The Crisis of Our Times

"Not by force of arms are civilizations held together, but by subtle threads of moral and intellectual principle." -Russell Kirk

Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Does Cholesterol Kill Corporations Too?

The Following article was submitted to the Wayne Review, Wayne State University's "conservative" publication, and rejected on the basis that most readers would not "get" the tongue and check presentation or "get" the "insider" terms (whatever they may be).

With a plethora of health risks being uncovered by our first-class medical field, many are choosing to cut certain portions out of their diet. No egg yolk. Only skim milk. Non-fat lattes. And don't mention bacon thats been off the table for months, especially after the cuts in AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) programs. At this rate I suspect America may be off the prominent list of the World's fattest in a few years time. I foresee a skinnier, perhaps healthier, America on the horizon. Then again, I'm no economist.

As you and I get healthier or as you at least do the fat cats in the big business show no concern for the medical warnings. They eat the bacon and, in most cases, the grease too. These corporate moguls know their way around a pork chop buffet and dinners on us. And it's going to cost us $125 billion. Or so is the estimated amount of Corporate Welfare the real pork that these companies will enjoy this year. As Time Magazine has reported, the corporate giants by the name of AT&T, Bechtel, Boeing, and General Electric account for about 40% of all this. And you were complaining about the welfare queen with the Cadillac down the street.

This particular cuisine has more variety than your favorite Italian restaurant your representatives have better imaginations than you think. Subsidies, grants, real estate discounts (or giveaways), low-interest loans, government services, and (our favorite) tax breaks are all on the menu. There's more to pork than meets the eye. And to spice it up just for effect it all comes under a nice name like Economic Development or Public-Private Partnerships. It's a tasty regale for your average corporate tycoon; pretty tempting to an average student also, I must admit. Unfortunately, the average student or for that matter the average American isn't eligible to eat so well at another's expense.

Seems unfair, doesn't it? These powerful and politically influential corporations get government handouts and special deals at the expense of taxpayers and you and I get, well, student loans. Nice, but I'd still rather have the million dollar grants. Outside of my own selfish desires, though, I can see the justification for our low interest loans. They allow us to obtain the degree of our choice, enhancing our possibilities for employment with a higher wage; thus creating payers of a higher income tax, which then will, apparently, go to fund the next acquisition of our corporate employers. True, a cynical analogy of a scheme that I do benefit from, but an analogy that can be backed up by statistics.

The justification for corporate welfare usually revolves around the prospect of creating jobs more importantly the prospect of getting us employed. It's a noble prospect, which I could support, if it worked. The big four AT&T, Bechtel, Boeing, and General Electric who benefited from the 40% of corporate welfare, as reported by Time, also saw overall employment (fall) 38% as more than a third of a million jobs disappeared. This may not be so for all beneficiaries but according to the Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), a non-profit organization that specialize in this sort of thing, corporate welfare may increase jobs in one State or Municipal but hasn't, in the long term, created more overall jobs in the nation. Corporations, considering relocation, simply wait for the highest bidder creating more jobs in one area only by taking them away from another. There's no overall benefit for anyone except for the pork eaters and the politicos they get into office.

We might as well get use to having lighter pockets from funding a corporatist state. It doesn't appear to concern many politicians. We have seen reforms--which admittedly I blessed--on the old social welfare system, which as CAGW said didn't work, destroyed incentive, perpetuated dependence and distorted the economy. Politicians pushed through these reforms happily. But in regards to corporate welfare benefits,which honestly have the same results, the handouts keep growing and going to the most powerful businesses (I presume poor citizens don't contribute much to campaign funds).

A skinnier and fitter America may never be fully realized. The fat cats prefer their high cholesterol diet. The fact that these hand outs destroy incentive and negatively effect the corporations ability to stand on their own two feet, seems to impress very few. At any rate, I doubt size 48 Armani belts will go out of style any time soon.


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