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Posts Tagged ‘the Rigged Game’

At least 36,000 Verizon workers have been on strike since Wednesday of last week after failing to reach a new labor agreement. This strike is about lowering labor costs via exporting jobs and using low wage contractors in order to redistribute income from Verizon’s employees to rich shareholders via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and soaring share prices.

Here’s how the system is rigged by federal legislators.

Verizon earned, or overcharged their customers depending on your point of view, $39 billion over the last three years, and now management wants employees to make concessions in pay and benefits, as well as other things. Workers at Verizon have said enough is enough! Verizon made $19.3 billion in US pretax profits from 2008 to 2012, yet didn’t pay any federal income taxes during the period. Instead, it got $535 million in tax rebates. Verizon’s effective federal income tax rate was negative 2.8 percent from 2008 to 2012. Now the company wants to reduce employee compensation despite billions in profits.

As Verizon employee James Brugund said, “American companies want American profits, but they don’t want to pay American wages, and that should be stopped.”

Among the union’s complaints: the offshoring of thousands of jobs to workers abroad, and shifting work to low-wage, non-union contractors. But one of their chief complaints is about being forced to work in locations far from home for months at a time.

“Verizon lineman Ting Chin, who already commutes more than 80 miles from Poughkeepsie, NY, to Manhattan, said that several of his colleagues were sent to Buffalo, New York — almost 400 miles away — for a long-term job, a fate that he says he narrowly avoided.”

In addition, Verizon wants to shift 50 percent of its work to low wage contractors, via a new labor union contract. Other jobs that are no longer done by Verizon employees but are instead handed to lower-wage contractors from outside or inside the U.S. include:

* VZ Business Monitoring
* eService email, chat and offline
* Dispatch
* Digging work for copper plant and FiOS
* In-home installation and networking
* Door-to-door sales of FiOS
* Materials distribution work/delivery
* Smart Home technology installation/customer
* service and other specialized home services

The company is also negotiating to export more jobs overseas. The company has been in the process of exporting these jobs, mostly, it seems, to Manila, Philippines. Thousands of jobs have been exported in recent months.

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Oregon middle class Congressman Peter DeFazio blasted Fast Track Authority and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). In the story below the congressman expresses dismay that there is a Monsanto Protection Act inserted into Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden proposed Fast Track legislation that will override local and state labeling laws, something Wyden said in his press releases his fast track proposal will not do.

In the video, DeFazio also explains why he is opposed to the Trans Pacific Partnership, a massive income and political power redistribution from the 99 to the 1 percent scam falsely labeled as a free trade agreement. In other words, the Obama administration and his Republican and Democratic allies are trying to rig and already economic and political game against the 99 percent even more than is currently the case.

DeFazio Blasts ‘Monsanto Provision’ in Fast Track Legislation

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Education-in-Finland-300x279

Finland has the highest performing K-12 students in the world, year after year.

“Finland’s schools weren’t always so successful. In the 1960s, they were middling at best. In 1971, a government commission concluded that, poor as the nation was in natural resources, it had to modernize its economy and could only do so by first improving its schools. To that end, the government agreed to reduce class size, boost teacher pay, and require that, by 1979, all teachers complete a rigorous master’s program.

They also banned all standardized testing, as they figured out this takes too much time and too much money out of learning; and now they only give standardized exams to statistical samples of students to diagnose and assess school progress.”

For every 45 minutes of study, Finish students get 15 minutes of free time recess.

In the United States, recess has been curtailed, and in some cases, eliminated.

The average class size in Finland is 19. Teachers are highly respected, highly paid, and highly unionized. So what can the United States learn from Finland?

Absolutely nothing.

That’s because education reform in the USA has nothing to do with education. It’s all about corporate profits, campaign contributions, government corruption, and ever rising profits for the publishing industries. Public K-12 students are merely victims in the profit production process through which these aims can be achieved.

This is why the US has the most tested students in the world. The more tests they complete, the more profits for the publishing corporations, such as Pearson Limited and McGraw-Hill.

This is why educational test standards are always raised in the United States. The higher the standards, the more students fail to pass. Then they must retake another profitable test over and over again until they move up a grade or pass it. The more students fail these tests, the more profitable they are for the testing industry.

