Bernie Sanders

Verizon CEO Fights Back Against Sanders' 'False' Anti-Corporate Contentions

Asks if Sanders is "'feeling the Bern' of reality yet".

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Twitter/@kylieatwood

The CEO of Verizon, Lowell McAdam, responded to Bernie Sanders' assertions in the ongoing Verizon labor dispute, calling them "plain wrong" and "disconnected from reality" in a post on LinkedIn.

McAdam wrote that he read GE CEO Jeff Immelt's response to Sanders' attacks on his company with great interest and that he understood that "big companies are an easy target for candidates looking for convenient villains for the economic distress felt by many of our citizens."

"But when rhetoric becomes disconnected from reality," McAdam concluded, "we've crossed a dangerous line."

Sanders has claimed that Verizon, among other named American companies, doesn't pay its "fair share" of taxes or sometimes even at all. McAdam pointed to financial statements that show Verizon paying $15.6 billion in taxes over the last two years.

McAdam also took issue with Sanders' claims about the ongoing negotiations between Verizon and the Communications Workers of America. "Contrary to Sen. Sanders's contention, our proposals do not call for mass layoffs or shipping jobs overseas," McAdam wrote. "Rather, we've asked for more flexibility in routing calls and consolidating some of our call centers, some of which employ a handful of people."

McAdam also pointed to reforms the company was looking to make to employee benefits packages, whose costs have run up to $1.4 billion a year. McAdam noted that Verizon's health plan was so "robust" it was subject to the "Cadillac tax" in Obamacare, legislation Sanders supported.

Perhaps most importantly, McAdam pushed back against the idea that prosperity is achieved by resisting changes in the marketplace. Landlines, and jobs associated with landlines, aren't coming back, and that's not a bad thing.

"Competition and technology change have eaten into our traditional phone business, with more and more Americans giving up their landline phones altogether," McAdam wrote. "To remain competitive, we've transformed our wireline operations into a broadband company by building fiber-optic networks, offering Internet and video services, and investing in employees' skills and work tools to help them make the turn to a 21st-century digital economy."

McAdam argues that Verizon's demands in union negotiations reflect their attempt to safeguard "good jobs, good wages and great benefits for thousands of workers" in the face of technological changes.

"Nostalgia for the rotary phone won't save American jobs, any more than ignoring the global forces reshaping the auto industry saved the Detroit auto makers," McAdam wrote, responding to Sanders' calls for a "moral economy" for America, and insisting he didn't want to see Verizon find itself in "the same boat" Detroit auto makers did.

The Communications Workers of America, which has placed 40,000 Verizon workers on strike, endorsed Bernie Sanders for president. Sanders claims in his case about "money in politics" that he doesn't have outside interests with Super PACs supporting him, yet had more Super PAC money spent in his favor than any other Democratic candidate, according to The New York Times. This is largely thanks to the super PACs of labor unions, like CWA.

Sanders' misrepresentation of Verizon, and a slew of other companies and even entire industries, illustrates an important reason to reject limits on spending on political speech. As an elected official, Sanders is free to say whatever he wants about Verizon. Yet his efforts to repeal Citizens United and impose new controls on political speech would limit the ability of companies like Verizon to engage in speech and respond to misleading and untruthful demagoguery. Sanders, and other liberal opponents of Citizens United, do not appear interested in a post-Citizens United regime where the political speech of labor unions is similarly targeted.

Ideally, a company's corporate leadership and the labor unions that arise from its workforce are both self-interested in the continued health, utility and profitability of the company itself. Looking to government to put a thumb on the scales is a sure way to wreck that mutually-beneficial arrangement, whether its cronyists or union bosses looking to get government in their business. It also explains why even Franklin Roosevelt was concerned about the power of public unions. Governments and their employees have little self-interest in the health, utility, or profitability of government agencies, when they can just pass laws to extract more money from taxpayers, be they "American workers" or the companies trying to keep them employed.

NEXT: Bernie Sanders Could Make Tonight's Debate Interesting By Taking on Hillary Clinton the Way His Supporters Do

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  1. Good. Glad so CEOs are starting to speak about this nonsense. Been in many a conversation with a jackass leftist claiming this company or that one doesn’t pay taxes. They shut up when if offer to pull up their annual reports at check on those claims.

    1. Then you’re only dealing with Level 1 progs. At level 2 they try to move the goalposts to the alleged subsidies (“tax loopholes”) which the companies receive.

      1. Keeping more of the money you make is the oldest loophole in the book.

        1. Wait…you have money?

          *dons mask, pulls out matchlock pistol*

          Stand and deliver!

