Wednesday, May 11, 2011

GM - Fool Me Once, Shame on You...

Capitalism is an economic system in which the means of production (a business) is privately owned and operated for profit. Income in a Capitalist system takes at least two forms, profit on the one hand and wages on the other.

Business (also known as an enterprise, as in "free enterprise") is an organization designed to provide goods and/or services to consumers. Businesses are predominant in capitalist economies, in which most of them are privately owned and formed to earn profit to increase the wealth of their owners. A business owned by multiple individuals may be referred to as a company or corporation.

Corporations are separate "legal entities" having its own privileges and liabilities distinct from those of its members. An important contemporary feature of a corporation is limited liability. If a corporation fails, shareholders normally only stand to lose their investment and employees will lose their jobs, but neither will be further liable for debts that remain owing to the corporation's creditors. Despite not being natural persons, corporations are recognized by the law to have rights and responsibilities like natural persons ("people").

Limited liability is a concept whereby a person's financial liability is limited to the value of a person's investment in a company or partnership.

Emerging markets are nations with business activity in the process of rapid growth and industrialization and usually provide greater potential for profit.

Wages are compensation received by workers in exchange for their labor. Wage rates are the product of market forces (supply and demand).

Profit is the difference between the purchase price and the costs of bringing to market.

If I'm not earning enough money to buy the car I want, and if I wanted to make more money to buy a much bigger car, I might want to open my own company to engage in capitalism to make profits. If I wanted to open my own business, I might first want to incorporate my company. Then I might want to take out a loan to build the factory, buy raw materials, and hire people to produce and sell my goods. But the first thing I would do is pay myself a very generous wage so I can buy that big new car I wanted. Then if nobody buys my goods, I can go bankrupt. And because my business is incorporated with limited liability, as the CEO I won't have to sell my new car to pay back the bank and other creditors...they'll get stuck for paying off my car too.

But, if the U.S. government deems me "too big to fail", just like with bankruptcy, I can get the taxpayers to pay off all my debt. I can also keep my private jet and beach-front mansion and still receive a $9 million-a-year salary for being very successful in NOT earning enough profits.

And if my domestic customers don't buy enough of my goods (or they can't because they're unemployed), I can do business in an emerging market, and close my factory and move it to Mexico. I can pay lower wages and make even more profits for myself. And because my company is "too big to fail", I can also get huge tax breaks from the government, giving me yet more profits to buy a much bigger car and another huge mansion.

This is capitalism and free market enterprise in action. Ask Donald Trump, the "successful" businessman who went bankrupt several times. Corporations like Boeing are just as addicted to bailouts and tax breaks as any other gummy-bear junkie I know. Why do our politicians allow for this? (John Boehner not only thought taxpayers should help pay for the BP oil spill, but now is bitterly defending oil subsidies).

Corporate welfare runs rampant in America. Billions of dollars in tax breaks are given away; billions of dollars in corporate taxes go uncollected by corporate tax evaders; and billions of dollars in taxpayer-paid subsidies are given away to huge corporations making record profits. The U.S. Treasury is a mammoth candy jar (or a gigantic money tree) if you are a corporation in America.

Take GM for example: An American-based multi-nation limited liability corporation doing business in several capitalistic societies to provide a good to earn profits while paying wages in many emerging markets.

FLASH BACK! - November 25, 2008 - "Shares of General Motors plunged another 13% on Tuesday to a 65-year low, closing below the $3 mark for the first time since 1946."

After a stock split in 2010, GM is now worth over $36 a share, after only 2½ years from their 65-year low.

Corporations and banks have been doing great for the last two years, so why have the Republicans been complaining about the lack of jobs if they feel soooooooooo sorry for the unemployed when they just recently introduced a bill to cut jobless benefits? 

Since the Republicans took the House last November, they haven't proposed any real jobs bills, just legislation to cut social programs for the poor. It's all just Republican talking points to bash the Democrats so that the people will be fooled (again) into voting for Republicans so that they can lower tax rates for the rich and the huge corporations, while and eliminating Social Security and Medicare for the rest of us. "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

And the taxpayers and voters just keep getting taken to the the Republicans AND the Democrats, via the big corporations and big banks.

BREAKING NEWS! September 11, 2010 - CNN Money reports that Daniel Akerson, the new chief executive of General Motors, has scored a $9 million compensation package, including $1.7 million in cash annually and $5.3 million in company stock over the next three years (and only pays 15% in capital gains taxes).

May 10, 2011 - GM just announced it would invest in its domestic factories, and that it would "create or save" more than 4,000 jobs. But about 1,350 of those jobs will be filled by current G.M. employees who were laid off, and the remaining positions will go to new hires at a lower wage - about half of what existing hourly employees now earn. 

G.M. has 49,000 hourly workers in the United States. That's less than half the number they had five years ago. Before the Great Recession, in November 22, 2005 GM had announced it was closing 9 plants and laying off 30,000 workers. So now GM is hiring 2,650 new employees earning 50% less than their co-workers. So frigging what! Does the CEO want a pat on the head?

Also, this past January 20, 2011 GM announced it would invest $540 million in an engine plant in Mexico, even though about that same time the Wall Street Journal reported the U.S. government said it's unlikely to recover its entire $50 billion bailout investment in GM. 

But that wasn't GM's first bailout...before the outbreak of World War II General Motors produced vast quantities of armaments, vehicles, and aircraft for both the Allied and Axis customers. By the spring of 1939, the German Government had assumed day-to-day control of American owned factories in Germany, but decided against nationalizing them. 

During World War II  the U.S. auto companies were still concerned that Nazi Germany would nationalize American-owned factories so GM later declared it had abandoned its Nazi subsidiary, and took a complete tax write-off, of which they received a tax reduction from U.S. taxes of approximately $22.7 million.

After the war GM collected another $33 million in "war reparations" because the Allies had bombed its German facilities for which they had earlier declared a complete tax write-off, and had received tax a reduction*

While General Motors has claimed its German (Opel) operations were outside its control during World War II, this assertion appears to be contradicted by available evidence. General Motors was not just a car company that happened to have factories in Germany; GM management from the top down had extensive connections with the Nazi Party. 

* GM's total bail out back then was worth about $285 billion in today's money.

FAST FOREWORD: February 2011 the U.S. Treasury just gave GM another tax break to reduce its U.S. tax bill by an estimated $14 billion in the coming years, and its global taxes by close to $19 billion, according to a recent company filing. We're still bailing out GM! "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

And the Republican's are complaining about the national debt, but yet they won't cut oil subsidies, and only want cut to Medicare, food stamps, and unemployment benefits. They could give a damn about any frigging jobs! They only care about more tax breaks for the rich and corporations while they continue to send jobs out of the country. And when the greedy corporations on government welfare DO hire someone, they pay beggar's wages.

It almost seems that every day I read about some corporation getting rich on the backs on those who are suffering, and screwing the taxpayers royally. How can I ever keep up with my little blog?

GM describes itself as "a global automotive company that develops, produces and markets cars, trucks and parts worldwide." So GM's no longer an American car company? (Current GM factories worldwide) Then why the FU*K are they getting tax breaks and bailouts from U.S. taxpayers? Why does GM still exist anyway? Wouldn't America and the rest of the world survive without GM cars? It sure would save the taxpayers a lot of money in this "free" market capitalistic society.

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