Posts Tagged ‘wages’

Let’s Look at the Facts

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

Who should we really fear, ISIS or the NRA? constitution2

Everyone believes ISIS is a threat to democracy, religious freedoms, and human rights. While I concur with these beliefs, I worry far more about domestic terrorists than foreign ones. Many radicalized individuals infiltrate our country, but they are not the only people who frighten me. It is the NRA and their uncompromising stand on gun safety and regulation that I worry most about.

Fact: America is losing more than 30,000 people each year to gun violence, over 90 people a day.

The loudest argument for no gun regulation is the Second Amendment. In its entirety, the Second Amendment reads:

“A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

The problem with this argument is that many of those carrying guns are not doing it as a well-organized militia. In addition, our Founders did not carry, nor envision, AK-47 assault rifles for an individual’s self-protection. Lastly, the Declaration of Independence gives all Americans the “inalienable Rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” I do not feel safer, freer, or happier when I see legislators’ voting to allow guns in grocery stores, family restaurants, college campuses, and mental institutions. Why is it okay to argue for the Second Amendment and ignore the Declaration of Independence?

Why Trickle-down economics doesn’t work?

Antiquated, unworkable policies like Trickle-down economics will send our economy into a downward spiral while funneling more money to the top 1%.

Fact: Trickle-down economics doesn’t work because cutting taxes on the rich doesn’t lead to job creation or economic growth.

Trickle-down economics – didn’t work under Reagan, didn’t work under George W. Bush, and won’t work now. Why? Simple math and logic tell us that millionaires and billionaires buy what they want. Therefore, the economy isn’t stimulated when they get more tax breaks or income. In addition, they choose to shelter the extra funds in foreign tax havens rather than use the money to create more jobs or raise workers’ wages.
Fact: The economy is stimulated and jobs are created when people spend money.
Fact: Minimum wage or low income workers when given a raise will spend it.

Low income workers buy products, help create jobs, and pay taxes. To stimulate our economy, raise the minimum wage; don’t provide tax breaks.

As our infrastructure continues to crumble, why isn’t Congress funding repairs?

Our roads and bridges carry millions of commuters each day, yet many drive in dangerous conditions – potholes and crumbling bridges, due to a lack of maintenance, are becoming more numerous daily.

Fact: In 2013, the Associated Press analysis of 607,380 bridges showed that 65,605 were classified as “structurally deficient” and 20,808 as “fracture critical.” This report deserves attention from our leaders in Congress.

With gas prices below $2.00 a gallon, it is time to raise the gas tax so there is dedicated funding to address this critical issue facing America and American businesses. If workers can’t get to work, businesses suffer, the economy suffers, and individuals suffer.

Fact: Gas prices are lower than they have been in 20 years.

Both Republicans and Democrats speak out for the need to raise the gas tax, yet nothing has been brought to Congress officially addressing this issue. Citizens need to get involved by calling or emailing their congressional leaders, voicing their concern about the disrepair of our roads, and encouraging action on their part.

Why do so many deny global warming?

Big oil lawmakers, alongside many corporations, are blocking progress in the fight against global warming. As glaciers continue to melt, extreme weather cycles batter the nation, from droughts to floods to huge snowstorms; our children’s future is in danger.
Fact: 97% of climate scientists agree that global warming is real and it is man-made.
Fact: Fifteen of the 16 hottest years on record have happened this century.

Our country, along with the world, must lower our carbon footprint with clean, sustainable energy solutions. Both wind and solar sources are developing and expanding globally, but the U.S. and China must lead the way.

Renewable energy is clean, affordable, domestic, and basically unlimited. Because it produces no emissions, it results in cleaner air and water. Additionally, it creates jobs and revenue in local communities, as well as strengthening our national security.

Even though prices are higher than that of fossil fuels, the advantages are undeniable. And as prices continue to drop, it is predicted that in the next decade, clean energy and fossil fuel prices will be comparable.

Inequality for All: The Republican Goal

Monday, September 8th, 2014

people1As inequalities increase in America over the next couple of decades, life for some will become bleak. Income inequality is just one aspect of the fight for inequality for all. It extends into inequality in education, healthcare, voting, wages, women’s rights and sexual orientation. If the Republicans have their way, the top 1% would control everything and everyone. The Koch Brothers would literally own much of the country, deciding on your kids’ education, your families’ healthcare and your future.

If these inequalities become the normal way of life in America, these actions will create an austere country in which the American Dream will be dead. It would be replaced by long work hours for little pay. No chance of advancement. Owning a home or sending your child to college would no longer be an option for most.

Free elections encouraging everyone to vote would be a memory, instead reverting to the days when only white, male landowners could vote. Originally, the U.S. Constitution did not define who was eligible to vote, allowing each state to make that determination. In the early history of U.S., most states allowed only Caucasian males—who either owned property or, had taxable incomes—to vote.[1]

With fewer well care programs and healthcare services available, people’s lifespan would decrease. More diseases would infect the previously healthy society, and slum conditions would spread contaminated conditions resembling third world countries.

How did we get to this point?

Elected officials and corporate CEOS need to realize that massive inequalities have consequences. By lowering taxes on the wealthy, not closing corporate loopholes, and allowing corporations to avoid paying taxes, government revenues will be depleted and government services will no longer be available.

