The Great ScAmazon of 2017

Jim Hightower

Jim Hightower Author, Commentator, America’s Number One Populist

In September, the giant retail monopolist, Amazon, announced its intention to build a second corporate headquarters in Someplace, North America. Where’s that? Aha, that’s the trick in a corporate game called “Fleece the Taxpayer.” CEO Jeff Bezos demanded that everyplace submit a list of bribes (excuse me, “incentives”) they would pay to get Amazon to put what he calls HQ2 in their place. Yes, the haughty Amazonian royals actually commanded our public officials to bring all the jewels, gold, and other taxpayer booty they have and kiss Bezos’ ring just to be considered for HQ2. In one stroke, taxpayers all across America were pitted against each other in a bidding war.

Amazon even listed specific incentives that each supplicant should offer. First was a “business-friendly environment.” Then, urging hopefuls to “think big” when offering freebies, the directive demanded contributions of “land, site preparation, tax exemptions, relocation grants, workforce grants, utility grants, and fee reductions.”

Surely no self-respecting civic official would willingly play the sucker in such a demeaning, sell-out-the-public scam. Ha! Officials from 238 cities, regions, and states have so far rushed to Bezos’ corporate castle to woo & grovel in the perverse hope that Amazon might choose their taxpayers to rip off.

This is Jim Hightower saying… Amazon announced that it has narrowed the actual contenders down to 20 cities – so they will now be compelled to jack up their bribe offers. That’s the whole purpose of the HQ2 game that this corporate huckster has been running on us. In fact, Amazon’s site-location team had decided from the start which half-dozen or so cities would be most profitable for the giant. The whole search is a “scAmazon,” snookering cities into spending millions on a rigged game only Amazon will win.

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Reposted from the Hightower Lowdown

National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be – consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks. Twice elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Hightower believes that the true political spectrum is not right to left but top to bottom, and he has become a leading national voice for the 80 percent of the public who no longer find themselves within shouting distance of the Washington and Wall Street powers at the top. He publishes a populist political newsletter, “The Hightower Lowdown.” He is a New York Times best-selling author, and has written seven books including, Thieves In High Places: They’ve Stolen Our Country And It’s Time To Take It Back; If the Gods Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates; and There’s Nothing In the Middle Of the Road But Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos. His newspaper column is distributed nationally by Creators Syndicate.

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Jim Hightower

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work