Did Reagan kill entrepreneurialism?

American entrepreneurialism is dying a slow and steady death. A new report out from The Brookings Institute paints a pretty dreary picture of entrepreneurialism in America over the past 30 years. As Brookings points out, the firm entry and exit rates (essentially the creation and death of businesses in America), a good measure of the vitality of entrepreneurship, decreased by nearly 50% percent between 1978 and 2011.

Similarly, the job reallocation rate, another measure of entrepreneurship, also declined between 1978 and 2011. While the Brookings Institute report stops short at addressing why entrepreneurship has been on the decline, it’s pretty clear who and what the culprits are.

First and foremost, Ronald Reagan is to blame. Before Reagan came to Washington, small mom and pop shops were the backbone of our economy. You could walk down any main street or strip mall in this country, and it would be rare to find a big box retailer or a large chain store. If you needed groceries, you went to the local grocer. If you needed a new hammer, you went to the local hardware store.

But then Reagan came along. He stopped enforcing the Sherman Anti-Trust Act in 1982, and handed out massive and unfair tax breaks to large corporations and their executives and stockholders, all at the expense of the small businesses that had built the American economy. As a result, mom and pop stores began to close, because they simply couldn't afford to compete with the big box stores that were growing out of control.

This is a trend that has been going on ever since Reagan stepped foot inside the White House. To this day, local family-owned stores are being run out of business, because they can’t compete with the Home Depot’s, Best Buy’s, and Walmart’s of the world that are growing larger and larger. But Reaganomics isn’t the only thing that’s crippled small businesses and entrepreneurship in America.

For the past 30+ years, healthcare costs have been through the roof. Between 1980 and 2005, spending on healthcare as a percentage of GDP nearly doubled. That means that Americans had to pay more out of their pockets for health insurance, and had less to spend on other things, like starting a small business.

A study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research found that the U.S. has one of the smallest small business sectors of the 22 industrialized nations it studied, and the study’s authors pointed to high healthcare costs as one of the main reasons why. Fortunately, Obamacare is addressing some of the healthcare cost concerns that have hampered entrepreneurship in America.

A recent report from the Congressional Budget Office revealed that thanks to Obamacare, by 2017, the number of hours workers in America put in will decline by roughly the equivalent of 2.3 million people leaving the workplace - all thanks to Obamacare. While Conservatives jumped at the report, what the findings really mean is that Americans no longer have to work crappy jobs just so they can have health insurance.

Studies suggest that there are millions and millions of Americans who hate their jobs - but they're working because they have to just to get health insurance. But now, thanks to Obamacare, people in dead-end, low-paying, lousy jobs are going to be able to say, “I don’t need this job anymore just because it has health insurance associated with it, and I am going to take a job where I can work fewer hours.” And they’re also going to say, “Hm. I've always wanted to start my own business and now I can do it.”

While declining healthcare costs are good for entrepreneurship in America, there’s still another major factor that’s keeping entrepreneurship down. Right now, more than 40 million Americans hold student loan debt, with the average loan debt being around $23,000. Over the past decade, the average debt for a 25-year-old has risen a staggering 91 percent, and most of that debt is from student loans. And that’s bad news for entrepreneurship, because according to the Y Combinator, one of America’s top business accelerators, the average age of entrepreneurs is 26.

It’s pretty hard to start a business at 26 when you're strapped with tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt. From 33 years of failed Reaganomics, to mountains of student loan debt, to soaring healthcare costs, it’s pretty clear why entrepreneurship has been on the decline for the past 30+ years.

It’s time to reverse this trend, and for entrepreneurship to thrive again in America. That starts with undoing 33 years of failed Reaganomics. Giant transnational corporations shouldn't be able to play monopoly, and they shouldn't be getting tax breaks at the expense of small business. Similarly, it’s time stop giving massive subsidies to large corporations, and instead encourage the Small Business Administration to give more money to true mom and pop kinds of businesses.

We should also listen to Senator Bernie Sanders, and strip federal highway money from any state that tries to lure business away from another state. Next, we need to bring back the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, so that corporations can no longer grow out-of-control and eat up Main Street USA.

We also need to continue working on making healthcare more affordable for Americans, so that healthcare costs aren’t hindering small business growth and our economy. Finally, we need to wipe out all outstanding student loan debt, and make a public college education free in America for every student who is eligible. Millions of Americans will can then realize their dreams of becoming a small business owner.

