Just How American Should Corporations Be?


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 Fed has kept things pretty good for the wealthy,” said New York University economist Edward Wolff, of the policies that supported these gains in stock and bond markets. CommonDreams  

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?

20 thoughts on “Just How American Should Corporations Be?

  1. rafflaw,

    You hit upon one of the greatest myths in America today.

    Let me clear the air by saying that there are no American International Corporations … by definition itself.

    ExxonMobil, the largest in the Oil-Qaeda quiver, is thought to be American by a very substantial percentage of the populace.

    Yet their CEO declared in an interview “I am not an American company” (MOMCOM: The Private Parts – 5). I really do not know if you will be able to get your message across rafflaw, because it is unbelievable — as a good portion of truth is these days.

  2. Larry,

    you have hit upon the great myth and delusion that we are living under as Dredd pointed out. The reason that we have seen the decline of America’s once superb manufacturing sector is that they have taken the work overseas to benefit from slave wages. The multi-nationals are NOT American companies and yet the corporatists in our Government, both Democrats and Republican’s treat them this way. The process began with Reagan and his work towards destroying the labor movement and continued under Clinton who signed the incredibly stupid treaty, from an American point of view, NAFTA and then came CAFTA. By buying into the concept of free trade internationally both the Republicans and Democrats were in effect committing treason against this country. Since the adoption of the Constitution tariffs on imports had protected and nurtured American business. These tariffs were also a major source of revenue for the Federal Government. We lowered America’s trade barriers, but other nations such as China and Japan didn’t lower their trade barriers.

    This was the cause of Japanese ascendancy in the Auto industry in the 80’s and it wasn’t reciprocal. The Japanese erected barriers to importing American automobiles. The breaking of the auto industry’s unions was a major part of this offensive. The United Auto Workers were among the strongest and most honest of our labor unions. Michigan jobs were shipped overseas and anti-union States in the South gave tremendous incentive for foreign automakers to build plants in their State which had “Right to Work” laws. With the destruction of the Auto Industry, the heart of the American manufacturing base was broken and we see the results today.

    Welcome everyone to the role of serfs in the Corporate/Feudal state. Where the majority of the populace has been fooled into believing that these huge companies care about this country, or its people. Watch their heartwarming propaganda ads on TV telling you of the charities they donate to, or the values they embody. The real charity is lining their pockets, securing their power in the feudal plutocracy and letting us eat a little cake.

  3. Raff,

    Problem: Wall Street’s Richness is fueled by Main Street’s Indebtness.

    Solution: Main Street needs to become debt free.

  4. Main Street will become debt free when we rein in the corporations that are taking away jobs from Main Street and taking tax money at the same time.

  5. Raff said: “Main Street will become debt free when we rein in the corporations that are taking away jobs from Main Street and taking tax money at the same time.”

    As long as we continue to blame others for our own actions, we will continue to be lost.

    Please take a time to read this document (yes, it is 140 pages, but it is very informative):


    According to this document, 45% of 2011 US households are considered middle class (this thorough research defines middle class as a dual household earners of $69,487 for a family of 3-husband, spouse, & 1 child).

    As I have stated earlier, what is the middle class doing with their income? I grew up very, very poor (thank God for public assistance), and I find it hard to believe that you cannot make a decent living with $70k a year. Unless you are living beyond your means.

    In other words, instead of financing a $150k home, why not purchase your home from a housing auction or your local property tax sale for about $5k-$15k? No mortgage loan. Instead of financing a $25k-$40k vehicle, why not purchase a $12k-$17k vehicle that you can payoff in 2-3 years. Avoid interest or an auto loan. Instead of sending your child to private schools (while your tax dollars go towards public schools),save this expense by sending your child to a good public school.

    As I stated before (or as CNBC Joe Cramer stated), Wall Street makes its’ ‘longest green’ off of interest from loans and credit cards. If we change our spending habits, Wall Street will have to change the way they do business with us (Main Street).

    Everyone knows that the Middle Class have a bad habit of trying to “keep up with the Jones.”

  6. “Everyone knows that the Middle Class have a bad habit of trying to “keep up with the Jones.””


    You are absolutely right when it comes to the spending habits of many in America, but you fail to recognize the nature of many human beings in this country and the reach of propaganda that proliferates/resonates with a large percentage of people. The concept of the “American Dream” has been pushed upon the people by corporate television and corporate government since at least the 1950’s. However, before that people also grew up with the ideal of “making it” in this country, with an abiding worshipful treatment of those who had made it. See the popular Horatio Alger series at the beginnings of the 20th Century. This was a calculated response by business leaders to create a society structured on consumption. With the development of the credit card, VA and FHA mortgages to make home finance easier and the constant drumbeat of propaganda defining success as acquisition many people were hypnotized.

