Here is a fun article to read if you were still doubting the ability of corporations to buy politicians….

House, Set to Vote on 2 Bills, Is Seen as an Ally of Wall St.

in summary, these bills:

  • were written by wall street lobbyists
  • take away regulation to limit excessive financial risk taking (this seems like a particularly good idea in the shadow of the great recession)
  • result in campaign contributions from corporations to representatives who vote yes
  • have support from both parties in the House
  • are not for the people
america-wakiewakie:

At a time when half of Americans are near or below the poverty line, according to the Congressional Budget Office, America’s enormously profitable corporations are paying an effective tax rate of 12.1%, the lowest in the world. Yet, despite these numbers, the rich stooges of the super-rich string-pullers insist on continuing their corporate welfare while further slashing the food pantries of the poor. Think by Numbers illustrates: 

About $59 billion is spent on traditional social welfare programs. $92 billion is spent on corporate subsidies. So, the government spent 50% more on corporate welfare than it did on food stamps and housing assistance in 2006.
The Corporate Welfare Queen | Definition: Corporate Welfare
n. Financial aid, such as a subsidy, provided by a government to corporations or other businesses.
The Cato Institute estimated that, in 2002, $93 billion were devoted to corporate welfare. This is about 5 percent of the federal budget. To clarify what is and isn’t corporate welfare, a “no-bid” Iraq contract for the prestigious Halliburton, would not be considered corporate welfare because the government technically directly receives some good or service in exchange for this expenditure. Based on the Pentagon’s Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) findings of $1.4 billion of overcharging and fraud, I suppose the primary service they provide could be considered to be repeatedly violating the American taxpayer.On the other hand, the $15 billion in subsidies contained in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, to the oil, gas, and coal industries, would be considered corporate welfare because no goods or services are directly returned to the government in exchange for these expenditures.
Tax breaks targeted to benefit specific corporations could also be considered a form of welfare. Tax loopholes force other businesses and individual taxpayers without the same political clout to pick up the slack and sacrifice a greater share of their hard-earned money to decrease the financial burden on these corporations. However, to simplify matters, we’ve only included financial handouts to companies in our working definition of corporate welfare.
Whenever corporate welfare is presented to voters, it always sounds like a pretty reasonable, well-intended idea. Politicians say that they’re stimulating the economy or helping struggling industries or creating jobs or funding important research. But when you steal money from the paychecks of working people, you hurt the economy by reducing their ability to buy the things they want or need. This decrease in demand damages other industries and puts people out of work.
Most of the pigs at the government trough are among the biggest companies in America, including the Big 3 automakers, Boeing, Archer Daniels Midland, and now-bankrupt Enron.
(Read Full Text)

It is not the poor who are “cheating” an inherently broken system—this is how capitalism works. 

america-wakiewakie:

At a time when half of Americans are near or below the poverty line, according to the Congressional Budget Office, America’s enormously profitable corporations are paying an effective tax rate of 12.1%, the lowest in the world. Yet, despite these numbers, the rich stooges of the super-rich string-pullers insist on continuing their corporate welfare while further slashing the food pantries of the poor. Think by Numbers illustrates: 

About $59 billion is spent on traditional social welfare programs. $92 billion is spent on corporate subsidies. So, the government spent 50% more on corporate welfare than it did on food stamps and housing assistance in 2006.

The Corporate Welfare Queen | Definition: Corporate Welfare

n. Financial aid, such as a subsidy, provided by a government to corporations or other businesses.

The Cato Institute estimated that, in 2002, $93 billion were devoted to corporate welfare. This is about 5 percent of the federal budget. To clarify what is and isn’t corporate welfare, a “no-bid” Iraq contract for the prestigious Halliburton, would not be considered corporate welfare because the government technically directly receives some good or service in exchange for this expenditure. Based on the Pentagon’s Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) findings of $1.4 billion of overcharging and fraud, I suppose the primary service they provide could be considered to be repeatedly violating the American taxpayer.On the other hand, the $15 billion in subsidies contained in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, to the oil, gas, and coal industries, would be considered corporate welfare because no goods or services are directly returned to the government in exchange for these expenditures.

