Franklin County Democrats

The official site of the Democratic Party of Franklin County, Missouri

Browsing Posts published in November, 2016

The Christian Science Monitor has published Bernie Sanders has an idea to keep Carrier from moning jobs to Mexico…

“During the campaign, Donald Trump made a 100 percent commitment to prevent United Technologies from shipping 2,100 jobs from Indiana to Mexico. All of us need to hold Mr. Trump accountable to make sure that he keeps this promise,” Senator Sanders said in a statement over the weekend.bam

He called on Trump to make it clear to the chief executive of United Technologies, which manufactures heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) and refrigeration equipment, and has received upwards of $6 billion in defense contracts, according to Sanders, that if the company moves jobs to Mexico, it will not receive another government contract from the “taxpayers of this country.”

How can Bernie help?

In his statement, Sanders painted a picture of United as a company that is harming American workers out of greed rather than necessity, which, he says is “representative of how so many multi-national corporations are taking advantage of our rigged economic system.”

“United Technologies is not going broke,” said Sanders. “Last year, the company’s five highest paid executives made over $50 million. The firm also spent $12 billion to inflate its stock price instead of using that money to invest in new plants and workers.”

Sanders said he is readying to introduce legislation that aims to block companies that outsource jobs from winning federal contracts or receiving grants and loans, and that forces them to pay an outsourcing penalty tax and pay back tax breaks.

This week’s Democratic Radio:

Alan Abramowitz

Political scientist Alan Abramowitz, one of the few who predicted the Trump victory, says it happened because he increased the Republican vote in areas of the country that are the least diverse.on-air

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend

Retirement security is an issue frightening most Americans, only 50 percent of whom have a retirement plan. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend proposes that employers get together and create a Wall-Street-proof pension system.

David Fahrenthold

Coming up, Washington Post investigative reporter David Fahrenthold tells Peter Ogburn of the Bill Press Show about financial shenanigans in the Trump Foundation.

Jim Hightower

The new founder.

News just broke that Carrier says it has struck a deal with Trump to keep jobs in Indiana.  I am excited about this development.  Of course, the details will reveal how good a deal this is for not only the 1000 folks whose jobs are not eliminated but the rest of the country.

Once upon a time I took a class entitled Strategic Corporate Research at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.  This class focused on decoding corporate financial reports, news releases, and behavior to understand the real strenghs and weaknesses of a corporation.  This knowledge could then be applied in a variety of ways but the one I was most interested in was resolving labor disputes.  The story about Carrier linked above contains some clues as to what the actual details of the deal may be and how easy it should of been to convince Carrier to reach this agreement to keep these 1000 jobs in Indiana.  Here’s the clue…Image result for Image, American jobs

United Technologies is a leading defense contractor that benefits from billions of dollars in federal spending, so it needs to maintain good relations with the incoming Trump administration.

United Technologies collects about $5.6 billion in annual revenue from U.S. government contracts, according to company filings, which is equal to about 10% of its overall revenue. The government also pays for nearly $1.5 billion of the company’s annual research and development spending. 

No offense to the author of Art Of The Deal but it probably didn’t take a coffee induced negotiating frenzy to reach an agreement.   Simply reminding Carrier (United Technologies) that future contracts will be up for review and a long look at the taxpayers role in UT’s Research and Development could be in the offing as budgets are revamped should have been enough to do the trick.  Can you imagine the Board of Director’s review of the CEO that lost all that when keeping a profitable plant operating in Indiana was the tradeoff?

Of course, the right-wing and libertarian pointy cap gang doesen’t like any attempt to save American jobs.

Justin Wolfers, a professor of economics at the University of Michigan, commented that the deal could set a troubling precedent.

“Every savvy CEO will now threaten to ship jobs to Mexico, and demand a payment to stay,” 

True enough, particularly if we keep the same system we have now.  A system that has produced record trade deficits, job loss, and wage stagnation.  It is time for a new system.

Thom Hartmann describes such a system in his latest article on Alternet, Here’s How We Can Really Protect America…

Prior to the Reagan administration, when we still had strong tariffs in place and almost a quarter of our workforce was both engaged in manufacturing and unionized, America was the world’s largest creditor nation. More countries owed us money—mostly from importing our well-made goods—than any other country in the history of the world.
Today, we are the largest debtor nation in the world, almost entirely because of neoliberal changes in our trade policies, what the best and the brightest call free trade.
Similarly, before Reagan, we were the world’s largest exporter of finished, manufactured goods, and the world’s largest importer of the materials necessary to make them (from iron ore to exotic woods).
Today, the tables have completely flipped: we’re now the world’s largest importer of finished goods, and have become one of the world’s largest exporters of iron ore, oil/fuel, coal, timber, and other raw materials that are then used to make the goods and packaging that we import back here from China, et al.
When Donald Trump proposed a return to protectionism, he wasn’t promoting some bizarre, right-wing theory. It has a long and successful history.

