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Thread: Billionaires take a stand for the working man

  1. #1
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    Billionaires take a stand for the working man

    WHO SAYS the corporate media doesn't care about the opinions of ordinary people? There have been lots of articles lately about what workers think, written by the people who study them the most--bosses.

    As a vice president of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and a Wall Street Journal columnist, William McGurn naturally has his finger on the pulse of the American working class:

    The notion that Wall Street and Main Street are fundamentally at odds with one another remains a popular orthodoxy. So much so that we may be missing the first stirrings of a true American class war: between workers in government unions and their union counterparts in the private sector.

    According to McGurn, a true American worker doesn't mind having their 401(k) cut by a CEO looking to increase his year-end bonus. But he's fighting mad at his daughter's teacher because she has a union that's been able to keep her pension intact.

    This analysis truly does go against "popular orthodoxy"--otherwise known as: what most people think.

    But McGurn's observations must have merit because they are corroborated almost word for word by Mort Zuckerman, real estate billionaire and publisher of U.S. News and World Report:

    We really are two Americas, but not those captured in the stereotypical populist class warfare speeches that dramatize the gulf between the rich and the poor. Instead there is a new division in America that affronts a sense of fairness. That division is between the workers in the private sector and the workers in the public sector.

    In Zuckerman's vision, government workers are different than you and me. They live in gated communities like Fireman Estates and flaunt their wealth on TV shows like Lifestyles of the Defined Benefit Plan and Who Wants to Marry a Child Services Case Worker?

    In Public-Sector America, unionized postal workers and crossing guards pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for exclusive private schools for their kids, while the rest of us--Starbucks baristas, bank presidents, etc.--send our kids to overcrowded public schools. And now, this obscene inequality is apparently spurring a backlash from ordinary Americans like Joe the Plumber and Mort the Media and Real Estate Mogul.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    IN NEW York, these plain folk have formed the modestly named "Committee to Save New York" (presumably they couldn't get the rights to "The Super Friends").

    The Committee calls itself a "voice for the general public." Go to their Web site to see what they mean. All around the edges are pictures of us, the general public, in our hard hats and our various skin colors. And right in the middle, you can see our voice! It's a list of names and titles reflecting New York in all its diversity: some of them CEOs, some presidents and some "presidents and CEOs."

    The plan to save New York is similar to the ones being proposed across the country: Cut public-sector jobs to pay for lower taxes on business, which will use that money to create new jobs--maybe even as many as they just got rid of!

    Okay, so maybe it doesn't make much sense, but economic logic isn't what's motivating the attack on public-sector unions. It's about fairness.

    Our bleeding-heart bosses are bothered that private sector workers--their workers--are suffering from layoffs and falling wages more than government workers, who are often protected by union contracts. They don't think it's right that only some workers should be made to pay for the government's bailout of the banks. Nor is it right for a few privileged workers to have access to government representatives via their unions. If most workers are shut out of having a political voice, then all workers should be.

    In short, folks like Mort Zuckerman and the Committee to Save New York would like to see a reverse civil rights movement, the kind where MLK would have fought for whites to also not have the right to vote.

    You might think that this situation presents unions with opportunity as well as a danger. After all, bosses are giving them free advertising about the advantages of collective bargaining. Unions could pass out flyers to Wal-Mart workers that read, "Want to be a part of that powerful special interest group the governor's been warning you about?"

    Instead, most public-sector unions have meekly responded to the attacks with calls for "shared sacrifice" among business and labor. I've never taken a class on negotiations, but I thought you weren't supposed to announce your willingness to make concessions right from the start. Not only that, calling for workers and bosses to share the sacrifice during this recession gives the false impression that we shared the loot during the boom--or the bailout afterward.

    There's only one way government workers will win the support of their private-sector neighbors. Fight and win. Show them that having a union can provide you with things that you can't have without one.

    Not an easy plan, but at least it's simple.
    http://socialistworker.org/2011/01/2...he-working-man

    Thoughts? I found it very interesting.

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    Fire schitty Schotty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by quantum View Post
    Fire schitty Schotty.
    +1,000,002

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    I was pretty pro-Schotty but after yesterday I'm not too happy with him being back next year. He was never as bad as a lot of people on these boards thought he was, but that goalline stand was one of the most obvious examples of a coordinator outsmarting himself I've ever seen. The performance equivalent of a cornerback falling on his face in coverage.

    The article's well written, but it's so far from the American political monologue (not dialogue) that I'd be surprised if it was the kind of thing that would really get through to that many people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ciaran View Post
    The article's well written, but it's so far from the American political monologue (not dialogue) that I'd be surprised if it was the kind of thing that would really get through to that many people.
    What is that exactly, that we should (as a group) be fighting against? "The wealthy"? Seems awful generalized.

