At the time of his plea, Mr. Moffat said Ms. Chiesi was a friend, but his lawyers later said in court papers that the relationship became "an intimate one." "I made terrible mistakes in judgment, which will haunt me for the rest of my life," Mr. Moffat said in court on Monday. "I am alone responsible for my conduct."
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The sentence came in a case that resulted in charges against 21 defendants last fall. Already, a dozen people have pleaded guilty. Charges against Moffat drew increased attention because he was a high-level executive at Armonk, N.Y.-based International Business Machines Corp., where he once was considered a candidate for chief executive officer during a three-decade career.
Authorities say profits from illegal trades topped $50 million, though Moffat's tips resulted in no profits and he received no money, lawyers on both sides agreed. Instead, Moffat was motivated by a desire to impress fellow defendant Danielle Chiesi, with whom he had an affair, his lawyers acknowledged in court papers prior to the sentencing. They said she "played" him by using their intimate relationship to get confidential information. She has pleaded not guilty to charges in the case.
Is Moffat’s true crime that he had a personal relationship with Danielle Chiesi? He has a convenient explanation for this, saying it wasn’t about sex but about, “Clarity in the business environment”. So maybe Moffat’s true crime is that he passed along inside information to Chiesi? That is indeed what he will serve six months in jail for.
No, in my opinion Moffat’s true crime was betrayal – betrayal of the tens of thousands of employees and ex-employees of IBM who worked for him, trusted him, and some who would even lay down on the railroad tracks for him – even when their jobs were being cut.
Yes, I suppose Moffat now knows what it feels like to lose his job after thirty years of loyalty and hard work for the same company. The difference between his job loss and the losses thousands of others suffered is that Moffat created his own demise, while the employees that worked for him lost their jobs due to no fault of their own. Is six months in jail and $50,000 dollars punishment enough?
Mr. Palmisano, who turns 60 next year, the age at which some of his predecessors have retired, said he has no plans to step down next year. "I am not going anywhere," he said. He is also IBM's chairman. The executive said he worries about software giant Oracle and believes it will become the biggest threat to IBM over the long term. "Oracle invests," said Mr. Palmisano, who praised Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.
Now, it is the summer of Obama's discontent, and some $30bn in IT projects in the US government have been stalled for review, making it all that much harder for Palmisano to make his numbers. ...
IBM has some 6,000 to 7,000 mainframe shops absolutely glued to the floor with their vintage mainframe apps and databases and can more or less pick their pockets at will. It just ain't that way in the Unix server racket and is even less so in the x64 server space where HP dominates and Oracle is, like Sun, simply not a player.
It's always easier to talk big when you have a monopoly, as IBM does with mainframes and Oracle does with enterprise-grade databases. And Palmisano is right. Oracle is a much bigger threat because companies will switch their entire hardware stack long before they even think of changing their applications and databases. Oracle is a better bet for profits long term than HP for this very reason. And that is an even better reason why IBM should have been smart enough to never let Oracle get ahold of the 35,000-strong Sun customer base. Who made that decision again? Oh, right...
The new IBM only values rising profits. Expertise in mainframe and other technical areas requires decades to acquire. Larry Ellison had something else in mind. He probably saw an IBM hellbent on throwing away its most valuable resources (people) in what could only be termed a sociopathic pursuit of the almighty dollar. He looked around at HP and he saw the same cost-cutting mania there. When IBM turned its back on Sun, Larry bought the company. He continued to work to perfect his products, he took the long view of the market as IBM had done 30 years ago.
Where IBM saw the recession as an opportunity to lay off thousands, Ellison saw recession as a chance to develop the "killer" product, something to slip into the shops of IBM customers and quietly take over their I/T model. Now IBM is the one who is "late to the dance".
We used to work with Oracle folks because their database drove our hardware sales. We can't afford to work with them anymore, neither can we afford to ignore them. While Sam and Randy count US IBM employees, attrition rates, and plan the next round of R/As, still babbling about smarter planets, their relentless cutting of US, Canada, UK and other country's highly skilled employees may in the not distant future cost the company its dominant position.
As long as corporations are run by boards that work 3 weeks a year and by the unquenchable greed of people like Palmisano, Moffat, and McDonald, great companies like IBM once was will continue to be compromised and sacrificed.
