Friday, February 4, 2011

Corporate America and the economy of 2011

Today was the last day for many reporters at the Daily Record based in Morris County, New Jersey.  While it is a  mostly personal matter for these reporters, many of their readers are wondering what happened.   Certainly the newspaper itself didn't do an article on it.  But in today's world of social media and blogs, it is out there for many to read about.  I  most recently came upon an article posted today on a blog called the Gannett blog.  You can find it at   I also read a bit on the history in a Rob Tornoe piece distributed on his Facebook page.  But the article posted on the gannettblog today is written by a reporter, Frank DiLeo, who was one of those to receive a pink slip.  And he let the world know his thoughts by some how getting his article published.  But it is not on the newspaper's website.  Read it on the blog.  Frank writes about "corporate greed" in his article.  It is an important topic in today's economy.  So I thought I would start my first post of news with this bit on Gannett's Daily Record.
If you have been an employee, whether you were 14 or 24 or 36 or 40 or 55 or however old you are now, you know that your employer can either be encouraging or discouraging.  You can either be appreciated for your hard work or you can be expected to receive that pay check each week and shut up.  Personally, I have experienced both. 
Today is different though.  We have high unemployment in New Jersey and in the nation.  But our corporate executives take home millions in salary and bonuses.  Take a look at Wall Street.  Someone bailed Wall Street out a couple of years ago.  That someone was you and I.  I read in the New York Times in December 2010 that Wall Street executives were receiving millions of dollars in bonuses.  How did that happen?  Where is my bonus?  Didn't I invest in them?  Well, the main reason the bonuses were so high in December was they were afraid the tax cut extensions were not going to go through so they took the most they could get before the taxes went up.  I thought tax cuts were extended in order to stimulate job growth.  Guess not, they kept all their money.  As we know, it turns out, the tax cuts for the wealthy were extended.  They are now safe to receive even bigger bonuses in 2011.
Another example is oil profits.  Take a look at them.  The oil industry made record profits in 2010.  And how is that when unemployment is so high?  How is it that the corporate executives are receiving tax cuts while middle class workers are losing their jobs?  Police, firefighters, teachers, and all other public workers are forced to take concessions, pay freezes, lose benefits, take unpaid furlough days, etc., while the wealthiest among us get the their taxes reduced so they can keep more of their record earnings. I don't know about you, but I believe there is something very wrong with this picture.  Corporate greed is out of control.  And we all better start acknowledging it before we end up like Frank DiLeo...out of a job he worked hard at so that the corporate executives at Gannett can cut costs leaving them with record earnings.

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