May 15 2011
08:33 am

Exxon Mobile made record profits, paid no income taxes and, insanely, received a tax rebate of $156M, and on top of that shares in the $4B taxpayer subsidies. Conoco Phillips and Chevron are other oil companies that pay no taxes, get tax rebates and share in the taxpayer subsidies. Amazingly, Conoco Phillips CEO tells Congress that it is "un-American" to end taxpayer-funded oil subsidies, even though canceling these subsidies would have no impact on gas prices.

Bank of America pays no taxes gets a tax refund, and is making record profits! GE, Whirlpool, Verizon, and a host of other corporations the same -- record profits, no income taxes, and a tax rebate.

Then there are the multi-national corporations that structure buyouts so that they won't pay taxes in the US.

And all of these corporations (and then some) are spending massive amounts of money to deceive you into believing that if they get a tax holiday, they will bring money back into America and create jobs. We are told, over and over again, that it is the elite rich and corporations that create jobs.



The fact is, the elite rich and the tax-dodging corporations do not create jobs. Jobs are created by the people in a very simple economic theory called Supply and Demand. If there is a demand for a product or service, businesses will hire more people. When supply is abundant and demand is down, businesses will get rid of workers. It is that simple.

Which leads me to this interesting article on how to defeat the Corporatocracy, particularly #8 (emphasis mine).

8. Unite Populists by Rejecting Corporate Media's Political Divisions

The corporate media routinely divides Americans as "liberals," "conservatives" and "moderates," a useful division for the corporatocracy, because no matter which of these groups is the current electoral winner, the corporatocracy retains power. In order to defeat the corporatocracy, it's more useful to divide people in terms of authoritarians versus anti-authoritarians, elitists versus populists and corporatists versus anticorporatists. Both left anti-authoritarians and libertarian anti-authoritarians passionately oppose current US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Wall Street bailout, the PATRIOT Act, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the so-called "war on drugs" and several other corporatocracy policies. There are differences between anti-authoritarians but, as Ralph Nader and Ron Paul have together recently publicly discussed, we can form coalitions and alliances on these important power-money issues. One example of an anti-authoritarian democratic movement (which I am involved in) is the mental health treatment reform movement, comprised of left anti-authoritarians and libertarians. We all share distrust of Big Pharma and contempt for pseudoscience, and we believe that people deserve truly informed choice regarding treatment. We respect Erich Fromm, the democratic-socialist psychoanalyst, along with Thomas Szasz, the libertarian psychiatrist, both passionate anti-authoritarians who have confronted mental health professionals for using dogma to coerce people.

We see this divide on a regular basis. We try to "educate" the mis-informed, to no avail, the corporate media has done a good job in brainwashing, doncha think?

One of the fairly recent examples of uniting populists was when Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake teamed up with Grover Norquist on the Freddie/Fannie bailout, and called for Rahm Emanuel's resignation. (Actually, this was most memorable because of the firestorm that ensued, classic divide and conquer mentality that the corporatists need to keep alive if they are to stay on top, thus Jane was vilified by many progressives and democrats for teaming up with Grover Norquist)

So, let me tie this together...

As long as the corporatists and the rich elites control the discussion that it is "they" that create jobs, and therefore need the tax breaks, progressives will not be heard. If, by chance they are heard, they will be dismissed as the "loony-left" or other degrading monikers. The problem that I see in the case of stemming the tsunami of corporatocracy, is that libertarians are vastly believers in Randian philosophy of producers and parasites. Which means progressives will have to look elsewhere for more populists voices.

The old adage, "politics makes strange bedfellows" should be truly alive, and used more often these days.

(PS. I actually hesitated in pointing out the Truthout article, because of the recent Ron Paul exclamation that he would not have voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but I hopefully made my point anyway. -- There you go, the corporate media's divide and conquer at work in my own mind)

Virgil Proudfoot's picture

Aw, that's just a big conspiracy theory

And somebody even wrote a song about it:


EricLykins's picture


The typical response I get from my "conservative" friends when I try to explain that we do have enemies and we need to know who they are is "Well, Democrats are in bed with them just as bad as Republicans," and the fatal flaw in those seemingly wise words is that if we turn away from them, they will stop screwing us. Head, meet wall. "Like the Church, the Monarchy and the Communist Party in other times and places, the corporation is today's dominant institution." It has come to be the dominant institution because of a 100+ year concerted marketing campaign to limit the power of government over corporations. Although "Tea Party activists have agreed with progressives that there is a structural imbalance in the political system towards corporate power", they buy the pitch that regulation is the enemy.

The Dean today coincidentally explains that many of us are Democrats because we understand the importance of representing the many, and know where to find the enemy:

Democrats have worked throughout the session to highlight the role of outside groups. In committees and on the floor, they have questioned the sponsors of controversial legislation about the origins of their bills, in an effort to undermine them by exposing connections to out-of-state groups.

Limiting your government is to hand control to corporate overlords, but to argue against myself and let corporate media's divide and conquer work in my own mind, I will point out that even when we track down these economic terrorists, finding the "face of scandal" incarnate, they can flee to Switzerland and create unregulated nightmares to compete with our own semi-regulated nightmares. "Goldman may be the original 'vampire squid' but Glencore's tentacles stretch much further into our lives.'

So, what do we do now? Bomb Switzerland?

EricLykins's picture

a song about vampire squids

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