Recent news in 2010 showed IBM continuing to lay off North American employees. Last year, it was estimated that IBM eliminated over 10,000 jobs in the United States and Canada while the work for those jobs has been moved to other countries, according to former employee reports and reports from the Alliance@IBM, an organization trying to unionize U.S.-based IBM employees.
IBM will not confirm the eliminations.
You see "global integration" of IBM operations mentioned a fair amount in the report. If you are wondering what that means, put it in the context of what IBM calls "workforce reduction actions"--something it has done with regularity in 2009, but gets no more explanation than this in the following statement: "In response to changing business needs, the company periodically takes workforce reduction actions to improve productivity [and] cost competitiveness and to rebalance skills."
IBM is a global company, indeed, but what harm is there in telling your valued stockholders the locations--even regionally-- of your headcount? What's the big deal? You used to provide that information. Why the pull back?
It's easy to focus on earnings, but it's harder to focus on what you did to get those earnings in a year where you admitted revenues were down. Why can't you let shareholders know that you are chopping U.S jobs and replacing them overseas to benefit from foreign tax deferral and improve the bottom line?
Here is how Samuel Palmisano, chairman, president and CEO of IBM, put it in his letter to shareholders (PDF) in the annual report:
"We delivered strong results in 2009, once again achieving record pre-tax earnings, record earnings per share and record free cash flow -- despite reduced revenues. At the same time, we continued to deliver superior returns to you, our owners... The explanation for this performance -- and for our optimism about both the near-term and the longer-term future -- is threefold. It rests, first, on the ongoing transformation of our company; second, on our focused strategy to capture the large opportunity of a globally integrating world..."
IBM is becoming a model company for killing good U.S. jobs while it supports the need for more H-1B visas within the United States and benefits from foreign tax laws. Kill off U.S. jobs, keep the dividend strong and keep your marketing "smart."
Here is what IBM boasts to its shareholders:
Since the dot-com crash in 2002, we have added $12 billion to IBM's pre-tax profit base, increased our pre-tax margin 2.5 times, quadrupled our earnings per share and more than doubled our free cash flow. Cumulatively, we have generated about $80 billion of free cash flow.
Did you add up how many lives you have ruined?
"By hiding its offshoring, IBM is doing a disservice to America--through omission the company is providing misleading labor market signals and information to policymakers," said Ron Hira, a professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, to Computerworld's Patrick Thibodeau.
If this is what all this "smarter planet" marketing is about, then, yes, IBM, you have outsmarted many, and are helping to make the United States a poorer part of the planet.
But it looks like Black may have had the last laugh. In December, right after she signed on as chancellor, she retired from the board of directors at IBM (IBM) with one of the largest director compensation packages that we've ever seen: a whopping $3.3 million.
According to the computer company's March 7 proxy, that includes $260K in earned fees, and $3.1 million of earned compensation and dividend reinvestments. That's more than ten times the $300,723 she received last year, according to IBM's 2010 proxy. Last year's compensation included $40,623 of dividend equivalent payoffs on her Promised Fee Shares on top of her $260,000 earned fees.
As we've said many times before, that's not too bad for a part-time job.
I've told you for 10 years that 'It's your money, you earned it.' and I mean it.
When IBM froze the pension plan, your piece of deferred compensation ceased to be booked. They 'made' a ton of money because it was no longer their 'Burden'. Kathi
However what I learned from my son who graduated bout 10 years ago as a CPA was that he started fresh out out of college at only $40K/year, BUT he averaged a 15% raise EACH and EVERY year since and after 10 years is making 4X the original $40K/year...and that's not counting the bonus he gets every year....AND he is by no means a "1" performer in his job. His wife is probably closer to that and gets about 2x what he gets.
The problem with engineering pay according to my son is that although it is relatively high right after college, it doesn't do much thereafter. At best a "Senior Engineer" will be earning 2X what the college grad gets. So If the new guy got $70K....the Senior Engineer with typically 20+ years experience will only be getting $140K/year. That's 6 figures alright...but it comes down to a REAL average raise (after inflation) of only slightly more than 3%/year.... AND that holds only for the GOOD years...which don't se
What has happened in the IBM as far as I can determine amounts to Salary Hike Shell Game. Only the "1" performers and "outstanding contributors" get a "decent raise" which may average as much as 3-4%. The very good ones probably get 2-3% every other year...and thus average about 1.5%. All the rest...about 50% of the total get to keep their job if they are lucky.
