À procura de textos e pretextos, e dos seus contextos.
A Liga dos Bombeiros Portugueses (LBP) pediu este sábado que seja declarado nulo um despacho do secretário de Estado da Saúde sobre transporte de doentes não urgentes e admitiu avançar com uma petição e um congresso extraordinário.
"Solicitar a nulidade imediata do despacho, face à sua natureza socialmente injusta para com os cidadãos portugueses e desleal para com o parceiro bombeiros", é o decisão referida no comunicado final da reunião que juntou, em Pombal, durante quase quatro horas, o conselho executivo da LBP e os presidentes das 18 federações distritais de bombeiros.O despacho, publicado em Dezembro, define as condições em que os cidadãos têm acesso ao transporte pago pelo Ministério da Saúde (MS), estabelecendo duas condições cumulativas: a prescrição clínica e que o utente tenha insuficiência económica.
Na sexta-feira, uma circular informativa da Administração Central do Sistema de Saúde esclarece que razões de "natureza técnica" impedem a verificação da condição de insuficiência económica, pelo que "o direito ao transporte é garantido" desde que clinicamente justificado. Para o presidente da LBP, Duarte Caldeira, "nenhuma circular de qualquer administração intermédia pode suspender os efeitos de qualquer medida constante de um despacho de um secretário de Estado".
Na reunião, foi ainda deliberado que a tutela divulgue as "eventuais anomalias detetadas na auditoria" sobre o transporte de doentes que "tem vindo a ser citada pelo secretário de Estado". "Exigimos que seja divulgada à Liga quais são os infratores, quais são as anomalias, de modo a que, conjuntamente, as resolvamos, não lançando a suspeição" pela totalidade dos bombeiros", acrescentou Duarte Caldeira.
Publicada por José Marques dos Santos à(s) 22:46
|foto fernando fontes/global imagens|
|Houve financiamento para o parque de estacionalmento, mas teve dificuldade para arranjar dinheiro para outras obras|
"Não há dinheiro para arranjar o muro da Escola José Falcão, em Coimbra, que ameaça a vida de pessoas, mas há 138 mil euros para tapar o sol aos carros dos funcionários da DREC. Isto é um escândalo e anedótico", acusam professores e encarregados de educação.
Para a Associação de Pais da Escola Secundária José Falcão (AP/ESJF), de Coimbra, para professores e alunos ouvidos pelo JN e para o Sindicato dos Professores da Região Centro (SPRC), "investir na cobertura de um parque de estacionamento ao ar livre, quando não há dinheiro para recuperar um muro decrépito e perigosíssimo, com cinco a seis metros de altura, na confluência da Rua Henriques Seco com a Avenida D. Afonso Henriques, que está a pôr em risco as pessoas e os carros que por ali passam, é uma "provocação", um atentado à inteligência".
Luís Lobo, dirigente do SPRC, disse ao JN que "é lamentável que, ao mesmo tempo que o Governo decide cortar 5,5% dos orçamentos de funcionamento das escolas e que o parque escolar de Coimbra precisava de ter uma intervenção que, por um lado, garantisse a sua conservação e, por outro, resolvesse alguns problemas estruturais das escolas, se assista a este despesismo, apenas para garantir a conservação não de qualquer bem público, mas tão só de bens privados".
"Espante-se (se ainda alguém se espanta!) o comum dos mortais com os 138 mil euros gastos em coberturas individuais para os automóveis designadamente dos dirigentes da DREC, através de serviço contratado à Ramos Catarino - Arquitectura de Interiores e Construção, Ldª., por ajuste directo!", afirma Luís Lobo, sublinhando que "depois não há dinheiro! Pois não, a gastar-se desta maneira!".
"Quanto mais disto haverá?"
O dirigente do SPRC ressalva que "estas são as coisas que vêm à tona!" e lança uma questão: "Quanto mais disto haverá espalhado pelas várias capitanias do Ministério da Educação e de outros organismos do mesmo Governo que imporá tantos sacrifícios aos portugueses neste ano que agora se inicia?".
Ao JN, a presidente da AP/ESJF, Ana Costa, afirmou-se "chocada" com as prioridades e o "desprezo da DREC":
Ao JN, a presidente da AP/ESJF, Ana Costa, afirmou-se "chocada" com as prioridades e o "desprezo da DREC":
Publicada por José Marques dos Santos à(s) 22:43
O Sindicato Independente dos Médicos anunciou que vai agir, junto dos tribunais administrativos e dos tribunais de trabalho, contra os cortes salariais determinados pelas medidas de austeridade do Governo.
“Os médicos são chamados à primeira linha de contributo no combate a uma crise dolosamente alimentada por outros, vendo o valor do seu trabalho, já amplamente desvalorizado e socialmente desconsiderado, levar um prémio negativo de 10 por cento, com efeito a 1 de Janeiro de 2011”, lamenta o sindicato em comunicado.
O sindicato critica que o valor retirado às remunerações dos médicos recai sobre “tudo”, mesmo o que “não constitui sequer exemplo remoto de remunerações”. A situação, entende, é sinal de que a medida do Governo para combater “o descalabro das Finanças Públicas” também visa “camuflar uma genuína, embora lamentável, iniciativa de expropriação não só do salário como ainda de outras verbas que visam repor despesas suportadas pelo trabalhador”, como abonos e despesas de representação.
“A nossa acção centrar-se-á em quem pode dirigir-se directamente ao Tribunal Constitucional com pedido efectivo de fiscalização abstracta da constitucionalidade das normas do OE para 2011”, nomeadamente o Provedor de Justiça, o Procurador-Geral da República e os deputados, através dos respectivos grupos parlamentares.
