Can Big Business Still Deliver Republican Votes?

By: Wednesday July 31, 2013 9:51 am

President Obama’s new “grand bargain for middle-class workers” should more accurately be called the “grand bargain for corporate America.” Even the administration’s fact sheet makes it clear the proposal would be a big win for Big Business.

 

Economic Indicators Still Point to Weak 2013

By: Tuesday November 20, 2012 7:33 am

Morgan Stanley continues to predict a weak 1.4% growth for the US in 2013. I assume some of this pessimism has to do with the potential for a nasty fiscal slope. But this forecast mirrors their previous forecast in September, so nothing has changed in their analysis in the two months where policymakers crept closer to the slope. In other words, there’s something more structural at work. You can see that in the sharp pullback in investment at the corporate level

CEO’s Bold Plan to Fix the Debt by Lowering Their Own Taxes

By: Thursday October 25, 2012 1:43 pm

Mark Warner and Saxby Chambliss are the two Senators most hopeful of replacing Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson should they ever die or meet a poor person and get a spark of empathy. Warner and Chambliss are charter members of the Gang of Six, now a Gang of Eight, who are hard at work on a grand bargain for the lame duck session. And they are appealing to their core constituency to help make that a reality: Wall Street.

The Dichotomy in Economic Sentiment Between Consumers and Businesses

By: Thursday October 18, 2012 7:00 pm

Economic analysts are giddy about a recent spate of positive consumer-based indicators, on not only housing starts but consumer confidence, retail sales, auto sales and even unemployment. At the same time, in the same economy, the numbers run completely the other way when it comes to the corporate sector. Joe Weisenthal runs down the numbers. Some of them are sentiment-based, which I view with similar skepticism around a national election as I do with things like consumer confidence. But there are hard numbers around capital expenditures, and export growth, and corporate hiring plans, and even corporate profits, that have all turned negative.

So what’s going on?

Corporate-Led Education Reform Movement Ignores Solvable Problems to Carry Out Its Agenda

By: Tuesday September 11, 2012 12:00 pm

To the extent that there are problems, it appears clear that they have to do with resources. The schools in the lowest-income areas have no air conditioning. Roofs leak. The cafeteria is full of roaches. Mold sits in the ventilation systems. Kids don’t get textbooks for weeks. Administrators pack classrooms with 40 and 50 students at a time. These are pretty obvious and solvable problems. Worse, there’s apparently money in the system to make these repairs, in the form of TIFs or Tax Increment Financing, that have been re-routed to pet projects, including a Hyatt Hotel and the Chicago Board of Trade.

Teacher’s Unions in Tension With Democrats in Charlotte

By: Tuesday September 4, 2012 8:00 am

Two facts help explain the dichotomy on education in the Democratic platform. First, teachers make up a substantial portion of the delegates in Charlotte this week. Second, the Obama Administration is committed to education reforms that really stand in contrast to the goals of most teacher’s unions. They have worked around this tension for four years, but in the platform you see it come to a head.

Near-Term and Long-Term Economic Growth Possibilities Look Weak

By: Wednesday August 29, 2012 5:55 pm

Work Wire found this ominous chart showing a potential pitfall for the US economy. The chart looks at year over year change in core “capex” orders, which consist of business capital spending, excluding defense or aircraft. As you can see it’s declining into negative territory. And there are other signs we’re looking at slower growth than in the past.

Apple-Samsung Trial: Another Loss for Consumers

By: Saturday August 25, 2012 11:00 am

Patent expert and author Leah Shaver told Wired, “When companies turn to litigation rather than innovation, consumers lose.”

House Democrats Lob Bribery, Tax Evasion Allegations at Walmart

By: Friday August 17, 2012 2:15 pm

Two House Democrats have come into possession of evidence of significant crimes by Walmart, including bribery. The Democrats, Henry Waxman and Elijah Cummings, sought additional documents from Walmart on possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The joint investigation by the Democrats on the House Oversight Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee is apparently ready to go with a report, but Waxman and Cummings asked Walmart CEO Michael Duke basically if he had anything to add before the final report was released. This includes access to documents which the committees requested.

Businesses Taking Heat Over What to Do With Health Insurance Rebates

By: Friday August 10, 2012 3:30 pm

A couple weeks ago, when everybody was hailing the power of the medical loss ratio to send rebate checks to health insurance subscribers, I pointed out that a large percentage of the rebates would just revert back to employers, who could then do with them whatever they pleased, within certain limits.

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