          /govagent

          1. +all of your lupins

          2. +Musha ring dumma do dumma daa

          3. Stand and deliver!

            I never pictured you as such an 80’s man.

      2. If there are tax loopholes, won’t the net corporate tax go down?

      3. Not taking is giving and not giving is taking.

        Tax loopholes represent money that is not being taken from the corporations, which means it is being given to the corporations.

        That tax money that is being given to the corporations is not being given to starving children, which means it is being taken from starving children.

        Thus tax loopholes represent money that is being taken from starving children and being given to corporate fat cats.

        Q.E.D.

        1. If i had a nickel for every time some proggish friend of mine made exactly that argument, and meant it, i would have several dollars, which my friend would insist should be taxed.

          1. I don’t have any proggish friends anymore. Every time they would suggest that the solution to a problem was government, I pointed out that the only tool government has is violence, which means they support using violence to solve every little problem that they encounter. This enraged them so badly, because it meant I have nasty intentions. After all, they have good intentions, so if I disagree then I must have bad intentions. Only someone with bad intentions would object to initiating violence or threats of violence to get their way. People with good intentions use violence to solve problems. Only mean people value voluntary cooperation.

            1. Sarc, you’re too good at this dizzying intellect

            2. Sarc, you’re too good at this dizzying intellect

              1. Just wait ’till he gets started!

                1. It’s that acerbic wit of his.

              2. He’s been honing this for a long time because the logic of the other side never really changes. It doesn’t need to change because it is winning.

                1. There may be some logic in there, but it all is based upon false premises which makes the entire argument a fallacy. But leftists truly feel fallacies to be compelling arguments. Switching the burden of proof, moving the goal posts, and ad hominems are just a few of their favorites. And you can’t reason out of what they feel because they didn’t reason themselves into it. Being that libertarianism isn’t every emotive, quite the opposite actually, it isn’t an easy sell. Very few people want to think long and hard to come up with a conclusion. They prefer to go with their first emotional reaction.

                  That is why the other side is winning.

                  1. “That is why the other side is winning.”

                    Well … that, and the fact that Americans have been indoctrinated to desire free shit more than freedom.

            3. @ Sarcasmic, ^ THIS. My gf is a leftist, democrat, Bernie supporter. She refuses to discuss politics or current events with me; but every now and then I’ll sneak the start of a conversation in and push her buttons before she says no more.

              Last night, I said that we should do away with state occupational licenses. She was so appalled, she thought it was the craziest idea she’s ever heard. She said then who would make sure people do what they’re supposed to. My answer was private organizations and the market. I followed that up by asking her if she thinks it’s right that the state uses the threat of violence to force people running nail salons to get an “occupational license” and pay money to the state. I pointed out that all the state does is use the treat of violence to force people to give it money and do what it wants. She refused to answer my question regarding nail salons and said the conversation is over. She obviously can’t imagine a world without the states hand in everything and I guess the fact that it uses violence to achieve its ends doesn’t matter.

              1. And you’re still a couple? After all that? Why?

                1. Well, we love each other. It does blow my mind how she can be so sweet and caring as an individual and quite thoughtful on some issues but when it comes to world-view/politics she’s as inconsistent and illogical as any other woman and/or proggie.

                  Luckily for me I enjoy arguing, especially when I know I’m right. So these types of things don’t bother me. I was the kid in college who would willingly take on the entire class and the professor and most of the time enjoyed it. 🙂

                  1. I don’t think your gf is illogical or inconsistent. As an individual her interactions are personal, and probably one-on-one, or close to one-on-one. The interactions involve pretty simple concepts, like charity and empathy. And displaying those qualities has no downside effects. But world view/politics/economics also involve concepts such as personal freedom, trade-offs and unseen consequences. These are much more difficult to get your head around. And it takes a bit of intellectual effort.

              2. The “If government doesn’t do it, no one will” attitude is quote common.

                http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html

                1. Or, you falsely believe in the “self-made man”? You didn’t get to where you are by yourself, Mr. Verizon. Society helped you, so, you owe society.

                  The Thomas Piketty/ Elizabeth Warren argument for indentured servitude. Your parents have sold your labor to government to pay for their social safety net.

              3. She obviously can’t imagine a world without the states hand in everything and I guess the fact that it uses violence to achieve its ends doesn’t matter.

                You shouldn’t point out that Underwriters’ Laboratories regulates many, many things in people’s homes.

                Like appliances, electronics, and wall fire-proofing.

