The Breakdown | Explaining Southern California's economy

Reportings: Amazon Tax; Zagat to Google; Boomer bucks; Ponzi scheme; beaten down by joblessness

The Amazon Tax debate comes to an end. "Under the handshake deal, Amazon won a delay until at least September 2012 but will eventually collect state sales taxes." (SacBee)


Google buys Zagat, which sells the only piece of printed matter than anyone seems to actually buy anymore. Price? No details. Probably around the last ask for Zagat, $200 million (Less?). "The move is part of Google’s mission to improve its local products, which are now run by Google VP Marissa Mayer (Mayer has long been one of the most public faces at the company, and was head of Search for a decade)." (TechCrunch)


KPCC's AirTalk jumps in the stingy Baby Boomers story. Greedy solipsism or an aging generation finally, at long last, after decades of sacrifice, deciding to live it up? (


The Social Security Administration's historian (yes, it has one) lays out exactly why Social Security is not a Ponzi scheme. "Social Security is and always has been either a "pay-as-you-go" system or one that was partially advance-funded. Its structure, logic, and mode of operation have nothing in common with Ponzi schemes or chain letters or pyramid schemes." (


McArdle at the Atlantic, on the trauma of long-term unemployment: "A lengthy spell of unemployment robs you of social status.  It steals your piece of mind.  It embezzles your accumulated skills and contacts.  It beats your sense of self-worth into a bloody pulp.  And like all crime victims, it leaves you permanently afraid in a way that you never were before."