Please turn and around and look at the real issue and stop making Unions or workers scapegoats!-
by Redwood Mary on Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 8:57pm
Union and Non-Union Workers and the public do not understand how unions are the fall guys and gals in this breaking of the banks...and the resulting huge distortion between classes and the gutting of the middle class needs to be understood. The financial sector, in essence , hijacked the everyday basic economy that you and I and everyone operates in and as jobs were automated jobs disappeared the wages went flat or dropped as profits insanely increased... the wealth that was accumulated was a disproportionate share ! Remember the Timber Wars in Northern California? -- as mills went into 24/7 production and timber was being cut unsustainably –clear-cut (as opposed to managing for sustaining the ecosystems--) to keep up….case in point Maxxam from Texas took over Pacific Lumber in Northern California -- financed with junk bonds -- and they pitted workers against so called environmentalists as Charles Hurwitz raided the pension funds of the Pacific Lumber workers to pay interest on the junk bonds -- all of a sudden the felled timber ( by the laborers) was being sent to Mexico and elsewhere .. but the timber companies were making money hand over fist and at what and whose expense? Corporate Timber cut and ran , raped and plundered just as we and many before us all predicted they would cut- gut it and run. -- As the forests were destroyed (by many Timber Companies) I recall CalPERS pension funds had invested $’s in these and other extraction industries and in other high risk financial market" products" as they are called . Note: CalPERS did not have “Prohibited Ineligible investments in Tobacco companies; Insider Trading or Restricted companies or any other Committee-approved restriction,” until 2010 yet they are still into derivatives.
All the while the watersheds were drying up and the salmon habitat was disappearing and this impacted the collapse of the once sustainable fishing industry--( the records are all there! ) We were trying to warn everyone and got laughed at for trying to show that our canaries in the coal mine- who were/are the marbled murrelet and spotted owls were going down and so were the salmon.
Back to the here and now--where did this new concentrated wealth go? Some wealth went to offshore tax shelters and hedge funds-- hedge funds and derivative markets were newly created thanks to The Maddoff tycoon types and with the blessings of cronies who were in SEC and of govt. Some of this excess money could have been taxed in way to benefit the communities --where the wealth was generated to then compensate for those workers impacted (transition, re-training etc.) or R&D for new technology which could bring new jobs ( like getting us off oil!~) or to hire people to repair the damage of rapacious damaging extraction industries and to repair public infrastructure that they all used such as highways, bridges, and for other community services- but was instead always asking for tax breaks-- and their profits invested into speculative high dollar risk ponzi schemes.
Remember this wealth was generated by labor or extracted from the earth—who rightfully owns the profits of labor?
One of the issues is to understand is how pension funds were then co-opted and thrust into the high risk derivatives/ hedge funds banking schemes and then bets placed on bets upon bets and so on.
The very pension trustees from all sectors – banks --unions to govt. officials (State and local ) gave their blessings and we need to ask why pensions need to be given to private players who invest in shares that speculate on your - our retirement?
The insanity of the mortgage- banking and home development industry story is another Chapter.
BUT of this ruthless out of control brand of capitalism... we can have a humane economics where stockholders, pension funds, MBA students, managers, corporate invest ment holdings, accountants and workers all ask and question is this good governance, and is making profits just for speculation by private firms to the exclusion of the common welfare justified? . Get this- back to Calpers-" If CalPERS staff determines that it is in the best interest of CalPERS,consistent with CalPERS fiduciary responsibilities, to (see their INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAM – Attachment C Page 8 of 24 Copyright © 2010 by CalPERS) consider an investment that would directly impact California public sector jobs, staff will present the investment to theCommittee for consideration." CalPERS is just one example.
Someone please turn and around and look at the real issue and stop making Unions or workers scapegoats! The Tea Party doesn't understand it either... we need large scale reforms of the Financial Sectors' Ponzi schemes... reform the government POLICIES and all that supports this imbalance.
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