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The Shocking Numbers Behind Corporate Welfare

 

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  • 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

David Cay Johnston, Al-Jazeera America

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src.adapt.960.high.1393513920058.jpgAn Air India Boeing 787 Dreamliner taking off for a display at the 50th Paris Air Show, at Le Bourget Airport near Paris in June 2013. Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

February 25, 2014 | State and local governments have awarded at least $110 billion in taxpayer subsidies to business, with 3 of every 4 dollars going to fewer than 1,000 big corporations, the most thorough analysis to date of corporate welfare revealed today.

Boeing ranks first, with 137 subsidies totaling $13.2 billion, followed by Alcoa at $5.6 billion, Intel at $3.9 billion, General Motors at $3.5 billion and Ford Motor at $2.5 billion, the new report by the nonprofit research organization Good Jobs First shows.

David Cay Johnston, an investigative reporter who won a Pulitzer Prize while at the New York Times, teaches business, tax and property law of the ancient world at the Syracuse University College of Law. He is the best-selling author of "Perfectly Legal", "Free Lunch" and "The Fine Print" and editor of the new anthology "Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality."

Full story … 

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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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10 Corporate Behemoths Stifling Competition and Delivering Awful Service to You

  • 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

Alex Henderson, AlterNet

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

screen_shot_2014-04-24_at_12.18.26_pm.png April 24, 2014  |  One of the fundamentals of free-market capitalism is that consumers benefit when competition is plentiful. If a business is selling a weak or inferior product, consumers can turn to the competition for a better deal. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt understood that, which is why a key element of his New Deal was the anti-trust, anti-monopoly legislation of the 1930s. Roosevelt firmly believed that large companies should be forced into a competitive environment whether they liked it or not, and that belief served the U.S. well for many years. But in recent decades, a variety of corporate lobbyists, far-right Republicans and neoliberal Democrats have shredded the New Deal and undermined anti-trust laws—thus encouraging corporations to grow larger and larger and engage in monopolistic practices. 

Here are 10 mammoth corporations that detest free-market competition and do everything they can to stamp it out or greatly reduce it.

Alex Henderson's work has appeared in the L.A. Weekly, Billboard, Spin, Creem, the Pasadena Weekly and many other publications.

Full story … 

Related:

The Kochs’ Fig Leaf, Think Progress

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  • 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

The FCC Wants to Break the Internet

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  • As reported by various outlets, the  new rules have been circulated by FCC chairman Tom Wheeler to the other members of the commission and will be officially announced on Thursday (April 24).
  • “If it goes forward, this capitulation will represent Washington at its worst.” —Todd O’Boyle, Common Cause
  • "With this proposal, the FCC is aiding and abetting the largest ISPs in their efforts to destroy the open Internet," said Craig Aaron, president of the media advocacy group Free Press.
  • Part 1: Internet For The Wealthy On The Way Unless We Stop It
  • Part 2: Unless Defeated, New FCC Rules Will Put 'Stake in Internet's Heart'

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Internet For The Wealthy On The Way Unless We Stop It

Take Action Today: Immediate mobilization required to save open Internet.

Kevin Zeese, Popular Resistance

wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Net-neutrality-meme-e1398433124309.jpg April 24, 2014 | In what the New York Times describes as “a net neutrality turnaround” the Obama administration’s new FCC chairman is proposing rules that will create an Internet for the wealthy. The new plan to create a pay to play Internet came to light Wednesday in the Wall Street Journal.

Under the plan wealthy corporations will be able to purchase faster service, while those that cannot do so will have slower service. Rather than an open Internet for all, the US will be moving to a class-based Internet. Of course, this will mean that when Netflix and other corporations purchase faster Internet, the consumers who use their service will be paying more to watch movies and download information. As a result, more money will be funneled from working Americans to wealthy telecom giants.

Kevin Zeese, along with Margaret Flowers, is a participants in PopularResistance.org. They also co-direct It’s Our Economy and are co-hosts of Clearing the FOG, shown on UStream TV and heard on radio.

Full story … 



Part 2: Unless Defeated, New FCC Rules Will Put 'Stake in Internet's Heart'

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Critics of the new rules say that this could be the moment the internet as we know it will die if the people do not rise to its defense.

Jon Queally, Common Dreams

Thursday, April 24, 2014 |  Defenders of an open, innovative and fair internet are up in arms Thursday after learning the Federal Communications Commission is about to issue new rule proposals that will kill the online principle known as "net neutrality."

