Posts tagged ‘Corporations’

The Untold Secrets Of the Federal Reserve


The Untold Secrets Of the Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve fought tooth and nail for over two years to keep their actions hidden from the American people. The central bank lost part of their battle for secrecy when they were court ordered through a Freedom of Information Act request to release 29,000 pages of documents earlier this year. Although it was just a one-time and limited release of their records, the papers revealed that among the largest recipients of the Fed’s money were foreign banks during the 2008 economic meltdown. Bloomberg News has further examined the thousands upon thousands of pages of transactions to discover more Fed secrets. 

The Federal Reserve had committed $7.77 trillion as of March 2009 to “rescuing” the financial system, according to a new study from Bloomberg News. The Fed also kept secret which banks were in trouble during the height of the financial crisis while bankers were taking in tens of billions of dollars in emergency loans. Bloomberg has calculated that the secret Fed loans helped banks net a whopping $13 billion. All of these numbers are staggering but not exactly surprising. The unelected bureaucrats at the Federal Reserve have fought to keep their dealings behind closed doors for a reason. 

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is desperate to protect his privileged secrecy. Bloomberg writes that he “argued that revealing borrower details would create a stigma — investors and counterparties would shun firms that used the central bank as lender of last resort — and that needy institutions would be reluctant to borrow in the next crisis.” Helicopter Ben, a nickname he acquired by essentially stating that the government could “defeat” deflation by dropping money out of helicopter, cares more about protecting the reputation of his cronies than letting the American people know where their money is going. 

Bloomberg reports that Fed officials haven’t told the truth about the bank bailouts. The news agencywrites that, “while Fed officials say that almost all of the loans were repaid and there have been no losses, details suggest taxpayers paid a price beyond dollars as the secret funding helped preserve a broken status quo and enabled the biggest banks to grow even bigger.” The Federal Reserve is ripping off the American people by printing money out of thin air which devalues the value of the dollar to bail out the big banks. 

As Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) writes, “this is just one more reason why we need a full audit of the Fed.” The court ordered released documents are disturbing enough. But imagine what kind of mischief we would find out through a comprehensive audit. A real audit of the Fed would also inspect how it determines interest rates, which is one of the most crucial activities of the central bank. We still need to pass a true audit of the Fed such as Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Ron Paul’sFederal Reserve Transparency Act of 2011, which would require comprehensive audits on a regular basis. 

An overwhelming 75% of Americans want a comprehensive audit of the Federal Reserve, according to a recent Rasmussen poll. The calls for a true audit are getting louder and stronger by the day. More Republican presidential candidates are starting to echo Ron Paul’s long held beliefs on the Fed. The fight for transparency is transcending party lines, with fiscal conservatives such as Ron Paul and self-identified Democratic socialist Senator Bernie Sanders working together to remove the Fed’s cloak of secrecy.

We will win our immediate goal when the Fed is thoroughly audited. Then the next step becomes ending the Federal Reserve and finally restoring sound money in America.

 

 
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New Study Shows that Corporate Tax Cuts Won’t Create Jobs


New Study Shows that Corporate Tax Cuts Won’t Create Jobs

BY OLIVIA SANDBOTHE  |  DECEMBER 18, 2013

There’s no correlation between low taxes and job creation.

That’s the finding in a new report from the Center for Effective Government that refutes corporate CEOs, bankers and tea party members of Congress who engage in some serious magical thinking when it comes to taxes and job creation.

We’ve heard these voodoo economics before: cut taxes and jobs will appear.  Right now,corporate tax rates are at their lowest point in 40 years even as profits soar.  Meanwhile, our economy is still struggling. It’s about time we questioned why these policies have yet to result in the job growth that their proponents predicted. 

In the new study, The Center for Effective Government, a nonprofit group that studies the economic impact of public policy, analyzed the Fortune 500 companies that posted profits between 2008 and 2012. Then it compared the job numbers of the companies that paid the highest tax rates to those of the companies that paid the fewest taxes.  

