Bush's Campaign Platform...

[i]Bonuses for CEOs of Indiana’s largest public companies jumped nearly 75 percent last year, even as the economy struggled and shareholder returns for all but four of the companies dropped.

In 2001, when recession and the Sept. 11 tragedies eroded investor confidence, many companies cut back such awards. Only $5.9 million in bonuses were issued by most of Indiana’s Fortune 1,000, down 25 percent from $7.9 million in 2000.

By 2002, those same companies had returned to form, The Star learned by examining Securities and Exchange Commission filings of 15 of the state’s 17 largest companies. More than $10.3 million in CEO bonuses were awarded, a sum that surpassed collective base salaries of $9.8 million.

CEOs at nearly half of those companies also saw pay raises last year that exceeded 26 percent.

“I’m really surprised,” said Margaret Shackell-Dowell, an assistant professor at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business who studies executive compensation. “You would suspect that with the unbelievable scrutiny by investors these days that companies would exercise more caution. The market has not improved. Profits remain down. Yet bonuses and pay for CEOs continue to rise.”

Such is the latest example of mounting evidence nationwide that counters a long-held notion – higher pay and perks such as stock options, pensions and incentive programs for top executives improves shareholder value.[/i]

[i]Corporation: Delta Air Lines
Date: August 28, 2003

Mullin came under fire after Delta disclosed that it had paid $17 million in 2002 executive bonuses and $25 million for bankruptcy-protected executive pensions in a year when it lost $1.3 billion.

Despite another dreary year in the local economy, CEO compensation at homegrown Rochester public companies increased an average 20 percent in 2002.It was a year that the region’s three most prominent companies implemented or continued re-engineered plans for how they pay their executives and managers

Douglas McCorkindale received $13.5 million in 2002-including $9.5 million gained through the exercise of stock options-to lead Gannett Co. Inc., the McLean, Va.-based company that owns the Democrat and Chronicle. That made him the highest-paid executive among the CEOs of public companies on Rochester’s Top 50.

In his first full year leading Bausch & Lomb Inc., Ronald Zarrella had the highest total compensation of any CEO at a locally based company, with $10.1 million in salary and restricted stock awards. Zarrella received $2.6 million last year in a so-called golden hello agreement with Bausch & Lomb to recoup forfeited compensation for leaving General Motors Corp., as well as for moving expenses.

Robert Gross received the biggest percentage increase in pay from 2001. The president and CEO of Monro Muffler Brake Inc. nearly doubled his pay to $1.5 million. On top of a $420,000 salary, he received a $258,552 bonus and $834,150 in other compensation including vested stock options and forgiveness of principal on a loan.

More than one-third of local public company CEOs won pay raises of 35 percent or more last year, during a period when investors and regulators took a magnifying glass to corporate governance and compensation at public companies.

Rolla Huff, whose Mpower Communications Corp. lost $94.4 million in 2002 and underwent bankruptcy, received a two-thirds hike in pay to $1.1 million, including a $624,097 bonus.[/i]

So who is supposed to stand up and where are they? I understand tax breaks and a lot of other things but this isn’t good for anyone but the people collecting the big checks. Tell me what makes this right and if it’s not right what should be done and by whom.

I’m sure others besides myself would like to know.

The government should step in and really regulate.

Also when charges come, they should be punished. Like WorldCom, you know what the courts made them do? They had to pay back their shareholders with stock! Their stock isn’t worth anything, that’s why they are in trouble in the first placee. That punishment is like making a pedophile priest do community service at a boys’ summer camp.

The IRS has to step in for tax evaders. Tax shelters present a 68 million dollar drain on the economy according to both the IRS and the nytimes.

We need to stop having the Pentagon awarding contracts to companies of whom the vice president is the chief share holder, then pay the companies 646 million to 1 billion dollars to clean up oil fires in Iraq when there have been none to clean up!

When the Pentagon punished Boeing for its wrong doing in stealing Lockheed secrets that was a step in the right direction.

There need to be more.

