04.20.11

Corporate sociopathy

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Permanent Fail at 12:24 pm by George Smith

When the plutocracy and US big business come in for months of bad publicity, they just lobby for more bribes from the US government. And the US government caves in.

In the Middle East, they riot. What’s missing here? What’s been put in the water? It’s not the fluoride. For years after fluoridation the nation did all right with it’s middle class.

From the frontpage of the delivery edition of LA Times, above the fold, today:

U.S. corporations have enjoyed a two-year bull run on Wall Street. They are sitting on a record amount of cash and are back to paying bonuses that are the envy of executives around the world.

And the icing on the cake for many of them might be just around the corner: a tax cut that has bipartisan support in Congress.

As part of their budget plan passed last week, House Republicans want to cut the corporate tax rate to 25% from 35%. The Obama administration and many Democrats also are looking to slice the current rate, but not as much.

Supporters of the corporate tax cuts say they’re needed to make U.S. companies more competitive with their foreign counterparts, and the administration and House Republicans say they want to offset rate cuts by eliminating unspecified loopholes and tax breaks.

Yet despite complaints that they fork over too much money to Washington, U.S. corporations have been paying an increasingly smaller share of federal taxes over the last half-century.

Nearly a third of all federal taxes came from corporations in 1952. Last year, they paid just 8.9%, according to government figures. Loopholes, credits and the ability to shelter earnings abroad have helped many of the country’s biggest companies pay far less than the corporate tax rate set into U.S. law.

Take Hewlett-Packard Co., which reported $11 billion in pre-tax earnings in 2010. Its chief executive for most of the year, Mark Hurd, earned $24 million in salary and other compensation, and three other executives earned more than $9 million apiece.

The company said it paid $2.2 billion in income taxes a rate of 20.2%, well below the 35% U.S. rate.

(Note distinction as frontpage news in the delivery edition. On-line, the LA Times cyber-dummkopfs buried it.)

Big business ratchets up the class war against the middle of the nation. And then, except in Wisconsin and Michigan, the sound of crickets or huzzahs.

And from yesterday’s litany of corporate sociopathy:

This is a stark turnaround from the 1990s, when 2.7 million jobs were created in multinational units abroad while 4.4 million were added at home. All told, these major companies employ one-fifth of all working Americans, 21.1 million in 2009. The story was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The data provide fresh context to the tepid job growth experienced during the past decade even at the height of the boom. And while small businesses create most jobs, the larger corporations tend to provide higher salaries and better benefits for American workers. The strength of their domestic operations is also critical to small-business vendors.

No easy fix for this trend is to be found. The world is awash in cheap, high-skilled labor. The fastest-growing markets are in Asia. In China, especially, American corporations are pressured to set up factories and even research facilities there — not that they probably need much nudging. According to the Journal, 30 percent of GE’s business was overseas in 2000, while today 60 percent is. As a result, 54 percent of GE employees are located abroad vs. 46 percent in 2000.

The statistics are irrefutable. You give corporate America tax breaks, or allow it to abuse the tax code, it ships jobs overseas anyway. Lower taxes create no new jobs domestically. There is no trickle down.

The only thing that does happen is the the big business lobby runs another stick-up on the US government, threatening to shoot the dog it’s already shot a few times if it isn’t sufficiently bribed right away.

Could the news out of General Electric be any worse? Jeff Immelt could get caught tormenting the neighbor’s cat in video and the president wouldn’t get rid of him. However, the guy who speaks the truth about the treatment of Bradley Manning looking bad had to go.


Again, tipped by PVF.

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