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Showing posts from January, 2016

That's a lot of coffee!

Here is an "interesting" way of putting into perspective the earnings of a CEO....

"It’s still a lot of java.

Starbucks Corp. Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz received $20.1 million in reported compensation last year, the Seattle-based company said in a filing Monday, down from $21.5 million in 2014. Measured in his favorite beverage, the value of his pay is enough to buy almost 9 million espresso macchiatos -- or 24,400 each day for a year.

The pay included $1.5 million in salary, a $4 million cash bonus and $14.4 million in stock options and restricted shares. The equity vests over the next few years, some of it based on how well the company performs. The Italian-style macchiato, made up by two shots of espresso and a touch of steamed milk foam, sells for $2.25 at the Starbucks at 1962 First Ave. South in Seattle, a short walk from the company’s headquarters."

What a duo!

Credited to Patrick Chappatte of The New York Times

Capitalism. The absolute worst side - and the detrimental effect

Two pieces on CommonDreams, coincidentally on the same day, address a topic which ought to concern everyone.   First, there is the greed and outrageous "pay packets" of CEO's of large corporations and how that compares to the income of their employees.   And second, there is the negative effect of Foundations, like that of Bill Gates and his wife, are having on society.

"As the New Year gets underway, the highest-paid CEOs of many large corporations have already paid themselves more than the average worker will earn in the entire year! By the end of the first week of January, the highest-paid CEOs had already made as much as their average workers will earn over 8 years.

An analysis by Equilar, a consulting firm specializing in executive pay, found that on average, the 200 highest-paid CEOs make approximately $22.6 million a year, or almost $10,800 an hour, a 9.1% increase from the previous year. Meanwhile, the Census Bureau reports the average household earns approxi…

Wither the Arab Spring?

It's hard to believe that it is 5 years ago, this week, that saw the dawn of the so-called Arab Spring in Tunisia.   And then it all seems to have evaporated despite the fervent desire of so many that it succeed throughout the Arab world.    So what happened?

"Five years ago this week, the first of several victories of the Arab spring was won in Tunisia. Popular and largely nonviolent demonstrations had begun just four weeks earlier in the country’s southern interior, with its long history of resistance to central government.

Following the self-immolation of the vegetable seller Mohammed Bouazizi on 17 December 2010, the demonstrations had spread rapidly, culminating in a large rally outside the interior ministry in Tunis on 14 January. On that day, facing huge opposition and a planned general strike, the president of Tunisia, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, fled. He has been holed up in Saudi Arabia ever since.

Strong unions strengthen democracies – and deliver peace | Houcine Abassi …

The terrorist threat - statistically

Yes, any act of terrorism is hideous and cannot be defended on any way.   But, as this piece "Here’s the Thing About Terrorism Obama Won’t Tell You" on Foreign Policy in Focus so clearly details, the risk of being a victim of a terrorist attack - in the USA, and no more likely elsewhere - is rather slim.

"One in 3.5 million: That’s your annual risk of dying from a terrorist attack in the United States, at least according to Cato analyst John Mueller. Rounded generously, that comes out to roughly 3 one-hundred thousandths of a percentage point, or 0.00003 percent.

And this, according to a recent Gallup poll cited by The New York Times, is the percentage of Americans “worried that they or someone in their family would be a victim of terrorism”: 51.

So that’s 51 percent of Americans who think a terrorist attack against themselves is sufficiently likely to warrant their personal concern, versus a 0.00003 percent chance it might actually happen. If you’ll forgive my amateur num…

Not such worthy Nobel Peace Prize winners

There is always the usual fanfare and hype surrounding the awarding of the annual Nobel Peace Prize.   It was no different when Aung San Suu Kyi and President Obama were awarded the Prize.   But, as Nicholas Kristof points out in his column in The New York Times there are ready contradictions in both award-winners now going to be presiding over concentration camps in Myanmar.

"Soon the world will witness a remarkable sight: a beloved Nobel Peace Prize winner presiding over 21st-century concentration camps.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, one of the world’s genuine heroes, won democracy for her country, culminating in historic elections in November that her party won in a landslide. As winner, Aung San Suu Kyi is also inheriting the worst ethnic cleansing you’ve never heard of, Myanmar’s destruction of a Muslim minority called the Rohingya.

A recent Yale study suggested that the abuse of the more than one million Rohingya may amount to genocide; at the least, a confidential United Nations repo…

Texas.... and its insane new gun law

Only in America.    With regular shootings across the country - and countless deaths involved - only in the USA would one see a new gun law, like that which came into force on 1 January in Texas, even considered, let alone brought into law.     Madness is a word which immediately comes to mind.

"Texas is so gun-friendly that it is easier to get into the Capitol in Austin with a firearm than without one — licensed, gun-carrying lawmakers and members of the public have their own no-wait security lane, and the unarmed masses have to stand in line and slog through the metal detectors.

"But on Friday, gun rights throughout the state expanded still more, as a new law took effect that allows certain Texans to wear their handguns in holsters on their hips — or in shoulder holsters, Dirty Harry-style — openly displaying the fact that they are armed as they work, shop, dine and go about their day.

The so-called open-carry law has set off a long-simmering debate over the limits of the Tex…

Arms. Great for business

It's no wonder that the arms industry is right behind a government when there is military action involved in some way or other.....and no where more so than in the USA.     The huge amount earned from the sale of weaponry, and arms, in America is shown by the staggering sums of money involved in the industry.

"Foreign arms sales by the United States jumped by almost $10 billion in 2014, about 35 percent, even as the global weapons market remained flat and competition among suppliers increased, a new congressional study has found.

American weapons receipts rose to $36.2 billion in 2014 from $26.7 billion the year before, bolstered by multibillion-dollar agreements with Qatar, Saudi Arabia and South Korea. Those deals and others ensured that the United States remained the single largest provider of arms around the world last year, controlling just over 50 percent of the market.

Russia followed the United States as the top weapons supplier, completing $10.2 billion in sales, compar…