Stop Blaming Corporations

I am sick of people constantly blaming corporations for everything.

Corporate behavior is highly predictable. A for-profit corporation has only one purpose: to seek profits and use those profits to pay shareholders and/or re-invest to increase share value and seek more profits.

A corporation seeking profits is like water filling cracks. The water by its nature will go wherever it can go. Do not ask it to stop. This is non-sense. It is up to you to seal the crack and prevent the water from going places of which you do not approve.

Too many people are complaining about lost jobs and blaming corporations naively. Now I say lost jobs but they have not been lost. They moved beyond our driving range. Namely to places like China, Mexico and Central America and wherever the costs of labor are mere fractions of American wages. It is painful to watch. Not because they are leaving though. Because we blame corporations and act like we do not know what can be done.

Think about how silly it is to blame corporations for a second. Even assuming a corporation wanted to keep its labor force in the United States, it cannot. Exclude the service industry or professional and medical jobs which cannot be exported. But for everything else such as the manufacturing of: clothing, autos, boats and planes, steel and metals, furniture, medical supplies, electronics and computers, etc….all of it can be produced anywhere on the planet. All a company needs is access to resources, labor, and transportation to deliver the product. Not exactly unique to America.

The current environment dictates American labor be replaced with cheap foreign labor. If a corporation wanted to maintain its American work force, it would forego a simple method of dramatically increasing its profits. It would defy its true purpose of seeking profits by all reasonable means. Corporate executives would be negligent in their fiduciary duties to shareholders by ignoring this reality and so they do not. Shareholders do not care whether Susie loses her job on the line, only whether their portfolio or retirement account rose 4% last quarter.

Further, not moving your labor costs overseas will likely result in the future dissolution of the company because competitors will certainly snap at the opportunity if not already. They will then use their increased profits to increase market share to one day force you into bankruptcy or buy you out and dissolve your company.

I cannot blame a corporation for undertaking natural and logical behavior essential to its survival. It is merely seeking profits by using all reasonable means and this is extremely low-hanging fruit.

So why do we hate them so much? Lots of reasons: People think the world is unfairly tilted in the favor of a powerful few corporations which use friendly (whore-ish) governments to advance their interests to the detriment of the public. People think corporations control Washington, corporate interests are the real reasons for war and corporations sending jobs overseas are killing the American economy.

They are not wrong. But they are blaming the wrong people.

If you were making decisions for a large company like Halliburton and knew a certain piece of legislation or military operation would increase your profits dramatically and hurt your competitors, why on earth would you not seek out such legislation or use every means necessary to lobby for the military intervention?

To accomplish this, why not also grease the campaign coffers of legislators if doing so results in the legislator taking action in your favor? Why would you not pay millions in bribes to obtain billions in contracts? Any sane business executive would because, again, a competitor would and it may eventually cost you your business. Indeed, competition dictates a corporation secure a politician first before another can even try.

Is bribing or sponsoring a politician even against the law anymore? If so, there remain a million ways to do it legally. Call it a campaign contribution. If you need to pay more than campaign laws allow, contribute to a political action committee or special interest group which serves the legislator’s purpose. If the legislator only wants personal wealth, hire some relatives and family members at ludicrous salaries. Or better yet transfer them land under favorable terms to sell it at a massive profit to a buyer you arrange. If you are nervous about authorities catching you (if they are even trying), then repeat your land deals in any foreign nation. I am sure the politician does not mind keeping money abroad. 

This is just the beginning. Have you noticed almost every one of these politicians has a book about their life and the contrived and made-up obstacles they overcame before they turned into a jackass politician? I used to wonder why anyone would read a book written by a member of a congress which has a favorability rating below cockroaches. I have only one guess. If you want to bribe someone legally, buy a product they are selling whether it is tongue depressors from a medical supply company or a book authored by a congressperson-swine. Who cares if Exxon or Raytheon does not intend to read 40,000 copies of Nancy Pelosi’s book or even if it is used as toilet paper? All she cares is they bought it and she will get paid.

With so many legal bribing possibilities it is enough to make a corporate big wig salivate over what he may be able to get passed in his favor. But it is also enough to give him nightmares over what his competitors are trying to get passed in their favor. Always remember this is the sticking point. Bribes have become a cost of doing business in this country and if you do not play the game, you get left behind.

Take a look at free trade. Corporations always knew if they could take their labor costs abroad they would maximize profits. But those pesky tariffs would prevent a corporation from making any profits from goods made in third world countries. So after asking a zillion times they were eventually able to pay enough congressmen to get it done. It is even bi-partisan.

Bye bye tariffs. The single device which effectively protected small companies and American workers from products made by cheap foreign labor for 200 years was gone like it never existed. I cannot remember the last time I heard a politician say the word ‘tariff’.

I do not blame corporations for this and do not tell me corporations own congress. The relationship is more akin to a john and a prostitute. The john pays to receive a benefit and the prostitute degrades herself but no one owns the other party. At least not permanently. It is a filthy but mutually beneficial relationship. So long as the prostitutes are available, the johns will return often to receive a benefit for the cheapest price possible. And since the johns keep coming back, the prostitutes can always use the money to maintain their position and fend off any challenging prostitutes in the next election.

This is the game Congress created: willful whores for a cheap price.

So stop blaming people like the Koch brothers for doing what is obvious and do not expect people like them to stop. There will always be profiteers asking for favorable legislation or asking for war. This will never change. Blame Congress. It is their duty to protect the American interest but they would rather act like prostitutes. Yet instead of degrading themselves for personal gain, they degrade the entire nation.

However, if you truly care, blame yourself. Then blame me and the rest of the American people. The jerks in Washington do not re-elect themselves. They have us to thank for this.


8 thoughts on “Stop Blaming Corporations

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  4. “…If you were making decisions for a large company like Halliburton and knew a certain piece of legislation or military operation would increase your profits dramatically and hurt your competitors, why on earth would you not seek out such legislation or use every means necessary to lobby for the military intervention?…”

    You miss the major point, that tilting the field in your favor violates the rights of others, and is thus criminal by definition.

    I have nothing against corporations or corporations making profits.. What I object to is criminal corporate behavior to make profits. Just like I object to any criminal behavior for any person or reason.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I complete understand your point. However, in an environment where criminal activity is everywhere and ignored, the corporate executive is encouraged/emboldened to do the same. Even forced due to the competition.

      As I am sure you acknowledge, criminals will always exist and they will always seek favor from power. It is up to Power to act honorably. And while Congress continues its insulting behavior, we are unfortunately unable to rely on authorities under the supervision of the same Congress to do their job and prevent these crimes.

      I am a “the buck stops at the top” kind of guy. I only reference/insult Congress but you may as well include the executive and most of the judiciary into my beliefs.


        • My friend, you preach to a choir. I agree that most problems could be fixed with less government and there are already plenty of laws on the books which would solve our problems if enforced. Unfortunately, governments, even if started honorably and wisely, always devolve into self-serving behemoths that end up crushing the liberties of the citizens in order to continue to feed itself.


          • That is why I am a free market anarchist or as Lew Rockwell calls it an anarcho capitalist…. I had libertarian leanings for 30 years or so but when you get down to it the NAP requires a lack of a monopoly on the use of force (i.e. a government)


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