In Corporate America the only way to beat the competition is to own it.
The New York Times this morning has a disturbing story about local television stations cutting costs by pretty much combining competing news operations. It’s often resulting in the same exact reporting no matter what channel you watch.
American media has been consolidated into the hands of about three multinational corporations, and now those three multinationals are squeezing profits by moving towards one single news source.
The airwaves belong to the public, the networks rent those airwaves from us with the promise of serving our community. We are being left in the dark.
But the owners of stations have gradually reduced costs and, arguably, competition. Building on the longtime sharing of cameras and helicopters by stations, the first “shared services agreements,” for newsrooms, and “local marketing agreements,” for ad sales, were put in place more than a decade ago.
Yes even in Los Angeles our government can get things right.
From Rodale News:
Cities in at least seven states have successfully passed plastic-bag bans, and the city of Austin, Texas, recently banned all disposable shopping bags. The state of Alaska and Washington, D.C., have both successfully passed per-use plastic bag fees, and according to the website PlasticBagLaws.org, which tracks bag bans across the U.S., use of plastic bags in D.C. has dropped by 50 percent since the city’s fee went into effect in 2010.
Carole Davis is an actress, writer and animal rights activist. She is married to Kevin Rooney.
Carole Raphaelle Davis, West Coast Director of the Companion Animal Protection Society, is a frequent contributor our show. Take a look at her in action:
By Carole Raphaelle Davis
As California’s economic crisis deepens, our local shelter system faces budget cuts that will drastically increase the number of animals killed. More than 80% of stray and abandoned cats who enter our shelter system do not make it out alive.
Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, we recently passed a spay/neuter ordinance stipulating that owners who do not have a breeder’s license sterilize their cats and dogs. Unfortunately, it’s not being enforced.
Our city has a cat overpopulation crisis.
Impounds went up this year: Sept 2010 thru Aug 2011: 22,504
Euthanasia went up this year: Sept 2010 thru Aug 2011: 13,501
UNWEANED KITTEN STATS
Impounds went up this year: Sept 2010 thru Aug 2011: 9,750
Euthanasia (let’s call it what it is and not use the euphemism), killing went up this year:
Christienne Metropole, President of The Stray Cat Alliance, (www.StrayCatAlliance.org) says, “Stopping the killing is doable if the shelter director and the community work together to implement what we now call ‘progressive’ programs. Most shelters don’t have adequate outreach for adoptions, education for the public about community cats and they do not have free spay neuter. The vast majority of cats coming into shelters are community cats and the public is not educated about how to properly deal with them and they are not given the resources. Shelters will take in cats ad infinitum costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars but they won’t (for the most part) create free spay neuter programs that save tax dollars and lives. Thankfully, this is changing little by little.”
Everybody knows there are too many unwanted cats. Yet, thoughtless commercial breeders pretending to like cats are sponsoring cat shows that promote breeding for profit. People who truly like cats ought to stop breeding, selling or buying them.
Here’s a suggestion: Ethical cat shows where all the cats getting ribbons have been rescued from death row at the pound.
Carole Raphaelle Davis is
West Coast Director, Companion Animal Protection Society. You can contact her at:
“If you save just one life, it is as if you saved the entire world.”
JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon sits on the New York Federal Reserve the very same authority that regulates his corporation. Many credit cards issued by JP Morgan Chase charge customers as much as 30 percent interest. This despite the fact that the Federal Reserve lends money to JP Morgan at zero percent interest. Why does JP Morgan get money from the Fed at zero percent? To get money moving again. And money is moving again, straight up into Jamie Dimon’s pocket.
Yet despite all this, after reading today’s article in the New York Times savaging JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon, we felt sorry for him and decided it was time to step up and defend Wall Street’s brave soldiers of fortune.
Marc Andreesen was an early investor in Facebook and Instagram as well as one of the original Coneheads.
