Friday, 12 August 2011

Poor, Poor Corporations

"Corporations are people, my friend." - Mitt Romney

You can see the speech where he said it here (quoted statement is at 1:25). He follows up the response (some outraged yells that are hard to distinguish) by saying "Everything that corporations earn ultimately goes to people."

Mitt's statement is nothing really extraordinary - it's an example of the ideology of trickle down economics*, popularized by Ronald Reagan and virtually every conservative politician since Ronald Reagan (never mind that these theories have been largely disproven).

We should keep in mind that recent judicial action and economic data both support Mitt's statement on its face in a way - yes, the Supreme Court has essentially held that corporations are people, and, yes, corporate profits DO go to actual flesh-and-blood people. The problem is that they go to the people at the very, very top of the ladder, while real wages for workers have stagnated since the 1970s. The US is already among the western nations with the highest levels of income inequality - I doubt that a President Romney would do much to rectify this situation.

So, Mitt, when people ask (justifiably) why corporations are not expected to foot more of the bill for deficit reduction, it's not necessarily a good idea to pull a long face, shake your head and murmur about "poor, poor corporations." Those of us who are actually in the trenches getting fragged in this economic war have the scars and the experience to know that bullshit for what it is when we hear it.

*- That article calls trickle-down economics a "pejorative term." I believe that to be incorrect. The pejorative term for the mishmash of supply-side economics Reagan supported was popularized by the Great Communicator's VP and successor, George H.W. Bush, who referred to the policies as "voodoo economics."

No comments:

Post a Comment