In her recent book, A Governor’s Story, the former governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm, sadly stated that she gave tax breaks to company after company to get them to stay in her state. But to no avail, they all left! Tax breaks and incentives cost the taxpayers millions, enabled the companies to finance their move elsewhere and when it was all over, left the city of Detroit with no companies, no jobs and a tax base in worse shape than ever.
Not understanding that a corporation cannot die and that capital is always fluid; we the people have come to learn a very hard lesson. One not missed by those whose incomes are derived from investments and who happen to a bit better at playing the money investmet game than say; Joe the Plumber. The old pardigm that if we did our best the company we worked for would profit and survive and that we would always have a job, the pension we paid into and a company our children could one day work for if they were so inclined is now the stuff old stories are made of.
That American Dream gut loyalty we once had to the companies we worked for and expected to be reciprocated with fair treatment by the same, was victum number one of globalization. The American worker has been left feeling much the same way we do when one of our our favortie sports athleletes swithces teams for better money. “ Sorry Kid; its all business!”
To those who have tried concessions and tax abatement and giving back, to keep their companies, the sad reality that it doesn’t work is a bitter pill to swallow! Yet over and over again this policy continues to be pursed by our government officials, who encourage companies and local governments to be the ones to give to the corporations, when in fact it should be the other way around. Bailouts aside! A now bankrupt Harrisburg Pennsylvania has found out the hard way, that despite the giveaways, someone is still stuck holding the bill. As are communites all over America when it comes to trying to save their jobs.
Elizabeth Warren, in recent published statements, says what many fail to understand is that the rich didn’t get rich on their own. They didn’t come up with a single idea that grew on its own without the structure of our government, the ease of our tax structure, and the fundamental soundness of that infrastructure and the willingness of people to sacrifice to make their job work. To think that it was the rich and the corporations alone who made us what we are today is a mockery of every wage earner who ever punched a time clock in America today!
The American middle class wage earner has given till it hurts. To the point that his home is in foreclosure, his pension questionable if existent at all, and the safety net that once would have cared for him should his health worsen is a laughing point at political conventions. One can only wonder why there isn’t a massive rise in social upheaval about the current injustices. Sit ins and protests like the ones going on right now on Wall Street right now have been highlighed as the poor blaming the rich for their current situation. Nothing could be further from the truth!
(to be continued)