Tax breaks targeted to benefit specific corporations could also be considered a form of welfare. Tax loopholes force other businesses and individual taxpayers without the same political clout to pick up the slack and sacrifice a greater share of their hard-earned money to decrease the financial burden on these corporations. However, to simplify matters, we’ve only included financial handouts to companies in our working definition of corporate welfare.

Whenever corporate welfare is presented to voters, it always sounds like a pretty reasonable, well-intended idea. Politicians say that they’re stimulating the economy or helping struggling industries or creating jobs or funding important research. But when you steal money from the paychecks of working people, you hurt the economy by reducing their ability to buy the things they want or need. This decrease in demand damages other industries and puts people out of work.

Most of the pigs at the government trough are among the biggest companies in America, including the Big 3 automakers, Boeing, Archer Daniels Midland, and now-bankrupt Enron.

(Read Full Text)

It is not the poor who are “cheating” an inherently broken system—this is how capitalism works. 

(via satanic-capitalist)

this is my daily commuting vehicle.
most days, rain, snow, or shine, i hop on my bike to get around. i live in salt lake city, utah, home to some of the worst air pollution in the united states.
i don’t know how many of you are familiar with salt lake, but it is a sprawling valley of cities with a population in the low millions, all connected by several highways. the city, settled by mormons in the late 1800s, demonstrates the detrimental effects of the automobile.
the city was built with abnormally wide, grided streets. the streets are so wide because mormons were good planners and wanted oxen/horse drawn carts to be able to U turn in them. the wide streets were then used to allow cable cars to dart around the city and the nearby suburbs. then the car got popular, (this is probably a story most of you are familiar with) and the cable car tracks were ripped out, until 2002.
when salt lake hosted the winter olympics in 2002, a new light rail system was built. originally, it extended three routes to nearby suburbs. now, it continues to expand as it grows more and more popular- a route to the airport opened this past april.
salt lake also has an amazing bus system, given the level of sprawl most of the double story “city” is spread out over. the one problem is the frequency of buses along the routes and the fact that most routes stop before 9 at night.
still, it is not a hard city to get around in without a vehicle, especially when vehicles contribute over half of the winter smog and summer ozone.
however, clean air minded people are the ones carrying more of the burden of air pollution created by the cars. biking in the winter gives me headaches from the high levels of particulate matter in the air.
its hard standing up for something you believe in when it means that you are disproportionally burdened with the health detriments of it. still, i bike to work and school and the grocery store on green and yellow air days, and take the bus on red. i do my part, hoping to contribute to a new social norm in salt lake city.

this is my daily commuting vehicle.

most days, rain, snow, or shine, i hop on my bike to get around. i live in salt lake city, utah, home to some of the worst air pollution in the united states.

i don’t know how many of you are familiar with salt lake, but it is a sprawling valley of cities with a population in the low millions, all connected by several highways. the city, settled by mormons in the late 1800s, demonstrates the detrimental effects of the automobile.

the city was built with abnormally wide, grided streets. the streets are so wide because mormons were good planners and wanted oxen/horse drawn carts to be able to U turn in them. the wide streets were then used to allow cable cars to dart around the city and the nearby suburbs. then the car got popular, (this is probably a story most of you are familiar with) and the cable car tracks were ripped out, until 2002.

when salt lake hosted the winter olympics in 2002, a new light rail system was built. originally, it extended three routes to nearby suburbs. now, it continues to expand as it grows more and more popular- a route to the airport opened this past april.

salt lake also has an amazing bus system, given the level of sprawl most of the double story “city” is spread out over. the one problem is the frequency of buses along the routes and the fact that most routes stop before 9 at night.

still, it is not a hard city to get around in without a vehicle, especially when vehicles contribute over half of the winter smog and summer ozone.

however, clean air minded people are the ones carrying more of the burden of air pollution created by the cars. biking in the winter gives me headaches from the high levels of particulate matter in the air.

its hard standing up for something you believe in when it means that you are disproportionally burdened with the health detriments of it. still, i bike to work and school and the grocery store on green and yellow air days, and take the bus on red. i do my part, hoping to contribute to a new social norm in salt lake city.

Twin Peaks Wilderness. How long after humans have abandoned an area can we call it wilderness? Or do we force people out to create pristine parks? Wilderness is just a legal term.

Twin Peaks Wilderness. How long after humans have abandoned an area can we call it wilderness? Or do we force people out to create pristine parks? Wilderness is just a legal term.