As críticas à medida governamental são variadas. Assim, o sindicato sublinha as “violações muito graves” à Constituição e a “desconformidade do Orçamento de Estado à lei fundamental”, quanto à redução automática das remunerações totais ilíquidas mensais de valor superior a 1500 euros, “sem termo à vista”. O sindicato “desencadeará os passos necessários para, junto dos tribunais administrativos e dos tribunais de trabalho, intentar as acções necessárias à reposição da legalidade”.
Os médicos recordam que, contrariamente à legislação do trabalho, o sindicato “não foi chamado a participar em qualquer procedimento de negociação e nem são conhecidas iniciativas de negociação” junto das outras estruturas sindicais da administração pública. “Este vício primordial, em si mesmo, constitui uma inconstitucionalidade formal irrecusável.”
Além disso, o sindicato considera “inaceitável” que o “castigo reducionista” recaia apenas sobre os trabalhadores da administração pública, contrariando, diz, o princípio da igualdade previsto na Constituição.
Publicada por José Marques dos Santos à(s) 22:40
Publicada por José Marques dos Santos à(s) 20:16
The year 2010 would be remembered as a scam-tainted year when allegations of corruption, both public and private, were difficult to keep track of. Overwhelmed by these allegations, the government has attempted to focus on the fact that India is among the fastest growing countries in the world. But even that boastful claim has been weakened by the fact of high inflation in commodities varying from wheat and rice to onions and tomatoes.
Yet, as the first decade of the 21st century draws to a close, commentators taking a longer view are likely to declare that that it marked a period when India successfully pursued a growth strategy based on internal and external liberalisation. In fact, India is being presented as a country that has traversed under such policies onto a high growth trajectory. This is backed by the evidence of near-sustained 8-9 per cent rate of GDP growth since 2003-04 and the rather quick and sharp recovery of GDP growth after the deceleration triggered by the global financial and economic crisis. Not surprisingly, policies based on market fundamentalism are being presented as the drivers that have delivered the high growth needed for economic "take-off."
What this assessment ignores is, of course, the question: Growth for whom? As has been repeatedly noted but inadequately stressed, the fact is that India is a country still plagued by hunger with among the highest rates of malnutrition in the world. Deprivation in other forms such as lack of access to clean drinking water, sanitation, basic health facilities and school education still afflict a large proportion of the population.
Clearly then, the benefits of high growth for the best part of a decade must be accruing to a small minority, resulting in increased inequality. Unfortunately, data of a kind that helps us track inequality is difficult to come by. Surveys of consumption expenditure do not cover the rich and therefore tend to underestimate the extent of inequality. But there are other signs of increased inequality in the country.
The first is that the high growth of the last few years has been accompanied by a sharp rise in the gross savings rate, of 5.5 percentage points to 29.1 per cent between 2001-02 and 2004-05. The rate rose by another 4.2 percentage points between 2004-05 and 2007-08. Since it is the richer sections that have incomes that are substantially in excess of their consumption needs which can be saved, this sharp rise in the savings rate points to an increase in incomes among the richer classes.
There has also been a shift in the source of savings in the economy away from the household to the corporate sector. The share of the corporate sector in gross domestic savings rose from 20.4 per cent in 2004-05 to 24 per cent in 2007-08, while that of the household sector fell from 72.3 to 62.2 per cent. Thus the period witnessed a sharp rise in private saving that largely came from the corporate sector, which has been recording significant increases in profitability at a time when the average real wage rate in the organised manufacturing sector has been stagnant.
The third is a turnaround in the tax-to-GDP ratio. The aggregate tax to GDP ratio of the centre and the states rose from 13.8 to 19.1 per cent between 2001-02 and 2008-09, with the contribution of corporate taxes rising. It must be noted that the period after 2002-03 was one in which profits in the organised sector rose sharply and the ratio of profits to value added also rose significantly. As a result despite huge tax concession corporate taxes and taxes paid by the rich have risen.
Put together, these features suggest that there has been a relatively large increase in incomes of those in the saving and tax-paying classes, especially profit earners in the corporate sector. In other words, the period of high growth seems to be one in which income inequalities increased significantly.
This increase in inequality comes not only from profit inflation but also from the fact that the so-called "high growth trajectory" has not resulted in high employment growth. The five-yearly large sample rounds of the NSSO provide the most exhaustive data on employment trends and conditions in India. Unfortunately, the results of the latest survey on this subject -- the 66th Round, covering 2009-10 -- are yet to be released.
However, the 64th Round of the NSS relating to 2007-08, which had migration as its focus but covered employment and unemployment as well, does provide us with an additional source of data. We must recall that the late 1990s was marked by a dramatic deceleration of aggregate employment growth, which fell to the lowest rate recorded since such data began being collected in the 1950s. However, the period 1999-2000 to 2004-05 witnessed a significant recovery. While aggregate employment growth in both rural and urban India was still slightly below the rates recorded in the period 1987-88 to 1993-94, it clearly recovered sharply from the deceleration of the earlier period. The recovery was most marked in rural areas, where the earlier slowdown had been sharper. This prompted many official spokespersons to even declare that India was on the road to "full employment."
What is noteworthy, however, is that if we include the relatively high growth year 2007-08, the rate of growth over 1999-00 to 2007-08 hardly points to much acceleration in employment growth during this decade, with the increase in the growth rates in urban areas being marginal from 2.27 per cent to 2.64 per cent. What is more striking is that the annual rate of growth of rural employment, which had risen from 0.66 per cent between 1993-94 and 1999-2000 to 1.97 per cent between 1999-2000 and 2004-05 (which was a year of indifferent agricultural performance), was significantly lower at 1.27 per cent over the period 1999-00 to 2007-08 (which was a good agricultural year). The period between 2004-05 and 2007-08 was the period when India had moved to the much higher, close to 9 per cent GDP growth trajectory. A slower rate of employment expansion in this period points to a significant fall in the elasticity of employment with respect to output.
