Neither Honest Nor Trustworthy: The 10 Worst Corporations of 2007

From: Multinational Monitor

The U.S. public holds Big Business in shockingly low regard.

A November 2007 Harris poll found that less than 15 percent of the population believes each of the following industries to be “generally honest and trustworthy:” tobacco companies (3 percent); oil companies (3 percent); managed care companies such as HMOs (5 percent); health insurance companies (7 percent); telephone companies (10 percent); life insurance companies (10 percent); online retailers (10 percent); pharmaceutical and drug companies (11 percent); car manufacturers (11 percent); airlines (11 percent); packaged food companies (12 percent); electric and gas utilities (15 percent). Only 32 percent of adults said they trusted the best-rated industry about which Harris surveyed, supermarkets. …

With the 10 Worst Corporations of 2007, we aim to show – again – that Big Business is out of control and to connect comparable abuses to the failure of government overseers, regulators and enforcers.

The task ahead is to reassert the supremacy of the people over corporations, and for democratic government to impose controls and limits on what corporations can and cannot do.

Presented alphabetically, here are the 10 Worst Corporations of 2007:

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[video] Economic Hit Man, John Perkins: The Secret History of the American Empire — Why They Hate US

Now is the time to “set things right”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTbdnNgqfs8]Part 1

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29GhXsx7-Rs]Part 2

Related:

All 8 of DemocracyNow’s interviews with key whistleblower, former economic hit man John Perkins — “The Secret History of the American Empire: Economic Hit Men, Jackals, and the Truth about Global Corruption / How the U.S. Uses Globalization to Cheat Poor Countries Out of Trillions / Hoodwinked: Former Economic Hit Man John Perkins Reveals Why the World Financial Markets Imploded — and How to Remake Them / etc.

Bob Chapman: Retiring During Double-Digit Inflation—Calculation ‘Fun’

From: Bob Chapman’s International Forecaster, 4/26/08

Sociopathic Economics, Denial, and the Weakening Dollar

They claim inflation is 4%, when it is over 12%. They claim unemployment is 5% when it is 14%. They claim we lost 80,000 jobs last month when most likely we lost over 300,000. They claim our economy is turning around as consumer confidence drops to the lows of the early 1980’s and in light of the fact that 70% of our tanking economy is driven by consumer spending. They make it look like the big banks and financial institutions are being bailed out by the Fed when it is really the taxpayers doing the bailing through HUD, FHLB, Fannie, Freddie and hyperinflation. They say banks are starting to show signs of recovery even as their insolvency deepens due to the ongoing destruction of a mountain of quivering derivatives as foreclosures accelerate, as real estate prices plummet, as maniacal bets are unwound and as the bear market in bonds gets underway because rate cuts appear to be subsiding for a short while, at least until the next debacle hits. The old “we’re in it for the long term” is being bandied about again by the media morons (aka commentators) to keep the dupes in so the Illuminati can bail out at the top through their dark pools of liquidity while everyone else is left holding the bag.

Our government officials as well as banking and corporate leaders have created a culture permeated with pathological liars and sociopaths. They subscribe to the same situational ethics, which they are teaching to our children so they can grow up to be miscreants like them. Some of them may even believe their own lies, being unable to separate truth from fiction anymore because the lying has been so rampant and pervasive. Some have probably even forgotten what the real truth is, having not entertained it or even thought about it for decades. And who can blame the ones who have, for the real truth is nothing less than terrifying. Their plans call for the depopulation of five billion people by starvation, disease and who knows what else, the destruction of western economies and the beggaring and serfdom of the citizens of the US, Canada and Western Europe, all with the whimsical hope that we can all dance around the One World maypole together some day before they haul us all off to internment camps.

The disconnect that has occurred between what we are told and what we actually experience must be leaving uninformed non-subscribers [to The International Forecaster] in a surreal state, where they can no longer reconcile what their eyes see with what their ears hear. You have two choices. You can become a subscriber to the IF, or you can enter “The Twilight Zone.”

We thought we would have a little calculation fun in this issue to show you the devastating effects of inflation along with the deflation of real estate. If these calculations do not get you motivated to institute some change, nothing will.

