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

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  • “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.

 

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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

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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.

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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

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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).

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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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Boeing is a Greedy, Freeloading Corporation That Screws American Taxpayers and Workers

  • The aerospace company makes out like a bandit while sucking the lifeblood from the real economy.
  • Boeing Saga Ends with 51% Favoring Revised Contract

Kenneth Thomas, AlterNet

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Boeing workers' protestBoeing Machinists rally against contract proposal komonews

December 11, 2013 | Boeing is America's Most Wanted Corporation in two senses. First, now that the Machinists' union in Washington state has refused the company's contract demands, it is shopping production (h/t Pacific Northwest Inlander) of the 777x aircraft nationwide and lots of states are making offers for it. Second, it is emblematic of everything the 1% is doing to destroy the middle class: despite being highly profitable, it pays virtually no taxes; it accepts billions of dollars in government subsidies; it is trying to eliminate pensions and cut salaries for its highly skilled workforce; and it is trying to move production away from its unionized workforce, something it has already accomplished in part.

The first part of the story is nauseating enough. With Boeing already threatening to leave its home in Washington state if it didn't get what it wanted from both the state and the union, Democratic governor Jay Inslee called a special session of the state legislature that took three days to approve subsidies for Boeing. The incentive package is the largest ever in U.S. history for a single company, according to Greg LeRoy of Good Jobs First, an astounding $8.7 billion over 16 years (2025-2040). By my own back-of-the-envelope calculations, this looks to be the largest-ever U.S. subsidy on a present value basis as well as in nominal terms.

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).

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Boeing Saga Ends with 51% Favoring Revised Contract, Kenneth Thomas, Middle Class Political Economist

  • Saturday, January 4, 2014 | As I argued last month, the Puget Sound area of Washington state was easily the best place, from a strictly economic point of view, for Boeing to build its new 777x jetliner. This was confirmed when, despite the rejection of  its union contract offer by a 2:1 margin and opening an auction for a new facility, Boeing came back to the union with a second contract offer (h/t New York Times). Yesterday, by a 51-49 margin, workers voted to accept the contract.
  • The Labor movement equivalent of Wounded Knee.
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Debate over Orchestra Hall lease continues

  • Save Our Symphony (SOS) claims that the Minnesota Orchestral Association (MOA) failed to provide complete financial information—in part because leaders allegedly did not tell the state about concerns regarding the organization’s financial condition—and should thus be found in default of its lease. The letter also suggests that donations made to the orchestra have formed a charitable trust, with MOA as the trustee and Orchestra Hall being an asset of that trust.
  • Vikings stadium opponent: ‘Where are the jobs?’

Jake Anderson, Twin Cities Business 

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Under the terms of its lease, the Minnesota Orchestral Association is required to show how Orchestra Hall is being used to promote the arts in Minneapolis. MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson

January 2, 2014 | A grassroots advocacy group backing the locked-out Minnesota Orchestra musicians is contending that orchestra management is in default of its lease for Orchestra Hall—and the group is urging city leaders to terminate the agreement.

The Minnesota Orchestral Association (MOA), which serves as the orchestra's management organization, operates Orchestra Hall, which recently underwent a $52 million renovation. Under the terms of its lease, the organization is required to show how the facility is being used to promote the arts in Minneapolis.

Jake Anderson has served as online and e-newsletter editor for Twin Cities Business since March 2010. He manages TCB’s website, daily news coverage, and twice-weekly Briefcase e-newsletter, among other projects, while also writing digital and print stories. 

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Vikings stadium opponent: ‘Where are the jobs?’ Marlys Harris, MinnPost 

DanCohen2013StateFair225.jDan Cohen MinnPost photo by Karen Boros

12/31/13 | Dan Cohen, candidate for Minneapolis mayor in the recent election and member of the City Planning Commission, was one of the fiercest voices raised against the state and city's nearly $500 million contribution to the cost. Cohen and two former officials launched a lawsuit against Minneapolis to stop it from selling bonds to finance a parking ramp and a park that are part of the Ryan Companies Downtown East development plan because they would also be used accommodate Vikings fans. 

A Minnesota native, Marlys Harris has been an investigative reporter and editor with specialties in consumer protection and finance for Money Magazine and Consumer Reports.

NAFTA, Twenty Years After: A Disaster

  • 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

Jeff Faux, Huffington Post

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End%20Corporate%20Greed%20Occupy.jpg 01/01/2014 | New Year's Day, 2014, marks the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The Agreement created a common market for goods, services and investment capital with Canada and Mexico. And it opened the door through which American workers were shoved, unprepared, into a brutal global competition for jobs that has cut their living standards and is destroying their future.

NAFTA's birth was bi-partisan -- conceived by Ronald Reagan, negotiated by George Bush I, and pushed through the US Congress by Bill Clinton in alliance with Congressional Republicans and corporate lobbyists.

Jeff Faux: Founder and now Distinguished Fellow at the Economic Policy Institute

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stopp-tppa.jpg  Secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Revealed, Camilla Mortensen, EugeneWeekly.com

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Amelia Kroeger

January 2, 2014 | The Trans-Pacific Partnership sounds like a conspiracy theory. The TPP talks about a trade deal that will govern 40 percent of U.S. imports and exports as well as affect copyrights, pharmaceuticals and more are being conducted in secret, and only a few portions of the agreement and memos about it have been leaked. Congressman Peter DeFazio says he vehemently opposes the TPP.

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Smart Cards Could Have Protected Target Shoppers From Identity Thieves

U.S. banks rely on credit cards with magnetic strips, which can be easily reproduced by thieves, while European banks have issued millions of more modern "smart cards" that are embedded with computer chips. Smart cards encrypt transaction information, require thieves to know the cardholder’s PIN, and can generate one-time-only passwords.

Gerry Smith, Huffington Post

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n-SMART-CARD-large.jpg Dec 23, 2013 | After thieves hijacked credit and debit card data belonging to 40 million Target shoppers, many blamed the retail giant for putting them at risk of identity theft.

But some experts are also pointing to a less visible culprit: the credit card industry. Card issuers might not have been able to prevent the recent data breach at Target, but if they had upgraded to more secure technology, they could have deterred thieves from using that stolen information to make counterfeit credit cards.

Gerry Smith is a technology reporter at Huffington Post.

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The True Price of Great Holiday Deals, Robert ReichHuffington Post

  • The sobering reality is the United States has no national strategy for creating more good jobs in America. Until we do, more and more Americans will be chasing great deals that come largely at their own expense.
  • Walmart: The High Cost Of Low Prices
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