A LIBERAL VIEW OF THINGS: How does your garden grow?
Even with the extreme drought, my water well is still performing satisfactorily. My garden is watered by automatic timers connected to a homemade drip line that conservatively uses water, yet provides sufficient moisture for growing my vegetables. The tomatoes are almost 2 feet tall and producing green fruit. The onions will be finished in another month, as will the potatoes and salad greens. All the other plants are growing beautifully and look to produce what we need for the summer and fall.
My garden is not strictly organic, but I do use goat manure composted from my in-law’s barn to provide the nitrogen and organic material for good, healthy vegetables. With the growing/harvesting season lasting from January to November, early crops will be replaced with black-eyed peas and okra, and I’ll pick them until first frost. I like to think I get maximum productivity out of my 1,200 square feet of growing space.
I’ll let you know how good the cantaloupe is this year.
My point is that if water and fertilizer are withheld, my plants will not grow; or if they do, it will be poorly. This also applies to a capitalistic economy. Without capital, businesses cannot grow or even come into being. Without new business and growing older ones, jobs aren’t created. When jobs aren’t created, there is no money for workers to buy things that stimulate more production and market growth.
What my father-in-law’s goats do in the barn is the same thing as what taxes and revenue do to capitalism: They produce (cash) and compost (interest) the fertilizer so it can be used to grow other things.
I say again: Without this neat ecological loop, growth will be minimal at best. So why are banks and corporations sitting on all that “cash” instead of doling it out to grow the garden of jobs and prosperity? I see the taxes paid by employed workers acting as the bee brush the goats eat to produce the cash for the compost.
Corporate America, however, sends our cash to other barns than our own. At the same time, the banks and corporate America send our jobs to other countries because of perceived cheaper labor and it makes the quarterly profit reports look good.
Here is a summary from Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., showing how some of our largest corporations and banks are repaying the American public for allowing them to exist:
• Exxon-Mobil: 2009 profit of $19 billion; $156 million IRS rebate; no federal taxes.
• Bank of America: 2010 profit of $4.4 billion; $1 trillion bailout; $1.9 billion IRS refund.
• G.E.: Five-year profit of $26 billion; $4.1 billion IRS refund; 20 percent of U.S. jobs sent elsewhere; no U.S. taxes paid.
• Chevron: 2009 profit of $10 billion; $19 million IRS refund.
• Valero Energy: $68 billion in sales; $157 million IRS refund; three-year tax break of $134 million.
• Goldman-Sachs: 2008 profit of $2.3 billion; paid 1.1 percent of its taxes; $800 billion bailout.
• Citigroup: 2010 profit of $4 billion; no U.S. taxes paid; $2.5 trillion bailout.
• Conoco-Phillips: 2007-09 profit of $16 billion; $451 million in tax breaks.
Last year, I summarized how the rich hide their taxable income in foreign banks to the tune of $140 billion in uncollected tax revenue. These are the same people screaming for more tax relief. Don’t you feel good about that?
These numbers boggle the mind as to the potential of available capital that could prime the job-creation pump.
So why are these industries and banks sitting on all this capital while they exploit our wildly unfair tax code to avoid investing in the country that allows them to exist? Why are they denying our economy and our workers the opportunity to be great?
It seems the moral fiber of corporate America has fallen on hard ground and is denying that soil the nutrients it needs to grow the jobs, hopes and dreams of the people who depend on it.
What is the intent of this dismantling of successful commerce? To deny the American worker everything he or she hoped for in the name of profit?
Turner is a retired teacher and industrial engineer who lives near Marble Falls. He is an independent columnist, not a staff member, and his views do not necessarily reflect those of The Tribune or its parent company. "The Voter’s Guide to National Salvation" is a newly published e-book from Turner. You can find it at www.barnesandnoble.com/ebooks. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.