The Last Of The Millenniums

Just because it always has been, doesn't mean it always will be

Archive for the day “June 25, 2012”

‘Romney closed Cayman and Swiss bank accounts to avoid embarrassment’

‘As more details about Mitt Romney’s tax returns flow in, progressives are fuming about the infant-sized 13.9% he paid in taxes on millions of dollars in 2010. Another eye-opener was Romney’s quick act in closing his Cayman Island and Swiss bank accounts before running for president a second time’.

‘According to Reuters, “Romney advisers stressed that the holdings in the Caymans – along with those in a Swiss bank account that was closed in 2010 after an investment adviser decided it could be politically embarrassing to Romney – were reported on tax returns and were not vehicles to avoid taxes.”

‘But we don’t know how much was in those accounts because Romney only released two years of returns’.

From : http://www.westernprogressive.com/2012/01/romney-closed-cayman-and-swiss-bank-accounts-to-avoid-embarrassment.html

Running away from ‘Paying It Forward’ – ‘US citizens leaving the country to avoid stiff tax bills’

‘America’s rich are renouncing their citizenship at record levels — just to get richer’.

‘Startling new data from Uncle Sam show that defections by Americans are expected to double this year, largely to avoid any stiff tax bills resulting from the proposed 55 percent hike on the rich — as well as the likely expiration on Dec. 31 of the Bush era tax cuts’.

‘As many as 8,000 US citizens are projected by immigration officials to renounce in 2012, or about 154 a week, versus 3,805 in 2011, or about 73 per week’.

“High-net-worth individuals are making decisions that having a US passport just isn’t worth the cost anymore,” said Jim Duggan, a lawyer at Duggan Bertsch, which specializes in protecting assets of the wealthy’.

“They’re able to do what they do from any place in the world, and they’re choosing to do it from places with much lower tax rates,” he said’.
From : http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/more_citizens_vote_with_their_feet_CTshpQumBXMZmUXsfw6OTM?utm_source=SFnewyorkpost&utm_medium=SFnewyorkpost

A ‘Conservative’ vision for America – ‘With executive pay, rich pull away from rest of America’


‘It was the 1970s, and the chief executive of a leading U.S. dairy company, Kenneth J. Douglas, lived the good life. He earned the equivalent of about $1 million today. He and his family moved from a three-bedroom home to a four-bedroom home, about a half-mile away, in River Forest, Ill., an upscale Chicago suburb. He joined a country club. The company gave him a Cadillac. The money was good enough, in fact, that he sometimes turned down raises. He said making too much was bad for morale’.

‘Forty years later, the trappings at the top of Dean Foods, as at most U.S. big companies, are more lavish. The current chief executive, Gregg L. Engles, averages 10 times as much in compensation as Douglas did, or about $10 million in a typical year. He owns a $6 million home in an elite suburb of Dallas and 64 acres near Vail, Colo., an area he frequently visits. He belongs to as many as four golf clubs at a time — two in Texas and two in Colorado. While Douglas’s office sat on the second floor of a milk distribution center, Engles’s stylish new headquarters occupies the top nine floors of a 41-story Dallas office tower. When Engles leaves town, he takes the company’s $10 million Challenger 604 jet, which is largely dedicated to his needs, both business and personal’.
From : http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/with-executive-pay-rich-pull-away-from-rest-of-america/2011/06/13/AGKG9jaH_story.html

 

A ‘Conservative’ vision for America – ‘Some Employers and Republicans Want to Lower the Minimum Wage’

‘If you’ve been on Facebook this week, you’ve probably seen the Chris Rock quote making the rounds’:

“I used to work at McDonald’s making minimum wage. You know what that means when someone pays you minimum wage? You know what your boss is trying to say? It’s like, ‘Hey, [if] I could pay you less, I would, but it’s against the law.'”

