About Me

My photo

I'm a single Mormon Democrat, an NPR & BBC news junkie, a dog lover, opera buff, bookavore, migraineur, knows just enough about technology to be a danger to myself, fan of James Bond and Godzilla. 

Micah 6:8; D&C 11:20 

"do justly, walk humbly, judge righteously."

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A response to J.C. Kendall

Curmudgeon Musings from the “Corporations” to the rest of you.  (by J. C. Kendall on Google+)

1. We are not your enemy. Your enemy is whoever causes you to think that our success is an accident, or that we just got lucky, and that we did not really earn it. It is a distraction, an encouragement to look at us, while they rob you and your children blind. 


There are many enemies in this system. 

2. The reason for Corporate Tax Structures separate from Individual Taxation is a tacit admission that what we do benefits society. Corporations provide jobs that pay into the tax base, not steal from it. Corporations are an economic engine, not a drag on the economy, which is why states and other nations fight for us, offering incentives and tax breaks because they know that what we do is beneficial overall. 

"that what we do benefits society" - academically this argument should be right. But maybe we should have a system where if you don't then you don't get the special tax breaks and/or subsidies. There are many corporations that poison our water and air and (sometimes) food. Some corporations are not employing that many people and move more and more jobs out of the U.S. Industry is the economic engine, not corporations. You may argue "same diff", but there are flaws in your argument. 

3. You could take all our money, all our property, everything we have, and not be able to fund the U.S. for more than a few months. This is a fact. With our businesses, our jobs, and revenue gone, then what? You gonna tax breathing? 


No, I suppose not. Don't give them any ideas. 

4. In the same way that not everyone who is poor is a criminal, the same goes for us. We have our bad apples, but those our Individuals, not businesses. The way that Corporations are tagged as criminals would amount to suggesting that everyone who lives in Detroit is a felon. Neither is true. 

No not all corporations are criminals. However, the people that are criminals are accountable for their actions. I am just concerned that corporations should be accountable for what they have done.

5. No matter how much you tax us, it is you, who will ultimately pay. The U.S. used to have a thriving luxury ship building industry. The U.S. decided to slap a tax on Luxury Yachts, as a means to add more revenue to the coffers. Ship builders simply closed up shop and moved to other countries where they, and the jobs they provided, were welcomed with open arms. That industry is lost to the U.S. forever, as are the jobs. The U.S. lost money overall. A Corporation is not a charity. We are not in business to give away money. We are in business to make a profitable return to our shareholders. What is taken from us will be charged to YOU, one way or another. If we cannot do that, we will stop doing business, and the jobs we provide will go away. Make your choice. 

No argument.

6. Corporations do not have souls, hearts, compassion, or feelings. Stop expecting it from us. If we claim compassion, it because it is a good sales pitch vs our competition. We exist to make money via providing a service or value to a select audience. Unless we call ourselves “Non-Profit, trust me; we aint. That does not make us evil, any more than an Eagle swooping down on a fish and pulling it out of a lake. It is simply what they do. Making money is not evil. Not giving it away is not evil either. Wanting to use our money to invest and expand, and ultimately create more jobs, is not evil either.

No they do not have "souls, hearts, compassion, or feelings" - but maybe they could act a little ethically? The Quaker business leaders of the chocolate industry (read Deborah Cadbury's Chocolate Wars) were able to incorporate the two.

7. Suggesting that we owe you something for nothing is as evil as it gets. We pay taxes too. More than you do. Maybe not directly, but add up the revenue from those we employ, the permits we buy, the energy we buy, and the markets we fund, and you will find that we pay more than “our share”. 

Something for nothing? In what way? Corporations get a playing field slanted in their direction, better access to representatives. 

8. Because we have a stake in the operation of the nation that taxes us, the Supreme Court has decided that we get a say with respect to voting and the support of elective candidates. The term “Taxation without Representation” applies here. We have as much right to support or reject those who would determine our futures as you. Want us to stop? Fine, stop taxing us. Bitch and Moan all you want, it is in the Constitution. 

The problem with citing "taxation without representation" is that it's a flawed argument. You have better access to representatives than the actual electorate. Additionally, a corporation is not a citizen. It would be one thing if the different stakeholders were doing the supporting of the candidate. It's when it's done in the name of some "corporation" that I take issue. 

9. When we succeed, you succeed. Do you know what a COG is? A COG is an acronym for “Cost of Goods” , or in short the cost of doing business. When our costs go up, those costs are passed along to you. Did you think we would just eat it? Nope. If Gas prices go up for shipping those Strawberries to your local grocer, well guess what? You are going to pay more for that Strawberry, dude. Don’t like it? Don’t buy it. It really is that simple. 

No argument. 

