Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lower Taxes for Corporations Leading to Job Growth is Corporate Propaganda at Its Best

The 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance. The growth of democracy; the growth of corporate power; and the growth of corporate propaganda against democracy.
(Alex Carey)

In Canada fifty years ago, corporate income tax represented 50 % of government revenues. Today, that figure is around 7%, and there are those who would have us believe that if we don't lower corporate tax rates further that this would blind side the economy and leave Canada crumpled on the ice like Sidney Crosby after a hit to the head.

Pretty powerful stuff. Completely beside the point, but pretty powerful stuff nonetheless.

The obvious question to ask is where will those new jobs be located. Here at home or somewhere else in the world where labour is cheaper and the regulatory framework is more favorable?

The intended effect of lowering corporate tax rates is to make corporations more profitable and to enrich those in the investor class. The secondary effect with regard to increased employment as a result of greater corporate profitability is in no way materializing in the US. So, why should it do so here?

Looking at rise in stock prices, investors have experienced a "V" shape recovery while those unemployed in the labour market are experiencing an "L" shape recovery, meaning their futures have been flat-lined.

Take the case of the appointment of GE executive Jeffrey Immelt to President Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board. As Paul Krugman points out, with fewer of half of GE's workforce based in the US and less than half of it's revenues generated by US operations, GE's fortunes have little to do with prosperity in the US.

The truth of the matter is that we all don't live in the same economy. Value can be added to the production cycle of either goods or services from almost anywhere on planet. As a result, many of the jobs in question can just as easily be outsourced off shore.

What's really at issue is those who comprise the top one percent of revenue earners can never have enough. The income inequality within this bracket is extremely high, the top one-tenth of the one percent earn ridiculously more than the bottom one-tenth of the same one percent, so that to keep up with the super rich Jones it takes everything that one makes and more. Consequently, the pressure to lower corporate taxes as a means to raise investment income never abates.

In the words of F. Scott Fitzgerald,"the rich are different from you and me." They don't give a shit about anybody but themselves.

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