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The Super Bowl of Subsidies

Corporate Accountability and Workplace Banner

  • As one journalist wrote: “(Having a pro sports team) is about the intangibles of identity and pride, which are far harder to value.”  I, for one, think that’s a useful metric for more than just the NFL. Are we prouder of ravaged landscapes and emptied oceans than we are of clean air and waters full of life?  Do we want to identify with a society that puts people and livelihoods first or one that idolizes corporate profits?
  • The NFL and other corporate subsidies
  • Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part One: the NFL gameplan

Kristen Steele, Economics of Happiness Blog

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editors Jim Fuller and Lydia Howell.

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Saturday, February 1, 2014 | What comes to mind when you think of the Super Bowl? The Bronco’s stunning offense? The glitzy halftime show? Chicken wings and Clydesdales? Call me a spoil sport, but I can’t help thinking subsidies. That’s because even though the NFL (National Football League) generates $51 million a year in ticket sales, $2.1 billion in merchandising revenue, and an estimated $2.8 billion a year for television rights, they also receive about $1 billion each year in state and federal subsidies to cover their capital costs. Many teams also take a page from the playbook of the biggest global corporations by blackmailing local governments:  unless taxpayers pony up for a new stadium or major improvements to the old one, the team will simply pack up and head elsewhere. The NFL also gets a tax break through a convenient loop-hole that deems it a non-profit organization [1].

I work for a very different size of non-profit in which all these millions and billions of dollars are impossible-to-fathom sums. However, the NFL’s ability to fleece the public is nothing compared to most of the big—and even more dubious—subsidies out there. The International Society for Ecology and Culture has been tracking corporate subsidies for more than two decades and these are some of the worst we’ve found.

Kristen Steele is Associate Programs Director at the International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC). She holds a BA in Environmental Studies and an MS in Wild Animal Biology.

Full story…

 

Related:

Series | Super Bowl XLVIII Illustrated, Part One: the NFL gameplan, Jason Novak and Mike Duncan, theguardian.com

  • The first installment in a four-part series 
  • The Super Bowl of Subsidies

Regulations Don't Kill Jobs, They Save Lives

Corporate Accountability and Workplace

  • Opponents of regulation often suggest that regulations create uncertainty and therefore stymie growth, but in truth they do the opposite.
  • NAFTA, Twenty Years After: A Disaster

Sean McElwee, Huffington Post

12/03/2013 | It's one of the oldest right-wing claims: "Excessive" regulation will harm job creators and kill the economy. But is it based on sound economics?

One new study, which examines this particular argument, finds it absurd on its face. Taylor Lincoln, who authored the report for Public Citizen, tells Salon the goal was to "point out hypocrisy and contradictions and the chasms between rhetoric and reality." To that end, the report cites one Heritage Foundation study which asserted that a more efficient regulatory system could create 9.6 million jobs. The problem, as Washington Post columnist Steven Pearlstein noted: "there are only 7 million unemployed Americans."

Sean McElwee: His work has been featured in The Day, New Politics and the Norwich Bulletin and on TheModerateVoice.com WashingtonMonthly.com, Alternet.org, Reason.com, Antiwar.com, Policymic.com and Salon.com.

Full story…

Related:

NAFTA, Twenty Years After: A Disaster, Jeff Faux, Huffington Post

  • By any measure, NAFTA and its sequels has been a major contributor to the rising inequality of incomes and wealth that Barack Obama bemoans in his speeches. Yet today -- channeling Reagan, the Bushes and Clinton -- the president proposes two more such trade deals: the Trans-Pacific Partnership with eleven Pacific Rim countries and a free trade agreement with Europe.
  • Secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Revealed

Matt Taibbi | Jamie Dimon's Raise Proves US Regulatory Strategy Is a Joke

  • This is a little like trying to rein in a class bully by halving his school's budget. It doesn't work. Crimes are committed by people, and justice has to target people, too. Or else the whole thing is a joke, as we found out last week.
  • The Rumored Chase-Madoff Settlement Is Another Bad Joke

Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

Jamie_DimonJamie Dimon Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images

January 30, 2014 | If you make a big show of punishing someone, and when you're done they still don't think they have a behavior problem, you probably picked the wrong punishment. Every parent on earth knows this implicitly – but does the Obama White House finally get it, too, now, after Jamie Dimon's raise?

