Via: The James Petras Website.
While progressives and leftists write about the “crises of capitalism”, manufacturers, petroleum companies, bankers and most other major corporations on both sides of the Atlantic and Pacific coast are chuckling all the way to the bank.
From the first quarter of this year, corporate profits have shot up between twenty to over a hundred percent, (Financial Times August 10, 2010, p. 7). In fact, corporate profits have risen higher than they were before the onset of the recession in 2008 (Money Morning March 31, 2010). Contrary to progressive bloggers the rates of profits are rising not falling, particularly among the biggest corporations (Consensus Economics, August 12, 2010). The buoyancy of corporate profits is directly a result of the deepening crises of the working class, public and private employees and small and medium size enterprises.
With the onset of the recession, big capital shed millions of jobs (one out of four Americans has been unemployed in 2010), secured give backs from the trade union bosses, received tax exemptions, subsidies and virtually interest free loans from local, state and federal governments.
As the recession temporarily bottomed out, big business doubled up production on the remaining labor force, intensifying exploitation (more output per worker) and lowered costs by passing onto the working class a much larger share of health insurance and pension benefits with the compliance of the millionaire trade union officials. The result is that while revenues declined, profits rose and balance sheets improved (Financial Times August 10, 2010). Paradoxically, the CEO’s used the pretext and rhetoric of “crises” coming from progressive journalists to keep workers from demanding a larger share of the burgeoning profits, aided by the ever growing pool of unemployed and underemployed workers as possible “replacements” (scabs) in the event of industrial action.
The current boom of profits has not benefited all sectors of capitalism: the windfall has accrued overwhelmingly with the biggest corporations. In contrast many middle and small enterprises have suffered high rates of bankruptcy and losses, which has made them cheap and easy prey for buyouts for the ‘big fellows’ (Financial Times August 1, 2010). The crises of middle capital has led to the concentration and centralization of capital and has contributed to the rising rate of profits for the largest corporations. Continue reading