In a Reuters editorial last week, Chrystia Vreeland raised this vitally important question concerning the loyalty of corporations to the nation that licensed and financed them, gave them the rights of personhood, nurtured them to maturity, and permitted them to accrue more wealth even as the commonwealth declined.
My original comment didn’t make it onto the Reuters website. It quoted my novel, Banana Republican Blues, which is all about the decline and fall of the once great American economy, owing to the abandonment of the working and consuming class, and the consequences that will have for the future of American capitalism.
“Boss called me into his office, a man who’d been my closest friend. Said, ‘we don’t need you anymore, and can’t afford to keep you, Joe.’ Replaced me with an immigrant. A kid fresh off the boat. Glad to work for less money, so the boss could take home more.”
“No excuse for that.”
“You see what I mean, then, don’t you? Way they’re bringing in foreigners and shipping jobs and plants overseas. Even our best technology. I’m just waiting for the Chinks to tell them, ‘we don’t need you anymore’.”
“I’m sorry, but I don’t follow.”
“I mean, supposing after they learn from us how to make everything we make, they turn around and steal our markets. Raise themselves on that smile curve. What would happen then?” he says.”
What our arrogant and insatiable elites have forgotten is that companies are licensed and financed by their communities as community assets. When companies abandon those communities they are are no longer regarded as assets.
The world is in a financial crisis due to the depredations of an insatiable corporate and financial elite, that long ago abandoned its function of efficiently producing wealth generating products and allocating capital to the next generation of industries. The American consumer is drowning in private debt and lacking in remunerative work because of bad decisions made by those very same elites.
Having lost much of its American market, China is on life support with another debt-financed real estate boom, while India, Brazil and Russia still are not yet capable of self-sustainable growth. Without a strong and stable middle class supporting their economic model, the capitalist economies will eventually implode and their once proud elites will fall, just as my character, Eddie, does.
Every yellow dog Democrat and Democratic office holder sick of being tarred with the “liberal” epithet should start to use the terms Banana Republican and Banana Republican Blues at every opportunity. Republicans are already on the defensive, seemingly predicting that it will be used against them. There is already one Republican blog that calls itself Banana Republican, and another one of the same title that has a religious orientation. Just keep throwing it until it sticks.