Pilant's Business Ethics

Business Ethics Blog

Tag: Corporate welfare

Capitalism, What a Concept!

Capitalism, What a Concept!

Capitalism, What a Concept!

Capitalism, What a Concept!

If you read the story below you will discover that large corporations are receiving enormous sums of money from state and local governments. Apparently, free market neo-liberalism is good for the common folk like us but we must not speak the dire word, competition, when it comes to large corporations. After all, why should a multi-national organization with billions of dollars in resources do the hard thing like compete in a free market when they can milk state and local governments?

So, it is neo-liberalism for us and corporate welfare for them. Can you say, “Hypocrisy?”

What does neo-liberalism for us mean? It means depressed wages, direct competition with workers in undeveloped nations, continued decline in what we can expect in terms of education and any other government benefit, and that we will be forced into ever more dire circumstances of economic insecurity.

What does neo-liberalism mean for multi-national corporations? In terms of the company itself, nothing. They don’t do neo-liberalism. They do it to others. In terms of the environment of the company, it means they pay less in wages, less in taxes and can exert ever increasing control over their workers while maintaining a loyal and servile class of would-be courtiers who bow and scrape before them while uttering the sacred phrase, “Job Creators.”

Yes, job creators. You can ship American jobs overseas by the millions, play havoc with the American dream of owning a home, almost destroy the world’s economic system and you win the title of “job creator.”

We live in a strange country where people can believe in this kind of nonsense.

James Pilant

The shocking numbers behind corporate welfare | Al Jazeera America

State and local governments have awarded at least $110 billion in taxpayer subsidies to business, with 3 of every 4 dollars going to fewer than 1,000 big corporations, the most thorough analysis to date of corporate welfare revealed today.

via The shocking numbers behind corporate welfare | Al Jazeera America.

 

From around the web.

From the web site, Badger Democracy

http://bdgrdemocracy.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/whole-foods-ceo-john-mackey-and-conscious-capitalism-putting-lipstick-on-a-pig/

In 2011, an $8 million tax break for a new Washington DC Whole Foods development raised questions of return on public investment and why public money was even needed:

Controversial “TIF” funds are being used for construction of a Whole Foods-anchored development in St. Louis, hardly in a blighted area.

The new Whole Foods development in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago is being partially funded by an $11.3 million “TIF” in an already well-developed area.

Subverting Pensions for Profit

 Subverting Pensions for Profit

 

There are real plots, real conspiracies. It’s a sad thing that people sometimes unite not for ethical or moral principles but for the destruction of people’s lives, for predation, for money at any cost.

 

One of the constant themes in the lust for profits has been the conversion of public goods into private possessions: public and charity hospitals often run by churches converted into private property; parks, highways, parking meters, converted into private ventures, America’s public lands opened up for fracking in the one of the greatest land grabs in all of recorded history … I can go on and on. Subverting pensions for profit is just the latest fad in the series.

 

Here is another one, public pension funds being converted into Wall Street Piggy Banks, looted with fees and then fed into speculation for anyone’s profit but the pension fund’s. It is as if the national looting of the last generation, the conversion of pensions into the predatory and vicious 401K’s didn’t generate enough profit, we must never stop looting, never stop stealing, never stop creating fictitious crises to be exploited.

 

Maybe this one can be stopped. I would like to see that.

 

James Pilant

 

The right’s sinister new plot against pensions – Salon.com

 

http://www.salon.com/2013/10/10/the_rights_sinister_new_plot_against_pensions/

 

As state legislatures prepare for their upcoming sessions, you will no doubt hear a lot about public pensions. More specifically, you will hear allegations that states are going bankrupt because of their pension obligations to public employees. These claims will inevitably be used to argue that states must renege on their pension promises to retirees.This is what I’ve called the Plot Against Pensions in a report I recently completed for the Institute for America’s Future. Engineered by billionaire former Enron trader John Arnold, championed by seemingly nonpartisan groups like the Pew Charitable Trusts and operating in states throughout America, this plot is not designed to strengthen pensions or to save taxpayer money, as its proponents claim. It is designed to slash public employees’ guaranteed retirement income in order to both protect states’ corporate welfare and, in some cases, enrich Wall Street.Consider the math of state budgets. According to Pew’s estimates, “The gap between states’ assets and their obligations for public sector retirement benefits (is) $1.38 trillion” over 30 years. As the Center for Economic and Policy Research notes, this gap was not caused by benefit increases, as conservatives suggest. Data prove that most of it was caused by the stock market decline that accompanied the 2008 financial colla

 

via The right’s sinister new plot against pensions – Salon.com.

From around the web.

From the web site, Brave New World.

http://bravenewworldnews.com/2013/10/01/the-plot-against-pensions/

Finding: Conservative activists are manufacturing the perception of a public pension crisis in order to both slash modest retiree benefits and preserve expensive corporate subsidies and tax breaks.

 

States and cities have for years been failing to fully fund their annual pension obligations. They have used funds that were supposed to go to pensions to instead finance expensive tax cuts and corporate subsidies. That has helped create a real but manageable pension shortfall. Yet, instead of citing such a shortfall as reason to end expensive tax cuts and subsidies, conservative activists and lawmakers are citing it as a reason to slash retiree benefits.

 

Finding: The amount states and cities spend on corporate subsidies and so-called tax expenditures is far more than the pension shortfalls they face. Yet, conservative activists and lawmakers are citing the pension shortfalls and not the subsidies as the cause of budget squeezes. They are then claiming that cutting retiree benefits is the solution rather than simply rolling back the more expensive tax breaks and subsidies.

 

According to Pew, public pensions face a 30-year shortfall of $1.38 trillion, or $46 billion on an annual basis. This is dwarfed by the $80 billion a year states and cities spend on corporate subsidies. Yet, conservatives cite the pension shortfall not as reason to reduce the corporate subsidies and raise public revenue, but instead as proof that retiree benefits need to be cut.

 

Finding: The pension “reforms” being pushed by conservative activists would slash retirement income for many pensioners who are not part of the Social Security system. Additionally, the specific reforms they are pushing are often more expensive and risky for taxpayers than existing pension plans.

 

 

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