Entrepreneurship may be on the decline, but we have the power to reverse the trend. It’s time for mom and pop shops to return to Main Street USA.


ckrob's picture
ckrob 9 years 4 weeks ago

As Obama 'negotiates' SHAFTA, let us remember his excellent efforts in the past when he started with his opponent's position and negotiated from there on further to the right. I think we can depend on him to give away the store unless the opponent doesn't have a large enough truck to carry the stuff off. Then he will be glad to rent him the truck. Ain't it great when we can get folks to work together to accomplish things?

ChicagoMatt 9 years 4 weeks ago

Aren't American comsumers also partially to blame, for not patronizing the mom-and-pop stores, even if they can afford the higher prices? The big chains didn't put the little guys out of business directly, they just took the customers.

And couldn't some of this also be traced back to dual-income households? Without one person in charge of the domestic front in a relationship, which includes the shopping, there is less time to patronize the small guys. If you only have a few hours to do all of your shopping each week, WalMart and Target become much more appealing.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 4 weeks ago

Chi Matt --

Quote Chi Matt:Aren't American comsumers also partially to blame, for not patronizing the mom-and-pop stores, even if they can afford the higher prices?

I would much prefer the marketplace, not patriotism, to determine which businesses succeed. Raising tariffs and enforcing the anti-trust laws would level the playing field, so that small mom and pop stores could compete.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 4 weeks ago

ckrob -- In the 13 weeks of the 5 years that Obama has beeen in office the democrats did so much good stuff. I would be glad to dump my list on you if you want. However, I think the main policy that would change the game would be "card check" (Employee Free Choice Act). One more democratic senator in 2009, and card check would have passed.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 4 weeks ago

Chuck, I get your point. However I also get CK's point about Obama "giving away the store". I think that even as contradictory as your posts might appear, you both are right. - AIW

harmonious1's picture
harmonious1 9 years 4 weeks ago

Not really just Reagan.

I would not blame Reagan. He was merely a mediocre actor in his biggest role. Pulling his strings were a number of players in his administration. Didn't that include: Poppy Bush, Rummy, Cheney and James Baker III? Then there was strong influence from the Heritage Foundation. They were making the spitballs Reagan was throwing! Is it the gun that does the killing or the guy pulling the trigger?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 4 weeks ago

Harmonious, without the gun there's no trigger to pull.

That aside, I blame Reagan AND Poppy Bush AND Rummy AND Cheney AND the whole rotten lot of those alpha male imperialist dirtbags. - AIW

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 4 weeks ago

harmonious1 -- Do you know how much easier it is to type reagan than reagan administration?

sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 9 years 4 weeks ago

Excellent points, every1. Ray-gun did us in, but he was only being a pawn for the economic royalists who have been chomping at the bit for revenge since FDR.

BTW Thom, watching the Big Pic ...off topic, but (in case you actually have time to read this) Thanks for hammerring the media! My pet issue! I maintain, no media by/4/of the people, no Gov. by/4/of the people. Where's the outrage? Carefully scripted and then eliminated. Call Tom Wheeler tomorrow! Last chance to save internet by/4/of the people! 202-418-1000.

AHAHAH! Tom just said that ATT was going to scarff up Direct TV!! Facism is truly rearing it's ugly head. Geo-political intuitive LWNJ unprovable suspiscion; The media conglomerates want to consolidate until there is NO access to ANY media...accept RW fascist propagnda,,,unless you are a Billionaire.....AHAHAH. It's not about the $$$ for those at the top, it's about controling the population...as in population control...as in Grayson; "Republicans want you to die and die quickly" ..and so do some Dems! savetheinternet.com

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 4 weeks ago

AIW -- I blame his "giving away the store" on naivete not his heart

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 4 weeks ago

Did Reagan kill entrepreneurialism? Yes he did, at least as far as I'm concerned. You see, even before NAFTA and GATT there were all kinds of business incentives that Reagan pioneered to send jobs overseas. (Back then we called it "Industrial Flight") I myself during the '80s was in college studying to be a product designer and entrepreneur. One of the things we learned that was to successfully market any new product you invented you had to first procure overseas manufacturing rights. That's right my friends if you think you have a new idea and want to create local jobs forget it. That is a long lost pipe dream. Yes, even before free trade it was lost. It was lost during the administration of Ronald Wilson (666) Reagan. Indeed, you will never own the rights to anything you ever invent in this country thanks to Mr. Raygun.