Cathy Black gets $3M for leaving to take the NYC school chancellor job. BTW, NYC signed a big contract with IBM for IT consolidation, I'm sure that was just a coincidence.
IBM allows execs to use company air craft to travel to BoD meetings of OTHER COMPANIES if they happen to be on more than one board.
Execs get compensated for travel to and from their physicals.
How do I get my annual performance 'award' to be based on the same metrics as Sam ?
Still wonder why your GDP was lower than last year ? Seems the perks never trickled down out of the board room.
I also noticed that BlackRock is now right up there with State Street as one of the major share holders. Any one know who/what BlackRock is?
Like most, I didn't pay attention to retirement financial planning until relatively late. At around 25 years, by running the estimator program multiple times with different inputs, I became aware of the enormous amount of pension payout at stake by staying with IBM for the next few years. That prompted me to wade through the details of the pension plan document. Once I understood the formulas and tables, the mysteries of the estimator program's answers went away and I was able to plan effectively for retirement. And of course the pension plan document speaks to a constant payout and does not promise COLAs.
Because it seems that a lot of people have memories of COLA promises from HR or upper management that don't correspond to my experiences, I'm wondering if this was something that was site-specific.
f only I could have just listened to you and chosen to stay with IBM until I was 55! But that's not how it worked. IBM had a choice too, which it exercises very often. I would have assumed that an ex-manager of IBM would know that we didn't always have that choice of staying at IBM as long as we wanted to. How could you have forgotten? As a manager, you probably saw it up close and personal. Did you tell yourself that these people being laid off were choosing to leave IBM by their own choice?
The larger point was that reading many of the posts on this forum, I have the impression that many never bothered to look into the retirement plan at all until a few weeks before leaving IBM. Looking at the plan wouldn't have avoided a layoff, but it would have helped better plan retirement finances, regardless of whether eventual separation from IBM was voluntary or involuntary.
Obviously we don't have time machines and can't go back and make different decisions. Going forward, I think it might be helpful to stop viewing IBM as a parent who betrayed their child. The bitterness in many of these posts goes well beyond the financial setback of a layoff and reduced pension and instead speaks to expectations found in a child/parent relationship. Employment is not a parent/child relationship. For those who may have viewed it that way, it's never too late to change.
As the old saying goes, holding onto bitterness and similar feelings is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies from it. The bitterness you hold onto is poisoning you, not the other party.
I wondered how managers were able to emotionally/mentally handle laying people off year after year. They absolved IBM for any of it's actions, and blamed or labelled the ex-employee as "bitter" or "disgruntled". If it helps you with your conscience, then maybe you don't have one. I avoided becoming a manager just for that reason, I had a conscience and could not face laying off so many good employees.
What I saw were underpaid, dedicated, and loyal employees who were working many hours of unpaid overtime for an IBM that then in untold thousands of cases laid them off at the whim of an accountant somewhere. I realize that the first-line manager had little say in the matter, but let's stop blaming and labelling the laid-off employees, shall we? Those employees wanted to work for IBM, and were led to believe that we were part of the IBM team. Don't change the story now.
Much of the reason for the layoffs was to save on benefits, perhaps mostly on the pension benefit. Let's just all accept it that the layoffs were a money-saving device and stop calling laid-off employees names. Grow a conscience.
We who remained in management did everything possible to minimize the pain of our decisions on the affected employees and those who remained. I slept well at night because I did my best to treat my employees as I'd like to be treated. Having been on the RA list once, I knew how important it was to carefully administer the plan. (A glass of wine helped.) Beryl (happily retired for 41 days)
Mr Kumar testified that in 2008 Mr Rajaratnam told him that his value as a source was "a little bit diminished" because he had another source in Danielle Chiesi, a Bear Stearns hedge fund trader who had "intimate" relationships with Hector Ruiz, the then-chief executive of AMD, and Robert Moffat, then an IBM executive.
