2012 US Presidential Race Catch All

Farscry wrote:
NormanTheIntern wrote:

No, the fiduciary duty of the CEO is to legally maximize profits for his shareholders.

Yup. It's all about the bottom line. Which is the fundamental - and fatal - ethical flaw of our civilization.

And no, I'm not just talking about modern civilization, though we've certainly taken it to the greatest extreme yet. Throughout history, we're still motivated by the same thing we've always been: everyone wants to be a part of the oligarchy, and then once they're there they want to be at the top of the oligarchy.

Yeah, pardon, my naive idealistic hippie side is showing. But of all the things that I've learned and the views I've evolved and changed in the past decade of reading and posting in the P&C, the one thing I still hold to - and which has continuously proven true in my observations throughout my entire life - is that as long as we as a species continue to overvalue wealth and undervalue compassion, knowledge, our habitat, and the betterment of our civilization as a whole, we are going to continue spiraling towards a collapse.

You cannot, within a finite system, generate infinite wealth. And the more that wealth continues to concentrate amongst a ludicrously small oligarchy, the closer we get to where that teetering Jenga tower is going to fall apart (and the taller the tower, the more spectacular the demolition).

Even many of our greatest thinkers agree with this; they recognize that if our global civilization continues to advance the way it has (and there's every indication that's precisely what's going to happen), we will head to a collapse more spectacular than any in history unless we successfully spread beyond planet Earth (and thus change the formula by increasing the size of our finite system dramatically).

+1

NormanTheIntern wrote:
Stele wrote:

Trying to squeeze out a few more cents for stockholders is more important than having a healthy workforce? Only if you're an asshole.

No, the fiduciary duty of the CEO is to legally maximize profits for his shareholders.

The existing framework of Obamacare was created by Democrats and companies are simply working within that framework. It's true that someone thinks part time employees don't deserve healthcare - but that decision was made by Democratic legislators, not CEOs.

No, that decision was made by CEOs. You're just pretending that decision isn't protected by the wide berth the Business Judgement Rule gives to CEOs to behave as if they have no fiduciary duty, because you're too smart and informed on these matters not to be aware of that ; D

When corporation began in the US in the mid-19th century, the focus was on protection of the public interest, not on profits. Greed and the greater resources that corporation provided changed that over time to create the corporate structures we have today, and you can agree or disagree with that as you choose. Just try not to think of corporate greed as a natural thing that is supported by history as the way things should be.

It took longer than expected but this weekend my former-classmate and current pastor of a small church asked his friends on facebook whether or not it might be time for states to start withdrawing from the US and whether or not it was a good idea. Not surprisingly he had over 40 responses in the first hour of people ready to seceed. It took everything I had to not post "Yeah, because it went so well the first time we did that..." I also don't think he realized, or cares, that over 40% of the voters in our state voted for Obama. Since I've never looked into it, is he just expecting a 50% majority vote to decide whether a state should stay in the union? I have no idea how this plan works.

I've also had another friend going bonkers about the reports of companies reducing hours to avoid the cost of healthcare. He believes that all businesses are going to follow suit and that Obama and "liberals who have no idea how the world works" have just cost every citizen of the US full-time employment.

As is often the case Norman, your phrasing is anti-democrat to the extent it can be while still being technically true, and sometimes a little beyond. you claim that Democrats don't think Part Time workers "deserve" healthcare because employers are not forced by the law to provide it for them. You ignore the fact that by this standard Republicans don't think any Americans "deserve" healthcare.

Also, these people still get healthcare under the new law, and it's subsidized to boot, so in this case you are wrong instead of just incredibly partisan and inflammatory.

This article seems appropriate to post:

http://www.salon.com/2011/03/29/fail...

NormanTheIntern wrote:
Stele wrote:

Trying to squeeze out a few more cents for stockholders is more important than having a healthy workforce? Only if you're an asshole.

