“The EU is dedicated to corporate interests and economic globalization”
“In the aftermath of the Second World War, political elites and business leaders promoted the notion that economic integration was a path to peace and harmony.
But the result was a form of economic development – based on debt, global trade and consumerism – that systematically undermined democracy and favored corporate interests while hollowing out local economies worldwide. In country after country, transnational corporations (TNCs) have been able to evade taxes by ‘offshoring’ their activities, and to bargain for lower tax rates and higher subsidies by threatening to move where even less in taxes will be demanded, and more in subsidies provided.
Today, interlinked multinational banks and corporations constitute a de facto European government, determining economic activity through the ‘European market’. Their vast lobbying power has an overwhelming influence on the EU Commission and the secretive Council. In other words, corporations run Europe.”
Be that as it may, the UK lacks an alternative at this time. To leave now would be an economic disaster. Changes must be brought on gradually by design and implemented by the development of local small businesses. The downside is that the required infrastructure is lacking and the building of an alternative will be thwarted at every twist and turn by the vested interest in keeping the money moving up rather than around.
Bowing to Demands of Wall Street, Walmart Cuts Hours to Trim Costs
“The company is now assuring the public that that focus won’t be sacrificed with the new schedule changes. The company spokesperson said reductions in hours won’t affect the focus on better staffing stores, reducing checkout lines, and filling shelves. “[W]e are committed to improving the customer experience and we will protect the investments necessary to achieve this goal,” Greg Foran, head of U.S. operations, said.”
And how will they make this happen? The only possible way and that’s to make fewer people take on a greater workload. Believe me, I’ve been there. When a corporation eliminates a requisition it means that when the present worker quits, retires, whatever, the position is not filled and the work is spread around to those who remain. If you grumble, then you go on the sh** list and are eliminated next. Eliminating requisitions is also a common means of eliminating the Non-team player or highest paid employees.
The Evidence Keeps Pouring In: Capitalism Just Isn’t Working
“Capitalism hasn’t been able to control runaway global inequality. For every $1.00 owned by the world’s richest 1% in 2011, they now own $1.27. They own almost half the world’s wealth. Just 70 of them own as much as 3.5 billion people.”
“Nor has capitalism been able to control global environmental degradation, with trillions in subsidies going to polluters that don’t even pay their taxes, and with corporations ignoring any semblance of social responsibility as they seek ways to profit from global warming.”
Well, of course, this is shocking but nothing new to capitalism. Most of our major industries leave billions of Pounds/Dollars, whichever currency, of pollution and waste for governments to clean up and finance from taxes. Then, to heap insult onto injury, over the last century especially, western legislatures have granted favourable tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy who in turn own the companies being subsidised. Nice work if you can get it. Is it any wonder that: “The total wealth of the richest 1,000 individuals and families in Britain has more than doubled in the last 10 years to £547bn, the survey reported.
There are now 117 billionaires on the list, up from 104 in 2014, with 80 of them living in London.”
Externalising Cost of Doing Business
I’ve just finished reading John Michael Greer’s latest blog post concerning external costs of doing business. Following is a comment I made to his post.
Early in the Industrial Revolution in England, for instance, Josiah Wedgewood and other industrialists paid their workers subsistence wages. Through various acts of enclosure, from 1660 to 1845, 14 million documented, double that if undocumented common land could be included, acres of commons were privatised. Add this to the rights of primogeniture encoded to ensure that real estate passed to the eldest son, and you find hundreds of thousands of people with no other option than to accept subsistence wages. Finally, I’ll come to the point. Thanks to this post, I now see that these pitiful wages were actually a form of externalisation because the poverty workers found themselves required support from elsewhere to enable them to maintain a healthy enough state to show up for work. It is quite easy to build family capital when you pay out in pennies and sell for pounds.
Don’t buy your oil from Iran, buy it from us.
“A recent report by Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government predicted that by 2020 all of America’s oil could be produced either domestically or within the western hemisphere, ending the US dependency on the Middle East. In November the International Energy Agency predicted America would be energy independent by 2035.
Already the impacts of the power shift are being felt, say Donilon and Yergin, particularly in efforts to halt Iran’s nuclear program.
