Corpocrisy: The Systematic Betrayal of American Workers

From Common Dreams:

by Paul Buchheit
Published on Monday, February 4, 2013 by Common Dreams

Free market idealists argue that capitalism works for anyone with a little initiative and a willingness to work hard. That might be true if job opportunities were available to everyone. But the facts reveal a lack of opportunity, largely because the very system of capitalism that’s supposed to work for everyone is betraying its most productive members.

It’s a step-by-step process of hypocrisy disguised as free enterprise:

1. Let the public pay for the research.

Since World War 2 our federal government has played the dominant role in the research of new technologies, with an emphasis on the long-term basic research that painstakingly perfects design while not yet producing revenue. Corporate R&D, on the other hand, is heavy on the profit-making late stages of development.

Government has contributed significantly to the development of today’s most modern technologies. Business has taken full advantage. Even during the frenetic growth of the 1990s, industry funding for computer research declined dramatically while government research funding continued to climb. As of 2009 universities were still receiving ten times more science & engineering funding from government than from industry.

2. Use the publicly-funded technologies to double profits in 8 years.

From 2003 to 2011 total corporate profits more than doubled from $900 billion to almost $2 trillion.

A big part of that is the financial industry, which has adapted the (nationally built) Internet to fashion trillion-dollar trading schemes. Up until 1985 financial firms never earned more than 16 percent of domestic corporate profits. Their share recently reached 41 percent.

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