American CEOs Should Learn A Lesson

I am not much one for keeping an eye on Asia….my international interests are more of the Middle East and North Africa……but a recent article I read made me stop and think…..

We take a step back…….our most recent economic crisis was caused by corporations and banks…..and as usual the CEOs went before Congress and blamed everyone and everything but themselves for the crash…..just once I would like to hear one of these thieves admit to bad decisions and take responsibility for their actions……of course that is a pipe dream of mine that will NEVER happen for the government is owned by these toads and they will be allowed to get away with wholesale thief….corporate money well spent, right?

But I read an article the other day and made me think…….

(Newser) – A decaying body found in a plum field is that of the fugitive billionaire who owned a ferry that sank in April, South Korean cops have confirmed. Yoo Byung-un, patriarch of the family that owned the ferry operator, went on the run soon after the Sewol sank and had been the subject of the country’s biggest-ever manhunt, reports the Guardian. Police say DNA and fingerprints have confirmed the identity of the body that was found last month, soon after police raided a compound belonging to a Christian splinter group, of which Yoo was a leading member.

The 73-year-old was wanted for questioning on charges including embezzlement and criminal negligence, and many of his family members have already been arrested, including his wife, the BBC reports. His eldest son is still on the run. The number of dead from the Sewol disaster stands at 294—most of them high school students—and 10 people are still listed as missing. After the sinking, investigators found that the ferry was routinely and severely overloaded. Company officials are now on trial—a separate trial than that of the ferry captain and crew members, who were charged with murder.

Not a bad idea…..if you f*ck up take responsibility and commit suicide……at least the Asian, for the most part, take responsibility for the disasters they cause…..maybe the CEOs should take a page out of this play book and do the honorable thing and fall on their sword.

Thoughts?

If Ever There Was An Anti-Christ

I do not use Facebook for anything….I have NEVER become a member….they just want too much info that I am not willing to have on their server………I do use Twitter but it is mostly for news feeds and breaking news….I do very little social crap on there……to me Facebook is as close to an anti-Christ as we can get……but now facebook is experimenting with the people that use it……..

News of a Facebook social experiment examining the effect positive or negative posts have on users has prompted justifiable anger. What it shouldn’t provoke is surprise. After all, online companies are conducting similar “A/B tests” all the time in order to maximize usage and profits, writes David Weinberger at CNN. For instance, Amazon might try putting a banner on one side of the site for some users and the other side for others, with the goal of determining which side generates more clicks. Such testing is done on everything from “font sizes to colors to the depth of the drop shadows.”

The trouble with Facebook’s newly-revealed experiment is that it played with our emotions. But that’s nothing new: Our Facebook feeds are always based on algorithms, and they’re “based on what works for Facebook, Inc., and only secondarily based on what works for us as individuals and as a society,” Weinberger writes. Facebook’s goal is “happy customers,” but that just means people who visit and click a lot. So what should be done about it? Perhaps filters could be more user-controlled or designed with “socially desirable aims.” But we can’t expect such changes when we’re giving social data to “commercial entities that have as their primary interest not the health of our society and culture, but their bottom line.” Click for his full piece.

All I can say is…use Facebook at your own peril…….I do not trust them as far as I can spit them……….

Another Disturbing Story

My last day of mental freedom……but I really want to get back to the world….there is so much happening that events are changing quicker than a teenager in the back seat……..

I recently wrote a post about a company that was making bullet proof blankets to be used in schools to protect teachers and students…..I found that a bit disturbing that we would even have to consider such measures to protect our children in schools……and then I saw another disturbing story along these lines……..

For a while, a Colombian clothes designer named Miguel Caballero seemed to be the only player in what seemed to be a extremely niche segment of the market—bullet-proof clothes that were stylish to boot. No more, reports Fox News. The industry is growing beyond South America, and a slew of companies in the US and elsewhere are hoping to cash in. One industry estimate has the “global body armor and personal protection market” rising from $2.4 billion last year to $3.7 billion in 2023. Think snazzy shirts, jackets, and vests that can stop a bullet.

