Leo W. Gerard

President’s Perspective

Leo W. Gerard USW International President

TPP: Foie Gras for Corporations; Dead Rats for Workers

TPP: Foie Gras for Corporations; Dead Rats for Workers
The TPP: A dead rat –– iStock Image

Some terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the 12-nation trade proposal completed last week, are so repulsive that the New Zealand trade minister who helped negotiate the scheme described accepting them as swallowing dead rats.

Here’s what New Zealand Minister Tim Groser said: “On the hardest core issues, there are some ugly compromises out there. And when we say ugly, we mean ugly from each perspective – it doesn't mean ‘I've got to swallow a dead rat and you're swallowing foie gras.’ It means both of us are swallowing dead rats on three or four issues to get this deal across the line.”

There’s no reason for the United States to swallow a trade deal filled with rotten rodent terms. Previous so-called free trade deals have killed American factories and hundreds of thousands of family-supporting manufacturing jobs. Based on that terrible experience, American workers know for sure that if the scheme contains any foie gras, it’ll be served on silver platters to corporations while workers are force-fed rats.  

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Meet The Real Carly Fiorina

Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

Meet The Real Carly Fiorina

There used to be something called “the HP Way.” This was the description of the way Hewlett-Packard (HP) conducted its business and treated its employees and customers.

Management was informal, and the majority of the company’s engineers worked in an open environment, rather than offices, to encourage communication and teamwork. In Bill Hewlett’s word, “the HPa Way is a core ideology … which includes a deep respect for the individual, a dedication to affordable quality and reliability, a commitment to community responsibility, and a view that the company exists to make technical contributions for the advancement and welfare of humanity.”

In a 2010 Reuters’ article, “Fiorina, Hurd: no practitioners of ‘The HP Way’?” Alex Dobuzinskis wrote,

The HP Way” had its heyday in the 1960s, and today is credited with helping grow the corporation from a $538 garage outfit in 1939 into the $125 billion behemoth it is today.

There was an emphasis on life outside of work: HP bought up land for recreational activities around the world, and pioneered Friday afternoon beers at the office, for instance.

Experts like Malone say that approach became a model adopted by many in Silicon Valley –including crosstown peers like Apple Inc and Cisco – and helped differentiate the technology giants on the U.S. West Coast from their more strait-laced brethren back east.

That was the old way that HP did business.

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Why the Washington Post’s Attack on Bernie Sanders is Bunk

Robert Reich

Robert Reich Former U.S. Secretary of Labor, Professor at Berkeley

The Washington Post just ran an attack on Bernie Sanders that distorts not only what he’s saying and seeking but also the basic choices that lie before the nation.  Sanders, writes the Post’s David Fahrenthold, “is not just a big-spending liberal. And his agenda is not just about money. It’s also about control.”

Fahrenthold claims Sanders’s plan for paying for college with a tax on Wall Street trades would mean “colleges would run by government rules.”

Apparently Fahrenthold is unaware that three-quarters of college students today attend public universities financed largely by state governments. And even those who attend elite private universities benefit from federal tax subsidies flowing to wealthy donors. (Meg Whitman’s recent $30 million donation to Princeton, for example, is really $20 million from her plus an estimated $10 million she deducted from her taxable income.) Notwithstanding all this government largesse, colleges aren’t “run by government rules.”

The real problem is too many young people still can’t afford a college education. The move toward free public higher education that began in the 1950s with the G.I. Bill and was extended in the 1960s by leading public universities was reversed starting in the 1980s because of shrinking state budgets. Tuition has skyrocketed in recent years as states slashed education spending. It’s time to resurrect that earlier goal.

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How Wacky Are America's Plutocratic Billionaires? Meet Tom Perkins

Jim Hightower

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

You know your presidential campaign is in a heap of hurt when you need Tom Perkins to defend your "abilities, intellect, and talent."

But there Perkins was in the New York Times recently, having bought a full-page ad attesting to the presidential worthiness of Carly Fiorina – one of the gaggle of 17 GOP seekers of the White House. Fiorina is best known for being dumped as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, having driven its stock price into the ditch and having fired 30,000 workers. She had recently been the subject of a Times article about her "not so sterling" corporate leadership, so she did indeed need an emergency buff-up on her image.

But by Tom Perkins? That's like asking Donnie Trump to redo your hair!

Perkins, a billionaire venture capital huckster, was an unknown until he burst upon the American public early last year with a loud, self-pitying whine. In a letter to the Wall Street Journal, poor Tom wailed about "a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent." Moving from merely crotchety to paranoid nuttiness, Perkins blathered that the "war on the American one percent" is like Nazi Germany's "war on its one percent, namely its Jews."

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Bernie Sanders on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Bernie on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Bernie on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Posted by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders on Monday, September 21, 2015

Ridiculous CEO Pay Means Lower Worker Pay

Sam Pizzigati

Sam Pizzigati Editor, Too Much online magazine

America’s corporate execs and their cheerleaders regularly assure us that we need not worry about all those millions that top execs are collecting. The latest to make this case: JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

“It is true that income inequality has kind of gotten worse,” Dimon told an audience of movers and shakers at the Detroit Economic Club last month. But “you can take the compensation of every CEO in America and make it zero,” he continued, and that “wouldn’t put a dent” into inequality.

Dimon happens to be totally wrong in his arithmetic — and his analysis.

The arithmetic first. The nation’s top 3,000 CEOs, a new ISS Corporate Solutions analysis shows, averaged $6.4 million last year. The typical American woman working full-time earned $39,621 last year.

If we zeroed out the $19.2 billion that went to those 3,000 CEOs, we would have enough cash to give nearly 6 million women a bonus that equals one month of their pay. That qualifies as a “dent” on inequality.

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RUN From the Bush Virus!

RUN From the Bush Virus!

Union Matters

Will the Democratic Primary Results Hinge on the Question: Can There be Leadership Without Trust?

Hugh J. Campbell

Hugh J. Campbell Son of a steelworker, Philadelphia, Pa.

The concluding paragraph of the article On trust and the Democratic primaries starts with the following sentence: “If Americans do not trust their leader, then there is no leadership.”

A comparison of the two frontrunners in the Democratic primaries follows:  

A July 2015 Quinnipiac University Poll focusing on Colorado, Iowa and Virginia voters reported that one of the two cannot be trusted by: 62 percent of Colorado voters, 59 percent in Iowa, and 55 percent in Virginia, while for the other candidate mistrust was 24 percent in Colorado, 20 percent of Iowans, and 17 percent of Virginians

On consistency, the most distrusted is a notorious flip flopper, while the least distrusted one’s 1992 address to Congress could easily be a campaign speech in 2015.

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