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#41 Spectacles

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 06:16 AM

So do you think Democrats are opposed to corporations?

As far as economic development grants and enterprize zones go, they were a big part of Clinton's administration. And I think that if you scour the speeches of many Democratic candidates, you'll see similar support.

Democrats are not anti-corporate. Some are anti corporate abuse and gaming of the system.

There's a difference between being anti-corporate and anti-corporate corruption and cronyism.

I don't like steriods-abuse in sports, but that doesn't mean I'm anti-sports.

Edited by Spectacles, 04 October 2005 - 06:17 AM.

"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#42 Delvo

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 09:24 AM

Spectacles, on Oct 4 2005, 06:16 AM, said:

Democrats are not anti-corporate. Some are anti corporate abuse and gaming of the system.

There's a difference between being anti-corporate and anti-corporate corruption and cronyism.

I don't like steriods-abuse in sports, but that doesn't mean I'm anti-sports.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That's the kind of thing that can equally well be said of both parties; neither is "pro" those kinds of things. What we're really after here is what makes the parties different. And it's that Democrats seem to believe that those abuses are much more common than Republicans think they are, possibly even close to universal in or synonymous with big businesses.

#43 Lin731

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 10:18 AM

Quote

That's the kind of thing that can equally well be said of both parties; neither is "pro" those kinds of things. What we're really after here is what makes the parties different. And it's that Democrats seem to believe that those abuses are much more common than Republicans think they are, possibly even close to universal in or synonymous with big businesses.


Oh I don't think Republicans beleive the abuses are "less common" at all. I think they simply don't feel that alot of it IS "abuse". I beleive they see it as acceptable behavior in a capitalist society. Look at what Bush has done in his time in office in relaxing EPA standards for big business. Often what I see from the GOP is legislation that makes it easier for corporations to pollute, attempts to release them from liability responsibilities (like drug companies and side effects of medications) for their products etc....So I see the GOP as the party of corporate collusion really. Both parties are corrupt, beholden and pander to big business. The difference is the degree to which they do it.
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#44 Spectacles

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 01:32 PM

What Lin said.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#45 eloisel

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 05:54 PM

So, a perceived lesser amount of corruption is okay?

Edited by eloisel, 04 October 2005 - 05:55 PM.


#46 Spectacles

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 05:56 PM

eloisel, on Oct 4 2005, 05:54 PM, said:

So, a perceived lesser amount of corruption is okay?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Not to me. That's why I've been critical of Democrats as well as Republicans on this thread.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#47 Anarch

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 06:10 PM

eloisel, on Oct 3 2005, 11:16 PM, said:

Will you be writing them regarding their offence and contamination, or are you satisfied with releasing your spasm of self-righteousness on me?

Yes, actually, unless those names antedate the 1990s.  Thanks for the heads-up.

#48 eloisel

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 06:39 PM

I get the impression that "corporations" are the scapegoat - responsible for everything that is wrong with the world.   I think that is a popular theme around the world and that Democrats capitalize on it by using "anti-corporate" keywords and terminology in their speeches to make it sound like they are the opposite of Republicans on economic issues.  I believe there is a difference, but it isn't through being inhospitable to corporations - hence the lobbyists having such successful careers on K Street regardless of what party is in power.

#49 Spectacles

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 07:18 PM

Oh, I think corporate corruption is a serious problem, not just a fiction of "scapegoating." And it's getting worse, with politicians of both parties firmly in the back pockets of mega-corporations. And the taxpayers are getting shafted, from subsidies written into bills like the awful Medicare prescription bill that prevents the government from soliciting competitive bids on pharmaceuticals to the energy bill subsidies for coal, oil, and gas companies, to the relaxation of environmental laws, to the tax shelters...you name it. We're getting screwed. Meanwhile, to "reduce spending" Medicaid and Pell Grants and other programs designed to give poor and working-class folks a hand up are cut.

Let me be clear: I'm a capitalist. I think competition and profit are necessary to grow economies and raise living standards--and we're proof of that. What I object to is rigging the game so that competition is reduced and profits are inflated by anti-social policies like willfull polluting of the community, low wages and benefits for the workers, subsidies that result only in higher profit with little to no return for the community in higher wages, benefits, or a cleaner environment.

