Featured Quote

In 1913, Henry Ford wrote the following as the directors had been reaping the rewards of profits - "The wages we pay are too small in comparison with our profits. I think we should raise our minimum pay rate".

Friday, October 8, 2010

More on wealth Inequality


“If you think again in percentage terms, so the top 20 percent, as I said, have 85 percent of the wealth, most Americans want them to have roughly 35 percent of the wealth. You’re talking about 50 percent of all the wealth in the United States, which as you can imagine is a very, very large number. People would like that to be more evenly distributed across people with less income.”
Harvard Business School professor Michael Norton, talking with Steve Inskeep on Morning Edition.


I am sure that some people are going to call Harvard and NPR a "liberal source" and dismiss all the facts, but for those who pay attention and do a little research on their own, I will persist.

Most people want a more equal distribution of wealth, whether they realize it or not.  Not many just want to take the money from the rich and give it to the poor, that is UnAmerican.  People would like for "the market" to be a bit more fair and balanced.  Right now, the TRUTH is that wealth doesn't change hands.  The US dream of rags-to-riches does happen - but not very often and much less often than people think.  The same families keep the same amount of wealth (generally speaking) through generations.  Only these days, those "with" are getting more and those "without" are getting much less.

Basically, "the market" is failing miserably to regulate itself.  Money gushes up, trickles down and stagnates.  When the top 20% control 85% of the wealth, we have only 15% of our national wealth actually working inside our economy.  The rich horde and collect it and they are very good at building wealth.  Unfortunately, that is destroying the economy that allows them to build it in the first place.   Concentrating wealth away from the consumer base is simply bad business.

We have two choices.  First choice is for the wealthy to take action, create jobs, pay their workers really well and get us back on track.  Second choice is to have another Great Depression to correct the wealth and income gaps.   I suppose government could step in and tax and penalize the rich into doing the right thing, but nobody wants that.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

making U.S. jobs - a Google Search


I did this search to get some idea where the ideas for new jobs would come from. I really appreciated some of the links' titles.

I will stand by my assertions that Government can not make jobs. Sure, it can send out money to states, but if they don't want to do anything with it, they won't. Maybe government can increase the size of the military or FBI or federal janitorial staff, but its not going to make any private sector jobs.

The only way we are going to see Private Sector jobs is if Big Business hires more people. Right now, they are laying people off in order to boost their CEO bonuses and stockholder dividends. With all the money going up, the people who might actually buy or use their products and services are quickly running out of money for anything. We saw this happen and bring about the Great Depression. Its happening again, and few people are willing to acknowledge the facts. Fair Wages and Fair Compensation are necessary for a thriving economy. When you get into Wage and Wealth gaps this big, you are headed for a bust.

Obama's Small Business bill is already helping, despite serious delays because of republican politickin'.

I am really scared of what further damage the Republican party will do if they get re-instated to power. I think its ridiculous that its even possible. The Conservative policies spent 8 years running the United States economy into the ground and damaging it's foundations. Now, because the Democrat President has not repaired all their damage in less than two years, people are going to elect the same failed policies back into place?

Wanted to keep this comment I found :
FACT: September 16, 2010 Gallup: Dems lead Generic Ballot, 71% of Americans blame former President George W. Bush for U.S. economic problems. http://www.gallup.com/poll/143024/Bush-Takes-Brunt-Blame-Economy-Obama.aspx

FACT: "Reagan OMB Chief: GOP Responsible for Entire US Economic Mess" http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsme mo.com/2010/08/02/reagan_omb_chie f_gop_responsib le_for_entire_u s_eco/

FACT: McCain's economic adviser reported that TARP and Obama stimulus averted another Great Depression: http://www.princeton.edu/~blinder/End-of-Great-Recession.pdf

This link also speaks a lot to what the Republicans have done to our economy : http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130382016

Woah! Time Off!!

Why Extreme Inequality Matters

The site above, although really poorly put together for effective reading, is shocking in it's facts.

Here is the section that I am just ... ugh... about.

