Monday, April 26, 2010

Here we go again . . .

The Republicans are Filibustering the Finance Reform Bill. This makes sense as their backers are the rich who are making gobs of money from the current system. Why would they want to change it? They would be cutting off their own supply of money. Maybe we SHOULD just elect the special interests directly. We could cut on the middle men -- the lobbyists -- and probably get the same result for less money overall!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Confidence in Free Enterprise and Corporations?

I don't have any. You know that your company's goal is to maximize their profits. Anything which contributes to that goal is good. Anything which doesn't isn't. Any tactic that they think they can get away with in pursuit of that goal is also good. The only bad thing is getting caught and that's only bad because it tends to hurt their profits.

I don't trust any company to look after my well-being. Oh sure, they tell you that employees are their most important asset, but, therein is the lie. You are NOT an asset, you are an expense. You are a human resource. To the bottom line, you are just like that desk you work at, the electricity you use, and the computer you work with. In fact, if they can eliminate you, outsource you, or replace you with a cheaper human resource in another country, they also reduce those expenses.

I don't trust politicians either since they are just extensions of the corporations who back their campaigns. Anything which hurts the profit margins of their corporate sponsors hurts their campaign funds since those same funds are also expenses to the corporation. And, as we know, anything which affects the bottom line -- like a politician who votes against the interest of the corporation -- needs to be reduced to maximize profits.

I think what I need to do, therefore, as an American Person, is to convince the corporations that doing good is a benefit to the bottom line.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

$17.3 Million = 29 Dead Miners

The CEO of Massey Energy received $17.3 million in compensation in 2009 according to SEC filings. That's $596,551.72 for miner killed in the recent mine disaster. So that's what a life is worth to this CEO and his board of directors, half a million dollars. Something is drastically wrong with the way companies compensate their top executives when they trade large bonuses for human lives.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

One Word, Five Letters

Greed is the cause of many of the problems in the world.

Billionaire George Soros believes that markets are bubble prone. I guess the fact that he's a billionaire gives him some credibility. In his article in "Financial Times" in June, 2009, Soros says:

. . . markets are bubble-prone, regulators must accept responsibility for preventing bubbles from growing too big . . .The efficient market hypothesis postulates that markets tend towards equilibrium and deviations occur in a random fashion; moreover, markets are supposed to function without any discontinuity in the sequence of prices. Under these conditions market risks can be equated with the risks affecting individual market participants. As long as they manage their risks properly, regulators ought to be happy.  But the efficient market hypothesis is unrealistic. Markets are subject to imbalances that individual participants may ignore if they think they can liquidate their positions. . . .

In short, greed can short-circuit market corrections. Greed can cause usually sane people to ignore what they see in front of them for the benefit of short-term gain. Greed can cause a lender to create a loan which allows people to get into houses that they can't afford and it can cause those same people to ignore the fact that this is too good to be true.

People have short-term incentives to make lots of money quickly and not worry about the long-term effects of what they are doing. This incentive structure seems to reach from the CEO to the trader on the floor to the stock owner and, by extension, to the politicians who should be regulating them.

This American Person feels we need to break that cycle. We need to realize that the natural tendency toward greed, but that greed will bring this nation down if it is allowed to run rampant as it has since Reagan took office. We need to incentivize the CEO's, and the politicians they support through their political contributions to consider, not their short-term gain, but the long-term benefit to the nation of their actions.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Tell Barbara Boxer -- Great Job on the Healthcare Bill

One of the problems with having ads on a blog site is that you get ads you really don't agree with. There's one on this blog that wants to repeal the health care reform bill. This American Person doesn't agree with that. Modify it, maybe, repeal it, NO. We need to move forward, not continue to stuff the pockets of insurance companies while the rest of us suffer. There are always those who want to retain the status quo. After all, it IS the status quo because someone benefits from it. It's difficult to move off the current situation because so many influential people (read politicians) are where they are because they and those who support them (read give them money) profit from the current situation. Sure, they don't want change because change might mean reducing or eliminating that profit.

I say we move forward. Take the new reform and make it better for each American Person, not just the American People who benefit from the current, broken system.