    Forgive me if I don't think the article is as brilliant as you do, as it seems the usual saracstic for-those-already-converted type rantings, but perhaps you can (for slow minded folks like me) make the point it;s trying to make a little more succintly?

    "Middle & Lower Class should hate Rich CEO's, Rise Up Fellow Bolshevicks! Rise Up!" seems to be the point I'm seeing, and if thats it, it's not exactly new or groundbreaking. Class Warfare/Jealousy as catalyst for manipulation vis a vis Political power is as old as man itself.
    Last edited by Warfish; 01-24-2011 at 05:41 PM.

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    This is funny.

    http://www.newyorker.com/humor/2011/...h_shouts_allen

    SHOUTS & MURMURSMONEY CAN BUY HAPPINESS—AS IF
    by Woody Allen


    JANUARY 24, 2011 SHAREPRINTE-MAILSINGLE PAGE
    KEYWORDS

    Monopoly; Board Games; Financial Crisis; Banks; Boardwalk; Recession; Wall Street


    With the economy in shambles, his job gone after Lehman Brothers folded, Litvinov was tortured by indecision over the choice before him. Should he risk everything and buy Marvin Gardens, or leave his money in tax-free bonds until he passed Go? The Dow had plummeted another hundred points that day, and a colleague of his had collapsed with a heart attack while on Free Parking. Word was that the man had picked a card that read “You Have Won Second Prize in a Beauty Contest—Collect Ten Dollars” but failed to declare it. Now the I.R.S. had discovered that the ten dollars was hidden in an offshore bank account and had begun investigating. Litvinov’s hands were shaking when he landed on the prime yellow property, and he called his friend Schnabel at Morgan Stanley, who advised him not to buy it. “No one knows where the market is going,” Schnabel said. “If I were you, I’d wait six months. Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner are meeting in Washington tomorrow and one of the topics they’re discussing is the yellows. We’ll know more after.”

    Six months, thought Litvinov. By then Schwimmer could have all three yellows if I don’t prevent it. Schwimmer, Litvinov’s former partner, had recently passed Go and was liquid. He could build. Litvinov, for his part, held two gray properties, Vermont and Connecticut, but his ex-wife Jessica owned Oriental, and he knew she would never trade it to him. He’d offered his house in the Hamptons, more generous visitation hours with the children, and Water Works, but she was adamant. Litvinov had always had problems with women. His inability to throw doubles with the dice had led to a terrible fight with his current fiancée, Bea. He was sure she was having an affair with Paul Kindler, who’d somehow gotten Citigroup to finance a hotel for him on Boardwalk. Kindler had traded for Boardwalk, which gave him both blues, but after the economy tanked and travel fell off no one landed on his property. He tried renovating and planned for luxury hotels with a flat-screen TV in every room, but construction costs soared and he had trouble with the unions, who seemed to take forever just to put up a few houses. Kindler was this close to Chapter 11 when Breslau, of Goldman Sachs, coming home drunk from a Christmas party, landed on Park Place with three houses on it. Suddenly, Breslau needed eleven hundred dollars. He begged Kindler to wait, but Kindler had just drawn a card that read “Pay School Tax—One Hundred and Fifty Dollars,” and needed the money. Not wanting to mortgage any of his properties, Breslau borrowed from loan sharks. When he couldn’t pay on time, they threatened to break his kneecaps. He finally made a deal, offering them St. Charles Place in return for breaking only one kneecap.

    Breslau’s wife, Rita, was sexy. They’d had what Hollywood screenwriters called a “cute meet.” He’d picked a card that read “Take a Ride on the Reading Railroad.” She picked that exact same card and they wound up sharing a compartment. At first they didn’t get along, but after a few drinks she removed her clothes and explained the concept of the risk-reward ratio to Breslau and he fell in love with her. Rita stood by him during a crisis when the pieces were being distributed and Breslau wanted the little silver top hat. When it went to Litvinov Breslau was bitterly disappointed. He was forced to take the thimble, which the doctors felt had brought on his depression and led to years of intense psychotherapy. In a listless stupor, he would fail to notice when someone landed on his property, and his demands for rent after the next person had thrown the dice led to complicated litigation (Parker Brothers v. Board of Education).

