Trivia 1O

    One wonderful example of the fantasy land that the suits in the suites of Corporate America inhabit.

    One Bruce Tulgan wrote a commentary in the New York Times that explains the wonderful benefits that Wall Street receives from that marvelous process known as downsizing.  In fact, he just thrills that the new global economy has "demolished job security forever".  He chortles at the notion that the labor market has "transformed itself" from being static to fluid, meaning that your job is only yours until you begin to earn a living wage, at which time you're back on the street and the job has been moved to Thailand where ten year old girls do the job poorly but only cost a dollar or two a day.  In fact, this wondrous concept allows Corporate America "to adapt quickly to changing global markets" meaning that the kid in Thailand is history as soon as the corporation finds someone who will do the job even more poorly but for just pennies a day.

    Folks, this imbecile is unwittingly explaining the one and only reason for the WTO and NAFTA and GATT and every single economic treaty signed in the last twenty years.  Corporate America is in charge, folks, and you and I and all of your children and your children's children are now at the mercy of the suits in the suites who, quite frankly, see you as nothing more than cheap labor or stupid and unthinking consumers.  Welcome to the 21st Century. ( 1 )

    In an earlier article we spoke of various methods that should be considered instead of President Chaney's tax cut for the wealthy.  Well, there is another suggestion that has much to offer that will be a true "across the board" process.  Instead of just giving the poorest Americans a few bucks and the wealthiest tens and possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars in cuts, why not just give every man, woman, and child in America a check for $500 each.  There can be no fairer way to share the so-called "surplus" except to divide it among those who created it, the American people.  This plan is called the "Prosperity Dividend".

    Consider that a family of four will receive $2000 and if they are among the tens of millions of families who work for a living, then that money will be spent for actual goods and services, meaning that those funds will return to the economy, creating jobs and increasing the tax base available to create another "surplus" in the future.    

    If, as President Chaney plans, the vast majority of those tax breaks go to those who truly need it the least, then it will more than likely to be simply used to invest more in the stock market, a process that creates only paper profits and zero new jobs.

    Like the idea?  Contact the Economic Policy Institute for a far more in-depth explanation. ( 2 )

    It's a well known fact that Congress, but particularly the Republicans in Congress, just despise the idea of offering a living wage to any American worker and consistently vote against even the most meager of increases in the minimum wage.  They claim that any increase will "stifle business growth".

    Want to know a little secret that Congress would really rather you not bother your empty little consumer mind about?  How about the fact that Congress has quietly voted themselves three pay raises over the last four years that total over $12,000 more per year and bring their salary up to a total of $145,100.  Gentle readers, these liars and slaves of Corporate America earn (and I use that word uneasily) more than 98% of the rest of us.  That's right, while they just can't bring themselves to make the lives of the real, honest working people of America a bit easier, they have no problem with padding their fat butts, er, wallets with more money in raises than millions upon millions of Americans even earn a year.

    Oh, want to know how these slimy little creatures passed their last raise?  Was it decided in some committee and then sent to the floor for an open and democratic vote?  Were there speeches for and against and records printed in the Congressional Record?  Of course not, you silly goose!  They just slipped the little bonus for themselves into an appropriations bill meant to fund the Post Office and other federal agencies.  Did anyone even have the decency to hold a press conference after the vote to defend their need for this raise?  Yes, that's just a rhetorical question. ( 3

    A little something that you all may have missed concerns a "Fair Trade" pact signed by President Clinton back on Oct. 24 of 2000.  This agreement was noteworthy in that it recognizes that labor and the environment must be considered under its terms and puts the rights of workers to organize and the requirement that companies not pollute as standards that must be honored by both signatory parties.

    Now, considering the massive damage that the WTO and NAFTA and GATT and the rest are doing to the citizens of the world and to the health of the planet, such a groundbreaking agreement should have been touted as the most important change in direction of the harmful global economy in many years.  In fact, both partners in this agreement should be held up as the shining lights of integrity that the world must honor.

