Corporations Disprove Trickle-Down.


OMAHA, NE – American corporations continue to lie about raising the wages of their employees, claiming it will raise prices and cause all kinds of problems for themselves and the economy.  These same corporations spend millions of dollars to tell you that they do not have the money to give badly needed raises. They spend millions of dollars on political campaigns to make sure elected politicians block legislation meant to raise the minimum wage. Yet, one such company, McDonald’s is buying back $20 million in stocks to further enrich their already rich stockholders.  That’s enough money to give every wage employee a $5 dollar an hour raise. See also – http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-28/mcdonald-s-plans-up-to-20-billion-in-buybacks-dividends.html

McDonald's Won't Share With Low Wage Americans

Greed over Logic and Fairness

McDonald’s isn’t the only corporation spending massive amounts of money on stock buybacks. WalMart is guilty, too.  In 2013, WalMart announced a plan to buy back over $15 billion worth of its stocks. Mother Jones reports,”If  WalMart instead spent that money on wages, it could give each of its 1.3 million low-paid US employees a $5.83 per hour raise—enough to make sure that all of its 1.3 million workers be paid a wage of at least $25,000 a year for full-time work.” See also – http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/11/how-walmart-could-pay-decent-wage-without-raising-prices and http://qz.com/92216/wal-mart-stock-buyback-annual-meeting

There are so many American companies engaged in buy backs, what I the Great American Cash Hoard. According to data compiled by Bloomberg on about 2,300 non financial companies in the Russell 3000 stock index, U.S. corporations are starting to put some of their $2 trillion in cash and marketable securities to work.  According to data from TrimTabs Investment Research Inc,  announced corporate buying — a combination of new cash takeovers and new stock buybacks — rose to a five-month high of $80.5 billion in April. That month’s figure included a $30 billion repurchase-plan boost from Apple. See also – http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-28/mcdonald-s-plans-up-to-20-billion-in-buybacks-dividends.html

With these actions, corporate America disproves the Republican theory of trickle down. It is time to pass laws that make sure middle class and poor Americans get a fair share of the wealth they have help create. Laws from minimum wage increase or better yet a living wage. Laws to make sure that some of that money used to buy back stocks goes to the corporations wage labor employees.  And perhaps it is time we talk about LABORISM.  Laborism is a free market that puts labor before capital, the way it should be.

 

 

Corporate Money Bolsters ALEC To Steal Citizens’ Voice.


OMAHA, NE – Conservative groups like ALEC steal the vote from citizens by manufacturing legislation in a one-size fits all type of fashion to forward the agenda of our nations richest corporate entities. Lobbyists for the corporations create bills that are distributed across the Red States where they are predicted to have the best success. ALEC is where and how these bills get passed around and distributed.  Corporations are spending millions of dollars keeping ALEC funded while it strips the citizens’ power away with legislation manufactured solely for a rich corporate agenda.  Through ALEC, the world’s largest corporations work to increase their profits at the cost of your well-being, your job, your freedoms.

“Over the past several decades, one of the country’s most influential political organizations — the 40-year-old American Legislative Exchange Council — was able to operate largely under the radar. Never heard of it? That’s by design. Founded in 1973 by conservative political operatives, ALEC has been successful in shaping public policy to benefit its corporate patrons in part because few people — including reporters — knew anything about the organization, much less how it went about getting virtually identical laws passed in a multitude of states.”  BillMoyers.com 12/11/2013

It is unfortunate how ALEC is getting little attention from US based news organizations, but lucky for us the UK based Guardian has ALEC covered. The Guardian uncovered documents revealing extensive conservative agendas for numerous US states to be done by state level organizations, all spearheaded by ALEC. A broad spectrum of issues is covered, from tax policy to education to pensions to climate change.  The legislation benefits rich corporations at the expense of the poor and the middle class, like decreasing benefits for the poor while giving tax incentives to decently profiting corporations. The ALEC agenda is well funded by some of America’s largest corporations. “98% of ALEC’s cash is from corporations, trade associations and corporate foundations. Less than 10% of ALEC’s funding comes from member legislators.”    ( PR Watch 07/13/2011) Also, ALEC is not just a Koch group, many other rich individuals and their wealth contribute to ALEC greatly.

A website, AlecExposed.org, is dedicated to exposing all the plans ALEC doesn’t want you to know. ALEC, always swimming in corporate dough, holds conventions every year that cost $2 million dollars each. ALEC is erroding workers’ rights with these type of bills, including negatively impacting pension rights and repealing minimum wage laws. Dozens of America’s richest and well known corporations are members of the organization, including American Express, Microsoft, Honeywell, and Pfizer. (SourceWatch.org 09/2013)  Several Corporations in recent years have claimed to cut ties with with ALEC (SourceWatch.org). They include Wal-Mart, Kraft and McDonald’s.