The importance of the years 2004-05 and 2007-08, being bad and good agricultural years respectively, comes through from an examination of labour force participation rates. There was an increase in labour force participation rates for both men and women in 2004-05 relative to 1999-00. This includes both those who were actively engaged in work and those who were unemployed but looking for work. The significant increase in female participation may have been because of the need (in the lands cultivated by individual households) for women to substitute for male workers who were looking for better opportunities outside agriculture in a poor agricultural year. Or it may be a reflection of the need to augment household earnings in a bad year.
These possibilities are corroborated by the fact that in the good agricultural year 2007-08, male participation rates increased marginally, while that of women fell significantly. This could have been because the compulsions operating in a bad year were not as operative. This suggests that higher participation rates as in 2004-05 need not necessarily be a reflection of improved employment performance. Rather it could be a sign of stress induced by poor agricultural performance.
One of the more interesting features that emerge from the data for 2004-05 was the shift in the type of employment. There had been a significant decline in wage employment in general. While regular employment had been declining as a share of total usual status employment for some time (except for urban women workers), wage employment had continued to grow in share because employment on casual contracts had been on the increase. But the results of the 2004-05 round point to a fall even in casual employment as a proportion to total employment.
Going by the evidence for 2004-05, it appears that for urban male workers, total wage employment was at the lowest that it had been in at least two decades, driven by declines in both regular and casual paid work. For women, in both rural and urban areas, the share of regular work had increased but that of casual employment had fallen so sharply that the aggregate share of wage employment has fallen. So there clearly appeared to be a real and increasing difficulty among the working population, of finding paid jobs, whether they were in the form of regular or casual contracts. However, by 2007-08 there were clear signs that this decline in the share of casual labour in total was being partially reversed especially in the case of females. Clearly, high growth had facilitated an increase in wage employment, though this was still in the casual and not regular category.
The fallout of these trends was visible in the trends in self-employment. In 2004-05 there was a very significant increase in self-employment among all categories of workers in India. The increase was sharpest among rural women, where self-employment accounted for nearly two-thirds of all jobs. But it was also remarkable for urban workers, both men and women, among whom the self-employed constituted 45 and 48 per cent respectively, of all usual status workers. What seems to have occurred in 2007-08 was that the rise in the share of casual employment had been accompanied by a fall in self-employment, with the fall being sharpest again in the case of females. Even so, all told, around half of the work force in India currently does not work for a direct employer. This is true not only in agriculture, but increasingly in a wide range of non-agricultural activities.
Another noteworthy feature is the sectoral distribution of employment. As is to be expected given the short period of time involved, there have been no major changes in the structure of employment between 2004-05 and 2007-08, except for a rise in the share of construction among rural males. Thus the trends in the structure of employment prior to 2004-05 have been more or less sustained. An important feature of this was the significant decline in agriculture as a share of rural employment, even as the share of manufacturing employment did not go up commensurately for rural male workers. The share of manufacturing employment has stagnated in the urban areas as well. While there has been some shift to construction, the share of trade, hotels and restaurants seems to be stagnating.
Thus, overall, the traverse to a high growth trajectory does not seem to have delivered much on the employment front. The growth rate of employment remains depressed, even if not as low as during 1993-94 to 1999-2000. Employment increases seem to occur when workers, especially female workers, are pushed into the workforce by economic circumstances like a bad agricultural year. The elasticity of employment with respect to output increases seems to have deteriorated with accelerated growth. Casual wage labour and self-employment dominate the employment scenario. And the non-agricultural sectors appear to contribute inadequately to additions to employment though these were the sectors that were expected to take up the employment slack once neo-liberal policies succeed in delivering growth.
All this suggests that even to the extent that the years of high growth have been accompanied by increases in employment, that employment has not been either in the productive sectors or in forms that suggest that growth does result in the generation of what has been termed "decent work" of one kind or another. Not surprisingly, inequality increases and large scale and even extreme deprivation persists. India's exit from the first decade of the 21st century does not seem to be a time for pure celebration. At least for a majority of Indians.
Publicada por José Marques dos Santos à(s) 20:09
Mark Provost - Global Research, January 8, 2011
In a January 2009 ABC interview with George Stephanopoulos, then President-elect Barack Obama said fixing the economy required shared sacrifice, "Everybody’s going to have to give. Everybody’s going to have to have some skin in the game." (1)
For the past two years, American workers submitted to the President’s appeal—taking steep pay cuts despite hectic productivity growth. By contrast, corporate executives have extracted record profits by sabotaging the recovery on every front—eliminating employees, repressing wages, withholding investment, and shirking federal taxes.
The global recession increased unemployment in every country, but the American experience is unparalleled. According to a July OECD report, the U.S. accounted for half of all job losses among the 31 richest countries from 2007 to mid-2010. (2) The rise of U.S. unemployment greatly exceeded the fall in economic output. Aside from Canada, U.S. GDP actually declined less than any other rich country, from mid-2008 to mid 2010. (3)
Washington’s embrace of labor market flexibility ensured companies encountered little resistance when they launched their brutal recovery plans. Leading into the recession, the US had the weakest worker protections against individual and collective dismissals in the world, according to a 2008 OECD study. (4) Blackrock’s Robert Doll explains, “When the markets faltered in 2008 and revenue growth stalled, U.S. companies moved decisively to cut costs—unlike their European and Japanese counterparts.” (5) The U.S. now has the highest unemployment rate among the ten major developed countries. (6).
The private sector has not only been the chief source of massive dislocation in the labor market, but it is also a beneficiary. Over the past two years, productivity has soared while unit labor costs have plummeted. By imposing layoffs and wage concessions, U.S. companies are supplying their own demand for a tractable labor market. Private sector union membership is the lowest on record. (7) Deutsche Bank Chief Economist Joseph LaVorgna notes that profits-per-employee are the highest on record, adding, “I think what investors are missing - and even the Federal Reserve - is the phenomenal health of the corporate sector.” (8)
Due to falling tax revenues, state and local government layoffs are accelerating. By contrast, U.S. companies increased their headcount in November at the fastest pace in three years, marking the tenth consecutive month of private sector job creation. The headline numbers conceal a dismal reality; after a lost decade of employment growth, the private sector cannot keep pace with new entrants into the workforce.
