Category Archives: wages

Hospital room here now costs about 20 times as much as in country with longest life expectancy

Do you suffer from a really bad heart, cancer, or need dialysis, and still want to buy health insurance?

If you can find a company in the U.S.A. that will cover you, the price will be many thousands of dollars a month with a cap on total payments, plus co-pays through the roof. If you don’t die rather quickly, our health system will devour your savings, house, car and force close relatives into poverty.

One alternative is to move to Japan, stay with a visa good for more than three months, and you will become part of their health system, which means: Continue reading →

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 →

Richest man in world ($115,000,000,000) offers only $8 a week raise to some of America’s top journalists, meanwhile spending $42,000,000 for a cuckoo clock

Washington Post writers and reporters began the New Year with a major problem: their owner was offering a lump sum $12 a week raise in the first year of a new contract, and $8 a week in the second year. Plus, unlike the New York Times staff, they had to pay for their own coffee.

Scrooge, how we love ya!

It’s not like this owner needs to cut expenses. The master of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, is estimated to be worth about $115,000,000,000 ($115 billion), and he even beats Microsoft’s Bill Gates as the richest person in the world.

For Bezos and many other corporate cheapskates, it’s about principle, not mere money. Along with the Koch brothers, Pete Peterson and the Cato Institute, the new mantra is that no raises should go to anyone for longevity. If you are with a company 20 weeks or 20 years, your pay should be exactly the same.

Rather than bore you with examining this idiocy hiding greed, an example from my previous employer reveals the same “management” style.

A reporter left my newspaper after many years of suffering miserable pay (under $7.92 an hour), and I was required to complete a form to be signed off by a half dozen corporate execs. Part of this document was a place to indicate the wage offered to the replacement. Continue reading →

Everyone was watching the girl in the teeny bikini, just like the public is now looking for a big tax cut

As I entered the general manager’s office in the Gimbel’s Cheltenham department store, the mood was surly. Picking up an ad for my Philadelphia newspaper was usually pleasant. Sometimes conversation about merchandising for the 250,000 square foot emporium. Other times small talk and smiles, but not today.

It was a Spring afternoon in the late 1970s, and two hours earlier a tall blonde, wearing only a string bikini and high heels, strolled into the store and began walking from department to department, finally covering all three floors in about 45 minutes. She did not go unnoticed by the store staff or customers, and more than a few males seemed to wander after her at a safe distance, pretending to be interested in this or that sale display.

Ten minutes after she left, the Fine Jewelry department reported items worth several thousand dollars had been shoplifted. Then, other managers began counting goods and finding shortages.

It seems that while the blonde was walking, two accomplices were taking the goods. Continue reading →

If your family was as rich as the Waltons, you could easily buy Buckingham Palace over and over again

Some one million Walmart employees in the United States will have their meager pay supplemented this year with a bonus averaging $400, thanks to the lapse of usual parsimony by the owners of the world’s largest retailer – the Walton family. That total $400 million is $71 million less than the cost of the bottom two estates ($222 million and $249 million) in the above video of the five most expensive homes in the world.

Half of all workers in the United States make less than $30,500 a year, and half earn more, so $400 is meaningful, even though a flat 25% ($100) will be lost to income tax under an odd IRS ruling, leaving $300.

But $300 could buy you and the spouse a motel room for two nights, and have some money left over for lunch one day. That would be a one-room accommodation. Hotel rooms with multiple rooms charge much more than $100 to $200 a night.

While you are pinching pennies to pay for this $300 getaway, how would your benefactors – the Waltons of inheritance fame – entertain themselves? Since “all men are created equal”, but allowing for some being more equal, you would expect the gang of seven to perhaps rent an entire floor of a Best Western or splurge at a Hilton.

Actually, the poorest member of the Walton family, Nancy Walton Laurie, could afford to not just rent a room, but buy all five of the properties listed in the above video – including Buckingham Palace – and still have nearly $2,000,000,000 left of her fortune. Continue reading →

Trickle, trickle, fools we are, to trust the rich, now flush with cash, will share with us their bounty

The inlaid walnut table in the corporate boardroom held 12 on either side and two or three at each end, and the execs were all perched, prepped to pounce, when I dragged in my 2001 budget – 1015 pages of spreadsheet and other sheet.

As division CEO of a NYSE-listed publishing company with nearly a billion dollars sales, my pitch was explain how I would increase sales, restrain costs and improve the value of the newspapers I published.

What could go wrong? In the past year sales were up, but more important, the bottom line jumped from about a $200,000 loss to an $860,000 profit before taxes.