    Who, besides this nation, would agree to such terms?  Well, it isn't exactly a big time player on the stage of the global economy.  Fact of the matter is, we sell less than $300 million worth of goods a year and import far, far less from them.  Nevertheless, we should praise and respect any nation with the courage to stand apart from the greed and selfishness that is the global economy.  The next time you get a chance, tell anyone who will listen that of all the nations of the world, only Jordan has the courage and moral fiber to sign such an astounding document.  In fact, if I ever see any product that was made in Jordan, I will undoubtedly buy it over any competitors, particularly any piece of crap made in China by slave labor and illegally imprisoned political prisoners. 

    Oh, you might wonder what the Republican response might have been to an agreement based on honesty and integrity?  Well, I'll let that little cockroach Bill Archer, Republican from Texas (of course) and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee explain why he should be considered less than human by thinking people, "Any effort by the United States to determine standards for developing countries would make negotiations a nonstarter."  He went on to state his aversion to this agreement's advancing a "social agenda."  

    Now, excuse me if I sound a bit confused about this nasty little person's statement.  Aren't he and his mean spirited party the same clowns who advance their "social agenda" by refusing to fund family planning or abortions in these same developing countries?  Isn't it a tad hypocritical for him to spew such garbage when he and his ilk are the same ones who demand that developing countries open their markets to the "global economy" and to pay back loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) before even thinking about spending those funds on education or health care or job training or anything other than repaying Big Brother?  Personally, I think the maggot should just shut up and go away unless he has something intelligent and appropriate to say. ( 4 )

    Remember when I warned you about the consumer bankruptcy bill that was being considered by Congress?  It would have forced consumers to repay credit card and loan debts before any other personal expenses, even child support or spousal support.  Well, you have just one fellow to thank for the fact that the trick that Majority Leader Trent Lott tried (attaching the bankruptcy bill to a State Department Authorization bill) didn't work and that the bill never reached the floor because of his filibuster.  That man is Sen. Paul Wellstone, D - Minn., and you can thank him personally by just clicking on his name. ( 5 )

    Have you sent in your taxes for 2000 yet?  Were you on of the unfortunate taxpayers who owed the IRS and state tax board additional funds, money that you could have spent to make a better life for you and yours?  At least you have the satisfaction of knowing that even Corporate America is paying their fair share of the tax load, right?!?

    Wrong - o, bucko!  According to a study done by the Institute on Taxation and Policy, a non-profit public interest organization, between 1996-1998, out of 250 elite corporations forty one (41) paid absolutely no federal taxes in at least one of those three years, even though they reported $23.8 billion in profits to their shareholders.  In fact, these 41 corporations received a grand total of $3.2 billion in refunds during those years (kind of makes your refund seem rather tiny, doesn't it?).  All told, instead of paying the required taxes at the 35% corporate tax rate, which would have netted the federal government $9 billion in revenue, they paid only $2.1billion which is an effective corporate tax rate of 8.1% for a "savings of $6.9 billion.

    Again, kind of makes whatever tax rate you fell under seem rather excessive, wouldn't you say?

    Which corporations were guilty of this crime against the American taxpayers?  Among many others; Goodyear, Texaco, K-Mart, MCI WorldCom with General Electric being the biggest winner of all

     How did they get away with this?  Simply by buying more representation than you can, my friends.  Their property in Congress wrote the 1996 tax laws (and which, pray tell, was the majority party in 1996?) to gut, in particular, the minimum tax rules.  Now, not to point the finger at just one head of the two-headed party system, the Democrats started the old "let's destroy the minimum tax rules for our owners" game in 1993 when they had control of Congress.

    In other words, this rip off of the American people is just another example of the fact that there is but one party that rules America and that is the party that is run by the suits in the suites of Corporate America.  No one else need apply. ( 6 )

    One last question.  If, as President Chaney and the rest of the Republican Party so often claim, the federal government cannot be trusted to regulate industry or to protect the environment or to create a health care program or, well, you get the picture, if the federal government cannot do any of this, how can it be trusted to design and perfect and then deploy an anti-missile system that was originally devised as a joke by a disgusted scientist to trick that senile old fool Reagan into believing it could be done?  Now, after test after test after test has shown it to be the silly little joke that it started out to be, why are so many Americans still believing that the war industry (once known illogically as the defense industry) are capable of making it work in this millennium?  Get the feeling that there may be a rather strong stench of hypocrisy involved?


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