Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Forbes 400....And Everyone Else.

More info on the rich getting richer.
People never get tired of seeing how well a small minority of people (400 to be exact) are doing as everyone else struggles.
If you want to be on the Forbes 400 list you need at least $1,500,000,000.00. So empty out that piggy bank and start counting. Maybe this is the year you will finally make it. Last year you could have snuck on the list with a mere $1,300,000,000.00. But as we all know the rich keep getting richer, and richer, and richer. That is what happens in a tough economy. Next year don’t be surprised when the amount goes up again. So keep counting those pennies.
The 400 wealthiest Americans are worth $2,290,000,000,000.00. Think about that….. 400 people. 2.2 trillion bucks. Up $270 Billion from last years list. That = the GDP of brazil. A country of 200 million people.
The average net worth of the Forbes 400 is $5.7 Billion. $700 Million more than last year which is a RECORD HIGH. 303 people on the list have more money than a year ago (good for them). 36 people have less money (break out the violins). 26 people fell off the list (losers). 6 people died (Big time losers).
Meanwhile as the rich sit around counting their piles of money….. in the real world wages are down 23% since 2008. $93,000,000,000.00 in lost wages for the regular folk. They should have worked harder.
73% of metro area households earn less than $35,000 a year.

Bill Gates....Money For nothing....

When talking about income inequality, and the rich getting richer, while the poor get poorer…..The rich (and Fox news) love to say Rich people are richer because they work harder.
You would be rich too if only you weren’t so incredibly lazy. Don’t blame hard working rich people for having all the money. They earned their money.
Then they tell you all about how poor people (are poor) because they just want to sit around and do nothing while money is given to them.
Poor people are a disgrace compared to the hard working rich man.
To illustrate this point we look at the richest Man in the World…. Mr. Bill Gates. According to Forbes he currently has $81,000,000,000.00.
He has that money because every day he gets up and goes to work….Oh wait…. actually he doesn’t do that at all. Actually he is retired. He has been retired for 14 years.
Most people, when they retire, don’t end up with more money 14 years later. But Bill does.
Not only does Bill not work, but he also spends everyday giving away his money……And he still has Billions more then you. How embarrassing for you.
You go to work everyday. He doesn’t go to work ever. He still makes Billions and billions and billions more. You should be ashamed.
This all proves the point that rich people have more money because they work harder.
When Bill retired (in 2000) he actually lost his ranking as the worlds richest man.
Working was not as profitable (for Bill) as not working.
In 2000 Bill only had $51,000,000,000.00. He has made 30 Billion (more) not going to work. Isn’t that how it works for everyone?
But that is not all. If you believe Bill (which I don’t) he has also given away 30 Billion.
So add the 30 Billion, to the 81 billion, and Bill actually has made 111 Billion. Take the 111 and minus the 51 (he made when he worked) and you see Bill Gates has made 60 Billion Dollars in retirement. Doesn’t everybody?
Just the money he has made in retirement would make Bill Gates the second richest person on the planet.
5 billion people on the planet…. and Bill makes more then all of them….. all while not doing anything.
Must be nice. Poor people should take notice.

Friday, September 26, 2014

High Tech Repo Man......

The starter interrupt device, a small piece of technology that can disable a car if a borrower is just one day late in making a payment.

The rise in the devices comes amid a surge in auto loans given to subprime borrowers, or people with credit scores below 640. About one-third of all auto loans are now given to subprime borrowers, up from slightly more than one-quarter in 2010, according to Equifax.

"payment assurance devices," the technology allows the repo man to shut down a car if a subprime borrower is even one day late in making a payment.

Many starter interrupt devices require a borrower to enter a code provided by the dealer each month, after they've made an on-time payment. If the payments are missed, the lender can remotely shut off the car's starter, and then use the device's GPS to track down the vehicle and repossess.

about 2 million vehicles now equipped with the devices,

complaints are arising, with some borrowers saying their cars have been shut off while idling and even while driving on the freeway, 

The ability for lenders to shut off cars remotely may strike some consumers as unethical, and some examples cited in The Times raise questions about the safety of the devices.

"No middle-class person would ever be hounded for being a day late," Robert Swearingen, a lawyer with Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, told the publication. "But for poor people, there is a debt collector right there in the car with them."


Monday, September 22, 2014

Liberals not Liking Hillary Clinton.....

Much of the criticism of Hillary Clinton comes from the liberal base of the Democratic Party.  Hillary is thought to be too cozy with big business, and the Wall Street elite. 

To see this is true all you have to do is look at the Clinton Global Initiative conference going on right now in New York City.  It is a who’s who of corporate and world elite. 

If you are not incredibly rich, and completely connected, you will not be attending the Clinton Global Initiative.  Average people are not welcome there.

