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House Hearing Highlights How Corporate Stock Buybacks Enrich the Wealthy While Rigging Economy Against Workers

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/10/17/house-hearing-highlights-how-corporate-stock-buybacks-enrich-wealthy-while-rigging

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The rich created the system.
It’s time for a New system that works for the common good ,the highest good of all.
There comes a time when the rights of the many must supercead the interests of the few.
Society has a responsibility to itself.

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The term “investor” is (perhaps intentionally) misleading. This implies that that all shareholders in any company have put their own money into that company, which then uses that money to further develop the company and its profitability. In fact, only 2 types of investors fulfill that criterion: those who truly invest in a new company when it lists on the stock exchange at the initial public offering (IPO) and secondly when a company releases more shares on the market to raise further finance.
All other trades on the stock market involve people who own shares, selling those shares, or a portion of them, to other buyers. None of the money exchanged on such trades goes to the company involved. In total, these trades involves approximately 99% of all shares traded. While the new shareholder is now entitled to dividends from the company, he or she has not directly invested any money whatsoever, into the company. To me, this constitutes gambling, admittedly with much better odds of not losing money completely and of winning in the long term.
My concern is : why should such gambling entitle that shareholder to income from the company into which he or she has contributed neither labor nor finance, in preference (shareholder primacy) to employees who make daily labor contributions to the profitability of the company?


Apropos our mostly generous and neighborly citizen\consumers who’ve found no LABOR BEAT reporters in any U.S. newspaper in over four decades and who’ve magnanimously never demanded access to the “Public’s Airwaves” as, say the voices of, WAGE SLAVE WEEK, free to critique both the hierarchies of Big Labor and Big Bosses. No 21st Century Studs Terkels have been groomed here or have they all left for Finland? The dark and cold nation state occupied for over 100 years by neighboring colossus Russia who tried to Finnish off indigenous language and culture.

It is long since reconstituted Finland after a century of resistance that now occupies top spot in most peer-reviewed international academic rankings for Public Interest policy outcomes in Education, Equity, Health, Housing and social welfare.

I’ve pitched my own briefly outlined sketch of a locally produced production under the working title WAGE SLAVE WEEK to our state-wide NPR\PBS monopoly via OPB’s PUBLIC INSIGHT forum as an antidote to their steady diet of entrepreneurial Private Interest Indoctri NATION. An ether sphere where amid 45 years of quantified WAGE STAG-NATION the most productive national work force in recorded history lay narcotized consuming PRIVATE rather than PUBLIC INTEREST News & Views.

Where every week on the schedule of tax-payer and corporate-captured broadcasting is THIS WEEK ON WALL STREET or PLANET MONEY or BUSINESS INSIDER or BLOOMBERG BUSINESS NEWS or MARKETPLACE, the latter where our former state NPR Public Affairs content-buyer Eve Epstein has been promoted for her good work protecting U.S. from any WAGE SLAVE’s point of view…Or any score board of how the global trade deals our reps have signed with little news coverage has ballooned even further our U.S. Trade Deficit with trading ‘Partners’ the world over… While allowing an oligarch heir and serial corporate bankruptcy protection seeker to campaign for the office of Legislator in Chief unmolested by his decades-long history of self-service defaults on hundreds of vendor and employee obligations.


Mitch Ritter\Paradigm Sifters & Shifters
Lay-Low Studios, Ore-Wa
Media Discussion List


If they spent the money on wages the money would get to the 1% anyhow because people would have money to spend on services and goods produced by the companies owned by the 1%. So all they are doing with the stock buybacks is eliminating the middleman. Sucks to be in the 99%.


" Over half of U.S. workers are employed in firms employing more than 500 employees, states the Small Business Administration. A study of the use of profits of the largest 500 corporations over a ten year period shows that 93% of profits were disbursed as stock dividends or stock “buybacks”, leaving little for research or employee wage raises. In 2018 over $1 trillion of profits were used for corporate stock buybacks. If instead of spending the trillion on buybacks corporations had increased employee pay, then for 61 million workers employed in companies with over 500 employees, each worker would have received a raise of $16,300. If the 30 companies comprising the Dow Jones Index had not purchased stock but had spent the money on wage increases, then each of the eight million employees would have received $46,000 in added pay. This article is thoroughly researched; here’s a quote: “Nike, Coca-Cola and Visa each could have quadrupled the pay of their median employee with the cash they sent to shareholders. Nike paid a median wage of $24,955, which is under the poverty threshold for a family of four, but spent $58,194 per worker on share repurchases and $17,004 per worker on dividends. Coca-Cola paid a median wage of $47,312 but gave shareholders $162,136 per employee.” – from my blog Economics Without Greed, Part Two, http://benL88.blogspot.com


These figures are incredible! I have often wondered where those profits go. We don’t need robots because we already have workers who are treated like robots, not actual people. It is sickening, the greed!


They don’t teach much Fudd Theory in MBA school anymore. It’s reawy vewy simple:


How about a sales tax on purchases by any person of stock in that person. It applies to all persons, corporate or not.

The idea of taxing Wall Street has been floated by more than one person. Companies are doing what they want because as long as workers are living pay check to pay check they have no bargaining power unless supported by a well funded union, to allow for extended strikes.
I think “barefoot and pregnant” is the term for keeping workers under the thumb.
A thriving, strong economy doesn’t seem to be enough to do either create savings, or generate raises.
M4all would be a good catalyst.

United for Respect tweet sez:
“It’s time for Congress to listen to how our economy is rigged against working people.”

Good on Waters’ House Financial Services Committee for airing this topic in public session.
But “Congress” damn well knows how this rigging works. Many of its members are there for the express purpose of networking/auditioning for their own slice of the private-sector pie upon “retirement” from public servicing.

We’d kinda figured that the autonomous Ubers would bomb, in Pittsburgh? Indenturing folks into usurious loans on $40K Lincolns and Toyotas… that’s a business model that Massa can speculate up? Sharecropping, indentured serfs, convict labor, renting your own shackles and chains never goes outa style. Feudalism might’ve moved here from Europe, renting your virtual overseer from Verizon is pure 'Murikan genius!