I live in a nation that has at its core principles a social democratic system.
Tim Neal
51

The people who own and run companies are just as obligated as other Americans to be socially responsible. The family that owns the much maligned Hobby Lobby is a good example. They paid twice the minimum wage long before $15 was a buzzword. They provided good health insurance and free birth control methods without any pressure from the government. Many, many other company owners have the same concern for their employees. They recognize that their obligation is to their country and their stakeholders, not only to their shareholders.

Given that concern, “being socially responsible and being global can work together”. But the executives running big corporations have abandoned that principle. Their only concern is their own and their shareholders’ interest — more money. The instant the founder of Black and Decker died, the new owners began to move their company overseas. GE hardly makes anything in the US anymore. Ditto for most manufacturing. Entire industries are now gone. In all cases, zero consideration was given by those executives for the consequences to their employees and the country as a whole. The only criterion is “what will provide the maximum cash for the executives and shareholders?”

This disease is not limited to manufacturing. Did any Wall Street executives harbor any concern at all for the people they were giving liar loans too? They surely knew these people could not maintain those mortgage payments; on the other hand, making those loans guaranteed a huge bonus. Did the politicians, insurance and pharmaceutical executives who wrote the ACA for their own benefit care about anyone besides themselves and their own interests? Judging by the harm being done by ACA, clearly not.

Scores of billions flowed into bonuses and bailouts for people who have caused the Great Recession and other financial and economic calamities over the decades. Then there are the people who get handouts, sorry, I mean “loans”, from government for their crazy green energy schemes — money that always seems to wind up in their own pockets when the scheme goes belly up.

Being global can work, yes, but not if the US no longer makes anything that we can sell to the other side. Not when the US worker has to compete directly with a Chinese worker making fifty cents an hour. Not when US companies can import STEM workers from India and fire their US STEM workers. Not when the economy is creating half the jobs needed just to keep up with population growth, but we still import 100,000 legal immigrants every month; all of whom get jobs, BTW, according to the Dept of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau. Not when companies setting up operations in China have to transfer their proprietary technology to China.

And not when all expressed concerns for the interests of American citizens first are derided as protectionism and xenophobia. This is the United States of America, and the welfare and interests of Americans should be our own government’s and our corporations’ primary concern. Should be, but are not. Those who are always touting the benefits to the USA from free trade have yet to tell us how we have benefitted so far. Seems to me a half trillion dollar annual trade deficit and massive corporate flight out of this country, along with their jobs, are not so beneficial to this country.

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