Thursday, March 28, 2013

CEO Pay Growing At 3 Times The Rate Of Everyone Else's: Study

From the SideBoob Gazette
If you feel like your pay isn't going up, then you’re probably not a CEO. CEO pay rose 8 percent on average last year, according to an analysis from USA Today. The increase pushes the median pay to $9.7 million, and marks the biggest CEO pay boost in two years. But while corporate chiefs are raking it in, paychecks for us normals aren't going up all that much. The median pay raise for workers was between 2.7 and 2.8 percent last year, according to NBC News.So while workers are increasing their pay somewhat, CEOs are enjoying jumps that are three times that amount. Compensation expert Ravin Jesuthasan told NBC that workers should get used to the disparity -- experts expect the average raise to jump to 3 percent in 2013, but that’s becoming the "new normal," he said. Because unemployment is still high, corporations can retain workers without huge pay boosts. Major companies squeezed more money out of workers last year as corporate profits soared to a record high. Ironically, it’s the companies’ record amounts of cash that prompt them to reward CEOs with such high salaries, according to USA Today. At the same time, The New York Times reported earlier this year that wages, which have remained largely stagnant, are now a record-low share of the U.S. economy. The result: the U.S. median income fell to $50,054 in 2011, the most recent year with full-year data available.

Such Bullshit. When will these assholes realize that demand drives the economy? Please, anyone... Bueller?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I Really Like This Woman

Elizabeth Warren Asks: Why Isn't The Minimum Wage $22/Hour?

 What would the US Senate be without Elizabeth Warren? She's a national treasure. Transcript of the meeting here.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Costco is proving Republicans and the Wal-Mart wrong by paying workers a living wage while also earning record profits.

Finally, some good news from the private sector dispelling the middle class killing myth that higher wages kill growth.

From PoliticusUSA:  While Wal-Mart experienced February sales that were considered, “total disaster,” Costco’s earnings for the second quarter of the year climbed 39%. The New York Times reported, “Costco Wholesale’s net income for its second quarter climbed 39 percent as it pulled in more money from membership fees, sales improved and it recorded a large tax benefit.”
Costco CEO Craig Jelinek openly supports raising the minimum wage to $11.50 an hour, “At Costco, we know that paying employees good wages makes good sense for business. We pay a starting hourly wage of $11.50 in all states where we do business, and we are still able to keep our overhead costs low. An important reason for the success of Costco’s business model is the attraction and retention of great employees. Instead of minimizing wages, we know it’s a lot more profitable in the long term to minimize employee turnover and maximize employee productivity, commitment and loyalty. We support efforts to increase the federal minimum wage.”

I agree wholeheartedly. supply-siders and trickle-down tools have been proven wrong time and time again that higher wages stunt economic growth. Simply not true. Even the known fascist Henry Ford wanted his employees to make enough money to afford the cars that they built.

From "Daily Finance" (not exactly a liberal magazine) : In 1914, a business executive named Henry Ford did a startling thing: He announced that he was going to more than double the wages he was paying his employees, from $2.34 to $5 a day -- the equivalent of $120 a day in today's money.


More: The story you hear frequently about why Henry Ford made this decision was that he wanted to allow his workers to be able to afford to buy his cars. The wage increase certainly made the cars (and many other products) more affordable for Ford employees, but the historical consensus is that Ford actually made this decision for a different reason: To reduce employee turnover--and, in so doing, reduce recruiting and replacement cost. Regardless, it worked.

I highly recommend reading the whole article - very informative.

I hope Wal-Mart Management is reading the same articles but I doubt it. 

From PBS: Wal-Mart is the largest employer in the United States after the Federal government with over 925,000 employees. Each year, the company hires 550,000 more employees - three times the number of people the U.S. military recruits every year - replacing those lost to rapid turnover and replenishing its workforce.

Imagine if all those people made a living wage. It's easy if you try.

A worker at Costco makes $19.50 after four and a half years, according to Slate Magazine. It’s about $7 an hour more than employees with the same seniority at Costco’s competitor, Sam’s Club.
Some Wall Street analysts haven’t been happy about that or about the company’s generous health plan. No doubt, Costco could be making a higher profit. And yet, the company does just fine. The value of Costco stock has more than doubled since 2009, and the company’s founder, James Sinegal, said those wages buy the company a low rate of employee turnover and theft.
Costco’s generosity saw renewed publicity recently when Wal-Mart became mired in strikes over low pay and bad labor relations. Although Wal-Mart is admittedly a much bigger company, the Costco model proves you don’t have to squeeze employees to be successful.
'Nuff said. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Have You Heard of the Trans-Pacific Partnership? It's Like NAFTA Only Worse

I am so sick and tired of supposedly worker-centric, Union funded, faux-liberal politicians advocating for shit like this. Lee Camp has a great take on the TTP here:

 How do they get Dems to sign crap like NAFTA and TTP? Money, threats, media pressure, and misguided - dishonest corporate driven narrative. Lying bastards.

Friday Night Music

... with Tom Waits from Nighthawks At The Diner - Sausage and Eggs

I just took a chef's job. Whaddya want?