‘The United States engaged in tireless diplomacy to persuade consuming nations to end or significantly reduce their consumption of Iranian oil while emphasising to suppliers the importance of keeping the world oil market stable and well supplied,’ Donilon said in his speech at Columbia.
‘The substantial increase in oil production in the United States and elsewhere meant that international sanctions and US and allied efforts could remove over 1 million barrels per day of Iranian oil while minimising the burdens on the rest of the world. And the same dynamic was at work in Libya in 2011 and in Syria today.’”
“The internal review, disclosed under freedom of information laws, reveals that instead of producing the predicted 120 tons of fuel a year to sell to foreign power companies, the Sellafield MOX plant (SMP) managed to yield a total of less than 14 tons in 10 years. When the plant was shut down in 2011 it had cost £1.4bn, compared to the £280m estimated when the plant was approved in 1993.”
Revealed: £2bn cost of failed Sellafield plant
Internal review deals blow to the Government’s hope of commissioning new mixed-oxide facility
BRIAN BRADY SUNDAY 09 JUNE 2013
23 October 2012
The Young and the Restless
By Jonathan Wood
Global analyst, Control Risks
Sky: Every time I see an article about the lack of jobs It reminds me of how little I understand about capitalism. Maybe this is because I just don’t understand the philosophy behind capitalism or maybe my beliefs are faulty. Capitalism means, along with a bit more here and there, free enterprise. You set up a business and sell for the highest price the market will bear. The objective of a free enterprise business is not to do kindness to others or provide jobs. Certainly not! The objective is to gather as large a profit as possible. So the profit is the motive for getting into business in the first place. As far as jobs are concerned, workers are a business liability. Intelligent bosses do with as few as possible.
This whole story is about to get a bit whacky. You see corporations trying to convince governments that they deserve and absolutely need tax incentives and breaks because after all, they supply the jobs people need. However, as the corporation grows and profits rise, there is more money available to purchase labour saving machines and robots to eliminate the people jobs. After all, the robot only needs a bit of oil here and there and diagnostics to ensure top performance – then maybe a software upgrade from time to time. But people! Well, we all know how expensive they are to maintain with their need for hospitalisation benefits, salary raises, life insurance and of course they are always coming down sick and getting paid when they don’t work. My somewhat twisted thinking has caused the emergence of what I call obvious common sense. The law of supply and demand also works with the workforce. In an era of a surfeit of job seekers, corporate personnel can double the workload for those they employ with impunity because they and the worker know that there are scads of jobless out there available immediately to fill the slot left open for a worker who bitches about the job environment and demands on their time. So maybe we shouldn’t be surprised to find that people are holding on to jobs they hate and performing to the minimum whenever they can get away with it. Loyalty, company loyalty? That went out about the time the dodo bird went extinct.
How did things get this way. Well, I’ll tell you a true story. Once in the dim past, I wrote a paper for a course in social history. We were able to choose our own subject. So, I set out to answer the following question. How did Josiah Wedgewood determine what to pay his potters? [as you probably know, Josiah was one of the first industrialists in Staffordshire, England] I dug up microfiche documents of newspapers and magazines of the era and guess what? The answer is bluntly: Just enough to enable them to buy bread and turnips. The prevailing attitude held by the lords and decision makers was that if one was to give the workers more than subsistence wages, they would just spend it on gin and tonics. [probable minus the tonic water] So is it any wonder that family wealth accumulated when markets were expanding and labour costs were trivial? You didn’t need lots of smarts to get rich very quick which is of course what happened.
I wonder how the founding fathers of the thirteen states would have reacted if one of them had suggested that a corporation be granted the rights of citizenship; just like a person? I rest my case with the following quote:
“We have set in motion an industrial machine of such complexity and such dependence on expansion that we do not know how to make do with less or move to a steady state in terms of our demands on nature. We have failed to control human numbers. They have tripled in my lifetime. And the problem is made much worse by the widening gap between rich and poor, the upward concentration of wealth, which ensures there can never be enough to go around. The number of people in dire poverty today—about 2 billion—is greater than the world’s entire population in the early 1900s. That’s not progress.” Ronald Wright