Third Party & Independents Archives

CEO Pay

A recent WaPo article suggest the CEO pay gap is greatly underestimated. A new study, by Harvard Business School, found that while people think that the average CEO makes 30 times more than the average worker, the real figure is something like 350 times the average worker.

Reasoning is that CEO pay here is much higher than other countries. The average U.S. CEO makes about $12M/yr. The article relates that Web site, Nerd-Wallet reported that it takes the typical McDonald's/Starbucks worker six months to earn what a single CEO makes in one hour.


Otherwise - - -

Posted by Roy Ellis at October 1, 2014 9:31 PM
Comments
Comment #383848

http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Publication%20Files/Kiatpongsan%20Norton%20PPS_dae93595-5382-4ab6-99f7-24329c8c0c33.pdf

The link in the Washington Post article you linked to didn’t work so I found the actual study by Kiatpongsan and Norton.

Posted by: Weary Willie at October 1, 2014 10:32 PM
Comment #383849

The question is, “What can we do about it?”. Not that I’m advocating action in any way, I’m just curious as to what you think can be done to “remedy” this situation?

Also, please take into account what the article states as an average wage for a CEO. It was put at 12 million dollars. Keep in mind this average might be skewed by a few CEO making 100 million. I don’t know if the study quantified the average by quoting the number of CEO total, and the wages of each, because I didn’t read it. It would be easier to invite either Sorapop Kiatpongsan or Michael I. Norton here to answer these questions for us.

I’m more curios as to what you think should be done, if anything, concerning the Washington Post’s observations of CEO wages?

Posted by: Weary Willie at October 1, 2014 10:59 PM
Comment #383852

When too much of a nation’s wealth becomes held by a very small percentage of that nation’s population, that nation’s economic potential is choked, and the rise in unemployment, substandard wages, and poverty in that nation will sow the seeds of popular dissent and ultimately civil unrest. People with employment choices and opportunities accompanied by reasonable living wages, aren’t predisposed to dissent or civil unrest over the incomes of the wealthiest. Throughout my life, until just the last 15 years, I begrudged no wealthy persons their good fortune. As I watch some of the wealthiest engage in monumental political and cultural efforts to deprive those falling on the economic ladder in order to enrich themselves even further, I now have no ethical choice but to call for measures that will redistribute more of America’s wealth back down the economic ladder to those seeking to move up through skill and hard work at all levels of employment from the middle class downward.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 2, 2014 1:32 AM
Comment #383856

How would you propose that be done?
These people are in a position to protect their lifestyle from the laws government passes. Even if congress passed laws targeting the CEO’s income they will find ways to circumvent those laws. How can high income CEOs be targeted without effecting the CEOs who do not have that income? Shouldn’t the stock holders be responsible for the wage they pay their chief executive officers?

Perhaps corporations with high income officers should be target by their customers, not their government.

Posted by: Weary Willie at October 2, 2014 3:19 AM
Comment #383858

Progressive income taxes Weary, for starters. Then capital gains taxes being raised to match the progressive income taxes.

Posted by: j2t2 at October 2, 2014 8:41 AM
Comment #383862

Explain how Warren Buffet will pay these income taxes when he braggs about how his secretary pays more. Progressives are also whining about corporations leaving the U.S. to find tax relief. Your suggestion, j2t2, is simply shooting this country in the foot as a remedy to a problem you wouldn’t have if you were a CEO making that money.

Posted by: Weary Willie at October 2, 2014 12:21 PM
Comment #383864

First of all Weary, lets address the myth misinformation half truth and/or outright lie. Buffet isn’t bragging he is stating a fact. He has suggested the “Buffet rule” as a means to make the tax system fairer. Over the years the progressive tax system has become regressive.

http://money.cnn.com/2013/03/04/news/economy/buffett-secretary-taxes/


“So instead, we checked Buffett’s statement that the “mega-rich” pay about 15 percent in taxes, while the middle class “fall into the 15 percent and 25 percent income tax brackets, and then are hit with heavy payroll taxes to boot.” We rated the statement True.”

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2011/sep/21/does-secretary-pay-higher-taxes-millionaire/

As far as your second bit of myth misinformation half truth and/or outright lies, income inequality and a regressive tax system is shooting this country in the foot Weary, not me. Unless of course it is only the uber rich who matter to you. Ya see Weary not all of us can or want to be CEO’s in fact not many of us can. To suggest it is only a problem if you aren’t a CEO is illogical IMHO.

Posted by: j2t2 at October 2, 2014 1:47 PM
Comment #383866

It sounds like you’re in favor of a flat tax, j2t2. If the progressive tax has become a regressive tax and the rich are paying less than the middle class then a flat tax would rectify that by making everyone pay the same percentage of their income.

Personally, I think the whole 16th amendment experiment is coming around to bite us in the ass.

The federal government should be paid for by the people/countries that use it. The founders had it right when they dehumanized corporations and gave the individual the incentive to earn and keep their own wage.

Posted by: Weary Willie at October 2, 2014 2:04 PM
Comment #383867
in fact not many of us can

There is an argument for paying them more in a nutshell. How many people would take on the responsibility of running a corporation if they were making minimum wage? How many foreign CEOs would take a $40,000 a year CEO seriously?

This childish jealousy is counter productive. If the people want to reduce the amount of money the CEO makes they can reduce the amount of money they give to his corporation. It’s that simple. Government force is not needed.

I’m not saying all CEOs should make hundreds of millions of dollars, but if we has a real currency perhaps this aberration wouldn’t be so pronounced.

Weren’t you in favor of the bailout of these mega-millionare CEOs?