Of the 30 companies that paid more than a third of their profits in taxes, all but eight added jobs between 2008 and 2010. As a group, these companies reported a net gain of more than 200,000 US jobs.

Compare that to the 30 corporations that paid the lowest rates.  Many of these firms are paying no federal income taxes at all.  Even as this group raked in $159 billion in profits, only half of them added any jobs.  In total, they cut more jobs than they added, for a net result of 51,000 jobs lost. 

These numbers tell a story that many of us already knew.  Corporations don’t seek out lower tax rates because they’re eager to start hiring.  They do it to boost profits, and they don’t intend to share those profits with the rest of us.

What it all means is that billions of dollars that could be spent on education and infrastructure that benefits everyone are instead being hoarded by corporate CEOs.  The Center for Effective Government estimates that we could raise $220 billion simply by closing tax loopholes that allow corporations to hide money overseas.  Raising the federal corporate tax rate by only a few percentage points would be even more effective.

Public opinion is starting to turn against trickle-down economics.  Even Pope Francis has come out against the idea. It’s time to use that momentum to push for a tax system that benefits everyone instead of one that chases after imaginary job growth at the expense of our public programs.

You can read the entire CEG report by clicking here.

Federal Reserve Decides to Cut Stimulus Program


Federal Reserve Decides to Cut Stimulus Program

Ben Bernanke

The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it plans to scale back its massive program of bond-buying to stimulate the economy, defying economists’ expectations that it would maintain current policy at least until after the New Year.

The central bank’s Open Market Committee said it would cut the bond-buying program by $10 billion to $75 million, an action known as tapering. Stocks surged after the announcement, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 272 points, or about 1.7 percent for the day, late in the afternoon. Though the committee believed the economy and the job market have improved enough to warrant a slight decrease in monetary stimulus, it warned that the unemployment rate “remains elevated.” It also noted that the housing sector has slowed in recent months, and that short-term budget cutting efforts from Congress were slowing the recovery as well.

Outgoing Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke supported the move.

The Fed stressed that it is willing to adjust its purchases in the future either upwards or downwards if economic conditions warrant. In another change, the committee said that it would likely keep short-term interest rates near zero ”well past the time that the unemployment rate declines below 6-1/2 percent,” especially if inflation remains muted.

Speaking to reporters after the announcement, Bernanke indicated it’s likely the Fed will continue to pare back stimulus in $10-billion increments in the coming months. “The steps we take will be data dependent. If we’re making progress on inflation and employment we’ll likely do a measured reduction each meeting,” Bernanke said. The Open Market Committee holds eight meetings each year, so a $10 billion per meeting reduction would end the program sometime in late 2014.

Bernanke also fended off questions about whether the central bank is doing enough to reduce unemployment and maintain inflation at the Fed’s target of two percent. “We’re not doing less” to help the labor market recover, he argued, saying that the reduction in purchases is being paired with a promise to keep short-term interest rates near zero for longer than it had previously promised. “I think we’ve been aggressive to keep the economy growing and we’ve seen progress in the labor market.”

The outgoing Fed chair was also unusually critical of Congress’ fiscal policy, blaming short-term budget cuts for some of the struggles the economy has faced in recent years. “People don’t appreciate how tight fiscal policy has been,” he said. Bernanke pointed out that overall government employment has fallen by hundreds of thousands of jobs since the beginning of the recession.

He did have a few kind words for the latest budget deal however, praising the fact that it traded short-term budget increases with longer-term budget cuts, a strategy that he has pushed for numerous times in the past. Bernanke also praised the fact that a government shutdown was avoided with relative ease this time around. “It’s a good thing [Congress] is working cooperatively and making progress,” he said.

anke, 

 

Read more: Federal Reserve: Fed Tapers, Ben Bernanke Supports Cuts In Bond Buying | TIME.com http://business.time.com/2013/12/18/federal-reserve-decides-to-cut-stimulus-program/#ixzz2nsDwhXN8

 

