Archive for cronyism

Corporate Profits Reach Highest Percentage of GDP On Record as Total Wages Fall to Record Low

What’s good for corporations is not always good for the country, its people, or the capitalist system we allegedly defend; it’s time we make the distinctions. A little more than two years after the 2008 financial crisis, corporate profits were hitting record highs and our gross domestic product was growing again.

Today, our nation’s fiscal health depends more on increased consumption than on the production of goods and services. But average real wages for most workers have stagnated or fallen over the last thirty-five years, and good jobs are disappearing. Just look at the Commerce Department’s latest GDP report, which shows corporate profits have hit their highest percentage of GDP on record at the same time as total wages have fallen to a record low. Without employment or income, what’s the key to our economic recovery?

The Commerce Department's latest GDP report shows corporate profits have hit their highest percentage of GDP on record at the same time as total wages have fallen to a record low

From CNNMoney

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Our Multinational Fast Food Corporations are Dodging Billions in Taxes

Not only is the overconsumption of fatty, salty, and sugar-laden foods literally killing us, our multinational fast food corporations are dodging billions in taxes; earning enormous profits through franchising fees, then diverting the profits to overseas operations where they can’t be taxed by the U.S.

Consumerism is the mantra; insidious marketing is everywhere. Fast food chains providing cheap food stuffs to Americans who can afford little more ignore both the physical welfare of our citizens and the fiscal health of our country. Read the following articles and share your thoughts.

Fast food companies are dodging billions of dollars in taxes by registering their products as "intellectual property" and by diverting profits offshore. So the next time you're biting into a Big Whopper, know that you're making their headquarters in Switzerland very happy! | Susie Madrak, Crooks and Liars

From Crooks and Liars

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Fears of Voter Intimidation in the Workplace As Election Day Nears

Employers have recently made numerous attempt to intimidate workers into choosing a presidential candidate that supports their company’s bottom-line. Mitt Romney, IL Rep. Joe Walsh, and Koch Industries have all endorsed the practice of goading employees to vote for Republican candidates this November.

No matter what their marketing campaigns may portray, corporate interests are not the same as those of a working community. Businesses do not live and work side by side with their employees and neighbors. Their political leanings are driven solely by what owners predict will further a company’s profit-margin. How do you think voter intimidation in the workplace will affect the outcome of the 2012 election?

From The Huffington Post

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Public Money Continues to Supplement the Building of Private Corporate Infrastructure

Our nation is still experiencing the after-effects of major economic crisis, and yet public money continues to supplement the building of private corporate infrastructure. Time and time again, our legislators and government officials have proven that they’re willing to put the interests of the public aside in order to appease big business by lowering tax rates, offering more tax breaks, and increasing corporate subsidies.

These government subsidies do not encourage economic growth as much as productive taxpayers do, and as a result, everything from Social Security to unemployment and welfare rolls is affected. As you’ll see in the following article, when it comes to competitive business privileges—tax breaks, subsidies, overt political power—individuals and small businesses might as well fugetaboutit.

Welfare queens may actually look more like giant corporations.

From The Huffington Post

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Modern “Conservatives” Are Quick to Impede Progress Without Offering a Different Course

The Republican Party I knew growing up was brimming with “progressive” visionaries who valued national investment in science technology and infrastructure—building, innovating, and investing, publicly and privately, in America’s future. Now, modern “conservatives” are quick to put the brakes on progress without offering a different course.

If they wish to revitalize the Republican Party, conservatives must be willing to strike a balance between free-market ideologies and traditional conservative principles. Balancing these interests does not mean confiscating and redistributing wealth or subsidizing people’s lives, but inequalities must be addressed. Your thoughts?

"In the polarized political conflict with liberalism, shrinking government has become the organizing conservative principle. Economic conservatives have the money and the institutions. They have taken control. Traditional conservatism has gone into eclipse. These days, speakers at Republican gatherings almost always use the language of market conservatism — getting government off our backs, enhancing economic freedom. Even Mitt Romney, who subscribes to a faith that knows a lot about social capital, relies exclusively on the language of market conservatism." David Brooks | New York Times

From The New York Times

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96 Percent of Americans Have Relied on Social Welfare Programs

In a 2008 national survey conducted at Cornell, 96 percent of Americans reported needing the assistance of federal social welfare programs at some point in their life. However, many government officials, especially Republican leaders, regularly insist upon deep cuts to services for most citizens while simultaneously defending tax breaks, subsidies, and overt political power for transnational corporations.

