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The bridge closing may be a blessing in disguise… It shows the benefit if raising the gas tax 10 cents to pay for our projects….

This gas tax is nothing… We’ve been paying more for a gallon ever since the crash of 2009… We as customers will continue paying the same, and the oil companies and hedge funds will be the ones who can no longer get what they used to get out of a gallon…

In a study earlier this year, we showed all that the price of gas is not based upon supply, but on demand…  States with higher taxes, get their pre-tax gas cheaper than states with little or no tax…  yet they all come from the exact same refineries….

The Republicans who pretend to be against all taxes, are saying this is not affordable…

Here is what they are hiding from you….

Let us take the $20 million needed to repair the 495 bridge….   At ten cents a gallon, that $20 million will come from 200 million gallons….  At an average of 20 gallons per fill-up, that would amount to 10 million fill-ups in this state per year…. Excluding motorcycles and buses, there are an estimated 817,000 vehicles registered in Delaware….. The ten cents tax amounts to 12 extra fill-ups per year….  Of course, that is one a month… like you took an extra trip….

When this tax came out, we were told that 60% of gas sold in Delaware is to out of state vehicles… If that figure is true, then theoretically, you and I would only be accountable for 40% of that cost, which means we’d only fill up once extra for 4 months and have the rest normal…..  Is that really back breaking to us all?

Without the gas tax… it will have to come out of income tax…  If allotted evenly, that 20 million spread over every citizen, amounts to $20 for every man, woman, and child in the state…  (Considering the school population of the entire state k-12 is close to 130,000, then if you add the population from the years 0-4 for an additional 30,000, it would mean that the number of Delawarean paying taxes would be 870,000… )  That $20 million tax spread across all taxpayers evenly amounts to $23 per taxpayer…. per year….

So our choice is having the oil companies and hedge funds pay our tax for us, or to pay it directly out of our incomes….  You will pay the same for gas regardless.  Doesn’t it make sense to be getting something out of it for a change instead of having all our money simply go straight to their profit line?

 

 

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Thats 30 people more than have died from an overdose of marijuana, EVER.

I hope you see this… I wanted to document a list of the damage the Pam Scott regime had done to New Castle County, such as destroying historical buildings, brushing aside traffic studies, mitigating necessary environmental policies, .. In general, everything they did that deteriorates the quality of life for people in New Castle County for years to come..

Then I realized it really should  come from you… You have the archives in Delaware Way; you know how your archives are organized, and you with a quick email sent “To All” could rapidly receive a plethora of details your contacts had lived through and fought against…

I know it will be a labor of love, and may take some time… But I think the world should know how this erosion of resident’s rights for the accumulation of money for a few, was done.  I figure it would probably take one day to go thought your archives, cutting and pasting links to all the articles on one page…

Often local struggles are rarely documented.  However they touch our lives far more than state or national issues.  It would be nice to have the truth out first for once…  all organized in one volume.

I really feel it should come from you. 🙂

A pretty good pastor told me this story.  His first born son came home, obviously had been crying. So he asked him if there was something he wanted to tell him and was told his son hated school.  With this son it was a shock. A complete reversal because that was all this son talked about up to this point: how wonderful his days were at school.  With a little probing the pastor found that other boys had discovered this pastor’s son, didn’t hit back and were having a field day at his expense.  So, the pastor had a little heart-to-heart talk.  “You know,” the pastor said.  “you have the right by God to defend yourself.  If someone hurts you, you are allowed to hurt them back, so they see what if feels like and stop hurting you.”  The relief spread over his son’s upturned face.  “Really?  it’s ok?”  “Why yes.” the pastor said.  “I used to be one of the best fighters in my school when I was growing up.”

The next day his son came home all smiles.  “Everything go ok?”  His son’s smile said it all..

That normally would be the end of the story.  Life lesson taught.  Well, this story has a twist and keeps going.  A couple of weeks later, the pastor got an urgent letter from his teacher. ” I must see you personally as soon as possible.”  He hurried down and the teacher begins… “I don’t know what is wrong with your son.  He used to be so nice and kind and everybody loved him.  Now no one will sit next to him.  They are adamant.  I’ve had to put him in a chair in the corner just to get class back on track.  They say he’s hitting them, but I really find that very hard to believe.”

The pastor went back home, found his son, and together, they had …. another little heart-to-heart discussion…  🙂

Point is: sometimes though fighting back is not deemed civilized or the mature method to handle problems, it is necessary. ( Just don’t enjoy the rush so much you forget when to stop.)