I highly recommend NOT TO JOIN this company, not even by mistake. U will ruin ur carrier here.
Advice to Senior Management: 1. Pay variable salary to employees as mentioned in offer letter. 2.Provide project to people in their skill set rather than throwing them anywhere. 3.Pay proper package as per market standards
I don't think the USA has been at all proactive in trying to hold jobs and manufacturing in country. In fact I think the government was bribed with campaign donations to look the other way while the middle-class jobs were bought and sold, and factories were dismantled in-place and placed on boats to be reassembled in China with millions of US jobs lost.
Basically the case you are trying to make certainly may be MORE true in a depressed economy. Especially since your biggest consumers are not doing so well. But deregulation is WHY your biggest consumers aren't doing so well because tanked the finance sector leading to the largest recession since the Great Depression. I'm not at all convinced that more deregulation is going to build a factory or a business here in the USA. Local governments meanwhile seem to be slowly getting it.
The continuing increases reflect industry push-back against efforts by government and commercial health plans to restrain spending on medicines, coupled with the looming decline in revenue from blockbuster drugs that will soon lose patent protection, according to industry experts.
By hiking prices, drug makers are "looking to maintain and keep their profit up," says Eileen Wood, vice president of pharmacy and health-quality programs at CDPHP, a health plan in New York State. Ms. Wood and other payers say patients and their employers ultimately bear the higher cost. "The price increases get rolled back into premiums" and also increase out-of-pocket costs like co-pays, said Helen Sherman, chief pharmacy officer at the pharmacy-benefits manager for Regence BlueCross BlueShield, a major insurer in the Northwest.
"But dependency on government has never been bad for the rich. The pretense of the laissez-faire people is that only the poor are dependent on government, while the rich take care of themselves. This argument manages to ignore all of modern history, which shows a consistent record of laissez-faire for the poor, but enormous government intervention for the rich." From Economic Justice: The American Class System, from the book Declarations of Independence by Howard Zinn.
But he put more firepower into bashing the nation's rich.
"Right now, this afternoon, just 400 Americans -- 400 -- have more wealth than half of all Americans combined," Moore avowed to tens of thousands of protesters. "Let me say that again. And please, someone in the mainstream media, just repeat this fact once; we're not greedy, we'll be happy to hear it just once.
"Four hundred obscenely wealthy individuals, 400 little Mubaraks -- most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion-dollar taxpayer bailout of 2008 -- now have more cash, stock and property than the assets of 155 million Americans combined." ...
Moore has made other staggering claims about the gap between the nation's rich and poor. In Capitalism: A Love Story, his 2009 documentary, Moore said "the richest 1 percent have more financial wealth than the bottom 95 percent combined."
What the film didn't point out, however, is that the crisis has spawned a whole new set of abuses, many of them illegal as well as immoral. And leading political figures are, at long last, showing some outrage. Unfortunately, this outrage is directed, not at banking abuses, but at those trying to hold banks accountable for these abuses.
The immediate flashpoint is a proposed settlement between state attorneys general and the mortgage servicing industry. That settlement is a "shakedown," says Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama. The money banks would be required to allot to mortgage modification would be "extorted," declares The Wall Street Journal. And the bankers themselves warn that any action against them would place economic recovery at risk.
All of which goes to confirm that the rich are different from you and me: when they break the law, it's the prosecutors who find themselves on trial. ...
In the days and weeks ahead, we'll see pro-banker politicians denounce the proposed settlement, asserting that it's all about defending the rule of law. But what they're actually defending is the exact opposite — a system in which only the little people have to obey the law, while the rich, and bankers especially, can cheat and defraud without consequences.
The Justice Department has charged five bankers with helping wealthy Americans conceal their assets from American authorities. A former employee of Switzerland's UBS who now works for rival Credit Suisse was arrested in January and accused of helping 100 to 150 Americans hide as much as $500 million from tax authorities.
A few weeks later, three former employees and one current banker at Credit Suisse were indicted for helping 17 Americans conceal assets in accounts at the bank and then helping them move the stash to other banks in Switzerland, Hong Kong and Israel once it was clear American authorities were on the trail of tax evaders at big Swiss banks.
