taxes

Congress Ushers in 2013 with a Resolution to Push the Economy to the Brink

capital buildingPast the final hour the House finally passed a bill to avert the fiscal cliff. The Senate had passed the legislation in the wee hours of New Years Day and after much brew ha-ha the House allowed an up and down vote on the Senate bill. We have listened to months and months of squabbling, bringing the economy to the brink over a very simple final result that could have been passed months ago.

Book Review - The Fine Print

fineprint johnston No one can ferret out the economic and tax outrage like David Cay Johnston. His new book, The Fine Print exposes more shafting of the U.S. middle class through fees, contracts and taxes, this time all buried in the details. Johnston tallies up all of the fees, overcharges and gifts to corporations to show small font corruption costs each American family of four about $2,390 per year.

Most of us know we do not have government by and for the people. Johnston documents the never ending collusion between corporate America and government. That's all government, federal, state, local and even the court system working not for the national interest, but for corporate America's interests. The book is front loaded with all sorts of outrage which should get your blood boiling. No political party and their agendas are spared.

Did you know state and local governments give corporations at least $70 billion per year in rebates and tax breaks? Some corporations get over 90% of new facilities paid for by taxpayers. Did you know corporations get massive state and local tax givebacks on the promise of a few jobs? State and local governments pay hundreds of millions of dollars for a few jobs which pay little, if the company bothers to hire any Americans at all. One deal for Verizon amounted to paying $3.1 million dollars per job promised by the company.

Saturday Reads Around the Internets - Give Us Your Password for a Job

shocknews Welcome to the weekly roundup of great articles, facts and figures. These are the weekly finds that made our eyes pop.

 

Employers Demand Your Facebook Password

Surely this should be illegal, but for now it isn't. Potential employers, during an interview, are demanding applicants private passwords to personal online accounts.

When Justin Bassett interviewed for a new job, he expected the usual questions about experience and references. So he was astonished when the interviewer asked for something else: his Facebook user name and password.

Bassett, a New York City statistician, had just finished answering a few character questions when the interviewer turned to her computer to search for his Facebook page. But she couldn't see his private profile. She turned back and asked him to hand over his log-in information.

Saturday Reads Around the Internets - It Pays to Do Your Homework

shocknews Welcome to the weekly roundup of great articles, facts and figures. These are the weekly finds that made our eyes pop.

 

Whole Foods - Made in China

Spending $8 bucks a pound for organic grapes? Think again. This video report shows Grocery chain Whole Foods so called organic foods are actually imported from China. Check out what happens with organic inspection and certification when food is imported.

Stupid Corporate Welfare Tricks

corp welfareGood Jobs First has released a new study which shows most state's corporate tax incentives and subsidies don't work to create jobs and pay living wages. Corporations are getting subsidies and tax breaks and instead of requirements to support the State's labor force, 43% of these subsidies are glorified corporate welfare. State corporate subsidies cost $11 billion a year and $7 billion worth of them do not require job creation and living wages. From the report, Job Creation and Job Quality Standards in State Economic Development Subsidy Programs:

  • Fewer than half (98) of the 238 programs impose a wage requirement on subsidized employers, and only 53 of those wage standards are tied to labor market rates, which are a more effective benchmark for economic development than fixed amounts that can stagnate in the manner of the federal minimum wage.
  • Only 11 of the wage requirements serve to raise overall wage levels by mandating rates that are somewhat above existing market averages for the geographic area or industry sector.
  • Wage requirements, which can be found in 42 states, vary enormously—from just above the federal minimum wage to more than $40 an hour in certain circumstances for a handful of programs. Using the lower end for those with ranges, the average of the hourly wage requirements is $14.76; the median is $11.82.

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