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Archive for January, 2012

Is Apple, the company, rotten at its core?

January 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory | This American Life

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/454/mr-daisey-and-the-apple-factory

Apple hit by boycott call over worker abuses in China

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/jan/29/apple-faces-boycott-worker-abuses

Should consumers boycott Apple?

http://opinion.latimes.com/opinionla/2012/01/should-consumers-boycott-apple-.html

Investor Relations at Apple

http://www.wikinvest.com/stock/Apple_(AAPL)/Investor_Relations_Contacts

“Investor Relations Contacts:

Nancy Paxton

Apple

paxton1@apple.com

(408) 974-5420

Joan Hoover

Apple

hoover1@apple.com

(408) 974-4570

NOTE TO EDITORS: For additional information visit Apple’s PR website (www.apple.com/pr), or call Apple’s Media Helpline at (408) 974-2042.”

Apple Supplier Code of Conduct”    

http://images.apple.com/supplierresponsibility/pdf/Supplier_Code_of_Conduct_V3_1.pdf

EXCERPT: 

“Apple is committed to ensuring that working conditions in Apple’s supply chain are safe, that workers are treated with respect and dignity, and that manufacturing processes are environmentally responsible.”

AAPL – the stock price of Apple, Inc. today is $453.08 per share, at the time of writing (2:09 pm EST).

http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=aapl&ql=1

Republicans Are “Out of Touch” With Reality

January 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Republicans and Conservatives want to go back to the “good ol’ days” of America. When was that? The 1940s? The 1950s? The 1960s? Think of a Norman Rockwell painting…

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You know what was going on in the “good ol’ days”? The marginal tax rate for the top-income earners (the top 1%) was above 70%. That’s right, just like Article I, section 8 of the U.S. Constitution states, the U.S. Congress collected taxes to pay for our roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, and on and on. We, the United States of America, invested in the majority of Americans in the “good ol’ days.” If you want to imagine America like a Rockwell painting – I’m talking to you Republicans and Conservatives – then pay your taxes. Of course, the year is actually 2012 – when taxes for the Superwealthy are historically low. This ain’t the “good ol’ days.” Bush/Cheney and the rest of the neo-conservative nutjobs, with their “Trickle-down” economic fantasies, have put our economy in the shitter. It is time to wake up to reality, Republicans. It is time to end the Bush Tax Cuts for the Superwealthy, and start reinvesting in the majority of Americans.

Oh yeah, we’re not going back to the 1980s. Great music, for sure, but we already had the 80s.

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We’re not going backward. We’re going forward into the 21st century. Don’t give me any remixes of the 1980s either. I’m talking to you, Republicans.

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According to the Congressional Budget Office and the Tax Policy Center, top-income earners paid a marginal tax rate of around 70 percent starting in 1917…which dropped from 56 percent to 46 percent to 25 percent in the 1920s…under three consecutive Republican Presidents – Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover – whose economic mismanagement led to the Great Depression of the 1930s, when top-income tax rates rose again into the 60 percent, 70 percent region during that “Grapes of Wrath” decade. During WWII, top-income rates were in the 80 percent, 90 percent region, and stayed thereabouts until 1964, when the top-income tax rate dipped into the 70 percent region again. Top-income tax rates stayed in the 70 percent region until 1981, when Ronald F*ckin’ Reagan became President…when the marginal tax rate for top-income earners dropped to 50 percent, 38.5 percent, and then 28 percent by the time that misguided, B-movie actor left office. Of course, Bush 1 raised taxes, despite his lips. And Clinton raised taxes again on the top-income earners. Reminder: during Bill Clinton’s presidency, the United States enjoyed the longest stretch of economic prosperity for the majority of Americans ever in our country’s history; and Clinton balanced the budget as well as left U.S. a surplus of approximately $200-300 billion cash-in-hand that was projected to be a $5.7 Trillion surplus over the next 10 years (if not for the dot-com bust, 9-11, and the virtually simultaneous 2002 bankruptcies of WorldCom, Tyco and Enron – the single largest campaign contributor to the Bush/Cheney campaign in 2000.) Then Bush/Cheney proceeded to waste $1 Trillion on a false war in Iraq (as well as waste thousands of human lives), waste $1 Trillion on the Bush Tax Cuts for the Superwealthy in 2001 and 2003, and allow self-regulation by the Wall Street banks concerning the buying and selling of subprime-mortgage-backed securities that required a $700 billion bailout of the Wall Street banks with taxpayers’ money and an additional $9.1 Trillion in emergency loans at 0.01% from the Federal Reserve ($7.7 Trillion of that went to Wall Street banks). It is time to raise the marginal tax rate on top-income earners…it is time to readjust tax rates to the levels of the Clinton-era, when everybody was flush with $CASH$.

SOURCES: 

* Graph source = The Tax Policy Center, “a joint venture of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution. The Center is made up of nationally recognized experts in tax, budget, and social policy who have served at the highest levels of government.”

