Posts Tagged ‘smart economics’

US Chamber of Commerce and Mr Donahue

Monday, November 28th, 2016

What is it? and who is he?

The US Chamber of Commerce (USCC) is not a part of the government, although, it was created by President William Howard Taft  around 1912 to go against the Labor movement which had become organized and powerful.  

Tom Donohue became head of the organization in 1997. 

He disliked the idea of healthcare reform that involves providing healthcare for every American regardless of income or ability to pay.  

Mr Donohue disagrees with the scientific consensus that climate change is enhanced by human energy use. 

He opposed Dodd/Frank legislation and portions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act which was signed in to law by George W. Bush after the Enron and Worldcom scandals and arrests.

He thinks a company should be able to sue a country.  Phillip-Morris vs Uruguay was a case where a tobacco company actually sued the country of Uruguay for implementing strict measures to prolong life and promote health through organized efforts to get tobacco out of the country.  Monsanto is suing countries that are disallowing Monsanto products due to health concerns as well.

Well, now the USCC is the largest lobbying organization in America.  It’s current agenda includes –>

  1.  Establishing the congressional budget for the United States Government for fiscal year 2017.  Why would he care about the congressional budget?
  2.  Providing for congressional disapproval of the Environmental Protection Agency relating to the definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act.
  3.  Disapproving a rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency relating to “National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone”. clean air and water are too expensive to maintain and do a profitable business I guess.
  4.  Providing for congressional disapproval of the Environmental Protection Agency relating to “Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New, Modified, and Reconstructed and existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units”  He wants to keep oil, gas and coal
  5.  Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to the definition of the term “Fiduciary”.  I wonder what is wrong with the term Fiduciary?
  6.  EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2015.  Is it possible to reform science?
  7.  There are more, I just listed the first few.  They have their irons in lots of pots.

$79,205,000 has been spent on lobbying in 2016.  They spent $84,730,000 in 2015 so they may surpass that come January 1.  Whoo boy there is a lot of money in money isn’t there?  Not much money to be made in healthcare for all I guess.  Healthy, vegetable eating, non-smoking, solar powered masses are bad for the economy.  Mr Donohue, I think you are bad for the planet.

 

A list

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

A listSo I was reading Non Sequitur (my most favorite comic strip) and this reminded me of my recent flight experience. 

The industry of air travel is working fast and furious to separate us into the haves and the have-nots.  Why don’t they load the back of the plane first? Load the front of the plane last? Everyone can just calmly wait their turn.

  As it is now, there is an aggregate of common people (all of us piling on planes are common people otherwise we’d have our own plane) with over sized carry-ons pushing their way onto the plane, presumably to have room in the over head bins for their stuff.  This, of course, happens after those that have paid more for priority seating get on the plane.  You squeeze by them to get to the back of the plane and sit in your B seat between an overweight woman who wants the window seat and her overweight husband who wants the aisle. 

You struggle for a place to put your bag — which winds up two or three rows from where you are sitting — you didn’t want to join the cattle call — or prolong the agony of sitting for hours between two large people — by getting on the plane first.

You can, of course, avoid all of this undignified struggle if you pay much more.  Than you can sit comfortably in front while you watch the strugglers labor on past to their seat in the back of the plane. 

I wish someone would give us back our dignity and allow the back of the plane to be seated first.  I’m not thinking it will cost the airline any losses and may enhance the boarding process.

bottle waterAnother thing I never quite understood

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drown out the truth?

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

So, are you tired of being yelled at?

I prefer the gently assertive, formal,  exchange of thoughtful information that doesn’t seem possible anymore.  What is with that?  Why is everyone yelling?  All this yelling and no one is listening.

There is also the fear of the unknown that is driven into our minds by the media, which is paid by speculators and gamblers.  I won’t even get in to the religious zealots that feed their line of garbage that plays on faith.  They are yelling, because if they yell loud enough people can’t hear the truth.

