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?

Why Do Right-Wing Christians Think ‘Religious Freedom’ Means Forcing Their Faith on You? | Alternet

Personally, I am sick and tired of all this ‘religious freedom’ crap!

It is more about running rough shod over peoples lives than some vague religious belief…..now corporations have the rights and humans do not……how much further are these twats going to go?

“Religious Freedom” has become a damn smoke screen for taking what few rights we Americans have away….they use this ‘religious persecution’ bullsh*t for all it is worth…..the truly sad part is they get away with it!

 

Why Do Right-Wing Christians Think ‘Religious Freedom’ Means Forcing Their Faith on You? | Alternet.

Corporations Are Better Than Humans!

SCOTUS has made it official!

The Supreme Court today dealt a decisive victory to Hobby Lobby, ruling in a 5-4 decision that closely held companies can refuse the ObamaCare mandate to provide birth control for employees. Chief Justice John Roberts, the swing vote that upheld ObamaCare two years ago, this time crossed over to side with the court’s conservative justices, notes the AP. But the justices stressed that the ruling applied only to contraceptives specifically, and only to companies under the control of just a few people. “Our decision should not be understood to hold that an insurance-coverage mandate must necessarily fall if it conflicts with an employer’s religious beliefs,” wrote Samuel Alito in the majority opinion.

“The Court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield,” countered Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the dissent. The justices had earlier appeared poised to rule in favor of Hobby Lobby. In a separate decision today, the court ruled that home health aides cannot be forced to pay union dues, reports the AP. That ruling was also a 5-4 split along ideological lines, and held that forcing the dues payments was a First Amendment violation.

Now all you have to do is claim some vague bullshit like “religious beliefs”……..this is the type of stuff that happens when you let conservatives make laws……corporations will always take the lead over humans.

Just makes me so proud to be an American!

IST Op-Ed: The Personhood Trap

Opinion from the desk of IST Editor

This could be a post about the issues that conservs tried to get on a couple of votes but were soundly defeated……but alas that is NOT what this one is all about…..

I am sure that many of us know full well what the hoopla is all about in SCOTUS…..in case you do not….a couple of corporations are suing Obamacare because they do not want to pay for employees contraceptives on religious grounds.  It is a personhood question.  Are corporations the same as the person?

We know that SCOTUS has said that corporations are persons when it comes to political campaign contributions……that would have been the “Citizens United” ruling….and now a similar question is before the court…..can corporations violate a law on the grounds of the owners religious beliefs?

Before I begin….I would like to say that I may get some grief on what I think…..but I am willing to take it……my conclusion is logical and well thought out….at least I think so and since I am the author of this post….it must be true.

I have mixed emotions about the upcoming ruling by SCOTUS in June…….will they find that a corporation can dictate an individual’s choices or will they do the right thing and end all this speculation?

Like I said…I am torn….on the one hand I do not think corporations should be treated as a person…….and on the other…..I would like to see them rule in favor of Hobby Lobby and the other in the lawsuit…..I know….why on earth would I wish for that?

It would make the corporations on the same footing as a person and if so should be treated like a person when a crime is committed….instead of letting them off with impotent fines they would be sentenced as a person…..jail time and fines….restitution………etc………whatever the penalty is for us mere mortals they in turn would be charged and treated as such……..it is beyond time for these entities to be held responsible for their actions and crimes.

If I get that wish then many women will be screwed….that part I do not like……..and the fact that a corporation could force its employees to buy into their religious beliefs………. just sucks.

I wish I could venture a guess on the ruling……..but it is too close to call…..will women retain their right to personal decisions or will the corporation become a person?

June will hold the answer.

That Taxes Thing

The focus of the day is the economy and what is more controversial than taxes?

We can mark the day….taxes will be all over the web come 2014….it will be a major stepping stone for campaigns….the conservs will be all over this issue especially the need to lower taxes, especially for corporations……they will argue that the US has the highest corporate tax rate in the civilized world……but after they take all their deductions and special dispensations it is one of the lower…..(we can argue that later)…..I have a problem with the whole tax thing in general……the argument is that if we lower taxes we will create more jobs which in turn will increase revenue and make the skies blue and the angelic chorus sing……to me it is a total bullsh*t belief.

