Archive for the ‘ reblog ’ Category

Walmart rattled by growing unrest ahead of Black Friday’s strike

Walmart rattled by growing unrest ahead of Black Friday’s strike.

via Walmart rattled by growing unrest ahead of Black Friday’s strike.

mykeystrokes.com

What happens when vulture capitalism ruins a great American company?

The vultures blame the workers.

The vultures blame the union.

And vapid media outlets report the lie as “news.”

That’s what’s happening with the meltdown of Hostess Brands Inc.

Americans are being told that they won’t get their Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos because the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union ran the company into the ground.

But the union and the 5,600 Hostess workers represented by the union did not create the crisis that led the company’s incompetent managers to announce plans to shutter it.

The BCTGM workers did not ask for more pay.

The BCTGM workers did not ask for more benefits.

The BCTGM workers did not ask for better pensions.

The union and its members had a long history of working with the company to try to keep it viable. They had made…

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The Erstwhile Conservative: A Blog of Repentance

An article published last month on Remapping Debate points out what may become a trend among American employers:

Beginning next month, Sears and Darden — the latter of which owns several restaurant chains, including Olive Garden and Red Lobster — will cease to offer defined benefits in which the employer, as part of its compensation package, provides employees with a set of health insurance benefits and continues to offer those benefits even when the employer’s costs for insurance rises.  Instead, they will implement a defined contribution model, in which the companies will offer employees a fixed annual sum — like a voucher — that they can use to buy insurance for themselves and their families.

A voucher? Sound familiar?

Along with this monumental change comes what the writers of the article term a “large-scale marketing campaign,” designed, of course, to sell a very undesirable modification of “the multi-generational compact between management and…

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mykeystrokes.com

Five years after Wall Street crashed the economy by irresponsibly securitizing and peddling mortgage debt, the financial industry is coming under growing scrutiny for its shady involvement in student loan debt.

For a host of reasons, including a major decline in public dollars for higher education, going to college today means borrowing—and all that borrowing has resulted in a growing and heavy hand for Wall Street in the lending, packaging, buying, servicing, and collection of student loans. Now, with $1 trillion of student loans currently outstanding, it’s becoming increasingly clear that many of the same problems found in the subprime mortgage market—rapacious and predatory lending practices, sloppy and inefficient customer service and aggressive debt collection practices—are also cropping up in the student loan industrial complex.

This similarity is especially striking in the market for private student loans—which currently make up $150 billion of the $1 trillion of existing student loans.

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mykeystrokes.com

America’s political landscape is infested with many zombie ideas — beliefs about policy that have been repeatedly refuted with evidence and analysis but refuse to die. The most prominent zombie is the insistence that low taxes on rich people are the key to prosperity. But there are others.

And right now the most dangerous zombie is probably the claim that rising life expectancy justifies a rise in both the Social Security retirement age and the age of eligibility for Medicare. Even some Democrats — including, according to reports, the president — have seemed susceptible to this argument. But it’s a cruel, foolish idea — cruel in the case of Social Security, foolish in the case of Medicare — and we shouldn’t let it eat our brains.

First of all, you need to understand that while life expectancy at birth has gone up a lot, that’s not relevant to this issue…

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Free Lunch for Big Oil

Free Lunch for Big�Oil.

Dean Henderson is the author of four books: Big Oil & Their Bankers in the Persian Gulf: Four Horsemen, Eight Families & Their Global Intelligence, Narcotics & Terror Network, The Grateful Unrich: Revolution in 50 Countries, Das Kartell der Federal Reserve & Stickin’ it to the Matrix. You can subscribe free to his weekly Left Hook column @ www.deanhenderson.wordpress.com

House Democrats got more votes than House Republicans. Yet Boehner says he’s got a mandate?

See on Scoop.itMy Liberal Politics

by EZRA KLEIN, The Washington Post

 

The political-science evidence is clear on this: There’s no such thing as an election mandate. There’s only what a president is able to get done with the Congress the American people gave him.

 

But few politicians agree. And so the days and weeks after elections are heavy with arguments about who has a mandate, and for what. The latest debate is about whether President Obama, who ran a campaign explicitly promising to raise taxes on high earners and who beat a candidate explicitly promising to refuse any and all tax increases, has a mandate to raise taxes.

Speaker John Boehner says he doesn’t. “Listen, our majority is going to get reelected,” he said the day before the election. “We’ll have as much of a mandate as he [President Obama] will … to not raise taxes.”

 

Boehner’s logic is, on its face, sound. House Republicans have been as clear in their opposition to new taxes on the rich as Obama has been in his support for them. And House Republicans were reelected. They have as much right to claim a popular mandate as the president does.

 

Or they would if they’d actually won more votes. But they didn’t. House Republicans did the equivalent of winning the electoral college while losing the popular vote. [MORE]

See on www.washingtonpost.com

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