private contractors

Friday Movie Night - Frontline's Cell Tower Worker Deaths & MF Global

hot buttered popcorn It's Friday Night! Party Time!   Time to relax, put your feet up on the couch, lay back, and watch some detailed videos on economic policy!

 

This week's videos are two shorts by PBS Frontline. The first is about workers falling from Cell Towers. At first you might think, that's an easy fix through safety and regulation. Think again. Literally young boys are climbing up cell towers for $10 bucks an hour. It's a poster child for what has happened to work in America. The cheapest price wins and training, safety, experience be damned. This short puts new meaning to the phrase working yourself to death.

Pay close attention to the description of contracts, the chain of subcontracts all the way down to the worker, who also are contractors, not employees. Use of contracts, contract law to subvert U.S. worker rights, deny benefits and remove any sort of liability is extremely common these days.

DoD Report Shows Since 2001, $1.1 Trillion In Contracts Awarded to Companies Who Committed Fraud

lockheed martin fraudOne would think once a company had been convicted of defrauding the government, they wouldn't see another dime. Not so, shows a new DoD report. Believe this or not, the DoD has awarded over $1.1 trillion dollars in defense contracts to companies have been convicted, found liable, or settled fraud charges earlier with the DoD since 2001.

Senator Bernie Sanders summed up some of the numbers buried in the report:

Over the past ten years, DOD awarded $254,564,581 to companies that were convicted of a crime in connection with a DOD contract during that same period of time. To make matters worse, DOD awarded $33,079,743 of that to convicted companies after they had been convicted.

Over the past ten years, DOD awarded $573,693,095,938 to companies that were found liable or settle charges of a civil wrong in connection with a DOD contract during that same period of time. To make matters worse, DOD awarded $398,081,775,397 of that to those companies after they settled the charges or were found liable.

The numbers become increasingly shocking if you look at company affiliations. Over the past ten years, DOD awarded $1,104,423,438,564.10 to entities affiliated with companies that have a history of fraud.

Outsourcing the Pentagon

Did you know the Pentagon has issued 161,711 waivers to avoid buying American? buyamerican.jpg That it has cost us 620,000 manufacturing jobs and $53.5 billion dollars since 2007? So says a new report from the House of Representatives Buy American Caucus Chair, Chris Murphy.

Today, Congressman Chris Murphy, Chair of the House Buy American Caucus, was joined by local manufacturers and advocates for American manufacturing to unveil a report showing that federal policies of the Department of Defense are costing as many as 620,000 American manufacturing jobs. By issuing over 161,000 waivers to the Buy American Act, the Department of Defense has sent $53.5 billion to overseas contractors since 2007.

How in God's name could the Pentagon do this, considering the United States has a massive jobs crisis and that is, after all, U.S. taxpayer money. First, the Buy American act allows exceptions.

The Buy American Act, which has governed federal procurement since 1933, is full of loopholes and exceptions that allow billions of dollars to flow out of the country each year. Two of the biggest loopholes allow for waivers for any product that is to be used overseas, or for products in which the Department of Defense finds that there are no domestic suppliers.

But wait for it, the DoD is claiming there are no domestic suppliers when in fact there are. Some American Business are screaming political bloody murder as loud as they can about the Pentagon snub too.

Friday Movie Night - Iraq For Sale

hot buttered popcorn It's Friday Night! Party Time!   Time to relax, put your feet up on the couch, lay back, and watch some detailed videos on economic policy!

 

This weeks film is Iraq For Sale The War Profiteers.

While privatization of the military, corruption and no-bid contracts has gone from the headlines, this post, Obama and Defense Spending got me wondering if any of it had been cleaned up?   According to the CBO and the New York Times the price tag has hit $100 billion dollars and just recently the DoD said it's budget is not sustainable.