Ed’s Daily Notes for May 8th   4 comments

Bloomberg: Yellen Says ‘High Degree’ of Accommodation Still Needed

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen made it clear she believes the economy still requires a strong dose of stimulus five years after the recession ended because unemployment and inflation are well short of the Fed’s goals.

“A high degree of monetary accommodation remains warranted,” Yellen said today in testimony to the Joint Economic Committee of Congress. “Many Americans who want a job are still unemployed,” and inflation is below the central bank’s 2 percent target, she said.

What does this mean? Not a darned thing. It was just Yellen justifying her job. Nothing to see here, move along…

Washington Times: House Republicans find 10% of tea party donors audited by IRS

Despite assurances to the contrary, the IRS didn’t destroy all of the donor lists scooped up in its tea party targeting — and a check of those lists reveals that the tax agency audited 10 percent of those donors, much higher than the audit rate for average Americans, House Republicans revealed Wednesday.

Republicans argue that the Internal Revenue Service still hasn’t come clean about the full extent of its targeting, which swept up dozens of conservative groups.

“The committee uncovered new information indicating that after groups provided the information to the IRS, nearly one in 10 donors were subject to audit,” Rep. Charles W. Boustany Jr., Louisiana Republican and chairman of the Ways and Means Committee’s oversight panel, told IRS Commissioner John Koskinen at a hearing Wednesday.

“The abuse of discretion and audit selection must be identified and stopped,” he said.

You understand that people who work in government, such as for the IRS, have it in their own rational self-interest to be opposed to anyone who is against big government? Naturally, they will use any power in their arsenal against those who oppose them.

If you need an argument against big government, the IRS scandal is a great place to start.

The Telegraph: Why psychopaths are more successful

Behaving like a psychopath could help you in your career and love life. It’s counterintuitive – who, after all, would hire Hannibal Lecter or want to date Norman Bates – but that’s the idea behind The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success, part popular science book, part self-help guide from Andy McNab and Oxford psychology professor Kevin Dutton.

“I wanted to debunk the myth that all psychopaths are bad,” says Dutton, who has explored this subject before. “I’d done research with the special forces, with surgeons, with top hedge fund managers and barristers. Almost all of them had psychopathic traits, but they’d harnessed them in ways to make them better at what they do.”

It was through this research that he met retired SAS sergeant and bestselling author McNab, who in tests exhibited many of these psychopathic traits, including ruthlessness, fearlessness, impulsivity, reduced empathy, developed self-confidence and lack of remorse.

“There’s no one thing that makes a psychopath,” Dutton explains. “You want to think of those traits being like the dials on a studio mixing desk, that you can turn up and down in different situations – if they’re all turned up to maximum, then you’re a dysfunctional psychopath.

An interesting theory. I would better describe it as being willing to shut off your emotions as necessary to accomplish a task.

In case you are curious, they have a website with a simple to test to get your “psychopath” rating (link here). I scored a 64%, which the site says means:

Though your conscience is in the right place you also have a pragmatic streak and generally aren’t afraid to do your own dirty work! You’re no shrinking violet – but no daredevil either. You generally have little trouble seeing things from another person’s perspective but, at the same time, are no pushover. ‘Everything in moderation – including moderation’ might sum up your approach to life.

Feel free to post your own rating in the comments.

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4 responses to “Ed’s Daily Notes for May 8th

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  1. I had 36%. But I also do not feel connected to this western short-thinking society. And I will never fit for a high-payed job at some company. So I do think those authors are right. To survive and succeed in this hard western world you need to be a bit of a sociopath and egocentric. Whether a skill is good or bad depends on the situation and the environment.

    • plas,
      Amen to that! It takes all kinds of people in this world. If all of us were supergeniuses, who would take out the garbage? If all of us were CEO’s, who would flip the burgers? If all of us were psychopaths, who would be a parent? Admittedly, those are extreme examples, but you get my point.

  2. Ed, I scored right with you with a 64. I also believe my score could have been lower but it is unlikely I would score higher because to score higher I am assuming you have to choose the answers on the far end of the scale and I don’t see myself at the far end on very many questions — I am sort of a middle type guy. Also based on the test questions I would think the higher the score the more difficult the person would be to have a relationship with or for that person to successful in a family setting. Then again maybe I am wrong on this last sentence because the couple of special forces guys I have known have been successful family guys.

  3. Well I tried and got a timeout trying to connect. So either they saw me coming or too many psychopath trying to get on their brought down their system. 🙂

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