One of the issues liberals care about is the proliferation of genetically modified foods (GMO).  People don’t like them, and nobody wants to eat them.  Unfortunately Hillary Clinton does like them (for you…. not for her) and supports them often. 

Here Hillary is in June giving a 65 minute speech on how great GMO’s are.  Not only does she love them, but she wants taxpayers to subsidize them.  The industry was all smiles listening to Hillary.

When you look at the corporate sponsors of the Clinton Global Initiative you will see Monsanto.  The king of the GMO movement is only too happy to help support the Clinton political machine.  Monsanto supports Hillary, and Hillary supports Monsanto. 

Not only is Monsanto a corporate sponsor, but their CEO is also a speaker. Oh goody.

So if you don’t like GMO make sure you don’t support Hillary.

Do you like fracking?  You know…. where they pump toxic chemicals in the ground to release natural gas.  The ground water gets contaminated.  Earthquakes break out.  It is a great deal for companies like Exxon Mobil.  So to nobody’s surprise look who is also sponsoring the Clinton Global Initiative….Hey it is Exxon Mobil. Where do you think Hillary is going to come down on Fracking?

Do you like big greedy Wall Street banks?  So does Hillary.  They are all there in NYC sponsoring the Clintons.  Goldman Sachs is there.  JP Morgan is there.  Barclays is there.  Deutsche Bank is there.  Remember when taxpayers had to bail out these big banks.  Well the architect of that bailout was Mr. Hank Paulson, and he is also there. 

It makes sense since Bill Clinton deregulated the Banks.  Then the banks shot themselves in the foot.  Then Hank Paulson bailed them all out (with your money).  Now they are all in NYC sipping Champaign with the Clintons.  I am sure there is a ton of back slaps, as they reminisce on how they screwed it all up, and then made you pay for it.

Well 2016 is coming soon, so make sure you remember all of these things when you go into the voting booth.  Hillary and corporate America are counting on your support.  So if you don’t like any of these things…… make sure you find Hillary’s name and then vote for somebody else.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Budweiser is pissed with NFL.....

You can’t watch an NFL football game (over the last 30 years) without seeing a Budweiser Commercial.
Budweiser and the NFL go hand in hand.
$200,000,000.00 in sponsorship of NFL games per year.

Right now Budweiser is not happy with all the Unconscious girlfriends, and beaten 4 year olds.
So while bruised pictures (of a whipped and beaten 4 year old) might not impress Roger Goodell…..When Budweiser slams their fist on the table top, and asks what the hell is going on around here…..You bet your sweet ass Roger Goodells head will whip around to see what just happened.
Budweiser being pissed will be measured on the ricter scale, that is for sure.
The only thing the NFL notices is $$$$$$$. If beating your 4 year old affects the $$$$$$ coming in, then change will come.
If beating your 4 year old doesn’t affect the $$$$$$ then everyone has a green light to continue beating.
I think in the NFL corporate offices right now they are passing around the TUMS.

Adrian Peterson is going to Play this weekend why?

On August 28th Roger Goodell stood in front of the gathered media and admitted he made a mistake. He didn’t take seriously (enough) a woman getting punch unconscious in an elevator. He said he and his league would do better.
Now 3 weeks later he has a chance to do better…...but will he.
If he does (do better) it means he will take the best running back in the NFL and sit him down for beating his 4 year old child.
The Minnesota Vikings did sit Adrian Peterson for one game. They hoped that would be enough to shut everyone up. They hoped the media would nod in approval and move onto other things.
Yesterday they reinstated Peterson and he is expected to play this Sunday. Their excuse is the legal process needs to be completed before more NFL punishment is administered.
But why?
There is no dispute Adrian Peterson beat his 4 year old with a tree branch. He has admitted he did it. The discrepancy is whether beating a 4 year old (with a tree branch) is an acceptable punishment, or a crime.
The 4 year olds mother looked at the bruises on the boys, arms, legs, butt, and decided he needed to go to a doctor.
The doctor looked at the 4 olds injuries and decided Child Protective Services needed to be called.
Child protective services looked at the injuries and decided the Police Department needed to be called.
The Police department looked at the injuries and decided the Prosecutor needed to be notified.
The prosecutor looked at the injuries and decided a Grand Jury needed to be formed.
The Grand Jury looked at the injuries and decided an indictment was in order.
Everyone who has looked at this beaten 4 year old concluded the exact same thing. Everyone except the Minnesota Vikings and Roger Goodell that is.
The whole world watched Roger on August 28th promise to do the right thing. The whole world is Watching Roger today and waiting for it to happen.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Home Depots Outsourcing Debacle....Hope you are not mad.