"Look at the industrial revolution, or look at the Robber Barons there was no government regulation then. We can’t let that happen again (well actually it kinda did when the regulators in California stepped down and let the power companies continually mouth rape the people until they had to get their stomachs pumped) "

WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG…ah sergius, you’re drivel was oh so flawed in the begining (president is responsible for the economy, being the biggest misconception placed on the American public in the last century), but when you said the above, I just had to step in. Read a book…regulation is almost always formulated and thus influenced by the regulated, not the regulators. Your example of the Robber Barrons could not be more wrong. All the reforms of the progressive era were written by those so called Robber Barrons. They had been asking for most of them for years before TR and the rest of them jumped on the reform band wagon. I have 150 pages I’ve written on it all with citations so you can check the real records. If you actually want to learn something about what you are blathering about let me know

I too have written on the subjects. I have 5s in the AP US History and Government tests. I know my shit.
You see the progressive era was started by the progressives–not to mention that it had little to do with the Robber Barons. Progressives stood for social reforms not economic reforms. They also lived in the early 20th century. Now Roosevelt and Taft were trust-busters, but they were Republicans not progressives (Roosevelt ran again as a progressive and lost).
I believe you are talking about people called populists(1870s-1896). They were for economic reforms and not social ones. Their movement dispersed when McKinley won and the hope of free silver died. The populists lived during the times of the Robber Barons’ hey day and wished to stop them.
When you look at The Clean Food and Drug Act, The Sherman Anti-Trust Act and The Clayton Anti Trust Act you will see that these were government originated.
The only way the Robber Barons regulated is by shaping the market to suit themselves. Rockefeller called his manipulation Vertical Integration.
Now you could be thinking of the point that there are times when businesses will regulate themselves after pressure has been put on them by the government, such as voluntary pollution standards. Except the Detroit motor companies only “voluntarily” adopted these standards after the passage of the Clean Air Act and the EPA’s tightening of regulations.
I don’t know what you wrote pages and pages of but it was very misguided. And I don’t know what shit high school or college where you “learn” but at Princeton, to whom I belong, we don’t take that idiotic fourth grade shit.

I will say that Bush screwed me and others in my profession out of jobs. With the advent of the Department of Homeland Security, federal defense money was put on a complete standstill for months. People had to be laid off from work, because defense contractors had no way of knowing when work would come next. Now the money is starting to flow again, but all the jobs require clearances… which now take up to a year to get, because of new procedures/requirements. No company wants that kind of expense (or wait time), so there are tons of available jobs, but only for people that already have clearances (which you can’t get without having a job that requires one).

I’m not saying, however, if these steps are wrong or right. Only that they’ve made it difficult for me to find work.

ah…lets see my dick is bigger than yours…That?s funny shit there. You got 5’s on AP history and Government nice work. I got a perfect score on the Multiple Choice, which means they barely had to read my essays before they gave me a five…again my dick is bigger than yours. I wrote a 150 page Thesis on this topic for Dartmouth College, about 3 months ago maybe you have heard of it, unlike Princeton where every schmuck who gets in has to write one, at Dartmouth you actually have to know what you are talking about. How do I know this, CAUSE MY ADVISOR USED TO RUN THE THESIS PROGRAM AT PRINCETON, and talked about what a joke it was. Regardless, I don?t have to go around bragging I went to anywhere,(my money is 50/50 that you actually go there, but with friends on the campus I can check easy enough), cause my knowledge speaks for itself. I hope you look good in Orange, although some how right now I think that you are probably bright red…And before you say “Better school than you, Dartmouth HAHAH!!” I’ll cut you off and tell you I didn’t go to Princeton cause its too close to home and the campus is about as cool as AIDS.
Guess What I can Piss farther than you too…

Oh my god…I am still laughing about you quoting my AP scores…that made my night. Thanks for the chuckle

I repeat shit high school or college. I guess it was college.
I see you decided to PM this same message.
You’re quite redundant in being wrong.

Oh yeah, please lay off Old Nassau (that’s Princeton for those not lucky enough to go there). Before you make fun of it, look at your school, it is obviously a better candidate for any and all detrimentous language.

