The Real Cost of Corporate Power...
When I say that it's time to make corporations pay their fair share, you're probably thinking taxes. But, if corporations paid back their full debt to society, they'd be paying each of us about $10,000 bucks a year.
That figure comes from Paul Buchheit over at Alternet, and he says, “That estimate is based on facts, not the conservative-style emotion that might deny the responsibility for any debt to the American people.”
Using data from the National Science Foundation, Paul calculated that about half of that yearly stipend would be our return for all the public money invested in research. About 30 percent of all development, applied, and basic research is paid for by the tax payers, and thirty percent of $2 trillion in annual corporate profit works out to $5,000 bucks a year for each of us.
Another two grand would be payment for pollution and other disaster relief costs paid for by John Q. Taxpayer, and it would reimburse the American public for things like drilling for oil on public lands and cleaning up toxic chemical spills. In addition to the $2 trillion dollars stashed in offshore tax havens, corporations rake in tons of cash in direct and indirect subsidies.
So, the remaining $3,000 dollars would reimburse us for corporate welfare and tax dodging, like overseas tax havens and government subsidies to giant, corporate industries.
When we add all that up, it comes to $10,000 dollars per person, per year – and it's a pretty “small-c” conservative estimate. That's the real price of corporate power in the U.S., and that's a cost being paid by the American public.
Corporations used to return these public investments in the form of larger paychecks and pensions and benefits. Today, they simply buy back their own stocks and call workers greedy for demanding a living wage.
We give them the opportunity to do business in our great nation, so if the corporations won't pay up the way they used to, perhaps it's time they simply cut each of us a $10,000 dollar check.