Posted by: Weary Willie at October 2, 2014 2:14 PM
Comment #383869

Income is whatever the wealthy want it to be. The reason why the WSJ points out the number is more like 350 than 30 is because the executives take most of their compensation in a defferred form. Simply put:
- I’m a CEO who’s on the board of directors of companies run by people who are on my board of directors. We all make sure we all get paid whatever we think we can get away with before the shareholders revolt.
- I spend a total of about $2.5M per year for fun, housing, etc…
- There’s a $20M tax free annuity I set up with last years bonus, paid in company stocks, for a charity that covers about $2M.
- I take about $1M in salary to cover the $500k net after alimony and income tax
- Take about another $10M in deferred bonuses. These will only be taxed (at a low capital gains rate) should I need to cash some out (poor planning) or when I die (if we don’t end the estate tax).

Y’all argue about income tax, but income for the wealthy is whatever is most convenient for them. At most they pay capital gains taxes.

Posted by: Dave at October 2, 2014 2:42 PM
Comment #383871

WW, it should be the role of government to set limits upon greed where greed begins damaging the economy and nation’s future. The wealthiest should NOT be allowed to control the government as they have increasingly accomplished over the last century. That undermines all democracy and its processes. Wealth accumulation is not inherently a negative concept. When, however, that accumulation gives rise to power over the government and the nation’s future for self-serving ends, the role for government regulation of the use of that wealth, and/or, the role of government to redirect that wealth, especially toward recirculation throughout the economy, is warranted. Too much wealth in too few hands chokes the nation’s economy because too much of that wealth does not recirculate through the economy giving rise to jobs, innovation, and public sector revenues to support public health and welfare.

Posted by: David R Remer at October 2, 2014 4:08 PM
Comment #383873

David R. Remer, do you think Dave is stuffing his millions in his matress and standing guard over it, sleeping with one eye open?

Also, isn’t it telling how many times people describe many of our problems occuring during the last one-hundred years?

The wealthiest should NOT be allowed to control the government as they have increasingly accomplished over the last century.
One-hundred years is the amount of time the progressive agenda has been dominating this country’s politics and government.

Yes, indeed! Very interesting.

Perhaps we should take progressive policies into account when we address these types of problems.

Posted by: Weary Willie at October 2, 2014 4:35 PM
Comment #383874
It sounds like you’re in favor of a flat tax, j2t2. If the progressive tax has become a regressive tax and the rich are paying less than the middle class then a flat tax would rectify that by making everyone pay the same percentage of their income.

I thought I made it pretty clear Weary, that I favored a progressive income tax and a progressive capital gains tax. A flat tax is just another regressive tax Weary, don’t let them fool you. The answer is progressive not conservative tax policy.


There is an argument for paying them more in a nutshell. How many people would take on the responsibility of running a corporation if they were making minimum wage? How many foreign CEOs would take a $40,000 a year CEO seriously?

Weary, really! Who ever aid anything about a minimum wage CEO? The problem is in the gap between the CEO and workers pay. Look at the chart on the link below and you will see the gap as it has expanded over the years.

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/03/us-corporate-executives-arent-the-only-ones-making-tons-of-money/274136/

Perhaps we should take progressive policies into account when we address these types of problems

You seem to be confused if you think progressive policies have dominated the countries politics, you haven’t accounted for the Reagan revolution and the past 30 plus years of borrow and spend by conservatives in Congress. War and cutting taxes, hell even Reagan figured it out.

Posted by: j2t2 at October 2, 2014 5:07 PM
Comment #383876
This childish jealousy is counter productive.

SO you continue to espouse myth misinformation half truth and /or outright lie by blathering this tripe Weary. This illogical name calling fallacy you try to introduce as reasoning is counter productive.

If the people want to reduce the amount of money the CEO makes they can reduce the amount of money they give to his corporation. It’s that simple.

The free market approach doesn’t seem to have worked Weary. Whilst you may be surprised I am not. Try buying your next TV set from a mom and pop manufacturer.


Government force is not needed.

No one is suggesting marching troops into corporate offices and shooting the CEO Weary. However a law that ties executive compensation to workers compensation say back to Reagan era norms. After all we have seen trickle on economics to be a failure.

I’m not saying all CEOs should make hundreds of millions of dollars, but if we has a real currency perhaps this aberration wouldn’t be so pronounced.

Really do you have a shred of proof to back this theory up Weary? What changes? CEO’s all of a sudden become do what?

Posted by: j2t2 at October 2, 2014 6:13 PM
Comment #383877

David, I am in your camp on the rampant inequality we are dealing with. Since the gov’t does the ‘regulating’ it would be the gov’ts responsibility to keep economy related things in balance.

Gov’t does well in protecting business interests; keeping the price of sugar high, mandating ethanol in gas, setting import tariffs to stiff the competition, manipulating the price for commodities, and so on - - -

On the flip side, there has been a virtual war on preventing any increase in the minimum wage, but, we shouldn’t discuss fooling around with CEO pay.

Like J2 says, try buying a tv set from a mom and pop mfctr. One pops up and is bought up by some monopoly. Super wealth can/is used to stiff the competition. Lack of gov’t to enforce anti-trust works to ramp up inequality.

Today, O’Brien writes in today’s WaPo that the top 1% grabbed 95% of all the gains during the recovery’s first three years. Says that real median income hasn’t increased since 1999. Nary a raise in 15 years. Median net worth is lower than it was in 1989. It’s kept falling during the recovery, “reaching $81k in 2013, according to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances.

Some talk that the economy may not get back to ‘normal’ until around 2019. I’ve been writing that it will take as long as it takes the Corpocracy to ‘normalize’ worker pay scales around the world based on the ‘rules of globalisation’. That might be 50 years, more or less.

