Thursday, April 12, 2012

Panorama: Syria Inside the Secret Revolution-BBC/26-09-11 - مترجم CC

BBC2 Exclusive - Sue Lloyd-Roberts Full Report from Inside Homs the capi...

BBC film (Return to Douma city) تقرير عن دوما - ترجم إلى العربية

Inside Syria Torture Prisons - British Filmmaker Sean McAllister

The Regime - PBS - Syria Undercover

The Syrian Revolution: Voices From Exile

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

No Wage Change in 30 Years

The people have been living with wage decline since republicans have had a voice in government!

For working people the economy has been in recession since 1973.
The GOP and the rich corporatra¬tists have made a mess of everything¬.
1. Before 1973, The inflation Adjusted Median Income rose at 2.5% per year:

1953 = $22,648
1973 = $34,762

2. From 1973 to 2009, Inflation Adjusted Median Income fell by $2,578.

1973 = $34,762
2009 = $32,184
U.S. Census

3. The same thing shows up in Weekly Earnings.

All earners:

1979 = $339
2008 = $339

No Change over 30 years

1979 = $412
2010 = $389

DECREASE of $23/week

4. While per capita GPD has doubled:

1969 = $21,021
2010 = $42,517

5. This is accomplish by shifting the income distributi¬on:
Share Of Aggregate Income by Quintile:

BOTTOM 20% - 1967: 4.0% 2009: 3.4% Change: -0.6%
LOWER MIDDLE - 1967: 10.8% 2009: 8.6% Change: -2.2%
MIDDLE CLASS - 1967: 17.3% 2009: 14.6% Change: -2.7%
UPPER MIDDLE - 1967: 24.2% 2009: 23.2% Change: -1.0%
UPPER CLASS - 1967: 43.6% 2009: 50.3% Change: +6.7%


Comparrison of the debt under different proposals

According to the CBO from 2012 to 2022:

I. Obama's Proposals:
a. Extends Bush Tax Cuts.
b. Repeals Alternative Minimum Tax AMT.
c. No Medicare Reductions.

These add $2.7-trillion to the deficit.

II. Ryan/Romney's Proposals:
a. Extends Bush Tax Cuts.
b. Repeals Alternative Minimum Tax AMT.
c. Tax cut for those making more than $1 million
d. A 20% cut to all tax rates.
e. Increase military spending by 4% GPD.

These add $8.3-trillion to the deficit, THREE TIMES AS MUCH AS OBAMA.

III.'s Proposals:
a. Extends Bush Tax Cuts.
b. Repeals Alternative Minimum Tax AMT.
c. Cuts capital gains to 12%
d. Cuts personal taxes across board
e. Cuts corporate taxes by 1/2

These add $6-trillion to the deficit, or TWICE AS MUCH AS OBAMA

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

WalMart Stirs Concern over Workers Compensation System

By: Becca Aaronson
9 April 2012

When Walmart, one of Texas’ largest private employers, dropped out of the state’s workers’ compensation system in March, it was a heavy blow to advocates of the system who have watched more large companies offer private — and in many cases, less generous — injury benefits.

Texas is the only state in the country that allows employers of any size to decline to carry state-regulated workers’ compensation coverage. Businesses administer their own injury benefit programs, reaping big cost savings in exchange for exposing themselves to heightened liability risks. Target, for example, began administering its own injury care policy in 2005.

Fifteen percent of Texas businesses with more than 500 employees do not carry state workers’ compensation coverage, according to a 2010 survey conducted by the Texas Department of Insurance.

Daniel Morales, a spokesman for Walmart, said the company is “sort of late to the game” of switching to its own program. The new policy gives the company “an opportunity to provide better care for our associates while also better managing our costs,” he said.

Opponents of large companies forgoing the state system, like Rick Levy, a lobbyist for the AFL-CIO, say the practice poses a “real threat” to the workers’ compensation system. He said it puts competitive pressure on companies that remain in the system to find similar cost-savings in their budgets.

“You end up punishing the folks that are trying to do the right thing by making their life more difficult as this other option becomes more prevalent,” he said.

But Bill Minick, president of PartnerSource, which has designed injury benefit policies for dozens of Fortune 500 companies, including Walmart, said these private plans restore the balance between adequate benefits and employee accountability. Many of them require employees to report injuries in a timely manner, visit pre-approved physicians and follow medical advice, he said.

Terry Frakes, senior vice president of public affairs at Texas Mutual, the largest provider of workers’ compensation coverage in Texas, said he believes the benefits for injured employees are not as good under the private plans.

For example, Walmart’s in-house plan caps total medical coverage at $300,000 for individual injuries, compared with lifetime coverage for the injury under state workers’ compensation. The Walmart plan provides 90 percent of lost wages for injured employees for up to 120 weeks, compared with 70 percent of lost wages for up to 401 weeks under the state system. That is a maximum of $140,350 under workers' compensation and $54,000 under Walmart’s policy for employees who earn $500 a week.

But Frakes said mandating that all employers carry state workers’ compensation, as the AFL-CIO has proposed, would not lower premium rates and could endanger some businesses.

“If they were forced into the decision, they would have to make the decision, can they afford to buy a policy or do they go out of business?” he asked.

Steve Bent, the executive director of the Texas Association of Responsible Nonsubscribers, which advocates for private injury benefit systems said with rising workers’ compensation rates possibly motivating more companies to opt out, insurance companies could be pressured to keep premium rates low.

* This story did not originally say that figures used for maximum payments through workers' compensation and Walmart's policy were based on employees who earn $500 a week.

Texas Tribune
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