Many of America’s biggest companies paid no federal income tax last year, or had credits under new corporate-friendly tax law

The Warner Estate – fancy digs in Beverly Hills for Jeffrey Bezos, the owner of Amazon, Blue Origin and the Washington Post. The modern King Midas (or Uncle Scrooge?) just paid $165 million – a new record for California RE.

What a guy! “Jeff” Bezos, the world’s richest person, has been paid the same $81,840 salary from Amazon for two decades.

Perhaps, because he needed extra cash last year to pay grocery bills, divorce lawyers and utilities, Bezos sold $1.8 billion of his Amazon stock, and kept about $1.44 billion after 20% federal capital gains tax.

Meanwhile, Amazon wage earners were hit with up to a 37% income tax. Even a single employee making $40k pays a higher rate than 20%.

The Bezos’ $1.8 billion sale, unlike Amazon employees’ wages, was also not subject to the 7.65% FICA tax, which supports Social Security and Medicare. That exemption for the rich saved him another $138 million.

All together, he avoided about $300 million in taxes – thanks to that 2017 capital gains tax rate change, passed with the combined support of Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.

Following the huge stock sale, Bezos still owned about 56,000,000 shares of Amazon  – each worth $2,135 today.

Despite a recent divorce settlement, he is still the richest person in the world with about $115 billion, and ex-wife Mackenzie is worth $38 billion, making her the third richest woman in the world.

At this point, my corporate-crony-loving friends are thinking:

Bezos may not pay much in taxes, but Amazon is still a big tax payer, even though the bipartisan tax bill also “reformed” the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%.

Congress and the White House promised that drastically lowering the corporate tax rate also meant removing corporate loopholes in the final bill.

Guess what? The government lowered the rate, but the tax avoidance continued.

In millions of dollars, the following are what big companies earned in IRS credits, instead of paying corporate income tax last year for 2018 profits. The red percentages are the minus income tax rate they paid.

Federal Income Tax Paid in 2018*

Company Profit Credit Tax Rate $10,835 -129 -1.20%
Delta Air Lines $5,073 -187 -3.70%
Starbucks $4,774 -75 -1.60%
Chevron $4,547 -181 -4.00%
General Motors $4,320 -104 -2.40%
EOG Resources $4,067 -304 -7.50%
Occidental Petroleum $3,379 -23 -0.70%
Duke Energy $3,029 -647 -21.40%
Dominion Resources $3,021 -45 -1.50%
Honeywell International $2,830 -71 -2.50%
FedEx $2,312 -107 -4.60%
Deere $2,152 -558 -25.90%
American Electric Power $1,943 -32 -1.60%
Nvidia $1,843 -32 -1.70%
Williams $1,828 -83 -4.50%
Kinder Morgan $1,784 -22 -1.20%
Public Service Enterprise $1,772 -97 -5.50%
Hartford Financial Services $1,753 -18 -1.00%
Principal Financial $1,641 -55 -3.30%
Edison International $1,600 -57 -3.60%
Ally Financial $1,587 -12 -0.80%
FirstEnergy $1,495 -16 -1.10%
McKesson $1,477 -10 -0.70%
Prudential Financial $1,440 -210 -14.60%
Xcel Energy $1,434 -34 -2.40%
PulteGroup $1,340 -44 -3.30%
Molson Coors $1,325 -23 -1.70%
Devon Energy $1,297 -14 -1.10%
DTE Energy $1,215 -17 -1.40%
WEC Energy Group $1,139 -218 -19.20%
PPL $1,110 -19 -1.70%
Halliburton $1,082 -19 -1.80%
CenturyLink $1,041 -576 -55.30%
Ameren $1,035 -10 -1.00%
Brighthouse Financial $989 -166 -16.80%
Netflix $899 -22 -2.50%
CMS Energy $774 -67 -8.70%
Darden Restaurants $760 -7 -0.90%
Rockwell Collins $722 -40 -5.50%
Whirlpool $717 -110 -15.30%
Westrock $710 -4 -0.60%
Air Products & Chemicals $671 -17 -2.50%
MGM Resorts International $648 -12 -1.80%
Atmos Energy $600 -10 -1.70%
Eli Lilly $598 -54 -9.10%
Alaska Air Group $576 -5 -0.90%
Cliffs Natural Resources $565 -1 -0.10%
First Data $559 -121 -21.60%
DXC Technology $522 -6 -1.10%
IBM $500 -342 -68.40%
Celanese $480 -142 -29.50%
Activision Blizzard $447 -243 -54.40%
UGI $446 -3 -0.60%
Goodyear Tire & Rubber $440 -23 -5.20%
United States Steel $432 -40 -9.30%
Owens Corning $405 -5 -1.20%
Penske Automotive Group $393 -13 -3.30%
Freeport-McMoRan Copper $391 -75 -19.20%
Mohawk Industries $373 -6 -1.50%
Ryder System $350 -47 -13.50%
Aramark $315 -48 -15.30%
MDU Resources $314 -16 -5.10%
Tapestry $307 -24 -7.90%
Builders FirstSource $255 -2 -0.70%
Tenet Healthcare $251 -6 -2.40%
AECOM Technology $244 -186 -76.50%
JetBlue Airways $219 -60 -27.40%
DowDuPont $217 -119 -54.80%
Realogy $199 -13 -6.50%
AK Steel Holding $169 -1 -0.30%
Levi Strauss $145 -25 -17.30%
Trinity Industries $138 -19 -13.90%
Pitney Bowes $125 -26 -21.00%
ABM Industries $88 0 -0.20%
Avis Budget Group $78 -37 -47.40%
SPX $67 -4 -6.60%
Beacon Roofing Supply $63 -4 -7.10%
Andersons $46 -1 -1.20%
SpartanNash $40 -2 -4.10%
Phillips-Van Heusen $18 -31 -168.10%
Sanmina-SCI $16 0 -0.80%
Murphy Oil $12 -10 -84.10%
INTL FCStone $9 -10 -110.30%
Gannett $7 -11 -164.20%