Meantime, 19 year olds are aiming bullets at each others heads in some sandy venue in the name of religious zealots, media hype, speculators, gamblers and that coveted Kardashian lifestyle.

Step away from the yellers and reflect in silence.  Listen to your heart and mind and seek truth.

1% vs 99%

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Wouldn’t it be better if the TV and radio personalities would talk  about facts rather than presuming fault?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Wouldn’t it be better if we stopped listening to the loud whiners?  Shut them off, change the station;  too busy admiring people who are discovering and inventing stuff.

The desire to classify ourselves is human nature.  Humans are influenced by each other to impose group boundaries.  For instance the 1% versus the 99%.  The 99% is vast,  not cozy;  whereas the 1% are in bed together cuddling and clinging.  Here are some pretty interesting things being done by members of both groups .

http://www.humdingerwind.com/#/wi_large/

Inventor Shawn Frayne has come up with a device that harnesses the power of wind without any rotating parts. Instead, his company’s Windbelts capture energy using fluttering fabric. Air passes over a taut membrane, it induces a vibration, somewhat akin to a violin bow.   Magnets mounted on the membrane bounce back and forth between metal coils, inducing an electric current.

What makes this so way cool is that it can be put on fences in urban areas and it can be palm sized or room sized and the materials it is made from are all available right here in the good ole USA.

windbelt

 

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http://news.carbonwarroom.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/CCW20111.png

 

Richard Branson has started a “Carbon War Room”.  Does he qualifiy as part of the 1%?    He has an influence on them.  He concerns himself with the future of the planet and makes money doing it.  His latest venture is opening a shop  near the White House for Venture Capitalists to hang out and find investment solutions.  International corporations like Maersk, the global tanker operator, 3M,   and General Electric Co., the major U.S. maker of gas turbines, windmills and appliances;  find there is money to be made and profits enhanced by cutting noxious pollutants and carbon dioxide emissions.

http://www.ecosystemmarketplace.com/pages/dynamic/article.page.php?page_id=7874&section=home

 

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Pegasus Global Holdings Announces Plans to Develop World’s Largest Tech Testing and Evaluation Center

http://techcitement.com/admin/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/ghosttown.jpg

Pegasus Global Holdings bought a town in New Mexico.   They needed a place to create and test green technology innovations.  How cool is that?  Is this the enemy doing cool things with their money?   Pegasus Global Holdings is actually one of those big scary conglomerates making billions from war tools and satellites; which qualifies them as a member of the 1%.  Perhaps refocusing their moneymaking prowess on technologies that have an end result of a healthier, cleaner, and subsequently happier planet is a good thing  —  even if their motivation isn’t benevolent grace.

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A.I.M. Interview: Algenol’s CEO Paul Woods

Paul Woods is a hero.   He has a biorefinery  in Lee County, Florida.  It will consume almost two dry tons per day of carbon dioxide obtained from industrial sources, and will produce 100,000 gallons of fuel-grade ethanol per year.  Whats not to love about that.  He is an innovative scientist and has become pretty wealthy by being smart and steadfast, he is one of  the 99%.

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free energy?

Friday, October 14th, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

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Exxon-Mobile is running frequent ads on TV claiming they care about teachers and education.  One thought on this could be they are interested in controlling what is taught in universities.   They might cause universities to back off on the Environmental education and focus more on finding oil, extracting oil and refining oil.  Frankly oil sells itself so that is a no brainer.

There are lots of bright young minds with brand new engineering degrees planning to go to Texas, Mexico or Canada and work for an oil company.  They don’t need to be recruited or guided — money talks.  Money also talks to the legislators of various state run Universities.  Like a big circle, politicians give subsidies to oil and educators.

 Geothermal, solar, wind, biodiesel, and other renewable sources of energy aren’t at the Universities recruiting these brilliant young minds.  They don’t have the politically backed funding for that.  Oil and coal receive federal funding and they use much of it for recruiting brilliance and luring them with buttloads of money.

