Another Example of Massachusetts Wage and Labor Laws in Shambles:$14.75m settlement over tips for 600 Canyon Ranch Workers

October 23, 2008

This is another example of a failure of Massachusetts government. Massachusetts has become a cheaters paradise for businesses that do no properly pay taxes, workers compensation, mandated wages and benefits to their workers.

Masssachusetts was formerly the national leader in child labor, employment, and wage enforcement laws. Honest employers and their employees are being forced to compete unfairly against businesses that cheat.

Most cheating businesses have little fear of being caught as the Attoney Generl and Workforce Development do not enforce the laws, rules, and regulations with adequate staffing, oversight, and prosecutions.

The blame squarely falls on those elements in organized labor that destroyed the hard fought Secretariat of Labor instead of monitoring and holding the agency accountable. Those labor bosses have failed to advocate and insure adequate resources and those agencies are doing their mandated functions. They continue to cover up their failure for their decisions with workers and the taxpayers continuing to suffer.

It is unfortunate that workers who are exploited have to retain a lawyer for hire to obtain the fruits of their labor and government in their time of need is not there to help. Unfortunately, some of the elements from organized labor that sat by and covered up the destruction of Massachusetts employment law enforcement are now in charge of those government agencies.

The message to those businesses who cheat,do so, the chances of getting caught is little or nil, and when caught pay up most times cents on the dollar. Massachusetts has welcomed businesses who cheat their employees and do not pay their fair share of taxes
The New frontier of Healthcare Exploitation

October 22, 2008

There were until their recent death Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, and Insurer AIG. Then there is the new frontier of healthcare to be exploited. Two high profile politico types have made the transition from party politics and the revolving door of goivernment. They now have become CEO of two of Massachusetts leading healthcare groups

The Massachusetts pioneers are a Democrat so called activist Jim Roosevelt of Tufts Health Care Plan and Republican Charles Baker of Harvard Pilgrim combining to to redefine more failed health care in Massachusetts. Both men have had meteor rise to $$$$Million+ salaries and perches and the honor of aiding and helping to destroy the healthcare delivery system in Massachusetts by their failed advocacy of the state not being a provider of human services to becoming a buyer of human services.

Their records are most clear. Baker the former State Secretary of Human Services and the state's top financial head. While longtime Democratic Committee lawyer and advocate for the providers, consultants, and vendors takeover of the human services delivery system. These two are now could be called the poster boys for self interest and personal profiting against public interest and the common good.

The citizens and media should not be fooled or takin in. Beyond the hype these two guys will only continue to further the so called non profits, for profits, and for profits healthcare first and not in the interests of business, industry, workers, and citizens in need of quality healthcare. Don’t be fooled!
Former Massachuusetts Treasurer Honored with a Boston park named after him!

October 22, 2008

There was a ceremony in Boston yesterday to honor former Massachusetts Treasurer Robert Q. Crane by naming a public park for him.

Honoring a former state treasurer who was a most likeable person does not cover up for the absolute poor performance of pension liabilities, investments, and handling of public funds during his tenure. Doesn't double dipping, spoils, and patronage also apply? His dynamic personality could have done so much good and made our state a better place and the pension and management of funds a role model. Instead, his legacy is one of self interest and misses the mark what public service for others should be.
Another nail in the coffin is being reported of one more challenge to journalism and the free press by the New York Times.

This deals with a revolt by several newspapers against the Associated Press. The complaints include costs are too expensive, what is received appears of little use, and that the Associated Press acts in competition.

The daily news about the newspaper, magazine, and broadcast industry becomes most dreadful each day.

The information institutions the American Citizenry knows is in a constant state of demise, downsizing for survival, or being extinguished.

All traditional means of communication seems to be replaced by means of the internet where news of any sort is obtained instantly in the home or office and most often at no charge.

No longer is the structure of how we receive news, investigative reporting, columnists’ views, or editorials need a print or broadcast structure.

The internet and its immediate is great. However, it is destroying the profession of journalism and the media institutions we know.

Despite the good intentions for survival with innovation by media management, reporters, and support employees, the crisis continues.

The traditional press freedoms we the citizen expect and want are under severe attack with little or no answers for what the future will be. Shame on all as we watch and appear powerless to protect them for this and future generations.
Massachusetts Unecessary Budget Cuts Are Another Scheme To Fool The Taxpayers and Citizens

Shame and stupidity prevails on the Massachusetts budget cuts with the Governor to the Attorney General cutting their own budgets as a show of absolute dumbness that only depicts a continual lack of leadership failure.

