Run The Country Like a Business

How many times in your lifetime have you heard that a business has the skill set to be a good and effective president?

For decades the GOP has been running businessmen as presidential candidates with the slogan that a successful businessman would be best for the country.

First let me say….It Is Bullshit!

I think the last GOP president that was a businessman proved just how much crap that promise is.

A business needs to turn a profit to remain alive…..the government cannot turn a profit when the very people that should know better spend their energy stopping the flow of revenue.

A lot of Americans think the country should be run like a business.

This is a problem on a few levels. Most obviously, a country isn’t a company. Businesses exist to turn a profit; countries do not, and competence in business rarely translates to competence in politics.

Treating the country like a business also encourages Americans to think of themselves as customers rather than citizens. Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner spoke directly to this idea in a 2017 interview: “We should have excellence in government … The government should be run like a great company. Our hope is that we can achieve successes and efficiencies for our customers.”

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/22150375/america-consumerism-shopping-ethan-porter-the-consumer-citizen

How long must we suffer the BS of the GOP…..apparently for an eternity….for the GOP continues to lie and scrape out a position in a country that needs more from the government than Repubs are willing to work for…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Now More Bad News

Bad news for those that depend on drugs to keep them healthy and well…..like insulin, et al……

The bad news is Big Pharma has stated that there will be major drug increases at the beginning of the New Year…..like they need the increased cash.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, hospitalizations skyrocketed in 2020, but routine visits to the doctor’s office and demand for new prescription medications fell sharply during the worldwide lockdown.

To make up for lost revenue, the pharmaceutical industry plans to ring in the New Year by raising prices on more than 300 drugs in the United States on January 1, according to an analysis by healthcare consulting firm 3 Axis Advisors, whose findings were summarized in an exclusive report published Thursday in Reuters.

As Reuters pointed out, “The increases come as pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer are playing hero by developing vaccines for Covid-19 in record time.”

While scientific advances made by pharmaceutical companies have contributed to defeating the pandemic, critics argue that it would be naive to assume the industry is simply motivated to improve people’s well-being.

“Big Pharma’s greed is a danger to public health,” Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) said earlier this year, when Gilead announced that it would charge U.S. hospitals $3,120 per privately insured patient for a treatment course of remdesivir, a Covid-19 drug whose development was financed in large part by taxpayers.

Pfizer spokesperson Amy Rose pointed to the coronavirus vaccine the company developed with Germany’s BioNTech in an attempt to justify next year’s drug price hikes. “This modest increase,” Rose said in a statement, “is necessary to support investments that allow us to continue to discover new medicines and deliver those breakthroughs to the patients who need them.”

Nevertheless, as David Mitchell, a cancer patient and founder of Patients for Affordable Drugs Now, said last month, “Drugs don’t work if people can’t afford them.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/12/31/drugs-dont-work-if-people-cant-afford-them-big-pharma-raise-prices-300-medications

What about all those vaccines to fight the Covid-19?

The Pfizer vaccine, also given in two doses, is expected to cost $19.50 a dose. Each dose for Johnson & Johnson’s two-dose vaccine will cost an estimated $10, and AstraZeneca’s two-dose vaccine could be the cheapest at just $3 to $4 a dose.

Am I wrong or did these companies get taxpayer money to expedite a vaccine?  If so  why should they make any money off the vaccines?

Do they think that because they are taunted as “heroes” because the pandemic will change the fact that they are raping the American people?

Time for these parasites to be put in their place as servants of mankind not the ruler.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Please Blow It Up!

I know that many of us would like for something epic to happen to Trump and/or property….after all he is a billionaire (questionable claim)…..his water line, his steaks, his wine and his university were all as worthless as their founder…..but what about the now defunct casino….what to do, what to do?

I say blow the damn thing up and make room for something useful……and believe it or not they are taking bids to do just that very thing…..