Gee, this thread has gone to shit in a hurry. I imagine both schools are perfectly fine places to learn. Maybe the interschool rivalry should be confined to throwing beer bottles at football games.

Thanks man, it just shows what happens when people won’t respond to facts (of course my shit school comment in the first place was out of line).
But bitter decided that school rivalry would be better than accepting that I had deflected his argument.
Sadly I took the bait.

Yes we must trust all those college degrees, especially in economics. They are as good as all the nutritionists who tell us that protein destroys the kidneys.

I have learned only one thing from economists, and that is that if they all agree, then they are all wrong. I remember hearing that some economists were coming around to the "never ending economic improvement. The second I heard this I said, “Oh shit were in trouble now.”

I see economists on TV arguing all the time. I have read economists talk about the economy moving in five different directions on the same day. A popular book years ago was “The great depression of the 1990’s” published in the late 80’s, yet I knew about his previous books about the “coming depressions” of the 80’s and 70’s.

Many economists do not truly talk about economics, but politics. Those that do have learned that only bad news sells. Studies have shown that as an economy improves the negative economic news tends to increase, and good economic news declines. Try watching a new report that is positive about the economy. It is always followed by “BUT!!” But these numbers might not hold up, or signs are that we might slide back into a recession, or it is not hitting this certain area as fast, etc?"

The term “No news is good news” has a double meaning. (Place the emphasis on the “is”, then on the “No”.)

When it was stated that tax cuts were good for the economy, the argument was that states are not getting enough taxes. State budgets are not the economy. When the economy improves then the states will start gaining more taxes. Tax increases will only delay economic improvement.

Once again exactly how do tax increases improve an economy? How does taking money out of peoples pockets improve the economy? The economy is the flow of money, and taxes are a drag on the economy. Sure the government spends it, and that is part of the economy, but it is still a drag.

A reduction in taxes leaves people with more money, which they can only do a few things with. They can spend it. (This means more money directly in the economy.) They can invest it. (This means more money available for business to spend, and hire people, and this is good for the economy.) And then you can store it, like in a mattress. (Few people do this) Or you can destroy it. (Only magicians do this.)

Now as far as tax cuts, it needs to be taken into account that often the extra money results in more taxable situations, meaning that tax cuts will partially pay for themselves, and sometimes will result in more taxes. This is easier to understand if you realize that money can be used more then once. The hamburger you bought from Bob resulted in him paying taxes on his income, and part of the income was used to buy more meat from a distributor who also had to pay taxes. Bob took the remaining profit and bought a couple candy bars from Roy, who also created taxable situations and profit.

So every time the money changes hands the government gets a share. Reduced taxes means the money is used more often before the government gets it, but they still get it. In the meantime it resulted in more people benefiting from the use of the money. (If you consider eating hamburgers and candy bars as a benefit.)

The long term result in tax cuts is that more people profit, jobs are created, and with more people making money, and more profit being made, eventually more taxes will actually come in then if the taxes were not reduced in the first place.

Oh and this crap political argument about the gap between the rich and the poor. This is just normal. The only way to change this is to switch to the wonderful communist economies.

If person #1 is making $50,000 and person #2 is making $500,000 the gap is $450,000. Now if each gets a 5% raise, person #1 got $1,500 while person #2 got $15,000. Even though they got the same percent raise. The gap is now at $463,000. If the percentages remain at exactly the same rate so the rich is exactly the same multiple of the not so rich, the gap will increase. It is that little “lying with statistics” thing again.

As far as class warfare, why does there need to be a war? The more money the average person has, the more the rich benefit, because that means more money they can spend. The only people waging this war are the people who are jealous of the rich.

Are there rich people who don’t deserve to be rich? Of course, but most do. This is hard for some to accept, but the average millionaire works at least 50% more hours then the average person. Many of the “wealthy” have advanced degrees which they spent years earning, and others have taken risks at starting businesses. Many have failed in their first few businesses before creating one that succeeds.

Too often these people are told they are stupid to start a business, and after they become successful they are called “lucky.”

