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Dodd-Glass-Frank-Steagall, Gramm-Leach-Bliliey?

dodd_frank_signing-300x202The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) has its merits but  is, without doubt, no Glass Steagall. A bit of history is in order to get a real understanding as to why the Dodd-Frank Act is lacking in many ways. In reply to the devastating damage done by the “First Great Republican Depression” (FGRD) of 1929, Congress enacted the Glass–Steagall Act of 1933. Glass-Steagall established a formidable barrier between Investment banking and mortgage banking.

The Glass-Steagall Act protected the interest of home owners and solidified the foundational underpinnings of our financial institutions. Glass-Steagall protected the nation from the infinite greed of the market for the next 66 years without a major crash of our financial institution  That is until the Republicons and Clinton, in their economic stupidity, decided that the markets needed to be opened back up to deregulation, unfettered greed, and speculation/market distortion (derivatives, more on that in another blog) that created the first Great Republican Depression.

Glass-Steagall had some beautiful and simple economic principles that can be summed up by describing 4 of its key provisions.

  • One, it prohibited Federal Reserve member banks and deposit-taking banks from purchasing securities established by the moneys of its depositor and also restricted any purchases of said securities up to 10 per cent of its capital and surplus. This provision prevented banks acts that endangered the bank itself, the banking system, and the public at large from high risk activities.
  • Two,  it prohibited a mortgage banks from having interlocking owners/board members, closing officers, or employee relationships with an investment/commercial bank principally engaged’ in securities underwriting and distribution and the inherit risk therein. It established an affiliation divide between mortgage banks and commercial banks.
  • Three, it allowed commercial/investment banks to purchase, float, and sell securities directly, without restriction, solely on the order of and for the account of customers and itself. Read more…
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Infographic: Dodd-Frank Background and Progress

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Reply to Conservative on Unions, WHAT? Part 3

No Unions, REALLY?!?

No Unions, REALLY?!?

The initial question posted by Warren Drew

Given the fight later today over final passage of a right to work law in Michigan, I figured it might be worthwhile to mention a couple things about right to work.

First, right to work laws do not prohibit unions.  They merely allow workers to decline to join a union.  There are plenty of unions in right to work states.

Second, right to work laws do not appear to reduce wages.  The state with the highest wages for assembly line workers is Alabama, a right to work state.  The metro areas with the highest wages are Tuscaloosa and Spartanburg, both in right to work states.  BLS figures from here:

http://www.ehow.com/info_7802584_average-auto-assembly-line-worker.html#ixzz2Eijftiyi

Right to work laws just keep the unions honest, and make them work for the workers rather than just for the union bosses.  From the standpoint of industry, they just balance out federal laws that are very much prounion.

My reply to Warren Drew

+Warren Dew
Your posting of surface information is not beneficial to those who are not aware of the financial implications of right-to-work-for-less laws (RTWFL).

The first point is partially true; it does not prohibit unions; it ONLY allows workers benefit from the unions activism on their behalf without paying into the very union that created the benefits that they enjoy. You know to loosely use an analogy; it like eating going into McDonalds, eating a Big Mac, and not paying for it. Fair right?

Your second point is also only true on the surface. While what you stated may be correct on the surface when you really look the facts it is deceiving to be kind. The United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics state that Occupational Employment and Wages Estimates shows median hourly wages of all the Right to Work States (RTW) and all the Collective-Bargaining States (CBS) as follows: Read more…

Reply to Conservative on Unions, WHAT? Part 1

December 11, 2012 3 comments
No Unions, REALLY?!?

No Unions, REALLY?!?

The initial question posted by Gregory

 

Question for conservatives:  Why don’t you support worker unions?

A worker union is a free association of individuals with the purpose of increasing their bargaining power against that of their employer.  In capitalism, the owner of a good is free to decide how much to price their own goods.  I am the owner of my labor and therefore I am free to decide how much my labor is worth.  As an American, I have the right to free association.  It is therefore within my rights to meet with fellow employees and decide together how much we should “charge” for our labor.If it is acceptable for industry to join together in order to lobby congress to pass laws that favor them over their employees, then why is it not acceptable for employees to fight back by forming collectives of their own?The point for conservatives is to maximize freedom, is it not?  Isn’t the ability to unionize a type of freedom?You can respond however you want, of course, but using specific instances of a pathological union to make your case is going to be rather unconvincing.   Also, simply applying a label to unionism like “Socialism” is also not going to make your point to anyone except those who already think as you do.I’m looking for a general response as to why unionism is harmful to society.  More specifically, why it would result in more harm to society than if unions were banned.

My reply to Gregory Geller

I commend your post. It was eloquent, concise, and accurate. I assert that conservatives (loosely used term) have been convinced that the interests of the company should be their interests and nothing can be further from the truth. Unions are the only form of democracy in the workplace in almost every instance. The reference to GREED when talking about unions is a ridiculously misplaced descriptor, but one that I will not make the point of this post. Read more…

Reply to Conservative on Unions, WHAT? Part 2

No Unions, REALLY?!?

