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Boeing is a Greedy, Freeloading Corporation That Screws American Taxpayers and Workers

  • The aerospace company makes out like a bandit while sucking the lifeblood from the real economy.
  • Boeing Saga Ends with 51% Favoring Revised Contract

Kenneth Thomas, AlterNet

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Boeing workers' protestBoeing Machinists rally against contract proposal komonews

December 11, 2013 | Boeing is America's Most Wanted Corporation in two senses. First, now that the Machinists' union in Washington state has refused the company's contract demands, it is shopping production (h/t Pacific Northwest Inlander) of the 777x aircraft nationwide and lots of states are making offers for it. Second, it is emblematic of everything the 1% is doing to destroy the middle class: despite being highly profitable, it pays virtually no taxes; it accepts billions of dollars in government subsidies; it is trying to eliminate pensions and cut salaries for its highly skilled workforce; and it is trying to move production away from its unionized workforce, something it has already accomplished in part.

The first part of the story is nauseating enough. With Boeing already threatening to leave its home in Washington state if it didn't get what it wanted from both the state and the union, Democratic governor Jay Inslee called a special session of the state legislature that took three days to approve subsidies for Boeing. The incentive package is the largest ever in U.S. history for a single company, according to Greg LeRoy of Good Jobs First, an astounding $8.7 billion over 16 years (2025-2040). By my own back-of-the-envelope calculations, this looks to be the largest-ever U.S. subsidy on a present value basis as well as in nominal terms.

Kenneth Thomas is Professor of Political Science, University of Missouri-St. Louis. Author of Competing for Capital: Europe and North America in a Global Era (Georgetown University Press, 2000) and Investment Incentives and the Global Competition for Capital (Palgrave, 2011).

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Boeing Saga Ends with 51% Favoring Revised Contract, Kenneth Thomas, Middle Class Political Economist

  • Saturday, January 4, 2014 | As I argued last month, the Puget Sound area of Washington state was easily the best place, from a strictly economic point of view, for Boeing to build its new 777x jetliner. This was confirmed when, despite the rejection of  its union contract offer by a 2:1 margin and opening an auction for a new facility, Boeing came back to the union with a second contract offer (h/t New York Times). Yesterday, by a 51-49 margin, workers voted to accept the contract.
  • The Labor movement equivalent of Wounded Knee.
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Debate over Orchestra Hall lease continues

  • Save Our Symphony (SOS) claims that the Minnesota Orchestral Association (MOA) failed to provide complete financial information—in part because leaders allegedly did not tell the state about concerns regarding the organization’s financial condition—and should thus be found in default of its lease. The letter also suggests that donations made to the orchestra have formed a charitable trust, with MOA as the trustee and Orchestra Hall being an asset of that trust.
  • Vikings stadium opponent: ‘Where are the jobs?’

Jake Anderson, Twin Cities Business 

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OrchestraExterior0913_640_0.jpg

Under the terms of its lease, the Minnesota Orchestral Association is required to show how Orchestra Hall is being used to promote the arts in Minneapolis. MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson

January 2, 2014 | A grassroots advocacy group backing the locked-out Minnesota Orchestra musicians is contending that orchestra management is in default of its lease for Orchestra Hall—and the group is urging city leaders to terminate the agreement.

The Minnesota Orchestral Association (MOA), which serves as the orchestra's management organization, operates Orchestra Hall, which recently underwent a $52 million renovation. Under the terms of its lease, the organization is required to show how the facility is being used to promote the arts in Minneapolis.

Jake Anderson has served as online and e-newsletter editor for Twin Cities Business since March 2010. He manages TCB’s website, daily news coverage, and twice-weekly Briefcase e-newsletter, among other projects, while also writing digital and print stories. 

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Vikings stadium opponent: ‘Where are the jobs?’ Marlys Harris, MinnPost 

DanCohen2013StateFair225.jDan Cohen MinnPost photo by Karen Boros

12/31/13 | Dan Cohen, candidate for Minneapolis mayor in the recent election and member of the City Planning Commission, was one of the fiercest voices raised against the state and city's nearly $500 million contribution to the cost. Cohen and two former officials launched a lawsuit against Minneapolis to stop it from selling bonds to finance a parking ramp and a park that are part of the Ryan Companies Downtown East development plan because they would also be used accommodate Vikings fans. 

A Minnesota native, Marlys Harris has been an investigative reporter and editor with specialties in consumer protection and finance for Money Magazine and Consumer Reports.

