Friday, 30 January 2009

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Those who work for wages are not to blame

The newest issue of the SFL Labour Reporter will be mailed out in the next few days. The cover article is reproduced below. You can download a complete PDF copy of the Labour Reporter here....

Those who work for wages are not to blame

It's probably natural to want to point the finger at someone about this world recession. How did we get into this mess?

The root cause of the problem is the lack of regulations, in other words deregulation, in the financial industry. Insurance giants, investment firms and the big banks can invest where they want, and how they want, with very few rules in place to keep the system stable, let alone fair.

The roots of this recession began when thousands of American folks were lured into loans for mortgages at really low interest rates. The lenders then bundled up those mortgage loans and ‘sold’ them to investors, who speculated on future payments. What the lenders didn’t tell the borrowers was that within a couple of years, they would jack the interest rates way up. Many homeowners couldn’t make the payments and had to default. All that speculated profit blew up.

You may have seen some of the reports in the popular press who blame ‘na├»ve’ people who should not have borrowed beyond their means. But do we really begrudge people trying to acquire their first home? These are often families paying off student loans, some with children to support.

The blame should rest squarely on the shoulders of the lending institutions who lied to their customers. They created billions of dollars of toxic debt, and now taxpayers are footing the bill.

These same corrupt banks then stopped lending to their CEO buddies at the Big Three, putting the auto industry in peril. Yet we’re being told by the mainstream media that it’s because unionized autoworkers make $70 an hour in wages, which is a lie.

Do we as a society support the CEOs of the auto industry who flew their private jets into Washington asking for billions of dollars in bailout money? One of the key problems with our system is that the owners are taking escalating amounts of profits and filling their own pockets.

In the American bailout bill, was a cap put on CEO salaries? It sure wasn’t.

Don’t let anyone tell you that the working class is to blame for a system that feeds the greed of the rich.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Who Will Control Our Digital Soul? - The Tyee

There's a great article over on "The Tyee" entitled: "Who Will Control Our Digital Soul". Check it out by clicking here.

Excerpt....

"The great value of the open Internet is that it allows us to envision and, in fact, produce a more democratic media system.

But the open Internet is under threat by the very companies that bring it into our homes and workplaces, Internet Service Providers (ISPs). These big telecommunication companies want to become the gatekeepers of the Internet, charging hefty fees to reach large audiences, as they do with other mediums."
Read more....

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

It's time to stop blaming the workers

The Tuesday, January 6, 2009 edition of the Regina Leader-Post has a column by veteran political columnist Murray Mandryk entitled: Collective shake of the head required. In the column Mandryk continues to regurgitate the tired old myth based argument, that worker's and their wages are to blame for the meltdown of the global economy. Without a shred of evidence or support for his position, Mandryk simply parrots the tired old lie, that unionized auto workers earn $70 per hour.

He even takes a few shots at me for my New Years interview with his collegue, Neil Scott (Hubich slams auto CEOs) where I took a shot at CEO compensation in reaction to the recent report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives - Banner Year for Canada’s CEOs, Record High Pay Increase.

I was compelled to respond to Mandryk's column, so I sent off the following letter to the editor at the Regina Leader-Post this afternoon. I'll let you know if they print it:
Update: The letter was published in the January 8 Leader-Post: 'Greedy corporate decision-makers' to blame

January 6, 2009

To The Editor

In his column of January 6, 2009, Collective Shake of the Head Required, Leader-Post columnist Murray Mandryk comments on my New Year’s interview with reporter Neil Scott regarding among other matters, the salaries of Corporate Executive Officers (CEO’s).

Mr. Scott’s article which appeared in the January 3 issue of the Leader-Post dealt with a report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) “The 100 highest paid CEO’s of Canadian publicly traded corporations received an average of $10,408,054 in total compensation in 2007.” This was a 22.7 percent increase from the previous year.