* Rounded to millions of dollars – Source: corporate 10-K filings

The next time you are flying Delta or JetBlue, think zero taxes and zero seat room.

Your Starbucks latte may cost big bucks for fancy coffee, but remember just your single server may pay more total  income tax than the entire coffee giant with 2,818 locations – combined.

Did someone say last year was a fluke, and corporations like Amazon usually pay their fair share?

Wrong! Last year was the second year in a row that Amazon paid no income taxes. The projection for this year is they may fork over about a miserable 1% on $13 billion in profits.

One final note. That $165 million Bezos spent on his new Beverly Hills mansion was just 0.13% of his total fortune.

That means Bezos can afford 768 more $165 million estates.

And that includes setting aside dollars for the clock.

Of course, it would be a different story if he and Amazon had to pay taxes just like the rest of us…

Corporate private cities – no rights, no votes and no protests!

Who needs a government?

What’s so great about the right to vote for your local, state or national leaders?

Why not allow a corporation decide how much to spend on your schools, police, roads and hospitals?

If these questions sound outlandish, you haven’t heard of the newest trend – private cities – where a chief operating officer and a corporate gang replace democracy and representative government with trickle down domination.

Sarah Moser, associate professor of geography at McGill University, warns us:

A private city is kind of like a giant mall.

If management doesn’t like you or the way you dress, they can theoretically expel you and you don’t have recourse to challenge this, as it is private property.

They don’t have mayors. They don’t have elected city councils. They have CEOs. So it’s a completely corporate model. There are no elected officials to appeal to and if you are seen as a troublemaker, you could potentially be kicked out.

Private cities are big business, no longer some tiny experiment.

More than 15 new private cities and dozens more new urban areas are being developed on public-private partnerships throughout the world today.

Forest City, a huge $100 billion new city, is being built in Malaysia on reclaimed land, just up the coast from Danga Bay by China’s Country Garden.

“It’s China’s largest property developer creating a private gated city from scratch in the ocean. They’ve had to engage in one of the largest land reclamation projects in the world to create a new city for 700,000 residents,” Moser said.

I think what’s particularly intriguing about this new city is that it’s geared toward Chinese nationals, not toward Malaysians …. There are no Malaysian police or military allowed into the project. So who’s policing the place? It’s private security guards.