Payroll and most administrative services and help desks (too numerous to mention) are staffed by non-US citizens. They don't pay US taxes and don't put anything back in the US economy. Add your truths.....
Alliance@IBM, the union seeking to represent IBM workers, attacked the move as one that would “drives the standard of living down for IBM employees.” “It just shows that without a union contract or a voice inside IBM, workers are at the mercy of any unilateral change IBM wants to make,” said Lee Conrad, the national coordinator for Alliance@IBM and a retired IBMer. “It is one more instance where corporate management drives the standard of living down for employees,” he said.
The only time IBM management blinked was when they did a partial roll back of the cash balance plan. The roll back happened because there was so much unrest that a union was a real possibility. Poughkeepsie was in revolt and there were airplanes overhead towing banners saying "LOU STOLE YOUR PENSION." (I had an IBM VP tell me that the roll back happened because IBM miscalculated the human impact. What a crock of crap!)
I'm not a fan of unions but IBM will keep chipping away, little by little, until either nothing is left or they are challenged by a union. A sad situation. On a positive note, there is life after IBM and life is good.
India's National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom), which represents all of the major outsourcing companies, including Wipro, Satyam, Infosys and Tata Consultancy, plans to fight this measure in trade talks with the United States at the end of September. This latest move by Ohio follows recently passed U.S. legislation that ups the cost of H-1B visa applications for companies that employ more than 50 percent of its workforce with H-1B visa holders. That move was called protectionist and discriminatory by Nasscom as it "unfairly" targets Asian outsourcers that are major global competitors with American-based outsourcing companies including IBM, Accenture and others.
Fortunately, the court’s mangling of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 need not stand. Legislation introduced last fall by Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa and Representative George Miller of California, both Democrats, would reverse the ruling, once again making the standard for proving age discrimination equivalent to the standard for proving discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion and national origin.
Once a worker showed age discrimination was a factor in his or her treatment, an employer could still win by showing it would have made the same employment decision, regardless of the worker’s age. So far, the measure has attracted no Republican co-sponsors. But standing in the way of fair treatment of older workers is bad policy and bad politics, especially at a moment of soaring unemployment and rising age discrimination claims. This is one of the few areas where progress should be possible even in the charged lead-up to the midterm elections.
The thinking is that you can get a new programmer for about a third of the salary of an experienced programmer. Even if takes a few weeks for the new programmer to get trained, the company still saves money. Though they wouldn’t publicly admit it, some companies prefer to get someone who is more eager with a “clean slate” that they can train as they want than hire someone with years of acquired knowledge.
Now, in a coup for Maxik and the company here he founded, the object of those pre-dawn inspirations is going on sale at Home Depot, the nation's largest lighting retailer. The bulbs, assembled at a plant here with about 250 workers, are illuminated not with electrified wires but energy-efficient light-emitting diodes, or LEDs - a method many industry experts consider the future of lighting.
Lighting Science Group is, as a result, just the sort of manufacturer that many, including the Obama administration, have said they would like to keep in the United States. But while the company's manufacturing roots lie here, they may not remain.
The connection between American innovation and manufacturing, which for generations created U.S. jobs, has been unraveling under the pressures of globalization, and the light-bulb industry may be a prime example. Ordinary incandescents, the bulbs pioneered by Thomas Edison, are manufactured almost entirely outside the United States, with the country's last major General Electric factory set to close this month. The company will continue to make incandescents in Mexico and China. In the near term, compact fluorescents are expected to replace the traditional bulbs that are being phased out by new U.S. energy standards. But CFLs, as they are called, are almost entirely made in China, though it was an engineer in the United States who came up with the breakthrough design.
Now, as Lighting Science rapidly expands its production of what is considered the next-generation technology, the company is being courted by China and Mexico. Aside from the enticement of lower-wage workers, those countries offer significant cash incentives for capital equipment and labor, amounting to as much as $4 million, company officials said. ...
"They came out with one of the highest-performing lamps and at about half the price of anyone in the industry," said Bill Hamilton, vice president of merchandizing for Home Depot's electrical business. "It's taken the industry by storm." The contest among the manufacturers now is to continue to whittle down prices while also developing bulbs that can match the brightness of 60-watt, 75-watt and 100-watt bulbs. LED bulbs today represent less than 1 percent of sales, but as prices come down that figure is expected to rise. "We make significant improvements every six months," Maxik said.