‘In Arizona, Republican legislators are pushing a bill that would allow employers to pay teenagers working part-time a full three dollars per hour less than the state minimum wage, which works out to a mere $4.65 per hour’.
See : ‘Minimum Wages Could Be Lowered In Arizona, Florida’
@ : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/22/minimum-wage-florida-arizona_n_1294731.html

‘And the Florida legislature is considering lowering the state minimum wage for tipped employees by more than half, from the current $4.65 per hour to the federal minimum of $2.13’.
See : ‘Senate bill could cut hourly wages of servers, bartenders’
@ : http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-02-07/business/os-minimum-wage-servers-20120207_1_minimum-wage-senate-bill-florida-senate-committee
From : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elizabeth-parisian/how-low-can-they-go-some-_b_1613969.html

‘Between 2009 and 2011, 88 percent of national income growth went to corporate profits, while just 1 percent went to wages, a stat that is “historically unprecedented.”
From : http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/02/22/430190/corporate-profits-wages-2012/

 

Our Elected Representatives ‘serving the public’ – ‘Lawmakers reworked financial portfolios after talks with Fed, Treasury officials’

‘Boehner, now the speaker of the House, declined to discuss his transactions. His spokesman said they did not pose a conflict because a financial adviser executed them and they were made in diversified mutual funds. Other lawmakers also said their financial advisers handled their trades. They said that the timing of the trades and the conversations was “coincidental” and that they did not adjust their portfolios based on what they were told by the administration officials’.

‘In January 2008, President George W. Bush was scrambling to bolster the American economy. The subprime mortgage industry was collapsing, and the Dow Jones industrial average had lost more than 2,000 points in less than three months’.

‘House Minority Leader John A. Boehner became the Bush administration’s point person on Capitol Hill to negotiate a $150 billion stimulus package’.

‘In the days that followed, Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. made frequent phone calls and visits to Boehner. Neither Paulson nor Boehner would publicly discuss the progress of their negotiations to shore up the nation’s financial portfolio’.

‘On Jan. 23, Boehner (R-Ohio) met Paulson for breakfast. Boehner would later report the rearrangement of a portion of his own financial portfolio made on that same day. He sold between $50,000 and $100,000 from a more aggressive mutual fund and moved money into a safer investment’.

‘The next day, the White House unveiled the stimulus package’.

‘Boehner is one of 34 members of Congress who took steps to recast their financial portfolios during the financial crisis after phone calls or meetings with Paulson; his successor, Timothy F. Geithner; or Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, according to a Washington Post examination of appointment calendars and congressional disclosure forms’.

‘The lawmakers, many of whom held leadership positions and committee chairmanships in the House and Senate, changed portions of their portfolios a total of 166 times within two business days of speaking or meeting with the administration officials. The party affiliation of the lawmakers was about evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, 19 to 15’.

‘The financial moves by the members of Congress are permitted under congressional ethics rules, but some ethics experts said they should refrain from taking actions in their financial portfolios when they might know more than the public’.
From : http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/lawmakers-reworked-financial-portfolios-after-talks-with-fed-treasury-officials/2012/06/24/gJQAnQPg0V_story.html?hpid=z1

A ‘Conservative’ vision for America – ‘Iowa Radio Host Says Nuns Should Be “Pistol Whipped”; GOP Congressman Laughs’

‘Today on the Iowa conservative radio show “Mickelson in the Morning,” host Jan Mickelson had on Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA) to talk about the Nuns on the Bus tour and the Ryan budget. Objecting to the tour, Mickelson asked Latham whether he had any power to pull over the bus and “pistol whip” the nuns’:

MICKELSON: ‘There’s a bus full of nuns headed towards Washington to lobby against the Ryan plan. Do you guys, do you have any power to pull the Nuns on the Bus over and pistol whip them’?

LATHAM: ‘It’s always fun to be on your show [Laughs]’
From : http://www.faithinpubliclife.org/blog/iowa-radio-host-says-nuns-should-be-pistol-whipped-gop-congressman-laughs/

A ‘Conservative’ vision for America – ”10 Things You Would Miss About Obamacare’

While I am not a big fan of AHCA, it is a step towards providing health care to the most needy in America.

