Monday, January 28, 2013

S. Korean Internet speed 100 times faster


South Koreans enjoy Internet access today at speeds that run well over 100 times faster what most Americans can get — at half the monthly cost Americans typically pay. What do we have that South Koreans don't? We have high-tech corporate execs routinely pulling in mega millions for delivering second-rate technology. The latest sign of the immense fortunes our high-tech titans are raking in: News reports last week revealed the late November sale of a Silicon Valley home for $117.5 million, the second-highest price ever paid for a U.S. residence. The home sits in a neighborhood that hosts “a Who’s Who of Silicon Valley tech and finance,” just ten miles from the third-most-expensive home in America, a manse in Los Altos Hills that last year sold for $100 million . . .
Jay JohnsonAll during World War II, to make sure that “a few do not gain from the sacrifices of many,” President Franklin Roosevelt insisted on a “steeply graduated excess-profits tax.” No such tax, notes national security analyst Walter Pincus, has been in place for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that absence has suited America’s defense industry just fine. Profits at America’s five top defense giants have soared 450 percent since 2002. One beneficiary: General Dynamics CEO Jay Johnson, a former admiral who joined GD a bit over 10 years ago. Johnson retired from his executive-suite stint last month. Details about his final year’s rewards haven’t yet surfaced. But we do know that Johnson pulled in $13.8 million in 2010 and $16.1 million more in 2011. At that year's end, Johnson held General Dynamics shares worth $41.3 million . . .
Still more proof that the recovery from the Great Recession has been a smashing success — for America’s most comfortable — has come from Scottsdale, Arizona. That city's annual Barrett-Jackson car collector auction has just collected $109 million, the same record take the auction registered in 2007, the last year before the recession hit. This year’s sale highlight: A Mercedes-Benz actor Clark Gable bought for $7,295 in 1955 — about $63,000 after adjusting for inflation — sold for $2.03 million. America’s 400 highest incomes in 1955 averaged, after federal taxes, just $846,000, about $7 million in today’s dollars. In 2009, the latest year with stats available, America’s top 400 averaged $162.1 million after taxes.

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