No, the fiduciary duty of the CEO is to legally maximize profits for his shareholders.

The existing framework of Obamacare was created by Democrats and companies are simply working within that framework. It's true that someone thinks part time employees don't deserve healthcare - but that decision was made by Democratic legislators, not CEOs.

Cutting employees hours to make them fall under the minimum was not done by legislators, it was done by the executives of those companies. The Democrats, however ham-handed you may think them to be, were trying to help people while also helping out hospitals and emergency care providers. These companies took the opportunity to avoid having to pay for that by cutting people's hours.

Yes, their primary responsibility is to save/make money. However, when Papa John's starts taking more and more flak that they chose people's livelihood over a dime and four pennies per pizza (which would not have stopped anyone I know from purchasing it, ever... the $4.50 delivery fee for my area has done that much more effectively) and start losing business, then that would also be the executive/owner who made that decision's fault. I really hope they do take a lot of flak and lose business so that other pizza chains or locally owned chains can swoop up their business and their employees.

CheezePavilion wrote:
NormanTheIntern wrote:
Stele wrote:

Trying to squeeze out a few more cents for stockholders is more important than having a healthy workforce? Only if you're an asshole.

No, the fiduciary duty of the CEO is to legally maximize profits for his shareholders.

The existing framework of Obamacare was created by Democrats and companies are simply working within that framework. It's true that someone thinks part time employees don't deserve healthcare - but that decision was made by Democratic legislators, not CEOs.

No, that decision was made by CEOs. You're just pretending that decision isn't protected by the wide berth the Business Judgement Rule gives to CEOs to behave as if they have no fiduciary duty, because you're too smart and informed on these matters not to be aware of that ; D

Yeah, it's a weird tactic to try and shift the blame. Share the blame? Sure. The Democratic lawmakers should have known (and likely did know) the consequences that would come to the fore. But to say that the Democrats were the ones that did it is dishonest. Companies are more than money-making engines, unfortunately. While the CEO of a company very certainly has the right to run a business in that capacity, when one chooses to value higher profits over the welfare of the employees, they are the ones making that choice.

It's interesting to me that, somehow, the medical well-being of our fellow citizen has now become the latest casualty in the Red vs Blue arena match. I have absolutely no doubt that Norman and several others who have expressed their opinions about these businesses making these choices would be speaking very differently if it was a decision that a Republican President and/or Congress had pushed through. I've seen many people in these past few days rush quickly to point out all sorts of things - "Well this is a financial decision", "Employees aren't owed anything by an employer that the employer doesn't want to give, they can find another job", and (my favorite) "This has been going on forever, companies have done this before I don't know why everyone is suddenly upset now." To the last, I can only answer, when Wal-Mart and other companies, years ago, altered their employment structure to get around these requirements, we didn't have half of the country sympathizing with them and treating them like noble entities beaten down by horrid regulatory changes. But now, it's a political issue rather than an issue about human beings.

I am not surprised, but I am sure as hell disappointed once again.

The nice fact checkers over at CNN had this to say about the claim that Papa John's will have to raise their prices from 11-14 cents per pizza to cover the cost of Obamacare:

Regarding a different company, one has to wonder how Costco has been able to give health care benefits to its part-time workers for years. Costco is a thriving company with lots of legacy employees.

Based on the rhetoric by people like the CEO of Papa John's, Costco should be absolutely unable to provide HI to part-time workers.

There is something to the fiduciary responsibility side of the argument, since shareholder lawsuits are a thing and executives can be punished for being too human. That said, it is only part of the equation and not a complete excuse for not raising prices by a few pennies to cover the increased costs. I don't buy for a second that cutting worker benefits to the bare bone is the only way for these companies to stay in business/stay profitable. I'm personally hoping(with zero actual expectation of it happening) that we see some reform of corporate regulations/law to reflect the social responsibilities that businesses (need to)have in our world.