                1. Roofing, waterproofing, building materials etc

            4. If I’m lucky, I’ll meet you one of these days and pay homage to your greatness. Or at least, shake your hand.

      4. Oddly enough, once you get past about 5 Hit Dice or so, the Progs actually get easier to defeat since they plunge further into madness.

    2. Not quite sure that CEO’s “speaking out” against Sanders is really effective. It may energize free-market supporters (who, by most estimates, are a significant minority of the population), but it will only energize Sanders’ base (who is as anti-corporate as you can get).

      Not to mention that it will feed into the narrative that free-market supporters are tied to the hip with economic elites. That’s not to say that it’s right or wrong or anything, but relying on CEO’s to fight your battle is a losing proposition in modern times. Large segments of the American electorate have grown to distrust economic elites and the concentrated power that they have; any ideology or philosophy that is associated with those elites is going to face a lot of scrutiny, if not outright hostility.

      1. Better to be damned for speaking out than stay silent and be damned anyways.

        Of course, the Sanderistas cherry-pick the data. They will say “X Corporation did not pay any taxes”. If challenged, they will point to a year where X Corporation had a multi-billion dollar write-down, so there was no net income to pay taxes on, then refer to the ‘record profits’ of some other year.

        If I were the CEO of a company that some leftist flat our claimed had not paid any taxes, I would send them the last five years financial statements along with a letter from the corporate lawyer saying they had fifteen days to publicly retract the statement or face a libel suit.

        1. Yeh, for the most part, they’re silent but at some point you have to nip shit in the bud. Bernie is crazy Uncle Giggles out there.

          1. I’m getting better about not getting dragged into politics in real life. Although today I had to correct a coworkers believe that being a cop is the most dangerous job.

            1. Taxi cab driver followed by liquor store clerk, right?

        2. I’d like to point out that record profits often coincide with record tax payments.

      2. relying on CEO’s to fight your battle is a losing proposition in modern times

        Seems to me the CEOs are fighting their own battles. I don’t think this sort of thing will make any big political change, but they should still respond to the idiotic and dishonest attacks on their companies.

        1. Seems to me that the CEO’s are losing their battles. Nobody gives a shit whether Verizon paid 35% in taxes (they did in 2014, didn’t get to see the 2015 report) or has decent salaries/benefits for their workers. It’s all about the symbolism when it comes to political battles, and the symbolism of workers (even highly-paid ones) striking against management is hard to beat.

          Also, the last half of this article makes no sense. The Citizens United ruling has nothing to do with this; the previous campaign finance laws would not have prevented the CEO of Verizon from making comments on Twitter or posting an op-ed on the New York Times. Not to mention the fact that union members and corporations have diametrically opposing interests (union bosses, on the other hand, have found ways to get cozy with management). The only way to even entertain the idea of workers making sacrifices for the company’s well-being is to give them some power over the company’s decisions, something akin to the “worker’s councils” that Germany has today.

    3. I once worked with a company that didn’t pay a cent in taxes for nearly a decade! And they were a big pharma company!

      * Their only products were in clinical trials, so they had no revenue. Still, no taxes!

  2. Nostalgia for the rotary phone won’t save American jobs, any more than ignoring the global forces reshaping the auto industry saved the Detroit auto makers…

    Boom.

    1. Why do we need to choose from all these varieties of phones shitlord?

      1. Because 23 types of deodorant are 22 types too many. Just ask Penn Jillette (Libertarians for Sanders)

          1. Yes. He is. He’s impressed with Sander’s authenticity.

    2. Nostalgia for the rotary phone won’t save American jobs, any more than ignoring the global forces reshaping the auto industry saved the Detroit auto makers…

      So what you’re saying is we need a government bailout?

      1. I love the reference. I often refer to the fact that no one laments the loss of coopers, or wants to travel by wagon train.

        1. Coopers still do a decent business for wine and spirits makers.

          1. Record companies still make vinyl, but it’s gone from being ubiquitous to being a niche product.

            1. Sure, but what’s wrong with the old standard, buggy whip makers?

              1. Buggy whips makers are still around, making other kinds of whips?

        2. Tell that to the Amish

  3. “Nostalgia for the rotary phone won’t save American jobs, any more than ignoring the global forces reshaping the auto industry saved the Detroit auto makers,” McAdam wrote

    Apply cold water to burned area

  4. I wonder what telecom provider the Sanders Campaign uses?

    1. Damn, that would be a good question to ask on an interview. I bet the spluttering butt-hurt would be epic.

        1. “See?! I’m just as much a slave to this corrupt telecom monopoly as the next average Joe.”

