Archive for June 21st, 2011

“Over the last few decades, executive pay at large corporations has skyrocketed. Today, American CEOs make263 times the average compensation for American workers, up from the 30 to 1 ratio in the 1970s. In 2010 alone, CEO pay went up 27 percent while average worker pay went up just 2 percent.

At the same time, corporate tax revenue has plunged to historic lows. During the 1960s, for instance, the United States consistently raised nearly 4 percent of GDP in corporate revenue. During the 1970s, the total was still above 2.5 percent of GDP. But the U.S. now raises less than 1.5 percent of GDP from the corporate income tax.”

More: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/06/21/249949/32-corporations-spent-more-compensation-paid-taxes/

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A relevant meditation from a Benedictine monk:

” Even Jesus makes the distinction between good and bad shepherds; or better yet, among the shepherds that are interested only in making a profit, in their personal interests and those who are ready to die. ”

Read the rest; http://osbnorcia.org/2011/05/10/how-easy-is-it-to-forget/

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Thanks to Joseph at Byzantine TX for this:

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Ohio is one of the major fronts in the attack on labor that has emerged in the nation. Governor Kasich and the Republican legislature have passed Senate Bill 5, which strips public employee unions of collective bargaining rights on most contract issues. And while apparently those who led the charge assumed that most voters could be manipulated into resenting the benefits of union membership, it did not turn out like that at all. Polls show that SB5 is unpopular, as is the governor, and the union drive to put the bill to the vote has, currently, twice the signatures necessary.

Apparently most folks, rather than resenting the benefits of union membership, resent that they don’t have pensions, paid sick leave, and the other things that union members sometimes take for granted.

The Republicans made big gains in the last election, not on their own merit, but because of mass dissatisfaction with the first two years of Obama’s presidency. In my own district this led to the defeat of first term Democratic congressman John Boccieri, who to all appearances is a fine young man, prolife, a veteran, and Catholic father of five. He was defeated by a millionaire car dealer with a history of financial irregularities.

The Republicans, newly empowered, lost no time in launching an assault on the working class. Their response to Obama’s out of control spending preserved tax cuts for the rich, the biggest military budget, proportionately, in the world, and most corporate welfare, while cutting Medicare and Medicaid.

I guess they didn’t think that anyone would notice that after their free market ideology – “Who needs regulation? You can trust the banks to magically serve the common good by pursuing their greedy interests”- led to economic collapse they reappear, attacking unions and defending the rich. Not that it is just the Republicans, mind you. As I have said before, Obama has got to be the biggest political fraud ever, the Peace Candidate- and Nobel laureate – who can’t seem to bomb enough countries, the reformer who has only intensified Bush’s imperial presidency. And Congress if full of Democrats who floated in on union votes and then proceed to serve corporate America.

The one good thing that has emerged from this is a newly charged labor movement. Americans are noticing that we live in an emerging plutocracy, that wealth is concentrated in fewer hands as more and more working class folks slip into poverty.

Of course everything is complex, but what is simply true is the benefits of union membership for workers. Let’s hope that the Church will rise to her historic role as a friend to labor.

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The B.S.

As too many did not heed my plea for civility in the comboxes I have turned off comments on the original thread on the Corapi affair.  I have defended the use of sarcasm, but I cannot defend nastiness.

Meanwhile, The Black Sheepdog, henceforth known as “The B.S.”, has issued a communique from his mountain fastness, wherein he promises to expand his cause to, apparently, political commentary, while attacking his accuser and generally complaining about how the Church has been so cruel to him over the years. It ends with what sounds like Star Wars music and the crackling of radio static, as if he is broadcasting from some hidden lair, instead of his Montana ranch. From what I hear, it is no bunker.

The whole thing would be comical- the superstar emerging as a comic book superhero- were it not for the fact that it has already done much damage, and is likely to do much more.

Lord have mercy.

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