A corporate CEO, a teabagger, and a unionized public employee are sitting around a table. A plate with a dozen cookies has been placed before the CEO. He takes 11 of the cookies, and then says to the teabagger, "Watch out for that union guy. He wants a piece of your cookie."
This ingeneous fable is a perfect illustration of the American economic system today. Big corporations have experienced gains in worker productivity as a result of, and despite, freezing wages, conducting layoffs, and reducing workers' hours. REAL unemployment (not the "official" government statistic, but those who are still without a job) is still unbearably high. Meanwhile, CEO salaries and benefit packages continue to skyrocket. Outsourcing of American jobs continues. Union membership in the private sector is at an all-time low, as repeated union busting attempts over the past 30 years have been largely successful. The corporation and its kingpin, the CEO, rule the roost. They have devoured the Republican Party whole, and have succeeded in neutralizing and making impotent the once formidable (former) party of the workers and the poor, the Democratic Party. Now they wish to make their victory all but complete by doing away with public sector unions. They know if they are successful in this attempt, the few remaining private sector unions will also disappear. It is a disgraceful and indefensible action being undertaken in this so-called "land of the free," where the only freedom in the marketplace belongs to those who set the wages, not to those who actually produce wealth through their labor.
The corporatists and their willing parrots in the reactionary Republican Party are trying to turn non-union employees against union employees. They circulate wild and crazy rumors about how union employees make vastly more than non-union employees for the same type of work (in most cases they DON'T); how union employees' benefits dwarf those of non-union workers and are paid for by taxpayers (although most union pensions and medical insurance are either fully or partly worker-funded); and how closed-shop companies are costing jobs overall (a baldfaced lie). Their strategy is simple: divide the workers, and then conquer them. Whip up public opinion against unions (especially public-sector ones), and remain safe and untouched and able to further increase revenues and profits while both groups of workers fight among themselves. It is a dishonest and cynical ploy. It is a tactic these plutocrats and their far-right parrots are attempting to institutionalize. It must therefore be resisted to the bitter end by all who aren't members of the upper 2% of the income scale!
Scott Walker and John Kasich, the extreme far-right Republican governers of, respectively, Wisconsin and Ohio, have tried to destroy the effectiveness of public-sector unions by stripping them of their ability to collectively bargain. They have proceeded with this radical agenda even though nationwide polls indicate that, by a landslide margin, most voters disagree completely with their approach. Being ideologues who detest unions, they have nonetheless gone straight ahead with their plan.
Both claim it is the only way to reduce their state's budget deficit. But that is a deliberate lie, and they know it. Keep in mind: Neither the Wisconsin NOR the Ohio public sector unions have a history or pattern of strikes, walkouts, or other disruptions. This is just a conspiracy devised at the last Republican Governors Association meeting to directly attack these workers, done completely without provocation. And these sneaky, dishonest two governors do not mention that prior to their action, both states granted huge tax cuts to corporations (Ohio even completely did away with their corporate income tax)! BOTH MEN MUST THEREFORE BE RECALLED AND THROWN FROM OFFICE AT THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE MOMENT FOR THIS ARROGANT, DEFIANT, AND DISHONEST ACTION!
Corporate taxes have steadily decreased as a percentage of our Gross Domestic Product, as the chart below clearly shows. Yet corporations still send out swarms of lobbyists to get Congress to lower their taxes even further! It defies logic, and such behavior can only be filed under the heading of GREED. For, along with tremendous gains in productivity per worker over the past 20 years, corporations have caused an actual REDUCTION in the number and pay scales of American workers' jobs. That's right: rather than take their tax decreases and apply them to the creation of new, better-paying AMERICAN jobs, corporations have either sat on their savings, or, worse yet, exported American jobs overseas. Even worse, much of the taxes bthey used to pay have been moved steadily from them over to personal income taxes over the years!
The thoroughly bought-out Republican Party in the House of Representatives recently voted unanimously to defeat a Democratic bill which would have ended our $36 BILLION federal subsidy to the nation's top 5 oil companies, who together have netted $1 TRILLION in profit over the past decade! That should give you an idea of the REAL Republican feeling on cutting our nation's deficit!
To further show how greedy corporate America has become, not only has their average rate of taxation declined steadily, but they have also taken to using creative ways to present themselves so as to incur even less taxation! Designation as a sub-S corporation provides for an even larger tax savings, as the steady rise in companies doing so is shown in the chart below.
To put this in proper perspective, I am presenting below two graphs which I obtained from TomCat's post of March 3, which appeared on his marvelous blog www.politicsplus.org. (Left click on each graph to make it larger and more readable). They show exactly how corporate America has robbed YOU over the past decades, and what the current table of income levels reveals. It is DISGUSTING!
It is an unfairly reckless act for Govs. Walker and Kasich to effectively be balancing their state budgets on the backs of middle class and poor workers, and an added insult to bar public unions tfrom bargaining collectively for better pay and working conditions. These are not the actions of men who truly believe in a free market. Rather, these are puppets of the plutocracy this country has become. They aren't public servants; they are servants of an evil, greedy oligarchy which wishes to push all wealth upward into the hands of a select few. For if these clowns really did believe in a free market, rather than ban collective bargaining among public employees, they would heed my call to BAN ALL MONOPOLISTIC CORPORATIONS INSTEAD!
PROGRESSIVES AND INDEPENDENTS: REMEMBER THE WISCONSIN PUBLIC SECTOR WORKERS!!!
In closing, I say to the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives:
OK, you got your extended Bush tax cuts for the rich; NOW WHERE ARE THE JOBS WHICH WERE SUPPOSED TO RESULT? You've regained control of the House of Representatives; NOW WHERE ARE THE JOBS WHICH WERE SUPPOSED TO RESULT? You've been Speaker of the House for over 2 months. You have done nothing to create new jobs and have instead wasted all your time on social issues. NOW, WHERE THE HELL ARE THE JOBS YOU SAID WOULD BE CREATED WHEN THE REPUBLICANS GAINED CONTROL, MR. BOEHNER?
Cartoon: Hot take wave
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