This is a promising route both to recover unpaid taxes and to deter other Americans from trying to evade the I.R.S. this way. So far, however, the banks have faced no charges. The country-hopping by the Credit Suisse account holders in search of a safer hiding place suggests that cross-border tax evasion won't be shut down until the institutions determine that secret offshore accounts are too risky a business.
The poster child for the victims of frivolous lawsuits is the noble physician. No less a person than ex-president George Bush has told us that it's the trial lawyers who are driving good OB/GYNs out of their practices and depriving communities of decent medical care. It's malpractice insurance (due to the frivolous lawsuits) that is making health care unaffordable. Almost everyone believes this story.
Then there are the facts...
Given how terribly companies have treated workers in recent years--mass layoffs, outsourcing, stagnant wages, piling on the work, while they pay their executives seven-figure salaries--you'd think Americans would be more receptive to unions. But organized labor's bad rep isn't surprising. A half-century of smears by big business and their media allies and sleazy laws passed by corrupt anti-worker politicians (c.f. the Taft-Hartley Act) have established today's image of organized labor as corrupt, selfish and marginal. ...
The byword of American labor is "solidarity." Considering that employers have the media and government on their side, sticking together is the only way to win. Yet all too often unions under siege during the 1980s and 1990s did the opposite. They created two classes of workers--old and grandfathered-in, versus the young and screwed. In return for protecting wages and benefits for their existing (older) membership, unions such as the International Longshoremen's Association agreed to a drastically lower tier of wages for new hires. By looking out for their narrow short-term interests, the ILA confirmed the perception that they were less interested in workers rights than self-preservation. Ironically it mortgaged its future in the process. ...
A still bigger mistake has been labor's inexplicable refusal to go after the ersatz "while collar" workplaces. "There's something new in the air," UC Berkeley professor Harley Shaiken, who studies labor issues, told Reuters. "There is a sense that white-collar workers have become the blue-collar workers of the 21st century in terms of job security, wages and benefits. That's certainly how they're treated. And if you're treated like a blue-collar worker, you may respond like a blue-collar worker and seek to protect benefits and maintain some job security."
The AFL-CIO and other unions talk about organizing the white-collar ghetto. But they aren't doing much. Few workers in the tech sector or advertising or finance or the media have ever met a union organizer. If labor had its act together, no cubicle farm in America would go a year without an attempt to unionize it. Without the passage of a "card check" law to reduce employer retaliation, union organizing attempts might fail--but the workers who voted yes would always appreciate that they were trying to help them live better lives. Labor is on the ropes. With the economy getting worse, however, there has never been a greater need for union leaders to get smarter and more militant--or a better opportunity to reverse their long slide.
The "culture wars," as reported by the mainstream media since the Reagan administration, has been portrayed as mostly being about such hot-button issues as abortion, homosexuality, and prayer in the public schools. And while it is true that those issues, and a slate of similarly divisive ones, have propelled the modern "culture wars" forward, the battle over union rights in Wisconsin and Ohio (with other states likely to follow) is not just another battle in the "culture wars." Rather it is a redefinition of this country's social contract and a complete realignment of the political landscape.
What's going on is a fusion of Koch-ist anti-union free-market fundamentalism, Tea Party bluster, and the Religious Right's traditional values agenda; think the Heritage Foundation's nearly four-decade-old mission coming home to roost. Everything the Heritage Foundation has been seeking, thinking about, researching, promoting, marketing, writing about and fundraising for - from destroying unions to putting the kibosh on public education -- is now on the table. ...
In Wisconsin, the free-market piece is now the major focus. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's goal, to radically redefine collective bargaining rights of public sector unions, appears -- after weeks of mass protests and public opinion polls supporting the workers -- to be coming to pass. As the New Republic's John Judis recently pointed out, the conservative plan is "to snuff out their [public unions] very existence." It is not a stretch to see that the destruction of the unions can directly lead to rendering the Democratic Party impotent.
