Letter to the Editor: A reminder of ‘corporate greed’

Dear Editor:

Below is a letter of mine that appeared in The Seattle Times in May 2007. I was reminded of this issue as a result of the current discussions between our state government, Boeing and some of Boeing’s unions. I believe that our state legislature is doing the right thing by providing funding to have Boeing’s production of their new airplane be in Washington state, but this kind of blackmail – Boeing has said that they will take the production to another state that will provide them funding if they do not receive the funding here – needs to be stopped by the federal government. Otherwise money will continue to go from taxpayers to corporations that don’t need it.

A story recently in the local press about how the State of Washington is funding the training of some Boeing 787 production employees has caused me to express my thoughts about these corporate subsidization programs. Our State agreed to this particular program some years ago in order to keep the production of Boeing’s new airplane in Everett. Boeing’s financial situation has improved markedly since then – they now do not need subsidies from our citizens! And it’s taxes from all of us that are funding this. I am amazed that Boeing has not announced that they will decline to accept any more payments under this program.

This sort of program is enjoyed by numerous other corporations around our country. Another one that I want to highlight is the recent extension of the 20 years of tax reductions to Intel Corporation in Hillsboro, Oregon. Intel’s net profit as a percentage of sales is among the highest of all U.S. corporations, yet they cause the taxes of the average taxpayer to be increased in order to fund their unwarranted benefit.

The root cause of all of this is corporations “advertising” that they will locate their facilities in whichever community “bribes” them the most. In aggregate, the corporations are the sole benefactors. Their profits are enhanced at the expense of all other taxpayers paying more than they would otherwise. This is done under the euphemism of economic development.

I’d like to see a federal law that makes it illegal for governments to pay subsidies to corporations that put those governments in competition with each other.

Ron Wambolt

  1. Interesting idea. The corporate sector and the governments that justify these kind of actions, employ the interchangeable parts theory when it comes to people now places. Instead of “develop” in reality the popular words become “discard,” “dismiss” and “degrade.”
    Probably trickles down to other relationships as well. I would predict they don’t want employees who’ve studied philosophy and literature either. At most large companies, like Boeing, an HR computer programmed with keywords decides who is going to get in now. Hiring at a lot of companies doesn’t seem very people based any more.

  2. Come on, Ron,

    you REALLY think a federal lawgiver is about to stop his/her job security/retirement plan???

    you REALLY think any major corporation employee or family member of such wants to stop the taxpayer subsidies of his/her job and medical insurance???

    it’s fine for the state to succumb to blackmail – and you want the feds to take the heat?

    i know you’ve got a hell of a lot more political savvy than that!

    and i’d hope that you know it’s not only boeing, but all of our international corporate behemoths! i’ll never forget the day in olympia, my state lawgiver introduced me to a microsoft lobbyist.

    he explicitly told me – microsoft gets NO state subsidies!

    microsoft, he told me – doesn’t pay any taxes!

    of course, all of the above in reality spreads the tax burden to non-company employees

    the ONLY way to stop the bribery is for enough law givers to have the courage to stand up to them – and i’m sure we’ll see that after the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse ride through the sky on horses breathing fire, chasing the devil’s herd – while eating popcorn 🙂

    so – what was your purpose?

  3. Ron your talking about the 787 the airplane that is being negoitated now is an updated version of the 777 which is suppost to create 50 thousand more jobs, it makes perfect sense for the state to offer tax breaks for 50 thousand jobs they will get the money back probably two or three fold thats just good business on the states part, 50 thousand people making 50 to 100 grand a year will bring in a lot more money than taxing boeing, they will leave if the deal isn’t sweetened labor is a lot cheaper in south carolina than it is here but the deal on the table is an upverision of the 777 thanks michael

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