The few new jobs are unlikely to satisfy Americans who lost careers. In November, temporary labor represented an astonishing 80% of private sector job growth. Companies are transforming temporary labor into a permanent feature of the American workforce. UPI reports, “This year, 26.2 percent of new private sector jobs are temporary, compared to 10.9 percent in the recovery after the 1990s recession and 7.1 percent in previous recoveries.” (9) The remainder of 2010 private sector job growth has consisted mainly of low-wage, scant-benefit service sector jobs, especially bars and restaurants, which added 143,000 jobs, growing at four times the rate of the rest of the economy. (10)
Aside from job fairs, large corporations have been conspicuously absent from the tepid jobs recovery. But they are leading the profit recovery. Part of the reason is the expansion of overseas sales, but the profit recovery is primarily coming off the backs of American workers. After decades of globalization, U.S. multinationals still employ two-thirds of their global workforce from the U.S. (21.1 million out of 31.2 million). (11) Corporate executives are hammering American workers precisely because they are so dependent on them.
An annual study by USA Today found that private sector paychecks as a share of Americans’ total income fell to 41.9 percent earlier this year, a record low. (12) Conservative analysts seized on the report as proof of President Obama’s agenda to redistribute wealth from, in their words, those ‘pulling the cart’ to those ‘simply riding in it’. Their accusation withstands the evidence—only it’s corporate executives and wealthy investors enjoying the free ride. Corporate executives have found a simple formula: the less they contribute to the economy, the more they keep for themselves and shareholders. The Fed’s Flow of Funds reveals corporate profits represented a near record 11.2% of national income in the second quarter. (13)
Non-financial companies have amassed nearly two-trillion in cash, representing 11% of total assets, a sixty year high. Companies have not deployed the cash on hiring as weak demand and excess capacity plague most industries. Companies have found better use for the cash, as Robert Doll explains, “high cash levels are already generating dividend increases, share buybacks, capital investments and M&A activity—all extremely shareholder friendly.” (5)
Companies invested roughly $262 billion in equipment and software investment in the third quarter. (14) That compares with nearly $80 billion in share buybacks. (15) The paradox of substantial liquid assets accompanying a shortfall in investment validates Keynes’ idea that slumps are caused by excess savings. Three decades of lopsided expansions has hampered demand by clotting the circulation of national income in corporate balance sheets. An article in the July issue of The Economist observes: “business investment is as low as it has ever been as a share of GDP.” (16)
The decades-long shift in the tax burden from corporations to working Americans has accelerated under President Obama. For the past two years, executives have reported record profits to their shareholders partially because they are paying a pittance in federal taxes. Corporate taxes as a percentage of GDP in 2009 and 2010 are the lowest on record, just above 1%. (17)
Corporate executives complain that the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the world, but there’s a considerable difference between the statutory 35% rate and what companies actually pay (the effective rate). Here again, large corporations lead the charge in tax arbitrage. U.S. tax law allows multinationals to indefinitely defer their tax obligations on foreign earned profits until they ‘repatriate’ (send back) the profits to the U.S. U.S. corporations have increased their overseas stash by 70% in four years, now over $1 trillion—largely by dodging U.S taxes through a practice known as “transfer pricing”. (18)Transfer pricing allows companies to allocate costs in countries with high tax rates and book profits in low-tax jurisdictions and tax havens—regardless of the origin of sale. U.S. companies are using transfer pricing to avoid U.S. tax obligations to the tune of $60 billion dollars annually, according to a study by Kimberly A. Clausing, an economics professor at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. (18)
The corporate cash glut has become a point of recurrent contention between the Obama administration and corporate executives. In mid December, a group of 20 corporate executives met with the Obama administration and pleaded for a tax holiday on the $1 trillion stashed overseas, claiming the money will spur jobs and investment. In 2004, corporate executives convinced President Bush and Congress to include a similar amnesty provision in the American Jobs Creation Act; 842 companies participated in the program, repatriating $312 billion back to the U.S. at 5.25% rather than 35%. (19) In 2009, the Congressional Research Service concluded that most of the money went to stock buybacks and dividends—in direct violation of the Act. (20)
The Obama administration and corporate executives saved American capitalism. The U.S. economy may never recover.
