The end of irresponsible business practices by multinationals in China
by Simon Zadek
, South China Morning Post
Multinational corporations are under siege in China. In recent months, the government has levelled a series of allegations of corporate misconduct - ranging from food-product contamination to price rigging, bribery and environmental shortfalls - against foreign-owned companies, with important implications for the development of China's business environment.
Does the government's behaviour reflect a commitment to strengthening business ethics, marking the start of a long-overdue regulatory catch-up process? Is it intended merely to create a convenient populist distraction from China's current economic woes? Or are these revelations of often long-known corporate misdemeanours part of a complex power play involving competing Chinese interests?
How Billionaire 'Philanthropy' Is Fueling Inequality and Helping To Destroy the Country
by Prashanth Kamalakanthan
Peter Buffett, the second son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, worries that the state of philanthropy in America “just keeps the existing structure of inequality in place.” At meetings of charitable foundations, he says “you witness heads of state meeting with investment managers and corporate leaders. All are searching for answers with their right hand to problems that others in the room have created with their left.”
Yelp Joins With Advocacy Group ALEC to Fight SLAPP Lawsuits
by Ben Jacobs
The American Legislative Exchange Council once faced a backlash for its support of Stand Your Ground and voter ID laws, losing Coca-Cola and Kraft as members. Now the advocacy group is working with companies such as Google, Facebook, and Yelp, and taking more civil libertarian stances on technology issues than it has in the past
Wisconsin Ignored Findings of Scientists to Rewrite Mining Laws For GTAC
by Terri Hansen
, Indian Country
Wisconsin legislators didn’t heed the scientific data when they passed AB1/SB1 last spring, say scientists who testified before lawmakers.
The bill removed environmental hurdles for Gogebic Taconite’s (GTAC) proposed 4.5 mile long, 1.5 mile wide, 1,000-foot deep open pit iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin’s Gogebic Iron Range.
It created a separate set of regulations for ‘ferrous metallic mining’ of iron ore as opposed to mining for sulfide minerals, which require higher environmental standards because of the potential for acid mine drainage.
The forgotten in Mayflower
by by Sam Eifling
In the week after an oil spill strangled the air in Ann Jarrell's neighborhood, tens of thousands of her bees either died or went mad.
Jarrell has kept bees in her backyard since she moved to Mayflower almost two years ago. Living in the hamlet between Little Rock and Conway has afforded her the chance to be close to her daughter, Jennifer. Behind her three-bedroom brick home, at the corner of her small fenced-in yard, she tended to two beehives. Apiarists select and breed passive bees, and Jarrell's were no different, until they were.
Countries most exposed to the carbon bubble - map
Countries most exposed to the carbon bubble - map
This interactive map reveals which nations' stock exchanges are most exposed to the 'carbon bubble' - the theory that oil, coal and gas reserves held by fossil fuel companies are massively overvalued since climate change policy will make these reserves impossible to exploit and therefore ultimately worthless
Walmart’s big lie: No, it doesn’t create jobs!
by By Kathleen Geier
Does Walmart create jobs? That question is at the heart of the debate currently raging over its plans to open stores in Washington, DC. Last month, labor groups scored a major victory when the DC City Council passed a bill requiring Walmart and other big box retailers to pay their workers a living wage of $12.50 an hour. The mega-store has threatened to pull out of DC if the bill, which requires the signature of Mayor Vincent Gray, becomes law. (Gray has not taken a position but is said to be leaning against the measure).
When Will the Big Banks Be Reined In?
by Phil Mattera
, Dirt Diggers Digest
In case anyone had doubts about the venality of the big U.S. banks, some recent news reports provide indisputable proof.
First, David Kocieniewski of the New York Times wrote a mind-boggling front-page report on how Goldman Sachs has been using a metals storage company to move large quantities of aluminum from one warehouse to another in Detroit. The maneuver, which exploits esoteric rules of the London Metal Exchange, generates millions of dollars in profit for Goldman and pushes up the price of products such as soft drinks sold in aluminum cans.
Debt, austerity, devastation: it’s Europe’s turn
by Susan George New Internationalist Magazine
As the creditors get fatter, the innocent are punished. Susan George laments a leadership subservient to big business.
Like plague in the 14th century, the scourge of debt has gradually migrated from South to North. Our 21st-century Yersinia pestis isn’t spread by flea-infested rats but by deadly, ideology-infested neoliberal fundamentalists. Once they had names like Thatcher or Reagan; now they sound more like Merkel or Barroso; but the message, the mentality and the medicine are basically the same. The devastation caused by the two plagues is also similar – no doubt fewer debt-related deaths in Europe today than in Africa three decades ago, but probably more permanent harm done to once-thriving European economies.
A little basic math
by Christina Sarich
, Nation of Change
Just a few weeks ago, the U.S. Defense Secretary, Robert Gates argued against president Obama’s aim to cut $400 billion from national security spending, a bloated habit which was to be reigned in over the next 12 years, but let’s look at what the U.S. government has spent on ‘defending’ our nation in just the last decade.