How Corporations Stifled The Stimulus

How Corporations Stifled The Stimulus

Joliet : IL : USA | May 02, 2012 at 12:23 AM PDT
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When US Congress passed the stimulus three years ago, the goal was for it was to stabilize the US economy. Within the stimulus, money was given to the states so that the funds would be used to put people back to work. Most of these funds were used to restart construction projects that were stalled due to the recession in 2008.

Also in the stimulus, US corporations were given tax cuts so that they could use that extra capital to create more jobs. However, the corporations chose to pocket the extra revenue instead of helping to lower the unemployment rate.

For example, take a look at Caterpillar Tractor Company. Pres. Obama did one of his speeches at its headquarters in Peoria, IL three years ago. Caterpillar promised that if the stimulus bill would pass, then they would bring people back to work.

The problem is that the company brought people back to work in Brazil, not in the USA. With the World Cup coming to Rio in 2014 and the Summer Olympics in 2016, dozens of stadiums have to be built. As a result, Caterpillar is experience all-time highs in profits.

Fast-forward to the present. Instead of using these profits to create more jobs as promised, they are forcing workers out of jobs. At the Caterpillar plant in Joliet, IL, the members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace workers went on strike a couple of hours ago.

In the final six-year contract offered by the company, Caterpillar wanted a six-year freeze on raises and wanted to force all workers to convert their pensions into a 401(k).

This offer made by Cat shows how corporations have stifled the stimulus. When workers are given a fair wage, their productivity goes up. When productivity goes up, profits go up.

This contract could be viewed as being illegal. All companies must give workers raises based upon cost of living adjustments (COLA). Second, forcing workers' pensions into a 401(k) would allow for the mutual fund bankers to steal the money, a la MF Global. In any other area of life, that would be an accomplice to theft. Instead of being fair, Caterpillar called back retirees to work during the strike. Therefore, it is possible that those who are on strike could lose their jobs. This example is just one of many of how corporations have blatantly chosen to stifle the stimulus.

Adrian Holman is based in Joliet, Illinois, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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