          /Sanders

    2. Can and string, son, Can and string…

      1. He would use smoke signals, but that would be cultural appropriation.

        1. Elizabeth Warren approves of this message.

      2. Shouting really loudly

  5. I don’t know that Sanders could have picked a worse target than Verizon. They pay tax out the wazoo, have (relatively speaking) little unrepatriated cash ($1.3B in the aggregate, which is slightly less than 1% of ANNUAL revenue), pay a ton for worker benefits (Looking at their 10K I think the $1.4B is just healthcare, its looks like there’s another $1.8B in pension payments) and have put 57M shares of the company into their employee stock plan.

    1. He doesn’t actually know anything. He’s a progressive. He’s both (1) ignorant, in that he doesn’t grasp basic facts about the things he’s talking about and (2) completely and totally self-assured that not only is he right about the facts, but that his policy “solutions” are the only thing that would alleviate the problem, and to oppose him is to be a greedy apologist for corporate fat cats.

      1. Absolutely. He’s worldview is that all corps are evil and steal from the working class, no amount of facts or evidence will change that.

        1. Not just corps. – any employer. His perfect world should have no employers, but I suspect he knows that wouldn’t make any sense. But he isn’t able to reconcile the apparent anomaly.

      2. It seems to me that Bernie is not just economically ignorant, but that he deliberately refuses to learn basic economics or even do some basic homework about the companies he disdains.

        1. It would crash his worldview. And, let’s face it – he’s old.

    2. Completely accurate. Verizon also has a tendency to bend over backwards for their unions because they want to keep them as far away from the relatively efficient VZ Wireless and f. MCI operations as they possibly can. The CWA often strikes anyway because they are less a labor union than a holding pen for hired goons.

      More relevant information from today’s WSJ:

      The Democrats are not exactly Bobby Kennedy communing with Cesar Chavez and destitute grape pickers. How’s this for “fair”? The walk-offs enjoy an average annual pay and benefits package of $130,000. Management is offering a 6.5% cash wage increase, the same health coverage as its other domestic employees and an industry-competitive 401(k) match.

      Yet Verizon and the unions have largely agreed about compensation. The unions preferred to make a political statement about expanding the ranks of the Americans lucky enough to have decent-paying jobs, which apparently means showing solidarity with an increasingly obsolete business model.

      Some 99% of the strikers work for Verizon’s legacy “wireline” business, or its traditional fixed phone service plus its fiber optic Internet service. This unit generates only 7% of Verizon operating income, down from 60% in 2000.

      1. Wow. I didn’t realize the walk-off group was this highly compensated. Why they’re practically rich.

        1. I’m surprised FIOS is such a small percentage. Is the rest just cellphones or do they have another product I’m not thinking of?

          1. Operating income, not revenue. Wireline services account for about 27.5% of the latter but they don’t make a lot of profit on it.

  6. Really good article, Ed.
    :thumbsup:

    1. 10 Internet points to Ed.

  7. Sanders has a glass jaw. Since no one really took him seriously, he has been able to skate by as some well meaning old man. There is of course nothing well meaning about Sanders. He is a viscous nasty adherent to a vicous and nasty ideology. All it takes is someone to push back and the mask will drop and the public will realize he isn’t quite what he seems.

    1. See any interview in which his positions get even mildly challenged. The furious squawking is epic.

  8. I don’t agree with Sanders’ economic solutions whatsoever. But I’m kind of glad that he (and Trump) are shaking things up and forcing conversations that have been shoved under the rug by the current kleptocracy.

    So my hat goes off to both Sanders and Trump…and their useful idiocy.

    1. and forcing conversations that have been shoved under the rug by the current kleptocracy.

      Sanders has? Go on…

      1. Here’s a link to a great article on this very topic (some dumb comments, but you can’t help that):

        https://reason.com/blog/2016/04…..nt_6055582

        1. Was that an intentional burn? Or should i say “bern”?

          1. New guy got game.

          2. Ah, so the solution to this “kleptocracy” is both to complain about Verizon having a monopoly and demand more government. Well, you got my vote. Sanders is really the people’s candidate, after all.

            1. I didn’t say any of that.

              1. If you’re attacking crony capitalism, great, attack away. But I’d like you to expand more on:

                the current kleptocracy

                and how Sanders is “shaking it up.”

                1. Trump and Sanders are “shaking it up.” And they’re doing it the worst way possible: appeals to economic populism.

      2. Sanders has? Go on…

        Not kleptocratic enough for his taste

    2. Except Trump is just causing the Republicans to implode. Sanders is energizing a group of people who think the “Free Ice Cream and Pony” party doesn’t go far enough.