Jobs will be #1 issue for Dems……but will they follow Bubba Clinton and cave to the conservs on taxes?  BTW, we have been lowering taxes for 20+ years and how many jobs has it made?  How many good paying jobs?  I have been writing on politics and economics for 40 years and I have yet to see any benefit for the nation by lowering taxes……it does nothing to solve poverty…if anything it makes it worse……

But back to the con job…..lower corporate taxes…….from an op-ed written by Nathan Proctor…….

For years, business lobbyists have advanced the theory that lowering corporate tax rates would create jobs in the U.S. Their argument is that any effort to close corporate tax loopholes would have to be coupled with legislation to lower overall taxes for corporations. This argument, with the help of its powerful backers, has become the prevailing theory in Washington.

The report, released earlier this month by the Center for Effective Government (CEG), examined the tax rates paid and jobs created by 60 large, profitable companies. The companies were not cherry-picked. Rather, they came from a larger group of 280 corporations and CEG examined the 30 companies that paid the highest effective tax rate and the 30 companies that paid the lowest effective tax rate.

The report’s conclusion? The 30 companies that paid the highest tax rates created nearly 200,000 jobs over a five-year period. Conversely, the companies that paid little in taxes or no taxes whatsoever shed about 51,000 jobs during that same period.

But rather than avoiding taxes and lobbying for even lower rates, the report’s authors argue that corporations should pay their fair share for the national public structures that allow their businesses to be profitable in the first place. Their argument is that corporations enjoy a number of benefits that clearly are the result of taxes all of us pay: a workforce educated at public expense, roads and transit systems that allow employees to get to work and goods to reach customers, and consumer safety standards and inspections that give consumers confidence in products.

Closing loopholes is not the answer…….changing, not reforming, the tax code is the only way to be sure that equity is practiced in our method of taxation.  And there is the rub……Washington will reform, not change….and that will accomplish only one thing….make life for the middle class worse….maybe 2 things…..reform will make the wealthy pay less and make more profit and in the end…that is the job of Washington…protect the wealthy.

They, meaning the conservs, still cling rabidly to the notion that trickle down economics works…..that has been proven to be a mindless belief with no foot in reality.

Thinking about the taxes thing I have come to the realization……with tax cuts and the loss of revenue will make the deficit raise then they use that to drive the move to cut social programs to help the deficit….and then once they have that accomplished they return to the tax cut thing which they will get and the deficit will raise and then the programs are cut…..it is a vicious cycle……a cycle that the Dems allow to continue….looks like all the special interests money is well spent.

Who Will Immigration Benefit?

We hear a lot of crap being spread about the next big thing for the Congress to attempt…..an immigration bill.  I am sure that your favorite news source has told you all about the consequences if there is a new immigration law….some will be good….others will be bad…..and some will be prophetic in their predicting the end of the US as we know it…..

Here is one of may favorite predictions…..coming from the mind of Coulter……

With native-born liberals unwilling to reproduce themselves, liberals need a constant influx of new Democratic voters from other countries – and there happen to be 11 million of them living here right now! Contrary to Rubio-Republicans who think “they all look alike,” the vast majority of Hispanics are not “social conservatives.” (That’s blacks, Marco.) In addition to being the one ethnic group most opposed to capitalism – even more than Occupy Wall Street protesters! – polls show that Hispanics are more pro-abortion than other Americans (66 percent of Hispanics versus 50 percent of other voters) and favor gay marriage more than other Americans (59 percent compared to 48 percent of all voters). They also support big government by an astronomical 75 percent and Obamacare, in particular, by 62 percent. (Polls: Pew, ABC, ABC, Pew, Fox)

But with all those people telling us what is right or wrong….ask yourself….just who will benefit most from a new immigration law?

Pick me…pick me!  Contractors!

Here is how the biggest profiteers will make out….list is thanx to Mother Jones……

Border Patrol agents: On top of all the new salaries, 20,000 more agents means a lot of new equipment, like firearms. Since 2012, German firearms company Heckler & Koch has received about $500,000 and US-based Remington Arms $160,000 in DHS immigration enforcement contracts for guns and ammo. It also means more training. The security corporation Chenega, which received $103 million from DHS’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in 2012, has taught Border Patrol agents how to operate surveillance systems.

