5 thoughts on “Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton in United States election

  1. Saturday, 6 August 2016

    3,000 to be sacked at the Trump Taj Mahal casino

    THREE thousand jobs are set to disappear after the owner of the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, has announced that the casino will close after Labor Day at the beginning of September.

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump opened the Taj Mahal which bears his name 26 years ago, but his friend Carl Icahn bought it up in 2015, after it went bankrupt in 2009. Billionaire Carl Icahn claimed that he had lost $100 million in the past 18 months, a drop in the ocean of his huge wealth.

    Workers at the Trump Taj Mahal have been on strike since the beginning of June, demanding health insurance, pension benefits and unpaid vacation wages. The workers, members of the Unite-HERE union’s local 54, have staged the longest strike in the whole 38 years of the city’s casino era.

    Icahn had offered his workers a lower level of health insurance than that enjoyed by Atlantic City’s other casino workers. If the 3,000 workers lose their jobs – the earliest date for that will be October, once layoff notices have been factored in – they will join 8,000 workers who lost their jobs in 2014 when four other casinos closed their doors permanently.

    Atlantic City’s workers have not fared well over the past few years. Bob McDevitt, president of Unite-HERE local 54, slammed Icahn’s decision to close the Trump Taj Mahal, accusing the boss of closing down the casino just to break the strike.

    ‘How petty,’ said McDevitt in a union statement. ‘I would never have thought Carl Icahn was so one-dimensional. The great deal-maker would rather burn the Trump Taj Mahal down just so he can control the ashes.

    ‘For a few million bucks he could have had labour peace and a content workforce, but instead he’d rather slam the door shut on these long-term workers just to punish them and attempt to break their strike. There was no element of trying to reach an agreement here on Icahn’s part; it was always “my way or the highway” from the beginning with Icahn.

    ‘It is the epitome of the playground bully, who picks up his ball and announces he is going home because nobody else would do it his way. It is truly a shame that such an unscrupulous person has control of billions of dollars. These workers are exercising their fundamentally American right to stand up for themselves in the face of injustice.

    ‘Carl Icahn took it personally. This is clearly not a business decision – a few million dollars is a drop in the bucket compared to the money he publicly promised he would put into the Trump Taj Mahal. It’s a classic take-the-money-and-run: Icahn takes hundreds of millions of dollars out of Atlantic City and then announces he is closing up shop.

    ‘This titan of Wall Street is utterly incapable of making a decision unless it is mean-spirited and benefiting him alone, and he is plagued with indecisiveness when things don’t go his way. Twenty-two months ago Carl Icahn took away these workers’ healthcare, retirement and dignity. We’ve all been playing Icahn’s game since then.

    ‘In the end he’ll have to live with what he’s done to working people in Atlantic City, and have to justify whatever myopic prism he is using today to evaluate how, once again, his decision making process makes sense to nobody but himself. This is now the third casino closure Carl Icahn has orchestrated in Atlantic City. The Boardwalk is littered with empty monuments to his greed.

    ‘Icahn has lost the capacity for self-reflection, the ability to realise that when you are completely alone in your position it just might mean you are wrong. In the end, these workers stood up for what every other casino worker doing their job in this town has, and what every other casino worker here has had since gaming was introduced to Atlantic City over three decades ago.

    ‘And, as with playground bullies, we also know that he’ll be back another day, demanding something else based upon the whims of the moment. Thank God there are working people who will stand up to him. If this is the guy Donald Trump wants to be Treasury Secretary of the United States, then this country is doomed.’

    • The AFL-CIO has released a statement on the high prices of medication paid by workers in America. The statement provides a picture of the kind of daily costs which workers must pay – leading to daily privations – in the absence of a national health service free at the point of use in America, where healthcare and pharma privateers rule supreme.

    ‘This week, the AFL-CIO Executive Council called on policymakers to make dealing with excessive drug prices a top priority. Noting that Americans already pay the highest drug prices in the world, the Executive Council argued: “To make sure drug prices are fair, we need to change the rules that give drug companies unchecked monopoly rights.”

    ‘Spending on prescription drugs keeps going up and up, driving premiums in working people’s health plans higher and higher and making patients pay more and more out-of-pocket at the pharmacy counter. In 2014, the last year for which actual numbers are available, national spending on prescription drugs purchased through retail pharmacies jumped 12.2%, far more than workers’ wages or inflation.

    ‘There is not just one thing behind this surge that’s resulted in a typical family of four, with workplace health coverage, spending more than $3,900 a year on pharmacy costs. A lot of publicity has been given to ultra-expensive medicines (sometimes called specialty drugs), like those for hepatitis C or some cancer treatments that can cost $85,000 or more for one course of treatment.

    ‘Likewise, many people are aware of the extreme examples of companies jacking prices up, like Daraprim, the drug to treat a parasitic infection, the price for which was increased from $13.50 to $750 per pill overnight. Less widely known, but equally important, are the big price increases we’ve seen for commonly prescribed drugs.

    ‘As the AFL-CIO Executive Council noted: “The makers of brand drugs raised net prices for 27 major drugs by 25% or more between 2009–2015, with the discounted price of one diabetes drug more than tripling.”

    ‘There are even examples of generic drug prices spiking. According to AARP, one generic antibiotic rose from $20 per 500 pills to $1,849 from 2013–2014. Then, there are the companies that take advantage of the loosely written government rules for granting drug developers monopoly rights in order to keep prices high for long periods of time.

    ‘For example, the maker of a commonly used cholesterol medication is trying to extend its monopoly rights for all purposes by proving that the drug is also effective in fighting a rare disease that affects children. To deal with the untenable drug price situation, the AFL-CIO Executive Council is calling for big changes, including:

    • Government drug price negotiation on behalf of all payers—including working people and their health plans.
    • Real leverage for the government in those negotiations when agreement on a reasonable price can’t be reached, such as through a system of binding arbitration or exercise of existing government authority to use a patented drug.
    • Changes to address unfair or abusive practices, such as when companies try to block generics coming to market.
    • Stopping trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership that expand monopoly rights for drug companies.
    • Requiring drugs developed with government funding to be sold at fair prices.
    • And exploring alternative ways – instead of high prices for patients – to pay for drug innovations.’



  2. Pingback: United States maternal death rate rising | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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