The more I think about it, the more I'd like to see a shareholder lawsuit against one of these companies because they are kneecapping workers. Going after employees, especially publicly, hurts the company's performance and public image. I should look into how Whole Foods is doing, since the CEO thrust himself into the public discussion over health care when the ACA was being passed.

Bloo Driver wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:
NormanTheIntern wrote:
Stele wrote:

Trying to squeeze out a few more cents for stockholders is more important than having a healthy workforce? Only if you're an asshole.

No, the fiduciary duty of the CEO is to legally maximize profits for his shareholders.

The existing framework of Obamacare was created by Democrats and companies are simply working within that framework. It's true that someone thinks part time employees don't deserve healthcare - but that decision was made by Democratic legislators, not CEOs.

No, that decision was made by CEOs. You're just pretending that decision isn't protected by the wide berth the Business Judgement Rule gives to CEOs to behave as if they have no fiduciary duty, because you're too smart and informed on these matters not to be aware of that ; D

Yeah, it's a weird tactic to try and shift the blame. Share the blame? Sure. The Democratic lawmakers should have known (and likely did know) the consequences that would come to the fore. But to say that the Democrats were the ones that did it is dishonest. Companies are more than money-making engines, unfortunately. While the CEO of a company very certainly has the right to run a business in that capacity, when one chooses to value higher profits over the welfare of the employees, they are the ones making that choice.

Yeah, there's a big difference between:

--Democratic lawmakers knew Obamacare would make CEOs shed full-time employees lest they open themselves up to a derivative suit;

AND

--Democratic lawmakers know just how hard it is to win a derivative lawsuit like this, which means CEOs can usually act like giant dicks and get away with it.

edit for a line possibly being taken the wrong way

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/compa...

Add in Target, Starbucks, UPS, Home Depot, Whole Foods, Land's End.

There is an eerie repeat of rhetoric concerning the ACA and emancipation of slaves, OSHA, etc. We also have the jargon about elminating much of the existing worker protections as good for them.

I am not sure if slank wages and poor treatment is the way out of this financial hole. And I am unaware of any historical examples of where this has led to a stronger economy.

I think we just lack the stark examples of exploiting slaves, children, migrant labor in order to bolster industry. People still get rich on the backs of poor people.

This is just silly sometimes.

The market drives these decisions. If those companies can find plenty of quality help by holding down their hours and benefits, more power to them.

I agree that the real impediment to healthcare reform is the tradition of tying it to a job. And if the wackadoodles can be expunged from the Republican party, maybe we can get a dialogue that shows how a single payer system run by the government would be a huge boon to the economy with out deal with the hangover of McCartyism.

Subtract healthcare from all businesses budgets and they will have more money and more consistent budgets to plan for. Right now American car companies compete with foreign companies that don't have to provide this benefit.

But right now, Republicans cannot make that argument because their base is uneducated and been fed a steady diet of red scare politics for decades. It's not going to be easy to bring them along.

gore wrote:
Jolly Bill wrote:

What Quintin said. Remove the connection between employment and insurance, allowing competition between insurance options regardless of whether there is a public option or not, and there will be HUGE change in the industry.

Yeah, and that's not gonna happen overnight.

Obamacare was designed to solve one small aspect of the problem: the uninsured moochers driving up costs by visiting the ER for primary care. And that's pretty much it. It'd be nice to think that some of the "tax loopholes" the GOP keeps talking closing include the hugely beneficial status employer-provided insurance enjoys, but I'm not holding my breath.

I wouldnt because to make them useful you'd probably have to increase taxes and so far that's been a no go.

Yonder wrote:

As is often the case Norman, your phrasing is anti-democrat to the extent it can be while still being technically true, and sometimes a little beyond. you claim that Democrats don't think Part Time workers "deserve" healthcare because employers are not forced by the law to provide it for them.

Why is it fair to claim that CEOs don't care about part time workers' health (as the post I was responding to said) but assigning the balme to Congress is somehow a false choice?

