Commentary on the present and future of culture, politics, economics, and social values................... "At any given instant/All solids dissolve, no wheels revolve,/And facts have no endurance." W.H. Auden.

Monday, June 16, 2003

Coporations and Extortion

During the Clinton years, US corporations were involved in open theft via "creative" bookkeeping, baked books, executive "perks," bribery, insider trading, and other forms of fraud. Look at Enron , WorldCom, CitiBank, Merrill Lynch, Fleet National , and their friends. In the Bush II years, US corpoprations are involved in extortion. Is this progress?

Boeing is threatening to move its manufacturing out of the state of Washington if it does not get "incentives" from the governments of Washington and Seattle. It says it has nine other states interested in offering "incentives" to host the company in a new site.

Now US Airways is threatening to move its headquarters out of Virginia if the Old Comonwealth does not give it "incentives" to stay. It is also threatening to abandon Reagan Washington National Airport if it does not get some "incentives" to remain there.

In both cases, for "incentives" read "taxpayers' money." When the mob tries extortion, it simply says, "Pay us or we'll break your windows and then break your face." US corpoations extort with the more graceful "Pay us or we will move out and leave you with an unemployment residue." Yes,yes. But extortion is extortion. Pity the poor taxpayers!

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