Fences: In 2009, Congress’s Government Accountability Office estimated it would cost between $400,000 and $15 million to build just one mile of border fence. That same year, CBP finished building a $2.4 billion, 670-mile border fence that been under construction since 2006. That was a single-layer fence; the Senate bill calls for an additional 700 miles of double-layered fencing. One of the biggest contractors on that fence was the aerospace and defense corporation Boeing, which received more than $1 billion from CBP between 2006 and 2009, and more than $35 million in 2012, for border security projects.

Databases: Collecting personally identifying information, or biometrics, like fingerprints and photographs, is a big part of the Senate bill’s requirements that all businesses use E-Verify and that all air- and seaports have biometric tracking for anyone entering or leaving the country. Since 2004, the multinational tech and consulting company Accenture has been one of the Border Patrol’s leading biometrics contractors, receiving $1.9 billion from DHS; it has lobbied Congress on biometric tracking, which it would like to see expanded to all land ports as well. Unisys, which received $132 million from CBP in 2012 for IT work, also creates biometrics systems. Changing E-Verify from a voluntary to a mandatory system would likely mean millions more in federal contracts for IT companies.

Virtual fences: The Senate bill would give CBP at least $4.5 billion for surveillance technology in an effort to ensure a 100 percent watch over the southern border. In 2006, the government launched the Secure Border Initiative, an $850 million “virtual fence” surveillance project led by Boeing that was rife with oversight problems and later declared a failure by DHS. Military contractors, facing diminishing profits in Iraq and Afghanistan, will soon vie for a contract worth up to $1 billion for towers, radars, and camera systems—a reworking of the earlier program. One likely candidate is Lockheed Martin, which received $106 million in CBP contracts in 2012.

Drones: Another chunk of the $4.5 billion for surveillance will go toward unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, which cost about $18 million to buy and another $3,000 or so each hour of flight (PDF). Northrop Grumman, which received $90 million in various DHS contracts in 2012, is trying to sell the department on a drone-mounted tracking device that’s been used to detect bombs in Afghanistan; General Atomics, which received nearly $30 million from CBP in 2012, recently got a contract worth upward of $400 million that it plans to use to double the number of its border drones.

Detention facilities: Even though there are fewer people illegally crossing the southern border then at any point in the last 40 years, the Senate bill sets a goal to catch 90 percent of them. And once they’re caught, they’ll have to go somewhere. GEO Group, one of the largest private prison corporations, has been lobbying Congress in favor of immigration reform, despite public statements to the contrary. Last year alone, GEO Group received $142 million in contracts from DHS’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. G4S, an international security company that got $63 million from CBP in 2012, guarantees the “safest, most secure and humane transport of prisoners, offenders, and illegal aliens.”

Some will profit more than others if there is ever an immigration bill…..I would say the new immigration bill will pass….especially if all those corporations use their influence from lobbyists…..it is a bout profits…not ideology.

Make The Bastards Pay!

In 2008 we had a horrible crash….an economic tsunami……and we good guy taxpayers bailed out the culprits that screwed everything up……these corporations are doing fin e now….the economy still sucks, unless you have lots of cash, and no had to pay the price for shady economic practices……the government (insert raucous laughter here) put together a bill that woiuld help to control this sort of thing from happening again….the problem is they let the companies that caused the problem write the law….in other words….IT SUCKS…IT IS IMPOTENT!

Personally, I think someone should have to pay the price for their deception and theft……

At least someone is doing something about these tools that game the economy to their benefit and never are held accountable for their crimes….yes, I said crimes!

Switzerland has gone about making the bastards pay….one way or the other……

Swiss citizens voted to impose some of the world’s strictest controls on executive pay, forcing public companies to give shareholders a binding vote on compensation, initial result projections showed.

Claude Longchamp, of pollsters Gfs Bern, told Swiss state television on Sunday early returns in a referendum showed 68 percent backed plans for shareholders to veto executive pay and for a ban on big rewards for new and departing managers.

The clear majority was unusual given fierce opposition and intense campaigning by a business lobby group, which warned the proposals will damage the country’s competitiveness and scare away international talent.

