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PatrickforB

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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Not disclosed
Home country: USA
Current location: Not disclosed
Member since: Mon Apr 28, 2014, 07:28 PM
Number of posts: 13,626

About Me

Counselor, economist and public servant.

Journal Archives

Stakeholders, not shareholders.

Why do we have so very many workers who can barely make ends meet?

Because right now, and since the MI Supreme Court ruling against Henry Ford in 1919, we have done corporate business under a doctrine called 'primacy of the shareholder.'

This means that profits are king. Period.

Profits are more important than workers, than safety, than consumers, than the community, than the environment. It's all about shareholder profits. Tax loopholes allowing executive compensation to be deducted have contributed to stratospheric 'salaries' for CEOs.

And, hey, if you are a CEO of a publicly held company, and you are doing your job well, you will do the following:

For Workers
1. Bust the union, if there is one, first thing.
2. Participate in systematic wage theft, if you can.
3. Cut hours so you won't have to give your workforce benefits.
4. Steal back the pensions, if the workers have them.
5. Compromise safety on the workplace floor.

For Consumers
1. Cut cost of sales by using inferior parts.
2. Cut the size of packaging and charge the same amount or more.
3. Compromise product safety until paying out claims exceeds the cost of fixing the problem.

For the Community and Environment
1. Foul the environment whenever you can get away with it, and if caught try to pass the cost of cleanup to taxpayers.
2. Contribute to politicians who will 'owe you' and vote against regulation and for tax cuts.

This is why we have what we have right now. The doctrine of shareholder primacy. Replace that with a stakeholder system where the interests of workers, consumers, communities and the environment are held EQUAL to the interests of shareholders, cap C-Suite pay to no more than 10 times that of the worker on the floor, and impose a fairer corporate tax so that corporations are paying in more like 35% of the federal government's tax revenue instead of the current 6.8% (while individual taxpayers, like the workers, are currently paying in 86% - reduce that down to about 45%), beef up regulations that ensure quality, worker and consumer safety, and limit environmental polluting, and impose a wealth tax to eliminate billionaires and...

VIOLA!!!!

We have enough money for Medicare for all Americans including dental care, vision care and prescription drugs, expanded Social Security, affordable debt-free college, infrastructure improvements, improving our K-12 system, and even a guaranteed minimum income.

There’s PLENTY of money. It is just in too few hands.

Anne Rice, Who Spun Gothic Tales of Vampires, Dies at 80

Source: New York Times

Anne Rice, the Gothic novelist best known for “Interview With the Vampire,” the 1976 book that in 1994 became a popular film starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, died on Saturday at a hospital in Rancho Mirage, Calif. She was 80.

Her son, Christopher Rice, wrote on social media that the cause was complications of a stroke.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/12/books/anne-rice-dead.html



Rest in Peace, Anne.

Well, today I am 63.

As a present to myself, because God knows, I don't have any money to speak of, I called my two senators and my representative to give them a piece of my mind.

I began by saying that individual taxpayers pay in $0.86 out of every $1 the government takes in, while corporations only pay in $0.068, but we sure aren't getting anything like our money's worth because shareholder profits are king and constituents like me and my family are nothing.

I pointed out that we had to have the Congressional Budget Office 'study' the Build Back Better legislation to ascertain how much it would cost, BUT NO ONE IS BATTING AN EYELASH ABOUT THE $778 BILLION 'DEFENSE' BILL.

At this point, I was just getting going into my favorite issue, which is healthcare. I told these staffers that like most American working stiffs outside the beltway, people who struggle to make ends meet, I have crummy, rationed healthcare with financially crippling copays.

I went on to say that we knew my partner would need surgery and our financially crippling copay for her was $4,000. Took about a year to save that up. Had the surgery, but then she needed hearing aids. Well, la de da, that isn't covered, so I had to take out a $1200 loan, which I have paid down a bit. Then I lost a crown, which cost about $600 out of pocket, and I had to go to the periodontist and spend another $400 for a special x-ray Delta Dental doesn't cover.

The bottom line? I have no savings left, and getting my teeth fixed is going to cost ME $12 large. Out of pocket.

So, we can squander $4.2 trillion on two forever wars that ground up two of the kids in my family. We can fritter away another $3 trillion through a 2017 tax cut for billionaires and corporations, and now we can squander $778 billion on 'defense.'

WHERE IS MY HEALTHCARE?

WHERE IS MY DENTAL CARE?

WHERE IS THE AFFORDABLE, DEBT FREE COLLEGE FOR MY GRANDKIDS?

