Friday, May 27, 2011

It's Not Personal, it's Just Business

As though the loss of millions of jobs and the loss of billions of dollars in tax revenues shouldn't be taken personally by ordinary working-class Americans. Here's a radical idea: Hire Americans and tax corporations and CEOs at the same rate as their workers.

radical [rad·i·cal] – adjective 

  1) Of or going to the root or origin; fundamental: a radical difference.

  2) Thorough-going or extreme, especially as in regards to change from an accepted or traditional form: a radical change in the policy of a company.

  3) Favoring drastic political, economic, or social reforms: radical ideas; radical and anarchistic ideologues. 

  4) Albert Einstein's and Bud Meyers' views on multi-national corporations (see The People's Budget)

Seven publicly traded U.S. corporations represented on President Barack Obama's Advisory Council for Jobs and Competitiveness - including General Electric Co. and Intel Corp. - have devoted a growing pool of their non-U.S. earnings to investments in other countries.

As a group, many American-based multi-national companies (several with current or former chief executive officers on Obama's jobs council) over the past four years have almost doubled the cumulative amounts they've reinvested overseas, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

By doing so, companies may be able to take advantage of "faster-growing markets" and "lower production costs", and they can "defer" U.S. income taxes on profits from overseas sales. Underscoring the difference between a CEO's corporate interest and the national interest of the United States of America, they're also investing money elsewhere that could be helping the U.S. economy, this according to the former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich. 

"That's a signal that they are betting less on America," Reich said. "We've got to understand there's a fundamental difference between the competitiveness of these companies and the competitiveness of America and American workers." (What are the biggest differences between "patriotism" and "treason"?)

Here's one "radical" proposal: Eliminate the profit motive for corporations by nationalizing those that outsource American jobs, don't pay taxes, and profit from America's natural resources.

Profits are primarily used to enrich the few at the top of a corporation (their board of directors) and their stockholders; excessive profits go into their pockets, and aren't always used just for research, development, and the producing of goods. Any leftover financial resources that are not needed to expand, produce, or pay their worker's wages go into offshore bank accounts for a very few wealthy people. 

"Profit", as the only governing motive for a corporation, does not consider or factor in the American economy as a whole, nor the working-class's livelihoods at all. The corporation is all about producing more (whether needed or not) and producing it cheaper (sacrificing quality and safety), and constantly expanding to create more with less (but not for the sake of conservation, but for higher profits).

A corporation must always grow, can not remain stagnant (at par with current demand), and will not accept "finite" anywhere in their corporate lexicon...whether in relation to their stock price, company profits, or executive salaries.

Unlike stagnate wages, frozen salaries, or limited incomes, corporate executives refuse to live with finite employee compensation packages, and businesses must always grow at the expense of anything and all, except for those within the top echelons of a corporation. CEOs say they work for the shareholders, but they are usually shareholders themselves...and are taxed at a lower income rate than their secretaries earning a minimum wage.

If corporations were nationalized, and the profit motive was removed, people's wages need not be depressed or jobs outsourced for cheaper labor. Artificial demand need not be created if the market is saturated, when all the needs are met; and executive salaries could be governed and limited so as not to be reliant on profit margins. They wouldn't be paid with "stock options" as "incentives" to outsource jobs. They would be paid base salaries (or hourly wages) like the workers. If they perform well, they get a raise. If they fail, they are fired like anyone else. And they'd be taxed at the same rate as their workers (as a percent of their wages). We could eliminate capital gains taxes completely.

Excessive profits (after what is used for the research, development, and the production of goods), would go to the U.S. Treasury as tax revenues to fund The People's Budget, and not be used to buy multiple mansions, yachts, private jets, and small Greek islands. We could eliminate corporate taxes completely.

Corporate "subsidies", as they exist today, would be truly used as taxpayer assistance to innovate and develop new ideas for the better of all the people, such as cheap and clean energy (as they were first intended), and not just used to enrich the few on the backs of the poor. Why should a vital commodity and natural resource such oil and other fossil fuels be exploited for profit by a select few? Nationalize the energy industry and that could help eliminate corporate welfare completely.

A factory would produce what the country needed AT COST for the consumption of the American people, and a profit motivator would only exist for the sale of goods to foreign markets...again, with the excess profits going into THE PEOPLE'S government treasury to improve the quality of life for her citizens (schools, roads, bridges, etc). We could eliminate tariffs and export taxes completely.

