Source: It’s sleazy, it’s totally illegal, and yet it could become the future of retirement – The Washington Post
Over 100 years ago in America — before Social Security, before IRAs, corporate pensions and 401(k)s — there was a ludicrously popular (and somewhat sleazy) retirement scheme called the tontine.
At their peak, around the turn of the century, tontines represented nearly two-thirds of the American insurance market, holding about 7.5 percent of national wealth. It’s estimated that by 1905, there were 9 million tontine policies active in a nation of only 18 million households. Tontines became so popular that historians credit them for single-handedly underwriting the ascendance of the American insurance industry.
The downfall of the tontine was equally dramatic. Not long after 1900, a spectacular set of scandals wiped the tontine from the nation’s consciousness. To this day, tontines remain outlawed, and their name is synonymous with greed and corruption.
You buy into a tontine alongside many other investors. The entire group is paid at regular intervals. The key twist: As your fellow investors die, their share of the payout gets redistributed to the remaining survivors.
Milevsky’s point is that it’s time for tontines to return again on the private market. He envisions tontines competing against annuities and longevity insurance and all the other products available to people hoping to smooth out the last stretch of their lives. He’s certain many people would find them appealing.
Such a system would be cheaper to operate and would always, by definition, be fully funded.
Source: The muzzle grows tighter
Freedom of speech is in retreat
From the mosques of Cairo to the classrooms at Yale, all sorts of people and groups are claiming a right not to be offended. This is quite different from believing that people should, in general, be polite. A right not to be offended implies a power to police other people’s speech.
Such laws are handy tools for those in power to harass their enemies. And far from promoting harmony between different groups, they encourage them to file charges against each other. This is especially dangerous when cynical politicians get involved. Those who rely on votes from a certain group often find it useful to demand the punishment of someone who has allegedly insulted its members, especially just before an election.
Source: Louisiana Refuses to Budget for Public Defenders – The Atlantic
The right to legal counsel has long been the gold standard of American justice under the Constitution. But what happens when a state refuses to budget for public defenders? Louisiana is finding out.
$10 per case
The Louisiana Public Defender Board, which oversees every district office, has predicted “systemic failure in the public-defense system” by this summer .
Until recently in New Orleans, public defenders assigned to misdemeanor courts each had upward of 19,000 cases per year, affording them an average of seven minutes for every client.
the 2017 annual budget, approved by the legislature, slashes public-defender funding by an additional 62 percent
Source: FBI Kept Demanding Email Records Despite DOJ Saying It Needed a Warrant
“It is very troubling that the FBI has apparently not been adhering to that guidance,” says Sen. Ron Wyden.
This should send up a huge red flag for Congress about the real potential for abuse
The FBI asks for so much, because it is banking that some companies won’t know the law and will disclose more than they have to. … The FBI is preying on small companies who don’t have the resources to hire national security law experts