1. ‘This Week’ ABC News with George Stephanopoulos, January 2009. http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/Economy/story?id=6618199&page=2
2. OECD report, U.S. lost most jobs among rich countries. EMMA VANDORE AP Business Writer http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=11104432
3. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Policy Brief 89. November, 2010. Uri Dadush & Vera Eidelman. Five Surprises of the Great
4. OECD Indicators of Employment Protection. http://www.oecd.org/document/11/0,3343,en_2649_37457_42695243_1_1_1_37457,00.html
5. The Wall St. Journal. June 8, 2010. Robert Doll. Opinion. The Bullish Case for U.S. Equities. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703561604575282893796461472.html
6. Bureau of Labor Statistics. International Labor Comparisons. Updated Dec. 2, 2010. http://www.bls.gov/ilc/intl_unemployment_rates_monthly.htm
7. Bloomberg Businessweek. January 22, 2010. Holly Rosenkrantz.Union membership in the private sector declines to record low:http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-01-22/union-membership-in-the-private-sector-declines-to-record-low.html
8. Joseph Lavorgna quote: CNBC. When will profits translate into jobs? http://www.cnbc.com/id/40350345/When_Will_Record_Corporate_Profits_Translate_to_Jobs
9. UPI. Temp work becomes a fixture. Dec. 20th, 2010. http://www.upi.com/Business_News/2010/12/20/Temp-work-becomes-a-fixture/UPI-11151292863764/
10. Restaurant industry’s hiring helping to revive economy. DAYTON, Nov 28, 2010 (Dayton Daily News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX): http://www.techzone360.com//news/2010/11/28/5161348.htm
11. Tax Notes, Martin A. Sullivan. U.S. Multinationals Cut U.S. Jobs While Expanding Abroad. http://taxprof.typepad.com/files/128tn1102.pdf
12. USA Today. May 26, 2010. Private pay shrinks to historic lows as gov't payouts rise. http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/income/2010-05-24-income-shifts-from-private-sector_N.htm
13. New York Times. Economix blog. Catherine Rampell. Nov. 23, 2010. Visualizing Booming Profits. http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/visualizing-booming-profits/
14. $262 billion in equipment and software investment, calculated from EconStats. http://www.econstats.com/nipa/nipa_5__3___5q.htm
15. ABC News. Dec. 20, 2010. Mark Jewell. S&P 500 Companies More Than Double Buybacks in 3Q. http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=12440445
16. The Economist. Companies’ cash piles: Show us the Money.http://www.economist.com/node/16485673
17. Corporate Income Tax as a share of GDP, 1946-2009. http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=263
18. Bloomberg. May 13, 2010. U.S. Companies Dodge $60 Billion in Taxes with Global Odyssey. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-05-13/american-companies-dodge-60-billion-in-taxes-even-tea-party-would-condemn.html
19. Bloomberg. Jesse Drucker. Dec 29, 2010. Dodging Repatriation Tax Lets U.S. Companies Bring Home Cash http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-29/dodging-repatriation-tax-lets-u-s-companies-bring-home-cash.html
20. Center for Budget priorities. Robert Greenstein and Chye-Ching Huang. Feb. 2009. Proposed Tax Break For Multinationals Would Be Poor Stimulus
“Dividend Repatriation Tax Holiday” Failed in 2004, Unlikely to Work Now. http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=2270
“Dividend Repatriation Tax Holiday” Failed in 2004, Unlikely to Work Now. http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=2270
Publicada por José Marques dos Santos à(s) 20:06
Mondialisation.ca, Le 7 janvier 2011
Dans la droite ligne des émeutes contre la vie chère que connaît l'Algérie depuis décembre, les manifestations de jeudi ont été particulièrement violentes et étendues sur le territoire. Le mouvement, parti de Bab el-Oued mercredi, continue de se propager.
La révolte est-elle contagieuse ? Si les situations politiques divergent radicalement en Tunisie et en Algérie, les espoirs et les rêves brisés d'une jeunesse se sentant laissée pour compte de la croissance tendent à produire les mêmes effets. Alors que l'agitation sociale sur fond de chômage continuait au pays de Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, celui d'Abdelaziz Bouteflika était confronté au déferlement d'une vague de manifestations particulièrement violentes contre la cherté de la vie.
Les émeutes lancées par des groupes de jeunes mercredi dans le quartier populaire de Bab el-Oued, à Alger, se sont étendues jeudi soir. Elles ont été encore plus violentes que la veille, sans qu'il soit fait état de victime.
Dans le centre d'Alger et à sa périphérie, les émeutes se sont étendues à plusieurs quartiers. De nombreux commerces ont baissé leurs rideaux dès le début de l'après-midi. D'une manière inhabituelle, le centre-ville ne comptait plus aucune voiture en début de soirée, et il était rempli de jeunes gens.
El-Biar pris d'assaut
Le quartier populaire de Bab el-Oued a connu une deuxième nuit consécutive d'importantes manifestations. Lourdement armée, la police a fait usage de canons à eau et de gaz lacrymogènes pour disperser la foule. En mal de revanche sociale, une quarantaine de jeunes armés de sabres ont pris d'assaut le quartier huppé d'El-Biar, situé sur les hauteurs. De nombreuses boutiques ont été vandalisées, ainsi qu'un restaurant et une bijouterie.
En Kabylie, à Bejaia, à quelque 260 km à l'est d'Alger, tout comme à Boumerdes, plus proche de la capitale, les manifestants avaient dès l'après-midi coupé les routes principales avec des arbres, ou des pneus enflammés. Selon un témoin, le tribunal d'Akbou, près de Bejaia a été incendié en fin de journée. Un peu plus loin vers la frontière tunisienne à Annaba, les forces de sécurité se sont massées autour des bureaux de la wilaya (département) mais la situation est restée calme. En revanche à Oran, dans l'ouest algérien, la situation était très tendue après les émeutes de mercredi. (avec AFP)
Publicada por José Marques dos Santos à(s) 20:02
Ann Talbot - Mondialisation.ca, Le 4 janvier 2011
Des manifestants revendiquant des emplois se sont affrontés aux forces de sécurité alors que les manifestations se propagent à l’ensemble de la Tunisie. Une éruption sociale d’une telle ampleur est littéralement sans précédent dans ce pays d’Afrique du Nord hautement réprimé et étroitement contrôlé.
Mohamed Amari, 18 ans, a été tué par balle quand la police a ouvert le feu sur des manifestants à Sidi Bouzid, une ville située à quelques 200 kilomètres au Sud de la capitale, Tunis. Les protestations avaient débuté le 17 décembre lorsque la police avait confisqué la marchandise de Mohamed Bouazizi, 26 ans, en l’accusant de commerce illégal sans permis. Il s’immola par le feu pour protester contre ce traitement.
Bouazizi a survécu à son calvaire et été transféré au service des grands brûlés à Tunis. Mais un autre jeune homme s’est suicidé depuis en s’électrocutant au contact d’un câble de haute tension. Avant de mourir il a crié, « Non à la misère ! Non au chômage ! »
Le désespoir de ces jeunes gens reflète le haut niveau de chômage en Tunisie. Officiellement, le taux de chômage et de 14 pour cent mais le niveau réel est bien plus élevé.
