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January 31, 2009

The World Is Flat

Globalization, HELL YEAH!!!

India to be spared of Boeing job cuts

NAGPUR: Aircraft manufacturing major Boeing, which has announced plans to cut 10,000 jobs worldwide this year in view of the global economic crisis, would not lay-off employees in India, a top company official has said.

Though the global economic recession has already hit several sectors, Boeing announced the job cut while declaring its annual financial results a few days ago, Boeing Senior Vice-President Dinesh Keskar said here.

He ruled out any job cuts for now in India, a key market for the Chicago-based company that makes passenger, freight and military planes.

Keskar, however, said Boeing has orders for supplying 3,700 aircraft, worth USD 275 billion, to various airline companies across the world. It will take at least five years for the company to fulfil the business commitment.

And the corporate rat bastards tell American workers to bend over a little further . . .

December 16, 2008

Goldman Sachs To Pay Effective Tax Rate of One Percent

It simply pays to be a corporate criminal:

Goldman Sachs’s Tax Rate Drops to 1%, or $14 Million

Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which got $10 billion and debt guarantees from the U.S. government in October, expects to pay $14 million in taxes worldwide for 2008 compared with $6 billion in 2007.

The company’s effective income tax rate dropped to 1 percent from 34.1 percent, New York-based Goldman Sachs said today in a statement. The firm reported a $2.3 billion profit for the year after paying $10.9 billion in employee compensation and benefits.

Goldman Sachs, which today reported its first quarterly loss since going public in 1999, lowered its rate with more tax credits as a percentage of earnings and because of “changes in geographic earnings mix,? the company said.

The rate decline looks “a little extreme,? said Robert Willens, president and chief executive officer of tax and accounting advisory firm Robert Willens LLC.

“I was definitely taken aback,? Willens said. “Clearly they have taken steps to ensure that a lot of their income is earned in lower-tax jurisdictions.?

Nice business model they got there. If only everybody got free money from taxpayers, then there would be no recession.

Once again, we have no other options left for these animals except to:

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September 29, 2008

Dow 36.00

Who'da thunk that it would be Republicans that would save us from this $700 billion tax giveaway to greedy Wall Street crooks. I know, I know, we need it to avoid an economic catastrophe, but come on. No more band-aids. Lets the chips of failed corporate ideology fall where they are, and then maybe we can see some real reforms come from the fallout.

January 19, 2008

Because "Warcraft" Can Only Be Played By Rich Folks

Can you believe this shit?

Instead of blocking high-bandwidth Internet traffic, why not just charge a little more for it?

Time Warner Cable has confirmed that it will begin testing a tiered pricing structure for subscribers to its RoadRunner cable broadband service in Beaumont, Texas, later this year. Under the new billing model, subscribers' monthly fees would be based on how much bandwidth they use.

Alex Dudley, a spokesman for Time Warner, said that the move comes in response to the increasing use of bandwidth-intensive software applications, particularly peer-to-peer networks. Dudley said that occasional, unpredictable spikes in Internet traffic due to heavy downloads can impede overall network performance.

"At some point we have to put in place some mechanism that will allow us to serve all our customers equally," Dudley said in an interview with InternetNews.com.

"One of the things to consider is the impact that peer-to-peer software is having on the network."

So just because their broadband networks are eons behind the networks provided by services in other countries for practically nothing, they are now charging people more to download more than five gigs a month? Well, if other broadband providers are smart, they would use this opportunity to attract customers away from AO-Hell-TimeWarner. But seeing as how the cable companies are pretty much cartels, they'll all just use this as a welcomed opportunity to make themselves more money.

"Medical Credit Score" To Determine Your Health Care

This is why we need to get rid of every single one of these rat bastards who put a price on keeping people alive and healthy.

The folks who invented the credit score for lenders are hard at work developing a similar tool for hospitals and other health care providers.

The project, dubbed “MedFICO? in some early press reports, will aid hospitals in assessing a patient’s ability to pay their medical bills. But privacy advocates are worried that the notorious errors that have caused frequent criticism of the credit system will also cause trouble with any attempt to create a health-related risk score. They also fear that a low score might impact the quality of the health care that patients receive.