Part of President Trump’s former empire is going to come crashing down next month—and Atlantic City wants to use the moment to raise money for a good cause. The former Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino is being dynamited on Jan. 29, and the city is auctioning off the chance to be the person who presses the button for the implosion. “Some of Atlantic City’s iconic moments happened there, but on his way out, Donald Trump openly mocked Atlantic City, saying he made a lot of money and then got out,” says Mayor Marty Small, per CBS Philadelphia. “I wanted to use the demolition of this place to raise money for charity.”

Small hopes to raise more than $1 million with the auction, which will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City, reports the Press of Atlantic City. The casino opened in 1984. The building, now owned by billionaire Carl Icahn, has been empty since the casino closed in 2014, and the city says its crumbling facade has become a hazard. Trump probably won’t mind seeing the building demolished: In 2014, he sued to have his name taken off the casino, saying its “appalling condition” was damaging his brand, which “has become synonymous with the highest levels of quality, luxury, prestige, and success.”

Why not?

After all he never paid all the outstanding bills from the construction of that white elephant.

So by all means….blow the damn thing up….and do it on the day he loses the use of the White House…..make the humiliation total.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Clayton Anti-Trust Act 1914

Speaking of economic news……

Hold your breath it is time for the Old Professor’s history lesson…..first Mata Hari was executed in Paris on this date in 1917….and in 1966 the Black Panther Party is established……and in 1969 over 2 million people protested for the end of the Vietnam War…..

On this day. 15 October, in 1914 the US Congress passes the Clayton Anti-Trust Act…..

On this date, the 63rd Congress (1913-1915) passed the Clayton Antitrust Act (P.L. 63–212) in a bid to curb the power of trusts and monopolies and maintain market competition. By the turn of the 20th century, large corporations had cornered whole segments of America’s economy using predatory pricing, exclusive dealings, and anti-competitive mergers to drive local businesses to ruin. In Congress, Members decried the evils of monopolies, including Representative Robert Crosser of Ohio who warned that a “failure to check the growth of monopolies…will result in industrial slavery.” Representative Alben W. Barkley of Kentucky dubbed the trusts “offensive organizations.” Most agreed that government regulation of the trusts was too lenient and rallied around the Clayton Antitrust Bill when Representative Henry Clayton of Alabama introduced it in 1914. Representative John J. Casey of Pennsylvania remarked, “I realize and appreciate the importance of this bill, because I believe it is one of the most important that has or will come before this House for consideration.” The Act supplemented and strengthened the Sherman Act of 1890, an existing antitrust bill that had failed to effectively regulate the massive corporations. The newly created Federal Trade Commission enforced the Clayton Antitrust Act and prevented unfair methods of competition. Aside from banning the practices of price discrimination and anti-competitive mergers, the new law also declared strikes, boycotts, and labor unions legal under federal law. The bill passed the House with an overwhelming majority on June 5, 1914. President Woodrow Wilson signed it into law on October 15, 1914. 

This was suppose to cease the idea and exploitation of being a wage slave…….and how has that worked out?

This law has very little teeth anymore…..we have monopolies everywhere in our business societies….the US has a long history of trying to make the society more equitable……https://www.thoughtco.com/the-clayton-antitrust-act-4136271

How has all this legislation done at help this society become a more equitable society?

I do not see it….how about you?

(Watch this blog for more thoughts on monopolies….posts coming soon)

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Delusional Amount Of Cash

I see that the Congress has left town , go figure, that is the one thing they all agree on, without any action on the new economic stim package to help the country deal with the costs of the pandemic.

People will soon lose or have their benefits cut or lost….and yet the only ones showing a profit out of the pandemic is corporations that are 100s of million of dollars that have seen profits jump by double digits……and what is the answer for the Fed?

Give the rich bastards more cash…..

Federal Reserve officials have launched what amounts to a full court press aimed at ensuring that Congress provides a further fiscal stimulus to corporations, as the COVID pandemic continues out of control and the limited revival of the US economy stalls.

While Fed representatives always couch their remarks in terms of giving assistance to the economy and even to workers, the fall in the stock market since the beginning of the month—the most significant downturn since the plunge in mid-March, when all financial markets froze—is the underlying concern.

