By Denny Russell
Every time I hear how corporations are the job creators in this country, I want to punch their collective mouthpiece. Jobs are created because of need. People need a good or service long before a business can provide it to us. It’s not the other way around.
Jobs don’t magically appear because some boardroom executive says so. Business managers don’t descend from on high to bless us with their mighty powers of prestidigitation. It only appears that way to them because consumers have been reduced to figures on spreadsheets. Our numbers are displayed across briefings and business charts, masking our human needs as demographical trends. Corporations use those numbers to make decisions about workflow to maximize their success. But what they are quantifying is human need. It probably helps them sleep at night to think about numbers instead of people.
And yes, I realize the market floods with expensive and frivolous crap, stuff we don’t necessarily need to survive. But human need is still involved, just beneath the surface. We buy that stuff for convenience, or to impress others, or even to help us build identity. (Any guy with a diesel burning monster truck should know what I mean by that last one.) There are shopping addicts out there, too, consuming objects instead of food or drugs or the rush of sexual experience. So many reasons to consume, and all of them rooted in human need.
So let’s cut the crap, Corporate America. You depend on consumers to buy into your goods and services before you make ANY decision, hiring or otherwise. Our growth and complexity as a nation are creating greater needs every day, and those needs provide you with more opportunity to capitalize on them. The only thing you’ve created in America is an economic environment where you profit more by expending less on the consumers.
Unlike the old days of American business, today’s corporations plan for their products to break after a short while, thus needing repaired or replaced. Businesses also use more of their money to market a product to the public than they invest in the product itself. They don’t even use a real cheeseburger to sell us cheeseburgers anymore; they can use clay “models” on commercials now. Worst of all, they’ve fortified themselves against us with banks of telephone customer assistants, many of them automated. Instead of barbed wire, they’re using easy listening.
Hell, Big Business can prop up another crappy small business to redirect consumer need away from serious competitors. I briefly worked for one of those places, a shipping warehouse that had no right to be open. The equipment was so old it was falling apart while in use. The warehouse was crazy busy though. They drew regularly from hiring services because they couldn’t keep staff. The high turn around was due to hazardous working conditions, so I didn’t stick around. My point is that FedEx supported this sub-par warehouse and thus drew business from the United States Postal Service.
Corporations have gained power like the Highlander as they’ve grown and consumed other, smaller businesses. And they used that power to lobby and legislate for even greater freedoms for themselves at the American taxpayer’s expense. They can legally move their main offices to countries with “relaxed” tax laws, avoiding a return investment in the American states that house them. They are rewarded for outsourcing jobs to countries where labor is cheap.
It’s getting so bad, we have major politicians admitting that corporations are people, right on the stump. It’s funny, they never go on to talk about the rights and privileges that come with being incorporated. You know, on top of what regular citizens have access to. Instead, Wall Street insists that our current taxes are UNFAIR and strangling American business. We should just back off.
But I don’t see corporate profits strangling. I see the wealthiest in this country holding their collective breath (and investment in jobs), waiting and hoping for a defeated Democratic president. They’re circling this hungry nation like vultures. Remember, Big Business was counting on a permanent Republican majority, since that equaled more economic policies in its favor. This austerity movement must have developed as a hasty plan B.
Overall, the corporate strategy is still on target: yoke their revenue streams to the American consumer while producing goods and services at irresponsibly low costs (outsourcing labor, making things to break, cutting care for the workforce, etc.). Pink slime and lead-based paints are just the beginning. If you’d like to complain, please call this 1-800 number. Thanks for shopping.
Well news flash for the flesh-and-bloods in this country. Our money – our NEEDS – fund these power-hungry jerks. To a degree, we cannot escape that, nor do I think we’d want to. But these unelected people should not have so much influence over our government and our lives.
Don’t get mad, average America, but this is our fault. We’ve become dependent on what they offer. We value consuming so much in this country, we’ve started calling it a Right. Are we that invested in the corporate bullshit? The history of mankind is littered with people trying to make a buck off of others. Big Business is not going to pack up and disappear one day, I promise.
We need to send a CLEAR message to Corporate America reminding them where their revenue streams come from. If we are the cows, then we need to start mooing. Without our investment in what they have to offer, they suffer. Period. Full stop.