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Last year Ralph Nader wrote to Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple: "Corporations and their attorneys like to be judged as 'persons' under our constitutions and laws. So it is entirely appropriate to judge the character of a U.S. chartered corporation by the measure of corporate patriotism --€“ especially if it is operating worldwide."

Again, just prior to the 4th of July week-end, the political activist and consumer advocate questioned the patriotism of corporate America in an op-ed piece, writing to business leaders about reciting the pledge allegiance to the American flag at their annual shareholder meetings.

In 2011, in another op-ed piece that Ralph Nader wrote for the Chicago Tribune: Why not corporate patriotism for a change? he writes, "For more than 125 years the courts have been awarding corporations most of the constitutional rights possessed by human beings. Corporations --€” as artificial entities -- now almost have rights equal to We the People, even though the words 'corporation' and 'company' are not mentioned in the Constitution."

In a post by Sam Pizzigati, Getting Past Stars and Swipes Forever, he writes "Back in 1776, public-spirited patriots emerged from the ranks of colonial America'€™s privileged. But our corporate elite today seems to offer up only thieving, tax-dodging parasites. Why such a contrast? Today's men of means display precious little selfless behavior. Our CEOs, bankers, and private equity kingpins remain totally fixated on their own corporate and personal bottom lines. They don'€™t lead the nation. They steal from it."

But maybe they all aren't like this. According to Patriotic Millionaires: "In 2013, the Patriotic Millionaires will continue to dominate major media markets and renew pressure on Congress to reform the current tax system for the economic well-being of regular Americans. In addition, the Patriotic Millionaires will drive public attention toward issue-specific tax policies yet to be repaired, including: eliminating the carried interest loophole for hedge fund managers, limiting the total amount wealthy individuals can accumulate in tax protected IRAs and other retirement funds, and eliminating the mortgage interest tax deductions for second homes."

According to the Wall Street Journal (July 1, 2013) the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that large, profitable U.S. companies on average paid U.S. federal income tax equaling 12.6% of their world-wide income in 2010." The WSJ claims it's the highest in the developed world at 35% --- but not the highest effective tax rate. Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) who requested the report, correctly points this out, "Some U.S. multinational corporations like to complain about the U.S. 35% statutory tax rate, but what they don't like to admit is that hardly any of them pay anything close to it."

And the GAO study also found that when foreign, state and local taxes are included, the average effective tax rate of large profitable U.S. companies increases to about 16.9% (which is still less than half the actual statutory rate.) Even Senator Coburn (R-Oklahoma) said, "This report underscores the need for comprehensive tax reform. An individual's or corporation's tax rate shouldn't be dependent on their ability to hire a tax lobbyist. It's especially wrong to ask families who are struggling to make ends meet to subsidize special breaks for corporations."

And besides not paying their "fair share" of corporate taxes (which have been in a steady decline as a percentage of GDP for decades), Ralph Nader also noted that "Instead of extending patriotic gratitude, large U.S. corporations increasingly are sending the opposite message --- 'We're outta here with your jobs' --- and that "their products from foreign sweatshops are exported back to the U.S. where abandoned factories and communities proliferate."

How patriotic is manufacturing American flags in China?

Recently Nader wrote for the Huffington Post: To Big U.S. Corporations: What About Some Patriotism for America?

"These corporations rose to their enormous size on the backs of American workers. Their success can be attributed to taxpayer-subsidized research and development handouts. Not to mention those corporations that rushed to Washington D.C. for huge bailouts from the taxpayers when mismanagement or corruption got them into serious trouble.

How do these companies show their gratitude to their home country? Many of them send jobs overseas to dictatorial regimes and oligarchic societies who abuse their impoverished workers -- all in the name of greater profits. Meanwhile, back home, corporate lobbyists continue to press for more privileges and immunities so as to be less accountable under U.S. law for corporate crimes and other misbehaviors."

In a survey conducted by the Center for Study of Responsive Law, twenty of the largest unions and twenty of the largest U.S. chartered corporations were asked the following simple question on three separate occasions:

" Do you think it desirable to have your CEO and/or your president at your annual shareholders meetings stand up on the stage and, in the name of your company (not your diverse board of directors), pledge allegiance to our flag that is completed by the ringing phrase 'with liberty and justice for all?'"

In this survey, nine of the twenty unions replied that they do pledge allegiance to the flag "with liberty and justice for all" -- or as a substitute, sing the national anthem. Only two of the twenty corporations -- Chevron and Walmart -- responded with an explanation of their company's view of patriotism (but declined to respond directly to the question).

Chevron wrote: "Thank you for your recent letter requesting that we pledge Chevron'€™s allegiance to the United States as a measure of corporate patriotism. While sympathetic to the spirit of your request, we believe this symbolic gesture is the wrong yardstick by which to gauge corporate patriotism. Therefore, we respectfully decline the request." They went on to say, "Chevron is not subsidized by the U.S. government. Our businesses participate in the market on their own merits." But in 2011 ConocoPhillips CEO James Mulva said that ending the tax breaks for the big oil companies would be "un-American" and "discrimination" -- then refused to apologize to the American people.