Tests are changed every few years because it’s more profitable than retaining them. When school districts change tests, each district must purchase new testing materials from the publishers. In the United States, students are part of the production process for producing profits, and keeping share prices of the publishing giants rising constantly, quarter after quarter.

So don’t expect any real educational reform in the US anytime soon since real educational reform by definition means lower profits for the publishing corporations, which means less money with which to corrupt government. So don’t expect anything to change in education in the US anytime soon. The corruption of government at all levels is far too massive.

Just look at Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden who betrayed the voters of Oregon on behalf of Monsanto and Wall Street when he co-sponsored Fast Track legislation in the senate for the massive income redistribution scam called the Trans Pacific Partnership which Wyden falsely markets as a trade agreement. Wyden once wrote a constituent who wrote to him to complain about the Common “Very Profitable” Core Standards. Wyden wrote back, “Please rest assured that I will continue to do all I can on the federal level to ensure Oregon students receive the highest quality education….” Wyden’s letter shows he supports the Common Very Profitable Standards, which demonstrates how corrupt he is in all areas in which income is redistributed from the 99 to the 1 percent. See Wyden’s letter at, http://oregonsaveourschools.blogspot.com/2014/06/sen-ron-wyden-doesnt-get-it-on-common.html .

Wyden’s idea of students receiving “the highest quality education” is to increase the profits of the publishing corporations, which is another way of enriching the 1 percent at the expense of the 99 percent. In other words, less recess, more tests, and higher standards, which is another way of saying the senator wants all students to be on a college track, even if they had no desire to be on such a track.

Income redistribution from the 99 to the 1 percent; that’s precisely what Wyden does as much as anybody ever has in the US senate. That’s why he supports standardized testing of public school students, as well as Fast Track and the Trans Pacific Partnership. http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/06/how-finland-keeps-kids-focused/373544/

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Here’s how the corporate news media corporate think tanks constantly lie to us.

1. They tell us the US has a big trade deficit with China.

Why it’s a lie.

* US corporations have exported millions of US jobs to China, then exported those things manufactured in China to the US, thereby creating the massive trade deficit. In other words, the US trade deficit with China is really a US trade deficit with US based corporations. These liars in the press know this, but on behalf of their master’s of the one percent, they continue to lie to us.

We’re at the stage now where few people can grasp the issues mainly because the corporate propaganda machine has dumb-downed us.

Here’s another example of a lie.

2. The Trans-Pacific Partnership will create US jobs.

The truth.

* The Trans-Pacific Partnership has almost nothing to do with trade. It’s all about redistributing your income and political power to the 1 percent. But the corporate propaganda machine doesn’t want you to know this. What else don’t they want you to know?

* Twelve nations are nearly finished with negotiating the agreement. The USA has only a few miniscule trade impediments with these nations, which includes Japan, Mexico, Vietnam, and Canada. Vietnam has tariff rates of 15 percent or less depending on the goods shipped from the United States, and this is the highest rate among the TPP nations. Most have less than 5 percent tariffs, and in most cases the average tariff is 0 to 2 percent. In other words, currently, there is not a whole lot of impediments for shipping goods to the member states of the TPP. This means the number of US jobs created by the agreement will be miniscule compared to the number of US jobs the agreement will destroy.

* How much demand for US goods will occur in Vietnam whose wages are less than 1/2 of Chinese wages? The answer, of course, is pretty close to zero.

* TPP will give incentives for US corporations to export millions of US jobs. The Federal Reserve estimates that 28 million US jobs were exported between 1990 and 2010.

* TPP will increase US income and wealth inequality. The 1 percent have already taken 95 percent of all income growth in the United States since 2009. Currently, the 1 percent are stealing 36+ percent of all income produced in the USA, compared to only 8 percent in 1980. International trade scams and other federal legislation have brought inequality about. For example, when the above jobs were exported, the difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower wages will go straight into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and surging share prices.

* Those lost jobs will no longer be paying the taxes for our infrastructure, K-12 education, higher education (tuition and fees will go up), social safety nets, schools, fire, police, public transportation, social security taxes, but those lost jobs will push the stock markets higher.

* TPP will effectively eliminate your voting rights on local and state issues since it will unconstitutionally grant investors of the 0.01 percent special privileges to challenge labeling and health and safety local laws and regulations of the 99 percent, which most people call voter suppression, but in this case it should be called voter elimination.