The death of net neutrality—which has governed the equal treatment of content since the internet was created—will create, say critics, a tiered internet that allows major internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon to cut special and lucrative deals with content providers who can afford to pay for special "fast lanes." The result will be an internet that will incentivize slower traffic by ISPs and the creation of privatized, corporate-controlled "toll-roads" that will come to dominate a once fair and free environment.

Jon Queally, staff writer, Common Dreams

Full story … 

North Dakota Gas Flaring Doubles, Pumping CO2 Into Air

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  • Gains in reducing the amount of natural gas flaring in North Dakota are being made, but the state has a lot of work to do if it plans to meet its goal of reducing the amount of non-marketed gas its produces to 10 percent in just six years. 
  • Four Years After Gulf Oil Spill, BP Is Recovering Faster Than Environment

Bobby Magill, Climate Central

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assets-climatecentral-org-images-uploads-news-03_21_2014_Bobby_Magill_Bakken_Flares-500x333.jpg Satellite image of oil well flares in North Dakota's Bakken shale oil field seen near Willison, ND / Credit: NASA

March 21, 2014 | Fracking for crude oil is big business in North Dakota, but with that oil is coming a steadily increasing amount of wasted natural gas that is burned off, releasing large amounts of climate change-driving carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, according to new U.S. Energy Information Administration data

The Bakken shale of North Dakota is one of America’s largest sources of crude oil. It's produced by drilling and then hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, shale formations deep underground. But the oil fields rarely produce only oil — natural gas and other hydrocarbons come with it.

Bobby Magill is a senior science writer for Climate Central, focusing on energy and climate change. His coverage of oil and gas drilling and fracking at the Fort Collins (CO) Coloradoan newspaper earned a commendation from the Columbia Journalism Review as a "model for other reporters on this beat in the West and beyond."  

Full story … 

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Four Years After Gulf Oil Spill, BP Is Recovering Faster Than Environment, Miyoko Sakashita, Huffington Post

  • Despite the on-going carnage, little has been done to tighten oversight necessary to prevent similar spills in the future.
  • BP found another shady way to cheat public, get richer.

Walmart Prices Would Rise By Pennies If It Paid Workers More Than Poverty Wages

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  • If Walmart paid its employees a living wage …
  • Food Stamps Don't Keep Walmart's Prices Low; They Keep Its Profits High

Bryce Covert, ThinkProgress

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April 11, 2014 | Walmart prices would go up by mere pennies if it were to pay all of its workers enough to live above the poverty line, according to an analysis by Marketplace and Slate.

In a video, they explain that Walmart employees consume billions in food stamps each year, but raising their wages to a point where they wouldn’t need them anymore would only increase prices by about 1.4 percent.

 

Bryce Covert is the Economic Policy Editor for ThinkProgress. She was previously editor of the Roosevelt Institute’s Next New Deal 

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blog and a senior communications officer. She is also a contributor for The Nation.

Full story … 

Related:

Food Stamps Don't Keep Walmart's Prices Low; They Keep Its Profits HighAmy 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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4 years after spill, questions on long-term health

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  • "That has been a disaster in our lives," said Ducote, from the town of Meraux, in coastal St. Bernard Parish. "The little amount of money they're trying to give us, it's never going to replace our quality of life, our health."
  • Canada vastly underestimated the tar sands’ cancer-causing toxicants.

Associated Press  / NPR

b56b1528-d006-4d3d-a839-468bf8bdf881.jpg Bert Ducote talks about performing cleanup work with his boat during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The boat is being rebuilt at the Lake Catherine Marina in New Orleans, Friday, March 7, 2014. Ducote has had dozens of boils pop up on his skin since helping to work the oil spill cleanup. (AP Photo - Andrea Mabry) 

April 11, 2014 | When a BP oil well began gushing crude into the Gulf of Mexico four years ago, fisherman George Barisich used his boat to help clean up the millions of gallons that spewed in what would become the worst offshore spill in U.S. history.

Like so many Gulf Coast residents who pitched in after the April 20, 2010, explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig, Barisich was motivated by a desire to help and a need to make money — the oil had destroyed his livelihood.

Full story…

Related:

Canada vastly underestimated the tar sands’ cancer-causing toxicants, Lindsay Abrams, Salon 

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  • "Some of the worst things out there" are more prevalent than official reports suggest, according to a new study.
  • Yet another reason to reject Keystone
  • Tar Sands & Keystone XL are more Dangerous than an Iranian Atomic Bomb
  • Breaking: Update on Keystone XL

Moms Take On Walmart, And Win!

