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In order to keep up with the nature of free, spirited debate, I wanted to place the chat feature at the top of the homepage. This ensures people can come here and share their views on anything they wish and not have it be related to any specific discussion. Here, people can share ideas, links, and views "unmoderated" and an their own pace. To me, this makes The Elephant in the Room blog truly a place for debate.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May 15, 2012 - Morning Headlines

- Iran hanged a man it believed was an Israeli-trained spy who killed Iranian nuclear scientist Massoud Ali-Mohammadi (MSNBC):

- At JPMorgan's annual shareholder meeting in Tampa, Tuesday, shareholder are likely to express anger towards C.E.O. Jamie Dimon, but they are unlikely to call for his removal (CBS News):

- Most Americans, including 73% of independents and 50% of democrats claim in a new CBS poll that President Obama's "evolution" on gay marriage was a politically-motivated move (Yahoo!):

- Ron Paul has suspended actively campaigning and using resources in upcoming primaries (Fox News):

*** Be sure to vote in the new weekly LME gay marriage poll on the left ***


  1. After repeatedly mocking Sarah Palin for just how bad she'd do on Jeopardy, MSLSD's Chrissy Matthews was on Jeopardy.

    Chris Matthews Bombs on 'Jeopardy!' After Repeatedly Mocking Palin for How She'd Do

    Chrissy finished in the top three. In fact he was third. (I am sure that's how he'd spin it). Problem for Chrissy (the legend in his own mind) is, there are only three contestants.

    I'll take Chrissy is a prepuce for $200 please Alex.

    One thing we know for certain, Palin couldn't possibly do any worse than that horses ass Chris Matthews.

  2. The JP morgan bank link does not work here is another one:

  3. Interesting JPMorgan's stocks are down, 2 billion dollar loss, and they are still proposing a 23 million dollar compensation package for the CEO.....

    I can't remember the last time something bad happened at work and my manager called me in the office and said its ok we will still make sure your the highest paid person in your field dont worry about the 2 billion dollar loss lol!

    "JPMorgan Chase (JPM) disclosed on Wednesday afternoon that it paid its CEO $23 million in 2011. That was the same as last year, but it handily made Dimon, for the second year in a row, the best paid CEO in banking in 2011"

  4. Interesting article right here ->

    1. I especially liked the part on the website you link to where it reads: Legalize Democracy.

      Democracy? Do you mean democracy like in California where the people voted against gay marriage only to end up court because the ignorant inbred hick voters voted the wrong way? Or are ignorant inbred hick voters only in the south? LOL That kind of democracy; or some other kind of democracy?

  5. Loyal Watcher do you own stock in JP Morgan? If you don't, what concern is it to you, other than you are merely jealous that you don't make $23 Million.

    Seriously, how is your life affected negatively by his $23 Million compensation package? If they were to cut his pay package to $1 Million, how would your life improve? He'd still be making more money than you. Hell, let's say he paid them $23 Million to work there, how would that affect you? It wouldn't.

    I care more about overpaid Government employees. Those actually cost me. I could care less if a guy that was at the helm for a $5.4 BILLION profit in the 1st quarter of 2012 gets $23 Million. I don't care if he gets $50 Million. You know why? It doesn't make a difference for one thing in my life.

    Bank of America posted a 1Q 2012 profit of $653 Million versus JP Morgans $5.4 Billion. Do you think that may have a little something to do with why Mr. Dimon is the highest paid banking CEO? He made $4.747 BILLION MORE than his counterpart at Bank of America. Citigroup posted a 1Q 2012 profit of $3.0 Billion, so Mr. Dimon outperformed his counterpart there by $2.4 Billion.

    I would definitely pay someone $23 Million that is making me between $2.4 Billion and $4.7 Billion more than his peers. Do you understand that concept?

    1. Good afternoon everyone.

      I don't have much time since I have a bunch of meetings today, so I wanted to get in on this quickly. I have to say I agree strongly with 32slim32 on this one (no surprise there :-P)

      If those on the left want the GOP and the government to stay out of people's private lives, why does it seem they are so entrenched on what people make? Income, benefits, and the agreement between a private employer and its employee are a private issue. Why is everyone concerned about what someone ELSE makes?