The swift pace of innovation is, in fact, one of the most compelling reasons to keep the factory here in this beach town, where workers are paid between $16 and $22 an hour. With the factory nearby, engineers can make alterations rapidly and learn as they do so. "The engineers need to react quickly and to make the changes as the product is being made," Maxik said. "But it's not just a matter of speed. If your factories are on another continent, you lose know-how."...
Yet the steady decline of U.S. manufacturing employment has left many worried that essential skills are leaving the United States and that the nation's vaunted expertise for engineering innovation could be withering. "As we've decided to vacate various areas of technology - saying, 'It's cheaper to build it there, lets move it away' - we've created a vacuum" that weakens the nation's capacity for innovation, Maxik said. "There's so much interaction between the manufacturing process and the innovation and invention process," he said. And "as you start moving the manufacturing process further and further away, you lose that connection.
Lawyering has become the latest category of good jobs disappearing from our Land of the Free, as corporate chieftains continue to offshore the American workplace. The average student loan debt for a recent law school graduate is upward of $100,000, and now law school grads are finding that jobs are scarce -- especially since Wall Street banks, insurance corporations, mining giants and others are shipping more and more of their law business to Pangea3, CPA Global, UnitedLex and other rapidly expanding legal outsourcing outfits in India.
In the past five years, the number of these upstart firms has more than tripled, with each one offering from a few dozen to hundreds of young Indian law-school graduates. These eager legal beagles are hunkered down in corporate cubicles, ready to write contracts, review legal documents and -- increasingly -- to handle the more sophisticated chores of case management and regulatory filings that corporations have been entrusting to more experienced American lawyers.
Even though U.S. corporations have amassed record levels of profits and cash reserves, they are offshoring their legal work simply because it puts even more money in their pockets. They can pay Indian lawyers as little as a tenth of what they'd pay young American attorneys -- and the 90-percent wage difference goes to the corporation, rather than being spread through our economy as family incomes.
It's another move by the corporate elite to separate their expanding fortunes from the well-being of America's middle class -- and from the well being of America itself.
"But dependency on government has never been bad for the rich. The pretense of the laissez-faire people is that only the poor are dependent on government, while the rich take care of themselves. This argument manages to ignore all of modern history, which shows a consistent record of laissez-faire for the poor, but enormous government intervention for the rich." From Economic Justice: The American Class System, from the book Declarations of Independence by Howard Zinn.
That is basically the official view of the mainstream political establishment, most of whom are, like 20-something idiots who claim to read the Economist and Michael Bloomberg, "socially liberal and fiscally conservative." ("Fiscally conservative" just means worrying about the deficit, a lot.) That "mainstream" view permeates the supposedly non-ideological press, and members of the press tend to believe that America is made up of "independents" with similar beliefs.
In fact, most Americans are more or less the opposite. (Most conservatives get this!) When they claim to have a problem with government spending, or taxation, it is a problem with getting taxed and perceiving the spending as being done on someone else. What they would like is for the government to spend money on them, using money seized from the wealthy.
Meanwhile, Democrats are terrified of taxing rich people. At least a dozen House Democrats, several Democratic candidates and four Democratic senators -- Evan Bayh of Indiana, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Kent Conrad of North Dakota -- have said they won't go along with the president's plan to allow the cuts to expire for the wealthiest Americans. Why? ...
But it is not a particularly courageous political act to restore the top marginal tax rate on the wealthiest Americans to 90s levels. Jon Chait adds that these people's worldviews are so warped by their bubbles of privilege that they don't understand that six figures doesn't qualify as struggling. Matt Yglesias blames media framing of deficit issues. Everyone is probably right.
He said he does not think he can last until age 66, when he will be eligible for full Social Security retirement benefits. At 62 or 65, he said, “that’s it.”
After years of debate about how to keep Social Security solvent, the White House has created an 18-member panel to consider changes, including raising the retirement age. Representative John A. Boehner, Republican of Ohio and the House minority leader, has called for raising the age as high as 70 in the next 20 years, and many Democrats have endorsed similar steps, against opposition from some liberal groups. The panel will report by Dec. 1, after the midterm elections. ... ...
Mr. Hartley had planned to retire at 58, but he and his wife had high medical expenses, and the company froze one year of its pension plan, reducing benefits. He is, he said, “stuck here.” ...
