Friday, December 6, 2013

Pension Theft the latest Capitalist Scheme

"Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate. Purge the rottenness out of the system. High costs of living and high living will come down... enterprising people will pick up the wrecks from less competent people," Secretary of Treasury Andrew Mellon to President Herbert Hoover in 1931.
The politics of Neoliberal Capitalism require the destruction of the wealth and political power of the 99% for the enrichment of the 1%.

Pension Theft is now the latest in the arsenal.

For years Pensions and State Budgets have been underfunded because Corporations have engaged in political shenanigans getting more and more byzantine tax codes which end up with Corporations paying negative tax rates. Now, that the outcome is a "Pension Crisis" those same pensions which were funded only by Working Class people are going to be raided to transfer those monies to Corporations.

During the same Illinois Congressional Session in which Pension Theft was approved, the State Legislators voted to provide more taxpayer subsidies to Corporations. Under SB1, four of the five state pension systems: teachers, university employees, legislators and state government employees will be changed. Judges' pensions will not be affected. Read details and reactions to SB1 here.

This is just the latest salvo in the transfer of working class people's money to the 1%.

Workers have been dutifully making their contributions into the Pension system now the States are going to raid those Pension funds to give that money to Corporations.

For years, State Governments have given taxpayer welfare to Corporate Monsters under the guise of  'Job Creation' while also creating a byzantine tax code which taxes Corporations at 1/100th of 1%, thus the budget deficit caused underfunding of State Pensions.

Two years ago Illinois gave special tax status to Sears and this year Office Max/DePot has used the same gambit to extract a similar special tax exemption status.

Here is what Sears extorted from Governor Pat Quinn in December 2011;
The deal gives Sears tax credits worth $15 million a year for 10 years, which it can use against withheld employee income taxes. The deal also would extend a special taxing district, reducing the company's local property tax bill for another 15 years.
Sears Holding Corporation got a special property tax zone in Illinois. Sears Corporate Headquarters is located in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Through accounting gimmicks and legerdemain Sears transfers money electronically from other stores in other states into the Corporate HQ special tax zone, those monies will then be listed on the Corporate profit sheet and will be accounted under the special taxation rate. This is known as the Las Vegas Loophole.

For years public-sector workers were paid less than those in the private sphere but, to make up for it public employees bargained for and signed legal contracts for Pensions and other benefits. Ah, but since the 1970's, Capitalists and their Government stooges have sought to undermine the advances of Unions and Progressives in creating living wages and worker protections.
"The standard of living of the average American has to decline." Paul Volcker, Chairman of the Federal Reserve 1979-1987.
The rise of computerization, jet speed air travel, off-shoring of jobs, importing of immigrants, increased participation of women in the workforce ended the Post World War II rise in wages and ushered in the Era of Neoliberal Capitalism.

All of sudden non-public sector employees wages stagnated and began to drop, jobs disappeared, and private pensions withered until they no longer exist at all.

Now, what did the brilliant Capitalists do? As they undercut and downsized their desperate workers, Plutocrats turned around and told workers it wasn't fair teachers still had rising wages and pensions.

Think Tanks set up by Billionaires staffed with right-wing drones and power apologists began to beat the drums, not to increase wages for workers in private companies, but to tear down teachers and other public sector employees,
"We are going to take on education next. Go after the Teachers and the Union organizers." - Andrew DEADbart on Sean Hannity's show, 18 April 2011.
The same right-wing drones who hate Unions, support the elimination of unemployment coverage, food stamps or medicaid, and advocate the abolishment of minimum wage because low-wage workers need incentives in order to work hard, turned right around and defended massive payments to CEOs as necessary to retain the "best and brightest", emergency TARP baillouts and Taxpayer welfare for Oil Conglomerates and decreasing taxes on Corporations in order to entice 'Job Creators'.

Capitalism is coming to it's natural conclusion the destruction and enslavement of the Working Class and a transformation of Nation-States into Neo-Feudalist Wage Slave State.

Capitalists have been working to eliminate restrictions on the flow of capital across borders and to force American workers to pit their labor costs against that of workers anywhere in the World.

No rich person ever created a job. Jobs exist because enough people have a demand for a good or service. A 'Job Creator' might have a fantastic vision of the premier cuneiform writing stylus but all the tax breaks and government subsides to him aren't going to create the demand for his clay tablets.

But, it's not the Republicans and Pro-Business Democrats don't know this, they do, it's that their job as the lap dogs of the Plutocracy to ensure that Tax Dollars are funnelled into the coffers of the 1%.

The End State, here, is a US which provides no protection for workers, which eliminates pesky anti-pollution laws and regulations on Corporate negligence, defends the Right of the Rich to engage in wage thievery and create smaller Government, one just small enough to fit into the pocket of the Plutocracy.


Jerry Critter said...

Given that a recent study has proven that corporate tax cuts do not create jobs, it is time to eliminate corporate tax loopholes and increase corporate tax rates. It is time for them to pay for the services that the government provides them.

Grung_e_Gene said...

Oh Jerry if it were only so, if even Pope Francis can see that Trickle-Down Economics is worthless and evil;

In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting.

One would think the Ultra-Reactionaries blatant goal of Wealth redistribution upwards into the Cayman Island Bank Accounts of the 1%, using 'job creators' sophistry would be apparent.

But, the right-wing dupes not only defend their enslavers but also provide voting, power and furor.

It's not slowing down it's accelerating.

ChickenHammer said...

There was a time when tax incentives did work to create jobs. It may still be true on occasion but the majority of business tax incentives don't help the average citizen.

It's probably too late to correct the problem as cities compete with cities and states compete with states to attract business. The first city or state to say enough is enough will lose business to the cities or states who continue to play the game.

Jerry Critter said...

The only way jobs are created is by increasing demand. The people who buy, not the people who make, create the demand and hence the jobs. That should be clear to everyone...if they would only look

Grung_e_Gene said...


What you are describing is the Race-to-the-Bottom. Corporations have been playing States and even local municipalities against one another for years. Additionally, Corporations often get State and local governments to build them infrastructure

The most egregious and despicable comments In reference to Detroit situation is the massive taxpayer funds used to build Comerica Park, Ford Field and even this year the new Red Wings Stadium.

It's always amazing these Titans of Industry always rely on taxpayer welfare to build "their" stadiums.

Exactly. Henry Ford (despite all his flaws) knew this so he paid his workers a wage to buy their product. Nowadays, Capitalists don't care because no matter how bad the fuck up their losses and expenses are covered.

Capitalism is privitazation of profits and socialization of losses.

Jerry Critter said...

The decision to create those jobs has already been made. The tax incentives offered by the states are for the companies to locate in the state. They are for job location, not job creation.