Which is precisely why, though being somewhat of a talented inventor myself, I abandoned my ambitions entirely when I learned about the cold hard truth of reality. At best I would have to forsake my fellow Americans who I wanted to provide jobs for, and profit off a bunch of slaves in another country who I never even met. Not me! That's just not the way I'm put together!! Back then I assumed that this self destructive tendency would eventually be abandoned and then I would be free to contribute to society of my talents. It hasn't happened yet; and, I can only assume I am not alone in how I feel.

ckrob's picture
ckrob 9 years 4 weeks ago

C8: I don't care whether it was naïveté or his heart, the result was the same. Before O was elected I knew he was headed in the wrong direction with the economic advisors he picked. (Wall Street sycophants) If he was better than the other candidate may be open to question because we've moved farther to the right when the left might have offered more resistance to a Rebublican president. I'm not confident of the prior sentence since the Dems didn't offer much opposition to the damage baby Bush did in his eight years.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 3 weeks ago

ckrob -- Are you asking for my list? In regards to his economic advisors I agree. They cut down the 1.2 trillion stimulus we needed, and replaced it with a 800 billion stimulus. Worse yet, they made 1/3 of it tax breaks. I call that not a move to the right, but a smaller move to the left.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 9 years 3 weeks ago

Reagan may have stopped the enforcement, but the mergers of 1982 had long been in the making in stages which systematically weakened the effect of The Sherman Act. Before Reagan was the Multi-Bank Holding Legislation in 1969-1970 which shuffled the deck beyond Bank Examiner comprehension, apparently. Before that were changes in the Securities Holding Act 1940 which negatively impacted individual investors and capitalists.

Trust companies, i.e. BIG INSURANCE (New York Life- the Company that kept Me) have destroyed the shopkeepers and town merchants of America by selling out family companies in pooled estates to larger chains in trust portfolios. In the same way they eventually plan for worldwide Tenancy vs. private ownership as decade by decade familes lose a little bit more of what they once had.

Trust Companies holding "private estates" always worked around the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, so Reagan was inconsequential. They had theirn own plan they were going to do anyway, and it has just taken a couple of 30 year insurance charter cycles for things to flip over like this ppoint of concern.

I also wish to point out that the Kryder Company, Inc. expired in December 1982, a 50-year real estate corporation whose property disappeared into a massive national REIT called North American Properties, Inc. aka Summit et al. which owns the land beneath countless bank buildings, chain stores, strip malls, hospitals, nursing homes, freight lines, managed developed communities, resort property, mines, and casino franchises on Indian Land.

1982 is the official founding date of "Fort Wayne National Corporation," a multi-bank holding company which secretly organized in 1969. The organization existed 13 years in Indiana corporate files though did not obtain a federal i.d. until 1981. It was a North American Company amalgamation of Steel, Transportaton, Agriculture, Supermarket, Food Production, Amusement, and Railroad interests organized "for business purposes." Fiduciaries of the Kryder estate were officers and directors. They merged Central Soya into Disney Holdings and Shamrock Capital in 1978. They merged North Americaan Van Lines into Pepsico in 1968. What did that have to do with Reagan?

Reagan didn't know diddly-squat- he just acted out his lines and played a hero.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 3 weeks ago

leighmf -- Thank you for all the information. Do you think the 1981 obtaining of an id was related to the reagan adminstration coming to power (please do not make me type administration anymore; when I say reagan it is implied)? Did not the number of M&A's exponentially increase during reagan's time and beyond?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 3 weeks ago

Replying to posts #10-13:

Marc, you are not alone in your feelings on this topic. We might have our disagreements from time to time but I like how you're "put together".

Great points Sandlewould, as always… But what does the acronym "RW" mean; Republican Wienies?

Chuck, we don't need naiveté in the Oval Office. Outside of fascist pig candidates like Romney or McCain, naiveté is the LAST thing we need. I was gonna respond with that "end result was the same" comment but CK beat me to it. Who cares whether it's his naiveté or his heart? And just like CK, soon after Obama was elected, whatever excitement and hope I felt about him winning that election got dashed when he picked those hacks & quacks as his "economic advisors"; the same fucking guys that virtually destroyed this economy!!! In my view, that equates to more than simple naiveté; it's either devious or just plain stupid. Take your pick.