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While the announcement is a huge acknowledgement of the workers who have been urging Walmart to change, they say there is still a long way to go. Now it’s essential that the new policy is enforced and that reasonable accommodations are extended to all pregnant women.

Making Change at Walmart

TifRTB-300x300.jpg2014 / April / 07 | Under pressure from mothers working in their stores and women’s groups, Walmart recently altered its policy around accommodating pregnant women. As reported last weekend in the Washington Post, Walmart reworked its policy so that women with pregnancy-related complications that could be considered “temporary disabled” and would be eligible for “reasonable accommodation.”

While this policy fails to provide reasonable accommodations regarding physical demands for all pregnant women, it is a step forward in protecting the health of the most vulnerable pregnant women and their babies.

Making Change at Walmart is a campaign challenging Walmart to help rebuild our economy and strengthen working families. Anchored by the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW), we are a coalition of Walmart associates, union members, small business owners, religious leaders, community organizations, women’s advocacy groups, multi-ethnic coalitions, elected officials and ordinary citizens who believe that changing Walmart is vital for the future of our country.

Full story…

Related:www.ralphestes.com/tyranny.jpg

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

The General Motors Ignition Switch Debacle

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  • 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

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Mike-Thompson-Did-GM-put-profits-over-people- Mike Thompson 

Part 1: "A Culture of Timidity": Ralph Nader on How Regulators Ignored a GM Safety Defect Tied to 13 Deaths

Nermeen Shaikh, Democracy Now!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 | After hundreds of complaints and 13 deaths, the Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation into how the nation’s largest automaker, General Motors, may have covered up deadly safety defects in its compact cars. Six GM models made from 2003 to 2007 suddenly turned off while being driven — leaving drivers with no engine power, no power steering, no breaks and no air bags. For 11 years, GM reportedly treated the defect as a matter of customer satisfaction, not safety. Federal regulators also failed to take action, declining to investigate despite a flood of complaints. GM finally announced a massive recall of some 1.6 million vehicles last month. We speak with consumer advocate Ralph Nader, who is no stranger to GM. After writing "Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile," he won a major settlement against the auto giant for spying on him and trying to discredit him. Nader faults what he calls "a culture of timidity" in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "bred by the lack of backing by the Bush White House and, to some similar extent, by the Obama White House." He adds: "That of course leads to a reluctance to follow up on the evidence, to stand tall for the American motorist. That is not why we established the auto safety agency in 1966, so maybe this will help turn it around. Often it takes a tragedy like this to turn it around."

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer, and author. His latest book is The Seventeen Solutions: Bold Ideas for Our American Future. Other recent books include The Seventeen Traditions: Lessons from an American Childhood, Getting Steamed to Overcome Corporatism: Build It Together to Win, and "Only The Super-Rich Can Save Us" (a novel). 

Full story (audio and transcript)…

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Part 2: General Motors Cover-ups Result in Motor Vehicle Deaths, and Workplace Abuses in Colombia

Colombian autoworkers take fight to the U.S.

Frank Hammer, Portside

RJ Matson  

March 28, 2014 | Media reports are exposing that GM was aware for over a decade of a design flaw in 1.6 million vehicles which led to upwards of 300 fatalities before announcing a recall of those vehicles.  Though GM re-engineered the part in 2007, it didn't issue a recall until February, 2014.  Meanwhile, complaints were piling up from drivers who suddenly lost engine power causing the power steering, brakes, and airbags to fail.  12 deaths have already been attributed to a faulty ignition switch.  GM explained that it didn't recall the cars because drivers could still maneuver them manually and even turn the ignition back on!

How GM blew off the complaints, injuries, and deaths was no surprise to a group of ex-GM autoworkers from a Chevrolet assembly plant in Bogota, Colombia.   They, too, were victims of GM's disregard for safety - not on the road - but in the workplace.  Workers at their factory routinely suffered disabling injuries to their spines, shoulders and wrists from the intense work pace, 60-80 hour work weeks, the very physical nature of the work, and lack of workplace health and safety standards.  This was particularly true for workers who operated bulky, heavy welding guns, or manually lifted car bodies, or carried transaxles on their backs.

Frank Hammer is a retired GM employee, a board member of the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights, and a former UAW-GM International Representative living in Detroit.

Full story…https://portside.org/2014-03-29/general-motors-cover-ups-result-motor-ve...

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