Corporations use ALEC to lobby against minimum wage increases and other programs that would benefit the middle class and the poor. Over the course of three years, 2007-2009, ALEC raised over $21 million dollars. $6.1 million alone in 2009. (PR Watch 07/13/2011) It is interesting how all those corporations can afford all that money for ALEC and other political lobbying when they claim they can’t even afford to pay their own employees a fair wage?  That’s one of the big lies of the new century, never forget it!

ALEC Has Plans at The State Level http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/05/state-conservative-groups-assault-education-health-tax

Shining a Light on ALEC http://billmoyers.com/2013/12/11/shining-a-light-on-alecs-power-to-shape-policy

Budget Proposals State By State https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/842271-spn-budget-proposals-state-by-state.html

ALEC Exposed http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed

ALEC attacking working people  http://alecexposed.org/w/images/8/89/ALEC_on_Workers%27_Rights.pdf

ALEC’s Funding and Spending http://www.prwatch.org/news/2011/07/10887/cmd-special-report-alecs-funding-and-spending

Corporations That Have Cut Ties To ALEC http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Corporations_Which_Have_Cut_Ties_to_ALEC

ALEC Corporations http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/ALEC_Corporations

ALEC Documents http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2009/520/140/2009-520140979-064206f4-9.pdf

Corporations Cheat Employees Out of Fair Pay


OMAHA, NE – Our nation’s largest corporations are cheating employees out of fair pay and they lie about being unable to afford to do it.  Let us not forget that these corporations pay their CEOs millions in yearly salaries and benefits. Let us not forget these large corporations also give away millions in political donations to politicians, political organizations and lobbyists who stand against increasing the minimum wage  as well as corporate taxes at the national, state and local levels.

WalMart, a corporation consistently on every Progressive’s hit list, is able to pay every single employee at least $25,000 a year on a full-time basis. A yearly income of $25,000 is just $12 an hour. Its a shame, the system is built to help the rich get richer, at great cost to the rest of society. Instead of paying its employees a fair wage, WalMart spends about $7.6 billion to buy back shares of its own stock to make a small group of rich investors even richer. WalMart also spends much time, money and effort into fighting efforts to set up living wages in cities across the US.

WalMart was also cutting hours on employees before the holidays shortening the amount they will pay workers who will work on Thanksgiving Day. According to ThinkProgress 11/22/2013, “[Walmart] calculates holiday pay differently from other retailers and manipulates staff schedules so they’re paid less on Thanksgiving than the retailer implies.” WalMart will cut employees hours during the preceding weeks before the holiday to ensure they are paid less during the holiday under the formula used by WalMart. According to CNNMoney 11/22/2013, “[WalMart] said the additional pay is actually equal to the average daily wage in the 12 weeks leading up to the holiday.” Those are the hours that WalMart will cut to save money while they make employees work during the holidays.

Corporations will continue to cheat their employees in this fashion unless we do something about it.  Raising the minimum wage would help make the holidays less of a time of need for our nation’s poorest. WalMart and other corporations who could afford to pay more, have kept wages so low that employees get desperate for  extra hours during the holiday season, while their investors make millions just sitting on their behinds.  The CEO of WalMart gets paid around $23,000,000 a year. That’s 1000 jobs at $23,000 a year lost to one CEO’s outrageous salary.  This is not the Land of Opportunity.

References:

A Higher Wage is Possible at WalMart http://www.demos.org/publication/higher-wage-possible

WalMart Can Pay $25,000 http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/11/19/2970281/walmart-raise-buybacks

How WalMart Shortchanges Thanksgiving workers. http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/11/22/2983301/walmart-thanksgiving-pay

WalMart Shorts Employees on Holiday Pay http://money.cnn.com/2013/11/22/pf/walmart-thanksgiving-worker

McDonald’s Crass Act: The Budget Plan For Employees.


OMAHA, NE – A few weeks ago McDonald’s released a budget plan for its employees, a budget that included a SECOND job, but NO money for heat, clothes, child care or gas, and an unrealistically low amount for health care insurance. Who do these people at McDonald’s think they are?  Not only are they admitting their wages are too low to live on, they are telling their employees to just deal, without some necessities of life.  That is unacceptable. In a country that still wants to sell itself as a land of opportunity, McDonald’s crass budget for employees is absolutely unacceptable.

McDonald’s partnered with VISA to create a website for employees to help them with their budget, based on an average $8.25 an hour wage.  The corporation can tell its employee how to operate their personal budget, when will the corporation learn how to budget for more pay for its employees?  Did McDonald’s unwittingly give more credence to the idea of raising the minimum wage? I sure think they did.  How the hell has only $20 monthly health insurance premiums?  Not the few on McDonald’s health plan!

McDonald’s crass act with the employee budget, may have been an honest attempt to help, but it also shows just how clueless the top salary making people in corporate America are when it comes to the problems faced by those struggling on minimum wage incomes.  It is just McDonald’s, there are many large corporations not paying people enough to live on.  The fact is, the same people who oppose raising the minimum wage by any amount already are among America’s wealthiest. Also, wealthy incomes have risen the most of the past decade, while middle and poor incomes stated flat or even dropped in the same period.  The wealthiest one percent saw their incomes grow by 11.2% since 2009.  When it comes to raising the minimum wage, just know corporations like McDonald’s are Corporations Behaving Badly.