* TPP will eliminate millions of jobs in Latin America, which will drive millions of more people illegally into the United States and depress wages here.

 

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Here is a novel notion: Why not make democracy easy? That’s too easy. That would help to un-rig the political and economic game currently in favor of the affluent.

Why not take the trouble out of registering to vote — and out of voting?

The answer is simple. Some people of the 1 percent want as few people as possible to vote. The fewer voters there are, the easier it is to win elections, and then to control the government to the benefit of the 1 percent, but at the expense of the 99 percent.

Last week, Oregon legislators made it easier to vote in Oregon, and the governor signed the bill into law.

Other countries, where voter turnout is dramatically higher than in the United States, craft their laws to encourage voting. In the United States, the trend has been in the opposite direction for the reason stated above; control over the masses. Who wants the masses to control government? How about the majority of voters.

Click on the link below for the full story.

Oregon’s Radical Innovation: Make Democracy Easy | BillMoyers.com.

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The 1 percent stole about 21 percent of all income produced in the United States in 2009, up from about 8 percent back in 1980. Now the 1 percent are stealing 36.6 percent of all income growth through the third quarter of 2014.

The economic game has been rigged even more by the 0.01 percent via legislation since 2009. Academic studies show that 95 percent of all income since 2009 have gone into the already fat wallets of the 1 percent.

Some simple math shows some interesting things.

According to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, Americans earned a little over $12 trillion of income in 2009. All studies showed the 1 percent were stealing about 21 percent of that total, or about $2.5 trillion of that.

The total income produced by the people of the United States increased to more than $15.2 trillion in 2014.

Take that $15.2 trillion and subtract the $12 trillion produced in 2009. That’s $3.2 trillion. The 1 percent have used legislation to steal 95 percent of that $3.2 trillion, which means they’re stealing more than $3 trillion of that growth.

Now simply add the original 21 percent from 2009, which equals $2.5 trillion, and add the $3 trillion the 1 percent have been getting since 2009.

$2.5 trillion
+ $3.0 trillion

equals

$5.5 trillion going to the 1 percent

That’s out of the $15.2 trillion of total income produced by everybody and every business in the United States. In other words, roughly 36.67 percent of total national income goes to the 1 percent, compared to 8 percent thirty-four years ago.

This inequality is why demand for goods and services are so weak, which is why the economy is so historically weak. The 99 percent has considerably less money to spend on goods and services.

President Obama, along with Wall Street Senators Ron Wyden, Orrin Hatch and Mitch McConnell want to give even more of the national income to the 1 percent via the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the largest income redistribution scam in US history.

Among other things, the TPP will:

* give incentives for US corporations to export millions of US jobs. The Federal Reserve estimates that 28 million US jobs were exported between 1990 and 2010.

* increase US income and wealth inequality. The 1 percent have already taken 95 percent of all income growth in the United States since 2009. When the above jobs were exported, the difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower wages will go straight into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and surging share prices.

* Those lost jobs will no longer be paying the taxes for our infrastructure, social safety nets, schools, fire and police, but those lost jobs will push the stock markets higher.

* TPP will effectively eliminate your voting rights on local and state issues since it will unconstitutionally grant investors of the 0.01 percent special privileges to challenge labeling and health and safety local laws and regulations of the 99 percent, which most people call voter suppression, but in this case it should be called voter elimination,

* TPP will offer new monopolies for Big Pharma to raise medicine prices they charge you (which redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent),

* TPP will limit food safety standards (which redistributes and transforms your health into the profits of the 1 percent),

* TPP will block financial regulations aimed at preventing the next financial crisis (which will make it easier for Wall Street to redistribute your income and wealth to the 1 percent).

* TPP will destroy millions of jobs in Latin America (230,000 in the textile industry of El Salvador alone) forcing millions of undocumented immigrants into the United States.

* The result of the above will be to depress wages in both North and South America, all to the benefit of the 1 percent, and all at the expense of the 99 percent.

* And we can’t forget that TPP will increase the already massive US trade deficit with other nations, which is supposed to be a bad thing. The exported jobs will be producing goods overseas rather than here, and then US corporations will export their products from China and Vietnam into the United States, exacerbating the current trade deficit.

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Essentially, Wall Street has looted the middle class, and corrupted your government.

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