      Now, IF (of course, it doesn't work this way), but IF income was a locked in thing whereas some people had that income and some people didn't, and it was unchangeable no matter what you did, then yes, I would be all about full disclosures of incomes, and benefits of the like. But, in a country that prides itself on freedom, choice, and the individual's ability to pursue happiness how THEY see fit, I cannot endorse monitoring someone else's income in any way. There is no law that made Mr. Dimon's salary, and there is no law from preventing me, should I make the choices necessary myself, from making his salary (or something close to it - to be in the "1%" you need to earn an income of $344k). Since there is nothing that puts him there and nothing that stops me from getting there, I don't care about his salary, and I don't want someone else determining (from the left, that someone else seems to be the government) what is too much or not for him. There is no way I want to live in a country where some body has so much power it can determine how much people earn and feed their families with. Loyal Watcher, I respectfully disagree with your opinions on this, and, as someone like you who self admits he likes Ron Paul (the most conservative, freedom loving, rep probably in US history), I'm surprised you endorse so many politically opposite-to-Paul views. This is nothing against you personally (I disagree, respectfully), but you more than often side and cite something that is very liberal rather than his views. It's a little confusing is all.

      I wish I could comment more on that article. It was blocked here on my work computer, but I was able to read it on my phone. I found it very, very empty, with little actually, scientific proof, but many, catchy phrases. If I can get to it later, I would be happy to offer my opinion - not that it really matters.

      I hope everyone is well! Have a great Tuesday!

    2. Actually, not that I necessarily have a point or am in agreement with LW on this subject, but the salaries companies pay to their employees does effect you. Anything that affects a company’s bottom line is passed onto the consumer (in the form of either product quality or prices).

      That’s the direct effect. Indirectly, the effect on consumer spending can also assist in determining the economic health of the nation (or more typically, the region where the business is focused). IE: Silicon Valley region has one of the highest economies worldwide, because the companies in that area pay their employees extremely well. Economic health of the area is fantastic.

      The overall effect is very small of course, especially on a case by case basis, but so is the effect of government worker wages which you claimed to care about.

      The total wages paid to government employees in 2010 was $16.2 billion.

      It's worth noting that, due to salary freezes and the substantial shrinking of the federal workforce over the past few years that the number is likely even lower now.

      But let’s still use the $16.2 billion figure… That amounts to a whopping 0.4% of our total spending.

      If every single federal worker was fired and taxes were adjusted for this, the tax bill of the average middle class worker may decrease by a whopping $25 a YEAR (based on IRS numbers).

      The bottom line of the collective Fortune 500 companies all being inflated, even if only by 1%, to cover multi-million-dollar salaries no doubt has a passed on cost of more than $25 per average consumer.

      So in reality, the private sector likely effects you far more than the public sector salaries. It's just about whether you pay one in the form of a tax or the other in the form of an expense.

    3. You are forced to pay taxes, but are not forced to buy a company's goods or services. I can see where you're going on this Rken, but it's fundamentally flawed. The government produces nothing. The heads of agencies, the employees and everyone involved do not have a "profit" or bottom line benefits.

      Slim correctly pointed this out, and you hinted on it. If the demand for Silicon Valley's products wasn't so high, if people simply bought less and demand shrunk, then the company's income would decrease, ultimately affecting executives' salaries. We affect them, they do not affect us. If they started paying their executives way more money, and then, as any business would adjust to cover labor expenses, raised their prices, they would more than likely earn less income. They would then start to lose money as a company, and, if they cared about saving the company, would have to cut salaries. So in the end, we affect them. The power lies within the consumer.

      The government doesn't have to worry about this. While you're correct as to how small public compensation is relative to government spending, Slim is right in the underlying position or notion or whatever you want to call it about being fiscally responsible with our tax dollars because we cannot CHOOSE not to pay taxes like we can choose to buy Silicon Valley's products if we don't like what they're doing (executive pay, product quality, other positions, etc.) I do agree with LME that other people's salaries are nobody's business.

    4. Again just to clarify, I’m not taking any position on the good/bad of high salaries or recommending caps, restrictions, or anything of the sort.

      I just wanted to point out three things: private company wages do effect the consumer (though very small), the government payroll budget effects us as well (though also very small), and that private wages likely effect us way more than public.

      That said, I’d only like to add that choice only exists to a certain extent.

      If I choose not to use a certain good/service, the market doesn’t specifically cater to me to keep me happy. It only does that when enough people make the same choice; which also isn’t necessarily always their choice to make. IE: A poor person can hate Walmart and fast food all they want, but they likely can’t afford the alternative of Whole Foods and sit-down restaurants.

    5. RKen, good afternoon, sir.

      Sorry, I have to disagree with you. JP Morgan had revenue of $27.4 BILLION for the 1st Quarter of 2012. One quarter's worth of the CEO's pay package is $5.75 Million. That is two one hundredths of one percent (0.0002).