NAFTA, Twenty Years After: A Disaster

  • By any measure, NAFTA and its sequels has been a major contributor to the rising inequality of incomes and wealth that Barack Obama bemoans in his speeches. Yet today -- channeling Reagan, the Bushes and Clinton -- the president proposes two more such trade deals: the Trans-Pacific Partnership with eleven Pacific Rim countries and a free trade agreement with Europe.
  • Secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Revealed

Jeff Faux, Huffington Post

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End%20Corporate%20Greed%20Occupy.jpg 01/01/2014 | New Year's Day, 2014, marks the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The Agreement created a common market for goods, services and investment capital with Canada and Mexico. And it opened the door through which American workers were shoved, unprepared, into a brutal global competition for jobs that has cut their living standards and is destroying their future.

NAFTA's birth was bi-partisan -- conceived by Ronald Reagan, negotiated by George Bush I, and pushed through the US Congress by Bill Clinton in alliance with Congressional Republicans and corporate lobbyists.

Jeff Faux: Founder and now Distinguished Fellow at the Economic Policy Institute

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stopp-tppa.jpg  Secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Revealed, Camilla Mortensen, EugeneWeekly.com

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Amelia Kroeger

January 2, 2014 | The Trans-Pacific Partnership sounds like a conspiracy theory. The TPP talks about a trade deal that will govern 40 percent of U.S. imports and exports as well as affect copyrights, pharmaceuticals and more are being conducted in secret, and only a few portions of the agreement and memos about it have been leaked. Congressman Peter DeFazio says he vehemently opposes the TPP.

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Smart Cards Could Have Protected Target Shoppers From Identity Thieves

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.

Gerry Smith, Huffington Post

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n-SMART-CARD-large.jpg Dec 23, 2013 | After thieves hijacked credit and debit card data belonging to 40 million Target shoppers, many blamed the retail giant for putting them at risk of identity theft.

But some experts are also pointing to a less visible culprit: the credit card industry. Card issuers might not have been able to prevent the recent data breach at Target, but if they had upgraded to more secure technology, they could have deterred thieves from using that stolen information to make counterfeit credit cards.

Gerry Smith is a technology reporter at Huffington Post.

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The True Price of Great Holiday Deals, Robert ReichHuffington Post

  • The sobering reality is the United States has no national strategy for creating more good jobs in America. Until we do, more and more Americans will be chasing great deals that come largely at their own expense.
  • Walmart: The High Cost Of Low Prices
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Special Project | The Big Box/Fast Food Business Problem: Week Ending December 15, 2013

Corporate Accountability and Workplace

The High Cost of Low Prices

9 New items including:

  • A Death Knell for the McJob?
  • The True Price of Great Holiday Deals
  • The Wal-Mart You Don't Know
  • Black Friday Walmart Protests
  • “They have blood on their hands"
  • One Walmart's Low Wages Could Cost Taxpayers $900,000 Per Year, House Dems Find
  • Walmart CEO Mike Duke: 'We Do Pay Competitive Wages' 
  • Walmart's Internal Compensation Documents Reveal Systematic Limit On Advancement,
  • Fight back against Walmart’s race-to-the-bottom economics

David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

Adam ZyglisAdam Zyglis | Black Friday

A Death Knell for the McJob? David Moberg, In These Times

  • 'Eight dollars and sixty-five cents is unacceptable. Not only are we the backbones of these companies, we bring the corporations the money, but out of all the people at the corporation and franchises, we get paid the least.'
  • Strikes in 100 cities signal a sea change in attitudes about low-wage work.

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The True Price of Great Holiday Deals, Robert Reich, Huffington Post

  • The sobering reality is the United States has no national strategy for creating more good jobs in America. Until we do, more and more Americans will be chasing great deals that come largely at their own expense.
  • Walmart: The High Cost Of Low Prices

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The Wal-Mart You Don't Know, Charles Fishman, Fast Company

  • The giant retailer's low prices often come with a high cost. Wal-Mart's relentless pressure can crush the companies it does business with and force themto send jobs oversees. 
  • Are we shopping our way straight to the unemployment line?
  • Walmart: The High Cost Of Low Prices

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Black Friday Walmart Protests, Teresa, Joe, John and Susan, Peoples World / Black Friday Protests

The holiday season is already upon us and Black Friday Walmart protests are being planned across the nation. You can find one near you here: Black Friday Protests. Send us your photos, stories to editors@peoplesworld.org or tweet us @peoplesworld. Help us keep the coverage of Walmart workers going. Donate today. Solidarity forever! 

