Almost a third of the country’s half-million bank tellers rely on some form of public assistance to get by, according to a report due out Wednesday.
Researchers say taxpayers are doling out nearly $900 million a year to supplement the wages of bank tellers, which amounts to a public subsidy for multibillion-dollar banks. The workers collect $105 million in food stamps, $250 million through the earned income tax credit and $534 million by way of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, according to the University of California at Berkeley’s Labor Center.
The center provided the data to the Committee for Better Banks, a coalition of labor advocacy groups that published the broader study, to be released Wednesday, on the conditions of bank workers in the heart of the financial industry, New York. In the that state alone, 39 percent of tellers and their family members are enrolled in some form of public assistance program, the data show.
“This is the wealthiest and most powerful industry in the world, and it’s substantially subsidized by our tax dollars, money that we could be spending on child care or pre-K,” said Deborah Axt, co-executive director at Make the Road New York, one of four coalition members.
While doing my research on deravitives and Dodd-Frank a while back, I found Matt Taibbi to be the best single source for the average reader.
Video at: democracynow.org
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We turn now to major new piece by Rolling Stone contributing editor Matt Taibbi. It’s called “Looting the Pension Funds: Five Years After the Financial Crisis, Wall Street Is Picking at the Carcass of Flat-Broke City and State Governments, Blaming Public Workers and Making Millions to ‘Rescue’ Them.”
AMY GOODMAN: Well, Matt Taibbi joins us here in our studio. Explain how the pension funds are being looted.
MATT TAIBBI: Well, the primary focus of my piece—there are a couple of things. Number one, how did these funds come to be broke in the first place? I think everybody realizes that states are in fiscal crises or having trouble paying out their obligations to workers. One of the reasons is that states—at least 14 states have not been making their annual required contributions to the pension fund for years and years and years. So, essentially, they’ve been illegally borrowing from these pension funds, sometimes going back decades.
Former Fox News host Glenn Beck has created a very lucrative new home at his “The Blaze” online network. Yesterday, speaking about a conversation he had with his daughter (and bragging that he didn’t have to pay a dime for her education because she got scholarships) Beck told megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll that the religious right has “lost the war.”
Driscoll and Beck agreed that the number one problem Americans have with organized Christianity is its own “intolerance” on issues like same-sex marriage and abortion. Beck admitted that his own daughter thought he was intolerant until recently.
To prove he is not intolerant, Beck said he has gay friends and employees and doesn’t care “what you do” — as if being gay is an activity — instead of saying “who you are.”
Video at Link
(CNN) — A Montana judge is defending his decision to sentence a former teacher to 31 days in jail for raping a 14-year-old student.
Judge G. Todd Baugh said he gave 47-year-old Stacey Dean Rambold “the right kind of sentence:” 31 days in jail and more than 14 years on probation.
In his response to a complaint filed against him with the Montana Judicial Standards Commission, Baugh acknowledges making controversial remarks about victim Cherise Morales at Rambold’s sentencing in August. According to the Montana Attorney General’s Office, the judge said she looked older than her years and was “probably as much in control of the situation as was the defendant.”
Kimberley - Despite earlier expectations that the six-week-old baby who was raped last week by her uncle could be discharged from the Kimberley Hospital soon, it has emerged that the infant has suffered an apparent setback and was transferred to a hospital in Bloemfontein on Tuesday.
While the Northern Cape Department of Health was only prepared to confirm that the baby had been admitted to a Bloemfontein hospital, it is believed that some of the sutures to repair the tissue damage caused during the rape had torn. It is also believed that the infant was scheduled to undergo an operation on Wednesday night to attach a colostomy bag to her colon for the disposal of faecal matter.
The baby’s condition and whether she is back in the intensive-care unit could not be confirmed on Wednesday, with the department instead requesting the media to “allow the young patient to recover because this is a sensitive matter”.
Video: Clare Wood was strangled and set on fire by her ex-boyfriend (at link)
A scheme that gives people the right to ask police if their partner has a history of domestic violence is to be extended nationwide.
Clare’s Law, which has been trialled by four police forces, is named after Clare Wood, who was strangled and set on fire by her ex-boyfriend George Appleton in 2009.
Police run checks and speak to agencies such as the Prison Service, the Probation Service and Social Services.
Pope Francis last week issued an expansive document outlining the mission behind his papacy, including a strongly worded indictment of free market economics and the government leaders and corporate executives who are the system’s greatest beneficiaries. The pope’s declarations on poverty and economic justice may have been a new turn for the church, but the rest of the 84-page document was a regurgitation of the same old doctrine.
Specifically, the church’s hard line on abortion and other issues of reproductive justice remains as rigid and as dangerous as ever. Which is why the timing of the American Civil Liberty Union’s lawsuit alleging gross medical negligence against the United States Congress of Catholic Bishops, filed just days after the pope released his “Evangelii Gaudium,” felt significant. The suit was a necessary reminder that a church doctrine that refuses to respect women’s bodily autonomy and the medical judgment of doctors — no matter how progressive its economic agenda — is still a dangerous thing. (Related: Economic justice and reproductive justice are not distinct agendas, but I digress.)
