Why Should Corporations Thank You and Me? We Pay Their Way!

By Michael Monasky | November 22, 2017 |  

Today is Thanksgiving 2017. While most of us are happy to have employment and a roof over our heads, there is a hue and cry from business that government is hostile to economic growth. Government is taxing business to death. Government hamstrings business with regulations. Profit margins are narrowed by penurious fiscal policies.

Consider this: a business can declare bankruptcy and reorganize its debts many times over. This is not the case for families foreclosed by the banks and made homeless by eviction. It is not the case for students mired in school loan indebtedness.

Our public institutions grant perks to businesses paid at our expense. When a person sends a letter or pays a bill, it costs nearly half a dollar to do so. Businesses receive discounted franking privileges from the post office. Considering that a significant number of postal employees are veterans, it's their special burden to carry unsolicited, bulky catalogs and circulars subsidized by our collective payments of full postage, most of which find their way to the trash.

If you think our public utilities are fair and benign to business and people alike, think again. Even the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, which provides most of the electricity in the area, charges families at their residences two to three times the business rate. Do you really think the auto mall's lights, cranked up to maximum illumination throughout the night, are not subsidized by your utility payment? How about those open cases of frozen and refrigerated foods in the grocery stores? Lighting and electric bills for these businesses are large; but they are charged at radically lower tariff rates than residences.

And while we're on the subject of auto malls, isn't it interesting that vehicles available in Europe and Asia, lightweight and very fuel efficient, are not available for purchase here? Small pickups, flatbeds, and other frugal devices come with small, turbo-charged diesel engines which get 70 or more miles per gallon, and would be quite popular here in the United States if only on the market. Auto manufacturers have a far larger profit margin from sales of SUVs and “stepladder” trucks (the sort of truck one might require a stepladder for entry and exit.)

Consider those ubiquitous tracking devices popularly known as cell phones, tablets, and laptop computers. Telecommunications in the USA mimics the economy of health care; people pay a lot for very little. The US has the slowest speeds, the smallest bandwidths, and the highest costs just to start and maintain basic communications services.

Of course, healthcare in the US is in deep trouble on federal, state, and local levels. The US Congress is currently confabulating health care policy with tax law. The State of California is considering a single payer health system which even its neoliberal leaders find anathema to their corporate donors. 

Meanwhile, many health care providers find it impossible to function legally and prudently in this current economic climate. The poor pay high premiums for health care insurance, money which pads the billions in recent profits of Anthem and Centene/HealthNet. On the other hand, the uber-rich pay cash and call it a deduction for the Internal Revenue Service.

US corporations should be thankful to the people who subsidize them, ensuring and bolstering their bottom-line profits. Thanksgiving, for them, has never been better.

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1 comment

JD said...

If you don’t mind, I’d like to use this. It’ll come in handy when another one of these sanctimonious elites with a victim complex cry’s poverty before politicians and the city council.

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