    You imply (and I have no doubt its true) that you have been smart with how you spend your money and therefore are immune to the propaganda blandishments. In my own family life I’ve also been immune to the propaganda and have never lived on credit cards. However, I don’t look at people who’ve succumbed to the corporate propaganda as somehow weak-willed proliferates, I see them as average people trying to make their way in a mystifying life where they have been trained to be consumers.

    Perhaps you and I are more discriminating TV viewers where the promises of “a better life through credit cards” is held up as an example of success. I surmise that like me you laugh when the commercial showing the luxury car casts the spell of a distinct message claiming what you drive displays your success as a human being. That is probably because you and I were reared in an environment that made us less susceptible to propaganda and maybe a little paranoid about feel good messages.

    Propaganda and advertising are powerful tools and they are mostly in the hands of those who would use them for nefarious purposes. This advertising propaganda was developed into a “science” by the two men listed in the links below, which you can read and understand how average people can be so badly manipulated:

  7. “American” corporations stay in America because of low tax rates and Congressional sponsored tax loopholes and giveaways. They stay “American” because of a bloated defense department and police state that protects these soulless entities. They stay “American” because they can reap the benefits of headquarters on American soil while reaping their tax free profits overseas. They stay “American” because CEOs pay a much smaller % of federal taxes than in many other advanced countries. They stay “American” because it benefits them. Their thought is not for the American worker, it’s for the shareholder and the worker and taxpayer be damned.

  8. voltaic,
    I think you are correct. In my opinion, It is time to make them earn those perks and make them keep jobs here.

  9. AY,
    You are right, but it is even worse. The corporations are controlling Congress to make sure that they get what they want. And Main Street loses every time.

  10. RWL,
    I have an idea. Put a cap on credit card interest rates and that will ease the pain for the midde class and reduce Wall Street abuses and spur spending. I also have a question that is related to the topic of this article. Why are you not holding corporations feet to the fire for sending millions of jobs overseas?

  11. Raff said: “Why are you not holding corporations feet to the fire for sending millions of jobs overseas?”

    If we (Main Street) do not ‘like’ what Wall Street is doing, then why not boycott that company? This is just one solution.

    However, there are many reasons why corporations are sending millions of jobs overseas, but this process has been transpiring for more than 20 years. When the economy was booming in the 1990s and early to mid 2000s, the job market wasn’t suffering from jobs being sent overseas. Globaliztion is inevitable. Furthermore, there are numerous articles that encourages companies (large & small) to expand their business overseas in order to not only stay competive wih other companies, but for survival purposes, as well.

    Maybe, it’s time for a career change, switch or obtain a college degree for this new era of modernization, or relocate to where the high paying jobs are? Tere are still plenty of jobs currently open in the US, but many Americans, particularly recently undergraduates graduating from college, refuse to work; these jobs include retail management trainee jobs (Wal Mart starts management trainees off at $48k-$52k a year with either a 4 year degree or at least 1 year of management experience); the healthcare field is booming in the US, but many students are not waiting in line to become doctors, physical therapists, physcains assistants and pharmacists; and also Information Technology careers (and some of these jobs only require 2 years of college).

    Other questions/concerns: What type of jobs are being sent overseas? High or low paying? High or low skilled? What percentage of both are being sent overseas?

    I read an article that stated only 1.4 million jobs were created in the US in 2009 or 2010, while only 1 million were created/sent overseas for the same year.

    See following links, including the 140 pg document, listed above, of why jobs are heading overseas (below is a brief section of the link):


    “A 2004 white paper from Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut cited a series of factors driving employers to move U.S. jobs overseas. Reasons included improved high-speed technology, low-cost labor in other countries, educated labor forces, favorable business climates overseas and proximity to large consumer markets in such countries as India and China, two leading beneficiaries of the offshoring of U.S. jobs.”

    “A 2005 article from the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., suggested that the U.S. tax code may actually encourage companies to move American jobs overseas. Authors Lael Brainard and Robert E. Litan pointed to a provision that allows companies to defer taxes on foreign earnings as a possible incentive for businesses to move operations and jobs out of the United States.”

    “The authors of the Brookings Institution article noted that little reliable data exist to measure precisely the number of jobs that have moved overseas. They cited a report by Forrester, an Information technology consulting firm, which suggested that the number of jobs relocated overseas could grow to more than 3 million by the year 2015.”

  12. Mike S,

    Thank you Mr. Walter Lippman for that interesting analysis! Kinda easy to fool the ‘bewildred masses,’ eh?

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