. . .Several published reports have described Healthcare Analytics product as a MedFICO score, computed in a way that would be familiar to those who've used credit scores. The firm is gathering payment history information from large hospitals around the country, according to a magazine called Inside ARM, aimed at “accounts receivable management? professionals. It will then analyze that data to predict how likely patients will be to pay future medical bills. As with credit reports and scores, patients who've failed to pay past bills will be deemed less likely to pay future bills.

The idea sounds ominous to Pam Dixon, who runs the World Privacy Forum, which studies medical privacy issues.

"This is a bad idea and I don't think this benefits the consumer at all," Dixon said. "And what about victims of medical ID theft? Are we going to deny treatment to these people because they have a terrible MedFICO score?"

So which is it? Is health care a human right or a commodity reserved for those able to pay for it. The corporate pigs at the HMOs already have their answer, what's yours?

December 22, 2007

Golden Parachutes, Golden Showers

All in all, the fortunes of Circuit City couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of scumbags. They thought they could Wal-mart their way into profits, except they forgot to take into account that being a retail chain that deals exclusively in high-end items of which customers need extensive information in order to make their investments, they will need knowedgeable and experienced salespeople in order to sell their products. What tears me is the fact that the executives (those that stayed, anyways) that came up with the idea of porking their most loyal and dedicated employees and replacing them with noobs are still getting million-dollar bonuses. One would think the money could have been better spent elsewhere, like retaining the original employees in the first place.

(via Dean Baker)

July 31, 2007

George Bush Don't Black/Women/Disabled/Religious/Etc People

Congress today passed a bill that would reverse the Alito Court's infamous ruling on Ledbetter vs. Goodyear. Bush has threatened to veto the bill that protects against pay discrimination.

And along the mainstream media landscape, crickets are chirping.

(via Atrios)

May 20, 2007

Average Gas Prices Hits New Record

Andfor you bush-tards who want to find any silver lining under any of the administration's fuckups, that's adjusted for inflation, not nominal:

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline hit a record high of $3.18, rising more than 11 cents over the past two weeks, according to a nationwide survey released Sunday.

The previous record adjusted for inflation was $3.15 per gallon in March 1981.

May 2, 2007

There Is A God

Couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of assholes:

Circuit City fired 3,400 of its highest-paid store employees in March, saying it needed to hire cheaper workers to shore up its bottom line. Now, the Richmond electronics retailer says it expects to post a first-quarter loss next month, and analysts are blaming the job cuts.

The company, which on Monday also revised its outlook for the first half of its fiscal year ending Feb. 29, 2008, cited poor sales of large flat-panel and projection televisions. Analysts said Circuit City had cast off some of its most experienced and successful people and was losing business to competitors who have better-trained employees.

"I think even though sales were soft in March, this is clearly why April sales were worse. They were replaced with less knowledgeable associates," said Tim Allen, an analyst with Jefferies & Co.

In particular, the televisions showing disappointing results are "intensive sales" requiring more informed employees, Allen said. "It's a big-ticket purchase for somebody. And if they feel like they're not getting the right advice or are being misled by someone who doesn't know, it would be definitely frustrating. They will take their business elsewhere."

April 9, 2007

Another Hazard Of Outsourcing

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I just gotta say, the woman in the story is just being too sensitive [/racial rationalizer]:

When the new chocolate-coloured sofa set was delivered to her Brampton home, Doris Moore was stunned to see packing labels describing the shade as "Nigger-brown."

She and husband Douglas purchased a sofa, loveseat and chair in dark brown leather last week from Vanaik Furniture and Mattress store on Dundas St. E.

Moore, 30, who describes herself as an African-American born and raised in New York, said it was her 7-year-old daughter who pointed out the label just after delivery men from the Mississauga furniture store left.

"She's very curious and she started reading the labels," Moore explained. "She said, `Mommy, what is nig ... ger brown?' I went over and just couldn't believe my eyes."

She said yesterday each piece had a similar label affixed to the woven protective covering wrapped around the furniture.

"In this day and age, that's totally unacceptable," Moore said.

