Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

Shiftless Corporations Renounce America

Shiftless Corporations Renounce America

Early last week, the drug firm Mylan stomped on the Stars and Stripes as it ditched America for the Netherlands. Then, on Friday, the drug company AbbVie similarly renounced America. For 30 pieces of silver, it will become Irish.

Medical device maker Medtronic deserted America for Ireland last month. The pharmacy chain Walgreens recently announced it may be next. It plans to dump the land of the free for the bows and scrapes of royal subjects.

Walgreens is willing to prostrate itself before Queen Elizabeth because the British corporate tax rate is lower. Anything for money, right AbbVie? These firms will still park their assets and staff and sales in America. They just won’t pay taxes on foreign income to the country that nurtured them, protected them from patent violators and unfair competitors, and provided them with educated workers, federally-sponsored research and development, and myriad other public services. Now, they can freeload instead. As a result, their U.S. competitors, as well as hardworking Americans, will pay more to cover the shirkers’ share.

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Trumka: Working Families Stand with President Obama Against Workplace Discrimination

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued a statement today proclaiming the federation's support for an executive order issued by President Obama protecting federal employees and employees of federal contractors against discrimination based on gender identity. Trumka said:

Working people believe in equality and fairness. That’s why we are happy to stand with President Obama in supporting protections for workers who are discriminated against on the basis of gender identity.

It is wrong for any employer to discriminate against or fire a worker based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Discrimination in the workplace has no place in the United States. That’s why it's difficult to believe that in many parts of the country, it's legal to fire workers for their sexual orientation or gender identity.

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7 Reasons Consumers Won’t Love the $7 Billion Citigroup Deal

Richard Eskow

Richard Eskow Writer, Host, "The Breakdown;" Senior Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

7 Reasons Consumers Won’t Love the $7 Billion Citigroup Deal

The Justice Department’s settlement with Citigroup was finally announced Monday, July 14. A $7 billion settlement against a too-big-to-fail bank? What’s not to love?

We’ll answer that with another question: If the settlement that the Justice Department just negotiated with Citigroup is as punitive, why did Citigroup’s stock go up when the deal was announced? Reasons for the rise include the report of a good second quarter – a report that just happened to be released on the same day this deal was announced.

Not bad for a bank that just settled fraud charges, recently failed a Federal Reserve stress test, and wouldn’t even exist if the American people hadn’t bailed it out.

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North Carolina’s Moral Freedom Summer

Jim Hightower

Jim Hightower Author, Commentator, America’s Number One Populist

North Carolina’s Moral Freedom Summer

The Moral Monday movement is mobilizing again.

This feisty coalition, based in North Carolina, is an inspiring model of workaday people coming together to reclaim their rights from far-right-wing politicians and plutocrats running amok.

Led by the NAACP, tens of thousands of North Carolinians have joined the Moral Monday civil disobedience protests at the state capitol for more than a year.

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China Says It Won’t Stop Manipulating Currency

Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

China Says It Won’t Stop Manipulating Currency

Going into last week’s U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) a key issue was China’s ongoing currency manipulation. This matters. A February study by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) showed that China’s currency manipulation costs between 2.3 and 5.8 million U.S. jobs, increases the trade deficit by as much as $500 billion, and cuts U.S. GDP by up to $720 billion per year.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said going into the S&ED the Chinese currency remains “undervalued,” and that he would “press” China to do something about it. (An April 2014 Treasury Department report said the Chinese yuan “remains significantly undervalued.”)

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CEOs Who Succeed Without Being Granted Hundreds of Times the Pay of Average Workers

CEOs Who Succeed Without Being Granted Hundreds of Times the Pay of Average Workers

Union Matters

GOP Ensuring IRS Can’t Find Tax Cheats

Arizona congressman Paul Gosar likes to tell his constituents that “I live just like the rest of you folks.” He doesn't. Gosar's lawmaker salary alone runs five times his district’s median income. Gosar also owns “substantial real estate,” plus a local business and a dental practice. His total net worth runs north of $2 million. A fortune that “modest” won't by itself, of course, gain Gosar entry into top plutocratic circles. What will: his push last week to slash funding for the IRS. A Gosar House floor amendment to ax the IRS budget by $353 million passed on a voice vote. Gushed Gosar: “I am ecstatic.” Gosar’s move cuts a quarter of the resources the IRS can devote to finding tax cheats. The IRS already only audits 0.4 percent of partnership returns, a tax return category dear to the hearts of wealthy tax evaders.

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