CityLab has released a study that supports the contention that a high-road strategy to manufacturing jobs is an effective appraoch around the world.  A fact that Right-toWork for less advocate and future Governor Eric Grietens may want to consider.  Which Countries Pay Blue-Collar Workers The Best?

A quick look at the table above suggests that the level of compensation provided to manufacturing workers reflects a nation’s overall level of economic, social, and human development. And that is indeed the case, according to a simple statistical analysis by my colleague Charlotta Mellander.

Country Pay for Time Worked Total Hourly Compensation
1. Norway NA $57.53
2. Switzerland $34.29 $53.20
3. Belgium $24.01 $50.70
4. Denmark $34.78 $45.48
5. Sweden $25.05 $43.81
6. Germany $25.80 $43.76
7. Finland $22.35 $42.30
8. Austria $21.67 $41.07
9. Netherlands $23.49 $40.92
10. Australia $28.55 $40.60
11. France $21.06 $40.55
12. Ireland $26.29 $36.30
13. Canada $24.23 $35.67
14. United States $23.22 $34.74
15. Italy $18.96 $33.41
16. Japan $18.32 $31.99
17. United Kingdom $21.16 $29.44
18. Spain $14.53 $26.60
19. Greece $13.01 $22.19
20. New Zealand $17.29 $20.57

Manufacturing compensation is closely related to productivity (measured as economic output per capita), global economic competitiveness and overall human development as well as my own Global Creativity Index. This is all in line with basic economics.  And manufacturing compensation and wages are higher in nations with higher levels of education and where greater shares of the workforce are employed in knowledge, professional and creative jobs. In other words, manufacturing compensation and wages rise as nations become more post-industrial. Higher manufacturing compensation is also related to lower levels of inequality and higher levels of happiness.

Manufacturing workers are paid the best in the most advanced nations, places that boast advanced safety nets, generous benefit systems and high productivity. Post-industrial economies might not have the most manufacturing jobs, but their workers are the best paid. Instead of adopting a low-road strategy of trying to reduce manufacturing costs and wages in order to compete with China or other emerging economies, the U.S. would be better off with a high-road one, promoting policies that improve innovation, skills and productivity.

This chart also illustrates the effectiveness of Democratic Socialism in creating higher wages.  Bernie Sanders made this point often during his campaign and the data reveals why!  Inbernie-snl fact, Bernie made this point so often that Saturday Night Live did a skit about him, Democratic Socialism, and the Titanic you may remember.  If not click here and enjoy!

Extracating oneself from a sticky situation is the topic of this video skit from the Jimmy Kimmel show.  Country music star Justin Moore helps tell the story in this video – Oh, Devil Stool. I dare you not to laugh!devil-stool

Oh, Devil Stool

You are just so cruel

Give me back my family jewel

You, Devil Stool

Betsy DeVos, of the AMWAY pyramid scheme family, has been picked by DT to lead the Department of Education.  Mrs. DeVos is also known for being one of the richest people in Michigan and a persistent advocate for charter schools.  To many she seems like an odd pick to take charge of public education.  That said, a record of success in this area could be just the change this nation’s schools need.  That record is examined in Betsy DeVos and the Wrong Way to fix Schools…

 President-elect Donald J. Trump’s selection of Betsy DeVos as secretary of education has sent shock waves through the educational establishment. Understandably so, since this is a clear sign that Mr. Trump intends a major national push to direct public funds to private and charter schools. But this is more than just a political or financial loss for traditional public schools. It will also most likely be a loss for students.

The choice of Ms. DeVos might not seem surprising. Mr. Trump has, after all, proposed $20 billion to finance “school choice” initiatives and Ms. DeVos supports these ideas. Yet of all the candidates the transition team was apparently considering, Ms. DeVos has easily the worst record.

As one of the architects of Detroit’s charter school system, she is partly responsible for what even charter advocates acknowledge is the biggest school reform disaster in the country. At least some of the other candidates for education secretary, like Michelle Rhee, the former District of Columbia schools chancellor, led reforms that were accompanied by improved student results.

Consider this: Detroit is one of many cities in the country that participates in an objective and rigorous test of student academic skills, called the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The other cities participating in the urban version of this test, including Baltimore, Cleveland and Memphis, are widely considered to be among the lowest-performing school districts in the country.

