Saturday, July 10, 2010
We need to create an economy of our own--soon
by Larry Geller
Readers of this website will know that I have held that not only do American corporations not want or need us as workers, but that as our ability to be consumers erodes (how can we consume if we can’t earn?), they will replace us as in that role, also.
Economics, all that stock market and “growth” stuff, is about how corporations and their executives make money, not about how we make money.
They not only could care less about us, but when a CEO finds a way to cut the workforce, it paves the way for a strapping big bonus for accomplishing that.
Obama’s appointment to the Export Council of Ford CEO Alan Mullaly is telling. Ford, along with GM and Chrysler, is poised to reap bumper profits on the basis of mass layoffs and plant closures and a 50 percent cut in the wages of newly hired workers, thanks to the intervention last year of Obama’s Auto Task Force. [wsws.org, Obama’s “jobs program”: Poverty wages and mass unemployment, 7/10/2010]
But consumers are still the backbone the the US economy, right? Yes, but check this out:
Ford Motor Co. said it sold a record 301,524 vehicles in China during the first six months of the year, up 53 percent from the same period in 2009. The automaker said Tuesday its passenger car joint venture, Changan Ford Mazda Automobile, sold a record 205,563 vehicles, up 46 percent for the six-month period. Its commercial vehicle venture, Jiangling Motors Corp., sold 88,363 vehicles, also a record.
Ford trails rival General Motors Corp. in Chinese sales. GM sold 1.21 million vehicles in China from January to June. [Kansas City Star, Business in brief | Ford reports big boost in China sales, 7/6/2010]
Now that’s growth.
As I predicted, not only will cars be made in China, but they will become a market for American automobile companies.
So sitting there in a penthouse in Detroit, or wherever they are, executives can enjoy the soothing sound of cash register bells (they can pipe it in over the loudspeakers) while they salivate over the next 1.21 million vehicles to be sold in the second half of the year. In China. Growth means stocks go up, stock options are worth more, and bonuses will follow. Ka-ching, ka-ching.
In truth, they will be able to make a profit without a single American involved as either a worker or consumer. We can be out of the loop completely and they do fine. In fact, they do better than fine, while poverty increases in this country.
Meanwhile, recognizing that they don’t have to do anything for us, like pass an effective jobs bill, Congress does, in fact, nothing for us.
Just wait till the next corporate bailout is needed, though.
It’s possible that American corporate executives may even be able to shed their pesky shareholders. China may take over that role as well:
China may allow foreign companies to sell stock in Shanghai next year, opening the world’s largest market for first-time share sales and advancing the city’s bid to become an international financial center.
Shanghai has been contacted by foreign companies from the finance, telecommunications, consumer goods and manufacturing industries about selling shares in the city, Fang said in May. The city is introducing investment products to tap the nation’s corporate and household savings. [Bloomberg, China May Allow Foreign Listings in Shanghai in 2011, 7/8/2010]
So the corporate economy is hopeful, even thriving.
Meanwhile (from the wsww.org article):
The administration is impervious to the needs and wishes of millions of workers who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and their families fed. But Obama jumps to attention when Wall Street speaks.
The White House has launched a public relations campaign to refute the charge that it is anti-business. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gave an interview Thursday to Politico in which he frankly and accurately outlined the administration’s uniformly pro-business record.
Also from the same article referring to a couple of speeches Obama gave:
In both speeches, Obama made repeated assertions that the economy is “headed in the right direction” and “moving forward,” in spite of mounting signs of an economic slowdown that negates any prospect of significant job growth.
The real unemployment rate in the US is above 20 percent. Long-term joblessness is at a post-war high. Millions of youth have no prospect of finding work. Home values—the major source of wealth for most families—continue to fall. Foreclosures, homelessness, hunger, utility shutoffs and poverty are soaring. Schools, parks and museums are being closed, and what remains of a social safety net is being shredded.
We need to remember this when the media tell us things are getting better. They need to prove it, not just say it.
We need to find a way to create an economy which serves us, not just corporate CEOs and the politicians they finance.