Therefore, I don’t ‘see’ a solution to inequality or any real reform issue so long as we are ruled by corporate oligarchy. The only way out, as I see it, is thru a new 3rd party w/a/dif/pol/att, and so on - - -

I agree, the U.S. can become just another country supporting a wealthy class and a poor/lower class. People don’t seem to mind the transition so far. I believe that if ATM fees were 50% folks would walk up and push the buttons to get a few bucks. Half the people don’t know where the White House is located, and so on - - -

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: roy ellis at October 2, 2014 9:02 PM
Comment #383878

Dave, thanks for your insightful post on this issue. I don’t believe any blogger in the middle has a problem with folks making money and plenty of it. Good on ye, I wish you well.

But, when the gap becomes harmful to the economy and society at large, as succinctly expressed by Remer, something has to change, IMO.

Posted by: roy ellis at October 2, 2014 9:16 PM
Comment #383879

Free market! That’s funny. What free market?

I went to a seminar about starting a business. All that was talked about was bonding and hiring a lawyer. You had to protect yourself and making sure somebody is pointing out the hoops you have to jump through to start and run a business.

Remember the stories about police shutting down some kid’s lemon-ade stand? How about the kid being told she could raise money by begging instead of selling mistletoe?

Free market! That makes my eyebrows chuckle ~~

j2t2, an exercise. Tell Dave how much money you think the government should take from him.

Posted by: Weary Willie at October 2, 2014 11:22 PM
Comment #383906

Always love seeing those who can’t or won’t, telling those who do, how it’s actually supposed to be done.

Why don’t the wealthy liberal types practice what they preach?
Why don’t liberals open up a lib-Donalds on every corner, pay $20 an hour with full benefits, and show us all how it’s supposed to be done?

Posted by: kctim at October 3, 2014 9:21 AM
Comment #383920

kc,

Hate and Koolaid are blinding. Three examples that belie the american neocon worldview are Costco, WinCo and DeMoula’s Market Basket. And don’t forget Soros, Buffet and Bill Gates, as opposed to the Koch brothers. Many, but not all, of the top 0.01%’ers are bad. Try to learn somthing before you repeat nonsensical talking points.

Costco

Costco pays their employees a livable wage and gets sales per employee at double what Walmart subsidiary Sam’s Club gets from their employees who work for lousy pay.

WinCo
In sharp contrast to Walmart, which regularly comes under fire for practices like understaffing stores to keep costs down and hiring tons of temporary workers as a means to avoid paying full-time workers benefits, WinCo has a reputation for doing right by employees. It provides health benefits to all staffers who work at least 24 hours per week. The company also has a pension, with employees getting an amount equal to 20% of their annual salary put in a plan that’s paid for by WinCo; a company spokesperson told the Idaho Statesman that more than 400 nonexecutive workers (cashiers, produce clerks and such) currently have pensions worth over $1 million apiece.

Market Basket

You might think your customers only care about your products, services, and prices. The Market Basket saga, playing out in New England, shows that they care about how you treat your employees, too.

Posted by: Dave at October 3, 2014 10:02 AM
Comment #383923

The CEO of Costco made 3.8 million in 2008. How much do you think the government should take from him?

Posted by: Weary Willie at October 3, 2014 12:40 PM
Comment #383924

lib-Donalds should have a get-food-free line for all those illegal ALIENS that are coming across the border every day.


Posted by: Weary Willie at October 3, 2014 12:47 PM
Comment #383925

ww,

Given that the government provides access and stability to the worlds greatest economy and it’s infrastructure, at current income tax rates approximately 39%. However, given the majority of that 2011 income was stock sales with unknown capital gains and I’m sure he has expensive tax planners I’d be very surprised if he paid more than 10%.

It’s pitiful that you people confuse even such simple things as earnings vs. taxable income vs deferred compensations.
Quoting the NYT and Slate, Snopes has this to say:


Combining high quality with stunningly low prices, [Costco products] appeal to upscale customers — and epitomize why some retail analysts say Mr. Sinegal just might be America’s shrewdest merchant since Sam Walton.
But not everyone is happy with Costco’s business strategy. Some Wall Street analysts assert that Mr. Sinegal is overly generous not only to Costco’s customers but to its workers as well.
Costco’s average pay, for example, is $17 an hour, 42 percent higher than its fiercest rival, Sam’s Club. And Costco’s health plan makes those at many other retailers look Scroogish. One analyst, Bill Dreher of Deutsche Bank, complained last year that at Costco “it’s better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder.”
Mr. Sinegal begs to differ. He rejects Wall Street’s assumption that to succeed in discount retailing, companies must pay poorly and skimp on benefits, or must ratchet up prices to meet Wall Street’s profit demands.
Good wages and benefits are why Costco has extremely low rates of turnover and theft by employees, he said. And Costco’s customers, who are more affluent than other warehouse store shoppers, stay loyal because they like that low prices do not come at the workers’ expense. “This is not altruistic,” he said. “This is good business.”
He also dismisses calls to increase Costco’s product markups. Mr. Sinegal, who has been in the retailing business for more than a half-century, said that heeding Wall Street’s advice to raise some prices would bring Costco’s downfall.
Despite Costco’s impressive record, Mr. Sinegal’s salary is just $350,000, although he also received a $200,000 bonus last year. That puts him at less than 10 percent of many other chief executives, though Costco ranks 29th in revenue among all American companies.

Posted by: Dave at October 3, 2014 1:05 PM
Comment #383929

WW, the free market you embrace would be rampant with monopolism and anarchy played out by some of the wealthiest, like the Koch Brothers, leaving the society and culture to fray and collapse. And when it does, those wealthiest would simply relocate to another society like a plague to take its resources until it collapses, and move again. We are already seeing evidence of this moving to other societies with one’s wealth in order to become even wealthier.

