Cheap Labor Republicans

November 30, 2011

Kevin Drum at Mother Jones has the GOP completely pegged:

When it comes to a modest tax cut that mainly benefits middle-class workers, Republicans had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the table, and even now insist that any extension has to be fully paid for. But when it comes to the Bush tax cuts, which are huge and primarily benefit the well-off, they fight for them tooth and nail and bristle at the very idea of paying for them. Funny, that. It’s almost as if the only tax cuts they really care about are ones for the rich.

I don’t remember who first said this, or where I first read it, but the GOP’s motivations can be boiled down to just two words: Cheap Labor. Keep the workforce poor, or on the brink of poverty, and limit their economic mobility so they’ll remain willing to work cheaply and enrich the wealthy with their labor. That’s pretty much it. If they pretend to embrace “family values,” or fundamentalist religion, or patriotism, it’s only for purposes of marketing. If they object to the work of the mainstream scientific community, or to people’s exercise of civil liberties, or to government transparency, those positions can all be traced back to cheap labor. If it promotes cheap labor, they’re for it. If not, they’re against it.

That’s the pattern. It explains GOP positions that are otherwise inexplicable. Take a look for yourself and see if the current political landscape doesn’t become more coherent and understandable.


NPR reports: Many Large Corporations Are Paying No Income Taxes

November 3, 2011

I expect some people will call this report an attack on capitalism, which of course it isn’t.

Report: Many Large Corporations Are Paying No Income Taxes : The Two-Way : NPR

Citizens for Tax Justice, a left-leaning research organization in Washington, D.C., sifted through the financial reports of 280 Fortune 500 companies and found that 78 of them paid no federal income tax in at least one of the past three years. Thirty companies, the study found, paid a negative tax rate over the three-year period.

Keep in mind that the companies in question are in the Fortune 500, not the struggling startups and small businesses that the GOP pretends to care about. These companies have manifestly benefitted from the way our economic system is set up, and yet they’re willing to let that system fail in favor of their own selfishness. It beats me how that has anything to do with capitalism.