The rich are one of the few minorities we are allowed to hate. (Along with Christians as Mike Mann has shown us.) It is good to have disagreements with people, but we shouldn’t hate them. We should not hate people who have different beliefs as us, nor because they have more then us, nor are different then us.

I have mentioned a friend of mine before who I would have discussions with, and repeatedly we were on the opposite sides of the argument. Yet I consider him a good friend.

Often others would hear our argument, and have to join in. Unfortunately too many would get upset if you didn’t agree with their position immediately, or if you start poking holes in their argument.

Why are farm subsidies, some of which truly help small family farms, a bad thing in your opinion, while welfare (giving my money to people who don’t want to work) is a good thing?

And before you get all bent out of shape about the “people who dont work” thing, I know some people are working hard and still need some help to get on their feet. But I also know lots of people who could easily find good jobs and support their families without welfare, but refuse too.

Perhaps the economy would be in better order if the government would stop hemmoraging money and cut taxes. I mean REAL tax cuts. I don’t have kids, and I’m single so I pay plenty of money and get nothing back. Last year I made the hefty sum of $400 a week on unemployment (less than half of my wages) and that was taxed as well! Gee, I wonder why I’m not contributing to the economy?

Anyway - lets look at the millions of dollars spent every MONTH to pay the pensions of ex-congresspeople and senators. If you serve ONE term you get a pension of… you ready… $10,000 a month for the rest of your life! You heard that right, if you work for the government for four years you get $125,000 a year until you die. Name me another profession that has THOSE benefits! So, let’s add up the number of ex-congress people and senators that are still around and figure out how much a month that the government is giving away?

In the real world, when you leave one job you have to go find another one. Perhaps we should make our government part of the real world?

You wonder why social security is so fucked up? Because Congress doesn’t get paid from it, so why would they give a shit about fixing it?

In any case, it’s never going to happen. Who in congress or the senate would vote away the best pension plan in the country? They don’t care about unemployment or the economy because once you’ve served in the Senate or Congress you’re set for life. What real motivation do they have to fix it? Even if they get voted out they get paid forever…

I’m doing just fine. Thanks for asking. My net worth is up. I kept spending. My hard work is paying off. I blame my failures on me. I got here because I worked my ass off. No excuses, no horseshit. Took advantage of every opportunity. Decided to skip some immediate pleasures in order to be successful in the long run.

Looking forward to November of 2004. What will your excuse be then? It was a vast right-wing conspiracy to rig the voting boxes. Halliburton paid every voter to vote Republican. What will you say about George W. Bush when he wins his second term? I can’t wait to hear your frustration. Please keep calling him stupid because he stammers, occasionally. Please underestimate him. I can’t wait. Did I mention that I’m enjoying watching the democratic party falling apart? My God, I am actually giggling with glee. Hey, how’s the bastion of leftist politics, California, doing? Which party has been in charge of all major elective offices for, oh, A DECADE? Did I mention that I am having fun?

Then if the taxes eventually help the government and the economy why is it that both Bush and the CBO are predicting some of the biggest deficits in history extending into 2013? Wouldn’t they have gone in and helped the government by then as some of you postulate?

Before you say Medicaid and Medicaire, it has been noted that discretionary spending (tax cuts) and the war/peacekeeping in Iraq that has helped jump the deficit.

explanatory article

Sergius, please stay away from using political rhetoric.

Tax cuts are NOT discretionary spending.

Spending is when a govt actually takes money they have on hand (or signs a note for money) and buys a product or a service with it. Ie paying salaries of workers, buying humvees…

Tax cuts do not fit into that category, since they are not money the govt has in their grubby hands, merely are possible revenue to which some members in govt “incorrectly” feel entitled to.

sergius said: “Then if the taxes eventually help the government and the economy why is it that both Bush and the CBO are predicting some of the biggest deficits in history extending into 2013?”

Did you mean to say tax cuts? Eventually might mean after 2013. Also I don’t trust any figure from the CBO. Have they ever been correct? And any figure 10 years into the future is pure fantasy. I have heard business experts call 5 year estimates for a business to be pure fantasy.

Also how exactly is Bush predicting this? Did he take time off from his presidential duties to run the numbers?