Home Depot is investigating what could be the biggest data breach EVER. Bigger then the Target debacle from last year.
Possibly 60 million customers affected. If you bought anything on a credit or debit card in the last year congrats….You personal information could be at risk.
To understand why this happens just read the article from 2011. Tells you everything you need to know.
Save money by outsourcing overseas because it always ends great. Americans lose jobs…..Fantastic! Consumers have all their personal information put at jeopardy. Yay!!!!
But hey….That is a small price to pay for Home Depot to save money. Hope that fertilizer was worth it.
Anytime there is a National debacle just follow the outsourcing.
Now, U.S. firms are quietly moving high-paying accounting, finance and human resource jobs offshore.
American companies have slashed 2.9 million jobs in the United States. At the same time, they have created 2.4 million jobs for people overseas.
Home Depot has laid off thousands of workers, including hundreds at its worldwide corporate headquarters in Vinings in Cobb County. At the same time, it's hiring hundreds of workers thousands of miles away.
Federal Labor Department records show Home Depot has moved jobs from Vinings to India.
Companies usually keep outsourcing details a secret, but two Home Depot executives taped a testimonial posted online for the outsourcing company in India now is handling some of their accounting functions.
On the testimonial, one executive said, "Really what I was looking for was the same thing at less cost."
Another executive appeared to claim that workers offshore are more competent, saying, "They manage our processes much better. They do the processes better than we would have ever done them here."
Home Depot declined a Channel 2 Action News request for an interview.
"I think Georgians who go to Home Depot to purchase materials would be offended to know that Home Depot is sending jobs to India and laying off people in Vinings," said State Sen. Nan Orock.
Not only are jobs going overseas, so is personal financial information. Atlanta-based Equifax is routing calls and credit files to an overseas contractor in places like Jamaica, Costa Rica

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Miller Lites White Can.......

The power of marketing.
Miller Lite went back to their old white can and sales went up. People thought Miller Lite actually improved their product. People thought the beer even tasted better. In fact it is the same crappy beer it has always been….Just in a white can. No matter, people like it and are buying it….. so the White can will remain.
A few years ago Tropicana Orange Juice replaced their iconic Orange with a straw poked outinto it with a different look. The result was outrage and sales of Tropicana plummeted. This caused the quick return of the orange with the straw poked out the side.
The take away here is that the product means nothing. But your packaging better be right.

Yahoo....Still Stupid.....

Mayer has already told investors that Yahoo is likely to share at least half of the proceeds from what it sells in Alibaba with shareholders. That's probably going to be in the form of a share buyback as opposed to a dividend. (Wall Street likes buybacks because they reduce the number of shares outstanding and increase earnings per share in the process.)

So Yahoo is going to sell stock to raise money.  Then they are going to take the money they raised (from selling the stock) and use it to buy back their stock……..

Sure….Why not.

I am going to go to the store and buy a loaf of bread.  Then I am going to go to the return desk and get my money back.  Makes about as much sense.

Atlantic City Dying Before Your Eyes......

Atlantic City is dying right before our eyes.

The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel closed in January. The Showboat Casino closed yesterday. The Revel Casino also closed yesterday. The Trump Casino will be closing Sept 16th. 

Donald Trump will tell you all about how his name is gold. Yet when a Casino (with his name on it) fails he wants to get his name off the failure as quickly as possible. That is why he is currently suing to have it removed.

Between the Revel and the Showboat 5000 people lost their jobs yesterday alone.


In 2012 the Revel opened to lots of fanfare. It was going to be the great savior of Atlantic City. The great leader of New Jersey (and hopeful presidential candidate) couldn’t say enough great things about the Revel. Here you can watch Chris Christies magnificent leadership in action.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=on8hlpnkkAs

Whenever one of these giant monstrosities open (and there are lots of cameras and reporters) politicians love to stand out front and take credit. The Revel cost a cool 2.4 Billion but it was going to be worth every penny. Two years later…..Eh…Nevermind.

When these things close the politicians are usually nowhere to be found. Nobody wants to take credit for the failures…..But please vote for Chris Christie in 2016. He is a true leader.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Fast Food Worker Strike.....