Plus de la moitié des demandeurs d’emploi sont diplômés de l’université et la moitié de la population a moins de 25 ans. Cette situation a contraint de nombreux jeunes gens à travailler dans le secteur informel où ils tentent de gagner leur vie au moyen du commerce ambulant. Un grand nombre de ceux condamnés à travailler à leur compte sont dans la misère.
Des manifestations ont été signalées à Sfax, Kairouan, Sousse, Médenine et Ben Guerdane. Les forces de sécurité ont attaqué les manifestants à Sfax.
Des protestations organisées par les syndicats ont eu lieu à Médenine, lors desquelles les manifestants ont scandé, « Nous voulons du travail » et « Honte au gouvernement ». A Kairouan, la police a affronté les manifestants et on ne connaît pas le nombre de personnes blessées. On n'a pas non plus connaissance du nombre de personnes interpellées.
On ne trouve pas beaucoup de reportages des manifestations parce que les journalistes sont exclus des villes où se déroulent les protestations. Le gouvernement a empêché les journaux d’opposition Tareeq-al Jadid et Al Mawqif de paraître parce qu’ils avaient couvert les protestations.
La plupart des couvertures ont été faites par des médias sociaux tels Twitter, Facebook et YouTube. Le militant local Ali Bouazizi a décrit les protestations continues à Sidi Bouzid. Il a dit au Financial Times par téléphone, « Il y a eu des émeutes jusqu’à mardi à l’aube. Il y a maintenant une forte présence policière dans la ville. Ils se trouvent dans toutes les artères principales et les bâtiments gouvernementaux. Les journées sont normalement calmes mais les gens sortent le soir et c’est là que les affrontements commencent. »
Les protestations se sont étendues à la capitale. Mardi, les avocats ont manifesté à Tunis pour exprimer leur solidarité avec les manifestants. Un syndicat de lycéens a organisé une manifestation devant le ministère de l’Education. Des forces de sécurité ont bloqué un rassemblement de la Confédération tunisienne du Travail dans la ville de Gafsa.
Ces expressions de solidarité reflètent un vaste sentiment de sympathie vis-à-vis du sort des jeunes chômeurs et du mécontentement croissant à l’égard du gouvernement du président Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. Le président a dénoncé dans une émission télévisée les protestations comme étant « inacceptables ». « La loi sera appliquée en toute fermeté à l’égard d’une minorité d’extrémistes et de mercenaires qui ont recours à la violence et au désordre, » a-t-il averti.
Ben Ali a succédé au président Habib Bourguiba en 1987. Bourguiba était à la tête de la Tunisie depuis que cette colonie française avait acquis son indépendance en 1956. Durant les 23 dernières années, Ben Ali a réprimé impitoyablement toute forme de dissidence. Un message du gouvernement américain publié par WikiLeaks décrit la Tunisie comme un « Etat policier », bien que Washington soutienne le régime.
La Tunisie est officiellement une démocratie multipartite, mais Ben Ali remporte de façon constante des majorités écrasantes. Lors des dernières élections de 2009, il avait remporté 89,62 pour cent des votes. Deux des trois candidats rivaux étaient ses partisans, et tout affichage électoral avait été interdit au troisième.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) avait dit que les élections s’étaient déroulées dans « une atmosphère de répression. » Le Comité pour la protection des journalistes avait dit que 97 pour cent de la couverture médiatique était consacrée à Ben Ali. Le syndicat tunisien des journalistes était réprimé et le journaliste Taoufik Ben Brik était condamné à neuf d’emprisonnement après la publication d’articles dans la presse française. La journaliste du Monde, Florence Beaugé fut refoulée de Tunisie.
Les protestations ont éclaté parce que la situation économique s’est détériorée en Tunisie suite au déclin du commerce avec l’Europe, le principal partenaire commercial du pays et source du tourisme. La Tunisie dépend fortement du tourisme et de l’agriculture. Il y a maintenant une forte compétition avec d’autres pays du Maghreb ainsi qu'avec l’Egypte et Israël pour le marché touristique et la demande en baisse d’Européens à court de liquidités.
Mais les problèmes économiques auxquels la Tunisie est confrontée ne sont pas d’un caractère passager. Ils reflètent les efforts de longue date entrepris pour réorienter l’économie vers le marché mondial sous la pression des principales puissances impérialistes. Un programme d’ajustement structurel est mis en place en vertu duquel les prix des denrées de base se sont plus subventionnés. Des entreprises d’Etat ont été privatisées et des emplois supprimés.
Le gouvernement s’est empressé de promettre un développement dans les régions les plus gravement touchées et des mesures pour accroître l’emploi. Les responsables locaux de Sidi Bouzid ont été licenciés et le gouvernement national a été remanié.
Néanmoins, les tensions sociales ont atteint un degré insoutenable. Ecrivant pour le quotidien Al-Charq al Awsat sis à Londres, le chroniqueur Abdul Rahman Al-Rached, a mis en garde que les protestations signalaient une perte de crédibilité politique.