The free market is a great principle that MUST be balanced by regulations which protect and preserve the culture, society, and efficacy of the nation as a whole. Freedom to eat continuously must be balanced by restraint and other activities to keep the effects of gorging from killing the person exercising their freedom. Freedom does not mean free to harm others for one’s own benefit. Hence, the need for government, laws, and regulations to ensure unbridled greed is not allowed to destroy the fabric of society and nation as a whole.

Eating is good for health. Overeating is bad for health. I find many conservatives often tend to fail to recognize the harmful effects of engaging in healthy behaviors to the point that they become unhealthy, especially in the areas of ideals. There is such a thing as too much freedom. There is such a thing as too much power. There is such a thing as too much wealth. In exactly the same way as there is such a thing as too much regulation, too much legal restriction, and too much external control over individual exercise of freedom.

This country was founded on compromise appropriate for its time, balance appropriate for its time, and the wisdom to allow for change as the demands of the future required, IN ORDER to protect the union for future generations. Your views are extreme against the background of the needs of our society and all its people in our current time. It is the needs of the society as a whole that must be balanced against the desires of the individual.

The actions of a few cannot be allowed to destroy the well-being of all others in the society. That is a fundamental principle of democracy and democratic procedures, embedded in all of our societies institutions and public sectors. Abandon these, and one abandons the very balance that allowed wealth creation and accumulation which you appear to so revere.

The actions of a few cannot be allowed to pollute the air we all have to breathe, nor the water we all have to consume, nor economy upon which we all depend, nor the security upon which we live without undue fear. Ergo, the absolute need for laws, regulations, and oversight of the aggregate effect the wealthiest and the poorest are causing in our society. Too much wealth in too few hands chokes the economy from which we all take our daily bread.

Posted by: David R Remer at October 3, 2014 5:35 PM
Comment #383931


A very good centrist post, David. Maybe you should join me in a new 3rd party approach.

Someone tell me - why do we need more people when all non-people are being forced off the playing field of life? IMO, we’ve long reached the point where ‘more’ is not better, etc.

We don’t have to ‘pay our way out’ of the cotwo/ozone soaked/climate warming impending crisis. We just need to control population growth and keep working on technology. The U.S. has accomplished birthrate control at 1.5/2.0 repopulation rate. But, the Corpocracy can’t stand it if the GDP isn’t beyond 9% and so on - - - so, they keep the borders open, support some 30 types of work visas, and so on.

What else? Let’s see - we are constantly told that it doesn’t matter that foreign firms buy up U.S. firms. This just provides more jobs for the home folks. Well, if the 1% at the top are capturing 95% of the wealth created does that not tell you something ??!!!! Does any worker bees believe this corpocratic claptrap?

This is corpocratic dogma in their quest to be able to go overseas and rape, pillage and burn at will. Where will this go, what with China cracking down on U.S. corps ‘free market’ enterprise.

Dave, kudos for pointing out that some companies choose to do the right thing by the country and their employees. Those companies are our heros. So then, who needs to be regulated? Luxottica, an Italian conglomerate/monopoly.

From wiki: “Recent criticism has come upon the high prices of Luxottica’s luxury brand named glasses, such as Ray-Ban, Oakley, and several others. A 2012 60 Minutes segment focused on whether the company’s extensive holdings in the industry were used to keep prices high. Luxottica owns not only a large portfolio of brands such as Ray-Ban and Oakley, but retailers like Sunglass Hut and Oliver Peoples, as well as the optical departments at Target and Sears. In addition, by owning the vision insurance company EyeMed, it controlled a portion of the buyers’ side of the market as well.[27] CEO Guerra said that Luxottica did have competitors at the retail level in the American market, such as Walmart, andCostco.””

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luxottica

‘Too Big To Fail’ should be a misnomer in American lexicon.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: roy ellis at October 3, 2014 7:52 PM
Comment #383961

Why aren’t names like Kennedy and Rockefeller dropped in the same context that Koch is?

That aside, you both have good points but, I don’t think it’s a good move to limit CEO salaries. I don’t think you can.

A solution could be to use anti-trust laws to break up big corporations into little ones that pay their CEOs a salary more to your liking.

Posted by: Weary Willie at October 4, 2014 1:29 AM
Comment #383963

Because the Kennedy’s and Rockefeller’s are not trying to turn our nation into a fascist oligarchy. It’s apples vs. oranges there. As for smaller companies, unfortunately that’s non-competitive in our global based economy.

As for CEO pay, I think that issue is not the problem but a symptom of corporatist power gone amok. The top few 0.1% +/-, the major owners (financial and private), get to suck off the top freely and without repercussions. The only real solutions I see are: no person-hood for the corporation that’s causing such significant abuse of political power, removal of institutionally held stock voting rights (e.g. banks get no shareholder votes, only people with shares in their hands), salaries directly approved by those voters, and required non-incestuous relationships between executive management and the boards of directors.

Posted by: Dave at October 4, 2014 12:05 PM
Comment #383964

Dave, I guess you missed the part where 535 people are dictating to all 50 states and also to every citizen of those states what do and how they do it. Perhaps you also misinterpreted a slight majority of those 535 people, against the will of the majority of citizens, ramming through their plans to take over and control one-sixth of the economy, and in doing so, assumed control over every person’s most precious choices in the healthcare and lifestyle. Jay Rockefeller and Ted Kennedy played a major part in creating that 535 person oligarchy. Much more of a part that the Koch brothers had.

I agree with your assessment of CEO pay. Corporate personhood is a concoction thought to have gone away when our forefathers fought and died during the American Revolution. However, in the late 1800 we experienced a zombie apocolypse in the world of corporations. The inanimate takes on life and begins to eat the brains of the citizenry.

