You are here

Business

GM Recalls: How General Motors Silenced a Whistle-Blower

Banner%20Corporate%20Accountability.jpg

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

%2522%40%2522%20Logo%20with%2010%20yr%20banner.jpgTo stay on top of important articles like these, sign up here to receive the latest updates from all reader supported Evergreene Digest.

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

Rethink%20Afghan%20Logo_0.jpg

  • 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

Cuppa%20Java-lg%20with%2010%20yr%20banner.jpg

Journalism with real independence and integrity is a rare thing. All reader supported Evergreene Digest relies - exclusively!- on reader donations. Click on the donation button above to make a contribution and support our work.

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

Banner%20Corporate%20Accountability.jpg

  • 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

###

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

###

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

###

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

###

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

###

Pat Bagley

###

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

###

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

###

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

###

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.

 
Section(s): 

Six Signs Your Boss Is a Coward

  • You can see (the cowards') fear and the way they go about trying to hide their insecurities a mile away.
  • Now, the question is: Do you have the strength to leave that cowardly boss and find a new one who is a true brave leader?
  • Why the American Worker Is Miserable

Rob Wyse, LinkedIn

%2522%40%2522%20Logo%20with%2010%20yr%20banner.jpg To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up here to receive the latest updates from all reader supported Evergreene Digest.

Six%20Signs%20Your%20Boss%20Is%20a%20Coward.jpg June 06, 2014

1. He has others fire his direct reports.

2. She will make a decision in private, then fail to protect her people in public if it does not work.

3. He tells each person in private what the person “wants to hear,” which means he’s delivering different messages to each.

4. She will not have face-to-face meetings to resolve conflicts.

5. He slips in a negative comment about one of your colleagues in every conversation.

6. She really never says anything personal about herself.

Rob Wyse: Communications Advisor/Strategist/Writer for Global Executives, Managing Director, New York at Capital Content

Full story … 

Related:

Why the American Worker Is Miserable, Jason Notte, TheStreet

Banner%20Corporate%20Accountability.jpg

  • A survey by Gallup finds that since the economic crisis peaked in 2009, there's been no better time to exploit the U.S. workforce for longer hours and less pay.
  • The Henry Ford Matrix And The Twilight of Disparity

 

Section(s): 

One of the Biggest Opponents of GMO Labeling Is Offering More Non-GMO Products

Environment%20Banner.jpg

  • Cargill believes genetically modified foods are safe, but losing consumers' favor might be a more expensive setback than sticking to its pro-GMO guns.
  • Walmart’s latest organic scheme is just part of its plot to take over our food system.

Jenna McLaughlin, Mother Jones

Thank%20You%20%28Lg%29%20w%3A10%20yr%20banner.jpg This article is made possible with the generous contributions of all reader supported Evergreene Digest readers like you. Thank you!

gmolab.gif Source/Shutterstock

Jul. 2, 2014 | Cargill, a giant privately held food manufacturer, is one of the biggest enemies of laws requiring companies to label products that contain genetically modified ingredients. But even as the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), an anti GMO-labeling lobbying group Cargill belongs to, fights GMO-labeling laws in state legislatures and courthouses around the country, Cargill is introducing more GMO-free products.

Last week, Cargill announced its newest non-GMO crop, soybean oil, which will join corn and beans on Cargill's list of unmodified products offered in the United States, among others.

Jenna McLaughlin is an Editorial Fellow in Mother Jones' Washington Bureau. She has previously written and worked for DC Magazine and Baltimore City Paper. She recently graduated from the Johns Hopkins University's Writing Seminars Department.

Full story … 

Related:

Walmart’s latest organic scheme is just part of its plot to take over our food system, Stacy Mitchell, Grist

  • To me, the pivotal question that ought to frame any discussion about Walmart’s role in our food system is: Will people and the planet be better off if Walmart grows to control 50 percent of the U.S. grocery market?
  • A Trojan Carrot 

 

Why the American Worker Is Miserable

Banner%20Corporate%20Accountability.jpg

  • A survey by Gallup finds that since the economic crisis peaked in 2009, there's been no better time to exploit the U.S. workforce for longer hours and less pay.
  • The Henry Ford Matrix And The Twilight of Disparity

Jason Notte, TheStreet

I%20Want%20You%20with%2010%20yr%20banner.jpgIf you like reading this article, consider joining the crew of all reader-supported Evergreene Digest by contributing the equivalent of a cafe latte a month--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

263fe7d0f0e40c0321b799a4dbd97ae1.portrait.jpg 11/21/13 | When you spend enough time scrolling the business pages and reading between the all-caps, bolded lines of tech IPOs and banking settlements, two things become immediately apparent: It's a grim scene outside corner offices and Silicon Valley, and those toiling under that pall are getting increasingly frustrated by the experience.

A few days ago, my colleague Rocco Pendola used Tesla (TSLA_) founder Elon Musk as an example of the media's fixation with building personalities up just to knock them down. He posited that folks like Musk who are out there creating PayPal and electric automobiles hold up a mirror to the rest of us as a reminder of what we haven't and, in many cases, won't achieve. The only flaw to Rocco's argument was limiting it to only the media.

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRrThAiSOeHxpckVvvTfSrxHB03yhzvWf3SwtS3YSPWfLmvowkQrVbKLT14 Jason Notte is a reporter for TheStreet. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Esquire.com, Time Out New York, the Boston Herald.