When the board of JP Morgan Chase gave its blowdried, tirelessly self-regarding CEO a whopping 74 percent raise – after a year in which the Justice Department blasted the bank with $20 billion in sanctions – it was one of those rare instances where Main Street and Wall Street were mostly madoff-600-1387214956.jpgin agreement.

Matt Taibbi is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone. He’s the author of five books and a winner of the National Magazine Award for commentary.

Full story…

Related:

The Rumored Chase-Madoff Settlement Is Another Bad JokeMatt TaibbiRolling Stone

December 16, 2013 | Just under two months ago, when the $13 billion settlement for JP Morgan Chase was coming down the chute, word leaked out that that the deal was no sure thing. Among other things, it was said...

Harry Reid Effectively Kills Obama's TPP and TTIP International Trade Deals

Corporate Accountability &Workplace

  • It's back to the drawing boards for President Obama, on one of his top priorities as the U.S. President. And, given how late this is happening in his very unpopular Presidency, that means there almost certainly won't be any TPP or TTIP, at least not while he is leading this country.
  • NAFTA, Twenty Years After: A Disaster

Eric Zuesse, OpEdNews

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Stop TPP1/30/2014 | One of President Barack Obama's top priorities ever since he entered the White House has been to achieve two international trade deals, one with Europe, and the other with Asia, that will enable international corporations to override the laws in participating nations and thus to provide ultimate corporate control over regulations concerning pesticide-use, food-safety, global-warming abatement, collective bargaining, and other such matters.

On Wednesday 29 January 2014, the leader of congressional Democrats, Harry Reid -- the U.S. Senate Majority Leader -- came out publicly saying, "I'm against fast track." This means that unlike the international-trade treaties that were rammed through Congress under George W. Bush, Obama's trade deals won't be -- and that they are thus now practically dead. 

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,  and of  Christ's Ventriloquists: The Event that Created Christianity

Full story…

Related:

NAFTA, Twenty Years After: A DisasterJeff Faux, Huffington Post

  • By any measure, NAFTA and its sequels has been a major contributor to the rising inequality of incomes and wealth that Barack Obama bemoans in his speeches. Yet today -- channeling Reagan, the Bushes and Clinton -- the president proposes two more such trade deals: the Trans-Pacific Partnership with eleven Pacific Rim countries and a free trade agreement with Europe.
  • Secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Revealed

 

 

Pharmaceutical CEO: Cancer Drug Is Only For Westerners Who Can Afford It

Corporate Accountability & Workplace Banner

  • “We did not develop this medicine for Indians…we developed it for western patients who can afford it,” (Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers) said.
  • Treating Extreme Wealth As a Disease

Adam Peck, ThinkProgress

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2014/01/dekkers.jpg Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers Credit: Bayer 

January 26, 2014 | In 2005, the FDA granted approval for a promising new cancer-fighting drug called Nexavar. Bayer took it to market shortly thereafter, and it is currently an approved treatment for late-stage kidney and liver cancer.

That is, so long as you live in the developed world. In a recently published interview in Bloomberg Businessweek, Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers said that his company’s drug isn’t for poor people.

“We did not develop this medicine for Indians…we developed it for western patients who can afford it,” he said back in December. The quote is quickly making its way across Indian news outlets.

Adam Peck is a Reporter/Blogger for ThinkProgress at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Adam worked at Countdown with Keith Olbermann at MSNBC in New York, and was the founder and editor of Think Magazine, the largest collegiate news organization on Long Island. His work has appeared in The New York Times, CNN and the BBC.

