Shared sacrifice – except for CEOs

There’s a class war on, as Warren Buffett has noted, and his class is winning it. (Reuters)

The hypocrisy over deficits and calls for shared sacrifice can be illustrated with one simple statistic. According to the Institute for Policy Studies, 25 of the most-well-paid chief executives got higher compensation than their companies paid in federal taxes.  There’s a class war on, as Warren Buffett has noted, and his class is winning it.
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Lazy Corporate Monopolies Are Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Increasingly, services provided by American corporate oligopolies are terrible. We know how to fix this. It’s called antitrust. (Naked Capitalism)

Throughout much of the United States, cell phone service is terrible (so is broadband, as Susan Crawford shows). And not just in rural or sparsely populated areas, but cell phone calls routinely drop in major metropolitan areas. You can’t use your phone underground in New York, and there are plenty of places on Capitol Hill you can’t get service. I actually once had trouble getting service near the Federal Communications Commission. This is a result of a lack of competition and increasingly poor regulatory policies. In the late 1990s, 50% of wireless revenues were invested in wireless infrastructure. By 2009, that number dropped to a little over 10%. What is it today? We don’t know, because the FCC no longer even collects the data. The result is that your cell phone drops calls. Cell phone service is also expensive, and the companies nickel and dime you – America is one of two countries where the person receiving the call has to pay for the call. A rough calculation shows that up to 80% of the cost of your cell phone service comes from corruption.
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Eight Corporate Subsidies in the Fiscal Cliff Bill

From Goldman Sachs to Disney to NASCAR. (Naked Capitalism)

Throughout the months of November and December, a steady stream of corporate CEOs flowed in and out of the White House to discuss the impending fiscal cliff. Many of them, such as Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, would then publicly come out and talk about how modest increases of tax rates on the wealthy were reasonable in order to deal with the deficit problem. What wasn’t mentioned is what these leaders wanted, which is what’s known as “tax extenders”, or roughly $205B of tax breaks for corporations. With such a banal name, and boring and difficult to read line items in the bill, few political operatives have bothered to pay attention to this part of the bill. But it is critical to understanding what is going on.
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