Idiot America, particularly anyone from the rabid, toxic Tea party ranks, has led the charge for the end of unions as an obstacle to "free trade." The irony is is that "Free Trade" has not led to the bonanza of riches promised us, unless you belong to the one percent that is. NAFTA has led to the loss of an estimated two million jobs and a huge trade deficit where one did not exist before. A new trade agreement with South Korea is expected to cost another 150,000, and that number is almost certainly, painfully low. This so called "free trade" is doing exactly what Ross Perot and even myself predicted would happen: a critical loss of jobs and a decrease in wages. We were right on both counts. Now that is not to say these free trade agreements are a complete bust. Au contraire, if your net worth is bigger than can be shown on a standard calculator, then those guys made a fortune.
This is the way of the world for as long as I have been around, meaning the deck was stacked against me from birth to actually making a living wage for any substantial period of time. As a matter of fact, several studies have come out showing how little the middle class has gained. If company productivity kept up with wages, the minimum wage would be around $22 an hour. It's still at around $7.00 for most people.
Right now 400 families control 90% of the countries wealth. Since 1966, the bottom 90% have seen their wages increase a pitiful $59. That's it. And it's not like we still have 1966 prices. The top 10% netted a huge $116,047 raise. Not bad. But then there is the one percenters who gained a whopping $18,362,740 raise. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? So the rich have taken everything, left us table scraps and convinced the dopier among us that this is acceptable. Companies are flush with money and CEO's are pulling in record profits while they tell us to make do with less. This has to stop and soon or this country will be a smoldering hole where a thriving democracy once was.
You would have thought that during the last few years of the Neverending Depression we have been in, the rich would have lost ground but no, they are still pulling in record profits. See this from Emmanuel Saez:
From 2009 to 2011, average real income per family grew modestly by 1.7% (Table
1) but the gains were very uneven. Top 1% incomes grew by 11.2% while bottom 99%
incomes shrunk by 0.4%. Hence,
the top 1% captured 121% of the income gains in the first two years of the
recovery. From 2009 to 2010, top 1% grew fast and then stagnated from
2010 to 2011. Bottom 99% stagnated both from 2009 to 2010 and from 2010 to 2011.
In other words, the rich grabbed all the gains in their greedy little hands and told the rest of us to eat cake. Where is the anger? Where is the outrage? Have we become such a stupid people that we can't even tell when the deck is being stacked against us? The reason we are still in this Neverending Depression is the rich are stealing it from us. They are continuing what should have been a solved solution. The Paul Ryan budget plan does just that which every idiot Republican is trying to champion, even though the blue collar workers supporting don't realize it, but it helps sign their death warrant. It would be like the Jews voting to put themselves into the ovens, circa 1940.
Six Walmart family members have a net worth equal to that of 41% of this country. Does that sound fair and equitable to you? Or does it sound like theft? Of you said the latter you win a gold star.
And it's not just CEO's ripping us off. The government isn't immune from this as well, especially if you live in California. Hot on the heels of Bell, CA scandal where the police chief and City Board conspired to give themselves huge raises, comes this nugget from Alameda County. Seems that Susan Muranashi, the County Administrator makes an unheard of sum of almost half a million dollars which she will see for the rest of her life. Yes, you read that right, as Susan's pension plan is going to cost area taxpayers half a million dollars until the day she dies. Must be nice to pay your workers nothing while you get to live in the lap of luxury, Susan. It is exactly these kinds of perks that make people nuts about unions and rightfully so. No one should retire and make more money than they did while working. It should be like SS or disability where you get about a third of your working pay. Otherwise, again, your stealing from us.
Here's something even more outrageous: there are 80 CEO's who have banded together to demand more austerity measures for the government while also lowering their taxes. This is exactly why the Paul Ryan budget plan looked like it did for exactly this reason. The GOP is the Big Business party first and foremost and have evolved into an entity that is both overly religious, against anyone not rich and white, and is slowly dying out. Not fast enough I tell you.
"Fix the Debt" is a new lobbying organization which is directly responsible for the Paul Ryan plan. What they want is lowered corporate tax rates (as if zero isn't enough), the Chained CPI index for calculating inflation, a permanent exemption for oversea profits, all offset by austerity programs for the poor. Like that has worked well in Europe. It is such a photo copy of the Ryan plan, one cannot overemphasize that importance of who really controls the GOP.
Here's a list of ten of the douchebags in this group, none of which will be that surprising.
1.Jeffrey Immelt, General Electric- GE has a tax rate of 2.3% after deductions even though they make about 8 billion a year. They have led the charge in hiding profits in offshore banks, a practice Congress sees no problem with and constantly renews the provision that allows it, six times over the last decade.
2. Jim McNerney, Boeing -Boeing was one 25 firms that paid their CEO more than their paid in taxes last year. Boeing has only paid taxes twice in the last ten years despite making an average of five billion a year. Research subsidies help lower the costs but represent R&D the company would have done anyway.
3. Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs -Tell me you're surprised by this guy being on the list. He gives Jewish bankers a bad name everywhere. Goldman Sachs is one of the most evil entities on the planet, with their bad decision making being one of the prime factors that led up to the 2008 stock market crash. He has constantly fought against the Wall Street tax, which I showed that even a less than one percent tax would have raised several trillion dollars in needed revenue. This guy is a dick.
4. Brian T. Moynihan, Bank of America-Speaking of dicks, this ass almost single handedly drove this business into the ground when he called for higher costs on bank accounts and debit cards. After more than a million people left, including everyone in my family, they wisely called it off. But the damage was already done, much like Cyprus, and they still are having problems. Their stock dropped by 58% and 30,000 employees lost their jobs. Douchebag however, saw his pay raised to $8 million. Nothing like running your company into the ground and getting paid for it.
5. David Cote, Honeywell Corporation -Another company that not only doesn't pay any taxes, despite a five billion dollar profit, but got back $377 million in tax breaks. Unbelievable. This douche has been a huge supporter of the Ryan Budget plan and has been lobbying for measures that would benefit him and his company while costing taxpayers over a trillion and a half dollars over the next ten years.
6. Randall Stephenson, AT&T -This is company that once black mailed me for a hundred dollars to set up a phone line because they said I had no credit, even though I owned several credit cards in good standing, had an excellent credit rating and even had statements saying such from various companies. But they wouldn't budge and I had to fork over the money. Since then, I have wanted nothing to do with them and, it looks like with good reason. They were also another company that paid nothing in taxes and got $420 million back.
7. Arne Sorenson, Marriott International- Not a surprise that Mitt Romney is sitting back on the board now that his presidential campaign is finally over. Marriott was investigated in 2009 for using shell companies to hide profits, something Romney approved of when he was on the board in 1994. Mitt is actually named after the original owner of Marriott, J. Willard Marriott.
8. Alexander Cutler, Eaton Corporation- After getting $90 million in taxpayer subsidies to move their headquarters to Cleveland, they stabbed them in the back and moved to Ireland instead. They say they will save $160 million by doing so.
9. Lowell McAdam, Verizon- This company made over $30 billion in profits and got back from the government $951 million. I want their tax accountant. Every Verizon customer paid more in taxes than the corporation did. Why is this acceptable?
10. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft- They have investigated by the Justice Department for years for tax avoidance that has reached epic proportions. Most of their profits appear to be being held on offshore accounts, and therefore, not being used to pay their fair share here.
So these people want to gut social programs to fund their own greed. And the Tea Party and the GOP is clamoring for it. Unless we stop this relentless slide of greed, this country is doomed. Read the above and tell me differently.