The Corporate Abandonment of America

Something major is taking place in our country that corporate chieftains don't want us talking about: Jobless creep.

It's no longer blue-collar families that are seeing their jobs hauled offshore to faraway havens of low-wage production. Now it's hundreds of thousands (and soon to be millions) of well-paying white-collar and high-tech jobs that are being shipped overseas by America's wage-busting CEOs -- and joblessness is creeping quietly but relentlessly upward, ensnaring families that previously thought they were solidly entrenched in the upper reaches of the middle class.

CEOs are paranoid about any public discussion of this explosive movement, but internally they giddily exult at the prospect of essentially abandoning our country and its middle-class in order to fatten their profits on foreign workers. IBM, which is leading the way, even has coined a corporate euphemism for moving more and more of its white-collar jobs out of the country: "Global sourcing." The rush is on. A Microsoft executive has instructed department heads in this software giant to "Think India" and to "pick something to move offshore today."

This is deliberate job destruction, but it is also much more -- it's an open assault on America's middle-class and on America's unifying social ethic that "We're all in this together."

Corporate executives and their apologists say that this is simply the immutable workings of the market and that, after all, the CEO's sole responsibility is to enrich the bottom line of top shareholders, with no obligation to an American middle class.

Fine... but if CEOs have no obligation to us, why should we feel any obligation to them? As they separate themselves and their corporate fortunes from the well-being of our families, communities, and country, we should begin to separate them from the special tax breaks, enormous subsidies, regulatory favors, political privileges and all other advantages they've gotten from us.


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