Corporations are tools. Nothing more than an intangable idea written down on paper and thought to be real by those who gain from it. Ask anyone if their school board is a person. Make the distinction between the flesh and blood people who sit on that board and the board itself. Can that board make decisions without the people making them? No! To say the board is a person is a wild fantasy. Corporations have become shields for the people controlling them. To absolve the people making decisions of responsiblility is to allow those people to continue making bad decisions.


Posted by: Weary Willie at October 4, 2014 1:32 PM
Comment #383966

Dave, in addition to your suggestions I would suggest tying CEO pay to worker pay to solve the problem. Instead of $350 to $1 for the lowest paid worker make the ratio $45 to every $1. Instead of limiting what an executive can earn lets float all boats.

I would also suggest that any corporation exporting goods to this country be held to this same standard or have the goods subject to a VAT that compensates this country for the loss of jobs to low wage countries.

Posted by: j2t2 at October 4, 2014 5:19 PM
Comment #383967

http://www.davispolk.com/Dodd-Frank-Rulemaking-Progress-Report/

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/07/dodd-frank-at-year-three-onerous-and-costly


4 years out on Dodd-Frank implementation - - still being wrote/gutted. Will never be implemented as planned, as planned!!

ACA - - still a work in progress. An impossible thing to implement, IMO. Still being wrote. Will be some kind of bastardized thing that Corpocracy can live with.

We’re pretty much toast as I see it. Only way out is thru a new 3rd party … . designed to abolish corporate personhood law and implement REAL CFR.

Best way to bring CEO pay inline is to abolish corporate personhood and use anti-trust as it was designed to be used. Other suggestions in this thread are just pissing up a rain spout, IMO.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: roy ellis at October 4, 2014 6:09 PM
Comment #383975

Abolishing corporate personhood brings CEO pay in line how Roy? Using anti trust laws brings CEO pay in line exactly how Roy?

Posted by: j2t2 at October 4, 2014 11:24 PM
Comment #383978

ww,

Just an fyi: I understand you have a disdain for a representative democracy with a strong central government. Well, that’s America. But using emotive terms like “dictating” while scapegoating liberal icons with conspiracy theory language comes across in the way that makes most Americans dismissive of the “tea party” crowd.

At least we agree that corporate person-hood is an anathema.

Posted by: dave at October 5, 2014 11:09 AM
Comment #383980

I should have used words like bribing states to do their bidding with money they extorted from honest working citizens.

Jay Rockefeller has been in the senate for 30 years. Ted Kennedy, for 47 years. If you think they are not responsible, in part, for the condition this country is in then you are turning a blind eye to reality.

They, in part, have done more damage to this country than the Koch brothers could ever do.

Many local communities have abolished the corporation. That is a great starting point for solving the problem this country has with corporations. It’s much easier to affect change from the local level. If local governments only allowed locally owned businesses to operate in their jurisdiction large corporations would be squeezed out and replaced with businesses with more loyalty to their locality.

Posted by: Weary Willie at October 5, 2014 1:38 PM
Comment #383981

https://movetoamend.org/abolish-corporate-personhood

url quote: “”What would change if corporations did not have personhood? Well, here are a few examples. If corporate persons no longer had first amendment right of free speech, we could prohibit all corporate political activity — no more contributions to candidates or parties, no more lobbying. Just think of the ripple effect on our political process if no corporate money could contaminate it! Corporate persons are now protected against search without a warrant under the 4th Amendment. This means that OSHA and the EPA have to schedule their inspections at a time convenient to corporate managers. If you think the air, land, or water in your community is being polluted, or the workers mistreated, neither you nor the government can go on corporate property to get information without legal permission. Just think of the consequences if corporate polluters were no longer shielded by the Constitution!”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-shareholder-solution-to-citizens-united/2014/10/03/5e07c3ee-48be-11e4-b72e-d60a9229cc10_story.html

J2, Corporate Personhood law makes corporate folks superhuman. The money influence prevents reform such as CFR and the judicial use of anti-trust law to break up monopolies/conglomerates. Abolishing CP would allow voters to remove, or severely limit the money influence on elections and the making of laws.

The way to bring CEO pay in line is thru a new 3rd party … . . designed to abolish CP, implement REAL CFR and break up monopolies using anti-trust. In turn, corporations would become competitors again and CEO pay would fall accordingly, IMO.

Maybe do a close read on Dave’s first comment in this thread.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: roy ellis at October 5, 2014 4:54 PM
Comment #383984

I think this thread makes the cockles of the elitists warm. We all seem to agree on some fundamentals. roy and I agree that neither the D nor the R represent what’s in the best interest of our country nor the vast majority of its citizens. We disagree about a third party; I think it’s too easily corrupted without the type of campaign finance reform that would solve the problems we have with the first two.
ww and I agree about the evils of corporate person-hood. However, we are on wildly different sides of the purposes of government.
Perhaps we should all agree to a single issue focus; overturn Citizens United and eliminate corporate control over government. Fight it out over the rest afterwards.

Posted by: Dave at October 5, 2014 9:28 PM
Comment #383985

Couldn’t agree more, Dave. No one should want to support just another third party.

Also, I think most agree that, with the corpocracy controlling the levers of gov’t there is just no way to achieve REAL CFR or reform in any measure beyond the fringe.

What is needed, IMO, is a new 3rd party founded in some rules to shunt the money influence and work to abolish corporate personhood and implement REAL CFR.

I had a strawman 3rd party website for a couple of years that went nowhere. Folks seem to believe that it’s impossible to prevent co-option by special interests. I believe that it is possible. I’ll dig up some info re suggested party rules.

