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Corporatism: Carving The Heart Out of America And Its Economy

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What's that giant sucking sound? It's Corporate America, sucking the lifeblood out of America and carving the heart out of its economy. It's a powerful and relentless force in pursuing and promoting its agenda of control and domination over this nation, its government and its people. It is currently invincible it cannot be controlled.

The power that that Corporate America holds over this nation is taking it in the exact wrong direction. We should be doing everything in our power to make this nation and our economy stronger and growing but that's not happening as the agenda of Corporatism is tuned to a different frequency. It is not interested in strengthening this country by providing more opportunities for its people, it is interested in only one thing; and that is to accumulate more and more profitability.

Corporatists should have enough intelligence to know that the American people are the foundation of this country, that it is their collective purchasing power that fuels this economy. But in pursuing their singular agenda of profits above all, they merely   use this country as their vehicle and the American people as their tools in order to advance their primary objectives. That is what they do, that is why they exist and nothing else matters to them in the least.

They can't help but know that their selfish and greedy policies and actions are directly contributing to the weakening of this economy and, as a result, this country. The problem is that corporations act independently and in competition with each other. If they had any collective vision and any loyalty to either this country or its people they might realize that the great damage that they are doing to this nation in the short term will bring them higher profits but will, in the longer term, lead to their own undoing.

If they had a greater vision of the future here is what they would see; Corporatism is one of the major contributors to continuing to enrich the wealthy of America at the expense of the mass of the American people. So when the inequity of income between those at the top and that of the majority of the people, especially the middle class, grows ever greater, then that is what we might refer to as sucking the lifeblood out of America.

The U.S. government which certainly knows that America's strength greatly depends on economic growth continues to allow, and even help, the masters of Corporatism to outsource jobs to overseas nations; it allows them to continue to avoid paying corporate taxes, fails to close massive tax loopholes, and lets the banksters get away with white collar crime without any fear of prosecution. While I'm being highly critical of these corporations and what they are doing to this country, I also know full well that it is the U.S. government that is directly responsible for allowing them to use every trick in the accounting book to reduce or completely avoid taxes.

Speaking of corporate taxes; the Corporatists believe that, to modify an old saying, "it is better to receive than to give." They love profits, their CEO's love their monumental salaries and bonuses, but taxes are an anathema to them. They contend that corporate taxes are unfair even though they are the beneficiaries and they greatly prosper because of many of the national amenities such as highways, airports, railroads, waterways and other elements of the country's infrastructure that they have access to; all of which are constructed and maintained through the collection of taxes.

An article in the Washington Post, May 3 by Jia Ling Yang provides an excellent analysis of how U.S. corporations use a myriad of tax loop holes and accounting schemes to significantly lower their tax rates. The article points out that most of the 30 companies listed on the Dow Jones industrial average have seen a dramatic decrease in their tax contributions, even as their profitability has risen to all-time highs.

General Electric paid zero taxes in 2010 and, actually, benefited from a tax credit of $3.2 billion. G.E. and Pfizer are reported to have stockpiled $187 billion in untaxed overseas profits during the past year. The corporations of America are being allowed to avoid paying hundreds of billions in taxes because neither the U.S. Congress nor a   succession of U.S. presidents have addressed the monumental need to overhaul the nation's tax code. Perhaps the two of them should allow the corporations to rewrite the tax code as they wish; after all we have often heard that corporate lobbyists regularly create the very legislation that is designed to regulate their business activities.

It's becoming more and more obvious that Corporate America is calling the shots and dictating the direction that this country takes. And they are doing a lousy job of it. Corporations are at the center of America's greatest problems and here is why. Corporate America has ravaged the American workforce, forced many millions of its members onto the rolls of the unemployed; their purchasing power has been greatly diluted, millions have lost their homes to foreclosure, millions more have to rely on food stamps, more Americans have fallen below the poverty line, and life in America has become a massive struggle for these once productive members of this society.

What all this manipulation and corporate scheming is doing is carving the heart out of America; its financial foundations and its economy. The Corporatists know, deep within themselves, that they largely responsible for the fact that this economy is bleeding to death because of their policies and actions; but like a drug addict, they have no intention of giving up their addiction and obsession with greater and greater profits; their motto seems to be; live for today and to hell with tomorrow.

By now we all know that one of the most important foundations of this nation, small businesses, including the neighborhood and the mom and pop stores fell victim to and were wiped out by the lightning-like spread of giant corporate retail chains, with Wal-Mart being the most powerful. That was chapter one in the weakening of the economy. Chapter two was the disintegration of the American workforce. Now we are waiting with great trepidation for chapter three to be opened to see what other foundations of this nation Corporatism will destroy.

Corporatism has a hold on America that will be almost impossible to break. Not only do the Corporatists own and control the U.S. Congress and many elements of the government, they also control many millions of Americans who work for them. I know from personal experience what this is like since I once was a part of the corporate world; and, while I objected to many things that were happening all   around me, including outsourcing of manufacturing, I had no real power or influence to do anything about it.

Just think of the many Americans who work for the most powerful banks and financial organizations most of which I would venture to say are ethical and have integrity. But to keep their jobs many of them have no choice and are forced to succumb to the demands of the corporations to bend, break or otherwise find a way to get around governmental regulations and laws. As just one example, just think about all the many Americans who, either willingly or by being forced, became a part of the financial sector's schemes and manipulations that led to the housing crash and recession that began in 2008.

These Corporatists have an agenda that is diametrically opposed to the new directions that this nation desperately needs to be taking. Do they want to stop the wars and the spread of the military empire? Absolutely not! Do they want to be a part of the need to address climate change and what it's doing to this planet? No! Do they want to be at the forefront of developing new sources of energy? Certainly not. They are not the least bit interested in doing the many things that would greatly strengthen this nation; they are only interested in those things that strengthen their bottom lines.

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Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense (more...)
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The power that that Corporate America holds o... by michael payne on Friday, Apr 5, 2013 at 10:48:45 AM
We desperately need a face that the nation can see... by anna kakol on Friday, Apr 5, 2013 at 11:39:21 AM
Anna,I agree we need leadership, but I think we ne... by Paul Roden on Friday, Apr 5, 2013 at 7:25:39 PM
All those people you mentioned above were capable ... by anna kakol on Friday, Apr 5, 2013 at 7:38:31 PM
The more I think about how Corporate America has t... by michael payne on Friday, Apr 5, 2013 at 8:16:21 PM
Michael, as I hope you will understand I agree wit... by Dr. Tom Baldwin on Saturday, Apr 6, 2013 at 12:06:06 PM
They are a cancer, consuming it's host.  No c... by James Tennier on Friday, Apr 5, 2013 at 6:36:46 PM
Yes, Corporatism is a deadly disease, a cancer on ... by michael payne on Friday, Apr 5, 2013 at 6:57:39 PM
Michael, good article.  As you might be aware... by Dr. Tom Baldwin on Friday, Apr 5, 2013 at 8:47:41 PM
Ooops, the first reference should have been this o... by Dr. Tom Baldwin on Friday, Apr 5, 2013 at 8:56:32 PM
"The Corporatists know, deep within themselves, t... by John Rachel on Saturday, Apr 6, 2013 at 4:26:58 AM
Yes, drastic reform of law and oversight is necess... by michael payne on Saturday, Apr 6, 2013 at 10:33:30 AM