1,OOO,OOO NEW PRIVATE SECTOR JOBS IN FLORIDA WITHOUT SUBSIDIES, TAX BREAKS OR GIVEAWAY – PART TWO Read more at http://investmentwatchblog.com/1oooooo-new-private-sector-jobs-in-florida-without-subsidies-tax-breaks-or-giveaway-part-two/#U0kbWF3v02439zQt.99


1,OOO,OOO NEW PRIVATE SECTOR JOBS IN FLORIDA WITHOUT SUBSIDIES, TAX BREAKS OR GIVEAWAY – PART TWO Read more at http://investmentwatchblog.com/1oooooo-new-private-sector-jobs-in-florida-without-subsidies-tax-breaks-or-giveaway-part-two/#U0kbWF3v02439zQt.99

by Farid A. Khavari

Khavari Job Creation Plan, Part 2.

As governor, here’s exactly how I will create 1,000,000 good middle class jobs in Florida, without subsidies, tax incentives or other corporate socialism. It’s simple.

A governor with an economic plan is in a unique position to create jobs in Florida without subsidies, “stimulus plans”, or other forms of corporate socialism.  When you see how this goes, you will understand that it will work like magic, and you will wonder why every governor doesn’t do it.  That’s because this is common sense economics, not politics. And it involves working for the people of Florida, not the special interests.

You have heard about “Supply” and “Demand”.  Here is why corporate socialism and stimulus plans fail to create jobs:  they focus on supply. For example, Solyndra blew $535 million to create and then lose less than 2,000 jobs, and our grandchildren will still be paying the interest on that. They made a great factory to produce something that apparently no one wanted. Oops!

 

Become Inspired To Give. Watch Now.

 

Anyone but a politician can understand that a business will hire people when there is a demand for its products and services, and it will lay off people when there is no demand.  What I will do as governor, and it costs virtually nothing to do, is organizedemand.

As governor, I will represent all 19 million plus Floridians.  While we are all individuals, we have many common interests and acting together we are a huge economic force because we are a huge market. By representing all Floridians, a governor is in a unique position to drive the economy by organizing demand.   Here is one simple example.

Here’s a sample phone call from the governor’s office in January, 2015.

Governor Khavari:   Hey, Solar Panel Manufacturer, we have started a new program to solarize Florida. We have about 10 million homes, and we figure that 5,000,000 of them will get solar water heaters over the next few years. Our program is voluntary but we are promoting it because it can save people five times what it costs and we are all about reducing costs.  We are arranging special pricing with manufacturers so we can have the best deal possible for our people. We have arranged special financing so that people can get solar and pay for it through the energy savings.  We have licensed qualified plumbers and installers all over the state getting special training seminars. We need product.

Solar Panel Manufacturer:  That sounds interesting.

Governor Khavari:   We assure the manufacturers that a certain amount of their products will be sold in Florida at a pre-determined wholesale price, if they make them in Florida and hire Floridians. The pricing allows you to pay middle class wages and benefits and we need that, too.  Can you make 100,000 solar collectors per year in Florida?  How many can you promise us?  And how many jobs?

Solar Panel Manufacturer:   We can only supply 50,000 in the first year but 100,000 in the second year and onward.  We would need to hire 200 people the first year, and say 200 more the second year.  I know Florida has great roads, railroads, and ports so I’m sure we’ll find a location or two right away.  If we can sell that quantity at our current wholesale prices, we can pay better than the average wage; say around $44,000 and good benefits.

Governor Khavari:  Show up at my office on Tuesday and bring a pen.  We want this up and running within 90 days.  Our staff has arranged for representatives from cities and counties around Florida to meet with you and other manufacturers here so you can see what location makes sense for you.  One condition though, you can’t accept local tax benefits or handouts.

Solar Panel Manufacturer:   You don’t get jobs with handouts, sir; you get jobs when there is demand. What time on Tuesday?

Repeat this phone call to a few dozen manufacturers of various components of solar water heaters, and at the end of the day you have 3,000 manufacturing jobs which will grow to 7,000 within two years.  That’s nice for a number of areas who get these jobs.  But the real benefit is that this program creates over 30,000 MORE equally-well paying jobs all throughout Floridabecause every one of those systems needs to be sold, installed and maintained.

