Category: corporation


President Obama meeting with CEOs for "job council"

President Obama made it clear this week that he is 100% focused on creating jobs. Even though there may be some confusion on exactly what he is doing, he has a council now working with him. The group of CEOs who are working with the president are some of the leaders of the largest companies in the world, and they have the power to make an impact.

This job council is composed of many of the Fortune 500 CEO’s such as: General Electric, American Express, DuPont, Time Warner, Eastman Kodak, Xerox, and many more. The president is elated to have these leaders of some of the best companies in the country to work with him on his job’s initiative.

President Obama this week had a meeting with the members of the council in North Carolina. At the meeting he said, “Now government is not and should not be – the main engine of job-creation in the country. But one thing government can do is partner with private sector to make sure that every worker has the necessary skills for the jobs they are applying for.”

The job council has been working since February, and their goal is to create 1 million jobs through improved worker training in advanced manufacturing skills. There is no secret that the president’s record on the economy is seen as his weak spot, and unemployment numbers are still over 9%.

President Obama meeting with CEOs for "job council"

If the president plans to win the election in 2012, the unemployment numbers must improve. No president has won re-election with unemployment numbers more than 6% except President Regan, and his numbers were over 7%. It is obvious that President has his work cut out for him, and his unemployment numbers are increasing instead of decreasing this month.

At this meeting President Obama said, “The private sectors has hired two million jobs in the last 15 months.” Even if the president’s numbers are correct, the devastating effects that the economy has had on the middle and the lower class, 2 million jobs is just a drop in the bucket compared to the suffering in many communities.

Many of the political experts and members of the media are concerned about the composition of the members on the council. Many of the leaders of these large corporations in the last decade were more concerned with cutting their workforce instead of growing it.

General Election’s domestic workforce shrank by 25,000, and the number overseas increased. American Express’s workforce has decreased by 28%, in the last decade, and, Kodak’s has only 18,800 employees compared to 75,000 in 2001. Intel has trimmed the number of workers it employs over the past decade, and this is the general rule for most large companies.

Facebook is probably the only company on the president’s job council who legitimately is growing. There are no small or midsize companies on the council, and diversity is also limited in the group.

GE CEO Jeff ImlettAmerican Express CEO Ken Chenault

Last week, GE’s Jeff Immelt, and American Express’s Ken Chenault, who happens to be Black, put out an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, where they laid out some of the council ideas on job creation. There are five steps the panel is recommending to create more than 1 million jobs in five specific areas.

They include training workers through partnerships with community colleges, cutting red tape to speed creation of construction jobs, and boosting travel and tourism by easing the visa process for visitors. They also want to offer more help to small businesses seeking funding from SBA, and concentrating on jobless construction workers by putting them to work on energy projects.

Now the work begins, because now the administration will have to find the funding to make the plans work. In the next few months, we will find out if the CEOs and the administration are serious or they are blowing hot air.

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African-Americans in June 2011 have the highest rate of unemployment of any ethnic group in America. The most recent numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics report that black unemployment is 16.1%, and the total unemployment in the country is at 9%. While white unemployment has decreased since May of last year to 8%, our numbers are increasing.

The unemployment numbers for Hispanics is 11.8%, and the rate for Asians is at 6.4%. There are a variety of reasons for the disparity in the numbers, but we all can agree that there is a crisis and a state of emergency in the African-American community. To Reverend Jesse Jackson, the high numbers of unemployed black is a

Rev. Jesse Jackson

“cry for help” due to systematic racism and a failure to enforce the law.

I would agree with Rev Jackson, but I think the problem of black unemployment is far more complex, and a portion of our problem is the state of our family and community. A lack of education is pervasive in our community, and a small percentage in the black community is prepared for present jobs and jobs in the future.

The problems with unemployment in the black community must be attacked on many fronts. African-American politicians, the black business community, black leaders and community organizers must petition and put pressure on President Obama and his administration. We should not be satisfied with a generic workforce conference, but what we need is a jobs conference focused on the black community.

In 2011, it is not politically correct or expedient for our president to talk about or focus on the problems in the black community. But when we analyze the unemployment numbers, blacks are hurting the most. We have the worst numbers in the country and there is no plan to alleviate the suffering.

Dr. Boyce Watkins

“Like a festering and infested wound that remains untreated, President Obama’s support within the black community is threatened by the fact that the people who love him most are suffering unlike anything our nation has seen over the last 50 years,” says Dr. Boyce Watkins. Since the beginning of 2008, some 375,000 government jobs have been eliminated, and blacks make up 21% of the government workforce. Many blacks who had excellent government salaries have lost a paycheck, and the same is happening in the private sector.

