Symbolism Over Substance (and Social Justice Over Both)

8 12 2016

Portland, Oregon

The Oregonian:

Steve Novick’s CEO tax wins close vote, putting Portland on world map

In a move that’s drawn international headlines, Portland will launch a first-of-its-kind tax on public companies that pay their chief executives vastly more than they pay an average worker.

Portland City Council approved the controversial plan 3-1 Wednesday, making a statement about growing income disparity in the United States while giving Commissioner Steve Novick a legacy piece in his final weeks in City Hall.

The tax targets publicly traded companies whose chief executives report salaries at least 100 times higher than the salary of a median worker. Officials expect to raise $2.5 million a year starting in January 2018, with Novick hoping the money will help pay for homeless services.

“This is as close as I’ve ever (come) to a tax on inequality itself,” said Novick, the first incumbent tossed from city council in 24 years after an upset loss to housing activist Chloe Eudaly last month.

Novick said he also hopes the tax might discourage companies — well beyond Portland — from paying disproportionate salaries to their CEOs. He cited French economist Thomas Piketty, who calls escalating pay for top executives a major cause of the consolidation of wealth among the world’s top 1 percent of earners.


Under Novick’s tax plan, a company with a CEO-to-worker ratio of at least 100-to-1 will pay a surcharge equal to 10 percent of the amount it pays for Portland’s business tax. A company with a 250-to-1 ratio or greater would pay a 25 percent surcharge.

I’m really supposed to believe that people who are professional excuseologists for burgeoning income and wealth inequality are going to do anything of substance to reverse it.  All I needed to read was “Piketty,” the crackpot who tells us that mass immigration and open borders reduces inequality, instead of what everyone can see it does, exacerbates it.  Conveniently, the Portland-area world headquarters of Nike, a company that owns a money tree which is rooted in the soil of inequality, (Chinese shoe factory laborer doesn’t pay that well, in case you haven’t heard), is not in Portland itself, but in nearby Beaverton, Oregon.  And won’t be liable for this tax.

They’ll throw one symbolic useless gesture after another at us, and then eventually get back to waging World War T.

Because, that what’s-her-face that just lost the election, can’t remember her name, how soon we forget, put it best:


Not Moving My Needle

24 10 2016

Des Peres

The TD Ameritrade buyout of Scottrade isn’t getting me outraged.

After Purina, then A-B, then the subsequent Beer Incorporated merger, then Monsanto, my outrage budget is drained bone dry.

The only curiosity, solved later in the day today, is that TD Ameritrade will pick up the naming rights to the edifice born as the Kiel Center.

Many of a Kind

4 10 2016


Bass Pro to buy Cabela’s.

Remember when there was only ever one Bass Pro Outdoor World, and it was Springfield’s premier tourist trap?  You just had to go there on a sub-pilgrimage and a way stop on your way to Branson.

Keep Digging, Part II

3 10 2016


Vancouver (the one north of Seattle, not the one south of it) is an even more San Francisco-y version of San Francisco.

And now, some people want to make it worse.

Because, low pay and high cost of living is a bug to most people, but a feature to a few very fortunate people.

Personally, I don’t think it will pan out.  Seattle proper will continue to have its niche in the CSIT world because of MSFT and AMZN, don’t bet on Seattle-Vancouver won’t become a new Silicon Valley.  I doubt very many in the tech world are lusting to plant roots in Sedro-Woolley. How did Route 128 in Boston work out?  And Boston is where about a zillion universities are.

McDonalds Ain’t a Happy Place

19 09 2016

Columbus, Ohio

Bye bye Americans, hello H-1B.

Wonder when they’ll start using J-x visa holders to replace 365BellCurve.

One thing we do know:  These days are long gone:

In the Bag

14 09 2016

Creve Coeur

The Bayer buyout of Monsanto is going to happen, pending approval from about half the world’s national business regulatory agencies.

It also means the last of the traditional long-standing St. Louis-based corporations is going to be bought out.


8 09 2016

Greensboro/Winston-Salem, North Carolina

No thought to place at least a little bit of the blame on the customers?

Also don’t forget about the employees.  The WMs in Bell Curve City with bellcurvey customers also have bellcurvey employees.