President Donald Trump in February 2016:
“I know the guys at Goldman Sachs. They have total, total control over him (Ted Cruz). Just like they have total control over Hillary Clinton.”
Times have changed and there are now suggestions to rename the “East Wing” to “Hedge Fund Headquarters.”
Or more accurately – “GS Village in the Capitol.” This is the place where old bean counters and masters of economic disaster gather to decide how much financial misery the “little people” will endure without revolting.
A good and quick example is Anthony Scaramucci, He worked at Goldman Sachs‘s Investment Banking, Equities, and Private Wealth Management divisions from 1989 to 1996. Flamboyant, like his fictional counterpart, he lasted ten days before Trump replaced him with a retired general. The president’s picks for his cabinet tend to be either Wall Street bankers or multi-star generals. Guns and promises of rose gardens?
But GS and the financial class are hardly left without influence, despite Continue reading →
American universities produce the best software engineers, IT managers and programmers in the world, but many can’t find a job or have taken pay cuts in recent years.
India’s , 20+ years of being a software engineer at various levels, explains why in a comment on Quora:
Because there are too many software engineers in India, and not enough in the US.
Because India is churning out 1 million new engineers every year, whereas the industry requires only about 200,000 of them.
Because the “average” fresh software engineering graduate in India can barely program, and 40% of them fail the Fizz Buzz test (as per actual data we’ve collected over the last 2 years), whereas the average software engineering graduate in the US is likely to be much better (as per my anecdotal data).
Why is the median salary of a software engineer in India around whereas in US it is $71k(ie ), which is nearly 12.4 times that of India, but the cost of living or equivalent salary of US is considered to be only 4 to 5 times that of Indian salary?
Which brings me to the one bright hope in recent years that the abominable H-1B Continue reading →
Will Facebook “change your status” to “go directly to jail” for what it identifies as suspicious posts?
“The long term promise of AI (Artificial Intelligence) is that in addition to identifying risks more quickly and accurately than would have already happened, it may also identify risks that nobody would have flagged at all including terrorists planning attacks using private channels, people bullying someone too afraid to report it themselves, and other issues both local and global,”
Those are the words of an early version of a Facebook manifesto, content later removed in the final version by Mark Zuckerberg, one of the richest men in the world – $62.4 billion. (By comparison, Zuck’s assets equal the total family wealth of 12,755,000 African-American households.)
But here’s what the published version of the document said:
“Looking ahead, one of our greatest opportunities to keep people safe is building artificial intelligence to understand more quickly and accurately what is happening across our community.”
It added: “Going forward, there are even more cases where our community should be able to identify risks related to mental health, disease or crime.”
Zuck also wants you to be fed the Facebook Continue reading →
That buy your green card pitch by Kushner’s sister in China renews controversy over visas for the rich
If you had $300 during the Civil War you could avoid that first Draft by just paying the dough and walking away. No money, you could go to jail or possibly become one of the 620,000 Americans killed on the battlefields.
When it comes to citizenship, the rich don’t need to climb that wall or swim that Rio Grande, now they just put up money, $500,000 or more to be exact, to invest in some project in the U.S. and agree that somehow that will create ten new jobs.
Some 85% of all these “investment citizens” are from China. The deal is called EB-5 Visa, and not only can you become an American, but so can the wife and children – all for the same price.
By this criterion, anyone with enough money can buy citizenship. Poor folks need not apply.
The program was extended last week by President Donald Trump, even though he said he had qualms about it during the campaign last year. The day after he signed the extension, the Kushner organization was in Beijing, selling investments in the luxury apartment building, One Journal Square, that is set to be built next year in Jersey City. A brochure blasted:
“Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States.”
It’s as easy as: one, two, three!
The 2018 Donald Trump Federal Budget can be balanced, even when including nearly $54 billion in increased Defense Department spending, and not one federal department would require any cuts in spending.
These are the proposed $54 billion in department cuts that would not have to take effect under my 123 Plan:
Agriculture 2018 Budget
- Eliminates $500 million Water and Wastewater loan/grant program
- Eliminates $200 million McGovern-Dole International Food for Education program
- Cuts Women, Infants and Children nutrition assistance from $6.4 billion to $6.2 billion
- Unspecified staff reductions at USDA service center agencies
- Cuts $95 million from Rural Business and Cooperative Service
British Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbin is starting a campaign against inequality that should be emulated by all (five, ten?) American politicians not controlled by big business.
“One proposal is pay ratios between top and bottom, so that the rewards don’t just accrue to those at the top,” he said.
“Of the G7 nations only the US has greater income inequality than the UK, and pay inequality on this scale is neither necessary nor inevitable.”
Corbin is talking about real compensation – wages, salaries and bonuses – while many reports for the American public will note an executive $1 million wage, but exclude their $12 million bonus. That trick is good PR for the overpaid, but not good statistics when comparing worker to CEO. Also not mentioned is that company owners (with no work required) usually make much more than the executives. When comparing apples to apples, the mismatch is onerous.
“Total direct compensation for 300 CEOs at public companies increased 5.5% to a median of $11.4 million in 2013, concluded an analysis by The Wall Street Journal and Hay Group. A separate AFL-CIO study of CEO pay across a broad sample of S&P 500 firms showed the average CEO earned 331 times more than the typical U.S. worker last year. In 1980, that multiple was 42,” according to a report in the Wall Street Journal in November, 2014.