When is the last time Congress did ANYTHING that materially benefitted you and your families? Sure, they threw money at us during the stimulus, but the last time Congress passed legislation that actually materially benefitted me and my family was in 1965 when they passed Medicare.

Yeah, you can look at FMLA and the ADA, but those are still a struggle, because FMLA is unpaid, and the ADA, well - I have an ambulatory disability, and I will just say thank God I'm not in a wheelchair, because 'access' isn't all that and a bag of chips.

So, I'm pretty fucking disgusted with ALL OF THEM, if you want to know the truth. And I'm sick of the media not reporting things that are really important. I'm sick of the traitors that want to make this into a fucking dictatorship, and I am sick of the corporations that care more about profits than about our lives. I'm sick of the unavoidable corruption in our political system, and of dominionist 'christians'. I'm sick of politicians that pay lip service to me and my family but then vote in $778 billion in 'defense' because China has a supposedly better missile, but I HAVE TO TAKE OUT FUCKING LOANS FOR HEALTHCARE.

This is fucked up, and I know we are all Democrats, but you know, I sure wish they would be a bit less polite and at least enforce subpoenas on the traitors. Let alone expanding Medicare.

Yep. Today is my 63rd birthday AND I'M FUCKING FED UP.

My thirteen thousandth post.

No real serious content.

Just some heartfelt thanks to all of you. This is my favorite online community, and I am glad to be part of it.

Warm regards to all of you, and hopes for a great holiday season. Stay safe. Stay well. Stay engaged!

In this post, I want to discuss the merits of the 'Diversity Visas.'

By the way, happy Veterans Day!

I am an economist, and specialize in the tracking, aggregation and analysis of a variety of labor market and economic indicators.

One of the things I track are the top unique job postings in my region during rolling thirty-day periods. Now, for at least the past year, the 'big three' - the top three jobs by number of unique postings - in my metro area have been:

- Registered Nurse
- Software Developer
- Truck Driver

We are in a tight labor market across the board, and I'm waiting for the September JOLTS data to come out tomorrow (and at the state level the 19th) to find out whether we are going to see the high number of resignations many are talking about.

Bottom line, people are in the process of rethinking their relationship with corporate culture, and finding they want a bit more. Other issues, too, such as lack of childcare, etc.

But here's my story:

Anyway, today I went into my HMO for a regular blood pressure check and some bloodwork. The nurse who helped me told me she was Greek/Ethiopian, and was over here on a diversity visa. I was happy about this and wished her the very best.

Here's the thing - these nuts that 'doan wan' no immigrants here in Murika' are shortsighted at best. Because who would have helped me had it not been for this immigrant nurse? See, we talk about the anti-vaxx idiots that are now hogging hospital space needed by the rest of us when we have normal problems, but on the other side, the shortage of nurses over the US is acute. No one has enough.

So...chalk up one for sanity in immigration. But look at the numbers - in 2021, out of 11.8 million applicants, only 132,404 were allowed to come here. Also, due to the racist assholes, people from Mexico, Honduras and other Central and South American countries are ineligible. Think about THAT for a minute. Geez.

I'm happy we have visas to bring foreign workers over here, and hope that we can rid ourselves of trash like Steve Miller, Trumpy, and the rest of them. This nation was built on immigrants.

Dea Matrona - a young Irish band

These young women are very tight musically, very talented. Their names are Molly, Orlaith (pronounced Orla) and Mamie, who is on drums. I thought you might like their work. They got their start busking in Dublin. I found them when I was searching for good covers of Crossroads.

They write their own stuff though, and it is really good. Orlaith and Molly trade off on the base and guitar, which is somewhat novel. Hope you enjoy it.


I just had a wicked thought.

Don't get me wrong. I'm beside myself with anger over these morons who refuse masks and vaccinations because they put all the rest of us in danger, and are now hogging all the ICU beds that should be on reserve in case people have strokes, heart attacks, or need various surgeries. But instead, they have to wait because some idiot is laying on there with a ventilator tube coming out of his mouth because he was too stupid to get a shot. So yeah, I'm furious, as are all of you...but...

It seems to me that this ivermectin dewormer has to be somebody's idea of a joke. Seriously.

Whenever I get emails from the right wing-nut faction of my family, I just have to sit back and think, you know, you're going through all these contortions. Bleach, zinc, hydrochloraquin, ivermectin...why in the world wouldn't you just get the vaccine? I mean, I did. And then, you wouldn't have to worry as much.

I have never had polio, tuberculosis, rubella, smallpox or a plethora of other diseases that used to wipe out whole cities. Why? Vaccines, of course. I've been vaccinated. From a very young age.

