Corporate Tax

Hidden explanation for corporate greed provide chain disaster | Editorial columnists

So now the American people are plagued by a “shortage of goods.” We have been told this is caused by a break in the supply chain due to the pandemic. To back up that claim, our evening news is filled with pictures of hundreds of container ships offshore waiting to be unloaded and hundreds of trucks idling. However, little mention is made of the fact that this is a crisis caused by the pursuit of profitability by American companies.

The truth is that what we are witnessing today is a direct result of corporate policy that began in the late 1970s. This policy was based on the philosophy that publicly traded companies owed their main allegiance to shareholders, not their employees, not their consumers, not even their government. CEOs agreed that companies should try to cut costs and maximize profits by moving their operations to where it is most convenient for them.

The companies concluded that they could save 80% on their spending by outsourcing American manufacturing jobs. Not only could they save labor costs, they would also not have to worry about trade unions, health and safety issues in the workplace or the impact on the local environment.

Between 1981 and 1985, and again from 2001 to 2009, there was a sharp decline in US manufacturing jobs. It is estimated that in the eight years from 2001 to 2009, a third of all these jobs were lost. It has been argued that the 2001-09 period for US production was worse than the Great Depression. The internet has also made offshoring a white collar phenomenon. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 20% of US computer programming jobs have moved abroad in the past few years.

The people in the US who lost these jobs are not alone. As economic globalization accelerates and technology blurs geographic boundaries, companies now have instant access to a well-trained workforce around the world. Any job currently in existence can be done by someone on the other side of the world at a lower cost.

So now there is “scarcity” and American working-class families are forced to pay higher prices for essentials as the rich get richer and corporations enjoy huge tax breaks and subsidies. Corporate profits in the United States rose 10.5% in the second quarter of 2021 to a record high of $ 2.44 trillion. Profits are 69.3% higher than last year.

The sad truth is that every Republican presidential government since 1980 has protected, encouraged, and encouraged offshoring of businesses with favorable tax incentives rather than paying attention to the average American. Even during Democratic governments, Republicans in the Senate and House of Representatives have successfully voted to block legislative reform initiatives in order to level the playing field.

But American companies weren’t the only ones making obscene profits during the pandemic. Then there were the 745 billionaires in the USA, who also enjoy preferential tax treatment. Thanks to Donald Trump’s tax cut, the Americans For Tax Fairness reported that these 745 billionaires made $ 2.1 trillion in profits from March 18, 2020 to October 15, 2021, with each of them having a minimal increase in wealth of at least 38% recorded.

So while most of us are already caught up in the shell game of paying inflated prices for goods and services, our attention is drawn to worrying about “Talking Elmo” getting to our stores in time for Christmas.

When will we wake up and start asking the right questions and demanding the right answers?

Hezekiah Brown is a resident of Elizabeth City.

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