Many Blacks in blue collar positions and lower class jobs are losing their jobs to many in the Hispanic community. Restaurant workers and the agricultural industry are now controlled by immigrants, who make sure that their family is the first hired. With global outsourcing, many of the office jobs and manufacturing jobs no longer exist.

There are no simple answers to the Black unemployment crisis. The question must be raised is, Just how high does the black unemployment rate have to be before the Obama Administration and Congress consider it a crisis? Maybe the Congressional Black Caucus can initiate a study on black unemployment in their districts and spearhead a movement to develop a plan to eliminate and improve black unemployment.

As the black unemployment numbers continue to deteriorate, it is time for African-Americans to use their political clout. If the automobile industry, housing industry, financial industry, and construction industry can get billions in bailouts, there is no reason why the black community should not get their portion of bailouts.

In many of these depressed communities, the target market is 75% to 85% African-American. Everyone in the country must be held accountable for this crisis. The solution must start with the apathetic attitude in the black community, and should also be addressed in the White House and the halls of Congress. African-Americans must attack unemployment on all the fronts, and our community must be mobilized with an organized plan.

Parliament building for the Canadian government

The jury is still out, if the $80 billion bailout from the federal government for General Motors and Chrysler saved the auto industry. Chrysler is repaying $5.9 billion in U.S. loans, and a $1.7 billion loan to the Canadian government. The company has been bought by Fiat, the Italian company, and the U.S. government will lose around $1.4 billion in the bankruptcy deal.

 

 

General Motors who also went through bankruptcy, received $49 billion from the federal government. The vast bulk of the bailout money was $6.7 billion in pure loan, and 60% equity stake in the company. The Canadian government gave GM $1.4 billion as pure loan, and another $8.1 billion for an 11.7 percent in equity holding. The U.S. and Canadian government initially together owned 72% of the company.

In the last weeks, the Obama administration has announced that GM and Chrysler have paid back their loans to the federal government and they will loss only $14 billion. It is very strange that these two companies are able to pay back a loan and either company has broken even or made a profit.

It is obvious that the federal government and the two automobile companies are doing some creative accounting to make the numbers work. Without a company making a profit, it is very difficult for it to pay back a loan, unless they were given more money in another deal.

GM was able to pay a loan off ahead of schedule, because the Obama administration gave the company and additional $13.4 billion as “working capital.” There were no stipulations on how they could spend the money. GM used the money to pay back the U.S. and the Canadian government with “working capital” money.

In other words, GM is using government money to pay back government money to get more government money. President Obama and his administration is celebrating the auto companies for doing a good job with the bailout loans, but the government is giving them more bailout money.

The government is not being transparent with its information, when they tell the public that the two auto companies are paying back their loans. Both of the companies were bankrupted and the government is using taxpayer’s tax money to prop and financially support the companies. The government is digging a deep hole, and they are only telling half of the story.

The government has sold Chrysler to Fiat and the Italian automaker now controls 52% of the stock. The rest of the stock is owned by United Auto Workers, and there are no guarantees that this partnership will be successful. But at this point the U.S. can wash its hands of this financial nightmare.

GM is a bigger headache because the government still owns about 23% of the stock, and the loan was paid

U.S. Secretary of Treasury Tim Geithner

by other government money. U.S. Secretary of Treasury Tim Geithner says, “Today, America automakers are mounting one of the most improbable turnarounds in recent history – creating new jobs and making investments in communities across our country.”

This is a great statement, but either one of the auto companies have broke even up to this point. Paying off government loans with more government money is deceitful and eventually there will be a major financial problem.

Losing $14 billion on any loan is a terrible deal. Knowing that the loan was paid with more government money makes the auto bailout a worst deal, which could put our economy back into a recession. Without any earning or profits, there should be no celebration and announcement of a historic turnaround in the auto industry.

President Obama

 The Democrats and the Republicans are on different sides of the fence, and neither party has a plan to reduce federal deficits, balance the budget, and cut spending. The Republicans in the House want to cut $61 billion to fund the government thru September 2011, and the Democrats in the Senate want to cut around $10 billion.

There is a huge gap between what the Republicans want to cut, and what the Democrats are willing to cut. The two parties were able to work out a deal to keep the federal government running until March 18, 2011. This Continuing Resolution included $4.1 billion in cuts, with $650 million from the highway, $468 million from Department of Education, and the rest from programs that were going to be cut by the president in his 2012 budget.

“I’m pleased that Democrats and Republicans in Congress came together and passed a plan that will cut spending and keep the government running for the next two weeks,” said President Obama. He also stated, “we cannot keep doing business this way. Living with the threat of a shutdown every few weeks is not responsible, and it puts our economic progress in jeopardy.”

