Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Record corporate profits - so where is the promised trickle down?


http://www.flickr.com/photos/vipez/
By GARY BAUMGARTEN
This news couldn’t have come at a worse time for those who are so fervently arguing for an extension of the Bush tax cuts for the rich.
Supposedly, cutting taxes for the rich gives them impedance to hire people – since they have a little more discretionary income and Uncle Sam has a little less.
But now, the Commerce Department tells us U.S. corporations are enjoying record profits. Huh?
Aren’t we in the middle of a recession? Not just any recession. The Great Recession. Nearly a depression – some say.
Aren’t people still out-of-work? Isn’t the lame duck Congress grappling with the issue of whether to reinstate unemployment benefit extensions by the end of the month? Because, if not, it won’t be a very Merry Christmas for millions of our fellow Americans.
How can that be? How, in a time of record corporate profits?
Don’t those profits indicate the corporations are in a position to hire more people?
Or are they now saying in corporate board rooms, “well, we’ve cut staff, our profits are up, so let’s just keep rolling along like this.”
Apparently, they are shortsighted.
Apparently they don’t realize that in order to be profitable, you need people who are employed with money in their pockets to buy their goods and services.
Unless all they are doing is turning their attention to India and China in the hopes of selling their products there.
This all makes about as much sense to me as the bailing out of the banks in order to get them to loan more money to small businesses and homeowners. But they didn’t. They took that money and invested it.
Which, to me, means the money was taken under false pretenses. No wonder people refer to the robo-signing foreclosure happy financial institutions as “banksters.”
For the record, I want corporate America to be strong and profitable. But I also want corporations to be a little less mercenary.
Corporations won the right under the Citizens United Supreme Court decision to be treated as individuals. You know – with the same rights as you and I.
OK, well when you are an individual in this society, you don’t just get rights. You also have responsibilities. So don’t the corporations have a responsibility to give back to the community? Especially now that their profits are so high?
Ronald Reagan promised in the 1980s that if we’d reduce income and capital gains marginal tax rates the corporations would flourish and the money would trickle down. Well, now the corporations are flourishing, but we’re still waiting for the trickle down. How many more decades do we have to wait?
Gary Baumgarten is news and programming director at the Paltalk News Network

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gary, There has Never been a time in America's History where giving tax breaks to the Wealthy Corperations created Jobs or Helped the economy.