Meantime, we’re building tired old SUV’s in our auto plants and wonder why the rest of the world doesn’t want them.  Because the rest of the world has young brilliant minds too.  They are being recruited into the renewable energy industry and making fast and powerful cars that run on batteries and biodiesel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

read about Nicola Tesla…

 

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Who gives a fig what S&P thinks?

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

 

Trickle down economics isn’t causing that drip you hear, its drool.  Who cares what S&P thinks?  Except, “after the Dow Jones Industrial Average,  the S&P 500 is the most widely followed index of large-cap American stocks.”

 

We should all be listening to Fred.  The news is full of Standard and Poor (S&P) credit downgrade of the US’s borrowing worth.  I say, OK, so lets not borrow from them.  Lets revoke their use of ratings as a political weapon. I’ve read and read and read and can’t really find an answer.  Numbers, economics, and resources all seem to play a part.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It may be disturbing to some to find out that not all good comes out of the wealthy corporate interests represented by the S&P’s 500.  Japan is pulling themselves out of their natural and man-made financial woes.  How?  Innovation.  It also helps that they don’t have a tea-party or christian fundamentalists standing on their drowning heads.  OK, with that sentence, I’m guessing I’ve lost about 25% of you.

Economics is nothing more than realizing that all the Earth’s resources are scarce and the study of Economics is how those resources get allocated amongst people.  A comparison of 1961 to today was made that sparked more research.  I asked my smart friend Fred  If our tax rate were the same as it was is 1961, would our deficit get payed off quicker?

and like a true economics guru he gave this reply…

Your question about the tax rate being what it was in 1961 would eliminate the deficit is a good one. The math is correct but ignores what has happened to the dollar since 1961. The top tax rate today is 35% on $357,500 of taxable income. In 1961 it was 34% on $8,000 and went as high as 91% on $200,000, $400,000 joint filers.  See http://www.taxfoundation.org/files/federalindividualratehistory-20080107.pdf for historical rates.

Back then a dollar was still worth 50 cents. Now it is worth something between a dime and a nickel. (this is the stuff, I just can’t seem to grasp.  How can a dollar only be worth a dime?  Compared to what? )In 1961 a large milk shake (real dairy) was  25 cents, gas was 25 cents a gallon, a new cadillac cost $2,999, and the minimum wage was 75 cents. A living wage was $5,000 and it took only one person working to support a family. Full time workers made much more than the minimum wage which applied mostly to part time and seasonal itinerant workers. If one made $20,000 a year they were rich.

Since then we have had greatly reduced tax rates but a very high tax in the way of inflation. Inflation went up most in the 1970’s until Reagan stopped it by raising interest rates in 1979. Since then inflation has been slower, but still running 4-6%. until 2008 when prices of some things went down, like housing making average inflation minor. Still we have food, medicine, fuel, education, all going up more than the Consumer Price Index. (The consumer price index takes a semester to understand. Why are we suffering if the price of things has gone down?  We’re not making it we’re just buying it, so we should be on top of this game.)

Now the government has used a new tack to fleece the citizen, it is called borrowing. We get tax cuts to make us feel like voting for the creeps, they take our social security money to fund wars, (is that why they want to tap into social security?  Are those 500 in the S&P wanting our pittances for wars?  Are those 500 in the S&P making money off of loaning to our pentagon for these wars? ) they give us cheap goods from China sending our jobs overseas so they can borrow from the wealthy and the Chinese, to finance more wars, that make some rich people richer so they can finance their reelections. “creeps” and other epithets are extremely appropriate in view of their game. These are smart people; they know what they are doing to us. (they don’t see us though, it’s like bomber pilots dropping bombs, all they see is a little poof)

Comparing the value of a dollar in 1961 ($.50) versus today ( 5 – 10 cents) we can compare the tax rates and equivalent dollars over the time from 1961 to now as follows; (50/10 + 50/5)/2 = 7.5 times. (I’m lost)

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Back to the main question, a tax of 34% on any family making more than $120,000, (16,000 X 7.5), and 91% on over $3,000,000, (400.000 X 7.5), would be equivalent to the tax rates we had in 1961. (91%?! Nobody wants that!  Wealthy folks should not pay more just because they are wealthy. , They should pay the same as we here in the trenches pay and take away their loopholes.  Perhaps those companies that profit from war should pay higher taxes.)These rates would go a long way to wiping out the deficit. I don’t have the figures, but it may even give us a surplus.