Il a rapporté: « Les manifestations en Tunisie ne veulent cesser; elles se sont répandues aux villes et ont même atteint la capitale du pays, dans un défi évident pour l’Etat. Devrions-nous nous inquiéter au sujet de la Tunisie ? Ou n’est-ce juste qu’une autre crise concernant le prix du pain qui sera réglé par certaines promesses et le recours à la force militaire ? A mon avis, le problème de la Tunisie est plus politique qu’économique et va au-delà de la colère des masses de chômeurs. C’est le problème du manque de confiance dans le gouvernement et de la perte de la crédibilité [gouvernementale]. »
Al-Rached a poursuivi en signalant que la Tunisie est l’un des régimes arabes les plus prospères en termes de revenu par habitant et où le niveau d'éducation de la population est le plus élevé. En précisant qu’il a un taux de croissance plus élevé que celui de l’Algérie voisine, qui dispose de réserves de pétrole et de gaz, il a posé la question, « Si les citoyens de Tunis sont mécontents, que peut-on dire des citoyens des autres nations arabes qui endurent une situation et une réalité encore pire ? »
Publicada por José Marques dos Santos à(s) 20:00
CLIO - 26-2007 - Sous la direction de Christiane Klapish-Zuber et Florence ROCHEFORT
Christiane Klapisch-Zuber et Florence Rochefort
Isabelle von Bueltzingsloewen
Actualité de la recherche
Hommage à Marcelle Marini
CLIO a lu
Joana Maria PEDRO
Ingrid GALSTER (dir.), Simone de Beauvoir : Le Deuxième Sexe. Le livre fondateur du féminisme moderne en situation, Paris, Éditions Champion, 2004, 519 pages.Ingrid GALSTER (dir.), Le Deuxième Sexe de Simone de Beauvoir, Paris, Presses de l’Université Paris-Sorbonne, 2004, 365 pages. [Texte intégral]
Publicada por José Marques dos Santos à(s) 17:03
Les inégalités de revenus peuvent être analysées en deux temps. Il y a d’abord le partage primaire entre salaires et profit, et ensuite l’effet de la distribution de revenus financiers. L’histoire des dernières décennies peut se résumer ainsi : le blocage de la part des salaires dans la valeur ajoutée des entreprises a conduit, via la distribution des dividendes et de très hauts salaires, à un creusement des inégalités de revenus. - Compression salariale et inégalités de revenus
Publicada por José Marques dos Santos à(s) 16:52
Target one is America’s middle class, endangered after decades of wealth shifts to super-rich elites besides most high-pay, good benefit jobs, offshored to cheap labor markets — a policy Washington’s duopoly endorses. It’s the most serious threat to middle America since attacks began in the 1970s.
On December 23, 1957, The Dan Smoot Report published novelist Taylor Caldwell’s (1900 – 1985) article, titled “Honoria,” the true story of a former great nation and lessons to be learned from its demise.
She explained how men seeking freedom became Pilgrims, endured terrible hardships, yet survived, prospered, and gained power. They established colonies, believed in God, hard work, public education, and transformed villages into towns and cities.
Others joined them, establishing new colonies, then uniting them. A civil war intervened. The republic was divided. A leader was assassinated, but prosperity followed conflict resolution. However, arrogance, corruption, and foreign entanglements followed. At issue – insatiable greed, not defending civilized world freedoms.
Wars resulted. Repressive laws passed, but Honoria had “a strong, industrious middle class, composed of farmers, artisans, (and) shopkeepers.” However, they posed a threat to wealth and power so had to go to let elites rule unchallenged. Targeted by oppression, they “were reduced to despair,” and began “dwindl(ing) away….Morality was dead.”
The monstrous, bureaucratic state “was happy.” People wanted entertainment, not freedom. Leaders waged more wars. Honoria became more corrupt and extremist. Its middle class eroded, died, and barbarians moved in.
Who was to blame? “Honoria, of course,” at the expense of its own citizens. They sacrificed for the common good but were betrayed. Over hundreds of years, Honoria rose and fell. Its real name? “Ancient Rome,” America its modern equivalent.
America, the New Rome
As constitutional freedoms and middle class prosperity erode, America is slowly dying. Like Rome, two empires share a remarkably common history. Both rose and prospered, then overextended, “rushed to the abyss,” and couldn’t turn back. America is on its edge. Its belligerence exceeds Rome’s. Its excesses are unsustainable. Its middle class is dying, its democracy a mere figure of speech.
Today, super-wealth rules a once great nation, malignant with corruption, delusional grandeur notions, and might ideologically triumphing over right. It’s a self-destructive path harming working Americans most, especially the once vibrant middle class, targeted for destruction. Democracy depends on preserving it as a buffer against tyranny. Slowly, however, it’s suffocating and dying, and with it the remnants of freedom.
A New Congress Highlights An Accelerated Ruinous Path
On January 3, the 112th Congress convened, its agenda accelerating America’s ruin.
In 2011, federal and state governments plan major social services cuts and other ways to address deficit and budget problems through less social spending, layoffs, and other draconian measures. At the same time, America’s aristocracy is flourishing, largely at the expense of exploited workers. Their assets flow upward to make super-rich society richer, facilitated by bipartisan political complicity and corruption.
Incoming House Republicans promise budget cuts of $100 billion, largely on the backs of working Americans who can least afford it. Given Obama’s austerity pledge, bipartisan agreement may target entitlements, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, as well as education, transportation, and other discretionary areas to match 2008 levels. However, achieving it requires 20% cuts across the board from the $477 billion Congress allocated in FY 2010, ending September 30.
According to House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan, “That’s where you get the savings.” On January 6, he also told Bloomberg News that potential state defaults won’t be saved by bailouts, saying “We are not interested in a bailout.”
In 1933 at the height of the Great Depression, Arkansas was the last state to default at a time Washington rescues weren’t considered. Today, workers will be punished to assure steady debt service payments. In 2009, California state treasurer, Bill Lockyer, said only a “thermonuclear war” might force default, nothing less.
Less draconian than Republicans, congressional Democrats want FY 2010 spending levels frozen for three years, at least rhetorically. House Republicans, however, control appropriations so expect debt ceiling level confrontations. For one thing, Republicans want spending increases offset by cuts, meaning those affecting working Americans most.
They’ll come at a time that the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) evaluated poverty in the “Great Recession.” Calling official measures outdated, its own analysis shows over 21% of Americans in poverty — based on after-tax market wages and salaries, excluding entitlements, welfare, and other government programs that lower the figure considerably but not for millions not helped. Then add higher cost of living expenses, especially for health, food, gasoline, heating oil, and rent at a time home prices are declining.