In Springfield, Australia, a private city was built from scratch on 7,000 acres of bush land by that country’s 39th richest man. It now has 40,000 residents.

Morocco is building 20 new cities. Tanzania is constructing nine.

Saudi Arabia’s $500 billion mega-city – Neom – that will be 33 times the acreage of New York City

NEOM, a new city for one million residents in Saudi Arabia, includes plans for robot maids, cloud-seeding technology, and an artificial moon. In 2017, they hired three of the world’s largest consultancy firms — McKinsey & Co, Boston Consulting, and Oliver Wyman — to advise them.

Moser said another example is King Abdullah Economic City, a mega-project in Saudi Arabia:

It’s completely private, and it’s run by a company that’s actually listed on the Saudi Stock Exchange. So technically, I could buy stock in King Abdullah Economic City and have some say over the city that residents would not have …

In the 1960s, these (cities) were state projects for the greater good.

In contrast, I would say the majority of the cities today are fueled by corporations, and these corporations see unprecedented opportunities to make money …. IBM, Cisco, Google, Microsoft, they’re all in the new city game now.

“There are many ambiguities in private cities about the rights of residents, the legal protections they have, and the legal recourse they have if something goes wrong,” Moser explained.

CEOs are fired not for failing the residents, but for failing the shareholders. When a city is private, the priority of management is profit, not the needs of citizens.

Moser said the United Nations predicts 68% of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050:

They’re claiming that … the housing shortages can be addressed through the construction of new cities, and this is preferable to the endless squatter settlements and slums that we’re seeing popping up everywhere.

But in reality, a lot of these new cities are being targeted at the elites — people who globally own five to 10 properties already.

For example, in Kenya the middle class earns about $20 U.S. a day, and units in these new cities that are being created in Kenya often cost $150,000 U.S. It would take five lifetimes to actually pay off that condo.

Songdo – a private “smart” city

Songdo is a 130,000-person new city, owned and operated by Gale International and POSCO in South Korea. This smart city was developed in part by technology giant Cisco and includes a “living lab” for Cisco technologies.

“Everything in Songdo is wired. There are sensors on everything, and CCTV cameras everywhere. This is a way of increasing efficiency in the city, reducing crime … There are a lot of critics saying that this is too high a cost to pay, and we should be concerned about privacy,” Moser said.

She explained that new smart cities around the globe are “kind of like the Sidewalk Labs project on steroids.” Sidewalk Labs is a subsidiary of Google’s owner, Alphabet Inc. It plans to create a smart city, Quayside, on Toronto’s waterfront.

“People are suspicious, rightfully so, of a technology company’s role and what they’re standing to gain and what we stand to lose. And also wondering, well, is Toronto so broken that we can’t use existing mechanisms for urban development?” Moser said.

Financial reporter Wade Shepard explained that “in some ways, private cities are viewed as a ‘win-win’ type of shortcut … governments can get their new developments built for them via private capital, rather than tax dollars, and still take a cut of the earnings, while private firms can profit at each stage of the urbanization process,”

Shepherd said the private city movement allows drastic social changes:

Private cities, kind of like special economic zones, often have their own sets of rules which often run perpendicular to the laws of the nations they are geographically located within.

They are … a swath of land purchased by a private company, that can be run as that company sees fit.

They are wild cards where the conventions of the broader country don’t apply, where new labor regulations, tax codes, financial laws, business and property registration systems, and education models can be implemented and tested.

Country Garden’s Danga Bay, Malaysia

Pains of poverty from slave pay are just ignored by politicians; Elite class uses phony arguments to fight $15 minimum wage

Australia has always fascinated me, and not just because some of my ancestors moved there to help build that nation, along with millions of other “despicables” from Great Britain.

That continent and America were the freedom destinations for the Irish and English poor, who became indentured workers, toiling without pay for seven or more years to pay for their sea passage.

About half the American population in the mid 18th century were white and indentured, and even their children – born during such service – were automatically indentured until age 21 or older. In addition to indentured workers, Australia was a prison colony, and for a minor crime you were incarcerated and used as slave labor, often for life.

Let’s compare their minimum wage with our $7.25.

That $19.49 buys you plenty, considering Australia’s single-payer universal health care, low-cost public colleges, and $30,000 salary basement before paying back student loans.