Productivity matters for the prosperity of children because it measures the amount that an average worker produces in an hour of work. If productivity rises by 10% over three years, that means that we can produce 10% more output with the same amount of work than we could three years ago. The size of the economy was roughly $14tn three years. A 10% rise in productivity means that we can produce approximately $1.4tn more this year with the same amount of work. This would come to an additional $18,000 a year for an average family of four. ...
Unfortunately, most workers are not seeing the benefit of these gains in productivity. There are two reasons why workers are not benefiting. First, the country has seen an enormous upward redistribution of income over the last three decades. As a result of this redistribution, most workers have seen very little benefit from their productivity growth. The big winners have been highly-paid professionals like doctors and lawyers, corporate CEOs and their sidekicks, and, of course, the Wall Street gang. ...
Virtually all economists agree that, in the long run, productivity is the main determinant of economic prosperity. This means that if we can sustain high rates of productivity growth, as we are now doing, then the economy will be able to provide our children and grandchildren with a prosperous future – one where they will be far richer, on average, than we are today.
Of course, if we continue to allow the Wall Street boys, the CEOs and their high-living friends to get the bulk of the gains from growth then our children and grandchildren will have much to worry about. But the problem then, as now, will not be the debt that we have left them.
The problem will be that we let the rich take over the country. If we leave the Wall Street crew in charge, then we will have done much to bankrupt our children.
But I had to dig deeper. It wasn't offensive enough to me that just 400 people own so much that was as the result of the hard work and suffering of so many of the rest of us. I was willing to bet it was a deeper profile of power in 2011 America than that repugnant statistic alone indicated.
I was right. In the Forbes 400, most of the people are white guys. In fact, 365 are guys. Very few non-white people, and only 35 women are in the club. And Oprah is the only black woman. 365 plus 34 and Oprah. ...
I guess I will have to content myself with the notion that I'm in a more exclusive club than they are. I am a cancer survivor who weathered financial collapse that followed being an American with inadequate access to healthcare and then had my story told in Michael Moore's 2007 film, SiCKO. About a dozen of us were featured in that film, and we're not in the Forbes cohort.
Just yesterday, the report came out that bankruptcies due to medical crisis had not been significantly reduced by the Massachusetts healthcare bill known as RomneyCare, or Chapter 58, the mandated purchase of private insurance, passed in 2006. More than half of all personal bankruptcies still flow from medical crisis and of those going broke, 89 percent had health insurance.
I think that my club, though small, is pretty diverse and full of good-hearted people (men, women and kids of all races, colors, sizes and shapes) who would trade the chance for all the influence and power on earth and a slot on the Forbes 400 list - and our moments of fame in SiCKO -- for a transformed healthcare system that provided a single standard of high quality care for all without financial barriers. I like my club better.
When corporate-run media perpetuate, on purpose or out of ignorance, misinformation about public-sector pay and benefits, they are, in fact, committing an injustice to the workers who teach our children and workers who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe in our homes while earning subsistence wages. Traditional journalism venues have long stopped criticizing most corporations, as they have become focused on selling airtime for corporations and using highly paid talking heads who practice entertainment journalism and not critical journalism that is needed for a well-functioning democracy. Instead of calling for lowering public-sector pay, the media and politicians should be inquiring why private-sector pay is low. Instead of raising the bar, they purposefully aim at a lower standard of living for workers by calling for the Wal-Mart standard to be the golden rule for benefits and pay. ...
No matter how the media blames unions for the private-sector troubles, the fact is that private-sector unions are almost extinct and union enrollment is at a historic low and most likely will continue to decline in the coming years. Compared to other Western countries, with the exception of France, the US labor force has the lowest trade union density in any industrialized peer country. Data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) show that other Western nations have managed to build prosperous and competitive economies with much bigger trade union densities in their work force. Finland and Denmark each have a trade union density of over 70 percent (compare that with the 11.9 percent in the US). While Norway's and Germany's trade union density is 53 percent and 20 percent, respectively. Other Western industrialized countries face the same challenges as the US, but they have managed to harness the power of labor to boost their income, reduce poverty and have a broader shared prosperity than the US, which has the highest poverty rate, the highest child poverty rate and the highest income inequality compared to peer industrialized countries.