“People who need to retire early — and they need to — are folks that start working in their late teens, whereas people who are promoting raising the retirement age are people who were in graduate school or professional school and got into jobs that would logically take them into their late 60s and 70s,” she said.
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Now the plan is to scare Americans into believing the only way to SS solvency is to raise the retirement age. The fact that Alan Greenspan in 1983 was the great mind behind SS overhaul tells us why the SS tax rate on low and middle income Americans but has been capped for anyone making over $100K!! So while Bush and his Republican Congress cut dividend tax rate by 50%, Social Security taxes from 1983 to 2009 have tripled. Now we see why the standard of living of middle income is dropping but for the super rich it has been increasing.
The solution? Simple. Drop the Social Security tax rate by 50% for all individuals and employers. Pay for this cut by eliminating the salary cap and income all income (interest, dividend and wages) in the Social Security tax. That will put the SS system immediately into the black.
Democrats need to do something dramatic like a permanent SS tax break in order to save the economy and save middle income families.
Robert Reich, in his new book, “Aftershock,” gives us one of the clearest explanations to date of what has happened — how the United States went from what he calls “the Great Prosperity” of 1947 to 1975 to the Great Recession that has hobbled the U.S. economy and darkened the future of younger Americans. He gives the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve credit for moving quickly in terms of fiscal and monetary policies to prevent the economic crash of 2008 from driving the U.S. into a second great depression. “But,” he writes, “we did not learn the larger lesson of the 1930s: that when the distribution of income gets too far out of whack, the economy needs to be reorganized so the broad middle class has enough buying power to rejuvenate the economy over the longer term.”
The middle class is finally on its knees. Jobs are scarce and good jobs even scarcer. Government and corporate policies have been whacking working Americans every which way for the past three or four decades. While globalization and technological wizardry were wreaking employment havoc, the movers and shakers in government and in the board rooms of the great corporations were embracing privatization and deregulation with the fervor of fanatics. The safety net was shredded, unions were brutally attacked and demonized, employment training and jobs programs were eliminated, higher education costs skyrocketed, and the nation’s infrastructure, a key to long-term industrial and economic health, deteriorated. It’s a wonder matters aren’t worse. ...
There was plenty of growth, but the economic benefits went overwhelmingly — and unfairly — to those already at the top. Mr. Reich cites the work of analysts who have tracked the increasing share of national income that has gone to the top 1 percent of earners since the 1970s, when their share was 8 percent to 9 percent. In the 1980s, it rose to 10 percent to 14 percent. In the late-’90s, it was 15 percent to 19 percent. In 2005, it passed 21 percent. By 2007, the last year for which complete data are available, the richest 1 percent were taking more than 23 percent of all income.
The richest one-tenth of 1 percent, representing 130,000 households, took in more than 11 percent of total income in 2007. ...
A male worker earning the median wage in 2007 earned less than the median wage, adjusted for inflation, of a male worker 30 years earlier. A typical son, in other words, is earning less than his dad did at the same age. This is what has happened with ordinary workers as the wealth at the top has soared into the stratosphere.
But Obama could take one symbolic step on his own that would create jobs for about a dozen American workers. It involves the construction of a memorial and statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. on our National Mall. After all, King's historic 1963 march on Washington was about jobs and poverty – so why not have some of our highly-skilled bricklayers and stone masons who're now unemployed build this monument in honor of King's legacy?
Seems sensible, but guess what? The quasi-governmental foundation overseeing the King memorial project doesn't seem to have much sense. It is importing eight to 12 workers from – believe it or not – China to do this job!
Why don't they just poke every out-of-work American in the eye with a sharp stick? As the Bricklayers union said in exasperation, this is "wrong, wrong, wrong."
Well, sniffed a spokeswoman for the foundation, only the centerpiece of the memorial is outsourced to Chinese craftworkers, so stop your griping. Ironically, that centerpiece is named the "Stone of Hope," but apparently no one at the foundation has any grasp of irony, so they are proceeding to obtain work visas to bring the Chinese into our nation's capital and construct King's monument. Presumably, America's vast pool of jobless workers will be allowed to watch them.
Talk about your misplaced concern.