From the Tax Policy Center…

31-Jan-11

Historical Highest Marginal Income Tax Rates

Top Marginal Year Rate

  1. 1946  86.45%
  2. 1947  86.45%
  3. 1948  82.13%
  4. 1949  82.13%
  5. 1950  91.00%
  6. 1951  91.00%
  7. 1952  92.00%
  8. 1953  92.00%
  9. 1954  91.00%
  10. 1955  91.00%
  11. 1956  91.00%
  12. 1957  91.00%
  13. 1958  91.00%
  14. 1959  91.00%
  15. 1960  91.00%
  16. 1961  91.00%
  17. 1962  91.00%
  18. 1963  91.00%
  19. 1964  77.00%
  20. 1965  70.00%
  21. 1966  70.00%
  22. 1967  70.00%
  23. 1968  75.25%
  24. 1969  77.00%
  25. 1970  71.75%
  26. 1971  70.00%
  27. 1972  70.00%
  28. 1973  70.00%
  29. 1974  70.00%
  30. 1975  70.00%
  31. 1976  70.00%
  32. 1977  70.00%
  33. 1978  70.00%

Top Marginal Year Rate

  1. 1913  7.0%
  2. 1914  7.0%
  3. 1915  7.0%
  4. 1916  15.0%
  5. 1917  67.0%
  6. 1918  77.0%
  7. 1919  73.0%
  8. 1920  73.0%
  9. 1921  73.0%
  10. 1922  56.0%
  11. 1923  56.0%
  12. 1924  46.0%
  13. 1925  25.0%
  14. 1926  25.0%
  15. 1927  25.0%
  16. 1928  25.0%
  17. 1929  24.0%
  18. 1930  25.0%
  19. 1931  25.0%
  20. 1932  63.0%
  21. 1933  63.0%
  22. 1934  63.0%
  23. 1935  63.0%
  24. 1936  79.0%
  25. 1937  79.0%
  26. 1938  79.0%
  27. 1939  79.0%
  28. 1940  81.10%
  29. 1941  81.00%
  30. 1942  88.00%
  31. 1943  88.00%
  32. 1944  94.00%
  33. 1945  94.00%

Top Marginal Year Rate

  1. 1979  70.00%
  2. 1980  70.00%
  3. 1981  69.13%
  4. 1982  50.00%
  5. 1983  50.00%
  6. 1984  50.00%
  7. 1985  50.00%
  8. 1986  50.00%
  9. 1987  38.50%
  10. 1988  28.00%
  11. 1989  28.00%
  12. 1990  31.00%
  13. 1991  31.00%
  14. 1992  31.00%
  15. 1993  39.60%
  16. 1994  39.60%
  17. 1995  39.60%
  18. 1996  39.60%
  19. 1997  39.60%
  20. 1998  39.60%
  21. 1999  39.60%
  22. 2000  39.60%
  23. 2001  38.60%
  24. 2002  38.60%
  25. 2003  35.00%
  26. 2004  35.00%
  27. 2005  35.00%
  28. 2006  35.00%
  29. 2007  35.00%
  30. 2008  35.00%
  31. 2009  35.00%
  32. 2010  35.00%
  33. 2011  35.00%

Note: This table contains a number of simplifications and ignores a number of factors, such as a maximum tax on earned income of 50 percent when the top rate was 70 percent and the current increase in rates due to income-related reductions in value of itemized deductions. Perhaps most importantly, it ignores the large increase in percentage of returns that were subject to this top rate.

Sources: Eugene Steuerle, The Urban Institute; Joseph Pechman, Federal Tax Policy; Joint Committee on Taxation, Summary of Conference Agreement on the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, JCX-54-03, May 22, 2003; IRS Revised Tax Rate Schedules”

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=213

http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=11976

http://theweek.com/article/index/221883/the-federal-reserves-breathtaking-77-trillion-bank-bailout

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/marginaltaxrate.asp#axzz1kjNATzJz

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/effectivetaxrate.asp#axzz1kjNATzJz

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Read more:

http://parkwestgallery.wordpress.com/category/artists-special-collections/norman-rockwell/

picture source = http://www.museumsyndicate.com/item.php?item=14143

Election Day by Norman Rockwell

The Constitution of the United States

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html

Article I, Section. 8.

“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;–And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”

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Comic Relief – Key & Peele

January 18, 2012 Leave a comment
Categories: Comic Relief Tags:

The One Percent vs. the rest of U.S.

January 18, 2012 Leave a comment

America the Beautiful

January 5, 2012 Leave a comment

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http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/04/covering-america-the-beautiful/?hp

EXCERPTS from The New York Times in bold:

“Katharine Lee Bates was not only a poet, but a social activist, an American patriot and world pacifist who wanted to unite people ‘from the Pacific to the Atlantic, around the other way … and that will include all the nations and all the people from sea to shining sea.’ That Mitt Romney loves this poem is encouraging; that he misses the ironies is disquieting.

It’s been called a hymn, a prayer – written by a rebel against religious dogma who nearly quit her job when Wellesley insisted that faculty members sign a pledge confirming their Christian beliefs. She was raised poor but educated, by a single mother (her father, who was a minister, died when she was 5), in Falmouth, Mass., which she later described as ‘a friendly little village that practiced a neighborly socialism.’

Bates spent most of her adult life in a household that included, over time, her female partner, one parrot, and two collies – neither of which is known to have traveled on top of her car.

She was also born and bred a Republican, but in 1924 her presidential vote went to John W. Davis, the candidate who supported the League of Nations, which she saw as ‘our one hope of peace on earth.’ Davis was a Democrat.

Lynn Sherr, a broadcast journalist and writer, is the author of ‘America the Beautiful: The Stirring True Story Behind Our Nation’s Favorite Song.’”

I am glad that Paul McCartney is here

January 2, 2012 Leave a comment