Tag Archives: Economics

25 Giant Corporations That Paid Their CEOs More Than They Paid Uncle Sam


25 Giant Corporations That Paid Their CEOs More Than They Paid Uncle Sam.

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Shoveling America’s wealth to the top


by Jim Hightower

As an old country saying puts it, “Money is like manure – it does no good unless you spread it around.”

Yet, America’s corporate and political leaders have intentionally been shoveling wealth into an ever-bigger pile for those at the top. They’ve gotten away with this by lying to the great majority, which has seen its share of America’s prosperity steadily disappear. Yes, they’ve told us, the rich are getting richer, but that’s just the natural workings of the new global economy, in which financial elites are rewarded for their exceptional talents, innovation, and bold risk-taking.

Horse dooties. The massive redistribution of America’s wealth from the many to the few is happening because the rich and their political puppets have rigged the system. Years of subsidized offshoring and downsizing, gutting labor rights, monkeywrenching the tax code, legalizing financial finagling, dismantling social programs, increasing the political dominance of corporate cash – these and other self-serving acts of the moneyed powers have created the conveyor belt that’s moving our wealth from the grassroots to the penthouses.

Not since the Gilded Age, which preceded and precipitated the Great Depression, have so few amassed so much of our nation’s riches. Having learned nothing from 1929’s devastating crash, nor from their own bank failures in 2008 that crushed our economy, the wealthiest of the wealthy fully intend to keep taking more for themselves at our expense.

Now, however, the people are onto their lies. In an October poll, two-thirds of Americans support increased taxes on millionaires, an end to corporate tax subsidies, and policies to more evenly distribute the wealth we all help create. This is rising egalitarianism shows the true American character, and it’s changing our politics – for the better.

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Wall Street Wankers


WARNING – If you’re easily offended, especially by “The F-word”, please skip this post.

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Dylan Ratigan (rightfully) Loses It On Air


Liberal media? HUH?

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Shortchanging Our Paychecks


Income and benefits for most Americans have stagnated over the past four decades despite steady economic growth.

By Salvatore Babones

Back in the “Happy Days” of the 1950s and 1960s, most young American couples graduated from high school or college, got married, and immediately bought the most expensive house they could afford. They bought their houses on credit, their cars on credit, their appliances on credit, their furniture on credit, and even their baby clothes on credit. They didn’t have credit cards, but they sure did have debt.

Those young families in the 1950s and 1960s were perfectly rational in loading up on debt. It made sense for them to borrow as much as they could because they expected paying it off to get easier and easier every year. Between 1870 and 1970 the median male U.S. income rose on average 2 percent per year. In the 1950s and 1960s it grew even faster, at around a 2.5 percent clip.

In addition to this broad income growth, any individual could count on his or her income to rise with seniority. Add in another 1-percent yearly raise tied to seniority, and a typical American man could expect his paycheck to annually grow by 3.5 percent. Over the course of a 40-year career, he could expect his wages to quadruple — even after adjusting for inflation.

It made perfect sense to follow a “borrow now and pay later when you make four times as much” plan back then.

Today, everything has changed. Median male income hasn’t just stagnated since 1970. Wages for American men have actually declined.

The Baby Boomers kept on buying and borrowing, but many of them learned that one income wasn’t enough to pay their debts. That’s why the proportion of women with children who had jobs outside the home climbed from one in three in 1975 to two in three in 2008. For a while, women saved the American Dream.

Not anymore. Over the past decade women’s participation in the labor force has maxed out. Even if more women want to work, there aren’t any new jobs for them. The situation facing today’s indebted families is bleak. Wages overall are declining. Even if a worker does get a 1-percent annual seniority raise, that’s a 50-percent increase in income over a 40-year career — nothing like the 300-percent increases previous generations experienced. The money just isn’t there.

It gets worse. Young couples now have large debts before they ever get married, often from burgeoning student loans. On top of that, young couples now have to save for their own retirement, since Social Security benefits are far lower compared to national income than they were in the 1960s and private pensions have all but disappeared. And of course ordinary people now have to pay for health care expenses that used to be covered by insurance.

Families today are drowning in debt. Yet the problem isn’t the borrowing. Young families should be able to borrow to buy houses, cars, and furniture. The problem is that income and benefits for most Americans have stagnated over the past four decades.

If today’s young couples were getting 3.5-percent annual raises, didn’t have to worry about spiralling health care expenses and college tuition, and had solid company-sponsored pension plans to supplement ever more generous Social Security payments in retirement, they would have no problem getting themselves out of debt.

That may all sound like a dream. But it’s a dream that used to be reality for the majority of Americans.

It didn’t have to be this way.

Since 1970 the U.S. economy has doubled in per capita terms, after adjusting for inflation. We have the money for everyone to live very well — twice as well as in 1970.

Young families today are struggling because the benefits of America’s economic growth over the past 40 years haven’t been shared equally. They’ve all gone to the very top. It’s time to restore some balance. It’s time to give ordinary people a nice, big, fat raise. Then they could pay their debts on their own, with pride and dignity.

Salvatore Babones is an American sociologist at the University of Sydney.

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Job Destroyers Don’t Deserve a Tax Holiday


When thinks tanks from the left and the right agree on something, Congress should pay attention.

Sarah AndersonBy Sarah Anderson and Chuck Collins

A coalition of big businesses is waging a campaign for a massive tax holiday on corporate profits stashed overseas. Its lobbyists claim that this windfall would create millions of jobs. If our lawmakers buy that, they’ve got very short memories.

Just seven years ago, big American corporations made the exact same promises. And Congress gave them a tax holiday that allowed 843 companies to reduce their tax rate from 35 percent to 5.25 percent on $312 billion in offshore profits.