A "constitutional scholar" who can't even uphold and protect the constitution makes a sorry-ass excuse for a president. - Aliceinwonderland

P.S. Chuck, I also agree that references to "Reagan" are more about his entire administration. He was just a puppet and a stooge for Wolfowitz (sp?), Cheney, Rove, the Bushies and the rest of those fascist dirtbags.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 9 years 3 weeks ago

Related in the sense that Prescott Bush chose Nixon, Nixon became executive counsel for Pepsi, North American Van Lines was sold to Pepsi in 1968 until 1984.

Further, Nixon flew out of Dallas from the Pepsi Bottlers Convention on Assassination Day, while the President's speech had originally been planned to be given at the Convention Center. Shortly before the Dallas trip, the Bottlers somehow booked the Convention Center which changed the destination of the motorcade, thus the route, which then had to pass the Texas School Book Depository.

On the same day

11/22/1963 National City Lines. Inc., a holding company, acquired 75% of the outstanding stock of Fort Wayne Leasing, Inc., for $200,000 at closing and an additional $150,000 to be paid over the next five years contingent on Fort Wayne's earnings.

The Fort Wayne National Corporation group of lawyers were pooling off-the-book client interests from a succession of banks which had all been Fort Waye National Bank since 1836. FWNB eventually merged into National City Bank then Pittsburgh National Corporation. At one time the Federal Reserve had Fort Wayne National Bank and National City filed simultaneously under the RSSID of FWNB.

The Tax ID was obtained when another "entity" of the bank, listed by the Federal Reserve as Fort Wayne National Bank Realty (1974) transferred 33,400,000 "in real estate" to Fort Wayne National Corporation when the Kryder Company, owner of numerous mortgages and federal securities was not passed to the next generation but kept by the bank and trust company. .

The connections to the Shamrock-Amarillo Bunch, other branches of the Bush family in my research indicate Fort Wayne National Corporation were or are the Henchmen for Prescott Bush's CIA and Shadow Bank System.

Of course they put Reagan in power, and Bush, and Bush, and more Bush if they can. Even Clinton is a Bush best friend, and many people don't recall that during Clinton in 1993 we had a rash of bank failures which rivaled those of 1981-1985...

sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 9 years 3 weeks ago

Hey...Alice L-eft , R-ight , WNJ- WingNutJob

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 3 weeks ago

But Sandles, was I right about RW?

ckrob's picture
ckrob 9 years 3 weeks ago

Let's add the fact that not a single criminal act by Wall Street has been prosecuted after they made off with trillions. How much further right (or less left) can we go without a gun being shoved in our face?

sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 9 years 3 weeks ago

Ha! Well, I'm sure it does...but also, Right Wing...

FYI.. RT reporting that Biden's son just landed a cushy gig w/ Ukrainian gas giant...didn't get details...

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 3 weeks ago

I hear ya, CK. Not only that the Wall Street crooks got away with it, BUT woe-be-tide anyone blowing the whistle on those sleaze bags! Life sentence without parole… maybe even without charge or trial! (Sieg heil…)

Sandlewould- it is SO nice havin' ya back, sister! Keep 'em rolling... - AIW

Elioflight's picture
Elioflight 9 years 3 weeks ago

I read the Atlantic Monthy article about this study online yesterday. Then I began reading through the comments. The first poster began blaming the government for regulations, taxes, etc., as the culprit for small businesses problems. I think they have it mostly wrong. The big corporations, who have bought the government, and are/have been making/shaping business and trade policy for many decades are the culprit.

As my husband says, "If the little guy makes a better widget than the big guy, then the big guy won't be rich anymore and lose his/her control of the market."

And the owners of small business keep believing the rethuglican line/lie about how they are ALL for small business. STOP VOTING AGAINST YOUR INTERESTS. STOP LISTENING TO THE ONE OF THE BIGGEST LIES OUT THERE. STOP BEING WILLFULLY IGNORANT!

David in Vegas's picture
David in Vegas 9 years 3 weeks ago

Thom while you present a good topic for discussion, you once again ignore logic to expound on your favorite biases. Tax breaks have nothing to do with entreprenureship, nor healthcare. These things are indicators of the underlying reason why small businesses are harder to open and easier closed.