The record of being the most unequal of G7 nations – Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and United States – is a distinction without merit. So-called pay inequality solutions here include lowering the taxes on the highest paid, sheltering savings of the richest Americans, and maintaining government subsidies to the poorest workers (EITC), rather than really raising (not $10.10) the minimum wage. And those negative plans are the ones endorsed by many in the Democrat Party. Most in the GOP also want to privatize everything from national parks to public roads and schools – in short, anywhere a buck can be squeezed.
“Another proposal would be to bar or restrict companies from distributing dividends until they pay all their workers the living wage,” Corbin explained.
“Only profitable employers will be paying dividends, if they depend on cheap labor for those profits, then I think there is a question over whether that is a business model to which we should be turning a blind eye.”
During the 2008 financial crisis, it was common that many, running for public office, also espoused caps on highest salaries to five or ten million dollars. Continue reading →
Tax credit cuts will make Britains work much harder – like Chinese or Americans – British Health Secretary tells the poor
British Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt thinks the British don’t work hard enough because they have too generous tax credits – a benefit similar to the U.S. Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
Hunt seemed like a money-grubbing rich person when he explained:
“My wife is Chinese. We want this to be one of the most successful countries in the world in 20, 30, 40 years’ time. There’s a pretty difficult question that we have to answer, which is essentially: are we going to be a country which is prepared to work hard in the way that Asian economies are prepared to work hard, in the way that Americans are prepared to work hard? And that is about creating a culture where work is at the heart of our success.”
“Dignity is not just about how much money you have got … officially, children are growing up in poverty if there is an income in that family of less than £16,500 (a £ is worth about $1.52 U.S.). What the Conservatives say is how that £16,500 is earned matters.
“It matters if you are earning that yourself, because if you are earning it yourself you are independent and that is the first step towards self-respect. If that £16,500 is either a high proportion or entirely through the benefit system you are trapped. It is about pathways to work, pathways to independence … It is about creating a pathway to independence, self-respect and dignity.”
In one sense Jeremy agrees with many Americans. We do work hard. We spend too many hours at work. Many of us are underpaid. For Jeremy all that is good – because he is rich Continue reading →
Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards, born with a silver spoon in her mouth, was given $590,000 from non-profit group in 2013
“Poor George, he can’t help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth”
If former Texas governors can roll over in their graves, it happened this past week as her daughter Cecile – President of Planned Parenthood – boasted both a silver spoon and a silver foot, while trying to explain away a video discussing body parts and their transportation reimbursements to her organization.
Ann passed September 13, 2006, the same year her daughter, Cecile, took over leadership of Planned Parenthood from Gloria Feldt, who had begun the shift of Planned Parenthood in 1996 from a public asset to also focus on political action. The organization, founded by Margaret Sanger, Ethel Byrne and Fania Mindell in 1916, had grown to four million clients by the Bill Clinton years, thanks to the leadership of former president Faye Wattleton.
Cecile continued the Feldt course with an advocacy we will examine later in this blog.
In this modern era, when millions or folks volunteer their time to churches and civic organizations, the big charities often pay big bucks to staffs and leaders. Very big bucks.
Cecile received some $591,000 working for her non-profit in 2013, according to IRS Continue reading →
You’re never lonely when your liberal heroes send you endearing, friendly emails about grass and roots
Sherrod Brown [firstname.lastname@example.org] today warned me:
“Ohioans didn’t send me to the Senate to compromise away their future. And you didn’t get involved in this grassroots movement to sit on the sidelines and watch this radical agenda get across the finish line.” I agree, even if I’m not from Ohio (but the wife is, so how does Brown know?).
Then he tells me:
Surely, the fate of a grassroots movement shouldn’t rise or fall on a retiree’s $5 donation, and I wonder why some liberal hedge fund manager won’t just contribute $500 million and let 100 million of us have enough for coffee and a donut tomorrow morning.
Jennifer Petty also dropped me an email this morning, and it’s nice to get correspondence from young ladies when you are now past 70. Jennifer starts out with “Hey Friends” and goes on to explain the reason for this missive (which has partial yellow background, wow!):
I am sitting at work today, reworking our budget for the 2nd quarter. While we have been doing well, it looks like we need to raise $5,000 by April 30th to meet our goal.
She seems to want more than just $5, but she probably knows I have some money left after the donation to Brown. Jennifer explains why she wants my dough:
Please consider sending a generous gift today.
Your contribution will go to helping recruit progressive Democrats to run for office in 2014 and give them the support they need to build successful campaigns.
I also seem to have a friend in Adam Green from Bold Progressives.Org, who suggested yesterday afternoon:
Can you help us draft a populist fighter for senator? Join Draft Schweitzer today!
(You can also donate $3 that Brian will receive on Day One of his campaign, so he can hit the ground running. Over $25,000 raised so far!)
Bruce Finzen also emailed yesterday. He’s with the Center for Public Integrity, and thinks I’m not one of those $3 givers:
Help me make sure that the Center can continue its work in the public interest and has the resources to leave no stone unturned. Your gift of $30, $50, $120 or more will help ensure they can. Please give as generously as possible.
So many email friends. So little money to donate. Oh well!