Since most of my employees were salaried – meaning they worked long hours without overtime compensation – my proposed budget included a four percent average pay increase. That four percent, I was told, was a big mistake. Continue reading →

Middle class seniors forced to pay for that 40% corporate tax cut with reductions to Medicare

Happy holidays came a few days early for big corporations and rich shareholders. Their income tax rate in 2018 will drop from 35% to 21% – exactly a 40% decrease.

Next year, Medicare premiums will go from $109 to $134 per month – a 23% increase in one year. This additional deduction from Social Security benefits wipes out the proposed minimal 2% cost of living increase for most seniors, leaving them with no increase, just inflation losses.

The argument goes that most corporations deserve a tax decrease, because they pay higher income taxes (35%) here than in some other countries. Concerned about the tax burden on our “job creators”, I put together this list of the top 30 largest companies (sales) and what they paid in income tax in 2016.

All told, these firms paid $114.9 billion of income tax on $4,108 billion in sales, or 2.76% rate on sales. Continue reading →

Most Bachelor of Science jobs are held by foreigners in Silicon Valley and owners want it to stay that way

Some 57 out of every 100 jobs in Silicon Valley requiring a bachelor’s degree or higher are filled by someone who wasn’t born in the U.S., according to a boast by Carl Guardino, president of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

Guardino, who wants President Donald Trump to grant DACA (ages 16-34) amnesty, said that loss of illegal workers would be “particularly damaging in Silicon Valley”, where they are part of the region’s tech world labor pool. Of the nation’s 800,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), about 230,000 are in California.

This business leader seems oblivious to reality. Every job held by a non-citizen means one less job for an American, and leads to lower wages in that skill or profession.

Foreign workers don’t strike, complain about excessive hours, report pervert bosses or otherwise make waves – fearing reporting by employers to authorities. Their bargaining power in the marketplace rivals the 1800s’ cotton field slaves, but lacking even minimal guaranteed healthcare, food or shelter. Meanwhile, on a brighter note for Silicon Valley, Jeff Bezos, marked a milestone this week, when his personal wealth exceeded $100 billion. Continue reading →

$4,000 Wage hike “Fake News” from the White House – whatever happened to Trump promise of “no taxes for a couple earning less than $50,000”


UPDATE to April 2017 post, Russian Dossier with complete text: DNC and Clinton campaign paid for Fusion GPS  report used by FBI to investigate President.


The following was emailed to me on Saturday from the White House.

TRUMP PENCE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER 10.21.17
TAX CUTS FOR REAL AMERICANS

President Trump is working harder than ever to bring tax reform to middle class Americans, including the biggest tax cut in American history. This week, the President took his case to conservative leaders, seeking their support in pushing Congress to pass a tax reform bill, he said, “We need…help…to get our tax cuts through the house, through the Senate, and to my desk for signature.” Now is the time for all Republicans in Congress and maybe even patriotic Democrats to come together and support major tax reform that will boost wages and deliver families a $4,000 annual pay raise. We must get Congress on board, in order to deliver tax relief to hard-working Americans. Call and remind your Representative and Senators to support the President’s Middle Class Miracle today.

Although I am retired and there is no boss to give me a pay raise, I imagined that, at least, my children and grandchildren would benefit, and perhaps send me a fancier birthday card or buy me a funny hat with all the extra cash in their checking accounts.

And after learning that I am a “Real American”, according to this government email, I wondered: “could this $4,000 pay raise be real?” I turned to YouTube, where your computer screen seems to come alive with the voice of Mr. Trump and Bill Nye, among others, and found the President making this same promise: Continue reading →

Trump ignores own warning about tech swamp snakes; now IBM has more jobs in India than U.S.

IBM’s chief executive, Ginni Rometty was anxious to meet with the newly-elected Donald Trump in December, last year, and she pledged that her tech firm would create 25,000 new American jobs. She also promised that IBM will be investing in the United States by bringing $1 billion to create training programs and opening new offices.

Promises are cheap. But Mr. Trump was quick to praise Rometty, and even included her in the June 19 Tech Summit, pushed by his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. A tech council was supposed to be formed at that time, but nothing happened since then.

What did happen is that these companies, virtually all of them, continued to send jobs overseas and/or hire foreign workers on Visa programs to replace American workers.

No better example is IBM. Rometty’s promise to hire 25,000 workers was “clarified” to mean 25,000 workers over the next four years, and the reaction from employees was harsh: Continue reading →

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