Government regulation.

Since the introduction of the Great Society government regulations, taxes and red tape has been growing exponentionally. The high cost of compliance with those regulations, including forcing (sm)all businesses to provide helathcare to employees, has lowered the ability for the small business to survive much less compete with the large corporations (which are able to defray those costs over a much greater volume of business).

It is Democrat sponsored taxes and regulation, which Republicans and Regan fought, that have been siphoning the life out of the American entrepreneur. Democrat policies simply put too many barriers in the way for the average citizen to take that chance on starting new on their business. Combine that with the way in which the Democrats have fought torte reform; the citizen knows that today businesses are targeted regularly by the frivilous lawsuit, not for any wrong-doing, but simply to cash in on the high cost/reward of such lawsuits.

The result of your (Democrat) meddling in the system by placing arbitrary barriers and regulations is that you promote that which you purport to despise, the giant multi-national corporation.

There was a resurgence in entrepreneurship in the 80's when Regan took steps to 'lighten the load' on businesses. (http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2014/05/08/Overregulation-Killing-...)

The graph in the above article shows the only periods of increased business activity is during the Regan and the GWB presidencies. If we were to graph the amount of federal regulations limiting business it would most likely be the exact opposite. (See: http://cei.org/10KC)

Regulations, and the cost of compliance with those regulations, are a hidden tax (cost of doing business) that collectively make it extrordinarily difficult to start and maintain a small business in America today.

So please, review the data logically and see what is really happening.


ChicagoMatt 9 years 3 weeks ago

When I was a retail manager, we had a small family-owned business that waxed our floors overnight once per month. That business ONLY waxed floors for the chain I worked for, and were at a different store each night. I had been told by my boss, who had been with the company for 20 years, that the chain used to have it's own floor waxing crew, but they realized they could save money by hiring that part of the business out. The guy who ran the family-owned waxing business was the same guy who used to do it when the company ran it. Once they decided to change, he became an entrepreneur, bought his own van and waxer, and got the contract from the company.

With the ACA and it's requirements for employers to insure their employees, I am surprised this type of thing isn't happening more. There are so many other parts of big business that can be spun off to smaller businesses, to stay under the threshold of having to insure your employees.

For example, a wise entrepreneur might start a business that stocks shelves for chain stores over night. (Target, for example) You could have 40 or so employees who came in and stocked the shelves for Target every night. But that company would be hired on a contract basis, which would save money for Target in the form of benefits it wouldn't have to pay, since they weren't technically their employees. Target would only need to have a handful of people working overnight to watch the outsourced stockers.

You could do this with cashiers, waitstaffs, cooks, almost anything really.

goat-on-a-stick's picture
goat-on-a-stick 9 years 3 weeks ago

I wish I was as optimistic as Thom Hartmann, but I believe that America is much like the melting ice caps, and it has reached an irreversible point. There's just too much resistance to any change in the status quo for any reversal to happen. What Thom describes JUST for entrepreneurs is impossible with today's legislature, but combine it with the roadblocks in just about every sector of the economy, the amount of power the top 1% wields, AND with the amount of work required to even push through a small change, I don't see things getting better in this country until they become far, far worse.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 3 weeks ago

Dave -- I wish you would review the chart logically. Among other things, what does the chart look like before 1978. I think 1978 is when Carter started drinking the Thatcher/Reagan kool-ade. However, more significantly that chart is exactly what I would predict when one stops enforcing the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 3 weeks ago

David in Vegas claims that taxes have been growing "exponentially". Really?! This bold assertain could easily be refuted by the FACTS of the matter. Here's a little something relevant to this discussion, posted by Palindromedary awhile back:

The Twain Report

All The News That Mark Twain Says He Would Report If He Was Alive Today


Well, friends and neighbors, it's that day again: April 26, and time for a recounting of how our government has done over the last year:

Here is a list of huge corporations that profit from using the infrastructure that OUR taxes pay for. Why do I say OUR taxes? I say it because these corporations pay NO taxes. Instead, they shove off all of the tax burden on the middle class and the poor. Even though they are making incredibly massive profits, and even though their trucks drive on the roads that our taxes paid to build and that our taxes pay to maintain, and they use our police forces and fire departments that our taxes pay to run, they use our courts that our taxes pay to run, they are protected by our military, which OUR taxes support, and they are the main beneficiary of the laws that congress passes, while we are stuck paying for the salaries and perks and benefits of congress.