. . . the less leisure time for average Americans.
Americans with full-time jobs now average 3.9 weeks a year in vacation and paid holidays combined, notes a statistical round-up from the Economic Policy Institute.
Workers in Germany, Italy, Austria, Denmark, and the Netherlands average nearly twice as much paid time off a year. In Ireland, the European country with the least vacation and holiday time, full-time workers still have nearly two more paid weeks off from work than American full-time workers.
Time off from work stats offer one of the best yardsticks for measuring power dynamics within a society. In societies where wealth — and power — concentrate at the top, average working people invariably have less political and economic clout, less of an ability to win time off, either via legislation or at the bargaining table.
In the United States, the developed world’s most unequal nation, no laws guarantee full-time workers a minimum number of vacation weeks a year. In Europe, Germany, Italy, the UK, Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and the Netherlands, statutes guarantee full-time workers at least four vacation weeks a year.
France, Denmark, Austria, and Sweden guarantee full-time workers, by law, at least five weeks vacation.
In societies that encourage wealth concentration at the top, notes research published in the Economic Journal, average people work longer hours than their counterparts in more equal nations. Workers in the United States, the developed world’s most unequal nation, worked 450 more hours on average in 2000 than workers in the substantially more equal nations of Sweden, Germany, and Netherlands. Samuel Bowles and Yongjin Park, authors of this new research, trace rat-race pressures to the “desire to emulate” the consumption standards set by the awesomely affluent.
Two-parent Ohio families, adds a 2007 study from Policy Matters Ohio, are working 17 percent more hours — over 12 extra weeks a work a year — than they did back in 1979. But they don’t have much to show for that labor. Incomes for average Ohio families — the middle 20 percent of the state’s households — have dipped, after inflation, from $37,489 to $37,400 since 1988.
Over those same years, the average incomes of Ohio’s wealthiest 1 percent have soared over 40 percent, to $986,000.
This was also interesting :
Might workers have a reason to feel disengaged? Research from DolmatConnell & Partners, a management pay consultancy, reports that profits for corporations in the Dow Jones industrial average jumped 284 percent from 1997 through 2006, with CEO pay at those companies up 308 percent. The “general workforce,” notes DolmatConnell, “is not sharing in company financial gains,” creating a distinct “dichotomy of increasing pay at the top vs. stagnant pay below.” 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What is wrong with the United States

First, I would suggest that one problem is that our Citizens and Public Servants are unaware that there are 35 Nations in America - 22 in North America and 13 in South America.  The United States of America is only one of those countries.  So, the Republican "Pledge to America" is a pledge to 35 Nations, when they should really be pledging to The U.S. Citizens.

Another issue, is that our Public Servant positions have been taken over by Politicians.  It was never intended to make a profession out of representing your fellow citizens.  Still, Lawyers have become our defacto representatives.  They make careers out of making our laws so complicated and twisted that few lay-persons have a chance of decoding them.  Citizens should represent their constituents for a brief term and then go back to their life and productive jobs.

Right-wing Republican media presents another problem.  The likes of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh who present their twisted opinions as news and facts are brainwashing our citizens.  These people have to know that they are outright lying in many cases, presenting it as fact based news.  Fox News legally defended itself when caught in some lies by stating that it is not, in fact, a news organization - claiming to be an Entertainment Channel.  They tell lies and spread misinformation about progressive legislation, hoping to derail their opponents politically.  They will then turn around and support the exact same legislation, renamed and pushed by their party. The damage that these unscrupulous predators are doing to the fabric of our country is immeasurable.

Revisionist History! Man, people re-working the founding of our Nation to work with their philosophy really tick me off.  The United States of America was founded on Individual Liberty, Freedom of Religion and the idea that All Men are Created Equal.  Nowhere does our Constitution or Declaration of Independence or Bill of Rights state that this was in any way ever conceived as a "Christian Nation."  In fact, most of our founding documents directly oppose any religion in government.  Many things have been written on the topic, so I won't re-hash it here.  I will say that Thomas Jefferson, a founder himself, argues that Christianity is no part of our foundation.  Even many in the church itself sees the attempt to hijack the government as a destructive thing!

  Oh, lets talk about Corporations now.  There is deceptive marketing, careless manufacturing processes, dangerous products and other such things.  However, since we are coming out of a Recession caused by Bush's Corporate Predator society, lets focus on economics.  My problem right now is the increasing gap between Average Worker pay and CEO salary.  From the clever 'increasing gap' link, inflation adjusted CEO pay more than quadrupled since the 1980's while average worker pay has dropped to less than take home pay of the 1970's.  This is making sure that all the wealth Gushes up, but only trickles down.  Many make their money by cutting jobs - exactly what we don't need in this economy!
  Honestly, if I were a shareholder, I could be capping CEO pay at 20 times what an average worker makes.  Maybe 50 times, if its a really big company.  I surely wouldn't allow the 230+ times that some CEOs are getting now.  Why? Can you imagine how much that cuts into shareholder dividends?  I think capping CEO and other executive salary at 20 times what an average employee makes and giving the executive positions a position-owned amount of stock would be okay.  They make the stock dividends go up, they get more money.  I think profit-sharing with the entire company is a better idea, but not exclusive.  What would be wrong with reserving 10% of stocks for "worker" ownership - so that when dividends go out, every non-executive worker gets a bonus from that?
  I do not see how anyone in the world can 'earn' $190 million a year.  Nobody can possibly do anything to earn in an hour what their average workers make in a whole year.  Some will argue that CEO's deserve such pay.  But the idea that CEO's create jobs is ridiculous - most are shedding jobs now.  Their high salaries are taking up funds to pay people to fill job positions, not making jobs.  They are surely not contributing to a more secure economy by keeping worker wages lower than 1970's ranges.  The workers are the majority and the health-watch of the economy.  Workers are bleeding salary and compensation while the virus that is eating at our economic stability is creating a sky-high compensation for itself.