Otherwise, we have the corpocracy we deserve - - -

Posted by: roy ellis at October 5, 2014 10:29 PM
Comment #383986

People are becoming more frustrated with their government as time passes. Most believe, as I do, that a third party, as we know it, is not seen as a viable solution. But, what about a party with a different political attitude? Here is an attempt to flesh out a radically different 3rd party.

Some would say government has grown too large to manage. Some would allude that cultural and ethical differences are too great. Some will espouse those, and similar excuses even as they realize the real outlier is too much money influence in government. Many retiring elected officials readily admit that the money influence is causing great problems within government.

The money influence comes primarily from owners/stakeholders of large corporations in their quest to influence government policy. A natural phenomena to which we would all engage if we had the wealth, IMO. Their influence is so strong as to give us government by Corpocracy, permeating every facet of government.

Therefore, the solution to most of our problems with government comes down to ‘how to remove the money influence’ from government. I can embrace two methods: one, using Article V Convention (AVC) as a means of reform and, two, fighting fire with fire by standing up a new third political party. Unfortunately, the path to AVC, a constitutional right being denied, is blocked by congress and the courts.

Thus, we are left with fighting fire with fire. But, I would be the last person to suggest we stand up just another 3rd party such as the third parties currently vying for public favor. A party capable of bringing reform must be able to address accountability for party leadership and those party members elected to government office. Also, such a party must be founded with rules in place to prevent the party from ever being co-opted by special interest/money influence.

In addressing accountability we would need rules that provide for rejecting elected officials from the party by membership vote. This party would install volunteer watchdogs in each state with the purpose of keeping their antenna up for ethical or performance violations relative to party rules.

Here are a few simple rules that would, when properly enforced, accomplish the above objectives. Prior to the founding of the party these rules would be subject to debate and modification. Post-founding the rules could only be changed by a 66% favorable vote by the membership to do so.

1. Members must sign s pledge affirming their support for the party agenda and rules set forth.

2. Members will cast their votes relating to party business via the Internet on the party’s website(s).

3. To change, add, or delete a party rule requires a two-thirds approval by the membership, based on the total votes cast.

4. If 15% percent of members, local or national party as the case may be, submit a complaint against a party member a vote to clear or terminate must be held. All complaints must be posted, in a cumulative manner, on the Party’s website within 8 hours of receipt. (This will be a pro-forma process).

5. Pursuant to Rule #4, a party member who holds an official Party position, or position of U.S. Senator, U.S. House of Representatives, Cabinet Head, Supreme Court Justice, Czar Appointee, Political Appointee, Ambassador, Vice President, and President, must enjoy an approval rating of two-thirds of the total votes cast by the national party membership. Otherwise, his/her party affiliation will be terminated with no further support for current or future political endeavors.

6. Pursuant to Rule #4, a party member elected to a State office must enjoy a two-thirds approval rating, based on the total votes cast by that States party membership. Otherwise, his/her party affiliation will be terminated with no further support for current or future political endeavors. Members serving in the position of U.S. Senator or U.S. House of Representatives are excluded as these positions are included under rule #5 covering the federal or national sector of government.

By invoking these few rules at the founding of the party we can stop, or severely limit the money influence in politics. Enforcing these rules will require a strong communications base, primarily using the Internet and SKYPE or similar media tools. Watchdog volunteers can monitor for infractions and a strong communications base will provide balance, a way for incumbents to defend their positions and get their message before the membership.

Having observed Convention USA trying to get its organization off the ground using the Internet for communications/debate, it is clear that it would take some time and won’t be easy to accomplish.

The cost to manage/operate such a party could be held in check by using volunteer support where possible. By giving members an oversight function along with strong interaction between incumbents and members should work to the success and growth of the party.

As to how the party might function lets assume a Senator in the US congress from Kentucky receives a flurry of complaints to the website, alluding that the Senator has proposed legislation that is incongruent with the posted party agenda. Computers tally the pro-forma complaints and if 15% of the membership has complained then, at a later date, the senator will be subjected to a follow-on up/down vote. If the senator fails to garner 66% favorable vote he/she is rejected from the party. The senator can certainly serve out the remainder of his term, perhaps run again under another party, but will no receive support for any future political endeavor.
Note that a US senator of this party would be subject to vote by the national membership, whereas, a state senator would be subject to a vote by that state’s membership. Rational is that a US senator has the authority to expend revenue collected on a national basis and is, thereby, accountable to voters nationwide.

In defending his/her action the Senator can take to the website airwaves, addressing the complaints at length through website media and may convince the membership that his/her proposal is the better approach, thereby, winning 2/3rds of the votes to his/her favor.

At founding the party agenda would include two primary objectives: one, to abolish corporate personhood law and, two, implement REAL campaign finance reform. (topics for another article). Certainly, the party would have to address all issues but these two would be primary and elected officials from this party would have to advocate for the accomplishment of the party agenda as posted or suffer the consequences of membership oversight.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: roy ellis at October 5, 2014 10:43 PM
Comment #383987

If the issue of corporate personhood was resolved, campaign finance would be resolved with it.

Neither will be resolved in the void the MSM puts them in. Corporate personhood is not being addressed in the MSM. Campaign finance is not being addressed. It so happens a new third party with a different political attitude isn’t being addressed in the MSM either!

What does that tell you? It tells me our issue needs to be in the MSM for it to get farther than Roy Ellis’ webpage. A campaign against corporate personhood needs to be planned from start to finish, start=this thread, finish=ratified amendment. That plan has to include a full scale campaign of media purchases to fully explain the concept, progress, and solution to the American people throughout the entire process.

This is going to take money. Dave, if you know a few of those $12 million a year CEOs who would like to bankroll this endevour, it would be good to have them on board.

