IDEAS ARE THE SEED FROM WHICH OUR FUTURE EVOLVES.
1. My children, your children, and their children are inheriting a world in economic freefall, a world full of debt left to them by my generation. This is not the legacy by which I want to be remembered.
The US Fed is bailing out Banks, Investments Houses, and Automobile makers. Who's next? As I understand it, the government is in the process of assuming the bad debt, by holding stock in these institutions pending their return to solvency. If the government ends up holding controlling interests in all these corporations, isn't that socialism?
Are the countries that ARE buying up our treasury notes that we are using to fund these so-called bail-outs, not technically becoming the quasi owners? Add these transactions to the stock already owned by these foreign investors (countries), well, we might as well just stamp the American flag with big bold letters, S O L D across each one.
2. I know a lot of people hate Wal-Mart. They have reason to. Wal-Mart is the largest WAGE SLAVE employer in the world. But please read what Sam and his wife did. (She was the one who talked Sam into including all the employees, not just the management, in the starting stock idea) When Sam started Wal-Mart, as back when our forefather's started this country, both Sam Walton and wife and our forefathers started with great ideals. Like Wal-Mart the U.S.A is not living up to those ideals, as the Wal-Mart stock is no longer owned or controlled by the employees and the U.S.A is now controlled by the very rich and greedy bottom-line thinkers.
I have never worked for Wal-Mart, owned any Wal-Mart stock or had any connection with Wal-Mart other than as a customer, but I honestly think Sam had the right business model, at least as it related to employees and promoting products made in the USA. Having said that, I don't believe the Wal-Mart of today embraces the same concepts Sam envisioned for Wal-Mart's future. Today Wal-Mart calls their employees associates (WAGE SLAVES) and pushes a motivation training program with emphasis on the Wal-Mart Team and team spirit. Sam knew that employees who had a vested interest (stock share) in the company would be vastly more dedicated, loyal and productive than if they were just hourly workers.
Sam's vision slowly fell apart due to his having no control over employee stock retention. When employees had a need for funds, Sam had no way to prevent the employee from selling his or her stock; thus employee owners were reverting back in fact, and more importantly in mind-set, to being just an hourly worker working for the man as a wage slave. Sam's idea, had it worked as well for the employees as it has for the overall Wal-Mart Corporation, would have moved thousands of workers well up into the middle class, as was the case of the first employees who DID NOT sell their stock. They became firmly established in the upper middle class, if not wealthy. This is the type of leadership we need NOW.
The ratio of CEO-to-worker pay between CEOs of the S&P 500 Index companies and U.S. workers widened to 380 times in 2011 from 343 times in 2010. In 1980, the average large company CEO only received 42 times the average worker's pay. The president of the United States only receives about 100 times the average worker's pay in many corporations. Regulation is needed to limit the ratio of pay between executives and average workers.
To stop all military waste and reduce the deficit, we should limit the profit of any military purchase (direct or indirect through a broker) where there exists the possibility of loss of life, with or without the declaration of war, to cost only (including maintaining the production equipment as well as it's depreciation, and all pay from CEO down should be frozen during this period). This takes the profit out of these wars, police actions, CIA and all other related government actions. We should not forget to apply these actions to all CIA activities whether in the open or clandestine. All should be done by independent bids issued by civilian volunteer committees. These committees cannot be connected to any military personnel.
No military personnel, active or retired, directly or through a broker, should have any interest in concessions that make profit at the cost of our troops; such as calls to home, post-exchange transactions etc. These services to our troops really should be free or at most on at-cost basis. My understanding concerning these operations such as PXs, officer's clubs, enlisted personnel's clubs etc. are owned by top ranking officers in the theatre countries in which they operate. These officers or group of officers operate them through "shell" companies or operations and is a total rip-off to the men and women who serve our country. In many cases even some of the legitimate military recreation centers have to pay bribes to corrupt military officials to operate. Make no mistake these enterprises are real money makers. The problem is they do not benefit you, me, our service men and women, or our country. If you stop these activities, you end the incentive to create problems around the world.
3. Social Security is facing a deadline for providing future retirement income now that the baby boomers are entering the picture. Our resources are not going to be able to meet these demands without just printing more and more paper debt. If the government can guarantee certain savings in bank accounts through the F.D.I.C., why not establish a program that would require that every employee own a regulated block of stock (Retirement Account) made up of stock in the company the employee works for and, so the employee will not have all his retirement eggs in one basket, include in this retirement basket high rated bonds and stocks from other non-competing employee-owned companies and a fixed percentage of physical gold and other precious metals, held in protected insured company vaults?