I described “SuperJobs” in the last post.  A SuperJob is a job which creates more wealth than an ordinary job, because the products or services pay for themselves and then provide permanent cost savings to the customer.  In the case of a solar water heater at the right price, the product pays for itself with energy savings, and then goes on to pay for itself four or five times over time.  Even though our “Solarize Florida” is voluntary, we will need a lottery to decide who gets these systems because demand will outstrip supply for a year or two.

We can have over 33,000 good jobs just from this little deal.  Now there is something else to consider:  33,000 good middle class jobs represent almost $2 billion per year of income. That translates into at least $10 billion per year in economic activity as that income circulates.  This added $10 billion in economic activity will create 100,000 more jobs in Florida within two years.  And those 100,000 jobs will create more. And so on.

This is just one small example of how I will create 1,000,000 good middle class jobs in Florida.  You can see how simple it is.  The special financing costs taxpayers nothing, either from local banks who want to enjoy some of the state’s banking deposits, or from my proposed SuperBank.  The manufacturers pay their own way and reap the benefits of a strong market.  They even pay for the training seminars.  The customers get a great product at the lowest possible prices. The solar companies and plumbers make a fair profit while paying the middle class wages and benefits required to participate in our program.

Next time I will explain how we can create a much larger number of SuperJobs in Florida and save billions in the state’s budget, too.

Rick Scott has promised to spend $100 million to win another term as chief lapdog of big money special interests.  (Who is paying for that, and why?) Charlie Crist has already raised millions from big donors.  There is only one way to defeat big money and the special interests pulling the strings in Florida, and that is by using social media to get the message out to every voter.  Please pass these posts to everyone you know and get the word out!

If you don’t need a job, you certainly know someone who does.  Stand up to big money! Pass it on!

Khavari for Governor, Florida 2014. A million good jobs.  Really.

 

Farid Khavari, Ph.D., economist is a candidate for Florida Governor 2014.

 

Read more at http://investmentwatchblog.com/1oooooo-new-private-sector-jobs-in-florida-without-subsidies-tax-breaks-or-giveaway-part-two/#U0kbWF3v02439zQt.99

In The State Of Idaho The Private Prison Corporation Creates A Partnership With Prison Gangs To Manage The Prison Population For Higher Profit


By Adam Peck on Nov 15, 2012 at 11:55 am

A new lawsuit brought by eight inmates of the Idaho Correctional Center alleges that the company is cutting back on personnel costs by partnering with violent prison gangs to help control the facility. Court documents and an investigative report issued by the state’s Department of Corrections show how guards routinely looked the other way when gang members violated basic facility rules, negotiated with gang leaders on the cell placement of new inmates, and in one instance may have even helped one group of inmates plan a violent attack on members of a rival gang.

Rather than working with corporate headquarters or local authorities to combat the growing threat of gangs, CCA officials at the prison — the state’s largest, with more than 2,000 beds — used those same gangs as a way to control the rest of the inmates and save money:

The inmates also contend that CCA officials use gang violence and the threat of gang violence as an “inexpensive device to gain control over the inmate population,” according to the lawsuit, and that housing gang members together allows the company to use fewer guards, reducing payroll costs.

“The complaint alleges that CCA fosters and develops criminal gangs,” attorney Wyatt Johnson, who along with T.J. Angstman represents the inmates, said in a statement. “Ideally, the lawsuit should force this to come to an end.”

The CCA has operated the prison in partnership with the Idaho corrections department since 2000, at the beginning of a boom period when the number of inmates detained in CCA’s private prisons nationwide climbed nearly 50 percent between 2000 and 2009. States have invited private prison corporations to run some of their facilities as a cost-cutting measure, even though recent studies show that private prisons ultimately cost states millions more than public ones.

Private prisons are also experiencing a boom in the number of corruption complaints being leveled against them. In Arizona, lawmakers passed several pieces of favorable legislation after receiving more than $60,000 from industry lobbyists, in Alabama a judge likened one private facility to a “debtors prison,” and in Pennsylvania a judge was sentenced to nearly three decades in prison after it was discovered he had sent hundreds of younger residents into a privately-run juvenile detention facility in exchange for millions of dollars in bribes from the owners of those detention centers.

