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March 04, 2011

Ariana Huffington scorns her writers, refuses to pay them one cent

The HuffPost got bought for $315 million, and none of that went to the hundreds of people who wrote for it. So much for Huffington being one of the good ones. Arianna Huffington: 'Go Ahead, Go On Strike -- No One Will Notice' | TheWrap.com
Arianna Huffington scoffed at a group of unpaid Huffington Post contributors that announced on Wednesday they would stop contributing content to the site, weeks after its $315 million sale to AOL was announced. Huffington, speaking alongside AOL chief Tim Armstrong at PaidContent’s 2011 Conference in New York on Thursday, dismissed the notion that all bloggers should be paid, given the wide platform HuffPo gives them. She argued that blogging on the Huffington Post is equivalent to going on Rachel Maddow, Jon Stewart or the “Today” show to promote their ideas. And, she said, there are plenty of people willing to take their place if they do. “The idea of going on strike when no one really notices,” Huffington said. “Go ahead, go on strike.” The controversy arose after writers for the websites ArtScene and Visual Art Source , which had been contributing content to the Huffington Post for free since 2010, refuse to contribute additional material to the site unless they got paid. They are asking for a pay schedule and requesting that promotional material no longer be published alongside editorial content.

Yahoo got $268 million in tax breaks to create 125 jobs

We need to end corporate welfare. We can no longer afford to give $100 billion in tax breaks away to corporations while our cities go bankrupt. Green Change -- How Microsoft, Google and other tech companies exploit strapped US states
Microsoft isn’t the only company capitalizing on the precarious financial position of states, which compete in offering rich tax benefits in order to lure major employers. Johnston points to the $200 million in state and local tax breaks Yahoo (YHOO) got last year to build a new data center in Lockport, N.Y. Including the electricity usage discount and other credits granted to the company, Yahoo got $268 million to create 125 jobs. Verizon (VZ) got an even better deal, drawing $614 million in tax and other subsidies to create some 200 jobs. Google (GOOG), which it’s worth noting pays a miniscule effective tax rate of 2.4 percent on overseas profits, received $260 million in tax breaks to open a server farm in North Carolina.
*Thanks, Jeff*

Krugman: How to kill a recovery

How to Kill a Recovery - NYTimes.com
The clear and present danger to recovery, however, comes from politics — specifically, the demand from House Republicans that the government immediately slash spending on infant nutrition, disease control, clean water and more. Quite aside from their negative long-run consequences, these cuts would lead, directly and indirectly, to the elimination of hundreds of thousands of jobs — and this could short-circuit the virtuous circle of rising incomes and improving finances. Of course, Republicans believe, or at least pretend to believe, that the direct job-destroying effects of their proposals would be more than offset by a rise in business confidence. As I like to put it, they believe that the Confidence Fairy will make everything all right. But there’s no reason for the rest of us to share that belief. For one thing, it’s hard to see how such an obviously irresponsible plan — since when does starving the I.R.S. for funds help reduce the deficit? — can improve confidence. Beyond that, we have a lot of evidence from other countries about the prospects for “expansionary austerity” — and that evidence is all negative. Last October, a comprehensive study by the International Monetary Fund concluded that “the idea that fiscal austerity stimulates economic activity in the short term finds little support in the data.” And do you remember the lavish praise heaped on Britain’s conservative government, which announced harsh austerity measures after it took office last May? How’s that going? Well, business confidence did not, in fact, rise when the plan was announced; it plunged, and has yet to recover. And recent surveys suggest that confidence has fallen even further among both businesses and consumers, indicating, as one report put it, that the private sector is “unprepared to fill the hole left by public sector cuts.” Which brings us back to the U.S. budget debate.
a

March 01, 2011

Ohio congress planning to eliminate public unions

Cops, teachers, firemen--they all will get the axe. Ohio Braces for Vote on Ending All Union Bargaining - NYTimes.com
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Senate is expected this week to consider a revised version of a bill to end collective bargaining for public-sector workers, and thousands of union members who gathered outside the Statehouse here Tuesday said they were bracing for the worst. “This is going to get passed and people will sit back and say, ‘What happened?’ ” said Mark Horton, a retired firefighter who is treasurer of the Ohio Association of Professional Firefighters. “Once it’s done, there’s no putting the genie back in the bottle.” Unlike similar legislation in Wisconsin, which exempts police officers and firefighters, the Ohio bill includes them, making the measure particularly contentious. The bill is expected to be taken up by the Ohio Senate as soon as Thursday. But Republicans say legislation that seeks to eliminate long-held union prerogatives are part of broader austerity measures intended to reduce crippling budget deficits, of which public employee pensions have played a growing role.