Do we want to live in a country where there are inadequately staffed police and fire departments that aren’t able to control crime or destructive fires? Where libraries vanish, national and state parks become extinct and schools decline…a place where former middle-class neighborhoods, as well as shantytowns, become dilapidated.

The loss of the tax base will partially be caused by tax inversion schemes allowing companies to locate their headquarters in foreign countries to avoid taxes while enjoying the benefits of America. Today, one in four companies pays no taxes. Additionally, many large profitable corporations, such as GE, not only don’t pay taxes, but they actually get subsidies paid to them…with your tax dollars.

Business taxes now make up less than 10 percent of federal revenue, and in some years as little as 6.6 percent. That is sharply down from the years after World War II, when about 30 percent of federal revenue came from corporate taxes… Only 6 percent of businesses are traditional corporations subject to the corporate income tax, according to the Congressional Research Service. That is down from 17 percent in 1980. The result is that less than half of the government’s business income comes from corporations, down from about 80 percent in 1980.[2]

Between 1979 and 2010, real median income of 99 percent of Americans increased by a lowly 36 percent. During the same period, real earnings of the top 1 percent grew by an astonishing 280 percent. One-quarter of income growth in the United States from 1979 to 2010 flowed to the top 1 percent.

As the Republicans continue their war on labor, negotiating for better wages and conditions is eluding most workers. Higher salaries and benefits are flooding to executives, while workers, who are losing their unions and bargaining strength, are barely able to pay their mortgages.

As corporate executives bask in their wealth, they are failing to realize that without the multitude able to buy their products, their companies will falter. The stock market will eventually realize that sales are dropping, which will trigger a downward spiral to oblivion.

With nothing being spent on crumbling infrastructure, it becomes difficult to get from home to work to entertainment venues. Without roads and money, not enough people are buying automobiles, tires, batteries and gas. The automotive industry will collapse, and with it many other industries.

Inequality in income, education and personal freedoms will destroy America if it continues at its current pace. Republicans are fostering inequality in wages for women when they don’t support equal pay for equal work legislation. They are bankrupting the country when they don’t raise minimum wages so laborers can earn a living. As more and more Republican governors take funds from school budgets, schools are closing and textbooks are limited resulting in only the elite getting a world-class education.

Yet the so-called fiscally responsible Republicans have no problem spending money to send Americans to war, but they don’t want to take care of them or help them find work when they return. Showing no biases, they continue their stand on inequalities for all, including our wounded warriors.

Climate change is a scientific fact, but not to the far right. Legislation to help protect our planet and preserve it for our children is overridden by those who support big oil, drilling and fracking everywhere. Not concerned with tainting the water that nourishes crops and cattle, or annihilating a rural communities’ water supply, their only concern is feeding the big oil industry with more drilling. Inequality for many, oil profits for a few.

By continuing to cater to the rich who don’t want to impose reasonable regulations on Wall Street, Republicans continue to propel the injustices of the past. The corruption and the fraud that made the rich richer and collapsed our economy continues to be unrestrained. The lack of proper financial and labor regulations are two major reasons inequality is growing in America, not by small steps, but by leaps and bounds. Those people who were able to invest in the stock market the last five years, saw unprecedented profits; those who couldn’t, continue to struggle.

As the president works to level some of these inequities, the Republican Party threatens another costly government shutdown or wasting time and precious resources suing or impeaching Obama. Americans need to vote in 2014 to make sure these disastrous scenarios don’t come to pass.

[1]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_rights_in_the_United_States

[2]http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/08/28/businesses-find-ways-to-avoid-corporate-taxes-but-a-fix-seems-unlikely/

Sidebar

Top 10 Corporations with Inequality Income Disparities

McDonald’s average hourly worker wage: $7.73
McDonald’s CEO hourly compensation: $9,247 (1,196 times the average worker wage)

Starbuck’s average hourly worker wage: $8.79
Starbucks CEO hourly compensation: $9,637 (1,096 times the average worker wage)

Dollar General average hourly worker wage: $7.67
Dollar General CEO’s hourly compensation: $7,720 (1,007 times the average worker wage)

Gap Inc. average hourly worker wage: $8.67
Gap Inc. CEO’s hourly compensation: $8,209 (947 times the average worker wage)

T. J. Maxx average hourly worker wage: $7.85
T. J. Maxx CEO’s hourly compensation: $7,256 (924 times the average worker wage)

Target average hourly worker wage: $8.35
Target CEO’s hourly compensation: $6,882 (824 times the average worker wage)

Walmart average hourly worker wage: $8.86
Walmart CEO’s hourly compensation: $6,898 (779 times the average worker wage)

CVS Caremark average hourly worker wage: $8.81
CVS Caremark CEO’s hourly compensation: $6,777 (769 times the average worker wage)

Best Buy average hourly worker wage: $9.78
Best Buy CEO’s hourly compensation: $6,517 (666 times the average worker wage)

AT&T average hourly worker wage: $13.28
AT&T CEO’s hourly compensation: $7,412 (558 times the wage of an average worker)

http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2013/1212/CEO-vs.-worker-pay-Walmart-McDonald-s-and-eight-other-firms-with-biggest-gaps/Best-Buy

Study by NerdWallet