Posted by: Weary Willie at October 6, 2014 1:58 AM
Comment #383988

roy,

It’s an interesting proposal, although I would be very concerned about a loyalty statement being included. Such demands for ideological purity have given us today’s GOP, a nightmare of counterproductive bigoted dominionist extremism.
I think a concerted single issue PAC giving support to those candidates who commit to such reforms, on a non-partisan basis, is a more viable approach. An organization dedicated to removing the reason for its existence is about the best organization I can imagine.

Posted by: Dave at October 6, 2014 2:02 PM
Comment #383989

Dave. keep in mind that this would be a ‘centrist’ party. While I wouldn’t be worried about centrist extremism. Also, the party would be specifically designed to get the party up and running with the goal of abolishing CP and implementing REAL CFR.

It might be preferable, once the mission is complete, to roll back the rules and operate as just another party. Special interest/money influence would have a hard time co-opting the party after CP is abolished and CFR in place.

Might be something in the rules about having the ability to remove the rules based on a full party vote, once the mission is accomplished.


Your idea for a super PAC could be described as creating ‘just another party’. IMO, a party would have to be founded in some rules designed to shunt the money interest, and kept in place at least until the mission is accomplished.

WW, agree that when CP goes then CFR could be implemented. Three ways to do that: vote out incumbents in large number while calling for abolishment of CP.

Or, get congress to stop denying AVC and carry out their sworn oath to carry out the Constitution.

Or, a new 3rd party w/a/dif/pol/att … .

VOID, IMO, is going nowhere anytime soon.

The Corpocracy most assuredly will not cave on AVC.

A new 3rd party w/a … has the best chance of abolishing CP, IMO.

If people could be convinced that a party can be run without the money influence that very idea alone should garner all the Indies and some demreps. The rules would have to be in place at the founding of the party.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: roy ellis at October 6, 2014 3:08 PM
Comment #383990

roy,

I went with the PAC because a PAC only exists as long as it gets funding form people who still believe in its mission until the mission succeeds or creeps so far that it loses its base. However, should your third party form then as in every election I will evaluate it’s candidate(s) to see if they’re vote-worthy.

We’re still ignoring the elephant: SCOTUS as led by Roberts. Even if Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy were to drop dead the gop’ers would filibuster every candidate to the left of Franco. The laws we want would be thus defeated.

Posted by: Dave at October 6, 2014 3:57 PM
Comment #383991

Rereading the rules it’s clear the membership has the ability, through the vote, to modify the rules to their liking whenever they desire so long as they can muster 66% of the favorable vote.

Dave, should a new 3rd party come to power SCOTUS would no longer be much of a problem. If the party is strong enough to get sufficient votes to abolish CP then the party might very well get enough votes to implement AVC.

Acknowledge that AVC is a slow process, as it should be.

Posted by: roy ellis at October 6, 2014 4:26 PM
Comment #383998
J2, Corporate Personhood law makes corporate folks superhuman.

Roy you are preaching to the choir when it comes to corporate personhood, I have long been an advocate of doing away with such nonsense.

The money influence prevents reform such as CFR and the judicial use of anti-trust law to break up monopolies/conglomerates.

Anti trust laws would perhaps make some specific conglomerates smaller but doesn’t specifically address the exorbitant CEO pay issue which was the jist of this article. We don’t want to make American based corporations uncompetitive or to become the target of overseas conglomerates not subject to the same laws, do we?

Specifically anti trust laws wouldn’t deal with the hedge funds that pay billions to the managers of the fund. Linking Managers pay to lowest paid employee may help some but these guys are taxed at the low capital gains rates and a progressive capital gains rate may be the answer.

http://gawker.com/hedge-fund-managers-are-the-biggest-gangsters-of-all-1532392791


Abolishing CP would allow voters to remove, or severely limit the money influence on elections and the making of laws.

Campaign finance reform is also needed in this country if we are to return to a a representative democracy Roy. But what law would you repeal or add that would serve to address the general problem of income inequality and the specific problem of exorbitant CEO pay when compared to workers pay?

The way to bring CEO pay in line is thru a new 3rd party … . . designed to abolish CP, implement REAL CFR and break up monopolies using anti-trust. In turn, corporations would become competitors again and CEO pay would fall accordingly, IMO.

Roy I don’t begrudge any CEO the biggest paycheck possible, I don’t want to limit his/hers pay I want to include all those working at the corporation in the pay scheme. By tying the CEO to a ratio with the lowest paid worker everyone working at the company would gain from the success of the company.

Maybe do a close read on Dave’s first comment in this thread.

I did and I understand Dave’s comments, Roy, but taxes would play a part in leveling the income inequality gap in this country. Once again Roy a ratio between the CEO and the lowest paid worker when it comes to deferred compensation as mentioned in my previous comment would benefit all those working for the shareholders of the company.

I spoke to the low capital gains taxes in an earlier comment Roy. Yes the CEO can wait to pay taxes for years but then so can the lowest paid worker if his compensation is a ratio and he is receiving the same type deferred compensation as the CEO.

here is some brief reading on the issue for your perusal.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/13/business/better-insurance-against-inequality.html?ref=business

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/13/business/executive-pay-invasion-of-the-supersalaries.html?_r=0

Posted by: j2t2 at October 6, 2014 9:43 PM
Comment #383999

What if:

(1) We defined the goal. We commit to the goal of abolishing corporate personhood. Either with a constitutional amendment or by exposing the origins of corporate personhood and using that information to change public opinion/law. Either way, the goal is to abolish CP.

(2) We use the single issue approach to the third party. Just like a fund raising event, our party will be raising funds to ACP, Abolish Corporate Personhood.

(3) We explain how a corporation will function, providing an example of what our end result would be.

(4) We only considered electing candidates when the final law is written. Our ACP candidate will carry our legislation to Capitol Hill on his first day. His promise will be to get it passed into law without changes.

?