Capitalism without some regulation merely results in a small, powerful elite seeing how little the masses will be content with. Capitalism with some regulation results in higher living standards without decreasing growth. I don't care what right-wing talk jocks say. ;)
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#50 Lin731

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 07:40 PM

What Spec's said.
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#51 eloisel

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 09:35 PM

Spectacles, on Oct 5 2005, 12:18 AM, said:

I don't care what right-wing talk jocks say. ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

So, I was agreeing with you and then you ended on this note.  Why?

#52 Spectacles

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 06:20 AM

Sorry, I didn't intend that as a slam on you. I was thinking as I typed my response about how often I hear Limbaugh and others frame the Dem-Rep divide as "Republicans are for business and Democrats are for socialism." I know you don't listen to right-wing radio. That remark was for anyone who does.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#53 Nonny

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 08:08 AM

Due to the spasm of rightwingedness displayed in this thread, I am considering a new name for that idiot in the White House.  Perhaps Duby@$$.  I will, of course, back down if I see movement back toward civil discourse.  

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#54 Delvo

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 03:58 PM

Well, one good thing about this thread is that I’ve discovered something I never had seen anywhere, heard of from anyone, or imagined before: the concept of Democrats objecting to being thought of as against corporations. I’d not only never imagined it being any other way, but, after this was exactly how they’d always advertised themselves year after year, I’d never even imagined that any of them might possibly even want anybody to think it was any other way! I mean, we’re not just talking about some trivial detail about Democrats here; this always seemed to be the very definition of the party, given the way they portray other issues as ultimately being about the evil of big business and describe corporations as the sole cause of all problems, so that other issues aren’t their own separate issues but are just facets of this giant underlying theme instead.

(Environment? Corporations of all kinds are out to destroy it. High fuel prices? Oil companies drove them up just because they felt like it. More fuel-efficient cars or gasless cars? Auto & oil industries won’t allow it. Health care? Health-related companies are driving the prices up arbitrarily. Tax cuts? Bad because greedy businesses and successful businesspeople might benefit. War in Iraq? Oil industry created it. Labor rights and good working conditions & pay rates? Businesses want to prevent us from having them. Jobs & outsourcing? Multinational corporations want to make sure we can’t work. Republicans? Bad precisely because they’re too much in favor of business. Economic downturns? Caused by businesses soaking up all the money from the rest of us. Economic upturns? Either illusions cast by businesses showing more activity and profit just because they’re busy taking money away from “real people” who don’t get any better off (if Republicans are in power), or opportunities to take more money from businesses because now they can afford it more easily (if Democrats are in power). Small businesses? If they’re small enough they don’t count as businesses but as “real people”/”little guys”, which are, of course, by definition, in need of help just because they’re the enemy of the big businesses (and being squashed by them). Unhealthiness and the rise of it in this country? Businesses cause it by turning farms into factories, processing our foods to be unhealthy, manipulating our brains into wanting cigarettes, and making it too difficult to get exercise into our lives. Two-income families instead of one not needing a job? Businesses force us to do that by not paying us enough. Affirmative action? Compensation for businesses trying to keep minorities down by not hiring them. Strong military force? It only exists to keep military suppliers rich and to make it easier for businesses from here to impose themselves on other countries. Government services to those in need in this country and others? Bad if they do it by way of a contract with a business. Immigration? The immigrants are only here to be victims of exploitation by businesses...)

The "name five Democrats who are like that" demand shocked me. My immediate instinct was "Well, for Heaven's sake, you know it as well as I do, it’s ubiquitous, name five that AREN'T", partially because it was such an obvious “put the other guy on defense” and “bog everything down in pointless minutia you already know” attactic, but mostly because of just shock that any Democrat seemed not to like being called exactly what the party keeps portraying itself as with enthusiasm. I could, of course, just pick just about ANY five prominent Democrats, but that would be pointless because it was already preordained that the answer would be denied anyway, and even the question itself had clearly only been asked in order to set up an opportunity to say “No, they’re not”.

But why? That’s the more interesting issue here.