You will notice that the minimum wage is much lower for students and varies by age for everyone. Apprentices are paid less.

There are also minimum wage variations by industry and occupation.

This is an example: Australia Restaurant Pay Guide

Minimum wage can increase by $5 an hour in the example guide, and wages on weekends and holidays are much higher.

Where do we go from here?

The Raise the Wage Act has passed the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 15) and still sits in the Senate (S.1242), where it will most likely die. It sets a $15 minimum by 2024.

Before the Raise the Wage Act, there has been no increase since the Fair Minimum Wage Act was passed in 2007. That long-delayed change raised the rate to $7.25 by 2009 – ten years ago.

Pessimism about passage comes from looking at the corporate-beholden members of the Senate, whose campaign donors are the very ones affected negatively by a fair wage for Americans. It can also be argued that the House passed the bill to get votes, realizing it would never become law because of Senate inaction.

Keeping workers competing for jobs and underpaid, while forcing both spouses to labor just to pay necessities, is a mantra of our profit-minded establishment.

A cable tv business channel anchor, Charles Payne, recently commented:

If people on minimum wage want more money, they should just get a second job.

A real Payne

Even if they did, it would take more than two jobs to earn the $5 million annually that Payne is paid for sitting at a desk and prognosticating about the “little people” and their need to sacrifice to enrich their employers.

A moment of stark reality is in order.

When Payne attends work one day, he earns as much as a minimum wage janitor is paid in an entire year. That means it would require the janitor to work hard for 365 years to match Payne’s one-year haul.

Nobody who sits and talks for a couple hours is worth 365 times as much a guy who breaks his back all day, so the rest of us have clean floors and toilets.

Time to raise the minimum wage. Among other blessings, the folks “down under” might stop looking down at us in wonder.

Big business in India benefits from taxes and regulations that are forcing small competitors out of business – sound familiar?

Big business in India has adopted the tactic of eliminating competition through onerous regulations.

Many of us can remember the American corner grocery, local pharmacy, small bakery, tiny-herd dairy farm, one-person law or accountant firm. Tens of thousands of small companies have closed in recent decades, replaced by chains and their monopoly practices of poorer service and higher prices.

The three major reasons for the closings are:

  • Huge firms undercutting small firms with predatory pricing until they can no longer make a profit. Small town America has watched its main streets turn into business-dead zones as Walmart, Target, Lowe’s and other big box firms open nearby.
  • Refusal of banks to offer lines of credit or capital loans below amounts not needed by small businesses. The practice favors large firms, who might need $100 million, versus small firms that may only require $200,000. The first is approved, and the second refused.
  • Unbearable regulation and taxation that requires too large a staff for a small company to afford. The cost of accounting for a million-dollar sales operation, for example, is the same as a $100,000 firm.

Some two years ago the government of India – no doubt pressured by big business’ lobbyists – decided to “reform” its tax system by introducing the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The GST quickly improved profits, but it has driven many small enterprises out of business and eliminated hundreds of thousands of jobs.

On Thursday, the GST Council will meet for the 36th time to revise the tax. And every time the GST is changed, businesses scramble to comply.

Chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the council may lower tax rates for electric vehicles, and is also likely to decide the valuation of goods and services in solar power generating systems and wind turbine projects. The sessions are held through video conferencing.

There are no plans to eliminate the tax, despite strong opposition in the country.

PHOTO: Ram Pratap, who lost his job as a powerloom operator earlier this year, poses for a picture inside a weaving factory where he used to work, in Panipat, India, Aug. 24, 2018.Ram Pratap, who lost his job as a power loom operator last year, because of the GST, posed for a Reuters photo inside the weaving factory in Panipat, India, where he once worked.

Nearby that abandoned plant, more than two dozen other workshops are locked from the outside, while dogs and cows roam through other abandoned factories.

Tilak Raj Bathla, who owned a tiny weaving factory in what was known the country’s “textile city”, said his neighbors, most of them unschooled, could not comply with monthly online filings required under the GST regime.

Meanwhile, some of Bathla’s customers and suppliers could not afford to hire accountants for a system, which has been amended more than 200 times already.