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(1) New High-Speed Rail Plan Runs Over Prop. 1A Mandates | Digg Politics


April 2, 2012

By Katy Grimes

As California politicians show more desperation to build any part of the California High-Speed Rail system in order to get their hands on $3.5 billion in federal stimulus money, the plan is looking more like a whack-a-mole game. But every hole that is plugged, every detail that is softened or tweaked, and every cost estimate that is changed causes a bigger problem. The cover-up is worse than the original crime.

It is important to remember that high-speed rail is not really about achieving sexy world-class transportation for the purpose of serious people moving. It’s just a pipeline project for grabbing big money. Because of the illegitimacy of the project’s intent, the mole could be permanently whacked, and leave California taxpayers holding the bill.

The most recent miracle cure was yesterday’s announcement of the newest revised business plan, in which the cost  of the project will be reduced to $68 billion from $98.6 billion by expanding the 130-mile line from Fresno to Bakersfield, to Merced to San Fernando Valley, for a 300-mile segment.

But there is quiet talk about electrifying only some of the track, and using pre-existing Amtrack rails. “Instead of building costly new raised viaducts and underground tunnels, the high-speed trains would run where possible on existing lines, such as Caltrain’s Peninsula infrastructure,” the San Francisco Examiner reported. But existing track cannot accommodate the 200 mph. The new business plan makes this just a train, not high-speed rail as was required by Proposition 1A, the 2008 ballot initiative authorizing the train.

Houston, we have a mandate

With politicians and High-Speed Rail Authority officials working all last year to smooth over the complex and conflicting details of the bulging $98 billion High-Speed Rail plan, oddly enough, they’ve created an even larger problem than the growing dissent by the voters. They are now violating important mandates in the 2008 law.

Proposition 1A, $9 billion in bonds for high-speed rail, included numerous mandates, none of which can be legally bypassed on the way to building the massive train system.

Top on the list is that the rail system must be high-speed. “Electric trains that are capable of sustained maximum revenue operating speeds of no less than 200 miles per hour,” the law states. However, much of the first segment between Fresno and Bakersfield is not high-speed; nor will high-speed be attainable in dense cities.

Rail Authority Chairman Dan Richard recently said at a legislative hearing that the Rail Authority “never intended, our business plan does not contemplate, that we would operate a high-speed rail system only in the Central Valley.”

Mandates

But his statement runs counter to Proposition 1A:

* Prop. 1A stipulates 11 requirements that must be met before funds can be released for the construction of a “corridor” or “usable segment.”  Specifically, some of these requirements include actual high-speed train service, ridership, revenue projections and planned passenger service.

* “The high-speed train system shall be planned and constructed in a manner that minimizes urban sprawl and impacts on the natural environment,” the law states. But the impact of the rail system may actually create suburban communities around train stations within reasonable distances from urban areas and higher employment areas.

The train system will also dissect both urban and rural communities which will be problematic, as well as a serious violation of the “natural environment.” The trains will travel through densely populated cities, but also through sensitive agricultural and natural areas in the state.

* The success of any legitimate transportation system must be based on connectivity. “For each corridor described in subdivision (b), passengers shall have the capability of traveling from any station on that corridor to any other station on that corridor without being required to change trains,” the law states. “Stations shall be located in areas with good access to local mass transit or other modes of transportation.”  This means that unless there are extensive connecting rail systems already in place in the high-speed rail destinations, cab companies, limo services and car rental companies should be lining up to rent space in the train stations. Commuters will not have the necessary train and bus systems to transfer to with the existing plan.

* The California High-Speed Rail Authority must have all of the the funding ahead of time, before any construction starts on a new segment.

* The high-speed train system must operate on its own entirely, and in the black. That means operating profitably, and includes caveats of no government subsidy. The plan relies heavily on a projection of 100 million users by 2030, a notion that was created with manipulated data, and is absurd.

