Category Archives: Corporatism

Who is worse Amazon or Walmart?

Both are giant retailers with questionable practices when it comes to labor and their supply chains. While I order products from Amazon I can’t help but wonder how becoming a monopoly helps anyone. 

This sentence makes them sound just like Walmart:

It’s well known that the outsized scale of Amazon’s operations tends to first capture suppliers, and next, drive down their prices. 

Trump is so going to approve the Amazon deal

The lines between corporate America and the federal government are seriously blurring. But sadly this what people voted for this past November. 

Take this for example:

According to The Intercept, Delrahim has spent the last decade working in the private sector on merger deals and is considered to be very corporate friendly in such matters. As The New York Times puts it, he flippantly believes that “a monopoly is perfectly legal until it abuses its monopoly power.” For about 12 years, he has worked for the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, which just happens to be registered to lobby on Amazon’s behalf.

I’m not saying that the Obama administration was devoid of corporate influence but we’re headed to a whole new level. 

Chipotle has an E. Coli Outbreak?

Since factory farming took its hold on the agricultural system of the United States it’s not suprising to see these kind of outbreaks become more frequent over the decades.

Hearing of E. Coli outbreaks affecting everything from meat products to even vegetables have become the norm. Yet no one is willing to take on the meat producers and the rest of Big Ag. The fight to wrestle back control of the U.S. food system is being lost by the American people to these multinationals.

It is sad that Chipotle doesn’t even know what food is making their customers sick.

According to the CDC, the outbreak has not been traced to a particular item on the restaurant’s menu, but 43 of the 45 sickened people reported eating in a Chipotle before getting ill.

Until Friday, cases of the infection totaled 37 that had been contained to the western United States. California, Ohio and New York were new additions, according to the CDC.

How much business is this chain going to lose? How much are we as a nation willing to put up with our sick food system that makes people sick in a myraid of different ways. Not only from outbreaks of E. Coli but from outbreaks of sugar and other ingredients that are slowly killing us.

Why banks make more money than Apple and Exxon combined

I would place a wager–similar to the one that the banks placed on subprime loans in the last decade–on a bet that the public in general doesn’t realize how much money banks are making off of student loans.

They are making a killing.

Yet, in his article entitled “The Legacy of Debt”, sociologist David Fasenfest reports that bank profits from “private student loans exceed that of Apple Computing and Exxon-Mobil combined.”

Photo by JSchueller2

What is equity stripping and why is Wells Fargo doing it?

This is what Cook County in Illinois is going after Wells Fargo for doing.

“Equity stripping is an abusive form of ‘asset based lending’ that maximizes lender profits based on the value of the underlying asset and onerous loan terms, while in disregard for a borrower’s ability to repay,” according to the complaint. Aimed also at minority women, the bank’s fee structure and its practice of bundling mortgages to sell as securities allowed the lender to make money off loans even in the event of a foreclosure, the county said.

The practice outlined above was the cause of the financial collapse in 2008. If Wells Fargo is still practicing predatory lending, then that can only mean that nothing was learned by their c-suite. Maybe next time when the economy collapses (I hear 2016) Wells Fargo will be bought by some other bank—their stock value reduced to fumes–similar to how they acquired Wachovia after the financial collapse.

This is why people are protesting not only in opposition to police brutality, but also in defiance of the racialized and oppressive economic system in place in this country. Whether it’s low wage work, student loan debt, institutional racism and overt racism–they’re all connected. So it’s hands up, don’t shoot for Michael Brown, justice for Eric Garner and low pay is not OK for all of the retailers and fast food joints.

1 percenter Scarsdale man swindles 4.6 million

Walking around in your neighborhood wearing a hoodie and being a person of color can get you killed. Live in Scarsdale, NY and steal $4.6 million dollars from investors and no one bats an eyelash really.

Salvatore Carpanzano, 55, purportedly deceived investors by saying he represented two companies to gain money from a group of investors for what they thought was an opportunity to invest in an assisted living community in Arizona and a movie called “Mob Street,” according to the report.

Photo by Occupy* Posters

Airbnb seeking to hire community organizers?