This is like mentioning in passing, as background info that everybody already knows and you never imagined anybody would have any trouble with admitting or hearing, the fact that the basis of Christianity is the sacrifice of Jesus… and then having some Christian get pissy with you about it and demand that you name five Christians who really believe in the sacrifice of Jesus. After you recovered from the “:Oo: Huh?” reaction phase, you’d start thinking this could be a fascinating phenomenon… Is this person unique, or is there a small, hidden movement of people within the group who think this way? If so, is it rising? What’s making him/her/them reject the standard tenets of the group so strongly as to even say they aren’t the group’s basic tenets at all? And if they aren’t after all, if the group itself doesn’t really even think what they seem to, then why do they so consistently project that image? Do they not realize how it comes across when they keep saying what seems to be the very same thing they’re rejecting now? What else could they have possibly meant all this time by saying such things? Was there a recent change of mind/heart? Are there also other changes/differences in other beliefs on issues that are connected to this one? In what was are they still members of the original group at all?… It really makes me curious about these “non-corporation-hating Democrats” of which you speak and what the relationship might be between yourselves and the rest of politics…

Edited by Delvo, 05 October 2005 - 06:47 PM.


#55 Spectacles

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 06:01 PM

Again, there is a difference between being anti-corruption and anti-business.
An alarming number of Republicans these days can't seem to grasp that distinction.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#56 waterpanther

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 07:39 PM

Quote

I mean, we’re not just talking about some trivial detail about Democrats here; this always seemed to be the very definition of the party, given the way they portray other issues as ultimately being about the evil of big business and describe corporations as the sole cause of all problems, so that other issues aren’t their own separate issues but are just facets of this giant underlying theme instead.

Hmm.  You can't muster the names of five--not even five!--Democrats who condemn business "every time they open their mouths," so you instead you offer more baseless hyperbole.   That may cut it on the talk shows, but could we have something a teensy bit more fact based here? To begin with, how about coming up with the names of three-- three will do; I'm giving you a 40% curve here--Democrats who "describe corporations as the sole cause of all problems?"
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#57 eloisel

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 10:40 PM

When I read the quotes provided in post #37 from 5 Democratic Party members:
Congressman Hilda L. Solis, Democrat
John Kerry - Democratic presidential hopeful
Wesley Clark - Democratic presidential hopeful
Howard Dean - Democratic Party Chairman
Nancy Pelosi - House Democratic Leader
I didn't see any distinction in corporations - just give-aways-to-corporations and corporate welfare.

Edited by eloisel, 05 October 2005 - 10:41 PM.


#58 Spectacles

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 07:17 AM

eloisel, on Oct 3 2005, 07:34 PM, said:

Now, as to why I believe the Democratic Party to be anti-corporate:

Terms like:
"give away to corporate America"
"Corporate Welfare"
"at the expense of the working people"
"corporate lapdog"
"corporate greed"
"anti-union"

Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis - Democratic

Quote

“President Bush’s give-away-to-corporate-America environmental policies are pointed attacks on the middle-class.  Under the Bush Administration, our nation’s most toxic waste sites are not being cleaned up.

Speech at the Boston Chamber of Commerce

Quote

And above all, don't forget the prime directive, the philosopher's stone, the alpha and omega, the answer to every question: never stop cutting taxes on the wealthiest individuals and the most powerful corporations, come hell or high water, in war as in peace, and in debt as well as in surplus.

Text of John Kerry's Acceptance Speech at the Democratic National Convention

Quote

And we're going to return to fiscal responsibility because it is the foundation of our economic strength. Our plan will cut the deficit in half in four years by ending tax giveaways that are nothing more than corporate welfare, and we will make government live by the rule that every family has to live by: Pay as you go.

Kerry Remarks at the UNITY 2004 Conference

Quote

That's why John Edwards and I intend to restore fiscal discipline, not only by rolling back the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, but by closing tax loopholes that are nothing more than corporate welfare, and by making government live by the same rules that most families in America try to live by: pay as you go. We will restore that to the American political system.

Democrat Clark Targets U.S. Corporate Tax Shelters

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Retired general Wesley Clark, on the rise in two recent polls of the Democratic presidential race, on Thursday vowed to end "corporate welfare" by cracking down on the shelters U.S. companies use to avoid taxes and increasing the penalties faced by offenders.

On The issues - Howard Dean on Tax Reform

Quote

End corporate welfare, close loopholes, pay fair share. (Jan 2004)

Pelosi: ‘Republican Corporate Tax Bill Uses Tax Dollars to Ship American Jobs Overseas’

Quote

“This is a blatant example of corporate welfare, full of pork for the special interests. This is not, as the expression goes, “this little piggy goes to market.” This is the whole hog lot goes to the public trough. The oinking is so loud, the Republicans can’t even think straight. If you listen closely, you can hear those hogs oinking. Can you hear them?