In fact, the tax rates in 1961 were too high because the rates still included the WW II repayments. (Our taxes included repaying the war debt? Now they want social security to pay the war debt?) When Kennedy reduced the rates it brought big expansion to the US economy, but it was accompanied by inflation which became intolerable by 1973 when Nixon brought out price controls, which did not work, by the way.

Reagan fixed inflation and brought us trickle down economics, which did not work, by the way. (It just brought a lot of drooling)

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Bush jr brought us cheap efficient wars, which do not end, by the way. (Cheap and efficient?  Fred, I believe your stabbing at humor here.)

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Reagan, Bush sr, Clinton. Bush jr, and Obama all brought us the global economy and cheap foreign goods at Wal Mart, Which do not last, by the way. (that is the plan?, buy crap that doesn’t last so you buy more crap.  This is not sustainable)

They also gave away our jobs, so we no longer work, by the way. (so we’ll be a bedroom society.  Let the rest of the world work while we figure out how to get disability.)

This is my final answer.  . . . I think.

We could fix the deficit if we balanced the long term budget by combining tax increases (much lower than 1961 rates), with reduced wasteful spending on senseless wars, control of medical costs and education costs, and getting organized money out of politics.

Fred
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(we need to put a cap on political donations.  $1000 per person and since corporations have been deemed “a person”  that’s all they can give too)

“Despair is the conclusion of fools” — Benjamin Disraeli
 

unions built America

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unions built America after their military service fighting to preserve it.

Americans for Prosperity and the US Chamber of Commerce

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Mandatory arbitration is a part of every credit card and cell phone contract that you sign.  In so signing you agree to not take the card company or cell phone company to court.  Did you know that?   Tort reform makes it so companies are not found liable for harm.  They use the term frivolous but includes third degree burns and death.  An example of State mandated caps–> in West Virginia  miners are often killed in mining accidents their families can ask for and win millions, but the cap is about $10.000.   Susan Saladoff’s film “Hot Coffee” is effective and makes these confusing terms easy to understand.   Who would think the US government would allow this kind of abuse to happen to citizens of the USA?

This prompted some inquiry into lobbying groups who support arbitration, caps and tort reform.  Then you look up the politicians those lobby groups support and you realize why the government has allowed this abuse.

Two lobbying groups were made the focus–>Americans for Prosperity supported by Charles and David Koch and the US Chamber of Commerce which was created by US president William Howard Taft as a counterbalance to organized labor in  1912.  You may not realize that the US Chamber of Commerce is not a government agency it is a private astroturf  lobby.  (I’m not talking about football fields)

The term astroturf is the billionaire version of grassroots.   Astroturf coalitions are created and funded by corporations and industry trade associations.  They fund lobbying groups who’s job is to win over the middle class and manipulate facts.   Many describe (or disguise) themselves as public relations groups like Bonner and Associates.

In 2009, Jack Bonner and his Associates were working for the  American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) and were caught forging letters to Representative Tom Perriello. The letters were supposedly from true grassroots groups, like the  NAACP — urging him to oppose the Waxman-Markey Climate Bill.  Perriello is one of the co-sponsors of the Clean Water Protection Act. The Coal industry didn’t want this Act signed because it would slow the practice of Mountaintop removal.