The push began on Tuesday, when Fed Chair Jerome Powell gave testimony before the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services. Powell repeated earlier calls for fiscal action, on top of the more than $3 trillion made available under the CARES Act.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/09/25/econ-s25.html

All this leads me to ask the one simple question….why do we give corporations so much power over our lives?

The media leads us to believe that the markets going up is good for the people….it is not the only people that benefit are the CEOs.

Then why do we give them the power?

The American people own most of the wealth—private and public—and most of the information in the country. The top one percent do not.

The American people have most of the power in the country. The top one percent do not.

(If you believe any of that then I have a bridge I will sell cheap)

These assertions may surprise you, because the top one percent and the giant corporations work overtime to control what you own. This means they do not have to seize what you own so long as their control provides them with both riches and power over you.

Let’s spell this out with specifics. Our Constitution starts with the words, “We the People…”; it doesn’t start with ‘we the corporations’ or ‘we the Congress’ or ‘we the super-rich.’ The sovereign authority under the Constitution is us; we the people are the bosses. But we give our power away to the Big Boys who run the big companies that control most of our elected politicians. The politicians in turn proceed to corrupt our elections with campaign money, gerrymandering, deceitful ads, voter obstructions, and a totally dominant two-party duopoly. This corporate state destroys competitive democracy which would give our votes meaning, choices, and effectiveness.

The corporate “Borg” is sucking the ready availability of the good life, decent, secure livelihoods assured by our collective self-reliance, and the freedom to shape our future out of our political economy.

We have been brainwashed….and it has been a rousing success for we equate our personal success by others standards.

For Christ Sake—-Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Not By China!

The US is the arms dealer to the world…..and we will NOT tolerate anyone trying to horn in on our monopoly in arms.

Recently the US learned that Serbia is thinking of buying some defensive missiles from China…..

Interested in modernizing their defense systems, Serbia reports they are interested in the Chinese-made FK-3, a medium-range air defense model made for export. This would be a second purchase by Serbia from China, who just sold them some attack drones.

It makes sense for Serbia to be interested, because China is the low-cost solution. The US was mad about the drones, and is even madder about the air defense, warning Serbia that this could cost them EU membership if they go through with it.

Serbia insists no final decision has been made, and it’s not clear the US warning is sincere, let alone that the EU would listen to the US opinion on membership for Serbia. It’s unlikely this would be a real obstacle, even if the US gets mad.

Serbia probably doesn’t have an alternative, either, with US options probably too expensive for them. US anger is probably more going to be for China getting a foothold in Europe in the first place.

(antiwar.com)

One question…why is it okay for the US to sell their implements of destruction to the world but not for China to do so as well?

What happen to the idea of a “free market”?

Is the US admitting that the idea of “free markets” is a total lie and nothing more than a slogan to discard when it suits those using it?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–21Jul20

You know how much the conservatives hate socialism…..but only when it is applied to the downtrodden of this society…..it is acceptable as long as it will benefit the wealthy and preserve profits….

What?

I read a piece the other day about the idea of nationalization of one of America’s industries…..

With the US the world’s largest military, by far, it makes sense that their own armsmakers often have a level of capacity far beyond overseas competitors. The Air Force is finding this is limiting to the competition for US business.

Air Force acquisition head Will Roper has suggested the solution for this may ultimately be having the US nationalize chunks of the military aviation industry outright, to ensure that a few different armsmakers survive.

And yet they’d survive only nominally. The nationalization would give the government an effective monopoly on those parts of the industry, but the US might spare the expense to prop up multiple design and construct facilities just for the sake of “competition.”

The nature of these many billion dollar plane projects means only a few could ever compete to begin with. Many have responded to the mounting cost by merging to share expenses. The Pentagon wants more than one contractor to choose from, even if they have to own them all.

