November 23, 2010 1 Comment
The nation’s workers may be struggling, but American companies just had their best quarter ever.
American businesses earned profits at an annual rate of $1.66 trillion in the third quarter, according to a Commerce Department report released Tuesday. That is the highest figure recorded since the government began keeping track over 60 years ago, at least in nominal or non-inflation-adjusted terms.
Corporate profits have been going gangbusters for a while. Since their cyclical low in the fourth quarter of 2008, profits have grown for seven consecutive quarters, at some of the fastest rates in history.
Trickle down works! Even though it doesn’t! At all! Work! So yes, whatever the ruling economic/politico/media class have to say, this has nothing to do with there not being profits – no, it’s about screwing workers further, exacting more productivity from an ever-decreasing amount of workers.
Consider that in relation to the ever-increasing number of people in prison or the military, mostly from the US’s poorest communities of colour, and it becomes clear: multinational state-supported capitalism doesn’t need us as workers, at least not workers paid enough for a living wage. The contradiction signaled by the NYT’s first line – “The nation’s workers may be struggling, but American companies just had their best quarter ever” – shows that “austerity” is a fundamentally false, constructed problem.
Tax those who are making such outrageous profits, propped up the rest of us, and the public coffers would be just fine. And then put the money back into public works (and hence public employment), because it is clear the private sector has no need for workers.