. . .Moore said she called the furniture store the following day and three other times since, and feels discouraged that no one has returned her calls.

When interviewed yesterday by the Star, Romesh Kumar, Vanaik's assistant manager, passed the buck to his supplier, Cosmos Furniture in Scarborough.

"Why should I take the blame?" he said. "I'm a trader, I don't manufacture. I sell from 20 companies, maybe 50 companies. How can I take care of all of them?"

He said that he would check similar stock and make sure other labels were removed.

"That's terrible, that's a racial ... something?" Kumar said. "This is entirely wrong, but it's not my fault. It's my job to sell good product to people."

He said the best he could do is to give Moore the telephone number of his supplier, so she could take it up with him.

The owner of Cosmos Furniture, Paul Kumar, no relation to Romesh, said he was upset to learn packing labels on products he sold carried a racial epithet.

"I import my products from overseas," he said. "I've never noticed anything like that. This is something new to me."

He passed the blame to a Chinese company, but apologized for the labels. He said he would contact the furniture maker in Guangzhou and demand they remove all similar labels.

March 29, 2007

Goddamn Low-Wage Workers Are Earning Too Much

Apparently, if you don't get paid like Wal-Mart workers, you are being overpaid:

RICHMOND, Va. — Circuit City Stores (CC) said Wednesday that it plans to cut costs by laying off 3,400 store associates and hiring lower-paid workers to replace them and by trimming about 130 corporate jobs. Circuit City, the nation's No. 2 consumer electronics retailer behind Best Buy (BBY), will lay off store workers it said were earning "well above the market-based salary range for their role" and replace them with employees who will be paid at the current market range, the company said in a news release.

"We are taking a number of aggressive actions to improve our cost and expense structure, which will better position us for improved and sustainable returns in today's marketplace," said Philip J. Schoonover, Circuit City's chief executive.

The company also plans to outsource its information-technology infrastructure operations to IBM, a move that is expected to cut IT expenses by more than 16%. About 50 of Circuit City's IT workers will move to jobs with IBM and remain on the Circuit City contract. The other 80 corporate positions will be cut.

Welcome to the new service economy, kids, where unions are corrupt, but whatever the corporations do is A-OK.

And what are the new stipulations of the service economy? Check it out:

Income inequality grew significantly in 2005, with the top 1 percent of Americans — those with incomes that year of more than $348,000 — receiving their largest share of national income since 1928, analysis of newly released tax data shows.

. . .While total reported income in the United States increased almost 9 percent in 2005, the most recent year for which such data is available, average incomes for those in the bottom 90 percent dipped slightly compared with the year before, dropping $172, or 0.6 percent.

The gains went largely to the top 1 percent, whose incomes rose to an average of more than $1.1 million each, an increase of more than $139,000, or about 14 percent.

The new data also shows that the top 300,000 Americans collectively enjoyed almost as much income as the bottom 150 million Americans. Per person, the top group received 440 times as much as the average person in the bottom half earned, nearly doubling the gap from 1980.


March 23, 2007

What Is Superior Than Single-Payer

Because single-payer health care is Soviet Medicine:

Blue Cross of California "routinely" violated state law when it canceled individual health insurance coverage after policyholders got pregnant or sick, making no attempt to determine whether they did anything to merit such "harsh" treatment, according to a state investigation of practices that appear to be industrywide.

State regulators plan similar investigations of other health plans in California, and the findings against Blue Cross ratchet up the risk of liability for other insurers, many of whom face lawsuits from consumers who claim they were illegally dumped and subjected to substantial hardships.

. . .The state investigation found that Blue Cross used computer programs and a dedicated department to systematically investigate and cancel the policies of pregnant women and the chronically ill regardless of whether they intentionally lied on their applications to cover up preexisting medical conditions — a standard required by state law for canceling individual policies.

Regulators examined 90 randomly selected cases of policy cancellations — out of about 1,000 a year in California — and found violations in each one.

Yes, any idiot can think up a number of potential problems with single-payer or any other system of socialized medicine until the cows come home - it should be obvious that any one of the alternative system is vastly superior to the way health care is primarily distributed now. It should be obvious that the impersonal machinery of capitalism and medicine should not mix.

via Kevin Drum.