Trying to work with this system is futile. They will change when they want to change, not when we tell them to. What they change and how they change it will always be out of our hands. That’s the whole idea behind representative democracy. But now, just as it was said in the Declaration of Independence;

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security

the federal government has usurped it’s authority in many areas not in it’s perview. Look at the definition of perview:

n. noun 1. The extent or range of activity, function, power, or competence; scope. 2. Range of vision. 3. Range of understanding or experience.

Our federal government is failing in all of the above!

We can call our efforts the Second American Revolution, because it will be a revolution. Just not one with the violence associated with revolution. The only way we can ACP is to make people believe that’s the way it should be.

I’m going to throw this out just for kicks and giggles.

Employees of a corp are the only stockholders. Current employees will buy out non-employees in a one-time deal gaining control of the corp. The employee owns his job and is responsible for his own retirement allotted to him in the corp charter.

Talk about a revolution! It’s an idea the employees would consider and might jump behind the ACP effort to gain that security.

It’s food for thought. Who knows, we may be able to write the law right here on WatchBlog! Let’s entertain some ideas.


Posted by: Weary Willie at October 7, 2014 12:02 AM
Comment #384004


j2, I read your linked url’s, found them informative but not offering a potent solution to CEO pay inequity.

I get the sense that you don’t ‘feel’ the gravity of abolishing CP followed by REAL CFR and judicial use of anti-trust.

And WW, your verbage on creating a thirdy party, representative democracy and a ‘second revolution’ sounds great. And, I see you immediately recognized in your post that “They will change when they want to change, not when we tell them to.”

Well, I would hope both of you agree that we can’t expect congress to get into adjusting pay scales, ratios and the like. Congress might venture some fringe reform of the tax code to tax wealth a little more. I don’t think that sufficiently addresses the problem.

Let’s try to find agreement starting as follows:

CP has become detrimental to representative gov’t, was imposed fraudulently and must be abolished from the Constitution.

A new 3rd party founded in some rules to shunt the money interest with an assigned mission to abolish CP is the organization most likely to succeed with a mission to abolish CP.

Beyond that I would propose:

Implement REAL CFR.

In order to achieve representative democracy we must find a way to allow ‘all source’ legal donation donations to be used in funding elections. Having abolished CP, implementing CFR would become possible.

Invoke the judicial use of anti-trust law.

Anti-trust would be necessary to regulate income inequality/monopolies/conglomerates/hedgefunds/institutions.

I suggest that both would be necessary and possible under such a party.

We should recognize that thru a new 3rd party so many things become possible/doable. With a strong communications capability and gravity issues on the table voters would become ‘partners’ in planning for good gov’t, IMO.

J2, Let’s recognize that the intent here is to press for competitiveness in business. We all want companies, and I mean all companies (a la globalism) to be strong and competitive. Competition can be improved by breaking up monopolies/conglomerates into smaller companies. A small company is not as likely to have the resources to throw elections or buy out their competition. They just need to compete to survive. Also, recognize that it’s mostly large corps that throw large sums of money at political candidates/parties/ads and contribute to income inequality thru excessive CEO pay.

As it is, with rule by Corpocracy, the business sector has no fear of being regulated. Imagine the reaction around the board room if they heard that corp x was just anti-trusted because of excessive CEO income. That would have the right effect whereas, some modification of the tax code would be far less of a deterrent, IMO.

I’ve had the position that if CP were abolished I would not have a problem with doing away with corporate/business taxes. Let tax revenue be derived thru personal income taxation. But, please don’t let that further muddy the waters here.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: roy ellis at October 7, 2014 2:35 PM
Comment #384005

Income doesn’t need to be taxed. It is taxed when it is spent. The federal government can put sales taxes on transactions with other countries. A national sales tax should be used instead of an income tax. Everyone would have skin in the game if the federal government was funded by a sales tax.

Corporations shouldn’t be taxed either. That tax is just passed on to the consumer and the consumer is taxed twice. It is a misnomer to call it a corporate tax.

I remember when “Mom and Pop” stores dominated Main Street. When the big KMarts and WalMarts came in the Mom and Pop stores disappeared. The big stores created a monopoly the M&Ps couldn’t compete with. They did it with foriegn products to boot! As far as I am concerned Walmart and KMart and all the other national chain stores are monopolies and need to be busted up. I would be satisfied if they were transformed into wholesale warehouses where Mom and Pop could go to stock their stores in their local communities, but the national chain stores that only stock generic products manufactured in foreign countries has to go.

Posted by: Weary Willie at October 7, 2014 6:30 PM
Comment #384083

Should there be concern about adequate revenue from sales taxes during a depression/recession?

I feel much the same about big box stores. But, I do believe that small grocer’s, building supply houses and others are now beginning to compete/survive against the big stores.

But, I sure would like to see monopolies/conglomerates be broken up into smaller establishments.

Here is an a recent WaPo article relating that the FEC now allows wealthy donors to double their donations for support to party operations.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/fec-says-convention-donations-will-not-count-against-cap-on-party-contributions/2014/10/09/d4642d96-4fe1-11e4-8c24-487e92bc997b_story.html

Another interesting article in today’s WaPo that relates how S. Kor is not no unlike N. Kor. re Corpocracy. I would add that the world gov’t/business relationship is not so unlike North or South Kor.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/in-south-korea-samsung-prepares-to-crown-third-generation-emperor/2014/10/08/6ec0ba58-44bb-11e4-b437-1a7368204804_story.html

In Va. Ed Gillispie is running for some political position. He was a lobbyist for ENRON. Can you believe he is looking for taxpayers to vote him into office? I assume he expects the Corpocracy will pave the way for him to gain public office. He may very well be right.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: roy ellis at October 10, 2014 7:53 PM
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