Unworkable or unnecessary systems tend to have something in common: their costs are often uncontrollable. A 2009 Government Accountability Office study of 96 major defense acquisition programs found that almost two-thirds of them suffered major cost overruns — 40 percent above contract prices, over all — with average delays of nearly two years. Those overruns totaled close to $300 billion, about the amount of President Bill Clinton's last full defense budget request a decade ago.
Listed below is just a sampling of what systems could be ended without endangering America; indeed, abandoning some of them might actually enhance national security. These cuts would generate only small savings initially — perhaps just several billion this fiscal year, as contracts would have to be wound down. But savings would swiftly rise to more than $50 billion annually thereafter. And there's plenty more where these came from.
After only one month in office, Walker's approval rating has plummeted. He's become a national poster boy for right-wing anti-union extremism--so out of step that even democracy fighters in Egypt are jeering him. ...
In Congress, loopy GOP leaders are out to abolish the legal mechanism through which workers can form a union and have their bargaining rights protected. Meanwhile, war-whooping Republican governors in Ohio, New Jersey, Indiana, and elsewhere are slashing the health care and pension benefits owed to public employees, while blaming these middle-class workers for their states' fiscal messes.
But it was the economic crash caused by Wall Street greed and massive tax giveaways to wealthy elites that depleted state budgets, not firefighters' pensions or teachers' health insurance.
And check out Nevada, where the Chamber of Commerce is even pushing to eliminate the minimum wage. This corporate-funded Republican assault isn't about fiscal responsibility. The corporate powers intend nothing less than to dismantle the entire framework of America's economic democracy and return us to the dark days of Robber Baron plutocracy. To the barricades, people!
Following suit, Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI) has proposed ending his state's Earned Income Tax Credit, cutting a $600 per child tax credit, and reducing credits for seniors, while also cutting funding for school districts by eight to ten percent. At the same time, as the Michigan League for Human Services found, the state's business taxes would be reduced by nearly $2 billion, or 86 percent, under Snyder's plan:
Business taxes would be cut by 86 percent from an estimated $2.1 billion in FY 2011 to $292.7 million in FY 2013, the first full year of the proposed tax changes…Taxes on individuals from the state income tax would rise by $1.7 billion or nearly 31 percent, from an estimated $5.75 billion in FY 2011 to $7.5 billion in FY 2013, the first full year of the tax changes. ...
Michigan already has a regressive tax system, which Snyder's proposal will only make worse. Currently, someone in the poorest 20 percent of Michigan taxpayers pays a tax rate of 8.9 percent, while someone in the richest one percent pays 5.3 percent.
Start with our leaders' willful abdication of the American dream. They've given up on the notion of producing a shared prosperity that creates a broad middle class. For more than a decade now, Wall Street and Washington have let millions of jobs disappear and pushed wages down. They now yawn at the entrenched jobs crisis that is eating the middle class, and rather than responding to the plight of millions of hard-hit families, they're trying to bust unions and kill minimum-wage laws.
They call it "the new normal," in which the workaday majority of folks should simply ratchet down their hopes and expectations. A national commitment to quality education, health care for all and a decent retirement has been reduced to a "YO-YO" program: You're on Your Own.
What about creating a vibrant new green economy based on renewable energy? Let China build it, they shrug. How about constructing a bold, nationwide, job-creating network of high-speed trains? Spain built a great one and even France has one, but we're told it's too much for America. Our deteriorating and dangerous infrastructure? Better that we cut taxes for the super-rich and pray for God to take care of infrastructure.
These people are pathetic. And shameful. You can't call yourself a leader if you're too weak and too afraid to lead.
One of the worst examples of their inability to lead is the new Securities and Exchange Commission's crackdown on the egregious pay packages that the elites of Wall Street keep grabbing.
By a three-to-two vote, SEC commissioners socked the money-grubbing bankers with a new "say on pay" rule. Rather than let top executives lavish money on themselves unchecked, the new rule lets shareholders of those financial giants vote on extravagant salaries, bonuses and perks. That'll rein in the excess, right?