In its preamble, the Founders stated explicitly that our Constitution was established to promote the general welfare. Americans recognize the difference between ideological rhetoric and realistic solutions, and what they’re seeking is honest leadership that puts the welfare of citizens and our system of government above all else. Would you agree?

From The New York Times

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Ayn Rand’s Radical Defense of Economic Darwinism

Ayn Rand, the self-proclaimed radical and author of Atlas Shrugged was the ultimate purist, advocating uncontrolled, unregulated capitalism. She perverted Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” into her “virtue of selfishness” and defended an ugly dog-eat-dog economic Darwinism: The masses were servile and insignificant, government was invasive and usually malevolent.

Absolute objectivism, along with the rest of Rand’s arguments, may sway teens—a time when renegade individualism stirs the blood—but time and experience validates the social/political principles envisioned by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Adam Smith.

It was back in April when audio of Paul Ryan praising Ayn Rand first gained traction during a debate over the libertarian icon's influence on the conservative congressman. Paul Ryan dismissed the suggestion that he was fixated on the author an "urban legend." National Review ran an article called "Paul Ryan Isn't a Randian" aimed at "refuting the Left’s favorite charge against Paul Ryan." | Andrew Kaczynski, Buzzfeed

From Buzzfeed Politics

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Banks Should Be Banks, Not Investment Houses or Gambling Casinos

In response to unregulated financial malfeasance and the Crash of ’29, The Banking Reform Act of 1933 imposed rules to ensure banks were banks, not investment houses or gambling casinos. When the legislation was introduced, the American Bankers Association protested, saying the bill was “unsound, unscientific, unjust, and dangerous.”

Our current crisis is due in no small part to the weakening of these provisions in the 1980s and the repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999. When you hear banks and their political cronies screaming about regulations today, just remember, we’ve heard it all before. They were wrong in ’33 and they’re wrong now.

From Bloomberg

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Tax Cuts Do Not Increase Overall Revenues or Spur Domestic Business Investment and Job Growth

Cut taxes on the rich, so the argument goes, and this money will be reinvested at home. For those of you who have read Patriot Acts, we’ve been over this numerous times, but let me restate an empirical fact: Tax cuts for the wealthy do not increase overall revenues or spur domestic business investment and job growth.

A new longitudinal study compiles data from the last 65-years to find why tax cuts in and of themselves have never led to economic growth. In the past, the rich may have reinvested about a third of their tax savings in the US, but now, most of it goes into savings, personal spending, or overseas investments.

A new study by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service has found that over the past 65 years, tax cuts for the rich have not led to economic growth and instead are linked to greater income inequality in the United States. | Bonnie Kavoussi, Huffington Post

From The Huffington Post

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Corporate Lobbying Firm ALEC Now Sponsoring Overtly Political Events with the RSC

The revolving door between Capital Hill, the lobbying sector, and corporate jobs is out of control. Unaccountable corporate lobbyists write laws, draft budgets, and create policies that protect personal and business interests.

As Bill Clinton might say, ‘It takes brass ones’. While claiming tax-exemption as a 501(c)3 charity, the corporate lobbying group ALEC is sponsoring overtly political events with the Republican Study Committee. Where’s the outrage? Where’s the IRS?

"After a long flirtation, the GOP and ALEC are taking steps toward making their relationship official. ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, is a controversial advocacy group that helps corporations and conservative interest groups write bills to be introduced in state legislatures across the country. ALEC “model legislation” includes rollbacks on environmental and labor regulation, voter ID laws and pro-gun laws, such as the “stand your ground” law that became infamous after the death of Trayvon Martin in Florida earlier this year." Alex Seitz-Wald, Salon

From Salon

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