Bush and a Republican-controlled Congress promptly slashed taxes by $2.3 trillion over 10 years, then dramatically increased the rate of federal spending to finance wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, build up an intelligence-industrial complex in response to 9/11, start a costly Medicare prescription benefit and do a hundred other things with little regard for the cost. The Great Recession, the Bush bank rescue and President Obama's stimulus program pushed already-scary deficits to Third World levels.
So with the Bush tax cuts set to expire at year's end, Washington is consumed with debate. Not over how to restore responsibility and salvage the USA's financial future, but over whether the tax cuts should be extended for everyone or just the 96% of taxpayers making less than $200,000. The disconnect is breathtaking.
Tax-cut supporters routinely decry deficits, but then do the very things that make them worse. Republicans, in particular, have elevated lower taxes to a sort of religious truth — always good, always necessary, always effective. When House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said over the weekend that, if push came to shove, he'd vote to raise taxes on the wealthy, he was roundly denounced by members of his own party. Americans are "tired of Democrat leaders in Washington pursuing the same government-driven programs that have done nothing but add to the debt," Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., declared Monday as he announced legislation to keep the tax cuts for everyone. Never mind his own votes creating the debt, or that he's offering no way to pay for them. ...
The most frequently repeated claim about raising taxes on the wealthy is that it's a job killer, because those taxpayers include many small-business owners. This is clever but misleading. A report from Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation shows that the top two tax brackets — which begin at about $172,000 — account for just 3% of taxpayers with net positive business income. Judging by tax-cutters' rhetoric, higher rates for the best-off Americans would throttle the economy. How come, then, that when tax rates were higher for everyone in the 1990s, the debt fell, unemployment plunged and the economy thrived? Or that the economy prospered in the 1950s, when the top rate exceeded 90%? ...
The truth is that the modest tax hikes being debated make little difference compared with enormous economic forces such as the housing bust, technological disruption and global labor markets. An even more inconvenient truth is that the Bush tax cuts are no longer affordable. Not for the wealthy. Not for anyone else. Even Greenspan now says all the tax cuts should expire as a way to preserve the nation's economic viability.
McMahon is a signatory to a letter authored by Rep. Melissa Bean (D-IL) and others designed to pressure leaders to give wealthy Americans another tax break. His view represents a political and policy consensus shared by a significant, and vocal faction of the Democratic party -- a consensus that party leaders are doing little to weaken.
"Sometimes we forget how we became the majority. We did it by winning some affluent districts," Rep. Gerry Connolly told reporters earlier this month. ...
In McMahon's district, he says, a couple making $300,000 might still be living paycheck to paycheck. But freezing tax rates is important, in his view, to speed up the recovery nationally.
O.K., he didn’t actually say that. But he might as well have, because that’s what the current confrontation over taxes amounts to. Mr. McConnell, who was self-righteously denouncing the budget deficit just the other day, now wants to blow that deficit up with big tax cuts for the rich. But he doesn’t have the votes. So he’s trying to get what he wants by pointing a gun at the heads of middle-class families, threatening to force a jump in their taxes unless he gets paid off with hugely expensive tax breaks for the wealthy. ...
So, about those tax cuts: back in 2001, the Bush administration bundled huge tax cuts for wealthy Americans with much smaller tax cuts for the middle class, then pretended that it was mainly offering tax breaks to ordinary families. Meanwhile, it circumvented Senate rules intended to prevent irresponsible fiscal actions — rules that would have forced it to find spending cuts to offset its $1.3 trillion tax cut — by putting an expiration date of Dec. 31, 2010, on the whole bill. And the witching hour is now upon us. If Congress doesn’t act, the Bush tax cuts will turn into a pumpkin at the end of this year, with tax rates reverting to Clinton-era levels.
In response, President Obama is proposing legislation that would keep tax rates essentially unchanged for 98 percent of Americans but allow rates on the richest 2 percent to rise. But Republicans are threatening to block that legislation, effectively raising taxes on the middle class, unless they get tax breaks for their wealthy friends. That’s an extraordinary step. Almost everyone agrees that raising taxes on the middle class in the middle of an economic slump is a bad idea, unless the effects are offset by other job-creation programs — and Republicans are blocking those, too. So the G.O.P. is, in effect, threatening to plunge the U.S. economy back into recession unless Democrats pay up. ...
