Thursday, April 21, 2011

Obama returns to his moral vision


Obama returns to his moral vision

 "The fact is that the rich have gotten rich because of the government -- direct corporate subsidies, access to publicly-owned resources, access to government research, favorable trade agreements, roads and other means of transportation, education that provides educated workers, tax loopholes, and innumerable government resources taken advantage of by the rich, but paid for by all of us. What is called a ”tax break” for the rich is actually a redistribution of wealth from the poor and middle class whose incomes have gone down to those who have considerably more money than they need, money they have made because of tax investments by the rest of America."

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Arguments against a Financial transaction tax are Bogus.


One of the proposed ways of both making the finance industry pay a small proportion of the costs they inflict on our society and slowing unproductive capital flows is the Tobin, or Robin hood, tax on financial transactions.

Otherwise simply called a financial transaction tax (FTT).

Of course any means of bringing the excessive profits of the finance industry to heel are damned with faint praise or a raft of specious reasons why they do not think it will work.

It is, of course, a very unpopular idea also, with those who juggle money among different countries to minimise tax.

Arguments against FTT are bogus.

The arguments for  FTT are many.
Replacing some or all of taxes on productive workers and industry. As Adam Smith said the owners of capital should pay taxes. Taxes paid by workers and entrepreneurs, on production, are a drag on increasing overall wealth.
Taxing people who largely avoid it at present enables the tax base to be broadened.
It slows the pace of wealth transfer from the productive economy towards speculation in money.
If enough countries agree it can slow damaging capital flows and speculation on currency.

Corporatism and Neo-Liberalism


Corporatism and Neo-Liberalism

One of the corollaries or supporting ideologies behind Neo-Liberalism is the cult of Management.

The idea that  individual shareholders, managers or directors are the main contributors to the success of a corporation, and thence the economy. And deserve the greatest share of the rewards. The jobs and income of all other employees and State servants is a generous charitable gift from these people.

Except, maybe  in the case of genuine entrepreneurs, we all know this is not true.

Many corporations and State or private enterprises run despite management, not because of them.  In fact the constant parade of new brooms trying to make a name for themselves, with rapid changes and cost cutting, cause competent staff to resign and demoralise the rest.

How many times, within a company, when you want  the person who get things done. You ignore the suits staring out the windows in the corner offices and talk to the person, usually a women, who actually does things. Normally someone several pay grades below the suits.
Or when you are ordering something. The bright well dressed manager calls some wizened old guy from the shop floor to ask if it can be done.

The corporations with the largest income gap between Directors/Managers  and employees have proven to be the least  functional.
Corporate income gaps.

The star managers paid in millions have proven to be much less effective than, lesser paid,  experienced promotions from within the organisation.
Twenty year research into Management effectiveness study
"companies that exclusively promote CEOs from within outperform companies that recruit CEOs from outside the company."
Best to Promote from within.

"Outsiders are typically good at rapid cost-cutting and divestment, but over time, those opportunities tend to dry up."

From the research

Highly paid directors have led many corporations into oblivion.
Enron, SCF, Hanover and many others.

The highest paid of all, financial managers, destroy at least 7 times as much wealth as they create.  
 Which makes their real worth, to society, somewhere south of a cleaner.

We are so bamboozled by the cult of management we made one of those prime Minister.

At the same time corporations decry the decreasing loyalty of other employees while they reduce the pay and responsibility they show towards them.
Attitudes to employees.

This all comes from the Neo-Liberal idea that those who work for others are somehow being charitably given jobs.
The fact is all the overpaid managers, greedy directors and parasitic shareholders could not even live, let alone have fortunes without the efforts of cleaners, technicians, plumbers, lath hands, secretaries and rubbish collectors.

People who do productive work more than earn their pay.

They contribute much more in relation to their income than those at the top.

Unions and , once upon a time, Labour helped the rest of us towards getting our fair share of the wealth we produce.

Since 1984 incomes and wealth at the top are rising at the same rate the median income (What most people get paid) is going down.

Past time Labour decided they are not national lite and repudiated the entire  Neo-Liberal canon of faith. They should not be just another vehicle, like National, to transfer wealth to corporate parasites.

Stop the waffle, (Thanks QOT) stop the managerialism within the party  and shooting themselves in the foot and come out strongly for New Zealanders.

Then they may get back the votes of ordinary people.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Nothing is worth killing for?


Are we really civilised?

"I'm an extremist in this debate, I will freely confess. I hold an absolute view that no killing is ever justified, that individuals have the necessity to defend themselves against assailants, but that even that does not grant moral approval to snuffing out the life of another. Don't even try to pull out a scale and toss a copy of the Koran on one side and the life of a single human being on the other — the comparison is obscene. Do not try to tell me that some people are 'moderates' when they tolerate or even support and applaud war and death and murder for any cause, whether it is oil, or getting even, or defending the honor of wood pulp and ink."

We have to think about the effects of the things we do.

Are oil, religion, status really worth so much to use we have to kill others for it?

Is retaining wealth so important that we can starve children to death, even in wealthy countries, rather than give up a small portion of that wealth?

Once upon a time conservatives also believed in prosperity for everyone. Now the Neo-Liberal version  will happily kill, maim and starve to add to their individual wealth.

Those who believe their religion, wealth or power is worth killing for.

Are evil.