Out of curiosity. When you speak of removing the requirement of insurance by employers. Are you talking about reverting to the law prior to the ACA. Are you talking about swinging the pendulum all the way to the other side and forbidding employers from providing insurance?

Demosthenes wrote:
NormanTheIntern wrote:
Stele wrote:

Trying to squeeze out a few more cents for stockholders is more important than having a healthy workforce? Only if you're an asshole.

No, the fiduciary duty of the CEO is to legally maximize profits for his shareholders.

The existing framework of Obamacare was created by Democrats and companies are simply working within that framework. It's true that someone thinks part time employees don't deserve healthcare - but that decision was made by Democratic legislators, not CEOs.

Cutting employees hours to make them fall under the minimum was not done by legislators, it was done by the executives of those companies. The Democrats, however ham-handed you may think them to be, were trying to help people while also helping out hospitals and emergency care providers. These companies took the opportunity to avoid having to pay for that by cutting people's hours.

But it can't be a suprise that this is happening - Obamacare does a bunch of short term things to increase coverage, but the cost-savings (ie the hard stuff that hasn't been figured out yet) is all medium and long-term. Creating a financial disincentive for employers to keep full time employees should not be followed by shock and awe when employers actually cut back on FTEs. Like you said

Yes, their primary responsibility is to save/make money.

I think the blatant moves by companies to avoid paying for healthcare may be exactly the impetus we need to begin a real move to government run healthcare like we see in Canada.

Jayhawker wrote:

I agree that the real impediment to healthcare reform is the tradition of tying it to a job. And if the wackadoodles can be expunged from the Republican party, maybe we can get a dialogue that shows how a single payer system run by the government would be a huge boon to the economy with out deal with the hangover of McCartyism.

You mean the "wackadoodle" moderates from your own party, right? Because you could have passed single payer without a single Republican vote.

Does the USA have the necessary amount of doctors, nurses, hospitals, and supplies to provide care for the entire country? Honest question.

Canada has a small population. It's easier to provide universal healthcare when working with less people and very few large cities.

NormanTheIntern wrote:

But it can't be a suprise that this is happening - Obamacare does a bunch of short term things to increase coverage, but the cost-savings (ie the hard stuff that hasn't been figured out yet) is all medium and long-term. Creating a financial disincentive for employers to keep full time employees should not be followed by shock and awe when employers actually cut back on FTEs. Like you said

Yes, their primary responsibility is to save/make money.

FWIW, things like this happen in Canada *all the time*. The keeping of a part time employee at 31 hours per week because the union contract states that 32 hous and up means that you have to pay benefits (for example) happens regularly up here.

To blame it on Obamacare is, IMO, simply a red-herring being used by executives to distract from the real reason.

NormanTheIntern wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

I agree that the real impediment to healthcare reform is the tradition of tying it to a job. And if the wackadoodles can be expunged from the Republican party, maybe we can get a dialogue that shows how a single payer system run by the government would be a huge boon to the economy with out deal with the hangover of McCartyism.

You mean the "wackadoodle" moderates from your own party, right? Because you could have passed single payer without a single Republican vote.

Nope. Several of those depend on support from conservatives in their own state, like Claire McCaskill. The wackadoodles prevent a reasonable conversation that I believe educated Republicans would have if they did not feel compelled to market their brand to the LCD.

NormanTheIntern wrote:

But it can't be a suprise that this is happening - Obamacare does a bunch of short term things to increase coverage, but the cost-savings (ie the hard stuff that hasn't been figured out yet) is all medium and long-term. Creating a financial disincentive for employers to keep full time employees should not be followed by shock and awe when employers actually cut back on FTEs. Like you said.

Except that the ACA hasn't been full implemented yet. How was the ACA different on November 6 than on November 7 when the Papa John's CEO claimed he just had to cut back on hours right this very moment.