The erosion of the middle class has gone on long enough. Let me rephrase that: the erosion of all classes except those at the top 1%, has gone on long enough.  What can we do about it?

it is time for class war.  i don’t like it anymore than that little boy who was taught that hitting was wrong, liked hitting back at first, but it is necessary. The longer we wait; the weaker we become.

How do we win?  We win by deflating the value they place on their pile of money.  We throw the economy so investors everywhere are forced to panic.  The easiest way to do that, is to simply not work.  We can a) under perform and drive up productivity costs; b) sabotage our bosses and drive up supply costs; or c) strike and win, and drive up labor costs.

Of the three, the latter is the cleanest.  Staging a mutiny until conditions change, sends the clearest signal that the rules on the playing field must change.  The price of labor is going up.  If you refuse, we shut your plant down.

It has been awhile since we have had strikes.  If they’ve happened at all, they get swept under the mat of the next news story to come up on the wire.  Strikes are kind of ugly.  They hurt a lot of people just like war; many of those hurt are completely innocent. And at one point, those of us who remember the past, recognized that strikes were being thrown way too often; in fact, they at one point were being used as extortion. Give it to us, or we’ll strike.  The middle class did well back then too.

Strikes hurt those striking.  During the strike they stop earning money.  Strikes hurt  employers whose revenue stream screeches to a stop.  They have to pay bills and have no income with which to pay them.  Strikes hurt customers and vendors of that company that is the target of the strike.   It is indicative that in these times, of all the strikes we have had in recent memory, most have all been done by millionaires striking against other millionaires.  By that I mean the sports industry.  Baseball, hockey, basketball, football…  no problem with them striking;  they have money to wait it out indefinitely.

Our middle class may be past that.  But strikes have a deeper purpose; if they are never used, that purpose ceases to exist.  A strike reminds the employer that they need to pay attention to those who are doing the work.  A strike reminds an employer that all are in life and business together,  Life is not a two layer system consisting of the overseer and the slaves; where one has all the privileges; the other all the pain.

Life is a cohabitation.  And sometimes the expense of a divorce is necessary to drive that point home.  For if you are completely confident that no one will ever strike, you can act with impunity.  Cut wages. Cut pensions. Cut rates. Cut benefits. If you always know that people will work for you, you can starve them to enrich yourself.  Really.  If there were no consequences: who wouldn’t?

War is always far more costly than the concessions of peace.  That was how strikes were won.  A business may balk at paying one percent more of its revenue towards its employees.  “That is outrageous” the business owner may puff.  “That will never happen.”

But he can only say that because he is confident that the employees will say, “oh, ok. Sorry we bothered you then.”   For if they went on strike, and his revenue drops down to zero, he has lost 10% of his potential yearly earnings because of the strike.  The 1% was rather cheap comparatively.

Which is why we need strikes to return.  We need the threat of a strike, to be real again.   What would happen if every teacher refused to return until Common Core was eradicated. We would finally have a serious discussion about Common Core and it would be eradicated.  What if dock workers in both Paulsboro and Wilmington went on strike until Dole decided to stay in Wilmington.  In a few short days, Dole would lose more cash than it would ever pay out  any other way…   What if policemen stopped working because their pension was being privatized?  What if all of Detroit simply stopped working until their pensions were guaranteed by the Federal Government.  What if the wait staffs and bartenders of every restaurant in Delaware refused to work, just stopped one day until their minimum wage set in 1990 was allowed to rise above $2.23 an hour?  What if nurses did not show for work, until rich investment companies owning hospitals, agreed not to steal their pensions, but fund them fully?  What if every administrative assistant in the Federal Government went on strike until Congress passed their budget?  What if no one services a broken car, in any garage across the country, until some of that $150 dollars an hour fo labor, went to them.

Can you see the implications?  In every case the cost of a strike is far more rigorous than the cost of the demand.  But it can only happen when there is a viable expectation that a strike is imminent.   An owner can be as invective as hell at the insolence of his worker daring to ask for more money,  but his accountants and lawyers with wiser heads, know full well that the cheapest way out is to give them what they want… Cheaper by one tenth.

So we have come to where strikes must occur, not only for individual workers, but for society as a whole.  Labor is underpaid, and it is time to use the laws of supply and demand to correct it.

And what will happen if we do?  Suddenly America will no longer be the safest place to park one’s money. The stock market will fall by billions.  Money will move out of our financial center over most likely to China, at the moment.  The wealthy certainly can’t have that.  It is far better to stop getting as high of a rate of return as one is used to,  than lose 40% of everything one has accumulated so far….