And the Republican plan?

‘Another Republican Lie: GOP Admits They Have No Plan to Replace ObamaCare’
‘Remember the Republican 2010 “repeal and replace” Obamacares mantra? Well, kiss that goodbye. Their new mantra is “repeal” and deal. They are swearing to repeal any parts left standing. No, seriously — Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) explained, “The goal is to repeal anything that is left standing.”
From : http://t-800.newsvine.com/_news/2012/06/17/12267052-another-republican-lie-gop-admits-they-have-no-plan-to-replace-obamacare

1) Access to health insurance for 30 million Americans and lower premiums.

2) The ability of businesses and individuals to purchase comprehensive coverage from a regulated marketplace.

3) Insurers’ inability to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. Beginning in 2014, insurers can no longer deny insurance to families or individuals with pre-existing conditions. Insurers are also prohibited from placing lifetime limits on the dollar value of coverage and rescinding insurers except in cases of fraud. Insurers are already prohibited from discriminating against children with pre-existing conditions.

4) Tax credits for small businesses that offer insurance.

5) Assistance for businesses that provide health benefits to early retirees.The law created a temporary reinsurance program for employers providing health insurance coverage to retirees over age 55 who are not eligible for Medicare, reimbursing employers or insurers for 80% of retiree claims.

6) Affordable health care for lower-income Americans. Obamacare extends Medicaid to individuals with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty line, guaranteeing that the nation’ most vulnerable population has access to affordable, comprehensive coverage.

7) Investments in women’s health. Obamacare prohibits insurers from charging women substantially more than men and requires insurers to offer preventive services — including contraception — at no additional cost.

8) Young adults’ ability to stay on their parents’ health care plans. More than 3.1 million young people have already benefited from dependent coverage, which allows children up to age 26 to remain insured on their parents’ plans.

9) Discounts for seniors on brand-name drugs. Pharmaceutical manufacturers are required to provide a 50% discount on prescriptions filled in the Medicare Part D coverage gap. Seniors have already saved $3.5 billion on prescription drug costs thanks to the Affordable Care Act provision.

10) Temporary coverage for the sickest Americans.
From : http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/06/24/505179/10-things-you-would-miss-about-obamacare/

A Conversation with a ‘Conservative’ – ‘Romney tells press to call it ‘Offshoring’ not ‘Outsourcing’

 

It’s about jobs. Why is that so difficult to understand.

90% of Americans have been affected directly or indirectly by outsourcing. You can call it off shoring but that doesn’t change the result.

There is one person that could answer ALL the questions surrounding BAIN.

That’s Mitt Romney.

But he won’t do it.

‘Axelrod’s response? Good luck explaining the difference between “outsourcing” and “offshoring” to a voter in Ohio. Or anywhere’.

“The Washington Post gave them repeated opportunities to respond in detail to the questions that were raised, and they chose not to comment,” Axelrod said. “They may have been trying to figure out his position on the immigration question, which has taken several days as well.”
From : http://www.businessinsider.com/barack-obama-mitt-romney-bain-capital-private-equity-outsourcing-offshoring-2012-6

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‘Tax Incentives to Keep Jobs in U.S. Blocked in Senate’
Sep 28, 2010
‘The U.S. Senate failed to advance legislation that would create tax breaks for companies that move foreign-based jobs to the U.S. and penalize those that send jobs offshore’.
‘The 53-45 vote was short of the 60 needed to move the measure forward; four Democrats and independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut voted with 40 Republicans against allowing formal consideration of the bill’.
‘The offshore-jobs legislation would waive for two years the 6.2 percent payroll tax for employees hired by U.S.-based companies to replace workers who performed the same job overseas. That would save companies about $1 billion in taxes over the next three fiscal years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation’.
From : http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-09-28/senate-republicans-block-tax-incentives-to-move-foreign-based-jobs-to-u-s-.html
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President Obama : ‘”There is no reason why our tax code should actively reward them for creating jobs overseas,” he said. “Instead, we should be using our tax dollars to reward companies that create jobs and businesses within our borders.”
From : http://www.drudge.com/archive/137574/obama-end-outsourcing-tax-breaks

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‘The problem with this history, however, is that it runs counter to Mitt Romney’s own narrative. And he only has himself to blame’.