Probably not. You see, the SEC has long been a gentle regulator, never wanting to hear a Wall Streeter say "ouch." Thus, the say-on-pay rule has no bite. Shareholders can indeed have their say, but it's a non-binding vote! Bank big-shots can simply ignore it. Yet even this velvet harness was too rough for the two soft-on-greed Republican commissioners, Kathleen Casey and Troy Paredes. Both voted no, with Casey explaining that the new rules "are unduly restrictive and impose unnecessary burdens" on bankers.
Don't despair, though, for justice still might be served. The SEC has since approved another compensation crackdown, this time specifically targeting outrageous multimillion-dollar bonuses. For the first time, big banks will henceforth be compelled to restrain themselves. How? By filing detailed annual reports about the bonuses they pay. Ouch, that'll sting, won't it?
Again, though, even this tiny pinch was too harsh for the compassionate Republican members. Both sided with the poor bankers, wailing that requiring reports is a big-government intrusion into the private sector, overreaching the SEC's authority.
Real leaders aren't in Washington -- they're fighting for us on Main Street. Luckily, a public interest group named Bankster USA is rallying grass-roots support to curb banker greed. To find our nation's real leaders and have your own say and push for real reform, contact www.banksterusa.org.
But propaganda being what it is we were somehow convinced to try a worldwide experiment in taking good jobs from democracies and turning them into bad jobs in thugocracies. Now, of course, the experiment has run its course and we can see the results.
Setting worker against worker enabled a few people to get really, really really wealthy and powerful and use that wealth to become even more wealthy and powerful. Our country is in decline, burdened by massive trade deficits because the ones with vested interests in cheap labor won't let us won't take on the mercantilists, burdened by budget deficits because those vested interests have bought low taxes and government subsidies, our infrastructure crumbles because multinational business leaders refuse to invest here, with no more need of us as workers, and the resulting hollowed-out middle class can't consume anymore. Other countries also suffer from similar stresses.
"The Republicans want to move toward a balanced budget by slashing programs for working families at exactly the same time as they want more tax breaks for the rich. I find it ironic that, at a time when poverty is increasing because of the recession, the Republicans want to cut programs for low income children, the sick and the elderly," Bernie said. "At the same time, while the rich are getting richer, they want more tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires. Clearly, any serious deficit reduction proposal must include shared sacrifice. The wealthiest people in this country must be asked to pay a little more in taxes to help this country move toward a balanced budget. It cannot just be the poor and working families who are asked to sacrifice." ...
On Wednesday, Bernie also voted against a Democratic budget proposal because it failed to address the $14 trillion national debt and the $1.6 trillion deficit in a fair and responsible way.
"I voted against the Democratic proposal because, if the Democrats are serious about deficit reduction they have to raise revenue along with spending cuts. As part of an Emergency Deficit Reduction Fund, I will be introducing legislation that calls for a 5.4 percent surtax on millionaires as well as eliminating tax breaks for big oil companies," he said.
"At a time when the gap between the very, very wealthy and everyone else is growing wider, will we try to balance the budget on the backs of the poor, the elderly, the sick, and the children? That is the question that we have to address right now," Bernie said. "In the midst of a major a recession, it is morally wrong—and economically bad policy—to balance the budget on the backs of people who are already hurting."
Like most major newspapers, the Journal does not disclose the authors of its editorials. Kissel recently appeared on the John Batchelor radio show as a representative of the Journal's editorial board to discuss Warren, and repeated the main arguments used in the editorials.
The editorials paint both Warren and the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as an immensely powerful, unaccountable organization. The nascent agency is assuming the consumer protection duties currently exercised by regulators at the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
The author, Mary Kissel, worked for Goldman between 1999 and 2002 as a fixed income research and capital markets specialist. Kissel is listed on the Journal's website as a member of the editorial staff and her bio includes her time at Goldman Sachs and notes that she worked for the company in both New York and London. ...
There has definitely been an uptick in attacks on her and on the agency over the past few weeks, it's hard to imagine it hasn't been well-coordinated by somebody," said a source close to Warren. "The smear campaign by The Wall Street Journal's editorial board this week includes the most unfactual and outrageous hit pieces on her yet. If it's true that the author of the editorials and Goldman Sachs coordinated on them, they should both be exposed and called to account."
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