The CCPA report noted a number of other facts regarding CEO compensation “The average CEO took home 259 times the pay of the average worker…that the average pay for the top 50 CEO’s was 398 times the average wage, up from 85 times the average wage in 1995.”

All Canadians should be interested and concerned with this state of affairs. Those that have wealth continue to accumulate more and more wealth. Mr. Mandryk seems convinced that such “entitlements” are coming to an end. Where is the evidence of that?

Instead of providing evidence Mr. Mandryk then criticizes my contention that CEO’s should be taken to task for their greedy ways.

Should automobile CEO’s be thrown in jail and the workers take over the factories? It may not be the entire answer to our problems but should it be totally discounted? Can we do any worse than the current corporate leadership? Perhaps forensic audits and criminal investigations would be a good first step.

The nearly trillion dollar corporate bail out in the USA mainly rewards those smart rich people who plunged the global economy almost to the bottom. And it doesn’t appear that their “period of entitlement” is ending.

Mr. Mandryk and I clearly have philosophical differences. I believe that the economy should be designed to serve the people while Mr. Mandryk seems to prefer having people serving the economy.

When the corporate leadership takes much more out of the economy then they contribute, this must be questioned. My suggestions were not far from the recent actions of Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams who took action to seize hydroelectric and forestry resources from a company that announced the plan to shut down a plant. Saskatchewan should consider similar actions to protect and properly husband our forest resources.

Mr. Mandryk and I will continue to both agree and disagree on various issues. His column is a platform that he can use to investigate issues and bring them to light. He should go beyond attacking the workers who actually produce wealth and examine why the idle rich have so much.

The powers that be want us to forget who is responsible for the economic mess we are in. Instead they want to blame workers for the current economic woes. Lost in the process are those most affected by greedy corporate decision makers – the people who have lost their jobs, their homes, their dignity and their hope.

Where did all the money go?

Sunday, 4 January 2009

GOP memo indicates vendetta against unions - The Real News

Some of the most corrupt businesses in the world, combined with the some of the most corrupt politicians in the world are engaged in a massive campaign of attempting to destroy workers democratic rights to Freedom of Association and to destroy their unions.

Why? Because workers and their unions are the only ones who are prepared to stand up to these corrupt businesses and the corrupt politicians they control.

It's happening everywhere - whether it's in Washington, in Ottawa, or in Regina!

Don't tell me it can't be done!

This video is from a Marketplace TV Show that ran ........ get this ........ over 30 years ago, in 1978.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

A Banner Year for Canada's CEOs - CCPA

Check out the video below from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) and then click on the links below the video for more information, details and coverage about the obscene levels of compensation being enjoyed by the Greedy Corporate Hucksters.

CCPA Report - Banner Year for Canada’s CEOs, Record High Pay Increase

Leader-Post article by Neil Scott: Hubich slams auto CEOs

Find more from the CCPA at:

www.policyalternatives.ca and

www.growinggap.ca

Friday, 2 January 2009

Talk Show Host Irked

Saskatchewan Newstalk Radio host John Gormley seems to be irked that I have not appeared on his open mouth show for over 1 year now. Otherwise, he wouldn't have commented about it, in his 2009 predictions column that ran in today's (Jan 2, 2009) Saskatoon StarPhoenix.

Contrary to what Mr. Gormley would have you believe, I'm not "boycotting" his show. I'm just not prepared to appear on it, until we've been able to work out a protocol with the senior management of Rawlco Radio.

Rawlco Radio senior management is well aware of this, and in fact I've had one meeting with Rawlco President, Pam Leyland - who was to arrange a second meeting with Rawlco's General Manager. I am still awaiting the scheduling of that meeting.

In the meantime, there are lots of alternatives out there. And I have no problem whatsoever engaging in respectful discussions, dialogues, and interviews with virtually every other media organization in Saskatchewan, and beyond.

Mr. Gormley, can continue to trash talk, spew vitriolic rants, attack and attempt to bully me all he wants. It obviously makes him feel good.