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Old 03-31-2014, 04:44 AM
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Corporate Welfare - How Big Is It?

From the following article...

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-0...porate-welfare

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One of the primary topics on this website since it was launched has been the extremely destructive and explosive rise of crony capitalism throughout the USA. It is crony capitalism, as opposed to free markets, that has led to the gross inequality in American society we have today. Cronyism for the super wealthy starts at the very top with the Federal Reserve System, which consists of topdown economic central planners who manipulate the money supply and hence interest rates for the benefit of the financial oligarch class. It then trickles down through lobbyist money into the halls of Washington D.C., and ultimately filters down to local governments and then the average person on the street gaming welfare or disability.

As such, we now live in a culture of corruption and theft that is pervasive throughout society. One thing that bothers me to no end is when fake Republicans focus their criticism on struggling people who need welfare or food stamps to survive. They have this absurd notion that the whole welfare system doesnít start with the multinational corporations and Central Banks at the top. In reality, it is at the top where the cancer starts, and thatís where we should focus in order to achieve real change.
It looks to me like we can pick on the welfare mom all we want, but that won't even come close to solving the problem of government handouts.

Quote:
And part of the problem is corporate welfare that is so well hidden from public view in the budget that no one has really measured how big this mountain of giveaway cash to the Fortune 500 really is. Finding out is like trying to break into the CIA.
Until now. Open the Books, an Illinois-based watchdog group, has been scrupulously monitoring all federal grants, loans, direct payments and insurance subsidies flowing to individuals and companies.
Itís an attempt to force federal agencies to release information on where the $4 trillion budget is really spent ó and Open the Books will release a new report on corporate welfare payments to the Fortune 100 companies from 2000 to 2012.
Over that period, the 100 received $1.2 trillion in payments from the federal government.
 
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:49 AM
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Yeah this one has stuck in my craw for a long time. I'd have to hunt for citations, but I clearly remember these two incidents in the 90s when I first heard the term "corporate welfare" :

Dade county Florida received a large federal grant (I think it was over a million, a lot more money then than it is now) to build bicycle paths. The very next year, they got another million to study why more people don't ride bicycles.

In the 90s, McDonald's was routinely receiving millions of dollars to open restaurants in other countries around the world.

So rich corporations can steal $100 bills out of my pocket all day long with impunity, but when the mother of a hungry kid takes a nickel, politicians want to punish her.
 
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:11 AM
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I think the politicians do a good job of directing our attention towards the single mother on welfare so that we can properly scorn her and forget about the big business man with his lobbyist, who ensures (by buying votes) that big business man gets fat government contracts for his big business.

The amounts that businesses get is staggering compared to what the welfare moms get.
 
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:45 AM
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:06 AM
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Time for a slightly different perspective.

If,

and I made that If large for a reason.

If corporate welfare creates or keeps middle class jobs in this country or otherwise "promotes the general welfare" of the citizens then it might well be money well spent.

Unfortunately it often does neither and as such it is an affront to every taxpaying citizen. IMO, the government, out elected officials are busy paying back the people who elected them with large donations. That should cost them their jobs, but it won't.
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:18 AM
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That's a pretty big If.

LOL!

It would be nice to know that whatever money they did have to spend was properly put up for bid tendering first, in an attempt to ensure biggest bang for the buck.
 
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:49 PM
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They also have corporate welfare at the local levels. They give grants and tax breaks to companies to move or add on to a business. Some even move every time the tax breaks are done and create no new jobs.

IDA or idustrial development agencies get a percent of the money they give out so they are eager to give out tax breaks and create few if any jobs.

One other coporate welfare is the public builds the stadiums for sports teams and never gets that amount of money back. Even states give breaks to companies to move to thier state and they move when some other state offers lower taxes or more money.

We collect less tax on business now and business makes more money then they ever have before. They say the corporate tax rate in the USA is 35% federal but few companies pay that and some do not pay any taxes or recieve credits or refunds.
 
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:52 PM
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Ok, my next sentence is going to sound rather pessimistic and I apologise up front but...

No matter how much we know about this or whatever we try to do to alter this, it's not going to change!

A little harsh I know but this has been the way of the world for thousands of years and it will keep on being the way of the world.

Greed will always breed more greed.

Hypothetical scenario: Imagine if everyone in the world had 1 million pounds to do whatever they wanted with. Nobody had more, nobody had less, we all had the exact same amount.... Move forward about 50 or 100 years and we would be back in the same situation as today. Some would blow the lot and want handouts. Some would invest wisely. Some would gamble everything (and some would actually win the gamble).. Others would find devious ways of taking some of your money from you.

