08 November 2011
There are some people who claim they don't understand why the Occupy Wall Street movement has become so popular with the public. After all they say, don't corporations have the right to make money. Perhaps the following story will give them a clue.
The car shown above is an electric car being built by a company called Fisker Automotive. A couple of years ago this company needed money to proceed with designing and building their electric car, but they couldn't find the financing. So they went to the American government. The United States government guaranteed a $529 million loan, and praised the company as being an example of a new company creating new jobs.
So what happened? Well, the company has hired 500 workers and they are currently hard at work building the new electric car. The only problem is that those 500 new jobs are in Finland. That's right, the corporation took the money and went to Finland to build their car -- which I'm sure they would be happy to sell to Americans (if any Americans could afford it since it costs about $97,000).
Now this wasn't money that the government pulled out of thin air. It was the hard-earned money of American taxpayers, and those taxpayers certainly didn't want to spend over $500 million to create new jobs in Finland. If this corporate mogul wanted to build cars in Finland, he should have asked the Finnish government to loan him the money -- except the Finnish government spends the bulk of its money on the Finnish people, not corporate giveaways.
It would be bad enough if this was a one-time deal, a rare occurrence -- but it isn't. This kind of corporate greed happens every day in this country. All kinds of corporations get tax breaks, loans, bailouts, and subsidies. Then they either put that money into executive bonuses or they create jobs in other countries (usually countries where they can underpay and abuse the workers). The one thing they don't do with that money is create jobs in America. And those corporations don't even need the giveaways, since they are already making record profits.
And to pay for those giveaways to the giant corporations, the government slashes social programs which are needed to help hurting Americans (and are even talking about abolishing or severely cutting Medicare and Social Security). The government, which is supposed to protect and defend the American people, has become little more than a conduit for funneling money to the corporations and the super-rich. And the politicians, especially the Republicans and Blue Dogs, just don't seem to care. They get too much money from the rich and the corporations for their campaign chests to bother with caring about ordinary Americans.
This has gone on for too long, and the people are angry. They want change and an economic system that is fairer to all Americans. They want the government to spend its money wisely helping people who need it -- not corporations who don't need it or appreciate it. That's why Occupy Wall Street has struck a chord with people all over this country -- and that's why it will continue to grow.