1. Bank of America, which, in 2010 set up over 200 "subsidiaries" in the Cayman Islands, which is kind of handy because the Cayman Islands don't tax corporations (unless you consider bribing certain Cayman Island banking executives and government officials to be a tax…). And so Bank of America pays no corporate taxes in America because it isn't really the Bank of America, it's the bank of the Cayman Islands, although it does most of its business in America and makes most of its profit in America, but that's beside the point. And during the financial crisis that Bank of America helped create, Bank of America got over $1.3 trillion in total financial assistance- dare I say "corporate welfare?"- FROM BIG GOVERNMENT.

2. JP Morgan Chase, which, in 2010 operated 83 "subsidiaries" in offshore tax havens to avoid paying $4.9 billion in taxes in America. And during the financial crisis- which JP Morgan Chase also helped create, it received over $400 billion in financial assistance FROM BIG GOVERNMENT.

3. Goldman Sachs, which in 2010 operated 39 "subsidiaries" in offshore tax havens to avoid about $3.3 billion in American taxes. During the financial crisis that Goldman Sachs helped create, it got more than $800 billion in financial assistance FROM BIG GOVERNMENT.

4. Citigroup has paid no federal income taxes for the last five years, after receiving $2.5 trillion FROM BIG GOVERNMENT.

5. General Electric has made $81 billion in profits, without paying ANY income tax on it, while receiving a tax "rebate" of $3 billion FROM BIG GOVERNMENT. GE has at least 14 offshore "subsidiaries" in Bermuda. And just for the record, you want to know what those "subsidiaries" look like? Well, in one building that is approximately 2,000 square feet, there are over 200 huge corporate offices. Well, ok, actually the "offices" are just mail slots, but hey, doesn't it give you any ideas? I mean, you want to avoid paying taxes, just put your money offshore, and it instantly disappears from the IRS's radar. No, wait, that only works if you're a super-rich corporation that has purchased congressmen. GE has stockpiled over $100 billion in cash offshore. It would be so unfair to expect them to pay their fair share of taxes, because during the financial crisis they only got a $16 billion bailout. Obviously, they needed a bailout ever so much more than the people they defrauded of a lot of that money.

6. Verizon has made over $48 billion in profits in the last five years. But not only did Verizon pay NO income tax on that money, IT GOT A $535 MILLION TAX REBATE. Sounds fair to me, hey, they're the job creators, so they should be allowed to do anything they damn well please. And I can certainly see why Verizon can't afford to pay their employees a fair living wage, because if I was making over $48 billion, I sure couldn't afford to pay my employees a fair living wage. I mean, if those employees want a fair living wage, let them pull themselves up by the bootstraps and start gaming the system the way that Verizon does. And it's also obvious that Verizon "had" to cut 13,000 jobs in 2010- the third-highest corporate layoff of the year, because they only made $48 billion, and the top executives of Verizon get to keep more of that money when they lay off thousands of employees and work the remaining employees like dogs and treat them like shit. But hey, any Verizon employee who doesn't like it can get a job somewhere else, there's jobs all over the place! Why, I know a guy who was laid off his job and spent hours every day looking for work and it only took him a year to find another job for minimum wage, so I really don't get what those whiney little crybabies are complaining about. Also, any Verizon employee can also start their own telecommunications company, no problem. Why, I think I'll start one tomorrow- I have a half hour of free time between noon and 12:30.

7. Honeywell International: from 2008 to 2010, Honeywell paid no income tax, instead getting a tax refund of $34 million. Boy, I sure wish that big government would quit regulating Honeywell, which has $8.1 billion in offshore tax havens.

8. Merck: in 2009, Merck paid no income tax, but got a tax refund of $55 million. Dang it, this is just one more example of big government standing in the way of the job creators trying to do business. How dare the government regulate Merck by giving them a $55 million tax refund when Merck didn't even pay any income tax? Merck has $44.3 billion in offshore tax havens.