March 19, 2007

No More Socializing The Costs

Atrios links to a post by eonomist Nouriel Roubini in which he makes clear that the housing collapse is the fault of deregulation and nothing else, and that the creditors shouldn't get another bailout like the S&Ls of the late eighties received, one reason because it would bankrupt the government because the bailout would be very massive, and two because they are the least deserving victims of this crisis. If Democrats want to distinguish themselves from Republicans, they would hold these loan companies accountable and help out the thousands, maybe millions, who are forced out of their homes.

March 12, 2007

Halliburton, the Great American Country

Because that is why we are handing out billion-dollar contracts to that machine of cronyism for the past six years, right?

Well, not anymore, because before long we are going to hand billions of dollars in defense contracts to an overseas company:

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates Mar 11, 2007 (AP)— Oil services giant Halliburton Co. will soon shift its corporate headquarters from Houston to the Mideast financial powerhouse of Dubai, chief executive Dave Lesar announced Sunday.

"Halliburton is opening its corporate headquarters in Dubai while maintaining a corporate office in Houston," spokeswoman Cathy Mann said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "The chairman, president and CEO will office from and be based in Dubai to run the company from the UAE."

Lesar, speaking at an energy conference in nearby Bahrain, said he will relocate to Dubai from Texas to oversee Halliburton's intensified focus on business in the Mideast and energy-hungry Asia, home to some of the world's most important oil and gas markets.

"As the CEO, I'm responsible for the global business of Halliburton in both hemispheres and I will continue to spend quite a bit of time in an airplane as I remain attentive to our customers, shareholders and employees around the world," Lesar said. "Yes, I will spend the majority of my time in Dubai."

No, there are no corporate taxes or taxes on employees, so Halliburton can just launder its profits to this country tax free if it likes, making Dubai (who's already rich off the oil anyways) nothing more than another offshore tax shelter. So if anyone wonders why the Bushies won't revoke tax breaks for offshore companies or block offshore companies from contracting with this country, well here you are. The Bushies were just biding their time to maximize their profits and screw this country that has so enriched them. I'm sure taxpayers everywhere are gonna looove that idea.

March 7, 2007

DLC Loses It's Tax Exempt Status

The Democratic Leadership Council, created by the New Democrats in the 1980s, has long been a stumbling block of the Democratic party that has checked the populist movement inside the party and has given prominence to those that espouse the corporatist views. It has, until recently, been a force that has eroded the oppositional nature of the party and has advocated cooperation with the Republicans, including the prosecution of the Eye-Rack war. The election of Howard Dean as chair of the DNC and the recent elections has gutted their influence, and now that they wont disclose their political donar like all political action committees are supposed to, and since they don't exist to serve the public interest, the FEC has revoked their tax exempt status, making them a for profit corporation like they always were.

Corrente has more.

January 18, 2007

What If There's A Cure For Cancer, But It Was Too Unprofitable To Invest In?

Digby links to this All Headline News article that reports that a university researcher in Canada may have found a cheap and effective way to fight cancer, but the money-grubbing pharmaceutical companies whose profit margins the pubilc sector must protect at all times is not going to financially support the research:

It is expected there would be no problems securing funding to explore a drug that could shrink cancerous tumors and has no side-effects in humans, but University of Alberta researcher Evangelos Michelakis has hit a stalemate with the private sector who would normally fund such a venture.

Michelakis' drug is none other than dichloroacetate (DCA), a drug which cannot be patented and costs pennies to make.

It's no wonder he can't secure the $400-600 million needed to conduct human trials with the medicine - the drug doesn't have the potential to make enough money.

Michelakis told reporters they will be applying to public agencies for funding, as pharmaceuticals are reluctant to pick up the drug.

At roughly $2 a dose, there isn't much chance to make a billion on the cancer treatment over the long term.

Yeah, it's not enough they had to make the National Institute of Health a flea market for new, publicly funded research for private companies to exploit and profit from, now they will refuse to participate in a potentially revolutionary treatment for a devastating disease because they might not be able to charge exorbitant prices to administer it? I'll remember this once I see another Paxil commercial on television.