    Lou Daimler was a different story. Growing up in poverty, he vowed that he would make something of himself, but when he came up with the idea of introducing puce and fuchsia properties everyone thought he was a visionary or a fool. He attended Harvard on a scholarship and fell in love with a Boston girl. Family owned the three greens. Hotels on all, of course. They believed Daimler was a fortune hunter, but when he picked “Bank Error in Your Favor—Collect Two Hundred Dollars,” he used the capital to start an Internet company, for which he was offered six billion dollars, although he refused to sell unless the buyer threw in at least one “Get Out of Jail Free” card. Then, there was Porchnick, at Quadrangle, who owned several minor properties and had filed for bankruptcy. Treasury agents learned that he had hidden several hundred thousand dollars in bright-yellow five-hundred-dollar bills under the board, planning to transfer them to Swiss accounts. Poor Porchnick had found himself jobless and broke at fifty-eight and took a bottle of sleeping pills. His note said it all: “To my beloved wife, Claire, I leave Mediterranean Ave. I hope the two-dollar rent enables you to live in the style to which you’ve become accustomed.”

    The final tragedy was Milo Vorpich. When Merrill Lynch went under, Vorpich put everything he owned into his mattress. All deposits and withdrawals were made from his Sealy Posturepedic. Then the new Administration set aside two billion dollars of the stimulus package for people with money in their mattresses, and the Fed allotted it by size. Vorpich had a queen-size bed and received substantial help. He decided to marry his childhood sweetheart, but when he obeyed a card that said “Go Back Three Spaces” she refused to wait for him. He could never catch up with her again. If this weren’t sad enough, he landed on Go to Jail. He remained in jail for several years, and finally tunnelled out, emerging on Illinois Avenue, where he was met by a friend with a private Cessna and a Mexican passport. His plan was to fly over Park Place and Boardwalk, thus avoiding the high rents, and settle in Cuernavaca. Unfortunately, his plane ran out of fuel and he was forced to land on Pennsylvania Avenue, where he was slain in a shoot-out with federal agents. ♦



    Read more http://www.newyorker.com/humor/2011/...#ixzz1C0TALFgO

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    "Middle & Lower Class should hate Rich CEO's, Rise Up Fellow Bolshevicks! Rise Up!" seems to be the point I'm seeing...
    Uh. What?

    I think the point was ironing. It's ironic and pretty naive and stupid to think that billionaires and corporate CEO's actually give a crap about the middle class.


    IN NEW York, these plain folk have formed the modestly named "Committee to Save New York"

    The Committee calls itself a "voice for the general public."
    ROTFLMAO!! "Voice of the general public". Ha!

    The 18k umbrella stand peeps are SO looking out for us. They are the bestest!

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    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan View Post
    Uh. What?

    I think the point was ironing. It's ironic and pretty naive and stupid to think that billionaires and corporate CEO's actually give a crap about the middle class.
    Thats funny, because I think it's ironing to think Union Leaders care about anything more than themselves and their political power. They certainly don't care about "the middle class" as a whole anymore than the average CEO does.

    Tell me, you are Joe Q CEO running the Generic Corp. of America. What part of that job title and responsabillity includes "watching over the middle class"? Last I checked, it was the job of a CEO to manage the company and to maximize profit and return on investment.

    You guys make me lol sometimes, this funny idea that CEO's are supposed to be stewards of some financial class of citizenry, the environment or the like. Makes me wonder if any of you have taken Business 101, and if so, exactly how Socialist your college professor who taught it was.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan View Post
    It's ironic and pretty naive and stupid to think that billionaires and corporate CEO's actually give a crap about the middle class.
    From a self interest point of view, I certainly don't want to look at an unattractive rabble every time I leave my house. I like a well dressed well behaved middle class for my own personal self interest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winstonbiggs View Post
    From a self interest point of view, I certainly don't want to look at an unattractive rabble every time I leave my house. I like a well dressed well behaved middle class for my own personal self interest.
    Me too. I wear nice button up shirts and sweaters to cover up all the tattoos on my arms. Sometimes, I'll even shower

    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish
    Tell me, you are Joe Q CEO running the Generic Corp. of America. What part of that job title and responsabillity includes "watching over the middle class"? Last I checked, it was the job of a CEO to manage the company and to maximize profit and return on investment.
    Never said it was their job, Fish. And it's not their job. That's why it's hilarious that they started this "group" that supposedly is the "voice of the general public".

    Pay attention, Warfish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    Tell me, you are Joe Q CEO running the Generic Corp. of America. What part of that job title and responsabillity includes "watching over the middle class"? Last I checked, it was the job of a CEO to manage the company and to maximize profit and return on investment.
    This statement in itself is inarguable. But they do have the incentive, and power, to gain unfairly. I don't expect CEO's to be good samaritans. It's law for businesses to function to profit. I do not side with unions nor corporations, just fair game. But that is not within human nature. You're always going to have corruption. Do I want the CEO's to watch over the middle class? No. Do I think they can and would take advantage of the middle class? Yes.

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