There should be no budget shortfalls and a leaner budget to begin with. Stop feeding the addiction of costly no bid contracts to vendors, providers, and consultants that cost billions of budget taxpayer dollars. Elimination of waste, fraud, and abuse rampant throughout in several budget areas alone could solve any deficiency. Going after the so called underground economy that flourishes in the state alone means billions of additional revenue.

The elimination of unneeded patronage positions will enable the career dedicated workforce to perform their mandated duties on behalf of the taxpayers and citizens of Massachusetts.

Time for a true line item, subsidiary accounts, object codes, and scheduling state budget filled with true accountability and oversight devices to regain the trust in government by the citizenry.
Today's Boston Herald Business news Article on Labor and Tax Laws Enforceent News Article misses the point.

I am disappointed. The facts about the Massachusetts workplace is not being accurately reported. The facts are Massachusetts working children, men, women, and the legitimate businesses and industries that employ them are being forced to compete against those employers who do not pay taxes, benefits, and maintain proper labor workplace standards. One only has to ask to see documentation on how many workplace inspections, prosecutions, and number of inspectors and needed support staff are assigned in those agencies under the Attorney General and Governor.

The Massachusetts workplace is now that of a Cheaters Paradise in regard to employment, wage enforcement, and accident investigations and is no longer a national leader in honest employer and employee rights and obligations.

The breakup of the Secretariat of Labor in 1993 instigated by labor bosses and labor attorney then Senate Ways and Means Chair Tom Birmingham has been the deep root cause. Since then several labor bosses, those in charge of the labor movement, and politically appointed managers now on the state payroll continue to cover up their failure by sporadic public relations initiatives.

Citizens and the Media-Don’t be fooled.
Reopen Guanatanamo Now….Immediately….Imprisonment First….Trials Maybe…Or None

Guanatanamo which is closing must stay open and expanded to insure all needing to go having no waiting period. No trials, judges, juries, prosecutors, or lawyers are needed. There are so many real people that must directly go there and should not be left out for lack of room. I believe that all pollsters from Gallup to Zogby will attest to this position of national necessity without the requirement to do the expense of accurate sampling.

The need is so immense and no Wall Streeter, Insurer, Banker, Democrat or Republican Political Congress Person, Past and Present President or Vice President, Fund Raiser, Security Exchange or Federal Reserve Chair, or Treasury Secretary should be required to wait for room. Also, no Lobbyist known or unknown, Guilty, Enabler, or Profiteer should be left behind. The US Chamber of Commerce, Business Round Table, and non vigilant Labor Bosses who did know or sound the alarm should also be included. The Attorney General, FBI, and Justice Department have failed to monitor, prosecute or inform, expose, and prosecute. Guilt and Incarceration first must be the first means of due process for those responsible for the almost demise of America’s economic treasure.

The whole gang must be kept together and in one place to write their memoirs and have hourly games to blame others with a process of elimination refereed by a Pinocchio character as moderator. A ball field or stadium could be built with continued partisanship for these self serving interest games operating not for the common good. The players could compete for trophies and determine who the true American Idol to be admired and winner determined as by who did the most to steal, plunder, cheat, misinform, cover up, or engineer the highest level of greed for misdirecting which caused almost our country’s financial downfall. That person, persons, or entity would then have the highest monument erected to be paid for with a pain and anxiety American citizens have to endure with their economic fears. They include losing homes, I.R.A.’s, social security, healthcare, and a way of life,

Plush Hotels could be built and named at these facilities in order to insure those who want to continue the tradition of bait and switch, golden parachute pensions, stock options, helium financial reports, and high executive salaries could always be immortalized. The failed 21st century robber barons responsible for not accomplishing the final goal of raping and privatizing the Social Security System must be named and given a separate monument marked failed.

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, Bear Stern, Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual, Wachovia Buildings could be built with sand, smoke, and mirrors with plenty room for new arrivals could become part of the indelible Guanatanamo landscape. In the middle, a Democratic Party and separate Republican Party Headquarters Buildings could be the focal points with those elected officials and fund raising friends continuing to bring $$$$$ and goodies even if the only available funds for these bunkers is of the monopoly variety. Model private jet planes could be everywhere as a reminder of first class plane trips to be plied for potential influence. Lobster shells could be sent with empty champagne bottles as a reminder of the good old days. AIG labeled back scratchers will be given out as a reminder of the millions given to bail out AIG and that immediate big celebration party given costing a half million with those massages and gourmet meals paid with taxpayer monies.