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Tamesha Means, a 27-year-old mother of two who presented at the emergency room of a Catholic hospital in Michigan — the only hospital within 30 miles — after her water broke while she was 18 weeks pregnant. According to the suit, Means’ fetus had virtually no chance of survival, but the hospital did not tell her this information, nor did it tell her that the safest treatment option would be to induce labor in order to terminate the doomed pregnancy.
Posting this as a San Diegan and why I haven’t bought that fish rag called the Union Tribune in years. I’ve literally turned down free copies of it, its that worthless a paper:
Recently Papa Doug has taken time out from cheerleading for a new football stadium that will cost the local taxpayers upwards of around $300 to 500 million (the same taxpayers who were awarded the NFL’s first blacked-out game of the year this past Sunday because the Chargers were 5000 seats short of a sell-out, so yeah, let’s give a franchise worth close to a billion dollars a helping hand) to take a stand for those poor beleaguered taxpayers (and the businesses those taxpayers subsidize) who are being kept down by The Man and The State. So what’s his plan?
Make a new state:
It may not be necessary to destroy California in order to fix it. But it may be necessary to cut it in two, carving out a 51st state of New California where taxes are low, regulations are few and where politicians are not the lap dogs of the public-employee labor unions.
I am intrigued, do go on….
In the far northern reaches of the state, counties along the border with Oregon have been in various degrees of secessionist activism since 1941, clamoring for the new state of Jefferson. As recently as September, the Modoc County Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 in support of the new state. That followed a 4-1 vote in August by the Board of Supervisors in neighboring Siskiyou County to do the same. Officials have said that if they can get 10 more counties to join the effort, they will formally appeal to the Legislature for statehood.
Another idea floated among secessionist proponents is for a smaller 51st state that would only take in the counties of San Diego, Riverside, Imperial and San Bernardino.
Can I just add here, that Riverside, Imperial, and San Bernardino counties are the counties that no one would ever ask out on a date. Not even with the promise of a tender and loving hand job at the end of the evening.
The end result of the proposed secession:
A Constitution for New California
• A part-time legislature with strict term limits.
• Governor required to propose, and the legislature required to approve, a budget certified as balanced by an independent state auditor.
• Prohibition on traditional pensions for all government workers, instead providing 401(k)-style retirement plans and Social Security.
• No state tax on personal income.
• Low tax rates on business.
• Strict limits on the power of state and local regulatory agencies. All regulations must be justified through an accounting of costs and benefits and all regulations would sunset after five years.
• Prohibition on mandatory membership of state and local government employees in public-employee unions. Prohibition on automatic payroll deduction of union dues from members’ paychecks. And a prohibition on unions using members’ dues for political purposes without members’ expressed consent.
• Encourage the development of all energy resources — nuclear, renewables such as wind and solar, and fossil fuels, including “fracking” of oil and gas reserves.
• Prohibition on tenure for public school teachers in the K-12 system. Teacher pay based in part on student performance, which would be based in part on standardized testing.
• Encourage educational choice, including expanded public charter schools and voucher programs for private and parochial schools.
Just found out about this, even through the video is about two years old, I just had to show you guys this. I hope no one posted anything on this here before.
From the youtube video description,
At CES 2011, Fujitsu’s Paul Moore talks about their concept teddy bear, which includes a webcam in its nose and has a bunch of sensors that can react to objects around it. Aimed at an aging population in Japan, the robot bear at first seems creepy, but when it waves back at you, it will melt your heart.
Robot Teddy Bear by Fujitsu (2011)
It’s a real-life version of the teddy bear from A.I. — complete with a webcam in its nose. That couldn’t possibly lead to embarrassment.
I wonder what become of this thing. I haven’t seen anything written on it post 2011. I’d be interested to hear whether or not they’re selling this thing in Japan yet.
The House of Representatives used one of its few remaining legislative days in 2013 to pass a measure Wednesday that would exempt private equity firms like Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital from disclosure rules in the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.
The Dodd-Frank law requires financial advisers who manage more than $150 million in private funds to disclose detailed information to the Securities and Exchange Commission — information that the SEC uses to protect investors in the formerly secretive funds and to help evaluate systemic risks that could threaten the broader economy.
But House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) argued during the House floor debate before the vote that it is too burdensome for many such private equity firms to satisfy the rather complex filing requirements, and paying the costs would mean less capital going to create new companies and jobs. Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) argued that some firms would quit the business of raising money and investing in companies if they had to comply.
“The compliance costs for these smaller firms in towns like Columbus, Ohio, will be especially high as a percentage; and it could drive many of them out of business,” Stivers said.
Further, Hensarling argued, the deep-pocketed investors in such private funds are sophisticated and thus don’t need extra protection from the SEC.