      1. “Except Trump is just causing the Republicans to implode.”

        – I don’t see the bad part of this statement.

        “Sanders is energizing a group of people who think the “Free Ice Cream and Pony” party doesn’t go far enough.”

        – Fine. The house is burning down anyway.

        1. You misspelled “berning.” Stay on topic!

        2. No argument on #1. My point is that they’re not the same in terms of impact.

      2. You know who else didn’t think the Democratic Party went far enough giving things away?

    3. The guy who wants to jack up taxes to Nordic levels isn’t part of the kleptocracy?

      1. No. He’s part of the reactionary populist movement with terrible ideas on how to address said kleptocracy.

      2. For real. Sanders has been in Congress for what, a quarter of a century? That’s longer than a large percentage of his supporters have even been alive. He’s never had a job outside of government, and until he was 40 years old he’d never had a job, period.

        Somehow, though, he is this election’s “outsider candidate” and “working-class hero.”

        1. After graduating from college, Sanders returned to New York City, where he initially worked in a variety of jobs, including Head Start teacher, psychiatric aide, and carpenter.[30] In 1968, Sanders moved to Vermont because he had been “captivated by rural life.” After his arrival there he worked as a carpenter, filmmaker, and writer[44] who created and sold “radical film strips” and other educational materials to schools.[45]

          Jack of all trades, dude.

          1. He searched himself all his life and settled on old reliable socialism to define his existence.

          2. Ok, a steady job. Plus “he was a shitty carpenter,” according to friends at the time.

            1. So was Jesus. That’s why they both got into politics

    4. When Clinton wins the Democratic nomination, Trump should invite Sanders to be his VP.

  9. But…Verizon does truly suck ass.

    1. The enemy of my enemy may not be my friend, but he is my enemy’s enemy.

    2. I’ve said this before, but being a libertarian always kind of strikes me as the same as being a defense attorney whose innocent client keeps shouting “I’m glad the bastard’s dead!” in court every day.

      1. I’m stealing that.

    3. Yeah, how dare they try to provide a high-demand service at an affordable rate in a high-profile, heavily regulated industry. /s

      They aren’t perfect, but they seem to be as good or better than all of their competition. If Verizon truly sucks ass, then most every large corporation sucks ass too and for the same reasons. But, if everyone sucks ass, does anyone really suck ass?

      Also, you’re always welcome to try to run a business that competes against them without also truly sucking ass.

      1. No one I know has stayed with Verizon for an extended period of time. They all switched to another carrier. The only one worse than Verizon is Sprint.

        1. Sprint probably won’t be an issue much longer

        2. I don’t know, I have Verizon and like it. I seem to get better reception and service than my wife does; she has AT&T.

          1. Depends on where you live. My understanding is that the two companies use totally different technologies, so reception is dependent upon which company has the most towers in your area. Since they don’t share.

            Here’s an article on the subject.

            http://www.pcmag.com/article2/…..896,00.asp

            1. thanks, I’ll take a look.

            2. My understanding is that the two companies use totally different technologies, so reception is dependent upon which company has the most towers in your area. Since they don’t share.

              Verizon uses CDMA2000 while AT&T (and most other providers, especially outside the US and Korea) use GSM. The former is a superior technology but was later to the game and more costly to implement. They are completely incompatible.

              But this is quickly becoming irrelevant since every provider now is using LTE for their “4G” level of service which means they could in theory interoperate eventually.

          2. @nd the love. tried Sprint, Virgin (same thing), T-mobil, and Verizon is tons better. Wish I could still get Fios, too.

        3. I had Verizon and the coverage was stellar. My current house sits in a Verizon dead zone, and since I like to make and receive the occasional phone call from my house, I’ve had to go to AT&T – the only provider that can provide decent cell service to my little slice of the American Dream. And that makes me sad.

      2. “If Verizon truly sucks ass, then most every large corporation sucks ass too and for the same reasons. But, if everyone sucks ass, does anyone really suck ass?”

        Yes. They can all freely suck ass as long as the government puts up enough barriers to entry to protect them from competition.

    4. And it’s mostly the CWA that made it that way. On the one hand management practices and culture are what they are due to decades of dealing with union workers in a part of the country where the political climate has long favored them. On the other, the rich benefit packages that continue to be paid to them cause the company to run extremely lean in its non-union holdings, diminishing their ability to effectively provide customer service.

      The engineering and lineworkers are usually quite good, at least. Outages (both wireless and wireline) are less severe and less common than with their competitors in my experience.