And that is the power behind committing to a strike.  As soon as the strike goes into effect, every shareholder of the company being struck, loses tremendous value on their investment.  Does that boss really want to face his angry shareholders at the next stockholders meeting?

The Declaration of Independence states that we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  That adage doesn’t apply  just to the one percent.  Sometimes like that little boy at the beginning of this story, you just gotta hit back.

Because Social Security is getting cut down, you choose to put your money in an IRA…  Since doing percents are easy with amounts starting with a one and ending in zeros, let us assume you choose to put $100,000 in an IRA for 20 years…. The Wall Street firm will charge you 2%. You think, $100,000?  2%, ok … $2,000 over 20 years that’s nothing.. I’ll still have 98% plus interest over 20 years…

You think?  This is Wall $treet we’re talking about……

So take this interest compounding calculator. … Seriously, you need to do this.  Right click it into a new tab  so your computer doesn’t have to download flipping back and forth….

Add $100,000 as principle.   No new additions on the first round.  Time Frame: 20 years. For the interest rate put in negative 2. Since you are going to be receiving only 98% of your earnings on a yearly basis, a negative 2 works better than having to do the extra step latter and subtracting two totals.

Hit total…  At 2% compounded off that $100,000 you originally placed,… after commissions all you will have left is $66,760… Wall $treet takes 1/3 of what you earn…..

Not convinced?  Let’s go a different way.  Let’s say you will average 7% increases with a 2% commission… We’ll do it in two steps.  We will use the calculator to figure out what we would have earned at 7%, and again, what we would have earned at 5%.  We will subtract the two to see how much Wall $treet is taking out from your future…

At 7% increases we would have earned $386,968 over 20 years with no additions after the initial deposit.  At 5% increases our total maxes out at $265,329.   That 2% costs us…..$121,639 dollars…. The same 1/3  as above….

The argument can be made that since we agreed to it in the beginning and never got it, the commissions really doesn’t cost us anything.  But if we change the wording so we say that it costs us $121,599 in “potential earnings” that clears that hurdle and if probably a more truthful line..  But there is no question …. these calculations show us how much Wall $treet intends to make when our retirements go their way instead of coming through Social Security….

We now remember why Franklin D. Roosevelt went with Social Security in the first place.  Those who saved across all their lives, can not afford to live after they stopped working.

Although the year is barely out, we do have our first nomination for the spot to be announced in December 2013.  With the Kinder Morgan Deal now on hold semi-permanently, even they are pointing to our hero of the year as the man most responsible for allowing the port to remain state owned….

I can say it was Julius Cephas who was behind almost every move to combat the loss of good jobs at our port.  He is being pointed out as the villain by the capitalists at Kinder Morgan.  In Delaware’s eyes, that elevates his hero’s stature even more…

In truth, he is no villain and knowing him, he will probably shun the acclimations being made by us common folk as being our hero.  In his eyes, he was just doing what needed to be done because no one else was there at that very moment to do it, and as that task swelled, it took a lot out of him….

Capitalists always need a villian.  But it was the “truth” which actually is what killed this deal.  Kinder Morgan WAS going to cut back on jobs, and their change of heart and blaming Julius instead of others, points exactly to the core of their problem with our port… …

People in Texas, do not understand unions.  They simply can’t fathom or understand how there can be an actual law that lets people strike and shut you down, whenever you try to pay them less..  In their eyes, you work for what they want to give you and if it is too little, ..humph.  go elsewhere….

The second culprit (after the “truth”),  was our office of economic development.  We gave Kinder Morgan too many “eager” signals that set us up as being seen as an easy pick.  They truly thought they could waltz in, pick up a top notch East Coast Port for a song, and we would eagerly give it up…  Again, that was because everything was done in secret.  Had a meeting been forthcoming in the very beginning,  Kinder Morgan might have moved on earlier when it became readily apparent, that southern Texas practices do not bode well in the Northeast…

Of course, being a corporation, they will blame the whistle blower.  (Ironic since the whistle blower of Enron works for them)..   Of course.  It is not like they find anything immoral in taking a state asset for a song, in firing those skilled dock workers, and replace them with some Spanish speaking Texans who never even heard of a union….

And Julius did blow that whistle. .  Like Rose on the Titanic, he took the whistle off of Jack (pun intended), and blew softly at first, then harder, and harder.   Gradually the sound registered on others ears….