With planned FY 2011 budget cuts, greater poverty ahead looms. On January 6, even the Census Bureau raised its numbers, saying 15.7% of the population (not 14.3%) lived in poverty in 2009, or 47.8 million people. Moreover, despite Social Security and Medicare, 16.1% of seniors are impoverished when out-of-pocket medical and other expenses are included. Children are most impacted at 18%, nearly one-fifth of them all. A 2009 EPI report estimated one in four, and for Blacks and Hispanics well over one in three.
In fact, Census Bureau figures way understate reality. Its poverty threshold, for example, is based on an annual $22,050 income for a family of four. Yet urban needs throughout America are much higher. A Chicago family of four needs over $49,000, and in New York over $72,000.
Yet even official data offer insight into America’s worst economic crisis since the Great Depression at a time bipartisan consensus plans social spending cuts when large increases are needed. Even so, public outrage is strangely absent. For how long is at issue.
States Plan Major Budget Cuts and Layoffs
Though slightly lower than in 2009 and 2010, the National Conference of State Legislatures forecasts $83 billion in combined state deficits, requiring greater cuts than earlier, absent federal government help or too little. As a result, major public spending cuts, wage freezes, and lower benefits are planned. Moreover, public employee unions are targeted, threatening organized labor overall.
On January 3, New York Times writer, Steven Greenhouse, headlined, “Strained States Turning to Laws to Curb Labor Unions,” saying:
Faced with growing budget deficits and restive taxpayers, elected officials from Maine to Alabama, Ohio to Arizona, are pushing new legislation to limit the power of labor unions, particularly those representing government workers, in collective bargaining and politics.
Though largely weak and ineffective, private ones are also being attacked. For example, lawmakers in Indiana, Maine, Missouri and at least seven other states plan legislation to bar private sector unions from requiring rank and file members to pay dues or fees, reducing union treasury funds. Ohio’s new Republican governor, like others, wants public school teacher strikes prohibited, and in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker is targeting the right of state employees to form unions and bargain collectively.
The “bottom line” isn’t putting “balance more on the side of taxpayers” as Walker claims. It crushing organized labor entirely, public and private, driving it back to 19th century impotence. According to Stewart Acuff, Utility Workers Union of America chief of staff:
This is a very serious effort by the radical right wing to cripple the American labor movement and remove it as a serious force in American life. They want unfettered, unrestricted corporate power, and the only thing standing in the way of absolute corporate domination of our society and what’s left of our democracy is the American labor movement.
Not the way it’s been run for years as a result of corrupted union bosses on the take, siding with business, getting big salaries and fancy perks, and being more concerned about their own welfare than rank and file members. Labor historian, Paul Buhle, sees organized labor in a state of collapse. In the March/April 2010 Against the Current issue, his article titled, “Labor at War or in the Tank,” explained “the shrinking world of US organized labor,” saying:
“….a paucity of anything like solidarity, let alone a strategy for a repowered, reorganized, 21st-century labor movement” haunts American worker struggles going forward. Moreover, (r)ecent reports suggest” possible bankruptcy for “any number of the international unions as well as the AFL-CIO at large, a situation made only worse by infighting. This is a bleak irony, indeed, following so much enthusiasm” over Obama’s election. All the more reason for new leadership, information and insight to “be brought to rank-and-file working people within the unions and outside.” In addition, add strong political support at a time it’s totally absent with Democrats as anti-labor as Republicans.
On January 6 on the Progressive Radio News Hour, James Petras explained. In 2008, Big Labor contributed over $400 million to Democrat candidates and tens of millions more in 2010. In return, Obama and congressional Democrats waged war on working Americans, endorsing layoffs, wage and benefit cuts, gutted work rules, lost pensions, and promised hope from the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). The Democrat-controlled Congress rejected it.
It would have been the first pro-labor reform since the landmark 1935 Wagner Act, letting workers for the first time bargain collectively with management on even terms. Though modest by comparison, it promised progress at a time organized labor is virtually impotent, because union bosses, like Democrats, side more with business than their own rank and file.
Compounded by huge budget cuts, layoffs, and other social sacrifices, American workers face greater poverty, extended hard times, disenfranchisement, and bleaker futures. Moreover, their pensions are under attack. In December 2010, the Brookings Institution’s, Douglas J. Elliott, headlined, “State and Local Pension Funding Deficits: A Primer,” saying:
By some measures national shortfalls exceed “$3 trillion or more than two years’ worth of state and local tax revenues.” Today’s economic crisis revealed “the severity of the investment risks by very substantially increasing the gap between the value of (pension) assets accumulated (and) the value of pension promises” already made. Major underfunding and eroded investments are core issues of the problem. No easy solutions can resolve them.
Even at today’s overvalued levels, “the stock market would have to almost triple” to close deficits “as measured using risk-free discount rates.” Reforms are also needed, including in “accounting and actuarial rules so that state and local pension plans report liability levels and deficits that are consistent with economic reality,” such as discounting “the uncertainty of the liabilities rather than the expected return on the assets” that don’t materialize in hard times.
A Final Comment
Working Americans, especially middle class ones, are being downsized toward extinction through loss of high pay/good benefit jobs, labor rights, political empowerment, standard of living gains, personal freedoms, and retirement futures.
Replacing private pensions with 401(ks), IRAs and similar schemes failed. Public pensions now face a similar fate, states wanting liability shifted from them to workers, leaving them vulnerable on their own. It’s consistent with destructive neoliberal “reforms,” wanting all public benefits eroded and eliminated. The scheme is venal and underhanded — to create a ruler – serf society, America reduced to third world status super-wealth and growing poverty extremes. Bipartisan political support endorses it.
Publicada por José Marques dos Santos à(s) 14:53