The tax cuts done by congress in the 1990’s resulted in Democrats complaining that they would cause huge deficits, and then when the government was suddenly having surpluses instead of deficits Clinton took all the credit, and everyone suddenly had amnesia about the warnings.

Again people have amnesia about this time where “voodoo economics” (a term coined by Bush senior) works. Sure there were other factors, like congress following a limit on the amount congress could spend, and the low energy prices. Yet this would not have been enough if the Democrats were right. According to them the economy should have faltered and the deficits should have been huge.

Antiliberal is correct to say that tax cuts are not “discretionary spending”. This is one of the ways the language is twisted to change the meaning of an event. Like the term “corporate welfare”. This term defines tax cuts for corporations as welfare, but if anybody said that this is the way the normal welfare should work, by only reducing taxes on people, it would not be acceptable as a from of welfare for people. Then again if a person is on welfare, they already don’t pay taxes.

Then there is the term “cuts” which has been used to mean a reduction in the increase of spending. I would like to use this term myself. I was going to eat twice as much ice cream this year, but now I am only going to eat 50% more. There I have cut the amount of ice cream I eat. I just hope my wife does not learn this little technique to “cut” her mall budget.

As the economy improves you will see more money coming into state and federal pockets. The important thing is to make the economy as good as possible, even if it causes a temporary rise in the deficit. The results of having a lot more millionaires in America will offset this tax cut, and a booming economy means less people on welfare, so less spending the government has to do.

Hopefully this makes sense. Now I have to go lift some heavy things.

Back to the original point of this thread, as I was out on vacation for a week and missed all the fun. The unemployment phenomenon of this recovery is an interesting thing. The economy has been growing, slowly but steadily, for almost a year and a half now. It’s not often that you see growth in both the economy and unemployment. It seems a paradox.

However, when one thinks about it for a second, a couple things become clear. First, the efficiency of the economy has been increasing. That is to say, employers have been producing more goods with fewer employees and machines. This is the result of two things: increases in technological efficiency, and the bursting of the bubble. Many firms overhired during the bubble on the assumption of continued growth. Also during the bubble unemployment rates were at historic lows, pushing firms to try to hire for their current levels and to lock in for the assured future growth. With money from the market seemingly cheap, firms focused on growth, not on bottom-line efficiency, and thus became more inefficient.

Now, since the bubble’s bursting and the start of the recovery, firms are seeing what they can squeeze out of their current employees, and also out of their current machinery – which, as I said, was not a focus during the boom years. They discovered they could get by at these growth levels, during the recent past and now, with fewer employees or by maintaining the status quo.

Should the economy continue to grow, the firms will reach a point where they need to hire more, as they will reach the limits of their current efficiency. The predictions are that if the economy grows at an annualized rate of 3%, we will see more hiring take place.

Secondarily, there is a separat factor that is depressing private-sector growth, and thus delaying the onset of new hiring. It’s all the new regulations that were passed, and the new penalties and liabilities that were put into place. Sarbanes-Oxley, especially, was not well thought out, and it is only beginning to flesh out now. New regulations that haven’t been tested make executives and boards nervous. They are not about to go on aggressive growth campaigns if they are uncertain they could be slapped down. Additionally, firms have spent hundreds of millions on regulatory compliance programs – that’s how the profits at big corporate law firms were at record levels last year even as industry deals were virtually nonexistent.

Finally, one needs to examine statistics about jobs lost to see what they really mean. We’ve all heard about the decline in manufacturing jobs over the past decade, and how we are just shedding such jobs left and right. What you are not told is that every single job that is at a factory is deemed to be a manufacturing job. Fire some janitors, and we are losing manufacturing jobs and thus “at a danger of falling behind the rest of the world.” At least according to the statisticians. While firms have been becoming more efficient, shedding inefficient middle management and mechanizing (thus shedding some actual manufacturing jobs) and cutting back on associated jobs (like janitors), and thus offering goods to the consumers at lower prices, we hear that we are contracting in the manufacturing sector.