Big corporations would soon begin to appear again and have control over economies etc.

Just my take.... Pessimistic? Maybe, but very true.
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:29 PM
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You honestly think it would take 50 years?

I don't. More like 10-20 for 80% to be be broke.
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:57 PM
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I agree Scripty, I admit that I was being a little too kind
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:00 PM
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Free markets also lead to high inequality.

The Federal Reserve operates independently of the executive and legislature, and implements monetary policy, not fiscal policy. How exactly are they complicit in crony capitalism?
 
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by violetindigo View Post
Free markets also lead to high inequality.
How would you know that, since the US has truly never had free markets, and we're moving farther and farther away from a free market all the time.

In a true free market, businesses that deliver what the people want for a fair price thrive, those that don't, fail. Everyone who spends money "votes" for the company they want to succeed. I won't pretend it's a perfect system, because there is no such thing, but I firmly believe it would be exponentially better than what we have now.

It's such a mess now you cannot point to one thing and say "fix this and we're good" - heck you can't even point to a thousand things to fix this mess. But you cannot blame it on a free market, since we don't have one.

Oh and guess who's lining up at the bailout trough next? Health insurance companies - they're already whining about how much they're losing because of Obamacare (my premiums more than doubled, so I don't see how they're losing money but whatever).

Here piggy piggy...
 
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Old 03-31-2014, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katt View Post
How would you know that, since the US has truly never had free markets, and we're moving farther and farther away from a free market all the time.

In a true free market, businesses that deliver what the people want for a fair price thrive, those that don't, fail. Everyone who spends money "votes" for the company they want to succeed. I won't pretend it's a perfect system, because there is no such thing, but I firmly believe it would be exponentially better than what we have now.

It's such a mess now you cannot point to one thing and say "fix this and we're good" - heck you can't even point to a thousand things to fix this mess. But you cannot blame it on a free market, since we don't have one.

Oh and guess who's lining up at the bailout trough next? Health insurance companies - they're already whining about how much they're losing because of Obamacare (my premiums more than doubled, so I don't see how they're losing money but whatever).

Here piggy piggy...

Maybe your definition of 'the free market' is different from mine.

The free market would imply almost no state intervention in the economy except a small amount of taxation to pay for the coercive arms of the state (i.e. police, judiciary, and military) to uphold property rights. There would be no funding for education, healthcare or welfare, and no rights for workers (such as job security, minimum wage, decent workplace conditions etc).
 
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Old 04-01-2014, 05:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by violetindigo View Post
Free markets also lead to high inequality.

The Federal Reserve operates independently of the executive and legislature, and implements monetary policy, not fiscal policy. How exactly are they complicit in crony capitalism?
The Federal Reserve grants special status and special privileges to it's member banks, thereby favouring them over all other businesses. The Federal Reserve sets monetary policy (how much money will be in circulation, to some degree) and interest rates (the cost of money).
They have control over money (50% of every transaction).
How are they NOT complicit in crony capitalism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katt View Post
How would you know that, since the US has truly never had free markets, and we're moving farther and farther away from a free market all the time.

In a true free market, businesses that deliver what the people want for a fair price thrive, those that don't, fail. Everyone who spends money "votes" for the company they want to succeed. I won't pretend it's a perfect system, because there is no such thing, but I firmly believe it would be exponentially better than what we have now.

It's such a mess now you cannot point to one thing and say "fix this and we're good" - heck you can't even point to a thousand things to fix this mess. But you cannot blame it on a free market, since we don't have one.

Oh and guess who's lining up at the bailout trough next? Health insurance companies - they're already whining about how much they're losing because of Obamacare (my premiums more than doubled, so I don't see how they're losing money but whatever).

Here piggy piggy...
Right on the money!
Insurance companies, like banks, never lose. They make sure of it.
Any costs they incur are passed on to their policy holders, who often don't have a choice (car insurance, Obamacare).

Quote:
Originally Posted by violetindigo View Post
Maybe your definition of 'the free market' is different from mine.

The free market would imply almost no state intervention in the economy except a small amount of taxation to pay for the coercive arms of the state (i.e. police, judiciary, and military) to uphold property rights. There would be no funding for education, healthcare or welfare, and no rights for workers (such as job security, minimum wage, decent workplace conditions etc).
Actually, a completely free market would be exactly that... completely free of outside influence, not "almost no state intervention".
When the state (or the Federal Reserve) has control over money, then truly free markets can not exist. When the people are free to choose their own money and then choose what they spend it on and create private agreements with businesses that survive or perish by their own actions, then we can talk about having free markets.

