Tag: white collar crime

Links 12/22/16

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:

The CFPB has recently become “one of Washington’s most powerful and pugnacious regulators,” as The New York Times reported last month:

The bureau has overhauled mortgage lending rules, reined in abusive debt collectors, prosecuted hundreds of companies and extracted nearly $12 billion from businesses in the form of canceled debts and consumer refunds. In September, it exposed the extent of Wells Fargo’s creation of two million fraudulent customer accounts, igniting a scandal that provoked widespread outrage and toppled the company’s chief executive.

Minimum Wage:

Childhood Poverty:

Inequality:

The wealthy didn’t always take such a big share of the proverbial “pie.” In the 1970s, a decade generally seen as fairly prosperous, the top 1% of Americans earned just over 10% of all U.S. income (i.e. the “pie”).
Over time, the rich became more lucky — or more greedy. Today the top 1% take home more than 20% of all U.S. income.
As the wealthy earned more, someone else in America had to get less. The bottom 50% went from capturing over 20% of national income for much of the 1970s to earning barely 12% today.
The turning point started around 1980, as seen in the graph below. By the mid-1990s, the fortunes of the top 1% were clearly on the rise and those of the bottom half were declining rapidly.

It’s time for the bottom 50% to take back their fair share.

White Collar Crime:

Trade:

Labor:

Policy:

Healthcare:

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Links 12/20/16

The Rigged System for the 1%:

Infrastructure Jobs:

Trade:

Social Security:

Trump explicitly said that he would not cut Social Security benefits if elected. “I’m not going to cut it, and I’m not going to raise ages, and I’m not going to do all of the things that they want to do. But they want to really cut it, and they want to cut it very substantially, the Republicans, and I’m not going to do that,” he told a Wisconsin radio station during the primary.

Transition:

Overtime Pay:

Deregulation:

Poverty:

Wages:

2016 Election:

Just three counties – Macomb County, MI; York County, PA and Waukesha County, WI – elected Donald Trump. If those three counties had cast zero votes, Trump would have lost all three states and the election. By the same logic, just three counties re-elected President Obama in 2012: Miami-Dade County, FL; Cuyahoga County, OH and Philadelphia, PA.

White Collar Crimes:

Links 12/18/16

White Collar Crime:

Jobs from Unlikely Industries:

  • Marijuana Industry a Homegrown Source of Job Growth Legalize it in every state. It’s significantly less dangerous than alcohol. The alcohol industry contributes billions to the economy, pays billions in wages, and employs millions. Imagine what a marijuana industry could do.

    The potential growth behind marijuana is incredible. Investment firm Cowen & Co. believes that legal marijuana sales could soar from $6 billion today to $50 billion by 2026. That’s a compound annual growth rate of nearly 24 percent over the next decade. But, the most phenomenal growth can be seen in pot industry employment.

    According to CNBC, the marijuana industry currently employs about 150,000 people nationwide. This figure is, by itself, outstanding. Back in 1994, Dale Gieringer, a doctor working with California NORML, extrapolated the job-creating capacity of the weed industry and settled on a figure of 100,000 jobs if the drug were legalized nationally. We’ve only seen recreational pot legalized in a handful of states, and medical cannabis was only legal in half of all U.S. states heading into the November elections, yet we’re already 50 percent above Gieringer’s forecast with full legalization from a little over two decades ago.

Energy:

Labor Violations:

  • Apple Owes $2 Million for Not Giving Meal Breaks I used to work at a company in CT where they would give you a paid half hour “break” during an eight hour shift where you weren’t allowed to eat or leave your desk. When I asked if this was legal since CT requires a 30 minute meal period for any shift over 7 1/2 hours, it turns out it technically was. If an employer provided a paid 30 minute “break,” they didn’t need to provide a meal period. I’m assuming whoever drafted this exception didn’t think you would be forbidden from eating on a “break.” The company was “generous” enough to waive this policy for a diabetic coworker. The rest of us were just required to not eat for eight hours.

Poverty:

Affordable Housing:

Misinformed Citizens:

Inequality:

Quality of Life:

Worker Cooperatives:

Better Manufacturing Jobs in the US:

  • CNN Host’s Attempt to Explain the U.S. Economy Was So Bad that I Started Yelling at the TV Germany would be a great example to look to for manufacturing jobs.

    Ever Hear of Germany?

    Instead of regurgitating meaningless economic platitudes, newscasters and pundits should confront some facts about Germany’s extensive manufacturing sector.

    Fact #1: Germany uses the most advanced technologies in the world.

    Fact #2: Manufacturing workers in Germany earn much more than their U.S. counterparts: 44.7% more in textiles, 44.6% more in chemicals, 34.2% more in machine tools, and 66.9% more in the automobile industry.

    Fact #3: Manufacturing jobs make up 22% of the German workforce and account for 21% of the GDP. U.S. manufacturing jobs make up only 11% of our workforce and only 13% of our GDP.

    Fact #4: The economic gods either speak German or the Germans are doing things differently from their U.S counterparts.

