• Mikie
    4.4k


    Yeah, that’s sarcastic. She goes on to talk about it in more detail. It’s not an accident.
  • Isaac
    9.4k
    She goes on to talk about it in more detail. It’s not an accident.Mikie

    No she doesn't. She goes on to provide the specific route the wealth redistribution took. It's like describing how transport networks work and having that stand in for an explanation for human trafficking.

    Whether the government transferred wealth via "rising costs", or "stimulus packages", or "low interest rates" is irrelevant. They could have used any one of a dozen mechanisms at their disposal. The explanation is missing the context which allowed them to do it. The self-gagged left wing who just stood by and did fuck all to stop it. The complicit media who are always more than happy to vomit up whatever narrative is most convenient to wealth accumulation.

    These things don't happen in a vacuum. People (and opposition parties) don't just watch their welfare get taken from them and let it happen because they didn't notice the government's super cunning scheme. There needs to be a crisis, an ideology, an enemy (anyone but the rich). All supplied and propagated dutifully by the very organisations who should have been holding the government to account.

    An now, unsurprisingly, we're seeing exactly the same playbook with Ukraine. The most powerful lobbying industries just so happen to be getting richer but it's all just a coincidence because arming Ukraine is the right thing to do, anyone questioning it is a dangerous extremist, and the real enemy is somewhere else. Trust your government, don't ask questions, the rich just got lucky. Again.
  • Mikie
    4.4k
    There needs to be a crisis, an ideology, an enemy (anyone but the rich). All supplied and propagated dutifully by the very organisations who should have been holding the government to account.Isaac

    Sure. I’m not going to reread the entire article but I came away as though she understood this context. I don’t think she’s arguing that the rich got lucky or that it was accidental.

    None of this has happened by accident, according to Peter Goodman, the author of Davos Man: How the Billionaires Devoured the World. “It’s not an accident,” he tells me, “that our economies have concentrated greater wealth in fewer hands. Quite simply, wealthy people have used their wealth to purchase democracy, to warp democracy in their own interests. They’ve done that through a global template that involves lowering taxes, privatising formerly public attempts to deal with common problems, liquidating the spending that went into things like social services, and then putting that money into their own pockets.” The main power of the billionaire class, Goodman says, is in their creation of values, not value, that maintain a friendly political climate. Davos, he says, is “a prophylactic against change, an elaborate reinforcement of the status quo served up as the pursuit of human progress”.
  • Mikie
    4.4k
    About stock buybacks:

    Swimming in cash, Chevron plans a $75 billion slap in the face to drivers

    Now, when you're a profitable company, you have a lot of options for what to do with those profits. You can reinvest in the business, upgrading your equipment or hiring more people. You can issue a dividend to shareholders, as a treat. Or, in America, you can do a buyback, in which you use the profit to purchase your own stock on the open market.

    Buybacks are increasingly common, and controversial (in fact, they were flat-out illegal until 1982).

    On one hand it's an easy way for a company to reward shareholders and signal confidence in its own value (after all, what moron would buy shares in a company whose stock is about to go down?). But critics say the practice artificially inflates the stock's value by creating fake demand. Conveniently, it also gooses executive compensation, the vast majority of which comes from stock options.

    See here: Chevron, which is expected to report Friday that profits for 2022 doubled to more than $37 billion, is essentially balking at calls from investors and the White House to funnel its extra cash into more drilling capacity to help reduce prices for inflation-weary customers.

    Instead, Chevron is buying $75 billion worth of its own shares, and jacking up its quarterly shareholder dividend. That decision prompted rebuke from the Biden administration.

    Buybacks should be banned immediately.

    More evidence of capitalism gone off the rails. Thanks, Reagan.
  • ssu
    6.6k
    Buybacks should be banned immediately.

    More evidence of capitalism gone off the rails. Thanks, Reagan.
    Mikie
    It's an example of the obsessive short term view of focusing on the next quarter.

    Buybacks are a stupid way to use money: all it takes is a recession or a big market scare and all that is lost when the stock value plummets along with every other stock when investors have to sell when they get margin calls.

    Basically a company or corporation shouldn't have to worry about stock prices. It's the IPO's and share offerings that they basically get the money. But when you give stock options to compensate corporate leaders, there's a huge personal interest for these people to jack up the price of the stock whatever it takes. And to do that, stock buybacks are a perfect way.
  • Mikie
    4.4k
    But when you give stock options to compensate corporate leaders, there's a huge personal interest for these people to jack up the price of the stock whatever it takes. And to do that, stock buybacks are a perfect way.ssu

    Exactly, and when compensation consists mostly of stocks, it’s no wonder this influences the decision of CEOs.

    I’m trying to find more information on the history of CEO compensation and changes in performance metrics. I think the shift started around 1990 or so.
  • ssu
    6.6k
    I’m trying to find more information on the history of CEO compensation and changes in performance metrics. I think the shift started around 1990 or so.Mikie
    I think there are several reasons just why the corporate manager level transformed from high paid employees to a class of their own in the US. First is that because of institutional investors (mutual funds, pension funds, etc) in ownership, hence corporations owning each other, and the emergence of an trained leadership which aren't entrepreneur-owners, but have started their career through an academic training in business managerial skills. Hence there has become this class of executives that have the real power in the corporation. In the 19th Century and still in young industries you the Bill Gates / Elon Musk types, individuals that have started their own companies and created them to be giants. These are typically replace professional career managers, who usually haven't been entrepreneurs or done their own startups.

    The second reason is that the labour movement in the US simply seems to have been crushed. It hasn't helped that labour unions were related to organized crime and their political power has been related only to work with one political party, but not much with the dominating party.

    That the laws have been made to favor the corporate elites is a consequence of getting power, but that has happened thanks to the above reasons.
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