‘On the campaign trail, Romney has a tendency to talk about a job creation record. Specifically, that he helped create 100,000 “net jobs.” As we’ve previously reported, it’s a figure that no one, including Romney, can actually calculate. Bain Capital never tracked the number of jobs it created, let alone the number it destroyed or outsourced. Nor did it track any collateral employment damage, such as a mom-and-pop stationary store put out of business by Staples (SPLS)’.
From : http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2012/06/22/romney-outsourcing-bain/
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Here’s my response to your actual reply :

Re: CSI – The call centers were a new creation with the help of Bain’s money and management.
Please cite a source (since no one is required to keep a record) that these jobs in Eurpoe and Japan only ‘serviced international customers of U.S. companies in their local languages’.
Because THAT would be a HUGE news scoop!
Here’s what the SEC filings show – ‘Initially, CSI employed U.S. workers to provide these services but by the mid-1990s was setting up call centers outside the country’.
‘Two years after Bain invested in the firm, CSI merged with another enterprise to form a new company called Stream International Inc. By 1997, Stream was running three tech-support call centers in Europe and was part of a call center joint venture in Japan, an SEC filing shows. “The Company believes that the trend toward outsourcing technical support occurring in the U.S. is also occurring in international markets,” the SEC filing said’.

And as to Modus : ‘The corporate merger that created Stream also gave birth to another, related business known as Modus Media Inc., which specialized in helping companies outsource their manufacturing. Modus Media was a subsidiary of Stream that became an independent company in early 1998. Bain was the largest shareholder, SEC filings show’.

‘Modus Media grew rapidly. In December 1997, it announced it had contracted with Microsoft to produce software and training products at a center in Australia’.

‘Two years later, Modus Media told the SEC it was performing outsource packaging and hardware assembly for IBM, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Computer Corp. The filing disclosed that Modus had operations on four continents, including Asian facilities in Singapore, Taiwan, China and South Korea, and European facilities in Ireland and France, and a center in Australia’.
From : http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/romneys-bain-capital-invested-in-companies-that-moved-jobs-overseas/2012/06/21/gJQAsD9ptV_story_1.html

As to Dr. Kimura’s report.

You cited 1(one) count them report by 1 (one) count them economist on a study of outsourcing to JAPAN’S economy.

Here’s a hint. Japan’s economic dynamics are different then the Unitred States.

‘You left out two important points from Dr.Kimura.
1. ‘Unfortunately, the dataset does not permit analyses of the skill structure of labor that is directly employed’.
Such as moving relative low wage call center jobs from here to even lower wage overseas.
And………..
2. ‘In East Asia, at least, there is evidence that domestic workers ought to welcome offshoring by their employers’.
Here’s a hint. We are not Asia. The dynamics of our employment are not equal to Japans.
See : http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2007/12/job-creating-of.html#more
Oh and the link above is the article you referenced.
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Conservative – ‘Corporate Software Inc. helped distribute U.S. software around the world. The overseas call centers referenced in the WaPo article were based in Europe and Japan, and serviced international customers of U.S. companies in their local languages. Modus Media also helped American companies sell their products internationally.

Fukunari Kimura, Professor of Economics at Keio University in Japan has done a comprehensive study to determine the effects of offshoring on domestic operations. It was discovered that “they experience greater job creation at a rate as high as 8%”. The “statistics” and “formal analysis both suggest that globalising manufacturing firms are less likely to reduce their domestic employment than other firms. Firms that go abroad expand employment at home relative to non-globalizers.”

 

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