Jack Bonner had his company design a fictitious web calculator.  This calculator convinced users the cost of fuel would rise exponentially if legislators signed the Kyoto treaty; while accusing real scientists of being eco-wacko.  They have pulled off the same brilliant shenanigans for pharmaceutical companies, Mobile oil, US tobacco, Citicorp and so forth. The Kochs love these guys and have them working for them through “Americans for Prosperity” and probably many others.

The US Chamber of Commerce seems to have morphed into a completely self-serving machine.  It is a private lobbying group funded by 45 billionaires.  Their common denominator is a dislike for public education and healthcare reform.  These billionaires love funding tort reform and judicial races.  The US Chamber of Commerce helped to shield AIG from liability lawsuits, funded the Tea-party in the 2010 midterm elections, distributed books on energy to children, funded the fight against SCHIP (healthcare for poor kids),  and so forth.  They are drooling over social security money and wanting to legally manipulate it by lobbying for social security, medicare and medicaid to be privatized.  They are funding politicians who get behind this agenda with their pens.  Rick Scott has quickly signed legislation to privatize medicaid in Florida.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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They are the conductor, we are the band.  If you don’t like the music, make your own.  Look up stuff and find out the truth.


Fair Trade

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

If you have ever seen the term “Fair Trade” on labels, you may have wondered what that meant.

fair trade

 

 

 

 

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It isn’t about guns and Pomeranians.  It is actually a marvelous system of guaranteeing the buyer that the product they are buying is not harming life or the planet.  For example: In Papua New Guinea the farmers grow cocoa on land they own.  The cocoa was sold to middle-men that in turn sold it to chocolate makers who in turn sold it to us.  The farmers profits were miniscule in comparison to the middle man.   Logging Companies wanted to buy these lands from the farmers and since the farmers weren’t making much money growing cocoa they were willing to sell.  The Nature Conservancy came along and explained to the farmers that the sale would be a short lived income.  With Fair Trade certification their profits would be greater and last as long as they were willing to farm sustainably.    Keeping their lands to sell Fair Trade cocoa will provide income forever (or until we stop loving chocolate).

The farmers were granted the fair trade certification after a long (three years I think) and arduous process of sustainable growing and marketing education.  The middle man was removed so they had to find their own fair trade buyers.  You wouldn’t think it would be hard to find buyers for this wonderful cocoa; it helps to understand these farmers have limited sources of communication and funds for travel.  These photos might help explain.

Papua New Guinea - Tari Mountain kids send greetings beyond borders
Dancing villagers near the Karawari River, Papua New Guinea, Papua New Guinea Intro, photo, picture, image
The purchase of a fair trade product means paying a fair price to the producer, and creating lasting trade relationships that can guarantee the financing environmental development.  When you buy fair trade product you establish a more direct and concrete partnership with the producer.
So remember when you buy fair trade certified products you are participating in saving families, forests, and ways of life we can never enjoy.
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If you think fair trade clothing is ugly hippy crap take a look at Colin Firth’s wife Livia in a gown designed by Jeff Garner who used fair trade Ahimsa Silk for the beautiful gown she wore to the Golden Globe awards.

Livia Firth, Colin Firth, Prophetik, Jeff Garner, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, Golden Globes, eco-celebrities, green celebrities

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So to summarize, fair trade and rain-forest alliance are providing decent wages for countries like India, Mexico, Guatemala and Ethiopia.  If you complain about immigration then buy fair trade products.  The immigrants will go home and grow stuff for us to buy rather than coming here and taking our jobs cleaning hotels and picking tomatoes.

 

If they keep taking…

Monday, March 14th, 2011

If they keeping taking from the middle class the American dream will cease to exist.


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We’ll exile ourselves to places like  Costa Rica, Italy, Germany and Norway for the same reasons our forefathers came to America.  Us worker bees will leave the tyrannical hedge fund managers and their big oil buddies to play with their —  own 401k’s.

It might be a good thing — no one left to fight their wars.  Perhaps they’ll stop booting out the illegal aliens;  who may be needed to clean their mansions and perform CPR on their stressed out hearts?

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