There are a lot of people in the news who have gotten things wrong. They blame capitalism for our current economic woes.
Capitalism would actually fix a lot of what's wrong with the situation as it is. It's crony capitalism, aka fascism that is killing our economy.
 
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Old 04-03-2014, 04:28 AM
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Zap,

Do you honestly believe what you just posted? Or were you trying to pull some online April fool's joke on me?
 
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Old 04-03-2014, 05:17 AM
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Actually Zap seems to be pretty well educated about this.
 
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Old 04-03-2014, 05:25 AM
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Hey Zap,

Quote:
Actually, a completely free market would be exactly that... completely free of outside influence, not "almost no state intervention".
When the state (or the Federal Reserve) has control over money, then truly free markets can not exist. When the people are free to choose their own money and then choose what they spend it on and create private agreements with businesses that survive or perish by their own actions, then we can talk about having free markets.
But if we took away all governmental influence on the market wouldn't we still be left with companies that grew to the point where they created their own sort of de facto tyranny? Google comes to mind, didn't they begin and don't they still survive in what is sort of a "wild west" as far as government regulation/involvement goes?

I'm not a fan of government involvement/influence, but I do see a place for it. I just don't see a perfectly free market as a solution to our problems.
 
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Old 04-03-2014, 06:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by violetindigo View Post
Zap,

Do you honestly believe what you just posted? Or were you trying to pull some online April fool's joke on me?
Tell me what you specifically disagree with and we can have a discussion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by imbilly View Post
Hey Zap,
But if we took away all governmental influence on the market wouldn't we still be left with companies that grew to the point where they created their own sort of de facto tyranny? Google comes to mind, didn't they begin and don't they still survive in what is sort of a "wild west" as far as government regulation/involvement goes?

I'm not a fan of government involvement/influence, but I do see a place for it. I just don't see a perfectly free market as a solution to our problems.
It's government influence that creates monster sized corporations because the reality is that these huge corporations don't want to compete. Very uncapitalistic, I know, but it's the truth. They employ lobbyists to get special perks from government and they use those perks to their full advantage.

Solyndra is a great example of what happens when the government tries to pick winners and losers.
Instead of letting consumers decide whether or not they liked the company and their products, the government stepped in and tried to influence the markets with taxpayer money. The market would have dealt with this company on it's own terms, without costing the taxpayer a dime if the government hadn't meddled.

Take a look at the banks and the crash of '08.
Even with key regulations taken out of the way by government to favour the banks, the banks still would have succumbed to the laws of free markets if the government hadn't AGAIN stepped in to thwart capitalism and bail out the banks. If capitalism had been allowed to work as it should, all of the banks that did nasty things and gambled with our money on stupid bets would have gone bankrupt and out of business.
Companies might still be able to grow to enormous proportions, but only as long as the free market allowed it. We vote with our dollars. If these huge corporations didn't have big brother government to save them and favour them, I think it would be difficult for any of them to grow to the size they are today.
 
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:42 AM
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Hey Zap,

I agree with a lot of what you're saying and I don't have much confidence in government, but I also don't have much confidence in the public or businesses.

I don't think you can fix the problems we have as a society by pointing at either of the three as the culprit, they all are, in my opinion. The true "fix", whatever it is, needs to be balanced between the three.

In the most basic terms, I don't see our problems as being organizational in nature, rather I see them as being moral and cultural. Greed has always existed, but I'm not sure it's ever been seen as a virtue in the way its approaching now. Apathy has always existed, but I'm not sure it's ever been seen as "cool" in the way it is now. Short sightedness has always been a tendency, but I'm not sure its ever been the institutional modus operandi that it is today.

I'm sorry, I can't remember the name of who said it, but it was a Frenchman commenting on the United States very early in our history and he said:

"America works because the American People are good"

I'll probably draw some flak for this, and I know there our exceptions, I also think the American People can still be called upon to be good/noble, but I think the majority of our current problems, at least in the sense of a point along a continuum are due to the fact that we're just not "good" enough/often enough to make it work anymore.

Billy
 
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:51 PM
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@Billy: I have faith in people. I think we've been conditioned to be the way that we are for a very long time and our habits (apathy, greed, etc.) won't be broken overnight. But I think we could do just fine without government and (given enough time and practice) we could keep the greedier companies in check with our votes (dollars).
We have a long road ahead of us, however, if we really want to achieve that.
We've been conditioned to expect something for nothing and been apathetic for too long, now.
 
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