Corporate Executives Behaving Badly.


OMAHA, NE – Some of the most anti-middle class aspects of capitalism are the people in charge of our largest corporations.  The same people who only care about themselves, their salary and the dividends for the stock holders.  When will we start developing a corporate culture that cares about the people doing the labor?   The same people who do the work are also the same people doing the great majority of consuming. We have a minimum wage because we know companies would pay our American workers even less if given the chance.  Perhaps it is time to pass a maximum wage law for those who gives themselves and others ridiculous salaries and pay raises at the detriment of their own workers, their own company and our nation’s economy.

Let’s take for example, Hostess Brands  a large corporation now closing its doors. Company executives blame the Union, even though the Union took a pay cut. But, the companies executives took anywhere from 80% to 300% raises in their salaries.  Who bankrupted the Hostess maker, again? It sure wasn’t the Union.  They were willing to take pay cuts and in fact had already received pay cuts, while the executives were not willing to sacrifice in the same manner to save their company nor their workers.

In recent years, during tougher economic times, there has been a chilling trend of CEO’s receiving ridiculously high rates of pay while their employees receive pay cuts, or loose their jobs when the company crashes. At Caterpillar, they froze workers’ pay and boosted the CEO’s pay to a ridiculous $17 million. Perhaps it is time to create a maximum wage law and actually give all that wealth a real chance at “trickling down”.

As the President and Congress fight over the Fiscal Cliff, various CEO’s of our nation’s largest corporations are pushing their agenda on a budget deficit their corporate welfare culture helped create in the first place. These rich corporations collectively bargained to have their tax rate reduced to “ZERO” and now they want to dictate how a budget deficit they helped create will be solved at taxpayers expense. They want the government to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid while they continue take corporate welfare funds from the government.

Perhaps it is time to pass laws or incentives at the Federal level to steer companies into becoming more like Costco and other companies with strong, pro-employee models that still ensure a sounds profitable base.

Rich, Corporate Buyout of American Politics, Fails.


OMAHA, NE – The rich billionaires and their billion dollar corporations spent the billions in politics that they claimed they couldn’t afford to pay in taxes just so they could lose the argument, BIG TIME!!! It would’ve been cheaper for them to have paid their damn fair share of taxes, and not be polluting our political system with their damn dirty dollars!  $6 billion dirty dollars to be exact, from a just a few wealthy contributors. The 2012 elections became a resounding rejection of Mitt Romney and conservative candidates down the ticket nationwide.  I couldn’t be happier. Same with millions of progressives across the country. We dodged a bullet, America!!!

Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire casino mogul spent over $53 million dirty dollars, including $15 million he wasted on Newt Gingrich in the GOP primary, and $20 million he wasted on groups that supported Romney. He also donated a total of $3.5 million to Senate candidates in  Virginia and Florida.  Luckily, all the candidates he supported lost their races.

Organizations funded by the Koch brothers spent over $95 million to help bolster Republican candidates who ended up losing their races, Freedomworks, also funded by the Koch brothers, spent $19 million primarily on Congressional races.  Americans For Prosperity, also largely funded by the Koch brothers, spent $75 million.

Here are some charts showing some Presidential spending from April 2012 – November 2012.

While it is great for Americans that this huge buyout failed in 2012, we must never forget that the fact that the rich could buyout any election from will loom over every election until we fix it.  Let’s get it fixed!!!       Try these sites, MovetoAmendMoveon.orgCommonCause.org

The Bain of American Retail: Wal-Mart, Part One


OMAHA, NE – Wal-Mart, the largest retailer in the world has been and always will be causing problems in the American economy. In retail, it is the equivalent of Bain Capital, killing jobs and paychecks where ever it goes. Is a corporation like Wal-Mart what we want in our capitalist economy? From unfair wages for women and all-around low wages for all employees, Wal-Mart drains our dollars with cheap products and not giving back to its employees.  This page has a great directory loaded with sites against Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart’s low prices come at a great cost for many reasons, this has been known for years.  Wal-Mart exerts a tremendous amount of pressure on businesses it does business with.  Many times this results in those businesses moving their production overseas just to keep their costs low.  A big corporation that wants government out of its business, tells other businesses what to do. Like the hypocrisy there?

And if corporations are people, when are we putting Wal-Mart in jail for all its crimes? When will the communities with Wal-Marts get the millions and billions back that this retail giant siphons from their local economy? According to BusinessNewsDaily.com,  Walmart will cost a community an additional $14 million in lost wages over the next 20 years.  No matter how cheap of a product a business can provide, what is the point if it sucks away the money a communit needs to have a thriving economy?

** I know this article is a bit short, but this a just one of many in a planned Wal-Mart series.

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