Without Julius, Bob Marshall would not have pushed through Senate Bill 3.  Without Julius, most of the links showing up in everyone’s blog, would have not been found.  Without Julius, the case for protecting workers would not have even made the rounds of the Norman Oliver show….

There were many helpers. Bob Marshall, Nancy Willing, Norman Oliver, Norinda, Helene Keeley, Al Mascitti, Liz Allen, John Kowalko, and (an other blogger too shy to be mentioned here). When one looks back through all of them one sees from everywhere, there in the center of the universe,  stands a normal human being just like us, known to most … as Julius.

There will come a time when a better deal will arrive.  Could even be this year. There will come a time when a suitor who does care about Delaware, who does care about unions, about human beings, about those businesses on the outside, and who will want to upgrade the port for everyone’s interest, not just their own… And that suitor in this day and age, could even come from abroad.  Germany is very committed to union labor, to the environment, to being a good neighbor…. There are a great many possibilities out there that are immeasurable…. We definitely dodged a Texas bullet with this one….

When that suitor arrives… Julius’s stature will be set in cement….  For he did nothing really Herculean, except argue the truth…  He didn’t lie.  He didn’t connive,  He didn’t threaten….

That was done by our office of economic development.  Instead and unlike them, Julius told the truth.  He told the truth to anyone who would listen.  He told the truth enough, so many “did” listen….

And that is why, he  deserves this nomination as Delaware’s Man of the Year.  I know it is early into 2013, but great things just do not wait!!….

You will hear smears that Julius tubed the deal… I saw the letter and it is already out on WDEL and the Delawareonline’s News Journal… But as an impartial blogger, I can tell you exactly what killed this deal.

It was “the truth”.  The truth of what this deal would cost us Delawareans….. is what turned the tide and caused the outcry that rose up against it….

If Kinder Morgan really wanted this deal, they could have easily said… “we are expanding and putting 5 new berths out into the river.  We are buying the port for the bargain price of $5 billion.   We need those businesses outside the fence because the jobs we get, will soon be too big, we can’t do it ourselves.  We will keep the union just as it is;  Wilmington needs good jobs and we are going to do our part….  We are also going to contribute into an emergency fund to be used for any spill or environmental accident that takes place under our tenure….

Kinder Morgan could have done any of those things, … and didn’t…. The blame doesn’t lie with Julius after all…. Especially when you consider the following…

This Economic Council erred on Fisker Automotive.  Then it erred on Bloom Energy.  Then it tried to Kinder Morgan us out of our port…..   Someone rushed in  with a save to make sure that last one didn’t happen.

That person is now hereby nominated for Delaware’s Person of the Year…….

DCAS is rotten to the (Common) Core.

“I called over another adult in the room. That adult who specializes in math thought the question was just as inappropriate. Sharing the question details would be a violation of the rules, so you won’t be seeing the question here. All I will say is this test is bad. Very bad. And our students and teachers are being judged on it.”

=======

This folks is too close to home…  these our our kids.  Delawareans….

We have see reports across our country of how bad this test is.  Now we have our first example on the home front.  Here I believe is what is now required.

The test needs to be vetted by General Assembly.  We are being asked to spend one third of our state budget on education.  If we are getting bunk for our $1.3 billion of money given to the state by residents and businesses,  we all have a stake in this too.  A very big stake…

Dave Sokola and  Catherine Cloutier, Bethany A. Hall-Long, Margaret Rose Henry, Ernesto B. Lopez,  Nicole Poore and Bryan Townsend, members of  Delaware’s senate education committee, need to vet the test.

Of course, tests need to be kept secret to cut out cheating. We know that.  However this secrecy appears to be such that no one, except I believe Pearson, the educational company that is in charge of producing, distributing and grading these tests, knows both the questions and the answers…..

What if Pearson is wrong?  Someone has to vet the test.

It would be a good piece of publicity as well as serve parent’s peace of mind, if the entire Senate Educational Committee in a public session, were given the 5th grade test as if they too were in elementary school, and then, and only then, would we be able to discuss whether or not it is more appropriate  for a New York firm trying to manage its bottom line, or a teacher who knows every student personally, to make up the questions and grade the test…..

Perhaps we could raise the stakes at little by putting some accountability into this exercise and say… oh btw,… if the legislators didn’t pass the 5th Grade test, and weren’t deemed “smarter than a 5th Grader”,  they’d be tossed off the committee…… and publicly embarrassed….

If the House wishes to compete with the Senate on this issue,  here are their names as well ….