10. If you are an educated individual, none of this should bother you in the slightest. The above are facts, period. If this does bother you, it is because you have been sold a bill of goods by some politician who believes the best way to win your vote, is to pit you against us. The point is, the very laws that allow for Incorporation, protect us from YOU. Our responsibility is to operate within the law, not to make you happy. If our members break the law, we want them punished as much as you do. They do us no favors by inviting increased scrutiny of our operations. 

I think the main reason many are "bothered" by this is the fairness issue. Americans are big on fairness. You are taught from day one that as long as you play by the rules you can do anything: be an astronaut, be President, etc. That is my problem too. I believe in the free market. 


"If our members break the law, we want them punished as much as you do." - Really? Are you sure? Massie broke safety regulations, were they held accountable? How about all the companies that used the derivatives and contributed to the housing and subprime markets to destroy the economy? Were they punished? This is my biggest complaint with corporations. They can destroy people's lives, they can destroy the air and water, they can drag down our economy, but they are not punished. 
11. The largest set of investors in corporations are PENSION FUNDS. Hurt us through legislation, and you hurt yourselves, your families and your futures. Pension Funds invest in corporations because we provide a safe and steady growth opportunity for their capital. Tax us more, they get less. They is YOU. Get it? 

Sadly, very few Americans have access to a pension. I don't know the actual figures. But it seems to me that unless you are a union member or one of a diminishing number of people, most people don't get a pension.

I wrote this, because frankly, I’m growing tired of the meme of the “Evil Corporation”, because we are mere entities, and not designed to give a rats -ass about your day. We have jobs to do for those who invest in us, and who buy our products or services.

I responded to this because I am tired of the us or them meme. There are people in the middle. People who through no fault of their own that are destroyed between the two.

We follow the law. If you don’t like the laws, vote for those who can change them, just like we do with our dollars. Its legal. You get a voice, Unions get a voice, and thererfore WE get a voice. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy. 

You follow the law? Good. I'm more concerned with those that don't. I get a voice because I vote. My voice should not be a so quiet compared to a corporation who has no interest in jobs, clean air, clean water, etc. Unions are there to represent the wishes of their members (workers and their families). Corporations are interested in dollars and their profit margin. Slightly different.

If you chose to reply, please do so on the above, and not with irrelevant feelings about Corporations. If you dispute an assertion, come with it. If you cant, don’t bitch at me for saying something you don’t want to hear. In short, debate it. 

Come at me, BRO! 

P.S. Off-Topic comments will be blasted from the thread. Do it twice, and you get blocked. Let’s have a fun, lively debate. It aint personal, so let’s keep it that way. 

-J.C.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Paul Krugman is right (again!)

Paul Krugman's recent column (dated Monday, June 4, 2012) was excellent. But I shouldn't be surprised. Mr. Krugman is a voice of sanity in this incredibly insane world.

In this column, he discusses a couple of points that I have felt all along (though I am not nearly as eloquent as he is).

First:
Republicans claim to have the answer: slash spending and cut taxes. What they hope voters won't notice is that that's precisely the policy we've been following the past couple of years. Never mind the Democrat in the White House; for all practical purposes, this is already the economic policy of Republican dreams.
Exactly.  I have always wondered why they were so vociferous in their complaints about how extreme this President was, how he was dragging us into socialism, how he was destroying our great country. Was it because he wanted to pass healthcare reform? (And did pass a watered-down version of it.) Was it because his name was so foreign? Was it because he was black?

Because, as far as I can see, apart from HCR, I can see a Republican President having much the same policies.

Secondly:
So the Republican electoral strategy is, in effect, a gigantic con game: It depends on convincing voters that the bad economy is the result of big-spending policies that President Barack Obama hasn't followed (in large part because the GOP wouldn't let him), and that our woes can be cured by pursuing more of the same policies that have already failed.
This is the main point for me. The President has spent so much of his time over the past four years trying to reach out to the Republicans that many people haven't seen the opposition for what they are really doing. This country is having a serious economic crisis and what has the Republican strategy been since Day One of the Obama Administration? To make sure he was a one-term President. They are so focused on the political priorities, they forgot that they were sent there to represent the American people. They are sacrificing our well-being, for their political futures.

The Republicans' actions do not bear close scrutiny. Remember how often they say that Obama was the reason our credit rating was downgraded? Think back to that time, what happened? The Republicans were refusing to raise the debt ceiling. Congress was gridlocked. That was when the credit rating was downgraded. A creditor could care less how much debt you're carrying. They just want to know that you'll make the minimum payment. It's in their interest for you to have more debt. They make more money that way.

The rest of Mr. Krugman's column was excellent. He explains why austerity is a mistake. (Other reading from Mr. Krugman on this was in the British newspaper, The Guardian, on Sunday, June 3, 2012.)  He explains why we aren't Greece, we're 90's Japan.

I will leave you with Mr. Krugman's closing line:
For that, in the end, is the best argument against Republicans' claims that they can fix the economy. The fact is that we have already seen the Republican economic future — and it doesn't work.