  10. Don’t corporate tax credits ultimately reduce the tax companies pay, and the left counts that as a “tax expenditure”? If so, then the left is being disingenuous because tax credits act as indirect government spending by incentivizing private spending on government-favored projects. In other words, the government shouldn’t get to claim it lost tax revenue when it incentivizes businesses to spend its money on the same things on which the government would have spent had it directly taxed the businesses. They paid their “fair share” by investing in what the government was going to spend on via taxation anyway.

    1. True, but would not be accepted by Sanders. In his mind, government gets absolutely nothing from whatever actions a company takes, and in fact anything government is paying them off to do they should do anyways, for free, because they wouldn’t be anything without government infrastructure.

      1. The tenor of a number of comments on the LinkedIn article are that if a something is done that benefits the person doing it (i.e. Verizon investing hundreds of millions in local infrastructure to expand its customer base), it doesn’t count as good even if hundreds of thousands of people benefit.

        Self interest automatically pollutes the action and renders it anti-social, ipso facto.

        Government building something that no one needs or will benefit from, however, is economic stimulus.

        This is the subtle moral calculus that right-wingers can never understand, which is why they aren’t taken seriously by left-wingers.

    2. Tax credits are just a form of financial sophistry in that it’s money that should never have been taken in the first place. If you take it only to repackage it and put a ribbon on it and then give it back what’s the gain other than perhaps using it in the meantime to invest in it like a bank does? But I doubt that’s what’s happening.

  11. “Nostalgia for the rotary phone won’t save American jobs, any more than ignoring the global forces reshaping the auto industry saved the Detroit auto makers,” McAdam wrote

    It’s not “nostalgia” – that really is Sander’s political philosophy. Back in the day, the phone company was Ma Bell and everybody had the same black box hanging on the wall and that was a more efficient way of delivering the same universal phone service to everybody. Now some people have smart phones and some people have Obamaphones and some people only have land lines and how is that fair that some people have something better than what other people have? Sander’s really truly does believe that 1950’s phone service is superior to what we have now. And Detroit would still be doing just fine if the government had stepped in after the Model T was developed and decreed nobody needs more than one kind of automobile.

    1. Nailed it.

  12. “But when rhetoric becomes disconnected from reality,” McAdam concluded, “we’ve crossed a dangerous line.”

    Been gone so long….

  13. McAdam pointed to financial statements that show Verizon paying $15.6 billion in taxes over the last two years.

    The internet says McAdam himself was paid 1.58 million in 2014. Or, to put it another way, Verizon pays the government orders of magnitude more than what it pays the CEO.

    You know, I bet if Verizon scaled back on the level of compensation to the government they could pay their workers more.

    1. Let’s say Verizon has 100,000 employees (just spitballing). That means that absent taxes, Verizon could afford to pay every one of its employees $158,000 *more* per year than their current salary.

      If the government forced the CEO to split his wage among all employees, they would each get an additional $15.80 a year.

      1. Quick, to change.org. The people have the right to know about this travesty.

        Fair wage now! Fair wage now!

  14. It’s nice to see a large union (CWA) casting its lot with a lost-cause candidate.

    1. I’d be pissed if some of my pay went to his pocket.

  15. McAdam pushed back against the idea that prosperity is achieved by resisting changes in the marketplace.

    So Bernie’s a communist fuckstick AND an idiotic Luddite. Awesome…

  16. BTW, anyone want to know how up Bernie Sanders’ ass Matt Bruenig is?

    Quote: Bernie Sanders’ Deodorant Argument Is One of the Most Substantive of the Campaign So Far

    This is the level of argumentation you can expect from Sanders supporters, so it’s not like Sanders needs to say smart things to get them cheering him on.

    1. I almost clicked. I can’t do it.

    2. If writers and their supporters didn’t confuse the number of “hits” on their articles for approval of the arguments they make in the articles, I would click your link.

      1. It’s fairly typical Bruenig.

        “This socialist is actually making a highly intellectual argument, you stupid free marketeer!”

        “Here, let me cherry pick statistics about small countries in northern Europe, as if their homogenous, well-educated populations are in any way similar to the demographics of the United States! Clearly if we imposed Denmark’s policies on a random coal town in Appalachia, the uneducated coal miners would magically become just as successful as lawyers in downtown Copenhagen!”

        “BUT THE CHILDREN”

        1. I imagine he also makes the “too-much-choice” argument: the fact that free markets provide so many options causes decisional stress in consumers, damaging their wellbeing.

          1. free markets provide so many options causes decisional stress in consumers

            He seems to be saying that all these options “waste resources”. Companies spend money on branding that they *should* spend on Union-Worker salaries/benefits. Its zero sum-economics, where the “total pool of money” is an assumed constant, and ‘how its used’ doesn’t change anything like their sales, or margins, etc.

