Corporations Are People? I Beg to Differ

Image: Author’s Photoshop

“Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to the people .”

This little nugget came from none other than presumptive GOP nominee and proud 1%er Mitt Romney. It’s a quote consistent with the time-honored conservative Reagan dogma. Of course, I’m referring to Trickle Down Economics – the theory that wealth-oriented growth models ultimately see profits trickle down to the lower and middle classes. It is a theory that has more holes than Swiss cheese.  But don’t tell that to Mitt. According to him, the more corporations pocket, the more rewards the 99% will reap.

I’m not egotistical enough to think that I can speak for every 99%er. I can’t. I can, however, offer my own Trickle Down Fail — one that effectively debunks Mitt’s contention that corporations like to share with the common folk.

In November, I was laid off. Actually, this is not true. I couldn’t be laid off. I was a freelancer working full-time for a company that liked benefitting from my 40-hour schedule without having to pay for, well, benefits. Four months prior, this company made a very exciting announcement. They were forming a “strategic partnership” with a larger company. Oh the celebrations that ensued! There was cake, champagne, balloons and fear.

Fear? Fear stemming from such a wonderful turn of events? Yes. Why? Because every employee understood what strategic partnership was likely to mean – the strategic pilfering of the work force. The mood in the days, weeks and months following the announcement was tense and uncertain – unless you were a C-level executive. If you were a VP, CMO, COO, CEO or anyone with important letter-based titles, the only thing that left you feeling uncertain or downright baffled was why the support staff wasn’t exceptionally giddy over the merger. You could almost see the thought bubbles over their heads as they strolled around the office:

Don’t they understand why we’re so thrilled?

Don’t they appreciate the many perks this will afford them?

Don’t they want a better Christmas party?

Don’t they want a more dynamic coffee maker?

Don’t they want us to get more clients and keep them busy?

It was clear that company executives equated employee satisfaction with simple perks and business growth. These were the things they truly believed would pump up the rank and file. Terms like expanded health insurance, raises, bonuses and job security were never uttered. If was as if they were ascribing to a “Silence is Golden” philosophy. By not mentioning things that were of genuine import to employees, employees would have no choice but to assume they were protected.

Two weeks before Thanksgiving, I was told my services were no longer required. About a dozen other staff members were also shown the door. No security escorts were deemed necessary.

When Mitt and others like him extol the virtues of high growth capitalism, it would be refreshing if they could at least be honest about what that really means. If corporations are people, then they are the people getting the profits. And if said people corporations feel the urge to merge, then they’ll be doubling their profiting pleasure. Forget Trickle Down economics or even Trickle Up Economics. It’s addition by job extraction, not job creation.

As for the trickle down, that should only apply to the tears shed by laid off Americans unsure when their next job offer will come.



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