Congressman Hilda L. Solis, Democrat
John Kerry -  Democratic presidential hopeful
Wesley Clark -  Democratic presidential hopeful
Howard Dean - Democratic Party Chairman
Nancy Pelosi - House Democratic Leader

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Just bumping this post because it's astounding to me that these statements somehow support Delvo's contention that Democrats badmouth corporations all the time.

Specifically, some Democrats badmouth corporate abuse and corruption. But not nearly enough of them do, as far as I'm concerned.

And if you look past the phrases like "corporate welfare" and look further into the text of, say, Kerry's "Speech at the Boston Chamber of Commerce," then you see stuff like this:

Quote

I think it’s urgent that we put in place an economic strategy geared to the huge challenges to our competitiveness.

The obstacles to our competitiveness in the world's marketplace Kerry defines as underperformance of our education system in turning out citizens with the needed science, math, and technical skills; our indebtedness; dependence on foreign oil and lack of innovation in developing alternative energy sources; health care costs, which he says act as a tax on our businesses that their global competitors don't have

Quote

The bottom line is: a national budget should reflect your values and priorities, but the choices in our budget today have a dramatic negative impact on our nation’s ability to innovate and compete. This moment is screaming for focus on skills training and technical education. We should ease access to loans, venture capital and R&D. We need trade that protects intellectual property and levels the playing field. We need a tax code that rewards investment in American production and American workers. And instead of more tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, we must make the long-term investments that create wealth in America.

Quote

Even oil companies are acting: Chevron has declared the era of easy oil over and is touting conservation in their commercials. But Washington continues its blind obsession with oil, despite the inevitable economic repercussions. You can already see it in the automobile market, where we’re losing the race on hybrid vehicles. The global market for hybrids by one estimate will be 4.5 million units by 2013, perhaps $65 billion in the U.S. If we don't build them, someone else will, and they will take our market share and take our jobs.

It’s long since time to put America on the path towards energy independence. We can create tens of thousands of jobs by focusing America’s ingenuity on new technologies and alternative fuels. We need to create tax incentives that help automakers produce more fuel efficient cars, and reward the consumers who buy them. We must conserve energy and create clean, renewable sources of energy that no terrorist can sabotage and no foreign government can seize.

Quote

The stark reality for our economy is that by 2012, health care costs will account for 17.7% of our GDP and, expenditures will total $3.1 trillion. This is an incredible burden on our country – it amounts to a tax our competitors aren’t paying. GM’s health care costs now account for $1,400 per vehicle. Toyota recently put a major new plant in Canada, instead of the U.S because of healthcare costs.

The picture gets even bleaker for small businesses. Only 60 percent provide insurance - and that’s a decline from 69 percent just a year before. I am working on a compromise bill with Republican Senator Olympia Snowe that will fundamentally reform the health care system for small businesses and give them access to a more affordable range of options to care for their employees. We are in the final stages of drafting our proposal and look forward to bringing it to the Senate floor in the coming months. Maybe we can get something done.

Now it's true that he did say this:

Quote

If innovative policies are called for, simply dust off every ideological gimmick you can find: vouchers, sub-minimum wages, "ownership" initiatives, corporate subsidies and wholesale abandonment of environmental regulations. And above all, don't forget the prime directive, the philosopher's stone, the alpha and omega, the answer to every question: never stop cutting taxes on the wealthiest individuals and the most powerful corporations, come hell or high water, in war as in peace, and in debt as well as in surplus.

Well, here’s the reality: America simply cannot calmly accept the course we’re on without inviting devastating consequences.

And he was using the government's response to Katrina, which includes amazingly wasteful no-bid contracts to the usual politically-connected mega-corporations and has resulted to date in contracts to only about 6% of the local businesses in Alabama, Missippi, and Louisiana.

But it's a huge stretch to get from this that Kerry is anti-corporate or anti-business.

And I suspect that following the links on Dean and Pelosi would lead to similar conclusions. (I don't know anything about Hilda Whosists.) While they may speak out against corporate "welfare" and abuse, they also usually present alternative plans for incentives, increased competitiveness, etc. In fact, Eloisel, the economic development grants you work with are endorsed by most Democrats. So are enterprise zones, much touted by Clinton and centrist Democrats. They aren't "giveaways" but investments with a good return. In contrast, giving corporations tax incentives to offshore doesn't have a good return for taxpayers, not in the long-run because this is leading to a Wal-Mart economy: low prices and low wages in the face of rising health care and education costs.