But even if you take the view that they are making these cuts in anticipation of things to come, I am still wondering how it is that my premiums for HI are declining for the next calendar year with no additional increases in co-pays and yet my coverage stays the same.

Vector wrote:

Does the USA have the necessary amount of doctors, nurses, hospitals, and supplies to provide care for the entire country? Honest question.

Canada has a small population. It's easier to provide universal healthcare when working with less people and very few large cities.

http://www.globalhealthfacts.org/dat...

The US is in the range. Our rural areas are woefully underserved relative to urban populations, however. The US has a population more and more concentrated in urban areas. But as you get out into more rural areas, more rural states, hospital services can be hours away.

KingGorilla wrote:

Out of curiosity. When you speak of removing the requirement of insurance by employers. Are you talking about reverting to the law prior to the ACA. Are you talking about swinging the pendulum all the way to the other side and forbidding employers from providing insurance?

Before Obamacare, employers only provided insurance because of huge tax loopholes that basically allowed for this to be untaxed compensation. You wouldn't need to forbid employers from providing insurance, all you'd have to do is close the loopholes, and it'd die right away.

But for better or worse, Obamacare took us in the other direction. I personally think this is a calculated step on the way towards single payer, cause the current solution creates a ton of pain points that eventually many large companies are going to really want to be rid of.

Jayhawker wrote:

But right now, Republicans cannot make that argument because their base is uneducated and been fed a steady diet of red scare politics for decades. It's not going to be easy to bring them along.

I'm still seeing facebook posts where people are quoting all of these politicians from the 60's talking about how America is in danger of falling to Communism. Naturally they're tying this all back to Obama making the US a "socialist country". I'm honestly shocked that there are still people out there that view communism as the biggest threat to America and the political structure of Satan. It seems like if we put forth any legislation designed to help the public at large then they feel we're two steps away from bread lines and religion being outlawed. It's almost like being thrown back to the 80's or earlier and I truly believe that a lot of people have never gotten out of the Cold War mindset.

Vector wrote:

Does the USA have the necessary amount of doctors, nurses, hospitals, and supplies to provide care for the entire country? Honest question.

Canada has a small population. It's easier to provide universal healthcare when working with less people and very few large cities.

An interesting result of this is that there's likely to be more demand for primary care docs in the US. Primary care is one of the worst paying types of medicine here. Specialists are where it's at for the bucks.

But with all the newly insured people? There won't be enough primary docs to go around, most likely. Could result in market pressure to make more primary care doctors and fewer specialists, which would probably ultimately be a good thing.

Bloo Driver wrote:

Yeah, it's a weird tactic to try and shift the blame. Share the blame? Sure. The Democratic lawmakers should have known (and likely did know) the consequences that would come to the fore. But to say that the Democrats were the ones that did it is dishonest. Companies are more than money-making engines, unfortunately. While the CEO of a company very certainly has the right to run a business in that capacity, when one chooses to value higher profits over the welfare of the employees, they are the ones making that choice.

I think you're painting a yin/yang picture that implies consent or equality that just isn't the case - the government holds all the trump cards - all the carrots and sticks that come with force of law. Companies exist to compete for money, governments exist (in part) to define the playing field and protect the players.

Like you said
Quote: Yes, their primary responsibility is to save/make money.

The obvious addendum being, that by taking this action to save money NOW, they may be shooting themselves in the foot in the long term with sales. I can tell you, when in my power, I will be avoiding them like the plague. Given how often we buy pizza and HAVE from them, this is business lost that will be going to Pizza Hut or a smaller/local chain in the area from now on. Does that support their plan of getting as much money as possible? Not so much, at least not from me in the long term, and I suspect, much like Chik-Fil-A, they'll get lots of woo red team business for the next few weeks with their anti-Obama/anti-Democrats stuff, but those of us who disagree will hurt their business over the long run by going elsewhere, even after the boost from the otherside has disappated.