Charles Blow Alludes to a ‘Capital Strike,’ as Labeled by Prof. Bob

Some months ago in a comment on this blog, Prof. Bob Forrant of UMass Lowell used the term “capital strike” in suggesting that big businesses appear to be sitting on record profits when they could be stimulating the economy, creating jobs, and moving the nation ahead. Here is a passage from opinion column writer Charles Blow in today’s paper. Quoting from Charles:

. . .  First, the tax burden of American companies is lower than that of other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries, as economist Bruce Bartlett pointed out this week. Also, a report issued on Wednesday by Citizens for Tax Justice looked at 12 Fortune 500 companies from 2008-10 and found that on $171 billion in profits earned, their effective tax rate was negative-1.5 percent because of corporate loopholes, shelters and special tax breaks.

And, as Time magazine reported in its June 6 issue, “In the 18 months since the Great Recession, which ended in June 2009, U.S. annualized corporate profits rose 42 percent, to a record $1.68 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2010.”

Corporations aren’t hurting. They’re hoarding.

Republicans have taken an untenable position on taxation that threatens to not only undermine the country’s credit worthiness and push us to the brink of default, it is antithetical to the health and sustenance of a just and striving society.

The full stealing from the plates of the starving simply isn’t an American ideal.

Read the rest of Charles’s column here, and get the NYT if you want more.

2 Responses to Charles Blow Alludes to a ‘Capital Strike,’ as Labeled by Prof. Bob

  1. joe from Lowell says:

    Corporations invest in expansions – whether we’re talking about hiring more people, adding new space to their plant, or making any other economy-boosting investment – when they believe that they will make money by doing so.

    You can put as much money into their coffers as you want, but if they don’t think there are people with money who will buy what they’re selling, it doesn’t make any sense for them to invest their money.

    If it does make sense for them to make that investment – if they think spending the money will bring in more money down the road – they will do so, even if they have to go deep into debt to fund the investment.

    Corporations aren’t starved for capital; they’re starved for paying customers.

  2. Joe S says:

    “Corporations aren’t starved for capital; they’re starved for paying customers.”

    Right! But what did they expect, when they moved so many jobs away from the very people who they want to buy their products?