Chairman:  Darryl M. Scott
Vice-Chairman: Kimberly Williams
Members: Michael A. Barbieri
Donald A. Blakey
Stephanie T. Bolden
Timothy D. Dukes
Debra J. Heffernan
Earl G. Jaques Jr
Harvey R. Kenton
John A. Kowalko Jr.
Joseph E. Miro
Edward S. Osienski
Charles Potter Jr.
Jeffrey N. Spiegelman

Today Governor Scott, Florida Tea Party who rode into the statehouse itself upon the promise he was going to abolish the abomination of Obamacare in the state of Florida.

He threw in the towel and now supports it.  His state is joining the Federal exchange.  His reason?  He saw with his mother that it was a really super great plan full or wonderfulness, and that not buying in, would be very bad for Florida.

Go figure.

Republican Governors have thrown in the towels one by one.  It is such a great plan, they can’t refuse…  Without it, balancing a state budget is impossible.   Ironically Republicans who supposedly hate bigger government, are all lining up for the Federal exchange.

It is the best and will be the closest best thing to single payer.

Furthermore, more great Obama care news.

Because of Obamacare, the Medicare expense projected for the rest of this decade, has just in this past year alone, fallen half a trillion dollars.  $511 billion dollars to be exact!  Obamacare is cutting the deficit right in the entitlement belt….

Half a trillion dollars.

This is not new news.  It was out there when the bill first got passed.  It has been out there ever since.  But for some reason the American media chose to focus on those who were against it, long before they understood it…  Once understanding, everybody is coming aboard.

Where was the communication breakdown?  Why wasn’t this positive news rolled out int he beginning?  Just think, it could have save a lot of drama had these facts been picked up and extolled by the media, and had the right wing been excoriated for their stupidity.

Good things win out in the end, and Obamacare, as one can see by the Republican Governors coming aboard one by one, is a good thing.

Just think how horrible it would have been if on day one, Romney had signed a bill to abolish Obamacare?

Fortunately for all of us, America always knows best.

Today the rate is $7.25.  Let us use Obama’s  $9.00 an hour for calculations.  The difference is $1.75.

So one guy working 4o hours a week,  over one year?

$1.75  X  40  X  52 = $3640 per year.

If you business is fixed income, each $40 hour full time employee will cost you that much.  $3640 per year.   And don’t forget FICA,  another $228.   Rounding up, this minimum wage per employee will additionally cost roughly just under $4000 a year.   ($3868)

On the Federal scale, whereas there are 6 million people as of 2009 working at the minimum wage, this increase boosts the national economy by roughly  $24 billion dollars.

Estimates of how many of Delawares citizens work minimum wage are not kept, but if we take those making incomes under $20,000 and use that total  which is 90,000, we get a state boost to our economy of  $360 million….  Whereas  all of  that increased economic activity will not be applied to new hires,  the potential is there to add  40 million hours of $9.00/ hour jobs, right here in  Delaware’s market.  That translates into 19,200 new full time new minimum wage jobs.

By raising the minimum wage,…. we exert pressure to create jobs.

Bottom line, we are in an economic crises; we can ill afford to miss this growth opportunity by not raising the minimum wage to $9.00/hour.

Their contract ends this Friday… No one is talking about it. Except every port mayor, every governor, and those that study economies… The American press, hardly a mention… The English? A totally different story!!!!

America is likely to face the threat of a strike by longshoremen, which could shut down America’s major ports. The last time that happened, it cost the US economy $1bn a day. A week ago, talks broke down between the International Longshoremen’s Association and the US Maritime Alliance Ltd. The ILA represents around 15,000 dockworkers and the Maritime Alliance represents the management at 14 of the biggest US ports, including Boston, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Savannah, New Orleans, and Houston.

The longshoremen’s contract expires on Friday, and a strike would begin on Saturday. The issue is so major that the National Retail Federation joined 100 other associations – including the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, American Apparel & Footwear Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Association of Manufacturers, National Retail Federation, Toy Industry Association and the US Chamber of Commerce – to send a letter to the president on Wednesday pleading for White House intervention….

A strike at those 14 ports would mean a widespread economic impact in the United States, since millions of jobs depend on what comes through the ports. Everything from agriculture to consumer goods could either be delayed or become more expensive as shippers look for different ways to get their goods into the US.

As one can see here, ports make up a huge part of any ocean bordering state’s economy……

All the ports have to do, is give unions what they want. It will not work the other way around…. People eating trumps other people’s dividends….