Others struggled to cope with delays in tax returns caused by glitches in the centralized software, Bathla said.

I have a GST registration, but I can’t work as my vendors and buyers are unable to comply with a complex tax structure, the 50-year-old explained.

His monthly sales had fallen to about 250,000 rupees ($3,511) from about 1 million rupees in the year following the GST passage.

Big firms have shaken off the effects of the change and are set to gain from a uniform tax regime.

A survey by the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) found that a fifth of India’s 63 million small businesses – contributing 32 percent to the economy and employing 111 million people – faced a 20 percent fall in profits since the GST rollout, and had to fire hundreds of thousands of workers.

The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, a Mumbai-based consultancy, said nearly five million workers lost their jobs over the year after GST was adopted. In Panipat, more than a third of the city’s 10,000 weaving units had closed or curbed production during that same period.

For Panasonic Appliances, India’s leading electric goods maker, GST has allowed cutting costs by 4 to 5 percentage points, for example. India’s consumer goods stock index has risen 26 percent in one year, outpacing the broader Mumbai market.

“GST has improved the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector,” Panasonic India CEO Manish Sharma said. Does he actually expect us to believe that fewer companies competing “improves” competitiveness.

In honor of Mr. Sharma we hereby reproduce the following from George Orwell’s 1984 Newspeak.

Appendix: The Principles of Newspeak

The Appendix of 1984 stands as Orwell’s explanation of New-speak, the official language of Oceania. Although Orwell felt that these ideas were too technical to completely integrate into the novel, they support the novel’s stance on language and thought in relation to the public’s acceptance of governmental control.

Newspeak is the official language of Oceania, scheduled for official adoption around 2050, and designed to make the ideological premises of Ingsoc … Newspeak is engineered to remove even the possibility of rebellious thoughts—the words by which such thoughts might be articulated have been eliminated from the language. Newspeak contains no negative terms. For example, the only way to express the meaning of “bad” is through the word “ungood.” Something extremely bad is called “doubleplus ungood.”

Newspeak’s grammar is arranged so that any word can serve as any part of speech, and there are three different groups of vocabulary words. The A vocabulary contains everyday words and phrases, as Orwell says, “for such things as eating, drinking, working” and so on. In comparison with modern English, these words are fewer in number but more rigid in meaning. Newspeak leaves no room for nuance, or for degrees of meaning.

The B vocabulary of Newspeak contains all words with political or ideological significance, specially tailored to engender blind acceptance of the Party’s doctrines. For example, “goodthink” means roughly the same thing as “orthodoxy.” The B vocabulary consists entirely of compound words and often compresses words into smaller forms to achieve conceptual simplicity: the English phrase “Thought Police,” for instance, is compressed into “thinkpol”; “the Ministry of Love” becomes “miniluv.”

The C vocabulary encompasses words that relate specifically to science and to technical fields and disciplines. It is designed to ensure that technical knowledge remains segmented among many fields, so that no one individual can gain access to too much knowledge. In fact, there is no word for “science”; as Orwell writes, “Ingsoc” covers any meaning that such a concept could possibly have.

The particularities of Newspeak make it impossible to translate most older English (oldspeak) texts into the language; the introduction of the Declaration of Independence, for instance, can be translated only into a single word: crimethink. Furthermore, a great many technical manuals must be translated into Newspeak; it is this bulk of translation work that explains the Party’s decision to postpone the full adoption of Newspeak to 2050.

China’s companies win the race for producing employment giants, dwarfing American firms like GM, Apple or Exxon

Longhua Subdistrict, Shenzhen

When you don’t count Walmart, the largest employers in the world, are in China, not the United States.

And the biggest firms in China are industrial and manufacturing companies, not a low-wage retailer

China National Petroleum (1,636,532), China State Grid (913,546), Foxconn (803,126) and Sninopec (667,799) together employ 4,021,003 workers.

Foxconn is well known in the U.S. for producing Apple phones in Longhua Town, Shenzhen, in the south of China.

Hundreds of thousands of workers (counts vary between 230,000 and 450,000) are employed in the walled campus of Foxconn City, one of many factory locations.