In the past for most people, their home has been their largest investment. The employee ownership plan could allow a first home down payment deduction from the retirement account. The down payment would be protected by a priority lien and would accrue interest at a regulated rate that could be paid back into the employees retirement account by the mortgage holder. It seems to me the government could guarantee these programs as they do through the F.D.I.C regulated plans. Like social security, employee accounts will need regulated protection to limit access to the account whether it is for a first home down payment plan, disability, or retirement. This surely would be less expensive to taxpayers than trying to overhaul and fund Social Security. Most young people I talk with NOW, state they don't think Social Security will be available when they retire.
Just as we provide student loans to help provide a college education, once the student graduates we should consider providing employment loans that would start the employee ownership package rolling. The corporations themselves could enact scholarship type programs to provide a start-up stock package to attract needed employees. I believe the psychological factor alone would increase the self-esteem a worker will have just by working for his or her "employee owned" company. THIS will go a long way in terms of increasing both the company's product quality as well as quantity of production and sales. These concepts could unlock, reestablish and promote the ideals and ingenuity for which the American work force is renowned.
The employee could consolidate any existing student loans with the employee stock ownership package, paying for both through a regulated payroll deduction plan. When the startup package is paid for, it would be mandatory that a systematic rate of payroll deductions continue to allow the employees retirement package to continue to grow until retirement. If the employee is terminated prior to retirement, the government could establish policy for an escrow holding account pending re-establishing or transferring the fund with a new employer, including cases of no employment available or disability.
Provisions could also be made in the G I Bill program earmarking a part of the package to provide the funds for the purchase of the employee's start up stock package for those leaving the military in search of employment.
Think about the effect this would have on startup businesses, where each employee hired is bringing not just his or her skills, but also bringing investment capital.
Think how customers would be treated by employee owners, and the respect customers would have for employees when they know this person actually does own the company.
4. When you THINK about it, why would anyone given a choice want to work for a corporation that has over 51% of its stock owned by outside investors? They could even be outside of this country. These outside and/or foreign investors are electing THEIR CEOs and board members. As the laws stand now I don't see any way to prevent outside and/or foreign investors from taking control of a corporation, laying off the workers, sending the jobs overseas and selling all the assets, equipment, buildings, land etc. Why not limit outside and or foreign investment in any one U.S. corporation to a maximum of 49% or less? EVEN CHINA DOES THIS.
The IRS tax deductions ( LOOPHOLE ) for advertising sports teams million dollar salaries etc, should be limited it to college athletics departments, with scholarship funds providing educational availability to student athletes.
It's not uncommon to require persons running for political office to live in the city, district or state that they will be representing if elected. In this respect I feel our work force and the companies for which they work are entitled to have the same regulated protections and ownership requirements as the politicians that represent them. Why would we want foreign investors owning controlling interests, electing CEOs and board members in our US corporations? We don't even allow United States citizens to run for President unless they were born in this country. The founders of this country as well as the founder of Wal-Mart both understood these principles. Both had good visions and ideals at the start.
5. Vegas & Wall Street
Wall Street is the BIG APPLE CASINO. Vegas has been ahead of Wall Street gamblers (Traders) for a long time. For instance, if you're a card counter (a system that gives the player an advantage over the house) playing Black Jack in a Vegas casino, even though card counting is legal (like selling short or certain other stock and option trading is legal), when the pit boss catches onto you, the casino has the right to ask you to leave and even ban you from coming back. Why can't Wall Street take the same position with their trading (gambling)? When it is determined that any specific type of trading action, legal or illegal, is detrimental to the overall health of the stock market, it could and should be banished.
6. Fiduciary Responsibility & Golden Parachutes
It's a well known fact that institutional and private fund investors, by virtue of the scale of their collective investments, have enormous influence over financial markets and the global economy as a whole. In 1999 United States public pension funds alone had assets representing 46 percent of the gross domestic product and 33 percent of the New York Stock Exchange's capitalization. Additional holdings by religious, educational and public institutions, unions and foundations further increase these numbers. As a result, these institution's financial decisions have a huge impact on society. The collective power of these institutions could be limited to 10 to 30% holding in any one corporation thus reducing their power to control the election of CEOs and board members along with their outrageous contracts that include multi-million dollar bonuses and golden parachutes. This action would tend to secure the short and long term interests of employee owners, beneficiaries, and other shareholders and stakeholders alike.
