Sunday, March 9, 2014
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Boeing has really irritated me recently as they attempt to blackmail and break the local machinists union, the IAM District 751 by threatening to move the 777X
plant to one of 22 other states they have conned into offering Boeing massive tax give-aways.
It’s just another drive to the bottom. North Carolina is just a step toward Mexico. No different from Walmart or COSCO.
You might think machinists enjoy a high union wage scale but take a look at it at the current wage scale. The average union wage turns out to be about $16 per hour. Meanwhile the Boeing Corp is racking up record profits and CEO, Jim McNerney, just got a nice multi-million dollar bonus.
It’s unfortunate that the national union is not backing the local. The national is parroting the Boeing threat in what appears to be a hopeless and short sighted appeasement effort. In fact all the politicians (except one) also back Boeing. Save the jobs - we don’t care if they are minimum wage jobs. This is just a way to drive union workers out of the middle class which is exacerbating the polarization of income in America.
Boeing’s competition, Airbus, is owned by EADS, a mostly government-owned European consortium.
Hey, there’s an idea. Why not nationalize Boeing?
“Boeing's attacks on its workforce, together with the company's demand for $8.7 billion in concessions from the State - to be paid for out of increased taxes on all workers and small businesses - can only be described as corporate blackmail.” and …
“The only viable response to such a situation is to say the needs of the people of Washington – the same ones who have subsidized Boeing with tens of billions of tax payer handouts – come first. While Boeing CEO’s are free to leave, Boeing's assets - including the intellectual property developed by generations of dedicated engineers and machinists – would need to be taken into democratic public ownership.”*
Thursday, July 5, 2012
In his July message to the Port Townsend community, tucked into our water bills this week, our mayor, David King, tries to promote the Fort Worden Public Development Authority (FWPDA) - the group that wants to take over the management of Fort Worden State Park here in Port Townsend. Many of us think that is a bad idea and that state parks should be owned and managed by the state.
For one thing the mayor points out that a PDA can issue bonds but he also says "the park can never be mortgaged". Really? Don't you need collateral to issue bonds just as with any other debt? When the bonds can't be paid what do the investors get? Wouldn't we in fact be mortgaging the park?
The mayor also claims that the park cannot be "hijacked by private interests" because it will always be under the authority of the City. (At best he is advocating that the state park be managed by the city.) But the next sentence is even worse where he points out that the PDA would be "insulated" from the political process. Is that just a positive spin on not being transparent? It's precisely because the park should be owned and managed openly by the state (not the city) and not "insulated" from the checks and balances of the political process that we oppose control and management by the FWPDA.
The mayor, well-intentioned though he may be, says that control by the FWPDA does not "privatize" the park - a word that he uses - as well as the wonderfully evocative "hijacked by private interests". I think he has given us a great slogan:
Good for the 1% - not so good for the rest of us. More information at "http://tinyurl.com/7dqklng" Or email us at "21stCenturyFortWorden@gmail.com"
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
So, does that make Aronson Johnson Ortiz or Citigroup "good" corporations? Hardly. But it does indicate a fissure or an opportunity to influence corporate behavior.
More interestingly today several corporate donors pulled back from supporting the right wing lobby groups, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the National Rifle Association (NRA). They were McDonald's, Wendy's, Intuit, Mars, Kraft Foods, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. Again, does that make these corporations "good"?
Maybe not but maybe we could refine the criteria suggested in my February 12, 2012 post and begin to think of a continuum of "good" to "bad" corporations. Most would, of course, be somewhere in between.
Amended guide or point system for judging "good" corporations - the more points the better the corporation:
1) Make something of value or provide a service of value - up to 5 points
2) Have a workforce that is unionized or in some sort of worker ownership arrangement - up to 5 points
3) Is small, locally owned - up to 2 points
4) Is Transparent and accountable to the public - up to 2 points
5) Does something - a single event or press release in any of the above categories - up to 1 point
So far here is a list:
Southwest Airlines - 7 points (4 points for being unionized and having a worker/ownership plan, 2 points for doing something useful and 1 point for being open and transparent.)
Apple - 4 points (3 points for making something useful and 1 point for being responsive to worker conditions in China)
Starbucks - 3-1/2 points (1 points for making something useful, 2 point for practicing a kind of moral capitalism including buying sustainably grown coffee and 1/2 point for their recent support for same-sex marriage
McDonalds - 3-1/2 points (2 points for making something useful, 1 point for deciding to buy organic potatoes and 1/2 point for ceasing to fund ALEC and the NRA)
Kitsap Bank (Olympic Peninsula) - 2 points (1 point for being small and local and 1 point for being transparent and accountable to the community and customers)
Goldman Sachs - 0 points
Bank of America - 0 points
Obviously this will take a lot of work but at least it might give us a measure to use in evaluating a corporation's actions, policies or contributions to causes or politicians and it might help us in determining how to work with or against certain corporations.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Willy thought it was an silly question with an obvious answer. He didn't assume any deeper meaning. He didn't think it was wrong to rob banks. Just as Mitt doesn't see anything wrong with forcing businesses into bankruptcy and putting hundreds of workers out of jobs as long as he and his fellow investors made a lot of money.
From a progressive perspective - nay from an American perspective - Willy is the less evil. He at least distinguished between a person's money and the banks money and didn't steal from individuals. In fact Willy probably would have agreed with Mitt about government regulators. Without so many police he could have robbed more banks more safely.