Assemblywoman Diane Harkey, R-Dana Point, has railed consistently against the implementation of the plan. Even though voters were deceived by the ballot summary and language, Harkey has said that the entire project is lacking in private, public and debt funding to complete even the most minor operating segment.

In addition, Harkey has said the mandatory Environmental Impact Report for the system is not complete. Yet the law calls for certified EIR’s for each segment of the system. California already is running endemic budget deficits. Yet Gov. Jerry Brown is pushing for additional and higher taxes. State officials have been ignoring the state’s infrastructure needs and massive maintenance and repair.

Fortunately, voters are now suspicious about the rail system they approved in 2008.

With all of this information available, who or what keeps pushing for the already bankrupt rail system to begin construction?

Follow the money 

One need not look any further than the utility bills that come in the mail. Pacific Gas &Electric and Southern California Edison will be providing the electricity for high-speed rail, with estimates of additional demands for electricity already coming in at 1 percent to 5 percent of the state’s total energy usage, according to a Capitol staffer who asked to remain anonymous. “Even Cal ISO doesn’t have any estimates for the cost,” the staffer said. “High-speed rail has got to consume a great deal of power. Where will the power come from?”

Surprisingly, the California Independent System Operator  has no estimates for energy usage about high-speed rail on its website, as would be expected given the size and scope of the project.

But according to a July 2011 energy usage analysis prepared for the California High-Speed Rail Program Management Team, total electricity usage for the proposed rail system would be “8.32 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) per day,” and more than 3 billion kWh per year.

The average three-person household in California is about 6,000 kWh per year, or a little more than 2,000 KWh per person.

According to the California Public Utilities Commission, electricity customers in the state paid an average rate of about 15.2 cents per kWh.

At 15.2 cents per kWh, the total utility bill for high-speed rail would be nearly $1.26 million per day, and more than $460 million per year. And that’s probably a very conservative estimate.

Show me the money

Along with every imaginable labor union in the state, a report from “Follow the Money” shows that PG&E spent $20,000 in support of Prop. 1A in 2008.

Both PG&E and SCE also have given large campaign contributions to Gov. Jerry Brown, who actively campaigned on the high-speed rail issue when he ran for governor in 2010. Brown received $31,580 from PG&E during his gubernatorial campaign, and $25,000 from SCE.

While those investments seem relatively small for a $460 million per year payout, how many clients of PG&E and SCE currently use up to 5 percent of the state’s total electricity?

And who could forget the other big PG&E connection? Brown recently appointed High-Speed Rail Authority Chairman Dan Richard, a former senior vice president of public policy and governmental relations at PG&E.

Where will the power come from?

With California’s climate-change mantra of “no dirty coal,” “no natural gas,” no hydroelectricity” and “no nuclear power,” many wonder if the high-speed trains will be powered by windmills, solar panels and algae.

Remember that California passed the climate change law, AB 32, in 2006, and the Renewable Portfolio Standards mandate in 2011. Both greatly restrict energy usage, and force energy producers to get 33 percent of their electricity from renewable resources.

There isn’t enough wind, sun or algae in the Western Hemisphere to power a 200mph train up and down the state.

With the state taking the Klamath hydroelectric dam offline, cutting coal reliance, refusing to reinvest in nuclear power and essentially creating an energy shortage, when California has another inevitable blackout, what will be powered — our homes, or the high-speed train? Hospitals, or the high-speed train? Schools, or the high-speed train? Businesses, or the high-speed train?

The Legislature is creating a massive energy problem in California, and refusing to do anything about it. But maybe, just maybe, the law will rescue the voters this time.

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Comments(5)
  1. Beelzebub says:

    Be very careful out there, folks. Whether it’s high-speed rail, climate control or incarceration – the fascists are looking for more creative ways to put their hands into your wallets and separate you from what little wealth you may have accumulated in your lifetime.

    If you have a job, are productive or have a little nest egg that you labored for, in some counties you have become a biased target in favor of incarceration.

