Queen Ann

“You people.”

What the elites refuse to acknowledge about their wonderful “success” is how morally bankrupt it is. They keep pushing from the top to increase profits, so that the people below them implement dangerous practices that directly affect the quality of whatever work it is they do.

And the people who sit at the top wring their hands and say, “Not me, I never told them to do that!” Even though they did. This is what passes for “moral” in America these days.

Olympics tax breaks

I’m probably going to tick off a lot of people, but I no longer see any point to the Olympics. They’ve become a giant business enterprise and personally, I don’t think they do a thing to promote fellowship between nations (unless you count the athletes who are having sex with each other). The internet probably does more to expose people to other cultures now. I even think it’s a planned diversion, of the bread and circuses variety — not to mention another opportunity for high-profile security theater.

Oh yeah, and they spend obscene amounts of money that could better go to the people of their countries. From what I’ve read, host countries lose money on the deal. So I’m happy that this push was successful:

For the London Summer Olympics, which start ten days from now, several corporations have been given an exemption from collecting the UK’s corporate income tax. Foreign corporations that are acting as the game’s sponsors — including BP, Coca-Cola, and Visa– will benefit from what is essentially a temporary tax haven.

But at least one eligible company says it will forego the tax break, following pressure from activists:

McDonald’s has bowed to an online campaign and declined an Olympic tax break, just days before the start of the Games. […]McDonald’s made clear that the cost of turning down the break would be minimal, as revenue from the Games would be less than 0.1% of its annual sales in the UK. It said in a statement: “We will not be making any corporate income tax exemption claim with respect to any activity concerning our involvement with the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

The organization 38 Degrees collected more than 150,000 signatures against the tax break. “It’s working! McDonald’s have said they won’t be taking the tax break – but please sign the petition to keep pressure on the other sponsors,” the organization said in a statement.

The Tax Justice Network estimated that the tax giveaway will cost the UK “tens of millions of pounds” in lost revenue. “We’re giving money away that we need to solve our debt crisis and to preserve essential public services,” said the Tax Justice Network’s Richard Murphy.

‘Will my dad find a job before the unemployment runs out?’

It continues to astound me that the gentle members of Congress have no sense of urgency about the millions of people whose lives are hanging by a thread right now. None whatsoever. And of course, the Republicans will block any attempt to help them because, well, that’s what they do.

I actually feel sorry for those politicians. Imagine being the kind of person whose accomplishments are all about blocking other people’s solutions to actual problems – in other words, choosing the dark path of destruction every time. What empty souls they must be:

WASHINGTON — President Obama took a question on the campaign trail Monday from a little boy who asked if his father, an unemployed construction worker, would find a job before his unemployment insurance runs out.

The president responded that he hoped the boy’s father would find work, but that if he doesn’t, he hoped the unemployment benefits would still be there.

“Now, we tried to extend unemployment insurance beyond normal right after the recession hit,” Obama said. “We were able to extend it again in 2010. It’s been harder now to get Congress to extend it further.”

“And so we’ll continue to negotiate with Congress to make sure that unemployment is there,” the president added. “But the most important thing I want to do is make sure your dad can get a job.”

Two million people will be cut off from benefits when federal unemployment insurance expires the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, according to the National Employment Law Project, a worker advocacy group based in New York. But Congress is not ready to worry about it. The Huffington Post asked lawmakers on Tuesday if preserving unemployment insurance in 2013 is on their radar.

“No, it’s not,” Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of Senate committee that oversees unemployment insurance, said as he boarded a Senate elevator. “Not yet.”

No, because none of the banking lobbyists have asked for it, Max thought to himself!

“I have not heard any discussion about what we can do there,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who has made a lot of noise lately about safety net programs like food stamps and Social Security Disability Insurance. “I have not given thought to what precisely we ought to do, whether it’s phasing down or what. The fundamental thing is we need to create more jobs … and everybody has got to be out hustling to find work. There’s just no other way to make America productive.”

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, you can kiss my ass. “Hustling to find work?” You are truly an affront to human decency, and to the men and women struggling to survive. Better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and prove it.

But in Congress, unemployment insurance is overshadowed by other financial matters, including the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts, the end of a 2 percentage point reduction in the Social Security payroll tax, and scheduled cuts to defense spending that Republicans are desperate to avoid. Lawmakers call it the “fiscal cliff.”

“It’s unfortunate,” said NELP senior staff attorney George Wentworth. “You’re talking about 2 to 3 million Americans for whom losing unemployment insurance is their fiscal cliff.”

Three million Americans losing their sole source of income? Nah, no economic effects there!

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