Democrats just don't want to look the other way and ignore the apparent reality that merely giving corporations what they want in DC means that we are going to be a stronger, more competitive nation economically.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#59 Lin731

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 10:47 AM

I'm amazed that we're arguing terms like "corporate welfare" as simply being anti business. For me the term has pretty clear meaning and isn't anti business. For me it's really about being anti-wasteful spending. This attitude that if we throw enough money at big business, they'll create jobs is nonsense. Perhaps before we moved into a global economy, this was an effective strategy for inducing job creation but not it's simply an expensive and IMO stupid waste of taxpayer money.
I'm not anti corporation, nor are many other people that are opposed to such giveaways. What they oppose is pointless wasting of their money to no effect. I have no problem with targeted taxcuts that are tied to actually DOING what the money is suposed to do. I have a problem with no-strings-attached funds going to corporations who not only AREN'T creating jobs with it but who are in fact exporting jobs overseas.

I remember reading last year or the year before that the CEO's with the highest bonuses were the ones whose main claim to fame was downsizing workers to ratchet up the shareholders/corporate boards profits. The average CEO makes 600 times what the workers make (regardless of his competency) and that's just the average CEO...I watch profit margins rise and workers actual spending power decline. I watch corporations use there US status to reimport goods that were actually assembled by outsourced labor overseas without having to pay reimportation fees. I see many of the biggest companies paying ZERO in taxes because they're allowed to place their HQ's offshore. I see corporations shaking down local communities for huge tax abatements and building of infrastructure with the assurance of LASTING jobs for the community. Only to then watch them move right after the tax abatements end. This modern version of "Capitalism" (IMO) often is nothing more than code for greed and abuse. Yes, corporations have to make a profit and any reasonable humanbeing has no problem with that but that's a far cry from what we're actually seeing now...There's profit that benefits all and there's profit that only benefits the few at the very top. What we are seeing is a modern day revisiting of the old corporate models that lead to Labor Unions and workers rights...It's exploitation. How little can we pay people and get away with it? What new country can we export the jobs to so we can make an even larger profit (that never benefits anyone but themselves). In short, I beleive many of the largest corporations in this country have no morals, no ethics, no sense of country or citizenship...It's all about how many more dollars can we squeeze out for ourselves while offering those that do the work nothing or next to nothing. How many corporations have outsourced their manufacturing operations under the guise of "staying competetive" yet the price WE pay for their goods and services drops very little? For a hypothetical example: The American Widget company that was producing their product in the US for say $50.00 dollars a peice, paying their workers $10.00 bucks an hour, with decent benefits. They outsource to say...China where they pay the workers 3 buck a DAY, no healthcare, vacations, no evironmental controls to contend with and yet the price of their widget only drops by say 3 bucks per peice...So yes, Americans are getting a widget for 3 dollars less but they've also lost a bunch of jobs HERE for VERY LITTLE benefit to the consumer. I just feel like many Corporations are screwing workers and consumers alike, all to further pad their bloated incomes. Hell any idiot could run some of these corporations where the answer to every problem is NOT to innovate but to outsource/downsize.

Reasonable profits are a great thing but when the benefit is all at the top and the middleclass shrinks and poverty rises..THAT is NOT a healthy capitalist model IMO. It's a recipe for decline in this country and I beleive that's exactly what we are witnessing. Larger chunks of peoples income going to basic needs, wages not keeping pace with the rise in costs for those basic needs. Fewer Americans being able to afford higher education. Fewer Americans with the disposable income to purchase goods and services. A negative savings rate etc...It's a domino effect.
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#60 eloisel

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Posted 06 October 2005 - 05:54 PM

I'm curious.  Mostly what I'm paying higher prices for are gasoline, electricity, heating gas, and taxes.  There have already been a couple of increases this year and now the electric company is wanting another 24% increase.  Heating gas is going to go up between 60% and 90%.  My property taxes went up $400 last year and will go up again this year.  And gasoline - $1 and more since this time last year.  How much of the material and labor needed for gasoline, electricity, heating gas, and taxes is outsourced to another country?



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