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“They have blood on their hands" Josh Eidelson, Salon

  • Meet Wal-Mart’s worst nightmare
  • A top Bangladesh labor leader slams retailers, issues a plea to consumers, and explains why her life is in danger
  • California Wal-Mart workers strike today, following stunning Florida victory
  • These Kmart Workers Say They Can't Even Take Thanksgiving Off

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One Walmart's Low Wages Could Cost Taxpayers $900,000 Per Year, House Dems Find, Dave Jamieson and Saki Knafo, Huffington Post

Aubretia Edick, a Massachusetts woman who earns $11.70 an hour and receives public assistance, food stamps, Section 8 housing, and state-funded health care, said her reliance on the safety net is one reason she plans to join the strikes. “Walmart doesn't pay my salary,” she said. “You (the taxpayer) pay my salary.”

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Walmart CEO Mike Duke: 'We Do Pay Competitive Wages' Harry BradfordHuffington Post

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Walmart's Internal Compensation Documents Reveal Systematic Limit On Advancement, Alice Hines and Christina Wilkie, Huffington Post 

  • Walmart’s hourly workers are (most) likely to wind up like the 30-year-old sales associate in Mississippi who told HuffPost he makes just $8.65 an hour after three years with the company.
  • Walmart hit by Black Friday strikes across 46 states, say protesters

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Fight back against Walmart’s race-to-the-bottom economics, Kaytee Riek, SumOfUs.org

Walmart workers are getting ready to strike on the biggest shopping day of the year, “Black Friday,” and they asked the SumOfUs.org community to help make the strike as big as possible.

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A Death Knell for the McJob?

Corporate Accountability and Workplace

 

  • 'Eight dollars and sixty-five cents is unacceptable. Not only are we the backbones of these companies, we bring the corporations the money, but out of all the people at the corporation and franchises, we get paid the least.'
  • Strikes in 100 cities signal a sea change in attitudes about low-wage work.

 

David Moberg, In These Times

 

 

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Moberg_McDonalds_Fast-FoodDawn Moore was on “strike” Thursday (Dec 5). It was more a protest than a conventional attempt to stop all work at her job site, but it still packed a punch.  She took a day off from her work at a McDonald’s in Chicago to join more than 150 protestors who marched from one fast-food or retail store to another in both the downtown “Loop” and several outlying neighborhoods. Chanting “we are the 99%” and carrying a giant Grinch puppet, they were there to demand that employers in those low-wage businesses pay employees $15 an hour and respect their right to organize a union freely.

 

“I think we all deserve a fair living wage,” says Moore, 41, a 7.5-year veteran McDonald’s worker. A divorced mother of two, she struggles to pay off $9,000 in student loans she incurred during less than a year at a “scam” college and has to move back and forth between apartments of a friend and a sister.

David Moberg, a senior editor of In These Times, has been on the staff of the magazine since it began publishing in 1976.

 

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Fast-Food Strike | Workers in 100 Cities Push for $15 Hourly Wages, Associated Press / Christian Science Monitor

  • Fast-food strike: A nationwide fast-food strike started early Thursday (Dec 5) in Detroit, Atlanta, and dozens of other cities. The strike is organized by labor unions pushing for higher wages.
  • Americans Want a Great Big Increase in the Minimum Wage
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The True Price of Great Holiday Deals

  • The sobering reality is the United States has no national strategy for creating more good jobs in America. Until we do, more and more Americans will be chasing great deals that come largely at their own expense.
  • Walmart: The High Cost Of Low Prices

Robert Reich, Huffington Post

Bloomberg via Getty ImagesAmerican Manufacturing Jobs

The most important website last weekend (Nov 30 - Dec 1) and in weeks to come -- on which the hopes and fears of countless Americans are focused (and the president's poll-ratings depend) -- is not HealthCare.gov. It's Amazon.com.

Even if and when HealthCare.gov works perfectly, relatively few Americans will be affected by it. Only 5 percent of us are in the private health-insurance market to begin with. But almost half of Americans are now shopping for great holiday deals online, and many will be profoundly affected -- not because they get great deals, but because their jobs and incomes are at stake.

Robert Reich: Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy, University of California at Berkeley; Author, Beyond Outrage

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Walmart: The High Cost Of Low Prices, YouTube / Wikipedia

Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price is a 2005 documentary film by director Robert Greenwald. The film presents a negative picture of Wal-Mart's business practices through interviews with former employees, small business owners, and footage of Wal-Mart executives. The film intersperses statistics between the interviews to provide large-scale examinations beyond personal opinions. The documentary was released on DVD on November 4, 2005.

 

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