            He doesn’t even remotely touch on the concept of ‘added value’ which compels people to pay more for brands compared to un-branded items.

            What’s so absurd about the Bruenig-ist type argument is that it considers itself *so intellectual and highbrow*. He even included graphs and waffled about Nordic countries at the end. Yet the meat of his arguments are pre-school delusions dressed up as Big Boy talk.

            1. Not only that, it makes Bruenig a wanna-be dictator. Why do he and his ilk get to decide what constitutes “wasted resources”?

            2. I should also add, I thought leftwing thinkers deplored measuring well-being based on “efficiency,” even with Bruenig’s corrupted version of it.

              If I want to purchase 23 brands of deodorant for whatever reason, what right does Bruenig have to tell me that I shouldn’t get to make that choice?

            3. Without that evil market and its evil choices, what would Bruenig be doing for a living? Putting in a 12 hour shift at the Hillary Clinton People’s Tractor Factory #12789, or working sunup to sundown at the Michelle Obama People’s Organic Collective Farm #9780.

        2. I made the mistake of reading some of the comments. There actually were some individuals who stood up for free markets quite well, yet, the derp from those that would blindly follow Bruenig’s (and by extension, Sanders) idea was mindblowing.

        3. Don’t forget to dump a massive number of non-native language speakers into the Finnish or Swedish school system and watch what happens to test scores.

    3. It’s a trap! … We can’t repel derp-power of that magnitude! /Adm. Ackbar

    4. Nut graf:

      “Whenever someone argues that we should distribute the national income more evenly so as to reduce poverty and inequality (as Sanders does), the very first thing someone says in response is that doing so will reduce growth and innovation. Sanders is mocking this argument, saying he’d gladly cut poverty and inequality even if it meant a reduction in superficial product innovation.”

      Plus, the Nordic countries are experiencing better economic growth than the US, and they’re radical redistributionists, so it’s cool.

      1. Things are going swimmingly in Finland.

        “Statistics Finland reported on Thursday that the industrial output of Finland contracted by 0.8 per cent year-on-year in October. The output has therefore continued to shrink for over 30 months practically across industries.”

    5. You’re just insulting him because you still secretly love his wife, aren’t you.

      And yeah, I ain’t clicking on that. I feel bad enough already, don’t want to make it worse.

      1. “You’re just insulting him because you still secretly love his wife, aren’t you.”

        I’ve moved on to my Canadian Cleopatra and am no longer interested in ESB. It’s like you guys don’t even care about the state of my imaginary love life with women who do not know I exist.

    6. Whenever someone argues that we should distribute the national income more evenly so as to reduce poverty and inequality (as Sanders does), the very first thing someone says in response is that doing so will reduce growth and innovation. Sanders is mocking this argument, saying he’d gladly cut poverty and inequality even if it meant a reduction in superficial product innovation.

      You might have less brands to choose from on the deodorant aisle, but on the plus side kids will get to eat.

      Bernie is not arguing, contrary to what Tankersley suggests, that we spend too much buying deodorant. This should be pretty obvious as he didn’t talk about the quantity of deodorant being consumed, but instead the dizzying (and socially useless) number of products in the deodorant category.

      (prentious intellectual laugh) “Clearly Bernie is not saying X!! He’s saying *X (with meaningless qualifiers that don’t change the point)!*”

      He’s basically re-stating the critics argument and then saying its actually something different. “It doesn’t reduce innovation! It reduces *superficial* innovation!”

      (as though simply saying, “some of X is superficial” isn’t actually agreeing with the primary point)

      He also never actually demonstrates any connection between how “reducing superficial innovation” is supposed to ‘feed children’. Which is the sort of zero-sum stupidity critics were pointing out.

      1. At best it is arguable that redistribution reduces poverty in any meaningful sense. But it is true that redistribution, if done correctly, reduces income inequality. Of course, I’m not convinced that the “virtues” of decreasing income inequality (whatever that those are) outweigh the infringement on the right to keep what one earns.

        1. it is true that redistribution, if done correctly, reduces income inequality

          “Taking rich people’s shit” and setting it on fire also reduces income inequality differences. you don’t even have to ‘redistribute’ it.