Our beloved America is racing to the economic bottom by the dastardly deeds forced on its citizens. Those responsible include a so called free market, congress, and presidency that did not institute accountability, and oversight to insure a check and balance to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse of the financial system for the survival and benefit of a trusting citizenry. The average American should not bear any brunt or suffering for the results of the financial disaster that should have never taken place and been prevented,
$8 Billion Massachusetts Pension Loss Begs for True Oversight and Accountability Reform.
When will the time come for the pension fund be run for those receiving pensions with strict oversight and accountability?

The fact be known for several years the pension plan is being funded completely by employee contributions ranging from nine to twelve percent plus cent of their wages and not a burden on taxpayers. The problem stems from unlistened calls by those who have called for a transparent, informative, and most strict investment strategies.

Prior and continued investment strategies in out of state and country including shopping centers, housing, and real estate have been bad. When you look at the politically appointed investment board members and contracted firms, you identify and wonder whose benefit agenda being taken care of the employee, taxpayer or others? It is sad to witness losing eight billion dollars as good. Soon it will be real monsy and not chomp change.

Treasurers Cahill should immediately and other previous treasurers before him identify all contributions from investment, insurance companies, their employees, and lobbyists,as and return those perceived tainted monies. Additionally, true no bid contracts anywhere in the pension system be stopped whether for analysis or investment selection. The pension system needs its own analysts who come under the state ethics commission, open meeting laws, and freedom of Information act as not to become too dependent on outside sources with their companies profit agenda.

Again, those who called for reforms have not been listened to. This will continue not to be listened to as the opium of patronage and campaign donations appear to rule that seems to contaminate our government at all levels.
The Battle to eliminate the Massachusetts State Income goes on the November 2008 Ballot as referendum Question 1.

The proponents are led by perennial libertarian Carla Howell along with the usual tear down government crowd cohorts of Barbara Anderson and her Citizens for Limited Taxation Group

On the other side are the usual people and groups that always ban together and can always be counted on to fight the anti tax initiatives of Howell and Anderson. They include the public employee and teacher unions, contractors, vendors, consultants, and so called questionable unmonitored Human Service Agencies who get Billions in State Contracts. Joining in the effort is Michael Widmer from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation misnamed because they are solely a business lobbying group whose many members profit in business dealings receiving state tax dollars. Others are expected to be allies to defeat the measure are members of a failed to take action to instill confidence group. They include local officials along with the Legislature and Governor who have failed to provide stability in accountability of government expenditures.

If the voters approve the measure after millions are spent by both sides, the legislature and governor will not be expected to abide by the voted referendum.

Widmer and the allies are stating to the voters to find another way to send a message to the out of tune reality of a legislature and governor who appear not to be listening to the cries and frustration of a most depressed frustrated citizenry.

The citizens are living in fear of the current economic realities affecting their lives with foreclosures and economic uncertainty from an asleep Boston Statehouse, Washington Congress, and Presidency. The out of control costs of gasoline, food, education, healthcare, utility expenses are coupled with mortgage or rent payments, job uncertainty and retirement fund losses. A winter heating season is approaching with the potential highest heating costs even seen in the northeast adds more fuel to voter fears.

Widmer is predicting a budget shortfall of $1.5 Billion already in the 2008 to 2009 state budget this year of $28 Billion that should have been addressed before the election and not delayed?

The repeal crowd of Howell and Anderson appears to have a most certain winner in their proposal as the time appears ripe to tear down government and not sensibly attempt to lower taxes and provide needed expected services.

The voters intense frustration is there with the $23Billion shoddy Big Dig project that was originally was to cost $2.3Billion and was mostly to be paid by the federal government that did not. The Massachusetts Turnpike constantly having daily headlines of mismanagement. The office curtains of the Governor , Cadillac Suv, police details, legislators friends profiteering from state contracts and deals, bloated pensions of some selected politicians, and vacation junkets that only adds fuels to the bitterness of voter anxiety.

The forthcoming vote will be a battle of needless rhetoric and wasted energy from both sides. Irregardless of whom wins will only spur on continual mean spirits until the next battle occurs with those who profit by doing Public relations and media receiving big dollars from each side. This should not have happened if all parties had conducted themselves for the common good over the years. Both sides did not and only show selfishness of their own greed.

Those who have watched each side of the Special Interest Debacle feeding frenzy have witnessed self interest first and not making government what should be for all citizens. These actions have allowed Massachusetts Government to be at this juncture of chaos and despair.

