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Business and Industry Behaving Badly, August 6, 2014

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  • Profits before People
  • Part 1: Perfect storm rattles restaurants, wait staffs
  • Part 2: What Happens When You Abolish Tipping

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Perfect storm rattles restaurants, wait staffs

Kris Jacobs, executive director of Jobs Now Coalition, couldn’t cloak her sarcasm. You know, rich waitresses are ruining everything,” she deadpanned. “I think this is going to backfire.”

Jon Tevlin, Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune

Thanks to Evergreene Digest readers Ashley Groshek and Palma Cady for this contribution.

August 6, 2014 On Aug. 1, Blue Plate Co., which owns eight prominent restaurants in the Twin Cities, welcomed workers with a cheery message congratulating them on the new minimum wage hike.

“Today you are getting a raise!” the memo said, mentioning the additional $. 75 per hour that servers, ­bussers and bartenders will get.

Jon Tevlin: Metro Columnist, Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune

Full story … 



Part 2: What Happens When You Abolish Tipping

I got rid of gratuities at my restaurant, and our service only got better.

Jay Porter, Slate 

130812_FOOD_WaiterTipping.jpg.CROP.original-original.jpgPhoto by Dorling Kindersley/Thinkstock

Aug 14, 2014 | For more than six years, I ran a restaurant without tips.

A couple of years after opening the Linkery restaurant in San Diego, the team and I adopted a policy of adding to each dining-in check a service charge of 18 percent—a little less than our tip average had been. We also refused to accept any payment beyond that service charge. (If someone surreptitiously slipped a twenty or two under a water glass, we donated it to a rotating “charity of the month,” usually selected by a staff member or patron.)

Jay Porter operated San Diego’s farm-to-table restaurant The Linkery for about a decade; his new restaurant, Salsipuedes, will open in North Oakland later this year.

Full story … 

Section(s): 

Comcast Confessions: when every call is a sales call

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  • More than 100 Comcast employees spoke to The Verge about life inside the nation’s largest cable and broadband company
  • "The customer is calling in to tell you what’s wrong, and you’re looking for ways to sell them service."
  • In Harm's Way: The Dangers of a World Without Net Neutrality

Adrianne Jeffries, The Verge  

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July 28, 2014 | When AOL executive and Comcast customer Ryan Block recently tried to cancel his internet service, he ended up in a near-yelling match with a customer service representative who spent 18 minutes trying to talk him out of it.

Rep: I’m just trying to figure out here what it is about Comcast service that you’re not liking.

Block: This phone call is actually a really amazing representative example of why I don’t want to stay with Comcast. Can you please cancel our service?

Rep: Okay, but I’m trying to help you.

Block: The way you can help me is by disconnecting my service.

Rep: But how is that helping you? How is that helping you? Explain to me how that is helping you.

Block: Because that’s what I want.

Rep: Okay, so why is that what you want?

Adrianne Jeffries: Reporter, writer, travel bug, East Village rat, New York Observer alum.

Net-neutrality-meme-e1398433124309.jpgFull story … 

Related:

In Harm's Way: The Dangers of a World Without Net Neutrality, April Glaser, Electronic Frontier Foundation

  • The Internet is one of the greatest things humanity has ever created, and who knows what we’ll be able to do with it next.  Let’s make sure there will always be plenty of room for the unexpected, by making certain no new business or service has to make a special deal to be able to meaningfully connect to users.
  • Take Action to Stop the Attack on Net Neutrality.

 

Section(s): 

Are mega events in the Twin Cities worth it?

  • Economists — at least those not associated with host committees — find that economic impact studies overestimate the benefits of events like the All-Star Game or the Super Bowl. 
  • Here's How The NFL Makes A Killing Off Of Taxpayers

Louis D. Johnston, MinnPost

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all-star-game-target-field_main.jpgMinnesota should expect a $7.5 million economic boost from the All Star Game rather than the $75 million touted by MLB. Reuters/USA Today Sports

July 25, 2014 | The All-Star game has come and gone, and soon we’ll be preparing for the 2018 Super Bowl. These are not the last mega events on the horizon: Gov. Mark Dayton named a committee to attract an NCAA Men’s Final Four to the new Vikings stadium sometime between 2017 and 2020, and a who’s-who of Minnesotans is promoting a bid to host a World’s Fair in Minnesota in 2023.