Andreesen in March of 2010 invested $250,000 in Instagram. After Instagram was sold for a billion this year Andreesen reaped a return that was 280 times his initial investment. That’s almost 70 million dollars. I guess it’s merely a coincidence that Andreesen sits on the very same Facebook committee which agreed to cough up the one billion. (He claims to have recused himself.) By the way, the creator of Instagram is Kevin Systrom who comes from Google. All part of the same family of venture capital.
Today Facebook launched their new photo sharing app. And apparently their app is as good as the one they bought from Instagram.
Interestingly, none of the app’s 15 filters were developed by the Instagram team, Facebook product manager Dirk Stoop told The New York Times. The app, the Times suggests, has been in development for much longer
In other words. Facebook already had a photo sharing app that worked great. They spent one billion on Instagram to destroy their competition and feather the nest of their investors. Buying your competition is not the free market. It puts people out of work while making the already rich, i.e. Marc Andreesen, richer. Whatever happened to competition? Where was the justice department in all this? Facebook didn’t need a photo app. Now people are out of work, and the consumer has fewer choices.
Originally Broadcast May 24, 2012. Colin Powell should shut up. Paul Dooley, Jimmy Dore and Frank Conniff. Please subscribe to our show on iTunes, and follow us on the oh so evil Facebook.
According to the Associated Press the average pay for the head of a Fortune 500 company is close to $10 million. We are often told that CEO pay is linked to job performance, and if the stockholders don’t appreciate the job their CEO is doing they pay him less. In fact, stockholders have zero say in how much their CEO earns.
Portions of Dodd Frank offering stockholders voice in executive compensation failed to pass. The only recourse left to stockholders is a non binding suggestion on what they believe the CEO is worth. But nobody is legally obligated to listen to stockholders. Wonderful system we got going. The head of a corporation gets to crap on the employees and the stockholders. The richest one percent are answerable to nobody, even their investors.
The free market doesn’t mean the guy on top is free to ignore the needs and wishes of everyone below. And just because you can get away with something doesn’t make it right, or good for your stockholders and employees.
In America’s version of capitalism it no longer matters how the company actually fares, the CEO gets his money. Stock price goes down, he gets his money. Company goes bankrupt, he gets his money. The workers and the stockholders wait at the bottom for crumbs. Capitalism when rigged is not capitalism. It’s grand larceny.
From the AP article:
CEOs managed to sell more, and squeeze more profit from each sale, despite problems ranging from a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating to an economic slowdown in China and Europe’s neverending debt crisis.
Still, there wasn’t much immediate benefit for the shareholders. The S&P 500 ended the year unchanged from where it started. Including dividends, the index returned a slender 2 percent.
So who determines the CEO’s pay? The CEO. The CEO’s salary is set by a compensation committee, and members of that committee are appointed by, get ready, the CEO. Normally the CEO is wise enough to appoint other CEOs to sit on the compensation board. That way he is able to guarantee his salary isn’t based on job performance. Instead it’s based on whether or not the other CEOs, his cronies, trust each other to vote each other a salary bump when it’s time to sit on their compensation board.
This is not the cream rising to the top. It’s not a meritocracy. It’s crony capitalism. It’s uncreative bullies keeping money in the club while they lay off thousands and ship jobs overseas. These salaries are an attack on Free Enterprise. There is no Middle Class because of this greed, and ingratitude.
After 55 percent of Citigroup shareholders voted to oppose CEO Vikram Pandit's $15 million pay package Citigroup agreed to pay him less. But their shareholder vote was nonbinding and could have been ignored.
This has to stop. We’re at the tipping point and pretty soon the takers will find there is nothing left to take. Government stepped in and saved these corporations, with our tax money. Now it’s time for government to step in and save workers and stockholders from these corporate pirates.
What’s good for business is good for America. Sadly what’s good for the men running these businesses isn’t necessarily good for business.
“What I love about ‘The David Feldman Show’ is I’m listening to a middle-aged guy getting radicalized, but he still can’t stop telling dick jokes with his comic friends from the ’80s.” – Michael Brooks, The Michael Brooks Show
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