Full story … 

 

Related:

The Henry Ford Matrix And The Twilight of Disparity, William Annett, Beating the Street, Evergreene Digest

  • When so much income goes to the very top, the middle class and the poor don't have enough purchasing power to buy what the economy is producing. - Robert Reich, Former US Labor Secretary
  • Once upon a Model T...
  • The U.S. Is Even More Unequal Than You Realized

 

Section(s): 

The Henry Ford Matrix And The Twilight of Disparity

Banner%20Corporate%20Accountability.jpg

  • When so much income goes to the very top, the middle class and the poor don't have enough purchasing power to buy what the economy is producing. - Robert Reich, Former US Labor Secretary
  • Once upon a Model T...
  • The U.S. Is Even More Unequal Than You Realized

William Annett, Beating the Street, Evergreene Digest

%2522%40%2522%20Logo%20with%2010%20yr%20banner.jpgTo stay on top of important articles like these, sign up here to receive the latest updates from all reader supported Evergreene Digest.

June 29, 2014 | Henry Ford was a smart fellow. As a matter of fact, he was much smarter than the current ruling junta of the much-envied and much-maligned 1%, because they still haven't yet figured out what Henry realized in the early Twenties. In addition to inventing the assembly line,  he shrewdly calculated the ratio of the worker-wage-purchaser cycle, such that he determined precisely the minimum hourly wage he could pay his workers, compatible with the  maximum price tag he could put on his Model T, in order for his workers to be able to buy their own product, i.e.  his cars.

Take a simple graph - with the vertical axis representing the range of hourly  wage rates for a typical  auto worker, while the horizontal axis represents ascending possible retail prices  for the basic black Model T Ford. (We're talking maybe 1926, so forget the likes of  Rockefeller and Al Capone, who are driving Hupmobiles. We're dealing with the huddled masses here.) Now, draw a tangent from lower left to upper right. Somewhere about where 50 cents an hour on the vertical axis intersects the tangent, corresponding with $250 on the horizontal price continuum, (suggested manufacturer's retail price, SMRP, as the dealer johnnies say nowadays), you reach equilibrium. That is, Henry does, or did, perhaps with killer entrepreneurial instinct. It was the magic intercept or inflection point which, circa 1926,  might be called the Henry Ford Matrix, which he must have sat up nights figuring out. But it's simple: You pay the guy with a lug wrench on the assembly line like five bucks for a ten-hour day to tighten the same nut 500 times, and  he can afford to buy one of your Tin Lizzies.

William Annett has written six books, including a page-turner on mutual funds, a send-up on the securities industry, three corporate histories and a novel, the latter no doubt inspired by his current occupation in Daytona Beach as a law-abiding beach comber.

Full story … 

Related:

The U.S. Is Even More Unequal Than You Realized, Maxwell Strachan, Huffington Post 

  • When it comes to income inequality, no other developed economy does it quite like the U.S.A. If you need some proof, here it is.
  • America’s rotting empire
  • What's a Union For?

 

 

 

Section(s): 

The Fracking Nightmare, July 3, 2014

FrackingBanner_lg.jpg

  • Fracking's False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future.
  • Part 1: Minnesota Town Caught in 'Frac Sand' Mining Rush Wants Answers on Pollution
  • Part 2: New York Towns Can Ban Fracking, State’s Top Court Rules

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

Thank%20You%20%28Lg%29%20w%3A10%20yr%20banner.jpg This article is made possible with the generous contributions of all reader supported Evergreene Digest readers like you. 



Part 1: Minnesota Town Caught in 'Frac Sand' Mining Rush Wants Answers on Pollution

Residents of Winona, Minn., a frac sand transportation hub, say data from the state pollution control agency is months overdue. The state Pollution Control Agency (PCA) said the data would be released in March.

Zahra Hirji, InsideClimate News

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Jim Fuller

winona3.jpg Winona, Minn. is the first local government in the nation to monitor air pollution escaping from the piles of frack sand being trucked through its downtown. Data was promised in March, but because of a dearth of labs to process the data, the community is still waiting. Credit: Ryan Keene 

Jun 23, 2014 | How much dangerous dust is being kicked into the air from the mounds of frac sand hauled daily across the southern Minnesota town of Winona?

Looking for answers, the community got the state to install in January a pollution monitor for crystalline silica, or frac sand­, the first in Minnesota not financed by industry. Located on a building above a major intersection for sand trucks bound for fracking fields, it's been collecting data ever since.

Zahra Hirji: Reporter, InsideClimate News

Full story … 



Part 2: New York Towns Can Ban Fracking, State’s Top Court Rules

The ruling may lead the oil and gas industry to abandon fracking in New York as Cuomo considers whether to lift a statewide moratorium instituted in 2008 that he inherited when he took office.

Chris Dolmetsch, Bloomberg

i3I03JbyW.Hc.jpg June 30 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg’s Betty Liu reports that New York State’s highest court ruled that towns and cities can block hydraulic fracturing within their borders, upholding a six-year-old statewide moratorium on the practice. She speaks on “In The Loop.” 

Jun 30, 2014 New York’s cities and towns can block hydraulic fracturing within their borders, the state’s highest court ruled, dealing a blow to an industry awaiting Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision on whether to uphold a six-year-old statewide moratorium.

The Court of Appeals in Albany today upheld rulings dismissing lawsuits that challenged bans enacted in the upstate towns of Dryden and Middlefield.

Chris Dolmetsch: Bloomberg News legal reporter, covering NY state courts.

Full story … 

 

Pages

Subscribe to Business