The realities of the 21st century require fiduciaries to be concerned with the impact of financial, social and environmental factors on the performance of their company to fulfill their legal obligations and maximize shareholder value. In addition, as employee owners, fiduciaries have the duty and the opportunity to promote good corporate governance to protect the assets under their care, and because the corporation is at least 51% employee owned the focus of the CEO and board is not just the bottom line.
The employee owner concept asserts that the integration of prudent financial management practices with principles of environmental stewardship, concern for community, labor and human rights, and corporate accountability to employee shareholders and stakeholders, which presently are not considered relevant by the financial decision-making process of the bottom lined focused professional investors. These outside and/or foreign investors with no other relationship to the company or employee, other than ownership of its stock, tend to constitute in-fact a single bottom line concept. In order to guarantee long term sustainability, to minimize long and short term financial risk, the definition of fiduciary responsibility has to evolve to a more comprehensive view of all aspects concerning the true value of a corporation and its employees, NOT JUST THE BOTTOM LINE.
7. A PRIVATIZED NEW DEAL!
The Peter Principle is the principle that "In a Hierarchy Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence." This now seems to apply to Corporations more so than employees. The bigger the Corporation the harder they fall. One way to reduce the devastating effects of a giant corporate failure would be to break it down into smaller component production facilities. In the automotive field, this would be the perfect time. Rethinking the industry is ongoing due to the high cost of energy. More fuel efficient vehicles, alternative power source and hybrids are the future.
Retooling will be required whether the production facilities are the same central mega factories or smaller compact units spread out across the country. Why not construct and locate satellite assembly and fabrication units close to the local Dealerships. Engine production could be spread out all across the country in units such as piston plants, crankshaft plants, every part a smaller facility. The larger the production facility the higher the cost of living for the workers.I believe the reduction in labor cost alone could cover the cost of constructing the facilities. I'm not sure what action will be required to get the unions onboard. But I will say this. Robots don't pay union dues. The technology is available to monitor and supervise each facility remotely from a central location. If the treasury is going to bail-out these corporations anyway, I say attach the funds to employee loans and let the employee owners bring in investment capital to help put it all together. This way we are putting people to work, not just paying out to professional investors. (gamblers)
8. Make no mistake, IT WILL NOT BE EASY!
It will require such a complete change in the way people think about such things as their work ethics. The days of the employee that is just a clock watcher, doing just enough work to look busy, will be over. Each employee owner will have a new incentive to produce and encourage their employee owner partners to do the same. CEOs and board members as employee owners themselves will be concerned with all aspects of the business, NOT JUST THE BOTTOM LINE. Corporate issues such as social security (in-house retirement accounts) instead of federal social security, in-house corporate healthcare both during working years and retirement, involvement with unions, Worker's Compensation issues--all these things will have to be addressed.
Our government will need to use tariffs to prevent these same foreign (both private and government owned) corporations, who have workers that are forced to work for anything they can get, from dumping (exporting) low cost copies of our products into this country. Last but not least, we must keep in mind the Golden Rule. Those who have the gold make the rules, and you can bet if the 51% employee ownership ball starts rolling, money will be no object when they (professional outside/foreign investors) put their best lawyers and lobbyists in high gear to protect their status-quo.
If WE THE PEOPLE continue to take our future for granted, WE THE PEOPLE will continue to be victims of economic oppression (working for the man). Unless checked, economic power will continue to cause more death and destruction than atomic power. Click on the site below and see what happens when people don't speak out, won't speak out, or sadly, just have no way to be heard.
We THE PEOPLE need to act NOW. This problem is global. Each country should act now. Whether it's my view of Sam's idea, or your ideas, or any combination of ideas, doesn't matter. Just because we think an idea is sound and could work, but think it will never happen, doesn't matter. What does matter is will we get our ideas into the hands and minds of those present and future leaders who can and will mold, modify and implement them to effect productive change? The only thing I know for sure is the economic system has to be corrected and redirected. WE THE PEOPLE should all speak up now, loud and clear, while we can. If the new owners of our country take over, the first thing to go will be our freedom of speech and or the internet. Think about it.
Thank you for your time.
All comments are welcome and may be sent to Wylie ****
Originally posted by: Wylie ****| December 31, 2008
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