Tag Archives: wall street

PUTTING A PRICE ON THE HEADS OF OUR CHILDREN,BY Louise Annarino,December 18,2012

18 Dec

PUTTING A PRICE ON THE HEADS OF OUR CHILDREN,By Louise Annarino, December 18, 2012

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What price do we put on the heads of our children? If there were not so much money involved, the U.S. could have regulated the gun industry long ago. Following the money we learn:

– “Net sales from continuing operations for the second quarter were a record $136.6  million, up 48.0% from the second quarter last year,” states a press release by Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation. While market drops for other industries it escalates for the gun industry. This is one business where uncertainty increases profit.

-As of 2011, there were approximately 5,400 licensed firearms manufacturers and 950 importers in the United States, The United States Department of Justice Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives reports. THis does not include miltary armament sales.

-Arms sales (agreements), by Supplier, 2003-2010 (in billions of constant 2010 U.S. dollars)

Supplier Total Sales in US Dollars (billions) Percent of total sales
United States 170.764 39%
Russia  81.059 18%
France  37.4 8%
United Kingdom  29.803 7%
China  15.272 3%
Germany  22.807 5%
Italy  15.134 3%
Other European  47.024 11%
Others  23.654 5%
Source: Richard F. Grimmett, CRS Report for Congress; Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2003-2010, September 22, 2011If you are viewing this table on another site, please see http://www.globalissues.org/article/74/the-arms-trade-is-big-business for further details and context.

-”Industrialized countries negotiate free trade and investment agreements with other countries, but exempt military spending from the liberalizing demands of the agreement. Since only the wealthy countries can afford to devote billions on military spending, they will always be able to give their corporations hidden subsidies through defence contracts, and maintain a technologically advanced industrial capacity.

“And so, in every international trade and investment agreement one will find a clause which exempts government programs and policies deemed vital for national security. Here is the loophole that allows the maintenance of corporate subsidies through virtually unlimited military spending.”— Stephen Staples, Confronting the Military-Corporate Complex, presented at the Hague Appeal for Peace, The Hague, May 12th 1999.

TAXES GENERATED IN THE UNITED STATES

TAX IMPACT                                  BUSINESS TAXES                                 EXCISE TAXES

Federal Taxes                                  $2,503,904,614                                     $487,998,107

State Taxes                                       $2,071,203,685

Total Taxes                                      $4,575,108,309                                     $487,998,107

Chart from (National Shooting Sports Foundation) NSSF website www.nssf.org/.

-in 2010, Dun and Bradsrteet listed 661 U.S. manufacturers of small firearms or parts. It is estimated these private companies generated approximately $1.2 billion per annum.

-Gun dealers foster political uncertainty to boost sales as illustrated by the following comment by Rick Gray, owner of Accuracy Gun Shop in Las Vegas: “Clinton was the best gun salesman the gun manufacturers ever had. Obama’s going to be right up there with him.”, International Herald Tribune; November 8, 2008. Fear-mongering of Democratic candidates, including the scary African-American president, creates political advantage for the Republican candidates and increases profits for gun manufacturers. Using race to divided the country only increases uncertainty and fear, driving up sales. Is it any wonder Republican- and some Democratic-congresspersons not only refuse to regulate gun and armament  manufacturing and sales; but,also support shadow corporate welfare within defense spending bills?

IF YOU CAN’T LAUGH AT MITT,YOU HAVE NO SENSE OF HUMOR,By Louise Annarino, August 15, 2012

16 Aug

IF YOU CAN’T LAUGH AT MITT,  YOU HAVE NO SENSE OF HUMOR, By Louise Annarino, August 15,2012

It never ends. Just when I think I have heard it all another hilarious comment flies forth from Mr. Romney. His demeanor changed, however, when he took off his mask to chastise Vice President Joe Biden for his “chains” remark, and the president for his “hate”. His businessman’s go-for-kill instinct rose to the surface as he attacked both the the vice-president and president for Mr. Biden’s remarks. We all know Joe: Good heart. Foot-in-mouth when speaking off the cuff. Rather like the gaffs made Mr. Romney himself when speaking off -script. Come on Mitt, give Joe a break. His gaffs make yours acceptable,too. We all know President Obama: children love him. Women adore him. Even his political enemies know he is a good man, and his political friends think he needs to be less tolerant and accepting. Even Mr. Romney accuses him of being too nice for apologizing when he is wrong.

