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, May 27, 2011

Economics Explanation

Angry Bear has a post about why wage and income growth are the key to reviving the economy.  It goes a long way toward supporting my Ethical Capitalism stance.

My idea of "Ethical Capitalism" apparently does not mesh with the popular idea out there.  I am focused merely on the Fiscal aspect of paying workers well as compared to the executives.  Ford's 40 to 1 measure could be expanded a bit today. Maybe pay your CEO no more than 50 entry level workers, or at most 100 times more than an entry level worker.

The Profits-over-Everything mentality is destroying the economy.  When more companies realize that profits are not everything and that sustainability will pay off more in the long run, perhaps we can avoid the bubble and burst roller coaster effect.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Couple things to shout about

First, a quote from my corporate hero :
There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible.
Second, an article on Truthout.  Not exactly for it's scathing review of progressives, but for a section on recovering Democracy.
( I clipped and rearranged a couple items in the following clip from the article )
Structural political reforms are needed for that movement to transmit change through government at all levels. <clip> The two-party system is sclerotic. <clip> The reason for this is that the rules of the game that elect our representatives actually hurt [Democracy].  
 A truly democratic electoral (and thus political) system would include:
  • Public financing of campaigns.
  • Free media time for campaigns.
  • Universal/automatic voter registration.
  • Direct election of the president (abolition of the electoral college).
  • Instant runoff voting to allow voters to express their true preferences and prevent spoilers.
  • Proportional representation (allowing more than two parties).
Together these measures would serve to both expand the electorate and broaden representation in our legislatures.
I am not sure (yet) what all Proportional Representation entails, but I'll find out.  Everything else sounds right on spot.

The Road to Damascus

Where was Paul going on the Road to Damascus?

Okay, so it doesn't work as well in text format, but for one Conservative Skeptic, the light of truth has finally been seen.

My Road To Damascus: Coming to Terms with Global Climate Change | Coffee Party

I do not see how anyone can watch the news and not be absolutely positive that SOMETHING is changing. We are not well into "the season" and already record setting Tornadoes, Floods and Hurricanes. Yazoo City, Birmingham, Joplin - and many more cities in states all over the place have become victims of these storms.

The rejection of proven science in favor of a form of ideologically driven magical thinking by the GOP is extremely unfortunate, and unnecessary.
Hopefully some day, facts and reason will have a greater impact than ideology and profits.

The People's Budget

Just throwing this out there to get more people aware of the fact that there is a good alternative to the Ryan "Throw Grandma Under the Bus" plan.


Paul Krugman
“genuinely courageous”
“achieves this without dismantling the legacy of the New Deal”
Dean Baker
"if you want a serious effort to balance the budget, here it is."
Jeffrey Sachs
“A bolt of hope…humane, responsible, and most of all sensible”
The Economist
“Mr Ryan's plan adds (by its own claims) $6 trillion to the national debt over the next decade, but promises to balance the budget by sometime in the 2030s by cutting programmes for the poor and the elderly. The Progressive Caucus's plan would (by its own claims) balance the budget by 2021 by cutting defence spending and raising taxes, mainly on rich people.”

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Keeping the Economy Functional

In the boardrooms of corporate America, profits aren't everything - they are the only thing. A JPMorgan research report concludes that the current corporate profit recovery is more dependent on falling unit-labor costs than during any previous expansion. At some level, corporate executives are aware that they are lowering workers' living standards, but their decisions are neither coordinated nor intentionally harmful. Call it the "paradox of profitability." Executives are acting in their own and their shareholders' best interest: maximizing profit margins in the face of weak demand by extensive layoffs and pay cuts. But what has been good for every company's income statement has been a disaster for working families and their communities.
..and the economy as a whole.  What these companies, CEOs and corporate boards fail to realize is that by focusing on short-term goals, they are shooting themselves in the foot, cutting off their legs at the knees and congratulating themselves on loosing excess weight.

True recovery will only take place when businesses invest in their workers.  Lower executive pay, golden parachutes and stock options in order to raise every employee's base pay.  This puts money into the hands of people who will spend it, putting it back into circulation and revving up the economy.  The current method of making a few people multi millionaires will - as evidenced by our current economy and unemployment - leech money out of the economy and into an elite upper tier where it will stay.

If we want to keep government out of business, keep a small government and few regulations, then it is a priority that businesses act with Full Fiscal Responsibility.  Profits must get out of the driver's seat and let Sustainability drive.  Otherwise, government will have to step in and make them responsible by regulation - pay ratio caps, perhaps, where the Executives can not be paid more than 100 times the entry level employee.

The Free Market requires the Free Movement of Money to function on a sustainable basis.  Its not a question of "wanting" to bring more equity to the income scales - its a matter of keeping a Capitalistic Economy functioning.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Freshman GOP still Hipocritters

The GOP famously ran on "No more Earmarks!" even going so far as to "ban" them.  Except when they do it, of course.
In a Defense Spending Bill, the GOP quietly slipped in a few... okay, a lot, of earmarks for their districts.
The massive, $553 billion bill providing a budget for the Pentagon boasts millions of dollars that President Barack Obama didn't request for weapons programs, installations and other projects in districts from Illinois to Mississippi represented by House GOP freshmen. The additions look suspiciously like the pet projects that Republicans prohibited when they took over the House and that the new class of lawmakers, many with tea party backing, swore off in a promise to change Washington's spending habits.
They covered themselves by saying that the items were not 'earmarks' but merely 'suggestions' and that the Defense Department had the final say based on merit.

And if you believe that, I have this bridge....