|The Overlords of the USA Plan Their Strategy|
Business Roundtable (BRT) is an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies with nearly $6 trillion in annual revenues and more than 13 million employees. BRT member companies comprise nearly a third of the total value of the U.S. stock market and invest more than $114 billion annually in research and development – nearly half of all private U.S. R&D spending. Our companies pay more than $179 billion in dividends to shareholders and give nearly $9 billion a year in combined charitable contributions.That third of the Stock Market hasn't been doing so hot lately, has it? And it's all the government's fault, according to S&P, aka McGraw-Hill, aka the BRT -- because the genius CEOs of its membership had forecast the economy would be booming, customers would be buying, and they would be hiring two months ago. Here's what they gushed on June 15th:
..Our CEOs expect increased sales and as a result plan to increase capital investments, US hiring over the next six months.Uh-oh. Who to blame for their glaring failure in forecasting? Themselves? No way. Better to get their fall guy at Standard and Poor's to issue a bad report card and falsely blame the whole mess on the debt and the deficit. And then get Paul Krugman to blame S&P. Heaven forbid the CEOs should blame the tanking economy on their own highly successful infiltration of all levels of government, their own responsibility for the very real Eurozone debt crisis, and their own wildly triumphant efforts at self-serving legislation here at home. And of course, get the two wildly alike political parties to blame each other. You can never have enough scapegoats when you're in the Forbes 400.
So just quickly looking at the charts that you have in front of you, on sales fairly consistent with results from the first quarter, 87% of member CEOs anticipate sales will increase, 12% expect sales to remain the same and 2% of CEOs expect sales to decline.
Last quarter none expected lower sales, so it’s pretty close to last quarter’s results. On capital spending 61% of member CEOs project higher spending in the next six months, about the same as the 62% who projected increased spending last quarter; 32% expect spending to remain the same. And only 7% project a decline, again about even with last quarter’s 6%. On employment, 51% of member CEOs expect to add US employees, roughly the same as the 52% who did last quarter; 38% expect employment to remain steady, and 11% project lower employment which is exactly the same as last quarter.
The BRT, which has been called President Obama's "closest ally in the business community", was founded during the Nixon Administration for the express purpose of fighting back against labor unions and government regulation. Among its early successes was the defeat of the first-ever Consumer Protection Agency, proposed by Ralph Nader in 1977. It's been going strong ever since. It blocked a punitive labor law reform bill that would have made it illegal for corporations to intimidate workers who wanted to form unions. During the Reagan era, it was instrumental in cutting corporate taxes. It has had its tentacles in the enactment of every free trade policy initiative, including being the big money behind NAFTA.
It goes on and on ad nauseum. From Wikipedia:
The Roundtable also successfully opposed changes in corporate governance that would have made boards of directors and CEOs more accountable to stockholders. In 1986, the Roundtable convinced the Securities and Exchange Commission to forgo new rules on merger and acquisitions, and in 1993 convinced President Clinton to water down his plan to impose penalties on excessive executive salaries. Citicorp CEO, John Reed, chairperson of the Roundtables Accounting Task Force, argued that Clinton's plan would have had negative effects on U.S. competitiveness. The Roundtable's Health, Welfare, and Retirement Income Task Force, chaired by Prudential Insurance CEO Robert C. Winters, cheered President Bush's (Medicare prescription drug) plan, which consisted mainly of subsidies to the health care industry.The Phony Debt Ceiling Crisis is a perfect example of Shock Doctrine Capitalism. Instead of blaming the terrible economy on greed run amock, why not blame it on government overspending and the almighty deficit? Pay no attention to the fact that the BRT spider web of toxic corporations caused the biggest loss of household wealth in American history. Blame it instead on its own victims and get more money for themselves by slashing the social safety net in order to save it for future generations. Spread the false doctrine of debt, and call for shared sacrifice from the masses. Issue a phony credit rating report card and cow the masses into accepting an undemocratic "super congress" Politburo of 12 Partisans to seal their fate. Get a complicit Democratic president to change the meaning of the word "progressive" into a movement that embraces austerity as a virtue, and instills fear of an impending right-wing theocratic movement even worse than the soft fascism already squeezing us with its velvet glove and calm, dulcet tones.
Jobs? Our government's idea of a job creation program is to make life easier for the Dark Knights of the Business Roundtable. Cut their taxes, repatriate their profits, stop implementation of EPA clean air standards so these Lords of Finance will feel confident enough to hire. Never mind they'd sooner have us choke to death than look at us.
Is it any coincidence that the chairman of Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness is the same head honcho of G.E. and BRT official who pays absolutely no corporate taxes and has outsourced the vast majority of jobs overseas? Is it any coincidence that the CEO of Honeywell International (biggest creator of superfund toxic waste sites in history) is Obama's Roundtable jobs spokesman on all the TV talk shows? Is it any wonder that when Obama talks up climate change, he is not referring to greenhouse gases and the weather, but in changing the "business" climate in their favor?
|Roundtable Extension: White House Council on Jobs (not) and Competiveness (corporate profits)|
Coming soon: the Occupation of Wall Street in September and the March on Washington in October.