Thursday, February 25, 2010

Corporations and the Destroying of America

There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible. – Henry Ford

We are entering a new era in the history of American life. Never in our history have we faced the possibility of millions of Americans not only being unemployed during this recession but not being able to be employed once this recession ends. Many economists predict that even after we recover that the unemployment rates will continue to be high for years. Job growth has continued to shrink in America for decades as many corporations have elected to ship American jobs overseas in a race to the bottom for the cheapest labor. They have moved manufacturing from third-world country to third-world country with no regard for its long-term consequences to the American worker. Corporations have traded the viability of the American labor force for short-term profits and Wall Street ratings.

What the heads of many of today’s corporations have forgotten is that if we lose the American middle-class which was created with manufacturing there will be no one left to purchase their products. The thing that Henry Ford understood was that if his workers or the American people could not afford the products he was manufacturing then there would be no profits and that is why he wanted to pay his workers a livable wage. Now does this take away from the fact that he was adamantly anti-union? Of course not, but it does prove that he recognized how consumerism benefited not only Ford but American corporations as a whole.

When Ford started the 40-hour work week and a minimum wage he was criticized by other industrialists and by Wall Street. He proved, however, that paying people more would enable Ford workers to afford the cars they were producing and be good for the economy. Ford explained the change in part of the "Wages" chapter of My Life and Work. He labeled the increased compensation as profit-sharing rather than wages. – Wikipedia

Imagine today if someone like Ford were to once again make such proposals how they would be criticized by other CEO’s and Wall Street. This mentality of greed and getting rich at any cost by American corporations is going to turn the American economy into the very rich and the rest of us. If we do not have a vehicle for the majority of American citizens to reach and stay in the middle-class we are setting the stage for our descent into third-world status. Are we willing as a nation to accept large numbers of our fellow citizens unemployed and living on the public welfare rolls. Those same rolls we have continued to reduce in an effort to decrease our support for our friends and neighbors. At least the Europeans have laid the foundation for a support and safety net to help them adequately address the shortfalls in the capitalist model. We on the other hand have accepted the false meme of the wealthy that “good” citizens don’t take handouts.

But here is something that the wealthy have not shared with the general public, “There have been no new manufacturing jobs created in the US since 1999” - Red Alert

In addition "Middle-income families made less in 2008, when adjusted for inflation, than they did in 1999 – and the number is sure to have declined further during a difficult 2009," the Washington Post reported. "The Aughts were the first decade of falling median incomes since figures were first compiled in the 1960s."

It is no wonder the ranks of the fringe groups are growing whenever the white middle-class feel threatened there is never a shortage of scapegoats to be sacrificed. The concern of course is that the real culprits are allowed to continue business as usual while the rest of us fight it out over the crumbs that have fallen from the table. Instead of fighting over the rich folk's crumbs we need to be demanding the pie be enlarged so that we all can get our fair share. For too long we have bought the lie that there is only limited assets and that our corporate overseers know best how to distribute those assets and anyone who complains is naïve at best and a socialist at worse.

The time has come for this dysfunctional government to begin to stand up for the people of this nation and not just the corporations. We need to enact a fee on corporations who ship our jobs overseas and invest that money to allow entrepreneurs who are willing to create green sustainable manufacturing jobs right here in America to do so. You should be allowed to create jobs wherever you choose but our tax dollars should not be used to subsidize our own demise. We should be manufacturing new battery technology, wind turbines, and solar technology right here in America. It is up to our elected officials to predict the future technologies and ensure that our workers are in a position to take advantage of those trends. We have economists, experts, and futurists who have for decades predicted where technology and manufacturing are headed and yet the American worker finds themselves in this position?

The American consumer is also the American worker, and if we don't do something to protect our manufacturing base here at home, it is going to be hard to buy any retail goods. - Lindsay Graham
The Disputed Truth

No comments:

HTML stat tracker