“Throughout the decade, there has been a global exponential increase in civilian awareness regarding terrorism or ‘of the sort’ violence,” says the president of New York armor wear company Doo Aquino. “Wearing stylish body armor has caught on not only in the US, but around the world.” But expect to shell out. A Virginia company called Aspetto tells the Wire that one of its custom-made bullet-proof suits costs up to $5,000. And if you happen to get shot? “You should get a new suit,” says a company exec. The clothes are designed to take multiple shots, but repeat performances aren’t advised. Fox also takes note of another burgeoning market: Some 8 million Americans now have permits to carry concealed handguns, and they need clothes to make sure the “concealed” part holds true. (The general trend already has reached the school-age set in the form of bullet-proof backpacks and clothes.)

It is the 21st century….you would think that some other problem would be more pressing than the worry about being killed by gun violence…..

Sad that someone can make a profit off of having to protect one’s self or one’s children from gun violence……..just damn sad.

Any thoughts?

Why Big Business Fears the Tea Party – Michael Lind – POLITICO Magazine

Even though moths ago some pundits were claiming the the Tea party was all but dead……..wishful thinking……as the 2016 election approaches the Tea Party is making some great strives and could very well be a force to contend with…..Cantor’s defeat has reinvigorated the party…..

Personally, I think that Americans need to be afraid….very afraid of the party……and it seems that business is not liking the resurrection of the party either…..

 

Why Big Business Fears the Tea Party – Michael Lind – POLITICO Magazine.

Let’s Talk GDP

For fun why don’t we talk economics today?  Damn, so quiet we can hear a pin drop…..I can hear all those rectums slamming shut……..damn I like this stuff!

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)……..The monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period, though GDP is usually calculated on an annual basis. It includes all of private and public consumption, government outlays, investments and exports less imports that occur within a defined territory.

In a recent report it was said the economy was limping into the recovery….it feel short of expectations……it grew at an anemic 0.1%, that is one tenth of one percent…………and what does that mean to the country?

This from Bankrupting America………

  1. What Drove Economic Growth In The First Quarter? Consumer Spending. Market Watch reported that consumer spending increased 3.0 percent in the first quarter, slightly down from a 3.3 percent increase from the last quarter. Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of economic output in the U.S. so a continuing growth rate in this category is a good sign.
  2. If Consumer Spending Growth Rose, What Was The Money Spent On? Healthcare.  Healthcare spending rose 9.9 percent in the first quarter of 2014, the largest increase in the growth since 1980. The rapid increase in health care spending was primarily because of the implementation and enrollment deadlines of the Affordable Care Act. According to Business Insider, “The first-quarter advance estimate reflects spending from January through March, the first three months when millions of people who gained insurance by signing up on exchanges established by the law or by qualifying for Medicaid coverage under the program’s expansion.”
  3. What Hurt Economic Growth In The First Quarter? Business Spending. Business investment spending dropped considerably this quarter, according to the report. Fixed nonresidential (business) investment fell at a rate of 2.1 percent after a 5.7 percent increase last quarter. The Wall Street Journal reports that business equipment spending experienced the worst drop since the second quarter of 2009, with a decrease of 5.5 percent.
  4. What’s Going On With The Housing Market? After dropping last quarter, investment in the housing market continues to decline. Investment in home building and improvement decreased 5.7 percent after a decrease of 7.9 percent in the last quarter. The Wall Street Journal points to a low level of home sales, low housing inventory, and increasing mortgage rates as contributing factors to the slowing of the housing market.
  5. What Was The Reaction From Economists? Most economists were surprised by the weak report, after a general consensus that the U.S. economy would grow at a rate of 1.1 or 1.2 percent for the first quarter. Dan North, chief economist at a credit insurance firm, noted in a New York Times interview that if growth does increase over the year, it probably won’t be a sign of a stronger economy: “’We’ve been living in sub-3 percent land, and people have gotten used to that as the new normal,’ Mr. North said in an interview before the Commerce Department announcement. ‘But it’s not. It’s anemic.’”

The economy just keeps creeping along………but why?  Could it be that as long as it is anemic then the corporations get everything they want with the promise that if they do the economy will boom?

Is this a plan?  Or is it just the luck of the draw?

 

Nail The “Robber Barons”!

Thanx to Clinton and his DLC a/holes we are stuck in this vicious cycle of banks dictating to the society……..the repeal of Glass-Steagall made it possible for banks to gamble with others money and not face any charges for their complicity in the fraudulent practices of a few big banks in the schemes……

Oh yeah the Obama admin passed a reform bill and some toothless regulations to make us think that we are safe to return to the “markets”……I disagree….I believe that this will happen again and the banks will be more covert in their operations…..but at least the present admin is trying to do something….JP Morgan has been hit with a little fine and Bank Of America as well….but they continue their fraudulent practices……

The FDIC has tried to change stuff………

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp sued 16 of the world’s largest banks on Friday, accusing them of cheating dozens of other now defunct banks by manipulating the Libor interest rate.