Events like these bring attention and excitement to our state. Are they worth the resources we put into them?

Louis D. Johnston writes Macro, Micro, Minnesota for MinnPost, reporting on economic developments in the news and what those developments mean to Minnesota. He is Joseph P. Farry professor in the Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy and Civic Engagement at Saint John’s University. 

Full story … 

Related:

Here's How The NFL Makes A Killing Off Of Taxpayers, Alissa Scheller, Huffington Post

  • The NFL may be generating money faster than Peyton Manning can rack up touchdowns but the league's owners have a history of looking for handouts when it comes time to pay for new stadiums. Here is a look at the staggering amount of public funds used to build the homes for NFL teams as well as a few of the NFL's other staggering fiscal stats.
  • Bill Moyers | Stadium Funding Deals Only Enrich the Plutocrats

GM Recalls: How General Motors Silenced a Whistle-Blower

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A week after her appalled husband woke her up in the middle of the night, Beth Kelley ... laughs. “I’m surprised there aren’t more people who stand up for what they believe,” she says. “But am I surprised that they wouldn’t go against General Motors? I suppose not.”

Tim Higgins and Nick Summers, BloombergBusinessweek

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feat_GM26__01__970.jpg In 2006 the wreck of a 2005 Cobalt killed two and injured one. Photograph by St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office/AP Photo

June 18, 2014 | It was close to 3 a.m. on June 6 when Courtland Kelley burst into his bedroom, startling his wife awake. General Motors (GM), Kelley’s employer for more than 30 years, had just released the results of an investigation into how a flawed ignition switch in the Chevrolet Cobalt could easily slip into the “off” position—cutting power, stalling the engine, and disabling airbags just when they’re needed most. The part has been linked to at least 13 deaths and 54 crashes. GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra, summoned before Congress in April to answer for the crisis, repeatedly declined to answer lawmakers’ questions before she had the company’s inquest in hand. Now it was out, and Kelley had stayed up to read all 325 pages on a laptop on the back porch of his rural home about 90 miles northwest of Detroit.

The “Valukas Report,” named for former U.S. Attorney Anton Valukas, who assembled it at GM’s request from interviews with 230 witnesses and 41 million documents, blamed a culture of complacency for the more than decade-long delay before the company recalled millions of faulty vehicles. It described employees passing the buck and committees falling back on the “GM nod”—when everyone in a meeting agrees that something should happen, and no one actually does it. On page 93, a GM safety inspector named Steven Oakley is quoted telling investigators that he was too afraid to insist on safety concerns with the Cobalt after seeing his predecessor “pushed out of the job for doing just that.” Reading the passage, Kelley felt like he’d been punched in the gut. The predecessor Oakley was talking about was Kelley.

Tim Higgins is a reporter for Bloomberg News in Detroit.

Nick Summers covers Wall Street and finance for Bloomberg Businessweek.

Full story … 

Jets, Tanks, Planes, Bombs and Occupying Soldiers: The Wall Street Pentagon War Machine

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  • Corporate military armaments factory genocide of weapons contracts stimulated through backroom business deals with big businessmen sell wars to anesthetize the population to military slaughter of the target race and produce and consume on command without thought of the victims whose lives are terminated through aggressive bombing, Special Operations counterinsurgency and tomahawk missile massacre for resources control.
  • Kneeling in Fenway Park to the Gods of War

William C. Lewis, Global Research

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Arms%20at%20the%20Statue%20of%20Liberty.jpg November 08, 2013 | Arms merchants sell reams of ammunition to the Pentagon corporate state war masters who in turn tax the thoroughly inculcated population to pay for the mass death facilitated through jets, tanks, planes, bullets, bombs and occupying soldiers.

The U.S. imperial NATO/CIA war slaughter machine backs coup attempts that the Pentagon facilitates with ships whenever the Wall Street elite fortune 500 cabal wants an unpopular leader deposed and this act of corporate imperial military hitman homicide smashes and destroys the aspirations of the poor, the workers and those whose wishes are for sovereignty of their lands while strengthening the morale of the rightest military factions supportive of a fascist dictator that will readily accept military aid and anticommunist purges against popular democracy. Likewise, when the people and the guerillas rise up against CIA-funded police state constabulary elite landowner capitalist death squad regimes these armaments slaughter machine ships instantly appear to reinforce the CIA sponsored right-wing military dictatorship with missiles and murderous jet-take-off bombing massacre runs.