Yet doing this necessarily will lead to consequences for state-run monopolies, replacing the profit motive at the company level with a new layer of bureaucracy. The companies traditionally seek Pentagon deals with lobbyists, and by hiring former Pentagon figures to gaudy contracts. It isn’t clear how well the military will be able to sustain this if they nationalize the companies.

The legality of nationalizing US industries remains shaky, with President Truman’s failed bid to nationalize the steel industry in the 1950s. The Obama Administration, however, did successfully nationalize General Motors, temporarily, under the guise of saving jobs.

Nationalizing to ensure competition is a very unusual notion, and that’s going to make advancing the case all the more difficult. Expect the big armsmakers to resist, as these huge plane deals tend to be wildly profitable.

(antiwar.com)

For more in-depth report…..https://www.defenseone.com/business/2020/07/us-may-need-nationalize-military-aircraft-industry-usaf-says/166894/

I wait for the reaction from conservs…..so far I have heard.read NOTHING!

Why is that?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Remember All Those Tariffs?

Well I do and I have written about Trump’s tariffs extensively……https://lobotero.com/2018/03/05/word-of-the-week-tariffs/ and https://lobotero.com/2019/12/18/tariffs-trump-weapon-of-choice/

Before I continue…do I need to refresh everyone’s mind on the tariff thing?

I thought so……https://lobotero.com/2019/10/03/sanctions-and-tariffs/

Now that I cover all my bases…..let’s move on to the news on tariffs.

A study by the Federal Reserve has found that the tariffs that Trump so loves has done MORE HARM than good….

President Trump‘s tariffs on imports — meant to boost the economy — ultimately led to job losses and higher prices, a new study from the Federal Reserve has found.

“We find that tariff increases enacted in 2018 are associated with relative reductions in manufacturing employment and relative increases in producer prices,” the report by Fed economists Aaron Flaaen and Justin Pierce reads.

MarketWatch first reported the study, noting that 10 primary industries were hit by retaliatory tariffs and higher prices, including producers of magnetic and optical media, leather goods, aluminum sheet, iron and steel, motor vehicles, household appliances, sawmills, audio and video equipment, pesticide, and computer equipment.

https://thehill.com/policy/finance/476100-fed-study-trump-tariffs-backfired-caused-job-losses-and-higher-prices

And how much of that profit hiding offshore accounts have returned to the shores of the US?

Not enough to make a difference….but wait I thought that was going to be a gimme when Trump won….what happened?

The world economy does not look good for the next several years…..between an idiot in the White House and a pandemic….all is NOT well.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has significantly increased its forecast for the contraction in global economy, warning that it will take a cumulative $12 trillion hit over 2020–2021. Updating its forecast yesterday, the IMF said the global contraction for 2020 would be -4.9 percent, some 1.9 percentage points below the forecast it issued in April.

The IMF said that for the first time ever all regions of the world are expected to experience negative growth in the 2020.

Growth in the advanced economy group is projected at -8 percent this year. The US economy is predicted to contract by 8 percent, Japan 5.8 percent, the UK 10.2 percent, Germany 7.8 percent, France 12.5 percent and Italy and Spain 12.8 percent.

If Trump wins in November I cannot to see what monumental economic stupidity he will cough up or pull out of his ass next.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Another Taxpayer Bailout

This pandemic has seen the loss of revenue (profit) for many firms and the Congress has put together several stim plans to help business weather this viral storm……

The latest industry to get lots of taxpayer money is Military-Industrial Complex……

The Pentagon has begun to bail out U.S. companies that have seen large parts of their business dry up amid the coronavirus pandemic, in a bid to make sure they can still build weapons. 

On Wednesday, officials announced that five mid-tier defense companies had received a total of $135 million to “help sustain defense-critical workforce capabilities in body armor, aircraft manufacturing, and shipbuilding,” according to a Defense Department statement.“These actions will help to retain critical workforce capabilities throughout the disruption caused by COVID-19 and to restore some jobs lost because of the pandemic,” Lt. Col. Mike Andrews, a Defense Department spokesman, said in the statement

https://www.defenseone.com/business/2020/06/pentagon-starts-bailing-out-companies-have-lost-business-due-coronavirus/166106/

How will this effect the industry and the DoD?