Like America’s Gilded Age company towns, Foxconn Campus includes 15 factories, worker dormitories, four swimming pools, a fire brigade, its own television network, and a city center with company grocery store, bank, restaurants, bookstore, and hospital.

Compare firms like Foxconn to the closest American industrial company – General Electric (313,000) – which has its workforce here and in China, according to a GE document:

GE China houses over 20,000 employees, 30 manufacturing bases, and more than 30 joint ventures, with a presence across 40 cities in the country. It also houses R&D teams in 8 cities in China. In 2017, GE’s orders in China amounted to US $8.1 billion.

One unfair tax advantage to America is that a firm’s China operations can help to avoid paying anything in support of our public needs. Our largest industrial employer may be a good example. The NY Times reported that between 2008 and 2015:

General Electric, International Paper, and PG&E, incurred a total federal income tax bill of less than zero over the entire eight-year period — meaning they received rebates.

But China’s dominance is not just in manufacturing and industrial employment, it far outpaces us in finance.

China has the largest major bank employment in the world: Agricultural Bank of China (491,578), Industrial Bank of China (433,048), China Construction Bank (370,415), Bank of China (311,133), and China State Construction (270,467).

Our largest bank, JPMorgan Chase, has 252,539 workers, many overseas.

These statistics lead to the conclusion that a socialist economic system, like China, does create jobs, even while guaranteeing healthcare and other services – benefits usually only for purchase in America. While China concentrates on increasing factories and employment in its own country, U.S. firms often do the opposite.

Meanwhile, China’s average wage is $12,000 in American dollars, compared to $6,900 in 2011, and $31,000 here. The government also requires employers to provide ten paid holidays, five to 15 paid vacation days, as well as up to 98 days of paid maternity leave, plus paternity leave that varies between 7 and 20 days. Workers must receive 30 days notice of layoffs, and sign an employer/employee contract.

China’s elected and appointed officials have the major voice in determining economic policy on a company-by-company basis. For example, products of China are free of VAT and other taxes when exported to the rest of the world. Imports are always taxed with the VAT, as well as tariffs that can often even double prices.

In the United States, the opposite is true. In recent years both political parties have allowed corporate interests to dictate public policy to government officials. And since corporations own all major media outlets, this corporate capitalism is promoted at all turns.

Most European nations have compromised on near-absolute control of government by corporations (U.S.) and absolute control of corporations by government (China). In varying degrees these countries attempt to blend the best of two economic/political systems.

Americans often cannot afford to pay for nursing homes, drugs, or childcare.

Chinese workers currently have lower pay, stricter working conditions, and face a government that controls most aspects of their lives.

Compromise, anyone, for the public good?

Name Industry Revenue
USD millions
Workers Nations
Walmart Retail $500,343 2,300,000 United States
China National Petroleum Oil and gas $326,008 1,636,532 China
State Grid Electricity $348,903 913,546 China
Foxconn Electronics $154,699 803,126 Taiwan
Tata Group Conglomerate $110,700 702,454 India
Sinopec Oil and gas $326,953 667,793 China
Volkswagen Automotive $260,028 642,292 Germany
Amazon Retail $177,866 566,000 United States
Agricultural Bank of China Financials $122,366 491,578 China
Gazprom Oil and gas $111,983 469,600 Russia
Industrial Bank of China Financials $153,021 453,048 China
Kroger Retail $122,662 449,000 United States
Berkshire Hathaway Financials $242,137 377,000 United States
China Construction Bank Financials $138,594 370,415 China
Toyota Automotive $265,172 369,124 Japan
Ping An Insurance Financials $144,197 342,550 China
Samsung Electronics $211,940 320,671 South Korea
General Electric Conglomerate $122,274 313,000 United States
Bank of China Financials $115,423 311,133 China
Exor Financials $161,677 307,637 Italy
Walgreens Boots Alliance Pharmaceuticals $118,214 290,000 United States
Daimler Automotive $185,235 289,321 Germany
China State Construction Construction $156,071 270,467 China
United Health Healthcare $201,159 260,000 United States
AT&T Telecom $160,546 254,000 United States
JPMorgan Chase Financials $113,899 252,539 United States
Japan Post Holdings Conglomerate $116,616 245,863 Japan
Honda Automotive $138,646 215,638 Japan
CVS Health Healthcare $184,765 203,000 United States
Ford Automotive $156,776 202,000 United States
BNP Paribas Financials $117,375 189,509 France
Costco Retail $129,025 182,000 United States
General Motors Automotive $157,311 180,000 United States
China Life Insurance Financials $120,224 170,517 China
Verizon Telecom. $126,034 155,400 United States
SAIC Motor Automotive $128,819 148,767 China
Allianz Financials $123,532 140,553 Germany
Apple Electronics $229,234 123,000 United States
Total Oil and gas $149,099 98,277 France
AXA Financials $149,461 95,728 France
Royal Dutch Shell Oil and gas $311,870 84,000 Netherlands United Kingdom
Glencore Mining $205,476 82,681 Switzerland
BP Oil and gas $244,582 74,000 United Kingdom
Exxon Mobil Oil and gas $244,363 71,200 United States
McKesson Healthcare $208,357 68,000 United States
Chevron Oil and gas $134,533 51,900 United States
Cardinal Health Pharmaceuticals $129,976 40,400 United States
AmerisourceBergen Pharmaceuticals $153,144 19,500 United States
Fannie Mae Financials $112,394 7,200 United States
Trafigura Commodities $136,421 3,935 Singapore
Workers line up, ready to manufacture Apple phones in China