 

Full story…

Related:

Treating Extreme Wealth As a Disease, Rob Kall, OpEdNews.com

  • If people suffer from mental illness, they deserve some compassion, but we also have a responsibility to protect the larger whole from their dangerous behavior. It's time we look to solutions to this devastating disease cluster.
  • Series | The Pathology of the Rich: Chris Hedges on Reality Asserts Itself, Part 1

Schafer | Why handouts are a bad way for state to help companies

  • Subsidizing an employer in any particular town or state may result in job gains there, but the overall economy doesn’t grow as fast as it would without that kind of subsidy, in part because some taxpayers’ money gets diverted from public investments such as education or transportation networks.
  • How Corporate Giveaways to Applebee’s, Sears, and Other Companies Suck the Lifeblood from Your Community

Lee Schafer, Minneapolis (MN) StarTribune

Starbuck's Cafe LatteIf you like reading this article, consider contributing a cafe latte to all reader-supported Evergreene Digest--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

Burning%20%24100%20bills.jpg January 11, 2014 | Not every company adding high-skill jobs gets any attention from Gov. Mark Dayton.

In December, the governor helped announce Price Mechanical’s new 12,000-square-foot design center in Maple Grove, being built for up to 40 jobs, having previously flown to its hometown of Winnipeg for the sole purpose of pitching our state to Price.

He has yet to stop by Check Engine Express in Minnetonka, although it has a new 13,000-square-foot facility about a year old and plans to add to payroll this year, too.

Lee Schafer, Business columnist, came to the Star Tribune after 15 years as a corporate officer, consultant and investment banker in the Twin Cities. He has been a columnist for Twin Cities Business magazine and was senior editor for Corporate Report Minnesota.

Full story…

How Corporate Giveaways to Applebee’s, Sears, and Other Companies Suck the Lifeblood from Your Community, Kenneth Thomas, Alternet

  • They promise jobs, but leave dilapidated schools and crumbling roads in their wake.
  • A growing trend
  • NAFTA, Twenty Years After: A Disaster

How Corporate Giveaways to Applebee’s, Sears, and Other Companies Suck the Lifeblood from Your Community

Corporate Accountability and Workplace

  • They promise jobs, but leave dilapidated schools and crumbling roads in their wake.
  • A growing trend
  • Schafer | Why handouts are a bad way for state to help companies
  • NAFTA, Twenty Years After: A Disaster

Kenneth Thomas, Alternet

If you like reading this article, consider contributing a cafe latte to all reader-supported Evergreene Digest--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

story_images/corporatepredator.jpg Photo Credit: shutterstock.com

August 7, 2013  |  You would barely know it from reading the mainstream press, but corporate subsidies given by state and local governments are big business — and getting bigger every day. Since the onset of the Great Recession, these giveaways have gotten completely out of control as locations desperate for investment throw more and more money at any project that promises to “create jobs.” That’s a false promise. What they mainly do is drain government coffers in a game of job creation musical chairs.

These subsidies come at a huge cost: about $70 billion per year,* enough to hire 1.4 million state and local government workers at $50,000 per year, or almost three times the total laid off since the beginning of the recession. On top of that, corporate giveaways screw up the economy in 3 ways.

Kenneth Thomas is Professor of Political Science, University of Missouri-St. Louis. Author of Competing for Capital: Europe and North America in a Global Era (Georgetown University Press, 2000) and Investment Incentives and the Global Competition for Capital (Palgrave, 2011).

Full story…

Related:

Schafer | Why handouts are a bad way for state to help companies, Lee Schafer, Minneapolis (MN) StarTribune

  • Subsidizing an employer in any particular town or state may result in job gains there, but the overall economy doesn’t grow as fast as it would without that kind of subsidy, in part because some taxpayers’ money gets diverted from public investments such as education or transportation networks.
  • How Corporate Giveaways to Applebee’s, Sears, and Other Companies Suck the Lifeblood from Your Community

NAFTA, Twenty Years After: A Disaster, Jeff Faux, Huffington Post

  • By any measure, NAFTA and its sequels has been a major contributor to the rising inequality of incomes and wealth that Barack Obama bemoans in his speeches. Yet today -- channeling Reagan, the Bushes and Clinton -- the president proposes two more such trade deals: the Trans-Pacific Partnership with eleven Pacific Rim countries and a free trade agreement with Europe.
  • Secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Revealed
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