And yet, these idiots from the Party of Death, Stupidity and Treason are refusing a free, easily obtainable vaccine for a horrible disease that can literally destroy your life over the long haul, if you survive. I know some long haulers and it is awful.

So, here's my wicked thought: I'm thinking of telling my rightwing relatives that I've heard that the mideval practice of bleeding people with leeches may have shown promise as a COVID treatment (somewhere).

Who knows? It might give Murika's leech farmers a whole new lease on life!

I mean, I'm not actually going to DO it...but it is an amusing thought.

Had a little fun. Well, not really, but it did feel good.

Just took my wife in to the health care 'provider.' According to our insurance plan, what we did today was not completely covered by my already crippling financial copay. So I had to take out a loan. Yay! 'Murika really grate, now, eh?

In the meantime, my HMO, which shall remain nameless - sort of like the Mouth of Sauron - has made my wife wait FIVE MONTHS to even see a surgeon about a torn rotator cuff. Five months. Every morning she wakes up weeping from the pain. Finally, next week, we'll get to see the surgeon, and then probably have to wait another five months for surgery.

So, feeling more than just a bit angry, I called my Congressman, Ken Buck, who is a proud member of the so-called 'freedom caucus.'

I explained my slow and grinding trauma to his staffer, because it is pretty hard to be a caregiver, and my wife's situation and how she has driddle squat for a quality of life, and then asked him what the Republican party has done to materially benefit me or my family since the 1970s when Dick Nixon created the EPA. Yeah, we had a couple of stimulus checks, but that money already is gone to the HMO.

Then, we talked about how my Republican county commissioners have politicized COVID and in spite of the CDC's recommendation that students mask in school, they have actually issued a written communique asking the school district NOT to have kids mask. Why? For our freedom, of course!

The conversation moved to healthcare - I did mention having to take out the loan and asked him why I am even faced with that situation. Following this, I spoke about how the US is the only country in the world that has healthcare debt and healthcare bankruptcies. Why is that, I asked? And why has the age of Medicare eligibility not been reduced to age 55? Those things, I said, would have materially benefitted me and my family FAR MORE than the 2017 tax cut, which was the height of fiscal irresponsibility.

We then went on to discuss how individual taxpayers such as him (the staffer) and I pay in 86% of the government's tax revenue, and corporations only 6.8% at this time, because of that tax cut. Why, I asked, wouldn't it be better policy to raise the corporate tax rate back to 1970 levels?

After that, we had a nice talk about student debt and I asked why my kids had to pack in so much debt, and why Congress didn't act to make college more affordable to all kids.

Finally I asked what is wrong with the Republican party right now. Why have they politicized the pandemic and the vaccine, and why are they letting people die just to make Biden look bad so they can win the next election? And why are people who are arguably traitors, like Boebert, Greene, Hawley, Cruz, Kosar, McCarthy and others still in Congress after the failed coup attempt January 6.

I think it was good for him to hear that. He told me that Buck represents the values of the people who live out on the eastern plains and votes his values. I replied that he doesn't represent me and his values are not in tune with urban people, who tend to be a bit left of center, and I said that there are many of us who feel this way, in fact a majority of Americans.

So there you have it. I think it was good for him to hear about what our experience is actually like on the ground. Because if Buck got 2 or 3 thousand calls like this, it might wake him up. And venting to a person who is on the staff of one of these right wing nut jobs felt damned good. I try to call Buck's office monthly like this.

Rant over...

Hello. I will reveal first I am not a member of this group, BUT

I very much appreciate good music. I posted about this band in the thread about Eric Clapton, who apparently has become an anti-vaxxer.

Anyway, here is a link to a new busker band from Ireland. They got their start busking in Belfast, and this is a show they did this last Christmas that was streamed from a place called Whelen's. I like them a lot because they play some covers of old rock songs - they do a mean Crossroads - but they have also written a number of really good original songs. Listen and you can hear some of the bands that have influenced them.

Here's the link: ?list=LL

What I really like about Dea Matrona is that they are really musically sound, and both Orlaith and Molly play multiple instruments. Watch them trade guitar and bass during the performance. Just pretty good music.

Given what just happened in Georgia, I am respectfully asking all DU readers:

Please call your US Senators daily on the urgent need for a new voting rights act.

If we all call them daily, write them, email them, and otherwise be very noisy, they might just take some action. Because this really is urgent. We can kiss this republic goodbye if this GA law, and the dozens of others Republican controlled state legislatures are cooking up, are allowed to stand.

We need to force them to make this happen.

I commit to all of you that I will be calling my two Senators every day on this matter. At each of their offices, locally and in DC.

Please, let us overload their switchboards with huge call volume.

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