Polls show that a majority of Americans are opposed to maintaining tax breaks for the rich. Beyond that, this is no time for Democrats to play it safe: if the midterm election were held today, they would lose badly. They need to highlight their differences with the G.O.P. — and it’s hard to think of a better place for them to take a stand than on the issue of big giveaways to Wall Street and corporate C.E.O.’s.
The inflation-adjusted income of the median household—smack in the middle of the populace—fell 4.8% between 2000 and 2009, even worse than the 1970s, when median income rose 1.9% despite high unemployment and inflation. Between 2007 and 2009, incomes fell 4.2%.
"At a time when we have the most unequal distribution of income and wealth in any major country on earth; when, during the Bush years the top two percent did extraordinarily well while they have seen a lowering - a substantial lowering - of their tax rates... No, I don't believe we can afford over a ten year period to give $700 billion in tax relief to the top two percent."
In the first year of the recession that began in 2007, the top 0.01% of earners in the U.S. saw their pretax income fall by an average of 12.7%, compared with 2.6% for all earners, according to an analysis of data from income-tax returns by economists Jonathan Parker and Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, in a paper presented Thursday at a Brookings Institution conference.
The richest also did better on the way up. In the four years leading up to the recession, their income rose at an annualized rate of 13.9%, compared with 1.8% for everyone. ...
To be sure, the greater volatility doesn't mean poorer folks should feel sorry for the rich. On average, the people in the top 1% and 0.01% had pre-tax incomes of about $900,000 and $17 million, respectively, in 2008. So they were well able to absorb big losses. "It's hard to think of that as being really hard," says Mr. Parker.
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Why are Wall Street's billionaires so whiny? Is it really possible to make $900,000 an hour (not a typo -- that's what the top ten hedge fund managers take in), and still feel aggrieved about the way government is treating you? After you've been bailed out by the federal government to the tune of $10 trillion (also not a typo) in loans, asset swaps, liquidity and other guarantees, can you really still feel like an oppressed minority?
You'd think the Wall Street moguls would be thankful. Not just thankful -- down on their knees kissing the ground taxpayers walk on and hollering hallelujah at the top of their lungs! These guys profited from puffing up the housing bubble, then got bailed out when the going got tough. (Please see The Looting of America for all the gory details.) Without taxpayer largess, these hedge fund honchos would be flat broke. Instead, they're back to hauling in obscene profits.
These billionaires don't even have to worry about serious financial reforms. The paltry legislation that squeaked through Congress did nothing to end too big and too interconnected to fail. In fact, the biggest firms got even bigger as they gobbled up troubled banks, with the generous support of the federal government. No bank or hedge fund was broken up. Nobody was forced to pay a financial transaction tax. None of the big boys had a cap placed on their astronomical wealth. No one's paying reparations for wrecking the US economy. The big bankers are still free to create and trade the very derivatives that catapulted us into this global crisis. You'd think the billionaires would be praying on the altar of government and erecting statues on Capital Hill in honor of St. Bailout. ...
Dwight D. Eisenhower was no radical, but he accepted the reality: If America was going to prosper -- and pay for its costly Cold War -- the super-rich would have to pony up. It was common knowledge that when the rich grew too wealthy, they used their excess incomes to speculate. In the 1950s, memories of the Great Depression loomed large, and people knew that a skewed distribution of income only fueled speculative booms and disastrous busts. On Ike's watch, the effective marginal tax rate for those earning over $3 million (in today's dollars) was over 70 percent. The super-rich paid. As a nation we respected that other important American value: advancing the common good.
It's time to take Eisenhower's cue and redeploy the excessive wealth Wall Street's high rollers have accumulated. If we leave it in their hands, they'll keep using it to construct speculative financial casinos. Instead, we could use that money to build a stronger, more prosperous nation. We could provide our people with free higher education at all our public colleges and universities -- just like we did for WWII vets under the GI Bill of Rights (a program that returned seven dollars in GDP for every dollar invested). We could fund a green energy Manhattan Project to wean us from fossil fuels. An added bonus: If we siphon some of the money off Wall Street, some of our brightest college graduates might even be attracted not to high finance but to jobs in science, education and healthcare, where we need them.
Of course, this pursuit of the common good won't be easy for the billionaires (and those who identify with them.). But there's just no alternative for this oppressed minority: They're going to have to learn to live on less than $900,000 an hour.
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