Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Guest Blogger
Lately we have been barraged with news stories that the recovery of the United States economy has been historically, a slow one. We have also seen stories that state that the vast majority of the gains in the economy since the recession started in December of 2007 have been enjoyed by the very wealthy. “According to a new analysis (pdf) of Census Bureau data published Tuesday by the Pew Research Center, since the economy officially emerged from the recession in mid-2009, the wealthiest 7 percent of households saw soaring gains of an estimated $5.6 trillion, while the remaining 93 percent—111 million households—saw their overall wealth fall by an estimated $0.6 trillion.” CommonDreams
As the Common Dreams quote suggests, the poor and middle-income portions of our economy have been left out in the cold when it comes to an economic recovery. Many of those who have benefitted during the recovery have their money and assets tied into shares of American corporations who are enjoying record profits, while the vast majority of Americans are unable to invest in the stock market or do not have 401K plans that could invest retirement funds in those same American corporations.
“Cha adds that the findings demonstrate, “how it is the rich, not the poor, that benefit from government handouts. It was direct government support with taxpayer funds that saved the big banks and, in turn, enriched their shareholders. It’s not social safety net programs that are bankrupting our country: it’s the rich.” -Mijin Cha, Demos Government policies following the recession drove an even larger gap in wealth disparity as the richest 7 percent’s slice of the nation’s wealth grew from 56 to 63 percent by 2011.
The wealthy and big corporations have enjoyed great improvements in their economic situation during the recession, aided by government policies that aided big banks and corporations as suggested above in the Common Dreams article. With that thought in mind, is there a limit or a bright line that would be displayed when an American corporation is operating without the American people in mind?
American corporations have been hiring during this recovery, but it seems that most of the hiring by large American corporations has been overseas. “WSJ: Domestic-Based Multinationals Hiring Overseas,
Multinational companies based in the U.S. boosted their global work forces in 2011 almost entirely by hiring workers overseas, underscoring the slow growth in the U.S. job market.… The paltry hiring at home reflects where multinational companies are focusing their attention. Stronger economic growth in overseas markets in Asia and Latin America is driving their expansion, reinforcing their shift toward cheaper labor or closer access to customers. The U.S. parents of multinational firms account for about one-fifth of total private U.S. employment. Since 1999, employment by U.S. multinationals is down by 1.1 million inside the U.S., while it is up by 3.8 million overseas.” Common Dreams
This may be a radical idea, but shouldn’t American corporations actually strive to improve their bottom lines by hiring American workers first? I understand that these large multinational American corporations have to compete on the world market, but without United States government intervention, many of these corporations would not be as profitable or even still in business, as evidenced by the bank bailouts discussed above and in previous articles.
Politicians of every stripe cannot even go out-of-doors without an American flag lapel pin on their suit coats, but at the same time they do not insist on the same America first mentality of our corporate partners. Indeed, the United States corporations who are paying very little or in far too many cases, no Federal taxes at all, insist on demanding even lower taxes!
“For all intents and purposes giant “American” multinational corporations have transformed into entities with completely different interests from their American workers, customers, communities, citizens and government. These corporations are no longer operating in the interest of America or any country, while claiming the benefits of being American corporations (when it suits them.) For example, the giant American multinational corporations are now set up and structured to avoid paying taxes here, or to any country. They set countries against each other in their hunt for low-wage labor, subsidies and advantages in markets.” Common Dreams
You have certainly heard the phrases of America First and Buy American that advertisements have pushed for years. I used to agree with those slogans, but the companies that have been involved in pushing those catch phrases don’t believe their own advertisements. They will borrow from our banks that have been propped up by the Fed and Congress, in order that they can more fully take advantage of additional United States tax deductions that drive down their tax liability. Of course, not being blessed with a great mathematical mind, I am still trying to find out how these American corporations can pay less than zero!
Why do we allow corporations to actually take advantage of our tax deductions and credits, when they are using these lowered tax liabilities to actually remove jobs from the United States? Why do we allow corporations to divide into separate mini-entities in order to game the tax system and avoid taxes here and abroad? Congress in their infinite wisdom has handed out corporate credits and deductions that the ordinary citizen cannot take advantage of. Is that an example of being a true American?
Maybe I should not be surprised that Congress would bend over backwards to provide corporate America with beneficial tax provisions, when the Senate side of Congress just passed a bill to end sequestration cuts to the FAA so that the wealthy and corporate riders will not be delayed in their numerous air flights, while at the same time taking no action to end the cuts to food assistance for the poor! NationofChange
When will the madness end? When will politicians actually do what they say and Put America and Americans first? As a country, we could make sure that large multinational US corporations actually paid their fair share of Federal taxes. The United State could make sure that these very same multinational US corporations do not gain tax deductions or tax credits for moving jobs overseas. As a country we could do this very easily without harming the economy, but will we? Do you have an idea how corporations could actually work to improve their bottom lines and improve the United States economy and work force?
Don’t We deserve the same helping hand that our corporations get on a daily basis?