Let’s say you’re a millionaire in the year 2000 when you decide to retire. You have exactly 1 million dollars set aside for your retirement. Assume that on average you invest it conservatively outside of precious metals and commodities at a very generous 5% return after taxes from the beginning of 2000 to the end of 2011. According to Shadowstats, inflation has averaged around 9% from 2000 to 2007, and we expect it to average about 15% for the period 2008 to 2011, which is extremely conservative considering that actual GDP, as opposed to official GDP, is a negative 2% to 3% or so, while M3 is running between 17% and 18%, giving us an inflation spread of about 20% that will soon manifest itself in 2009 and beyond. Even current inflation is already over 12%. So let’s see how much money you have left in dollars based on the dollar’s buying power in the year 2000 when you get to the year 2011. Some simple math shows that in the year 2011 you would have $1,795,856 in 2011 dollars, but the buying power equivalent in year 2000 dollars would only be a very disappointing $515,309. You’re no longer a millionaire by year 2000 standards. In fact, your buying power has been cut in half! And if inflation is not stopped at some point, it will only get worse! Had you only managed a 2% after tax return instead of 5%, you would have $1,268,242 dollars in 2011 dollars, but your buying power in year 2000 dollars is reduced to a stinking $363,913, or about a third of what you started with! Now let’s throw in the withdrawals you had to make and the taxes you had to pay along the way, and any thoughts you might have concerning your upcoming retirement get downright depressing. Then try to imagine how you would feel if your original kitty was only $200,000, or $100,000 or, like most people, a measly $50,000 or less. Then you get pauperized!

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USA Creating the Hunger Problem—Our Giant Foot On Their Necks

From: Democracy Now, The US Role in Haiti’s Food Riots

BILL QUIGLEY: … The problem really is, is that the United States and the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, all of which we, the United States, dominate, have for the last twenty-five, thirty years have insisted that in order to get the loans, which Haiti and these other countries, agricultural countries, need, in order to get those loans, Haiti had to change their economic system so that their country was open to competition from other countries on agriculture, trade, a number of other things.

It’s so clear in the case of rice. As you said, thirty years ago, Haiti imported almost no rice, was an exporter of sugar and other things. Today, Haiti imports nearly all of its rice. It even imports sugar, even though it was the sugar-growing capital of the Caribbean. And the reason is, is that the powers that be said, in order to get these loans, which they need desperately to be able to survive, that they had to open up their markets to competition.

Well, it turns out that the competition doesn’t do the same thing. And the main competition is the United States. So at this point, the United States exports over 200 million metric tons of rice every year to Haiti. And they’re actually like our third biggest customer. And the reason is that our rice is cheaper than the rice that they could grow there themselves, because our rice is so heavily subsidized. A billion dollars a year of taxpayer money goes to rice farmers in the United States, plus we have a tariff. We have three different subsidies, three different programs that do that, plus we have a tariff that adds between three and 24 percent protection for our rice farmers. And as a result, the rich and powerful country of the United States, along with other rich and powerful countries in the world, have just really bullied these small countries into accepting our rice. And as the rice from the United States came in—they even called it “Miami rice” and some call it the invasion of Miami rice—that the rice flooded in at low or below cost—free or below cost and destroyed the ability of farmers in Haiti to be able to grow rice. And as a consequence, the country now depends totally on imported rice. Cost of import—cost of rice around the world has gone up over 100 percent since January. …

I think in my experience, the people of the United States have no idea that they are paying taxes, and our government has destroyed not just Haiti, but the agricultural bases of lots and lots of very poor countries. And so, our money is going to these huge farmers, mostly in Arkansas. They’re in about five different states, some of them getting hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. There’s one that has gotten over half-a-billion dollars over the last ten years. And so, we are directly subsidizing these huge agribusinesses which are putting the small farmers and even the regional farmers out of business and really creating this hunger problem that the world is seeing right now, because the people in Haiti, it takes awhile to irrigate, farm and all this other stuff, and the industry has been broken down. A lot of the workers moved from the country into the city, not just in Haiti, but in every place else. So it’s a great little lens for those of us in the United States who care about hunger and care about justice to look and see it’s not just mismanagement in Haiti, it’s not just the fact that they have problems, which they certainly do, but also our country plays a huge role in creating the hunger that has led to the riots.

As you said, somebody said in your earlier broadcast, you know, in the United States, we’re having trouble at the gas pump, the price of food is going up, so we cut back a little bit of that. Over half the people in Haiti live on a dollar a day. And when they get up in the morning, they don’t know where they are going to find the money to be able to eat. So it’s not as if they can turn off the air conditioning. They don’t have electricity. They can’t cut back on running water. They don’t have running water. That dollar a day is for food. And so, if food which used to cost ninety cents now costs a buck-eighty or two-something, they don’t have enough food to feed their family today and tomorrow and the day after and the day after that.

And that is the thing—I don’t know how many people who are listening have actually ever not had water or not had food when you really need it, but a certain panic takes over in you, and that’s the thing that has caused these food riots in Haiti, but not just in Haiti, maybe in a dozen other countries. …

There are groups out there, Bread for the World, Oxfam, a number of other groups, that are trying to change the farm policy of the United States so that there is some justice for these little countries. And it’s very hard to take care of yourself when there’s a giant who’s got a foot on your neck. And we, unfortunately, are the giant who has the foot on the neck of the people of Haiti.

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