The Bankruptcy of Corporate America (June 10, 2011)
The bankruptcy of Corporate America has seeped into the society and those who toil in its machinery.
Corporate America is profoundly bankrupt. Not in a financial sense, of course; the Federal Reserve's slow destruction of the U.S. dollar has boosted corporate profits most handsomely as the majority of their earnings and profits are obtained overseas; when stated in dollars, those outsized profits swell even higher.
No, the bankruptcy of Corporate America is not found on the bottom line; it is measured by altogether more profound metrics than mere money. Corporate America is bankrupt on levels which are difficult to describe; morally and spiritually bankrupt, not just in the pathologies that guide corporate goals and behaviors, but in the Potemkin shell of free enterprise they present to the world in ceaseless propaganda, and in the manner in which they have cut America loose from their corporate souls.
Corporate America only resides in America because it controls the machinery of governance and regulation here for pathetically modest investments in lobbying and campaign contributions. It would be impossible to replace the global Empire that protects and nurtures it, and so Corporate America maintains its headquarters in America, the better to shape policy and skim gargantuan profits from the Empire and its Central State in Washington.
The return on investment for lobbying and campaign contributions is simply unmatchable anywhere else; it is without doubt the highest return on investment on the planet. And the risk-return is immensely favorable; there is simply no risk that the Empire or the Central State will ever go against the "best interests" of its corporate partners.
Corporate America is not about free enterprise and competition; it's about eliminating competition and forming highly profitable cartels and quasi-monopolies protected by regulations and barriers erected and vigorously maintained by the Central State.
Here are two first-hand reports on Corporate America's pathologically exploitive soul. The first is from inside management, the other is from someone who lost their job inside The Machine and is looking at the well-dressed troops still working inside.
In my spare time I am pursuing the opportunity of being an entrepreneur. Very long, drawn out and hazardous path it is as you know. Meanwhile I am still part of the rat race and can give you a pretty good idea of what's going on out here. I work at one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies and I am in management in a department that had sales of 2.3 billion last year. The manufacturing department I am in not only had record sales, we increased productivity by 40% and decreased deviation investigations by 30%. Won't bore you with all the details but we accomplished so much that we were awarded the companies global lean six-sigma award.
I know some readers will object to this characterization by saying, "the purpose of corporations is to make a profit for its shareholders." That is true, but the great entrepreneurs don't restrict themselves to such an atrophied view of an enterprise's purpose.
That fact that the "profit is the only thing that counts" value system is so widespread is just more evidence of how deep the rot has eaten into the social and moral fabric of the nation.
Elizabeth S.'s commentary summarizes the experience of someone who lost their position inside Corporate America, and who has a renewed appereciation for her own life and time as a result.
John Greer a.k.a. the Archdruid calls people in my status economic nonpersons. We are on the forefront of the deindustrialization of the planet. I am starting to be OK with that.
And so might we all.
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