    You might want to think twice before you venture into Riverside County. However in the long run it probably doesn’t really matter, does it? Coming soon to a theater near you. ;)

    “Riverside County has a new motto: “If you do the crime, you’ll do the time, and now, you’ll also pay the dime.”

    “Supervisor Stone said Riverside will only collect the jail fee from inmates who are financially able to pay it, so indigent inmates will not be sent a bill.”

    http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/jail-cost-riverside-san-diego-134290613.html

    This is how they fill their budget holes created by years and years of fiscal mismanagement. Tyranny of the productive. Welcome to China.

    Keep voting, suckers! :D

  2. Beelzebub says:

    The answer is to be either filthy rich or poor as a church mouse.

    Anything inbetween and you’re screwed. :)

  3. nowsane says:

    When I owned a boat, the common phrase was that “a boat is a hole in the water surrounded by wood into which one pours the contents of your wallet” This article demonstrates why Proposition 1A is similarly a hole into which the entire state will empty it’s collective wallets for a lifetime! My thanks to Cal Watchdog for staying attuned to this crock of a project.

  4. nowsane says:

    Pete Peterson, writing in City Journal California, On Further Review, 13 Jan 2012, http://www.city-journal.org/2012/cjc0113pp.html , said “Experts are taking a second look at California’s rail and climate-change programs. Will Jerry Brown? “ very articulately and succinctly argues why both the High-Speed Rail Project, Prop 1A, and AB 32 should be ditched as soon as possible. Unfortunately, Moonbeam is further pushing the Climate Change BS, as well as pushing the “Train to Nowhere” and the voters have no refugee in CA Sen. Pres. Pro Tem Daniel S. Steinberg, or CA Assemblymember Speaker John Pérez to stop these ridiculous programs. Both are boondoggles of the highest order!

  5. CalWatchdog says:

    Nowsane – with Gov. Brown’s staunch support of high-speed rail, AB 32, and cap and trade carbon trading, solar, wind, electric cars, we are now calling him ‘Gov. Sunbeam.’

    – Katy

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(1) New High-Speed Rail Plan Runs Over Prop. 1A Mandates | Digg Politics.

‘Nonsense fact’ about union workers used in Super Bowl ad


Posted February 8, 2012 at 10:55 am by Lawrence Mishel

That’s how the Washington Post fact checker, Glenn Kessler, put it in his review of the following assertion used in the Super Bowl ad (watch below) by the Center for Union Facts*: “Only ten percent of people in unions today actually voted to join the union.”

Kessler dug in to see where that came from and apparently it is an “estimate [of the] the proportion of employees who both would have voted for the establishment of a union at their companies and were still in their jobs.” As Kessler points out, this has no bearing on the extent to which workers currently covered by collective bargaining would vote to maintain collective bargaining. It is as relevant, as Jared Bernstein points out, as “saying Virginia isn’t a state because none of its current residents voted for statehood.”

What are the facts? Richard Freeman (Harvard University) and Joel Rogers (University of Wisconsin) report on page 69 in their book, What Workers Want, that 90 percent of union workers wanted to keep their union based on their answer to the question, “If a new election were held today to decide whether to keep the union at your company, would you vote to keep the union or get rid of it?”

Union workers have many special legal rights and protections. For instance, union workers by law have the right to vote for union officers and any dues increase, initiation fee or
assessment. The laws protecting internal union democracy are far stricter than those for corporate governance and shareholder rights. Plus, workers also have clear rights to decertify unions. This ad and this “fact” do not capture what union worker rights are nor even attempt to reflect what union workers’ views are of collective bargaining.

In fact, a much larger share of the non-managerial workforce wants a union than has a union. Freeman wrote in 2007:

“Given that nearly all union workers (90%) desire union representation, the mid-1990s analysis suggested that if all the workers who wanted union representation could achieve it, then 44% of the workforce would have union representation.”

So, if workers could freely have a union when they wanted one, union representation in the United States would be on par with that of Germany.


*By the way, the CUF is just a small part of an array of misleading public relations efforts conducted by Richard Berman on behalf of special interests.

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