Dr. National and Mr. Transnational, OtherWords cartoon by Khalil Bendib

What did Americans get in return? This week, our organization, the progressive Institute for Policy Studies, released a report showing that 58 companies that received 70 percent of the tax windfalls didn’t boost employment. In fact, they actually destroyed a total of nearly 600,000 jobs.

Almost simultaneously, the conservative Heritage Foundation released a paper with the same conclusion: Tax holidays don’t create jobs. When thinks tanks from the left and the right agree on something, Congress should pay attention.

But we’re up against powerful forces.

A coalition called Working to Invest Now in America, which goes by the slick name WIN America, has deployed more than 160 lobbyists and spent at least $50 million to win a tax holiday on more than $1 trillion in offshore funds that might get repatriated if Uncle Sam grants this tax break. Lawmakers in both the House and the Senate have introduced bills that would do just that.

The Senate version, unveiled in early October, would give the deepest tax discounts to firms that create jobs, but that requirement only applies for one year. We need jobs that last, not positions that could vanish after the nation’s supposed job creators get their huge tax windfall.

Some executives argue that without the tax holiday, these global firms would keep their cash offshore permanently, and it’s better for Uncle Sam to get something rather than nothing. Nevertheless, offering such drastic tax discounts sets a dangerous precedent.

Back in 2004, the corporate lobbyists argued that the holiday would be a “one-time” deal. But after they won that round, they turned around and began amassing their offshore stashes once again. They must have counted on getting more tax holidays.

A tax holiday for job destroyers isn’t only a waste of taxpayer money at a time of urgent needs. It hurts small businesses and other firms that operate only domestically. What sense does it make to give global companies deep discounts on their IRS obligations while these small, yet strong, engines of job creation face standard tax rates?

There are many things that we can do to strengthen the U.S. economy and spur job growth. But providing subsidies to companies whose business model is based on minimizing labor costs, sending profits offshore, and dodging taxes isn’t a good strategy. These companies may compensate their CEOs lavishly and deliver value to shareholders, but they aren’t in the business of creating jobs.

The WIN America campaign leader that stands to gain the most is Pfizer. The pharmaceutical giant was the leading beneficiary of the 2004 tax holiday when it toted $40 billion in foreign funds back to the United States.

And what did Americans get for Pfizer’s subsidy? Instead of creating jobs, the firm proceeded to scrap more than 58,000 jobs in the years since that holiday.

Today, Pfizer is holding more than $48 billion in profits offshore. Will Congress be fooled again?

Sarah Anderson and Chuck Collins are among the co-authors of the new Institute for Policy Studies report, “America Loses: Corporations that Take ‘Tax Holidays’ Slash Jobs.”

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The Crisis of Capitalism


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Wall Street Spirit / The 99%


Much thanks to DuncanR at THE MAD HATTERS blog for this great find.

Remember that this is a worldwide economic collapse. Although the problem(s) have their roots on Wall Street,

THE 99% includes people from all over the world.

Thanks to BIG EASY APPLE  for this video (below).

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Got An Idea to Save the Middle-Class?


Trickle-up” is an accurate description of the present condition.

I want to mention “Reaganomics, trickle-down, and public safety, all in the same short post, so let’s talk about a “tipping point” in American history.

That point would be when Reagan ‘busted’ the Air Traffic Controller’s union. That single action began the long decline that American workers, of all varieties have been on ever since. It also marked a sharp increase in industrialists gaining more and more power over politics and government.

Reagan didn’t invent this stuff, it has always been a corporate tactic to bust unions and buy politicians, but Ronnie put such a spin on it, that it made people feel that it was okay and even damned patriotic.

Good, reliable data, charted and graphed, shows that time as the starting point of the decades long rise of corporate profits. At the same time that profits rose and the wealthy thrived, blue collar worker’s ‘real’ wages stagnated.

This entire scenario puts all in our society in an increasingly dangerous class-warfare that effects public safety. Our workers and therefor our society face a new phenomena: the “flat world”.

Thomas Friedman article here: 

http://reginaphelps.com/pdfs/FlatWorld.pdf

In conclusion; The corporate buyout of American government has been complete for may years. Fox News conservatives would have you believe that regulation (protecting the public) is the big problem causing poor job growth, but that’s just not the case.

It is just this simple; we may pay $10 per hour, foreign companies may pay $10 a day. Our wages stay at the same level or decline while theirs slowly creep up. We are on our way to being the same waged employees as China and Mexico, or we will have no jobs at all.

Our middle class is disappearing into poverty while our corporate, financial and government masters get pushed up even farther into wealth and power.

Solutions? Hmmmm….

List a few common sense ideas to save our middle/lower economic classes, and I’ll bet I can find the Fox News footage demonizing those same ideas as unpatriotic, nanny-state government that is just seeking to hinder business from growing and employing here.

Middle/lower classes of white people are flocking to conservatism, drinking their kool-aid, and sealing their fate in serfdom for generations to come.

Stupid is, as stupid does.

The proliferation of talking heads and lobbyists leading the stupid into their own demise on the many new forms of media, almost guarantees the continuing gridlock in government, and class warfare from the top on the bottom.

Any progressive or populist solutions to the nation’s problems are always crushed by ‘Captain Obvious”, that is, by the overwhelming amount of money being spent on propaganda (talk radio, Fox News, PAC’s, etc.) that plays to the average person’s most base emotions while ensuring nothing sensible and logical is ever presented to them.

Got an idea to save the middle-class?

Good luck. It’ll happen when Hell freezes over!

You unpatriotic, communist, socialistic dullard.

You’re just another “Meathead”, you hippy-type character from the ‘All In the Family’ sitcom.

Stifle it. Dingbat!….Where’s my supper?

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