No Unions, REALLY?!?

Pradheep Shanker reply to my initial post, see HERE.

+Anthony Gaston I agree with the historical context.

Let me ask you…what major contribution have unions in America made in the past three decades?

As far as I can tell, they have largely become defenders of the status quo, in a era of tumult and change.  At a time when they should have been adapting to the changing world, they have largely held true the ideals of the 1950s and 1960s…and that has not served them well.

My reply

Unions have not helped to maintain working standards since their inception; they have attempted to prevent the out-shoring of American jobs, equal pay for women (Lilly Ledbetter act), anti-gay firings, and a myriad of other worker protections. One has to look at a couple of things that have vastly degraded the effectiveness of unions. You can look at our ridiculously unfair trade policies (unfair to America and favorable to other nations), the right-to-work-for-less legislation, the increasing power of corporations over our legislation, Corporate person-hood, not using the buy American provision, and a slew of other anti-worker initiatives that are killing the American workforce.

You may be conflating the lack of major contributions (whatever you are defining that as) with the vast array of improvements in work place safety, personal privacy (such as employers being able to use your Facebook, G+, or other personal communications) as a determiner of employment, and collective bargaining (which is one of the clearest forms of freedom, that I have seen suppressed, in years).

Defenders of the status quo is a great thing unless you think that American should follow China standards, or lack thereof? You referenced “adapting to the changing world”; what do you mean by that? Should Americans work for 2 dollars a day like China or Singapore? Read more…

They Are Not Entitlements, Damn It!

Earned BenefitsThe Right (Republicans) are all sounding out the cries of the alarm that the rationale for their electoral drubbing this year is all related to the idea that Democrats are Santa Claus and everyone knows that you can’t beat Santa Claus. As Mitt so in-eloquently stated “There are 47 percent of the people…..  who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what.” The clear and unambiguous implication here is that the nation has become a bunch of leechers or in the philosophy of Ayn Rand  the nation is now made up  of “makers” subsidizing society’s “takers.” With this philosophy as the foundation of Republicon party, the right has found some extremely misplaced solace in the idea that their philosophies are not wrong; it’s just that America is made up of lazy bums that lavish at the teet of Big Gommerment “government”. You know “That that’s entitlement”, as Millard famously said!

Entitlement is what the Right “Republicons and Libertarians” call Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and unemployment insurance. This elitist reference to our “social safety-net” needs to be halted and rewritten in all halls of our political debates. Merriam-Webster dictionary online defines an “entitlement” as belief that one is deserving or entitled to certain privileges and neither Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid  or unemployment fall under this umbrella. All of the so-called “entitlement programs” are funded by the very same Americans that receive them. They are all forms of social insurance that we collectively pay for and  therefore should collectively receive. The Republicon party and their great wordsmiths has stolen the essential visage of these programs to the point that even Democrats are referring to them as entitlements. They are not entitlements, DAMN IT! Read more…

America Has The Highest Corporate Rates In The World! REALLY!!??

December 4, 2012 1 comment
2012-12-04_1357

Tax to GDP Ratios in the OECD area, 1975 to 2009
CLICK TO ENLARGE!!

In the vast caverns of the Republicon/corporate political ecosystem one will hear that constant bombardment of “America has the highest corporate rates in the world” which is true if you only look at the surface numbers. Surface facts are often used to miss-lead the American populace into subscribing to policies and doctrines that only benefit the 1 to 5 percent of America. Conserva-Dems, Republicons, and the corporate trolls find this lie particularly pleasing to utter.

With all due respect, Republicons are masterful at getting around 45% of Americans to believe things that are just factually untrue and economic disasters except when used as a form of upward wealth extraction. Some of the near and dear ones to the wallets of the financially elite are “Death tax“, “death panels“, “job creators“, “tax cuts equates to job growth“, “war on Christmas“, “welfare queens“, “makers and takers“, and “freedom (in terms of Healthcare and social Security)”. The bevies of deceitful terms that are in common use today by those calling themselves “conservatives” are endless; see Thom Hartmann’s book “Cracking The Code” for further enlightenment. These phrases may come off the tongue smoothly, but what do they mean by them and what has been the proven result of following this ideology?  As the saying goes “figures don’t lie, but any liar can figure”! Resisting the urge to go into a rant about all of those misleading words; they are another subject, for another blog, on another day!

Republicons and corporate toadies will not miss an opportunity to utter “the US has the highest tax rates among OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries in the world”, but this political talking point is an easily dis-proven phrase. Now the mere utterance of that phrase is not untrue, but it conveniently fails to disclose the truth behind the phrase. While America’s corporate tax rate is the highest among the top developed countries in terms of the number, maxing out at 35%. America has the lowest actual paid rate in the developed world, as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) America is dwarfed by other countries. This simply means that America collects the least amount of tax dollars than all but 2 of the OECD countries. Read more…

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