Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Corporate Greed Grows - Still Not Shared
The Republicans have been telling America for years now that the path to economic health is "trickle-down" economics -- the idea that lower taxes and bigger profits for the corporations and the rich will trickle-down and be beneficial for everyone in our society. It has not worked, and has resulted in a massive inequality of wealth and income between the richest 1% and the other 99% of America. Now there is even more proof of the failure of Republican economic policy.
The first part of the policy is working. The rich are indeed getting much richer. The latest data shows that the Fortune 500 companies (America's biggest and richest corporations) made generated a record of $824.5 billion in earnings in 2011. That's a whopping 16.4% increase over their 2010 earnings and a new record (the old record being $785 billion in 2006). Add to this the fact that the effective corporate tax rate is at the lowest it's been in forty years, and it's easy to see that corporations are doing very well (and currently sitting on record amounts of cash).
If the Republicans were right about their economic prognostications, American workers should be seeing nice raises in pay and the country should be literally swimming in newly-created jobs. But the second half of their economic theory, the trickle down part, is not working -- and never has worked.
Even though the productivity of American workers has increased by more than $40,000 per worker over the last five years, none of this new wealth is being shared with those workers. After adjusting for inflation, the wages of workers in the United States actually dropped last year (and the buying power of current wages is less than it was in the 1970s). While corporations and their executives are making record profits, American workers are losing more ground every year.
The Republican policies have turned loose corporate greed and it is strangling American workers. And those new jobs this new wealth was supposed to create is just not happening. In fact, most of the new jobs created by American corporations are in foreign countries (where they can take advantage of slave labor, child labor, and poverty wages).
But the Republicans say they have a solution. All we have to do is give these same corporations (and other rich people) more massive tax cuts and government subsidies. They never learn. They must be voted out of power before they destroy the country with giveaways to their rich buddies.