"My veal cutlet was so tough it got up, walked across the table and beat the shit out of my cuppa coffee. coffee wasn't strong enough to defend itself."

Friday, March 8, 2013

The 50 Foot Woman Stands Tall

What fitting irony that on National Womens' Day Daryl Hannah releases a bombshell of a movie/documentary.

From their Blog:  This very American film, “Greedy Lying Bastards”, documents the power of big U.S. energy giants fighting global warming theorists through a heavily funded web of AstroTurf grass root “community organizations” such as Citizens United, Heartland America and Americans for Prosperity. They are AstroTurf because there is no real grass involved and are heavily funded by the energy giant Koch brothers and Exxon Corporation. The strategy of big energy is global warming denial through hired guns without much scientific backing. Interesting, if not compelling, analogies are made to the denialists and big tobacco who denied for years that cigarettes were harmful to health. In retrospect and with the scientific evidence available at the time of big tobacco’s denials big tobacco looks very much like greedy lying bastards. This film attempts to put big energy on the same level as big tobacco both of which deny irrefutable truths.

Couldn't have said it better myself. 

Check out the trailer here: 

This looks to be very well done ala Michael Moore. Only she's taller.

Movie listings and theaters are on the website - Greedy Lying Bastards

That they are.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

How About A Little Nation-Building Right Here?

U.S. Wasted Billions Rebuilding Iraq

As the 10th anniversary of President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq approaches, the body charged with overseeing Iraq’s reconstruction has issued its final report, capping a tale of spending far too much money for very little results.
Appointed in Oct. 2004, over a year into War in Iraq, the Special Inspector-General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) was charged with being a watchdog over the use of funds provided for rebuilding the Iraqi state after the downfall of Saddam Hussein. Those reconstruction and stabilization efforts wound up costing nearly $60 billion — or about $15 million per day — with up to $10 billion of that amount wasted, according to SIGIR Stuart Bowen.
Geeze, I know a good country where all that money should go. 

...Bowen gives seven ways to better perform rebuilding operations in the future:
1. Create an integrated civilian-military office to plan, execute, and be accountable for contingency rebuilding activities during stabilization and reconstruction operations.
2. Begin rebuilding only after establishing sufficient security, and focus first on small programs and projects.
3. Ensure full host-country engagement in program and project selection, securing commitments to share costs (possibly through loans) and agreements to sustain completed projects after their transfer.
4. Establish uniform contracting, personnel, and information management systems that all SRO participants use.
5. Require robust oversight of SRO activities from the operation’s inception.
6. Preserve and refine programs developed in Iraq, like the Commander’s Emergency Response Program and the Provincial Reconstruction Team program, that produced successes when used judiciously.
7. Plan in advance, plan comprehensively and in an integrated fashion, and have backup plans ready to go.
Many of those suggestions belie the cavalier attitude struck by Republicans at the beginning of the war in 2003, despite a near complete lack of planning by the Bush administration to provide for rebuilding Iraq. “Each day it gets better,” then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said in May 2003 of the reconstruction efforts. Rumsfeld also insisted that “the bulk of the funds for Iraq’s reconstruction will come from Iraqis” in October of that year. $60 billion later, Iraq has proved to be nowhere near the “cakewalk” predicted by George W. Bush adviser Kenneth Adelman predicted in 2002.
More republican lies to bilk the American people and concentrate wealth to those wonderful "job creators". How about taking that money and creating a few jobs over here building schools and infrastructure, huh? Oh I forgot... that would be SOCIALISM. 
What about Cheney's company, Halliburton - major no-bid contractor in Iraq, whose stocks have risen over 3000% from 2003 to 2012 from which Cheney still received "deferred" compensation while funneling billions of taxpayer dollars to his old company. Conflict of interest much? 

And as usual I won't be happy until I see them all do the Perp Walk - Thanks Jim Hinde.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

That's Enough of That

Hello Friends,  I finally got off my ass (Suck it Boener) and am back in mid-season form.

There are many important issues to be addressed like the "Sequester". Wha? They canceled Sea Quest? Heard that this morning on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. But seriously - the sequester is bad news.

Here is how it will affect regulars folks. From Think Progress:

The 32 Dumbest And Most Devastating Sequester Cuts

Health care

$20 million cut from the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs
$10 million cut from the World Trade Center Health Program Fund
$168 million cut from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
$75 million cut from the Aging and Disability Services Programs

$199 million cut from public housing
$96 million cut from Homeless Assistance Grants
$17 million cut from Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS
$19 million cut from Housing for the Elderly
$175 million cut from Low Income Home Energy Assistance

Disaster and Emergency

$928 million cut from FEMA’s disaster relief money
$6 million cut from Emergency Food and Shelter
$70 million cut from the Agricultural Disaster Relief Fund at USDA
$61 million cut from the Hazardous Substance Superfund at EPA
$125 million cut from the Wildland Fire Management
$53 million cut from Salaries and Expenses at the Food Safety and Inspection Service

Etcetera Etcetera ad nauseum. This is only the first three. Notice that none of the politicians who voted for this crap will lose a cent in pay while thousands of Federal workers face unpaid furloughs and the cuts wound the least among us the most. See the rest here: 32 Dumb and Devastating Cuts