1. The Super-Rich Wouldn’t Make Our Decisions for Us
Decisions about higher education should be made by everyone, with public tax dollars allocated in a democratic fashion. But our tax dollars have gone away. The Reagan-era “government is the problem” attitude led to dramatic tax cuts and a resulting decline in government funding for public universities. Instead of paying for all the societal benefits heaped upon them, billionaires keep getting richer — just 14 individuals making more than the entire federal education budget two years in a row.
2. We Wouldn’t Spend So Much Money on Security for Rich People
Nationally, we spend over $1 trillion per year on defense. Not just the half-trillion Pentagon budget, but another half-trillion for veterans affairs, homeland security, “contingency operations,” and a variety of other miscellaneous military “necessities.”
3. We Wouldn’t Give All the Credit for a Tech Product to One Person
In the extreme capitalist mind, Steve Jobs started with boxes of silicon and wires in a garage and fashioned the first iPhone. The reality is explained by Mariana Mazzucato: “Everything you can do with an iPhone was government-funded. From the Internet that allows you to surf the Web, to GPS that lets you use Google Maps, to touchscreen display and even the SIRI voice activated system— all of these things were funded by Uncle Sam through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), NASA, the Navy, and even the CIA.”
4. Public Sentiment Would Prevail Over the Demands of Lobbyists
Society’s needs are often ignored in our individual-oriented capitalist system. Over 90% favor laws on clean air and water, but Congress has proposed to weaken them. Over 90% want background checks for gun purchases, but the NRA constantly bullies over 200 million Americans. And 80% of us want to take on Wall Street.
5. Our Jobs Wouldn’t Be Held Hostage in Tax Havens
The great majority of Americans — including many millionaires — want to end overseas tax loopholes for corporations. But Fortune 500 companies ignore the rights of the public. They owe more than $600 billion in taxes on their tax haven hoardings.
Freedom now means winner-take-all capitalism,and it’s slowly morphing our political system into a plutocracy
With truckers and shipping firms increasingly warning of a potential slowdown, United Parcel Service (UPS – Get Report) should feel lucky to have its huge consumer and e-commerce holiday season right around the corner. But after two straight years of Christmas disappointments, the pressure is on for UPS to deliver.
Earlier this week Atlanta-based UPS reported earnings that topped estimates despite missing on revenue by nearly $200 million. Company CEO David Abney told investors UPS has seen “some softness” in the U.S. economy, particularly among manufacturers, but said the company expects holiday-related deliveries to grow 10% year-over-year to more than 630 million packages carried between Thanksgiving and year’s end.
In recent years the holiday season has been nothing to celebrate at UPS. Two years ago the company dealt with an onslaught of criticism after it failed to increase capacityenough to handle a surge in demand and some presents never made it under the tree. Last year it overcompensated, adding significant capacity in the quarter but with it added expense that torpedoed fourth-quarter 2014 results.
This year, according to Cowen & Co. analyst Helane Becker, UPS is in “prove it mode,” with the company eager to avoid opening the door for archrival FedEx (FDX -Get Report) and others to take share in the ground market while attempting to maintain profitability. “Customers must know they can rely on UPS to deliver packages and meet any needs that creep up,” Becker said. “We believe management knows turning away business means it will end up with other carriers and may not come back to UPS in the end.”
The company has been planning for the fourth-quarter peak period since just about last Christmas, including better coordination with large shippers so it is better prepared for a surge. It has also made investments in its technology in hopes of being able to better flex its network as needed.
The holiday season was also likely in mind when UPS in July committed $1.8 billion to acquire Coyote Logistics from Warburg Pincus. Chicago-based Coyote manages trucking capacity over a network of more than 35,000 transport companies, matching available trucks to customer freight shipments.
UPS could use Coyote this year to secure added trucks on a temporary basis. Just as important, Coyote can also be used to help avoid the earnings disappointment of last year, allowing UPS to sell any excess capacity and fill half-empty trucks should the company overestimate demand and scale up too much.
Even if UPS finally gets the season right, there is still some concern the economy plays the role of the Grinch. Barclays analyst Brandon R. Oglenski notes that containerized exports from Asian ports to both Europe and the United States are “marginally improved at best,” leading to concern that this holiday season might not be what shippers — and retailers — have hoped.