Both parties in the two Houses have an agenda and there is little room for compromise. As our leaders continue to operate the government with the threat of a shutdown, everyone is operating from an emergency mindset. Everyone is stressed and many of the plans and policies at this point are not well thought out.

In all probability, the two parties will pass another short term Continuing Resolution before the March 18, 2011 deadline, but still there is no movement on the $61 billion cuts that the House has agreed on. Somewhere in this bureaucratic mess, there is a need for leadership and direction from the president.

Michael Petit: president of Every Child Matters

The majority of the cuts that the Republicans are proposing in the House impact government social programs, children, youth, the poor, and families. Michael Petit, president of the Every Child Matters Education Fund, said: “Even before the House adopted its shortsighted budget; the United States was far behind most other developed nations in caring for children. To further shred our nation’s already frayed safety net with additional cuts to babies and mothers are unacceptable.”

The cuts that the Republicans in the House are proposing will cripple our country’s most vulnerable group of citizens and will attack social programs. Some of the programs that will be impacted if the Democrats in the Senate agree to the cuts by Republicans would be as follows: Head Start cut by $1.1 billion, Maternal and Child Health Block Grant cut by $50 million, School Health Clinics cut by $380 million, Low Income Heating Assistance Program cut by $390 million, Pell Grant Program cut by $5.7 billion, and other Block Grants cut by $55 million.

There appears to be an all out assault on our children, youth, and mothers and we hear very little from the president. The president has stated that he would not sign a bill that harms our children, but how far will he go to appease the radical arm of the Republicans?

President Obama is still talking compromise and bipartisan, but the Republicans in the House are pushing their agenda. The stage has been set and everyone is waiting for leadership from the president. He is always talking about shared responsibility, but the social programs are for the citizens who have barely anything.

It is time for President Obama to take a stand and protect the social programs that many of the citizens need. As the president takes a stand, more citizens will also take a stand and support the president’s initiatives. There are other ways to save money, than cutting programs that hurt children, youth, mothers and the poor.

Congress in session

Everywhere you go in the United States, you hear people talking about making the federal government smaller. Many conservatives are considering revolting against the federal government and making the states more powerful.

Even in the state of Florida, our governor is refusing money from the federal government to build high speed rail. Our governor believes that our state could end up owing the entire $2.4 billion back to the government, if there are problems with the construction and the project is not completed. Based on his studies, there are too many “ifs and maybes” to risk the taxpayer’s hard earned money and resources.

Many governors in Wisconsin, New Jersey, Ohio, and Florida have decided that they will solve their own problems with limited interference from the federal government. Many of these states are controlled by conservative legislatures and governors, and they want to limit union intervention, and collective bargaining. They believe that they have a mandate from the people, and the same philosophy is prevalent with Republicans in the federal Congress.

These Republicans in the Congress are conservative, and believe that they were sent to Washington with a mission. Their goal is to cut spending and help to shrink the federal government. Even though the budget was $3.1 trillion when Bush was president, they want to turn back the hands of time.

The Republicans argue with the Democrats, and the Democrats argue with the Republicans over $100 billion in cuts. Both parties know that $100 billion is a small percentage of the budget, and they are fighting over peanuts. When the proposed budget for 2012 is $3.7 trillion, and the deficit is $1.3 trillion, there are other fundamental problems with balancing our federal budget.

Our country continues to fight one major war that is costing on the average, $9 billion a month and we are also dumping around $5 billion a month in Iraq, and there is no telling what the expense to keep bases around the world.  It is obvious fighting wars that we can not win is a terrible strategy, and a drain on our resources and funds.

Somewhere in President Obama campaign and the reality of Washington, our country is caught between a rock and a hard place. Cutting social programs for the poor, minorities, women, children and the elderly is no way to run the richest country on earth. Our politicians are looking in the wrong places to cut expenses.

President Obama

President Obama was right when he stated that the rich 2% of our population needs to pay more taxes, because of our deficits, and they can afford it. By the same token, our international corporations and conglomerates can afford to pay more taxes. The middle class, the poor, and the small businesses should receive a break on taxes.

It is time for the president to take a position and establish his leadership role in the Congress, and with the conservative governors around the country. The president must take the initiative and establish where the right places to make the cuts in his budget. Shutting down some of the military bases around the world could save our country billions.

Our country could save billions by stopping policing the world and stop financing corrupt governments who we want to be our friends. Finally, we should stop fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq and redirect the savings to balance our budget, and improve our infrastructure.

Many of the cuts that Republicans and the Democrats are making are for show. If they are serious about balancing our budget, they will help end the wars, and tax the people and the corporations in the country who can afford to pay.

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