This Thursday fast food workers are going to walk off the job in their quest for a $15.00 minumum wage.
Currently, the median pay for fast-food workers is just over $9 an hour, or about $18,500 a year. That's roughly $4,500 lower than the Census Bureau's poverty threshold level of $23,000 for a family of four.
Thursday's action would come more than a month after the National Labor Relations Board's general counsel ruled that McDonald's is a joint employer that exerts substantial power over working conditions at its franchisees.
The ruling, if upheld, means McDonald's could be held liable for labor violations at its more than 12,000 franchisee-owned restaurants.
McDonald's has contended that franchisees operate as independent businesses and that, therefore, it's not liable.
In March, McDonald's workers filed seven class-action lawsuits in New York, California and Michigan over wage theft violations.
The suits allege that McDonald's has forced employees to work off the clock, not paid them overtime and struck hours off their time cards.
McDonald's did not respond to a request for comment on the status of the class action suits or the preliminary ruling by the National Labor Relations Board.
See in the old days, when Corporate America hired Americans, the people who worked at Mcdonalds were high school kids.
Once corporations made millions of American professionals unemployed, suddenly Mcdonalds could upgrade their workers for the same crappy wages.
The problem is older professionals are a lot more likely to punch back, than bright eyed high school kids. Now Mcdonalds (and the others) have a fight on their hands.
the face of today's fast food workers -- 70% of whom are over the age of 20, nearly 40% have children and a third of them have spent some time in college, according to U.S. census data.
In 1979, teenagers held 26% of all low-wage jobs, while adults aged 25-64 made up less than half of such workers, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research,
Today, only 12% of low paying jobs are held by teenagers, while adults make up 60% of them. Also, only 20% of such workers had attended some college in 1979. Today, it's 33%.
In essence, people working at a McDonald's (MCD), Burger King (BKW) or Wendy's (WEN) are older and more educated, but earning some of the lowest wages in the economy.
"Some customers think you're stupid because you're behind the counter, but I have an education,"
Finley is not alone in not being able to convert his degree to a better-paying job. Job choices have become limited -- 44% of American jobs created in the past four years have been in low wage industries like fast food, even with an education," said Finley.
A key argument behind the latest wave of strikes to raise wages to $15 an hour is that fast food workers these days are no longer just teenagers looking for pocket change. They are mothers and fathers struggling to raise children on wages that are too low, in most cases below poverty level.
fast food companies haven't shared their profits equally among their workers. While the lowest paid have not seen a raise in a long time, the industry's top management are not only being paid handsomely but have given themselves hefty raises.
CEO compensation in the industry just since 2000 quadrupled to $24 million, while average fast food worker's wage only increased 0.3%.
Fast food CEOs also make 1,000 times more than the average worker in the industry.
"The idea that you can work hard and play by the rules and get ahead is disappearing for a large number of American workers," said Catherine Ruetschlin, an analyst at Demos.
"As for the American Dream, it's not as easy as people think to leverage into upward mobility from low wage jobs."
Tanika Smith, a 25-year-old with a college degree, says her $8.75 hourly wage has barely budged since she started seven years ago at a McDonald's in Chicago.
"I never imagined working at a fast food place with a B.A. I imagined I'd be working downtown at a law firm making major bucks," says Smith, who hopes to earn a master's degree and aspires to be a judge.
"The people I work with now are not comfortable doing what they are doing. It's not what they want - but that's where the jobs are,"

China VS Hong Kong....

China VS Hong Kong.
Communism VS Democracy.
The weapon of choice - Capitalism.
In 1997 The British handed over control of Hong Kong to Communist Red China. Hong Kong had been a thriving democracy, built on capitalism, and western style laws.
China agreed to leave Hong Kong as it is for 50 years. It would remain democratic, and left to run its own affairs.
Everyone thought Corporate American (handing over the US economy) would help bring China closer to Democracy. In reality the opposite has happen. China is more communist now than ever before.
China is also changing the rules on Hong Kong. Instead of free and open elections (as promised) Beijing is only allowing Beijing approved candidates. Pro Democracy folks are crying foul. They have staged protests, and plan even more. They are threatening to shut down the lucrative Hong Kong Financial district.
Nothing makes a political point like grinding financial markets to a halt. China is very worried. They have told the outside world to mind their own businesses. They stated that before they go ahead and squash any further unrest. That is what China does.

Reclining Airplane seats...A New Public Safety Issue.

Three times (in the last week) a commercial flight had to be diverted because passengers fought over a reclined seat. This is not a coincidence.
What you are witnessing is capitalism at its finest. These emergency landings should be celebrated. They are a sign the system is working.
The airlines are deliberately cramming more passengers into less planes.
Spreading passengers into additional planes would mean higher costs. But when they cram more passengers, into an existing planes (while simultaneously charging more and more money) well now you have something special.
5 years ago when you got on an airplane they gave you a meal. They gave you leg room. They didn’t nickel and dime you on every bag. This was a terrible business model. Shame on whoever thought it up.
Today the meal is gone. The leg room is gone. And money leaves your wallet at an alarming rate. This is an exceptional business model. It should be applauded.
You pay more and get less...that is the foundation of capitalism.
If the only issue is your knees get black and blue, well that is a small price to pay for others to make more money.
Maybe the passenger behind you will throw a glass of water in your face. It will dry. Stop all your whining. Maybe (when you ease your seat back ) they will jump out of their seat and call you a f*cken a** hole. That happens. Freedom is not free. Deal with it.
Just remember when (on a 7 hour flight) your knees are killing you not to worry. Soon your stomach will be growling (so loud) you will forget about your knee troubles. So sit there…shut up….and if you are nice maybe you will get to your destination without getting arrested.
Enjoy your flight.