      Hey, since you brought it up, "Anything that affects a company’s bottom line is passed onto the consumer (in the form of either product quality or prices)." According to JP Morgan Chase's 2011 Annual Report, the customers of JP Morgan Chase paid the Federal Government $7.773 BILLION in income taxes. I bet they aren't too focused on the $23 Million with the $7,773,000,000 elephant in the room.

      Page 3 under the item labeled "Income Tax Expense"

      So whenever you gripe about that CEO costing you a dollar, know this, the Federal government is costing you $337.96 for every dollar that CEO costs you. Again, I am a little more focused on that $338 and not too worried about that single dollar.

    6. Good afternoon to you too slim!

      Shifted topics a bit on me there away from public/private salaries and more towards overall government spending. :)

      My point is more that, in the $337.96 the federal government costs me for every 'dollar the CEO may', only $1.55 of of that is part of actual public sector wages.

      Additionally, the number spread is much smaller when you consider the CEO isn't the only highly compensated person at JP Morgan, and in some cases the CEO isn't even necessarily the highest paid. As I said before, a case by case basis will always appear silly, but on a large scale it can be rather significant.

  6. lol yall make my day!

    I love how the CEO is the on who made the company all that money, had nothing to do with the thousands of workers actually working on the ground and representing the brand, its the CEO. Man that guy is so amazing. what would we do without him...... o wait thats right we'd just find another one.......

    Has anyone checked this guy's resume and made sure he's not lying about any schooling on there.

    Wait a CEO would never do that! They are the almighty CEO's the would not lie

    1. Loyal, as always, you have no idea how things work but you continue to have an opinion on it. You are clueless when it comes to how things ACTUALLY are yet you will never stop and listen to the people who really do know. You have no idea how much responsibility sits on a CEOs shoulders. You have no idea how few people are qualified. The argument has been made about the supply of CEO-qualified people and the demand for them, and how scarce they are, but you continue to ignore economic truth. It's like you say, "nananananananan" while covering your ears. You're immature and you shouldn't talk about all these subjects when you don't understand them.

      I do ask: how much should Dimon make? Give me a number. Then tell me who enforces that.

      On top of that:

      You paste one article from yahoo (one that is terribly written and riddled with errors) that found 7 CEOs out of millions of them WORLDWIDE (yes, this article included Canadians and someone from New Zealand) who had incorrect resumes. One was a football player, one had a resume written by someone else. What a joke. Grow up and learn from people who know things. Your arguments make you look really, really bad.

    2. WAH WAH WAH Hi my name is Loyal Watcher. Everyone else makes more money than me so I cry and cry and cry about it. I want the government to take from them and give it to me. WAH WAH WAH

    3. Yea because thats what iv been doing crying about not making money and talking about how i want the government to take care of me! great summary

    4. That's funny Loyal Watcher, it was the all the CEO's fault they lost $2 Billion in your earlier post.

      Also Loyal Watcher, I have to kind of agree with Anna and even Anonymous too.

  7. The article the day for me:

    We need substantial reform on not just Medicare/SS, but also our defense budget. I always hate how the defense budget is mostly absent/ignored in conversations regarding our spending, when in reality it is by far the most bloated and out-of-control part of our budget.

    We should never enter war without paying for it in taxes, as we did in WW2, short of extreme special circumstances (which Iraq/Afghan were not). I’d be willing to bet that we’d have a much smaller defense budget, debt, and deficit AND be completely out of Iraq/Afghan by now if we paid for the wars through tax increases. Giving our government a blank check for war is not the way to go, just as it isn’t for SS/Med/any other bill.

    1. As a conservative, a FISCAL conservative, any and ALL budgets should be scrutinized. We can cut a lot for SS, Medicare (they should really be eliminated) AND defense. Stop having people live on the government's dime, and stop spending so much in foreign wars and defense. The military can save a lot more money if it was simply run more efficiently. It would be the same strength, just leaner.

    2. I very much agree, Texas. :)

  8. Private sector profits depend on the law of supply and demand. Salaries are adjusted accordingly - or the business would cease to exist.

    Successful private business creates wealth. In the case of JP Morgan and others like it - that wealth is shared with stockholders, people who risked their OWN money, already taxed, in HOPES - but with NO guarantee - of a return on their investments.

    If the shareholders - who essentially OWN the company - feel their CEO is worth $23 mil - what business is it of anyone ELSE?

    I question why those on the left seemed obsessed with the wealth of SOME, but are completely unconcerned with others.