I’m pretty skeptical about this. Why? Because it’s a corporation seeking to hire organizers to spread the gospel about their business model.

We are looking for excellent Community Organizer candidates to help organize, train, and mobilize supporters of home sharing in Los Angeles. Organizers will be responsible for recruiting and organizing supporters and helping them share their views.

Responsibilities:

  • Recruiting, training, and managing advocates of home sharing into self sustaining grassroots teams
  • Hitting or surpassing numeric organizing goals
  • Building a network of supporters and advocates in the local business community
  • Organizing events such as neighborhood meetings and trainings

Desired Qualities and Qualifications:

  • Proven record of using community organizing in political campaign, non-profit, or other relevant settings.
  • Be personable and able to connect with people in groups and in one on one settings.
  • Comfort with technology and using data to make decisions
  • Excellent written and verbal communication
  • Meticulous organization skills
  • A strong passion for home sharing

Benefits:

Excellent Health Benefits

Airbnb Travel Coupon

TO APPLY: Please send a cover letter and resume, in pdf format, using the following naming conventions (LastName_FirstName_Cover Letter, LastName_FirstName_Resume) to OrganizingJobsLA@gmail.com, with the subject line ‘Application for Organizer Position.’

I love their use of the term “home sharing” here. Oh no, these aren’t illegal hotels or illegal rentals. . . no, this is HOME SHARING! Just like Uber, let’s go around the law so we can make money! In NYC Airbnb became irate because the Attorney General went after them for enabling apartment tenants to run illegal hotels. Now like their other sharing economy siblings they are seeking to get political. After all Uber hired former Obama for America ’08 campaign manager David Plouffe. So What politico is willing to shill for Airbnb I wonder.

WTF Starbucks

Starbucks does a lot that one can be critical about. Historically they’ve been anti-union. Starbucks is also a coffee chain that has probably put a lot of independent coffee shops out of business over the years. Last but not least, they pay their employees low wages and force them to work erratic schedules.

With that introduction out of the way today we learn that Starbucks has also decided to partner with one of the most evil corporations on the planet in Monsanto.

Hiding behind the shadowy “Grocery Manufacturers Association”, Starbucks is supporting a lawsuit that’s aiming to block a landmark law that requires genetically-modified ingredients be labeled. Amazingly, it claims that the law is an assault on corporations’ right to free speech. Even a local Vermont company, Green Mountain Coffee, has joined in.

The legal argument being made here is sociopathic and is twisted logic. I’m even more disappointed by Green Mountain Coffee who was known to be a decent company until now.

Photo by Justin in SD

WHO head says Big Pharma is responsible for Ebola prevalence

There’s nothing good that can be said about the global pharmaceutical industry. This is what the head of the World Health Organization had to say about Big Pharma and the Ebola outbreak in Africa.

Speaking before a gathering of African health ministers on Monday, the leader of the World Health Organization (WHO) said that the blame for the Ebola crisis lays largely on the “profit-driven” pharmaceutical industry, which does not invest in cures “for markets that cannot pay.”

WHO director-general Dr. Margaret Chan made the comments while speaking before the Regional Committee for Africa, made up of representatives from the 47 African nations, which is meeting this week in Cotonou, Republic of Benin.

Ebola has been an issue in Africa for years now and it’s only because the virus threatens the West does it garner any attention by Big Pharma.

Photo by Army Medicine

Verizon and AT&T using super cookies to track people

It’s a shame to see that Verizon and AT&T have learned nothing from the days when they were linked to giving up information to the NSA under the Bush administration.

This is what these two corporations are doing to their customers:

The tracking codes—called Unique Identifier Headers, or X-UIDH—are installed on every unencrypted web page that users of both services visit on their mobile devices, which in turn allows Verizon and AT&T to monitor their customers’ browsing history and create permanent identification profiles of their habits, likes, and interests. Once installed, the supercookies cannot be deleted nor evaded, even if customers clear their cookies, use private browsing modes, disable third-party cookies, or select “Do Not Track” in their settings.

It doesn’t matter if you’re even using a Verizon or AT&T device. If you’re connected to their networks you can have a supercookie placed on your machine.

Photo by JeepersMedia