By nationalizing corporations, we could also eliminate political corruption and election influencing, such as votes sold for the highest bid, like bribes. Members of congress could vote with their conscience, not with their wallets.

What would be even MORE radical than this proposal would be to allow corporations to continue raising the cost-of-living on all of us by price gouging, greed, thievery, and using fine print in contracts and bills that's written in legalese - using everything they can (like a whole division of litigation lawyers) to make us more poor, while they get more rich....while the nation crumbles. That's not only radical, it's insane.

Why do so few people of such enormous wealth need to control most of the American economy? Don't dictators do that? Why should one man in the United States be allowed to hoard $50 billion if he won't invest and/or refuses to hire people at "living wages"? Does he NEED to make another $50 billion when 50 million poor Americans rely on food stamps just to eat? If so, can a rich man go to Heaven?

Let's face it...old fashioned capitalism had a good run for a long time, but now its broken. Long gone are the middle-class days of the 1950's. Mom can't stay home any more to greet you with milk and cookies when you come home from school. Just like dad, she has to go to work too. The world has changed and so have we. The Republicans have been trying to convince us that less taxes on the rich and corporations creates job. For the last 10 years we've seen how well that has worked...we now have record unemployment and record debt while corporations are earning record profits and their CEOs are earning record salaries.

It is the excessive, cancerous, addictive and evil American Greed of a few that causes so much harm for so many. People, as individuals, are all expendable in the efficient day-to-day operations of any major corporation. The CEO, just like the janitor that empties the waste basket in the executive restrooms every night, is just another cog in the corporate wheel. If, hypothetically, we eliminated all the current CEOs in all corporations, couldn't the company survive just as well without them if the vice-president immediately took over all their duties? Multiply all those CEOs who earn multi-million-dollar annual salaries and imagine how many people could remain employed in America and earning a "living wage". Are those CEOs, as mere individuals, really worth all those other lives that they seem all to willing to sacrifice for cheaper labor overseas?

We need to move on and make changes in our political and economic system of government that better reflects THE PEOPLE'S needs, wants, and desires...not the perverted and greedy desires of a few CEOs governing soulless corporations whose ONLY concern is for profits.

From TruthOut.Org: At some level, corporate executives are aware that they are lowering workers' living standards, but their decisions are neither coordinated nor intentionally harmful. Call it the "paradox of profitability." Executives are acting in their own and their shareholders' best interest: maximizing profit margins in the face of weak demand by extensive layoffs and pay cuts. But what has been good for every company's income statement has been a disaster for working families and their communities.

Based on my observations over the last 30 years (and especially over the past three), it's become quite apparent that the Democrats today are almost where the Republicans were 50 years ago....they've moved that far right. A Socialist back then might be considered a Progressive today (and Progressives today are more like Democrats were 50 years ago). And a Republican today might be what a Nationalist was back in 1939. The party ideologies have changed that much.

But for the most part, the ordinary American people haven't moved at all, we're still the same, we haven't changed all that much. We still want honesty and fair play from our political and corporate leaders, but we find very little of either these days...especially with the Republicans, who represent corporate interests rather than THE PEOPLE'S interests.

Is this plan radical? Maybe, but no more so than Republican Paul Ryan's plan - which is deceptively named The Path to Prosperity: Restoring America's Promise (such as Medicare sir?). It should really be more aptly named The Path to Ever More Excessive Prosperity for CEOs and Corporations. Whereas with The People's Budget, it is actually THE PEOPLE who are being represented. Just as Rolling Stone magazine says, "This is more than a fantasy document. It's sound policy." Read more about it here at TheMiddleClass.Org

Meanwhile, if we complain about greedy businesses, the corporate kingpins of  these international cartels multi-national conglomerates will always tell us, "It's not personal, it's just business." (Michael Corleone, The Godfather Part III)

Albert Einstein on Corporations

"The economic anarchy of a capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil. We see before us a huge community of producers, the members of which are unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labor - not by force, but on the whole - in faithful compliance with legally established rules. I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals." - Albert Einstein, The World As I See It (1949) 

"The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital - the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked, even by a democratically organized political society."

"This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature."

"The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population."

"Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the intelligent to use his political rights." - Albert Einstein, Monthly Review, May 1949

No comments:

Post a Comment