boosting government payments to families of U.S. troops killed in Iraq, Afghanistan and future war zones to $250,000. The Democrats are pushing to have that payment extended to all military personnel who died on active duty. The proposal, which includes retroactive payments to the spouses or surviving relatives of the more than 1,500 who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan since October 2001, has first-year costs of $459 million.

The top U.S. commander in Baghdad is facing a budget gap of at least $4 billion between what Halliburton Co. says it will cost to provide services for U.S. troops for a year and what the government has budgeted.

Antidepressant use among children declined 10% in 2004, after U.S. regulators warned the drugs may be linked with increased suicide risk. The drop reversed several years of upward use of the drugs in children, including a 9 percent rise in 2003.

A jury has awarded $15.6 million to Russell Christoff, 58, whose image was used for years without his permission on Taster's Choice coffee labels. Christoff posed for a 2 hour photo shoot in 1986 and then stumbled across his likeness on a coffee jar in 2002. A legal dispute ensued in which Christoff declined the company's $100,000 settlement offer, and Nestle turned down his offer to to settle for $8.5 million.

Posted @ 4:20 PM | Link


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