    Here's Will Smith ($25 mil. per year) in France this weekend, discussing their new socialist president's plan to 'tax the rich' at 75%:

    Why are OWS not picketing Michael Moore, or Eminem, or Lady Gaga?

    Government creates NO wealth. Like a ravenous beast, it merely consumes the wealth of others.

    As a monopoly, government holds We The People hostage to the whim of its workers - paid at higher scale that many of us.

    Additionally, we continue to pay - again at a higher scale, wages AND Cadillac benefits, that were bundled into their contracts at little or NO cost to them - once the government worker has left the work force...

    In essence - we then pay TWICE for the same good or service.

    Government is funded with TAX dollars, taken by force... or threat of punishment. I have NO choice in ANY goods or services that money is spent and/or wasted on.

    @LoyaltyWatcher - THIS is where your 'democracy' comes into the picture. MY tax dollars are spent on numerous programs that I wholeheartedly DISAPPROVE OF. No matter - the MAJORITY ruled... and MY money gets sent there, all the same.

    Corporations and their CEO's get my money only if I CHOOSE to do business with them.

    If you have a problem with their practices, your option is simple - DON'T do business with them!

    1. Dara - this is one of the best, matter-of-fact, sound, comments I have ever read! Amazing!

    2. Thanks PP.

      If only we could get the 'kids' to listen...

    3. dara:

      "Why are OWS not picketing Michael Moore, or Eminem, or Lady Gaga"

      Remind me the last time one of those people crashed the whole economy and required government intervention to help keep their businesses alive...........

      Also please site any source were they approved of any of their wages....


      "As a monopoly, government holds We The People hostage to the whim of its workers - paid at higher scale that many of us"

      We elect the government, they only get away with this because we have let them, just like i can pull support for a company or a product you have the option to get involved in politics on a local and national level to make changes (something both sides of the isle can actually work together on)


      "If the shareholders - who essentially OWN the company - feel their CEO is worth $23 mil - what business is it of anyone ELSE?" -


      Thanks to the big bad government SHAREHOLDERS FINALLY CAN VOTE ON CEO PAY previously that was not the case....


      "Citigroup received a particularly public rebuke on Tuesday when its shareholders voted to reject the bank’s executive compensation package at its annual shareholder meeting.

      Citigroup was required to hold this vote as part of the “say on pay” provision of the Dodd-Frank Act that mandates that companies hold advisory shareholder votes on their executive compensation pay. While the shareholder rejection is only advisory, it creates a major headache for Citigroup.

      Citigroup now has two options. It can choose to ignore this advisory vote or it can try to respond to shareholders and revise management’s pay either retroactively or for this year."

    4. "
      Remind me the last time one of those people crashed the whole economy and required government intervention to help keep their businesses alive..........."

      And who did this? Did anyone? Or is this more bull you're spouting but can't prove?

    5. am i the only one who remembers the bank bailout, u know mr bush, the fed, screaming america will collapse if we don't give he banks 100's of millions...... the right and the left screaming dooms day...

      u doin alright up there buddy? already forget that?

  9. Poor Loyalty Watcher...

    'We sent ya to school, bought ya books and all ya did was look at the pi'chers.'

    There's a adage us 'old folk' sometime use:

    "There are none so blind as those who will not see."

    I believe this applies to you. It's sad really.

    1. i figured you would not respond to what i said............

    2. I couldn't respond... you didn't 'say' anything, you simply parrot talking points spoon fed to you by the left and the MSM. You blindly eat 'em up and poop 'em out like a good lil' zombie.

      p.s. maybe go back and LOOK at the series of videos surrounding the (lame duck President)'Bush Bailout'. It was OBAMA screaming 'I HAVE to get this money or we're goin' down in a ball of flames'. Bush 'went along'. I agree, it was stupid - he was between Rock and a Hard place (Pres. Elect Obama and a Dem majority in Congress).

      You won't because that wouldn't fit into your rock solid Blame Bush, Hopey Changey agenda.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. lol wow..... you have no idea of history, there was no "pres elect obama" when TARP was signed you know that huge money bill that sent money to wall-street so companies would not fail. (that does not even include the almost 1 trillion the fed loaned at a near zero percent interest to banks)(that was the fed o

    wow your more lost than i ever imagined......

    your one of these people lol

    and of course you spew your ignorance with the assuption that i do not hold obama and mcain accountable for both supporting it.... I never stated they did not.

    The fact is a republican president signed it into law, and it was pushed through by a republican appointed FED. I thought republicans didn't support that stuff..... o wait only when it effects millionaires.....