Okay, enough for this post.  Going to add some more book links at the bottom here and more links...
How Many workers can you hire for one CEO?
Wealth Distribution : Who Rules America?
Who pays the Taxes
Extreme Inequality


Mississippi is First... to cut Education

Nation Cuts Education Budgets, Mississippi Continues to Lead Towards Bottom - Associated Content - associatedcontent.com

"Mississippi also made headlines this week with its controversial decision to cut education funding, despite being ranked last by the U.S. Census in high school graduates."

This is why we can not stand another round of Republican "leadership". They are leading Mississippi straight to the bottom of everything! Bottom on Education, Bottom on Wages, Bottom on Health Care.

More Links to explore :
What is interesting from that link is that we spend more on education (33rd out of 51) but get less results (50th out of 51) and we have more colleges (31st out of 51) and have less college graduates (Bachelor's degrees - 49th out of 51).

A Site to Support :
Note : "U.S. Senate Passes FMAP/Ed Funding Bill
Cochran and Wicker Vote No
posted 8/5/10
The U.S. Senate passed the FMAP Extension/Education Jobs bill that should generate significant funding for Mississippi's K-12 system. The bill passed on a 61-39 vote with both of Mississippi's senators voting against the measure. The bill will now go back to the House of Representatives for concurrence. The House is currently on its August break, but the House leadership has announced that members will return next week to take up this bill.
See vote. Click here to read the text of the Education Jobs Funding section of Amendment 4575 to H.R. 1586.
"U.S. House Passes FMAP/Ed Funding Bill
posted 8/10/10 2:45 p.m.
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the FMAP/Education Jobs Funding bill on a 247 to 161 vote. The bill will now go to President Obama for his signature. Mississippi Congressmen Thompson (D) and Childers (D) voted in favor of the measure. We are grateful to these congressmen for their support of this bill. Congressmen Harper (R) and Taylor (D) voted against the measure. Work is currently underway to determine the exact amount of funding for which Mississippi is eligible. We will post updates as additional information becomes available.

Two Win Nobel for Work on Ultra-Thin Material - NYTimes.com

Two Win Nobel for Work on Ultra-Thin Material - NYTimes.com

This is exciting! I am thinking Ultra-Thin armor. Space suits, Space shuttle skin, Mars base protective covering!

What is a Government Takeover of Health Care?

Just wanted to point out that "Government Takeover" is a misleading and offensive label for what is actually a much needed Reform of Health Insurance.  The Republicans, in their "Pledge to America" propose to create a real Federal Government Takeover of Health Insurance.  They want to take away the State's Rights to control Health Insurance in their state by allowing citizens to purchase health insurance across state lines.  Another glaring hypocrisy for the "State's Rights" advocates now proposing to ignore States Rights.  You see, health insurance rates differ from state to state - even with the same insurance carrier - because of State Laws regarding Health Insurance.  Currently, Insurance Laws differ greatly from state to state.  What the Republicans propose is to ignore state laws and buy insurance from whatever state you want to.  Which would completely nullify your state's laws concerning Health Insurance, effectively creating a Federal Government Takeover of Health Insurance.

Think about it.

Tea and Hypocrisy

Congress.org - News : Tea parties may tackle abortion

The above article exposes one of the reasons that I greatly dislike the Tea Party and other hypocritical "movements" in politics today.

I like some of the fiscal thinking of the tea party, but then they have to throw in their religious nuttery an it gets ugly, hateful and contradictory.

If you want limited government, individual liberty and "the government to stay out of my health care!" - then you don't want a law against abortion. Yet, that contradiction is exactly what a lot of Tea Party members hold to. I phrase their stance on it as, "Limited government that does not make any laws about what I can do and when - but we got to stop all those people who do things I don't agree with."

These are the same people who hold up the "No Government Takeover* of Health Care" signs - wanting government to take over health care when they don't agree with the procedure. I don't mind anyone having a difference of opinion on policy, but if you take a stance, don't keep adding exceptions to it. If you want small government, don't keep proposing more and more legislation to interfere with the lives and choices of U.S. Citizens.