All in all, the U.S. economy is feeling the benefits of the technological investments made during the boom, in terms of increased worker productivity. Now management has to regain some confidence and boldness and increase spending and hiring for expansion. That will be the essence of a true recovery and a healthy economy.

The signs of such a recovery should be shortly forthcoming. Bush should do just fine.

Fed’s Regional Survey Finds
Improvement in the Economy


WASHINGTON – The economic recovery is broadening with tentative signs of a stabilizing job market, a survey by the Federal Reserve found. But Fed officials, though encouraged, aren’t likely to see it as sufficient proof the economy is out of the woods.

“The economy continued to improve in July and August,” the Fed’s so-called beige book, an anecdotal survey of business conditions in its 12 regional districts, said. Eleven of 12 districts said conditions improved, although in some the improvement was only “selective.”

The beige book is used to help Federal Reserve policy makers decide on what, if any, actions to take on interest rates. They next meet Sept. 16. Despite their growing confidence in the economic pickup, they are likely to keep their target for the federal funds rate at 1% and signal continued willingness to leave it there for some time. That’s because inflation is already as low as most policy makers want to see it go and there’s some risk of it going lower.

Business contacts told the Fed that manufacturers’ capital spending plans remained “cautious”. The job front was more encouraging. Though job markets “remain slack across the nation,” manufacturing labor demand was “firming.” In the Boston district, “a few companies that had considered layoffs in the first quarter have, in fact, begun to hire.” Temporary employment firms also reported a rising demand.

But these encouraging signs have not translated into inflationary pressure. “Most product prices are reported to be stable or lower,” the report found. Several Fed officials have warned that while the economy may be recovering, there is so much slack in the economy that underlying inflation, already about 1%, could drop further. If the economy were to stumble again, it could come close to zero and even become deflation, or falling prices. This is one reason the Fed has indicated it will keep rates low for a “considerable” period.

In spite of that, investors have sharply pushed up long-term interest rates and expect the Fed to start raising rates as soon as April. Wednesday, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco president Robert Parry said there was a “disconnect” between his and the market’s view of rising inflationary pressure and tighter monetary policy. “I’m certainly a big believer in markets, but at this point, I guess I see the situation a little differently.” He said even if the economy does better than expected, that’s not much of a concern because “we’re likely to have a considerable amount of excess capacity for some time to come.”

Separately, spending on construction ventures around the country increased in July to the highest level seen since the beginning of the year, a promising sign for the economy’s expected second-half rebound.

The month’s increase of 0.2% represented a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $879.83 billion, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. The report showed strength in private building and residential construction, but public construction spending fell.

Although July’s increase wasn’t as big as the 0.5% rise that economists were predicting, June’s performance turned out even better than the government previously estimated. Revised figures show that construction spending rose by a brisk 0.7% in June from May, compared with the 0.3% advance first estimated. The report didn’t explain the revision.

The $879.8 billion pace of construction spending in July marked the highest level since January, when such spending stood at $883.2 billion on an annualized basis.

Write to Greg Ip at greg.ip@wsj.com

Updated September 3, 2003 2:27 p.m.

Sergius said
"As for companies exporting jobs, what about America continually importing products? As I noted the ‘fast-track’ treaty agreement process is one of the worst abominations of US foreign and economic policy. It takes away the need for Senate approval.
So far it has been used with Taiwan, Thailan and numerous African nations for the importation of manufactured goods. Way to create jobs…in Asia and Africa. "

That has to be the most self centered idealistic peice of crap statement I have ever heard! No wonder americans get a bad name. Dude Listen, who needs an economic boost more? A third world african country or the US? Ok so now some guy in america can’t trade in his 2000 jeep for a 2003 jeep he has to wait another year. Meanwhile a family with five starving kids gets to eat for a month because the US decided to buy something from them. oh and by the way, now you can buy that product for 50% less than you would have before thanks to that African deal. I suggest you stop looking at other countries as less than us, you were just lucky to be born here. people are people I say we should spread even more of our wealth and resources around the world to people who need them. Next you’ll say we should’t provide free aid to countries in need cause it costs too much. Damn that pissed me off.