    Rather than divine intervention, German manufacturing depends on producing high-quality products that are so good people the world over are willing to pay a premium for them. The most sought-after, high-end motor vehicles (Mercedes, BMW, Audi) and kitchen appliances (Bosch, Miele) are produced by German companies using highly trained, well-paid workers and the most advanced technologies.

    The German manufacturing juggernaut depends on vast investments in innovation (by their government), in research and development (by their firms), and in worker education and training (by both the government and the firms).

Jobs:

Universal Basic Income:

Helping the Homeless:

Debtors’ Prisons:

Links 12/15/16

2016 Election:

  • Bernie Sanders: Donald Trump Won Because People are Tired of the Same Old Politically Correct Rhetoric Sander’s definition of politically correct rhetoric in this case is definitely different than the most common usage of the term (which is more specifically about language that avoids putting marginalized groups at a disadvantage.) If he wants to contribute to changing that term, great. I’d rather that term evolve into a pejorative to describe inauthentic, poll-tested talking points than be a pejorative for language that avoids further marginalizing the less powerful.However, it would really be more accurate to say that many voters, rightly or wrongly, viewed Trump as more “authentic” and that contributed to his win.

    What is traditionally considered PC rhetoric is fine with the American people if they think someone actually means what they’re saying. Sanders is a prime example. He is much more popular than the politically incorrect Trump, yet Sanders’ statements about minority groups and women could be considered very politically correct.

    In my opinion, Trump won for three primary reasons: his ability to resonate with Rust Belt voters on the economy, James Comey’s violation of the Hatch Act, and failures on the part of the Clinton campaign. You could also throw in the fact that Trump’s more charismatic than Clinton, although he’s considered extremely unlikeable by the majority of the American public.

Inequality:

Minimum Wage:

Wealth Inequality:

  • Black Wealth in the Age of Trump Lots of interesting perspectives. Race played a role in this election, but I don’t think identity politics gave Trump his win. He eked out those electoral college victories in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania by turning voters who had voted for Obama in the previous election.

The Forgotten Rural Poor:

The Failure of the Democratic Party to Speak for the Working and Middle Classes:

White Collar Crime:

Unjustified Executive Compensation:

  • Obscene Pay Inequality Bad for Workers and Economy “Obscene CEO pay has been a major part of the story. In the 1960s, the typical CEO of a big corporation made 20 times what the average worker made. Now, it’s hundreds of times… The tax code is often used to encourage behavior we want to see….If shareholders realize that inequitable pay scales are reducing their after-tax profits, they will pay their CEO’s less and their regular workers a little more.” Good luck!

Links 12/12/16

Supporting the Working Class:

White Collar Crime:

Wealth Redistribution:

Basu argues this “doesn’t mean a need for a large government” but rather it means a need for “a redistributed government which takes away a slice from the rich and provides it to the workers in the form of health benefits education and also some form of profit share”.

Tax Reform:

Jobs:

Clean Energy:

2016 Election:

Populist Revolution:

Links 12/11/16

White Collar Crime:

Many of the customers, who often had Hispanic last names, didn’t know what they had purchased and there were “a large number of similarities” between the way Wells Fargo employees opened bogus bank accounts without customers’ knowledge and the way Prudential’s “MyTerm” policies were sold by the bank, three of the insurer’s former employees said in a lawsuit filed in New Jersey state court.

Inequality:

But America isn’t nearly as comfortable with redistributing wealth as most other Western democracies — and we’re particularly averse to social spending targeted at the neediest among us.

Maybe Americans would be more comfortable if they realized how much wealth the U.S. government redistributes to the rich.

Wealth Redistribution for the Rich:

Employee Welfare:

Class System in the United States:

Income and Job Guarantees

Social Security:

2016 Election:

Links 12/9/16

Jobs:

  • Bill Black: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs- Not Austerity Great article. Black makes a good point that “working class males are the most vulnerable psychologically to being unable to hold a full-time job or the constant fear introduced by the destruction of job security.” I agree that their needs must be addressed. I would just warn him not to ignore the plight of working women in this country. The majority of people in poverty in this country are women. You cannot seriously address inequality and poverty in the United States without addressing the economic needs of women.
  • Carrier Union Leader: Fight About Jobs, Not Trump Yes, the welfare of Carrier employees is the most important thing. Trump and Jones have similar goals. Jones needs to realize this and work with him. I realize the reported number of jobs saved was exaggerated, but now that everyone knows that, let’s keep our eyes on the bigger picture: helping Carrier’s workers.

Pay Gap:

Women are now 50 percent of the workforce and manage a majority of the nation’s households. This discrepancy in real wages hampers the paychecks of every single one of them. According to a report from the McKinsey Global Institute, equal pay “could add $4.3 trillion to the country’s economy in 2025.” With every U.S.state and city potentially set to add about “5 percent to their GDP in that period.”

According to the Institute For Women’s Policy Research, poverty rates for working women “would be cut in half if women were paid the same as comparable men.” Proving, of course, that not only would bridging the gender pay gap improve the lives of families across the country, it would go a long way to helping poverty in the United States as a whole.

Unjustified Executive Compensation

The Fight for Higher Wages

White Collar Crime

Poverty:

  • Politicians Ignore the Word Poverty “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”- FDR

Class System in the United States

Mobility in the United States