Li: ritual, propriety, etiquette. Hsiao: love within the family (parents for children and children for parents. Yi: righteousness--the noblest way to act in a situation. Xin: honesty and trustworthiness. Jen: benevolence, humaneness towards others. Chung: loyalty to the state and authority. --Confucius (Kong Fuzi)

All articles appear in reverse chronological order [newest first].

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I believe the past is relevant, sometimes more than others of course. In most cases we are seeing history being repeated, so it is most relevant.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Fair Trade, Fair Markets, Fair Share Taxes and Responsibility:

reposted from May 2010

by Glenn Littrell

Whirlpool spends 110 million dollars on building a factory in Mexico, resulting in the closing of the Whirlpool plant in Evansville, Indiana. Eliminating over 900 jobs and devastating the community.

Whirlpool is receiving about 19 million dollars in stimulus benefits this year. If their factory is less than 25 years old, I suspect that they received tax breaks to build it. Have they also received tax breaks for unemployment compensation premiums for temporary jobs meant to encourage expansion and hopefully permanent jobs? How much have they tapped into government grants, government loans, and tax breaks over the years? I would suspect that Whirlpool has lobbied for legislation that was favorable to their company as well as their industry, and it wouldn't be a stretch to assume that they lobbied for policies that continue to make it easier to export jobs and close plants, to become importers of foreign goods as opposed to manufacturers of American products. I suspect that they have probably spent millions to support the Chamber Of Commerce and their attack on any 'Buy American' legislation.

Can anyone doubt that they have probably lobbied the Mexican government for Tax breaks and looking the other way on already nonexistent or lax health, safety, and environmental regulations? Bribing corrupt foreign officials is always cheaper than paying your fair share of taxes; just look at how much corporations and industries spend on lobbying every year. 

The only way we could 'entice' them to stay here would be to let them operate tax-free with no safety, health, environmental, wage, or labor regulations and for American workers to take no benefits and a pay reduction to less than a dollar an hour. Only countries with corrupt governments and or an impoverished population could accommodate corporations in this manner, and aren't we already getting too close to that ourselves?

With the "Tea Party" movement crying for their taxes to be reduced and smaller government, where would that leave us? Our infrastructure is already crumbling, schools are declining, and uninsured health costs are rising. These are just some of the many other things that need to be fixed because their cost is growing. 

The idea that free markets and unencumbered businesses will do the right things is idealistic and unrealistic. 

If you want to see Free Markets at their most deregulated, just look at the black market in illegal drugs.

Unrestrained markets lead to unrestrained greed, not because everyone is potentially greedy but because many are. Now that Corporations have been granted free speech rights, maybe we should consider demanding that they take on more civic responsibilities before we end up granting them voting rights or the right to run for elected office. 

Here are some concepts worth considering: 

  • Fair Trade in place of Free Trade, 
  • a Fair Market System in place of Free markets, 
  • a more efficient government instead of larger or smaller government, 
  • and more responsibility, not less from those who benefit the most from the virtues of this country.

Glenn Littrell


E. B. White was a journalist and the author of Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little.

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