Let me explain something, Mr. Romney. It is not code when the person speaking (VP Biden)is describing the actual event as it is occurring. It is not outrageous when what is actually happening to African-Americans and to each of us is not being done by the speaker (VP Biden)describing it, but by the man (that would be you, Mr. Romney) who attacks him for the audacity to describe what you would do to us. Mr. Romney has hung himself by hIs own petard! What is a petard, anyway?

I doubt any of this matters to Republican strategists who look for any excuse to describe President Obama as needing correction by his betters, whose very presence in the White House brings the presidency to a new low, whose support by an old white guy (Sorry, Mr. Biden,I call ‘em as I see ‘em) is reprehensible, whose African-American half  is enough color to race-bait voters. Now, they are calling for the resignation of VP Joe Biden for his use of racial code. If you are not laughing out loud at this irony, you have no sense of humor.

Let them try to make this a real issue. We know what is real. The real issue is that VP Biden’s reply (even though he mangled the words) to the Republican talking point that President Obama’s policies regulating banks and business shackles (their word, not Biden’s) Wall Street. Wall Street needs some restrictions so it does not bring the economy and each of us to our knees; depriving us of our jobs,our homes,our savings and our future. It feels to us. Mr. Romney, that you would chain us so we could not fight against those willing to do us harm and to make more than a few more bucks at our expense. Now, that, sir, is outrageous.

 

WALKING WITH ANGELA: DAY 2

13 Mar

WALKING WITH ANGELA: DAY 2

Louise Annarino

March 12, 2012

We were walking home from the library; a visit to the library a daily event. My mother Angela would allow me to roam the library for books to read to myself, as she read to my younger brother. We bundled into our heavy sweaters and stuffed our check-out books into the pouch on the back of the stroller,tucked a blanket around my brother Michael and headed home. I had been disappointed that my 6 year old older brother Angelo was able to go to school, but I would have to wait until I was older. The library visit was one way to appease my hunger for knowledge.

The library was a magnificent and, to me, magical building of brick and granite, with Doric columns and huge multi-paned windows. The architecture became less impressive as we walked to the South-End, under the railroad trestle, to the house my Great-Grandfather had built from used materials. The wood was so old and dense that it was nearly impossible to hammer a nail in the wall. Holding onto the handle of the stroller, chatting with Mom, noting the changing demographic markers from rich to poor as we walked home, I asked Mom, “Are we poor?”

“No”, she said, “I have been poor and we are not poor. We have plenty of food to eat. You have your own bed with blankets to warm you. You have dolls to play with and books to read. There will always be someone with less than you, and others with more. Never compare yourself to anyone else.”

“Well, I don’t see why we don’t put all the money in the world into one big pile and just let everyone take their share. Then, no one would be poor,” I offered.

“Oh yes, they would,” Mom replied. “Some people would grab more than they should. Others would not be fast enough to pull out their share. Some would spend their money foolishly and end up with nothing. Others would steal from people or trick them into giving up their money. And, we would end up right back where we started.”

Well, that was an education in economics I was not happy to learn. But, Mom was right, as usual. She told me to work hard, study hard, and not waste my money on cheap clothes, nor useless items. And to “NEVER follow a fad.” She said that fads made people spend money on things that were poorly made, not meant to last, and easily discarded. In other words, a total waste.

Politics, as well as other arenas of American cultural activity, has become a fad for too many Americans. They are “dittoe-heads” who watch hate mongers for entertainment. They don’t take the time to search for lasting solutions, for policies which are “well made” and fit the needs of the country’s long-term economic growth. Unexciting but sound ideas make poor “sound bites”. They look for cheap fixes such as denying women contraceptive health care.They would end the Affordable Care Act, instead of improving it as single-payer health care, which is the most cost-effective health care delivery system. They deny LGBT community its civil rights. They tell immigrants to “self-deport”. They love the latest fad constructed by Karl Rove or the Tea Party.

The voters follow the fads of wall street and hedge fund investors, and commodities and oil traders; instead of regulating their activities, and despite the fact their un-regulated trades and investments brought this country to near-bankruptcy.

The approval rating of  President Obama rises and falls with gas prices, despite the fact he has increased US oil production to an all-time high, his policies have reduced the demand for oil, and he has expanded the development and use of alternative energy sources. Oh, and while he was doing all this, he saved the entire world from a second “great depression”. His administration is not a fad.

Thanks to Angela, I never follow fads. I look for sound economic policies with lasting impact. I am voting for President Obama.

Those who refuse any support for President Obama’s economic policies should have taken a walk with Angela.