The global financial institutions broke certain swaps contracts they had entered into with the now-closed banks, by separately colluding to rig the Libor rate to which the contracts were tied, the FDIC said.

They have also been sued by investors and others who claim they lost money due to the manipulation. A federal judge last March dismissed many of those claims that were based on antitrust law, but has yet to rule on cases that rely on the “breach of contract” theory used by the FDIC.

The lawsuit also accused the British Bankers’ Association, the U.K. trade organization that during the period at issue administered Libor, of participating in the scheme.

The BBA had said it independently monitored the banks’ Libor submissions, and represented that Libor was a “transparent” benchmark, even though it knew those statements were false, the FDIC said. A representative of the BBA declined comment.

The banks named as defendants include Bank of America Corp, Citigroup Inc, Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Holdings PLC, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC.

Other defendants in the lawsuit are Rabobank, Lloyds Banking Group plc, Societe Generale, Norinchukin Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and WestLB AG.

Everybody wants me to be responsible for the stuff I do then corporations, who are people now, should be held to the standard that the rest of us are held……..if they commit a crime it is time for jail time and total restitution.

The shocking numbers behind corporate welfare | Al Jazeera America

The closer we get to an election the more loud the rhetoric on welfare gets…..we will hear all about the so-called ‘free rides’…..but individuals are NOT the only ones that get that ‘free ride’…..very little will be said about another form of welfare….that of corporate welfare….and believe me there is more money wasted there than on some poor person needing help……

Want to know more?  Read on McDuff!

The shocking numbers behind corporate welfare | Al Jazeera America.

Taxes Come And Taxes Go

This is one of the few posts I will ever do on the ACA (Obamacare) because there is way too much BS flowing around the subject……but there is a firestorm going on on the web because of something a restaurant did to its patrons……

An otherwise nondescript restaurant chain in Florida is suddenly national news thanks to a new policy: Gator’s Dockside has added a 1% surcharge to cover the costs of the Affordable Care Act, reports CNN Money. Participating restaurants aren’t trying to hide it, either. “The costs associated with ACA compliance could ultimately close our doors,” reads a sign to patrons. “Instead of raising prices on our products to generate the additional revenue needed to cover the costs of ACA compliance, certain Gator’s Dockside locations have implemented a 1% surcharge on all food and beverage purchases only.” An executive with the chain estimates that it will cost $500,000 a year to provide all its workers with insurance when the employer mandate kicks in next year, and she figures the surcharge will bring in about $160,000 annually.

As one would expect there is a wealth of opinions…….

  • Dumb move: “Obviously, the restaurateur is thinking about this from the perspective of an angry talk-radio-listening Republican rather than that of a hard-headed capitalist,” writes Jonathan Chait at the Daily Intelligencer. “There are costs associated with all kinds of government regulations and spending, but he’s not creating a line item on his tab to highlight his share of, say, financing the Department of Defense.”
  • Smart move: “As the surcharge shows, Obamacare is no free lunch,” writes Katrina Trinko at the Heritage Foundation. “Most businesses probably won’t opt to add a specific surcharge in order to cover their new health care costs, but some will certainly raise prices—or reduce quality of their products. Obamacare hasn’t driven down the costs of health insurance, or found a magical new source to cover those costs.”
  • Similar move: Eater notes that a popular Los Angeles restaurant, Republique, asks diners to pay a 3% surcharge for employee health care costs. The restaurant makes it optional, however, and says it is not specifically tied to the new law’s mandates.

Now my take……you may call it whatever you like surcharge or tax….it is the same thing……my problem is with the 16th amendment…….

Article I, Section 2, Clause 3:

Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Number

Article I, Section 8, Clause 1:

The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.

If it is a tax then why is only one individual doing it?  The name is irrelevant……..it is like the visit to the auto repair shop….take a look at you bill…….there will be a ‘surcharge’ for shop supplies……I do not like that either….but if these people can get away with it why not Gator’s Dockside?

If one opposes taxes then one should be in opposition to this ‘surcharge’.  I was unaware that an individual could level taxes I thought that was the duty of the state…….call it what you like a tax is a tax…….I will admit that it is creative….but is it legal?

Enough said?