Make American workers poor again with H-2Bs; Trump bows to business buddies and hotel honchos

During his Saturday campaign rally in Washington, Michigan, the “Hire America” President Donald Trump said that the U.S.A. unemployment numbers were so good that it was now possible to allow many more guest workers into the country to work the fields and take millions of other jobs. The audience gasped and then was silent.

FDR-PROGRSS-PROVIDE-FOR-POORIt reminded voters, some who vigorously supported Barack Obama, of how that progressive candidate promised to reform the finance cartel, but then appointed nearly everyone from Wall Street to the Cabinet and highest councils.

And many may have recalled the first George Bush’s lip-reading campaign promise of “no new taxes.”

Or FDR’s pledge in the 1940 election to not send “our boys” into a European War.

I always thought it was a choice of two scenarios: some Presidents change their mind and some lie. But now there is the third possibility – that the President doesn’t have a clue about what he is saying. Mr. Trump, are you listening carefully? Continue reading “Make American workers poor again with H-2Bs; Trump bows to business buddies and hotel honchos”

How does a 100% tariff only increase the real price of a pair of prescription $600 eyeglass by only $15?

What does President Donald Trump’s tariffs on $50 billion worth of imports from China actually mean, and how will this affect you?

The ministers of mainstream media have received their talking points from the same lobbyists who control Congress, and they are using scare tactics on the public.

“A 25% tariff on a product will raise the cost of needed goods by a third, hurting the American consumer,” one son of a billionairess announced.

“We will have shortages of needed goods,” a genius two years out of college lamented.

“There will be a trade war, like the one that caused the Great Depression,’ a fellow with a bad wig grumbled.

The last point first. The Great Depression and crash of the stock market was in 1929. The Hawley–Smoot Tariff act was passed in 1930. The Depression was the result of the greatest economic inequality in our history – until today. The Crash was not caused by tariffs enacted after the fact by the unfettered administration of GOP president (Herbert Hoover). Continue reading “How does a 100% tariff only increase the real price of a pair of prescription $600 eyeglass by only $15?”

How the “free market” in toilet tissue tricked you

Sometimes you have to cringe when a Capitalism fan praises the wonder of the “free market.”

For example, “free market competition lowers prices…”

Sounds great, but visit a store and compare the price of batteries from various companies – each one is within a penny of the other.

Listen to the CEO of a major airline who explains: “we no longer compete on price because that’s bad for profits for the entire industry.”

Or, be amazed when the generic drug you are prescribed is made by the same manufacturer as the brand name version and the price of both is nearly identical.

Ah…the “free” market. Some politicians salute this as the cure for rising middle class healthcare costs. Is medical services shopping fun as you put your heart attack on pause to consult with various institutions and learn they have no set price, just schedules of charges that all fall within a close range? Continue reading “How the “free market” in toilet tissue tricked you”