Support for the move was fired by anger over the big bonuses blamed for fuelling risky investments that nearly felled Swiss bank UBS, as well as outrage over a proposed $78m payment to outgoing Novartis chairman Daniel Vasella.

Longchamp said the public outcry last month that forced Novartis to cancel Vasella’s “golden goodbye” helped drive the campaign.

“It emotionalised and it mobilised,” he said.

Short-termism’ culture

Thomas Minder, the businessman-turned-politician behind the campaign, says his proposals are aimed at ending a culture of short-termism and rewards for managers of badly-run companies rather than just capping salaries.

Despite threats from some executives, Switzerland is unlikely to see an exodus of big companies, drawn to the country by low taxes, stable politics and business-friendly laws.

And companies will seek ways around the new rules to reward executives, just as banks in Europe are looking to soften the impact of a cap on bonuses for top staff agreed by European politicians on Thursday.

“If a company wants to pay a top executive 25 million, then they will find a way to do so regardless of the initiative,” Rolf Soiron, chairman of cement maker Holcim and drugs industry supplier Lonza, told the Reuters news agency before the vote.

Experts also question whether shareholders in Swiss companies will make full use of their new rights.

Of the top 100 Swiss companies, 49 already give shareholders a non-binding vote on the pay of executives. But while opposition to pay deals is on the rise, a majority of investors have never voted them down.

Possible jail

Swiss companies accounted for five of the top 10 best-paid chairmen in Europe in 2011, but only the heads of Novartis and Roche made it into the continent’s top 10 for chief executives.

While anger at multi-million dollar payouts for executives has spread around the globe since the financial crisis, the Swiss system of direct democracy means populist proposals have a greater chance of implementation.

Minder’s initiative forces binding votes on compensation every year as well as on board composition and would also ban bonus payments to managers if their companies are taken over.

The plan also includes possible jail sentences and fines for breaching the new rules.

While Switzerland has fared relatively well through the financial crisis, the near collapse of flagship bank UBS in 2008 stoked anger among Swiss who blamed its heavy losses on rewarding bankers to make risky bets.

Last year, more than one-third of UBS shareholders rejected the bank’s plans for executive pay, including a $4.2m signing-on fee for new German chairman Axel Weber, after a sub-par 2011 profit and a $2bn rogue trading scandal.

Now there is an idea……an idea that should be made here………but it will not…..why?  Our government is owned lock, stock and barrel by these thieves…until we make them responsible for their actions we will always have these sorts of crises….since not much has changed since 2008, it is only a matter of time before we are hit again……..We must make the bastards pay!

Free The People From Taxation

An economic break from the dizzying world of Washingtonian politics…….this week will be all about economic issues….unless something major breaks on the political front…….enjoy.

This is a concept that almost all Americans will cheer for……but in the same breath they expect the government to live up to certain contracts that it has made with the population…….and then there is the cute little slogan that we will most likely hear a lot in the coming battle in the coming months….revenue neutral………

Louisiana wants to solve the problem and free the people……..

(Newser) – Bobby Jindal wants to do away with income and corporate taxes in his state—and raise Louisiana’s 4% sales tax to make up the difference, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. “It’s time to change that so people can keep more of their own money and foster an environment where businesses want to invest and create good-paying jobs,” the governor said yesterday in a statement. The move, which he described as a revenue-neutral one, would aim to keep the sales tax “as low and flat as possible.”

“Eliminating personal income taxes will put more money back into the pockets of Louisiana families and will change a complex tax code into a more simple system that will make Louisiana more attractive to companies who want to invest here and create jobs,” the governor said. One local report asserts that the sales tax would need to climb to 7% under the measure.

Who is Jindal working for with this proposal?  If we listen to the talking point then about 50% of the country pays no taxes……so he will make sure that those that pay no payroll tax gets it in the end by having to pay higher sales tax…….this that the plan?  The only people this will benefit are those corporations that will pay NO taxes at all….why?  Corporations can apply for and get a tax free status…….this will eliminate the burden of having to fill out paper work….which should make the state more stable.

This will just help accelerate the death of social programs….because there will be a shortage of revenue….this sounds so right and will be so wrong in application…..plus it will cost the poor more in the long run.  It is a gift to corporations.