First of all we cannot afford the weapon systems that the DoD is drooling over…..will the Pentagon be capable of choosing what system to get over another?

The Pentagon cannot afford all of the new weapons it wants to buy and will be forced to choose winners and losers, absent an influx of cash, a new assessment from data and analytics firm Govini.

More cash is unlikely, experts say, regardless of whether President Trump wins a second term or is defeated by his Democratic challenger Joe Biden. Moreover, they predict the Pentagon will face increased competition for dollars as the United States tries to dig itself out of a recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, which has left more than 30 million American without jobs.

“I don’t see a Biden administration making big, big cuts to defense,” said Robert Work, a deputy defense secretary during the Obama administration who is now chairman of Govini, an artificial intelligence-driven analysis firm. “But what I see a potential Biden administration doing is defining the priorities within defense in a different way.”

https://www.defenseone.com/business/2020/06/pentagon-cant-afford-all-weapons-it-wants-new-report-says/166034/

I say if it does not protect the homeland from imminent attack then it should be scrapped until better days are here again.  After all that is what families have to do in these days of dwindling funds…if it is not essential then it can wait.

Image

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–25May20

Today we remember our veterans and those lost in combat…..I will wait for the traditional day….

This Memorial Day eCard - Free Memorial Day Cards Online

News success for our workers (sarcasm)….nearly 40 million unemployed….

More than 2.4 million people applied for US unemployment benefits last week, per the AP. That means roughly 38.6 million people have now filed for jobless aid since the coronavirus forced businesses to shrink their workforces, the Labor Department said Thursday. The figure is slightly below last week’s revised total of 2.7 million claims, notes the Wall Street Journal. An additional 2.2 million people sought aid under a new federal program for self-employed, contractor, and gig workers, who are now eligible for jobless aid for the first time. The continuing stream of job cuts reflects an economy that is sinking into the worst recession since the Great Depression. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated this week that the economy is shrinking at a 38% annual rate in the April-June quarter. That would be by far the worst quarterly contraction on record.

During April, US employers shed 20 million jobs, eliminating a decade’s worth of job growth in a single month. The unemployment rate reached 14.7%, the highest since the Depression. Millions of other people who were out of work weren’t counted as unemployed because they didn’t look for a new job.

What better time than a pandemic to lay-off health care workers…..(again…sarcasm)……

Even as American deaths from COVID-19 exceed 90,000 and frontline health care workers are needed more than ever, hospitals and other medical facilities, guided by market forces, are closing or laying off large sections of their workforces.

The US Commerce Department reported at the end of April that health care spending by consumers had dropped by 18 percent during the first quarter of 2020. This is the largest drop since records began in 1959, contributing substantially to the annualized 4.8 percent decline in US gross domestic product. Morgan Stanley forecasts a breathtaking 37.9 percent decline in GDP during the second quarter

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/05/22/hosp-m22.html

An update…..the number of deaths should read 96,000+…….

But not to worry those parasites on Wall Street are still making money hand over fist while the rest of us suffer…..

While many Americans are facing financial hardship due to the coronavirus outbreak, US billionaires saw a boost in net worth in the first two months of the pandemic, according to a new report.

According to the report, published on Thursday by the left-leaning think tanks Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute for Policy Studies, the total net worth of all US billionaires got a $434 billion boost since March 19, when many US states were placed on lockdown.

According to Forbes, 623 billionaires live in the US, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, investor Warren Buffett, and Oracle founder Larry Ellison. The report indicates that just those top five billionaires saw their wealth increase by a total of $75.5 billion, or 19%. 

https://www.businessinsider.com/us-billionaires-434-billion-richer-during-pandemic-report-2020-5

Ain’t an oligarchy great?  (Once again…..sarcasm)….

Sorry for the bad news…..someone has to tell you since the government does not want to….

Be Well….Be Safe….Be Informed

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”