9. Corning: from 2008 to 2010, Corning paid no income tax, but got a $4 million tax refund. It made about $2 billion in profits in America during those two years. Corning has $10.8 billion in offshore tax havens. Oh, it's SO hard for corporations to do business in America, with big government regulating them so heavily. I think I'll send Corning a few dollars to help tide them over until big government stops regulating them so strictly.

10. Boeing has made over $21 billion in profit in the last five years, while paying no income tax and receiving a $23 million tax refund. To paraphrase Bill Clinton: Boeing, I feel your pain.

11. Microsoft has stashed over $60 billion in offshore tax havens, freeing them from the obligation to pay $19.4 billion in income taxes.

12. Qualcomm has $16.4 billion in offshore tax havens, allowing it to dodge $5.8 billion in income taxes. Yes! The Free Market at work! Well anyway, the Free Market at work for the corporations. Because none of those tricks work for the little people. I mean, if you hid your money offshore, the IRS would fall on you like a ton of bricks. Unless, of course, you made huge "campaign donations" to congress, the way that Qualcomm does.

13. Caterpillar would owe $4.55 billion in income taxes if it hadn't stashed $13 billion in offshore tax havens.

14. Cisco Systems has $41.3 billion in offshore tax havens, freeing it of the obligation to pay $14.45 billion in taxes. You know, I have always admired corporations that can cheat in ways that you and I are not allowed to cheat.

15. Dow Chemical: in addition to manufacturing toxic chemicals that have killed countless people and sickened even more people, Dow has stashed $10 billion in American profits offshore.


So there you have it, David in Vegas. Put that in your pipe and smoke it! - AIW

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 3 weeks ago

Matt says "You could have 40 or so employees who came in and stocked the shelves for Target every night. But that company would be hired on a contract basis, which would save money for Target in the form of benefits it wouldn't have to pay, since they weren't technically their employees. Target would only need to have a handful of people working overnight to watch the outsourced stockers. You could do this with cashiers, waitstaffs, cooks, almost anything really."

Gee that's swell. Work harder and longer and get no benefits. - Alice IW

anarchist cop out's picture
anarchist cop out 9 years 3 weeks ago
Quote Aliceinwonderland:


No way! That's fascism, socialism only for corporations.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 3 weeks ago

AIW -- One benefit of the Chi Matt system, it might force universal healthcare.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 3 weeks ago

Chuck and "Anarchist Mark", I concur. But Chuck, that kind of system has been in existence for an awfully long time now and I'm still waiting for it to force universal healthcare.

Mark, 95% of that post (#29) was written by Palindromedary awhile back. It's one of those things I keep in my "political ammo" file to counter the bullshit conservatives post here from time to time. - AIW

mathboy's picture
mathboy 9 years 3 weeks ago

Aagh, you don't step foot, you set foot. You can't step things, it's an intransitive verb.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 3 weeks ago

Gee thanks "mathboy", for correcting everyone's type-0s and grammar errors on this blog! Now, have you any thoughts to contribute to the discussion, or have you decided to be the unofficial English instructor here? Just curious...

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 3 weeks ago
Quote Aliceinwonderland: Mark, 95% of that post (#29) was written by Palindromedary awhile back.

Palindromedary ~ So rules!! Where has he been the last few daze? We so need our Palindromedary to input his comments on this forum. Oh, where is he! If we ever needed pigs that could fly it is now!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 3 weeks ago


DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 3 weeks ago

Oh, great to see ya buddy!!

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From Cracking the Code:
"In Cracking the Code, Thom Hartmann, America’s most popular, informed, and articulate progressive talk show host and political analyst, tells us what makes humans vulnerable to unscrupulous propagandists and what we can do about it. It is essential reading for all Americans who are fed up with right-wing extremists manipulating our minds and politics to promote agendas contrary to our core values and interests."
David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community and When Corporations Rule the World and board chair of YES! magazine
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann is a literary descendent of Ben Franklin and Tom Paine. His unflinching observations and deep passion inspire us to explore contemporary culture, politics, and economics; challenge us to face the facts of the societies we are creating; and empower us to demand a better world for our children and grandchildren."
John Perkins, author of the New York Times bestselling book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann is a creative thinker and committed small-d democrat. He has dealt with a wide range of topics throughout his life, and this book provides an excellent cross section. The Thom Hartmann Reader will make people both angry and motivated to act."
Dean Baker, economist and author of Plunder and Blunder, False Profits, and Taking Economics Seriously