William C. Lewis is a journalist, researcher and book collector from Yreka California. He blogs at http://politicalaffairs.weebly.com/.

Full story … 

Related:

Kneeling in Fenway Park to the Gods of War, Chris Hedges, Truthdig

  • The use of the Morse jet to carry out extraordinary rendition exposes the dark side of professional sports, how it is used by oligarchs and the military to manipulate and control us.
  • The Myth of America’s Global Peacekeeping Past 

 

 

 

Special Project | Business and Industry Behaving Badly: Week Ending July 13, 2014

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  • Profits before People
  • 8 New items including:
    • The Shocking Numbers Behind Corporate Welfare
    • 10 Corporate Behemoths Stifling Competition and Delivering Awful Service to You
    • The General Motors Ignition Switch Debacle
    • Food Stamps Don't Keep Walmart's Prices Low; They Keep Its Profits High
    • The Kochs’ Fig Leaf
    • How Corporate Giveaways to Applebee’s, Sears, and Other Companies Suck the Lifeblood from Your Community,
    • This man wants you to know the truth about Fukushima
    • Smart Cards Could Have Protected Target Shoppers From Identity Thieves

David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

Monte Wolverton

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The Shocking Numbers Behind Corporate Welfare, David Cay Johnston, Al-Jazeera America

  • In fact, the numbers significantly understate the true value of taxpayer subsidies made by state and local government agencies to businesses, , including cash giveaways, building and land transfers, tax abatements and steep discounts on electric and water bills, for reasons explained here.
  • 10 Corporate Behemoths Stifling Competition and Delivering Awful Service to You

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10 Corporate Behemoths Stifling Competition and Delivering Awful Service to You, Alex Henderson, AlterNet

  • Customers benefit when actual competition occurs. But that's rare these days.
  • Here are 10 mammoth corporations that detest free-market competition and do everything they can to stamp it out or greatly reduce it.
  • The Kochs’ Fig Leaf

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The General Motors Ignition Switch Debacle, compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • Was General Motors reckless in its decision not to recall these vehicles of death sooner because it put profits over people's lives?
  • Part 1: "A Culture of Timidity": Ralph Nader on How Regulators Ignored a GM Safety Defect Tied to 13 Deaths
  • Part 2: General Motors Cover-ups Result in Motor Vehicle Deaths, and Workplace Abuses in Colombia

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Food Stamps Don't Keep Walmart's Prices Low; They Keep Its Profits High, Amy Traub, Huffington Post

  • The truth is that Walmart and all the other large and profitable retailersfast food companies, and other corporations that fatten their bottom line by letting the public feed their employees have made a business decision to shrink their payroll on the taxpayer's dime. It's up to us to decide whether to continue allowing them to do it.
  • Walmart Stumbles on SNAP; Warns of Lost Profits

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Pat Bagley

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The Kochs’ Fig Leaf, Think Progress

  • Americans For Prosperity Fesses Up To Their Dirty Agenda
  • The Koch’s goal is to keep the economic deck stacked in their favor and that means a government that only work for the wealthiest. And they will spend whatever it takes to protect their bottom line.
  • Series | Class War for Idiots, Part 1: The Roots of Stalin in the Koch Brothers and the Tea Party Movement

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How Corporate Giveaways to Applebee’s, Sears, and Other Companies Suck the Lifeblood from Your Community, Kenneth Thomas, Alternet

  • They promise jobs, but leave dilapidated schools and crumbling roads in their wake.
  • A growing trend
  • NAFTA, Twenty Years After: A Disaster

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This man wants you to know the truth about Fukushima, Anna Galland, MoveOn.org

Video: The truth about Fukushima in 188 seconds

Please help Harvey Wasserman spread the word about Fukushima today. 

The Crisis at Fukushima's Unit 4 Demands a Global Take-Over

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Smart Cards Could Have Protected Target Shoppers From Identity Thieves, Gerry Smith, Huffington Post

U.S. banks rely on credit cards with magnetic strips, which can be easily reproduced by thieves, while European banks have issued millions of more modern "smart cards" that are embedded with computer chips. Smart cards encrypt transaction information, require thieves to know the cardholder’s PIN, and can generate one-time-only passwords.

 
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