          Reducing ‘inequality’ need not ever actually help ‘the poor’, and every policy proposal i’ve seen which claims to do so ends up looking like some variation of the above when you strip away the rhetoric

          1. Reducing ‘inequality’ need not ever actually help ‘the poor’, and every policy proposal i’ve seen which claims to do so ends up looking like some variation of the above when you strip away the rhetoric

            There’s a reason they adopted the terminology that they use. The poor in America today are better off now than they have ever been. Food is abundant, technology gets cheaper by the day, etc. But reducing poverty isn’t enough. There’s the envy in it. They don’t care if the lot of the poor improves if it means the richest in society’s lot also improves. So they’ve made “income inequality” their rallying cry, as if that is in anyway relevant.

      2. Yeah, Bruenig never quite gets around to explaining how you can stifle *superficial* innovation without stifling extremely important innovation.

        Apparently there is a magical bundle of policies that will cause fewer innovations in the deodorant industries but will still allow innovation in medical technology.

        1. Those policies aren’t magical at all. They are obvious steps initiated by the all-knowing people such as Bernie, who have perfect insight into the tastes and references of over 300 million people.

      3. we should distribute the national income more evenly

        I think I found the root of the problem…

      4. And here I thought the problem was poor kids in this country were too fat.

        Which one is it- too many deodorant choices makes kids poor, or kids are too fat?

      5. Did he actually write that drivel?

        WOW.

    7. Does he explain how choice in deodorants has anything at all to do with some people being poor and hungry?

  17. PROOF!! Reason is in the pocket of Big Corporate Corporate-y-ness

    1. KOCH BROTHERS!! SUPER PAC! KORPORATIONSSSSD!!!11!1

  18. …Verizon paying $15.6 billion in taxes…

    …employee benefits packages, whose costs have run up to $1.4 billion a year…

    How much better would Verizon’s benefits package be if their taxes were lower?

  19. Bernie supporters don’t think companies should be allowed to respond to politicians.

    1. +1 Elizabeth “corporate interests have become accustomed saying whatever they want about Washington policy debates, with little accountability when their predictions prove to be inaccurate” Warren

      1. HOW DARE THESE PEOPLE HAVE OPINIONS!

  20. McAdam pointed to financial statements that show Verizon paying $15.6 billion in taxes over the last two years.

    When Bernienomics gets rolling, their fair share will be at least 10 times that. Fucking kulaks, shirking the collective with their Cuban jets and private cigars.

  21. Of course, don’t ever be so rude and hateful that you ask for a definition of “fair share”.

  22. All you Americans are fired..
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessic……vr1qVvjzK

  23. 10 Corporations Control Almost Everything You Buy – Business Insider

    http://www.businessinsider.com…..buy-2012-4

    1. You control everything you buy.

    2. So most of what we buy are groceries? Shocking.

    3. If you define “everything” as “disposable consumer goods”, then so what?

      yes – the top three companies in food, beverages, and cosmetics and toiletries, have a combined 80% market share or so.

      Those are still represented by HUNDREDS of brands. Are you arguing that this is “too many brands” or “too few competitors”?

      1. (note = meant to say that the top3 companies in *each* of the 3 CPG areas)

        that’s not abnormal either, fwiw. #1 players in any given segment often have 30% of the market. #2 might have 20% and a #3 15 or so. 60-80% RMS is normal in a very-mature industry. New companies pop up, and usually get bought by one of the top 3 if they start to gain any significant market interest.

  24. The Rise Of The Temp Economy: More U.S. Employers Than Ever Want A ‘Disposable Workforce’

    http://endoftheamericandream.c…..-workforce

    1. Alternately, “The Rise of the Benefit Economy: Demanding Too Much from Your Employer Means You’re Less Likely to Be Employed”

    2. Yes indeed they do. “Disposable” not in the sense of a one-time-use-only, but as in you can hire and fire them as necessary because every time you turn around one agency or another is changing the rules your business has to go by and who knows what sort of workforce you’re going to need next week? Plus you don’t have to put up with all the paperwork costs of documenting every last little detail of their work and their pay and the costs of all those mandated extras. Forget the minimum-wage requirement, the taxes and regulatory costs of hiring somebody are stupid outrageous. You can pay somebody $20 an hour under the table a hell of a lot cheaper than you can pay them $15 an hour on the books. (Or so I’ve heard, I have no personal knowledge whatsoever of paying anybody straight cash.)

  25. It may energize free-market supporters (who, by most estimates, are a significant minority of the population), but it will only energize Sanders’ base (who is as anti-corporate as you can get). They said, “X Corporation did not pay any taxes”. If challenged, they will point to a year where X Corporation had a multi-billion dollar write-down, so there was no net income to pay taxes on, then refer to the ‘record profits’ of some other year. Contact us for email support service or best marketing experience with Verizon.

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