The Corporate Siege of America
March 8, 2003 3:31 PM   Subscribe

The Corporate Siege on the people of New York City. The corporate siege on the people of the United States of America.
posted by crasspastor (7 comments total)
The article has nothing to do with a "corporate siege." It has to do with excessive military spending that might be better spread around other domestic industries in order to rebuild our economy and our infrastructure. The article is in favor of government contracts with corporations, just not in favor of military corporations. And not in favor of coporate executives, just American workers. (As a Columbia University alum, I sometimes believe "professor emeritus" means "aging Marxist").

The article is a bloody mess, anyway.

The example of New York City is unfortunately chosen since, as every politician representing New York City will tell you, not only does the Federal government take more from the city and state than it returns (as it must, considering such things as the common defense), New York State also takes more from the City than it returns: the upstate farmers live off the fat of New York City labor. Hell, those people who work in New York City and live outside of it don't pay their share: the commuter's tax should be reinstated and raised.

And it's a damned shame Melman somehow conflates New York City's budget crisis with New York State's annual federal tax outflow, and then makes lame comments about Bloomberg proposing federal military budget cuts. Umm, are we forgetting the better part of $20 billion which Bush promised the city, which is yet to be paid, and still being held hostage? And are we forgetting the extraordinary tax cuts given to keep corporate headquarters from moving elsewhere? Where would we be if we just ignored the companies' threats to leave, in the same way the FBI doesn't negotiate with kidnappers and terrorists? See how this tax break turned out for Global Crossing. I hope Bloomberg sticks to this: "Any company that makes a decision as to where they are going to be based on the tax rate is a company that won't be around very long."

This more complicated than Melman lets on. And I'll close with this prize-winning quote from the article, Every manufacturing industry whose products are required for repairing and modernizing America's infrastructure is left out by the federal government's military plans. Is he really so naive to believe that defense contractors don't have their hands in other, more mundane domestic industries? And while I'm generally against excessive defense spending, aren't those companies American, too? Why don't they count as recipients of Federal largesse? How do you gauge which companies should get that money and which shouldn't? Seymour?
posted by Mo Nickels at 4:27 PM on March 8, 2003

I've been reading the Online Journal since SatireWire closed.

[whisper from stage right: garble garble garble]. What's that you say darling? [more whispering: garble garble].

Um, my wife just told me she believes the Online Journal isn't intending to do a brilliant parody of a far left rag, but actually believes it is doing something along the lines of real journalism.

Oddly, knowing this just makes it even funnier.
posted by MidasMulligan at 4:45 PM on March 8, 2003

Unfortunately (for the cut-n-paste publishers and journalists) I'm not thrilled by big numbers anymore, but at least this article goes in the right direction: where are all the big money numbers being spent ? How much money is being spent on public goods and services, how much in private interests ? And from a quality point of view is the money being spent on $6000 toilet seats AGAIN ?
posted by elpapacito at 5:16 PM on March 8, 2003

I dunno Mo. I always really enjoy what you have to say. This post being no exception. However, there is only so much water in a pool. To conflate the tax schemes in this country is exactly what is done every day in every legislative body across the fruited plain. "How much federal funding can we get with this proposal?" For instance, Seattle's need for mass transit has been deadlocked for years because of the need for federal funding and supposedly a bungling bureaucracy (I say supposedly because I don't know. The words from Sound Transit were like rain up here before the war issues called).

I find this recent quote helpful:

"Rahm Emanuel, a congressman from Chicago, chided Mr. Wolfowitz, saying, "In the very week that we negotiated with Turkey, the administration also told the governors there wasn't any more money for education and health care.""

In all the machinations of my mind, it sure seems like a siege to me. A siege on the integrity of our infrastructure, that which necessarily props up everything else about our society.

Isn't it odd, our tolerance for accepting fear as a way of life commensurates exactly with an increase in federal spending for the military and other citizenly oversight-free spending bonanzas?

This has everything to do with corporate control of our republic I think, Mo. I don't think we'll really notice till we accept the crumbling and unkempt nature of our communities as a way of life. Then we'll wonder why anew.
posted by crasspastor at 10:45 PM on March 8, 2003

I should say again a corporate siege, not just a siege. A corporate siege in which the citizen has no voice next to the stentorian monied corporation: The only interests addressed will be those of corporations that can market their wares in the intellectually fallow and propagandistic media campaigns that keep their brand pure. All the while they of course profit off of money squandered away from the American taxpayer and the integrity of his Homeland. What will there be left to defend once this gutting of social programs is even more commonplace?

I've likened it before to a thrust button that does not replenish on a video game. The people are the thrust. There is only so much taxable value in a society until it becomes spent spiritually. Somebody fell asleep with his finger on the thrust button. And it's funny too.

Oddly, knowing this just makes it even funnier.

Not at all odd, is that you find this funny. If only the world could appreciate your padded vista.
posted by crasspastor at 11:14 PM on March 8, 2003

Reagan and Bush Sr. are often credited (without irony, even) for bringing about the end of Soviet Communism by escalating the arms race to the point where the USSR simply had no remaining resources.

Why are the same people who touted that "strategy" so keen on forcing us to follow the Soviets down that path?
posted by Epenthesis at 3:35 AM on March 9, 2003

The irony is, even with all those expensive toys, Americans still pay way less taxes then just about anybody else.

The American economy is a machine, it makes more wealth then it knows what to do with it.
posted by Leonard at 3:48 AM on March 9, 2003

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