Detroit is not only the lowest in this group of lowest-performing districts on the math and reading scores, it is the lowest by far. One well-regarded study found that Detroit’s charter schools performed at about the same dismal level as its traditional public schools. The situation is so bad that national philanthropists interested in school reform refuse to work in Detroit. As someone who has studied the city’s schools and used to work there, I am saddened by all this.

After Donald Trump’s charm offensive during his recent visit to the New York Times columnist Charles Blow didn’t seem overly impressed.  He explains why in No, Trump, We Can’t Just Get Along…

He seemed to indicate that he wouldn’t seek to prosecute Hillary Clinton. But he should never have said that he was going to do that in the first place.

He seemed to indicate that he wouldn’t encourage the military to use torture. But he should never have said that he would do that in the first place.

He said that he would have an “open mind” on climate change. But that should always have been his position.

You don’t get a pat on the back for ratcheting down from rabid after exploiting that very radicalism to your advantage. Unrepentant opportunism belies a staggering lack of character and caring that can’t simply be vanquished from memory. You did real harm to this country and many of its citizens, and I will never — never — forget that.

As I read the transcript and then listened to the audio, the slime factor was overwhelming.

After a campaign of bashing The Times relentlessly, in the face of the actual journalists, he tempered his whining with flattery.

At one point he said:

“I just appreciate the meeting and I have great respect for The New York Times. Tremendous respect. It’s very special. Always has been very special.”

He ended the meeting by saying:

“I will say, The Times is, it’s a great, great American jewel. A world jewel. And I hope we can all get along well.”

I will say proudly and happily that I was not present at this meeting. The very idea of sitting across the table from a demagogue who preyed on racial, ethnic and religious hostilities and treating him with decorum and social grace fills me with disgust, to the point of overflowing. Let me tell you here where I stand on your “I hope we can all get along” plea: Never.

You are an aberration and abomination who is willing to do and say anything — no matter whom it aligns you with and whom it hurts — to satisfy your ambitions.

Yahoo has the details of the Donald’s tax plan in Trump Plan Hikes Taxes For Some In Middle Class…

By contrast, the wealthiest 1 percent — those earning over $700,000 — would enjoy a tax cut averaging nearly $215,000, boosting their after-tax incomes 13.5 percent. And the richest 0.1 percent — those making above $3.7 million — would receive a bonanza: An average tax cut exceeding $1 million.Image result for Image, Trump contradiction

“Trump’s campaign rhetoric may have been populist, but his tax plan isn’t,” Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the policy center, wrote on its website.

His tax proposals suggest what may be a challenge for Trump’s administration: Providing his middle- and working-class supporters with tangible signs of economic progress. Middle-income Americans already pay a relatively modest share of federal income taxes compared with the wealthy. That limits the scope of what tax cuts could do for them.

“The thing that he needs to worry about is making life better for his supporters, and that involves more than tax cuts,” Williams said.

Middle class finances have also been squeezed by high and rising costs for health care, higher education and housing, noted Joseph Cohen, a sociologist at Queens College in New York City.

“We’ve been cutting taxes since Reagan, and things have been getting worse for the middle class since Reagan,” he said.

Paul Waldman asks How Long Before the White Working Class Realizes Trump Was Scamming Them?

And it’s not just that; at the same time, the Trump administration and congressional Republicans are getting ready to move on their highest priorities, cutting taxes for the wealthy, scrapping oversight on Wall Street, and lightening regulations on big corporations.Image result for Image, Trump scam

Imagine you’re one of those folks who went to Trump rallies and thrilled to his promises to take America back from the establishment, who felt your heart stir as he promised to torture prisoners, who got your “Trump That Bitch” T-shirt, who was overjoyed to finally have a candidate who tells it like it is. What are you thinking as you watch this?

If you have any sense, you’re coming to the realization that it was all a scam. You got played. While you were chanting “Lock her up!” he was laughing at you for being so gullible. While you were dreaming about how you’d have an advocate in the Oval Office, he was dreaming about how he could use it to make himself richer. He hasn’t even taken office yet and everything he told you is already being revealed as a lie.

PolitiFact’s guide to politics on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude, for food and for … (watch out!) … talking politics with family. Never fear, though, you can keep your sanity, because PolitiFact is here to help.

Reporter Lauren Carroll has written a guide for you and yours to keep your holiday meal civil and fact-filled. She gives you the real dish on election rigging, Clinton emails, Trump campaign promises and fake news. Read her report to make sure there’s a gravy boat of accuracy at your Thanksgiving table.

At this time of year, we give thanks for you, our readers. We couldn’t do it without your support and input all year long, so thanks again for reading PolitiFact.

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