The Howell and Anderson group continued advocacy of so called limited taxation and government has been a failure that allows state and local government to be in the current continual lack of oversight and structural mess. They never advocated sustainable checks, balance, and accountability mechanisms of expenditures.

Similarly, the public employee and teacher union bosses did not do more for their membership to insure public employment as an honorable profession and merit employment practices. Several public employee unions abandoned their own membership resulting in the state becoming an expensive purchaser instead of a provider of traditional services. Those bosses failed to insure and monitor the state delivery system of what their members struggled to valiantly provide resulting in a shadow unaccountable runaway wasteful private system of providing those traditional services. Now these very same union bosses as organizing the very same vendors and providers to make up for loss dues their terminated state worker members whom little was done to save once provided. Widmer and his so called business taxpayer group contributed to the current lack of faith in state government by sanitize pointed attacks on government budget expenditures as long as they did not affect his dues paying members who do business with state government receiving taxpayer dollars.

Those over the years wanting and advocating proper government state services in contracting, budgets with proper oversight, and measured with accountability were continuously drown out and not listen to. These include the State Auditor, former House and Senate Ways Post Audit and Oversight Committees, Crusading Legislators, former Inspector Generals, Reporters, and Citizen Advocates. Thus assurances to taxpayers by having taxes and fees spent judiciously and prudent continuously eroded over the years to the current state of special self interest of government abuse we are now witnessing.

There can be no respect for state government until Massachusetts Citizens know there are no waste, fraud, and abuse of their tax dollars guaranteed by having a working system of accountability and oversight.

Citizen Statesmen and Stateswomen from both sides are desperately needed now to make Massachusetts Government better as well as standing up to special self interest when their groups and people go astray who do not advocate for the common good of all.

Note: Also posted on the New England News Forum

Both sides of Ballot Question 1 to eliminate the Massachusetts Income Tax have track records of failing and Selfish Self Special Interest.
Shame on All Who Opposed the Bailout (+)
The Real Profiles in Courage, Heroes, and Truly Needy Who Were Saved

I cannot understand why there was the magnitude panic of phone calls, faxes, and emails from American Citizens to the President, United States Senators, and Congressman. Those who did this action just do not get the immediate crisis of need for the government financial bailout. There was an urgent need to further stop other Wall Street companies from failing. Other businesses being overlooked in the disaster did require a rescue from insolvency.

President Bush, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, John Boerner, Barack Obama, and John McCain, as well as Democratic and Republican party bigwigs explained the calamity in depth without the tedious need for open public hearings and discussions. Unfortunately, the American citizenry did not listen or understand why there was this rush. Contributions and the need to provide fuel to those who govern our nation were on the verge of extinction.

Billions of Dollars in Campaign Cash had already been lost in the current and future needs for our elected Washington leaders. This was exemplified by the failure of Wachovia, AIG, Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, and Freddy Mac, Washington Mutual and others on the brink of going down. This would cut down on the number in the pool of those with dollars to spend for our elected leaders personal so called campaign accounts and needs. The Washington elected leaders had to act quickly and decisively before the well ran dry and most would be left out.

There was another segment of the economy that has been overlooked that was approaching a similar disaster and in need of rescue. The average American Citizen did not realize or show any compassion as not being in Washington. It should be reported these business and industries have been also rescued and should be recognized.
They include the companies that provide private jet planes that will again be available for personal use to those doing business or seeking influence from our elected leaders. There are many resorts, hotels, and golf courses that the influence peddlers do provide free of charge to our elected officials. Those expensive Washington caterers and restaurants hired for fund raisers have been saved. Those tuxedo rental, florists, and expensive clothing tailors will continue to provide their wares for the elected officials and influence people for all those lavish Washington parties and dinners.

Those right wing conservative and left wing talk show people and agitators such as Lou Dobbs and Ralph Nader should stop trying to incite the American Citizenry into action against any Wall Street Bailout or Washington Industries serving our elected officials, and mocking deep pocket lobbyist campaign contribution providers.

The American Economy and Standard of Living for the current America Citizenry and future generations is spiraling downward and will continue. Our Washington elected leaders have instituted this vision by their actions. Citizens are expected to support those results and expected to do more with less. Less healthcare, less financial security, less affordable food purchases and eating, less automobile use, less utility use, less home heating, less affordable educational prospects, and a lesser standard of living.

Our elected Washington Leaders are to be congratulated not only by the praise they constantly give themselves for their actions; they should also receive tribute from all American Citizens for the real Bailout they have accomplished for themselves personally and their allies future.

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