Walmart responded with what sounded more like a public relations statement (ignoring the question completely), and just went on to extol all their company's virtues by saying, "Our U.S. associates are 1.3 million strong...we know are success depends on them, and that's why we offer competitive wages."

Some of the companies that chose not to respond are: Apple, GE, GM, Verizon, J.P. Morgan Chase and Co., AT&T, Ford, ExxonMobil, Bank of America and others.

Nader closes his op-ed piece with:

"In an age of increased jingoism about freedom and American ideals, the comparative yardsticks of patriotism should be applied frequently and meticulously to the large U.S. corporations that rove the world seeking advantages from other countries, to the detriment of the United States. It is our country that chartered them into existence and helped insure their success and survival. And these corporations now wield immense power in our elections, in our economy, over our military and foreign policies, and even in how we spend time with our friends and families. The 4th of July is an ideal time to call out these runaway corporate giants who exploit the patriotic sensibilities of Americans for profit and, in wars, for profiteering, but decline to be held to any patriotic expectations or standards of their own."

Wall Street Journal (June 18, 2012) In Japan, Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda cited the competitive advantage from domestic factories and a strong network of parts suppliers. He said Japan's export-oriented industrial base is vital for safeguarding the country's foreign-currency reserves and middle class, saying that manufacturing wages are higher than service-sector wages." Toyota's leader sounds very patriotic.

Because of the difficulty of determining which goods are actually manufactured overseas (many will still add the "Made in America" label), most of us are forced to buy foreign made products...if anything, out of necessity (such as smartphones, TVs, refrigerators and computers).

And who has the time to research the subsidiary of a subsidiary of all these corporate entities? And most of our clothes are also made in sweatshop factories overseas. Are we to just forgo all these products? Are we to be called "hypocrites" for buying these (not necessarily cheaper) products while also criticizing the offshoring of jobs --- even though the only store within miles of our homes might be a Walmart, and everything they sell are made in China --- including products that we rely on for our day-to-day living --- as well as our flags on the 4th of July.

* I posted a shorter version of this article at The Economic Populist)

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Comment Preferences

  •  Definition of "Corporate Patriotism": (19+ / 0-)

    You're in a checkout line, and the cashier asks you: "Would you like to round up for [insert name of wrapped-up-in-the-flag charity here]?"

    You give the money; the corp looks "charitable."

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 03:49:00 PM PDT

  •  Companies are global (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster, JeffW

    Even if a company has a headquarters in the U.S., that doesn't mean their loyalties have to lie in the U.S.  For many companies the majority of their employees and customers are outside U.S. borders.  Where your headquarters is based is of less importance these days.  You produce and you sell where it makes business sense to do so.

    Toyota is hardly different.  They have manufacturing all over the world, including in the U.S.

    Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

    by Sky Net on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 03:51:34 PM PDT

    •  Presumably they get something out of being (8+ / 0-)

      headquartered in the US (for example, their CEO's kids not getting kidnapped and held for ransom) or they wouldn't be here.

    •  I don't care where their loyalties lie. (18+ / 0-)

      but I am tired of carrying their sorry asses.    To borrow their words, none of this is personal.  Our revenues are down, and, unfortunately, we just can't afford them anymore.  

      If they want access to healthcare our resources, they need to pay us for them.  If they want access to what is still the largest market in the world, they need to pay us for that too.   They either make it here and pay a living wage,  or they pay a tax to bring it in.   No more corporate welfare, subsidies, tax cuts, deregulation and monopolies.    We strip them of personhood and deny their money is speech.    Times are tough an,d unfortunately, we have to raise prices.      

      My problem is them having it both ways.   They don't get to privatize gains and socialize losses.   What's good for the goose is the good for the gander.  

      What we need is a Democrat in the White House. Elizabeth Warren 2016

      by dkmich on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 05:38:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sky Net - you are correct (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Level Ten, Sky Net

      Many US based companies now have receive the majority of their sales and earnings from outside the US. In addition some have more employees and facilities outside the US. A smaller number have more shareholders outside the US.

      US based multinationals can't be managed in a US centric manner, they have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders to maximize long term shareholder value.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 06:57:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So, why have their headquarters here? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ichibon, 3rdOption

        There must be a reason that benefits them. What is it, and could that be used as a bargaining chip to get them to pitch in more here in the US?

        If they left, it might actually be better for us, so let them threaten to do that.

        Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

        by splashy on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 07:30:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  HQ (0+ / 0-)

          Most companies seem to have their headquarters where the company founders first started.  Microsoft isn't in Seattle because that's the ideal place in the world for a software company, it's because Bill Gates was from there.  The question is why would anyone move their headquarters.  It's costly to just pick up sticks and move to another country, and there would have to be an incredible benefit to doing so to justify it.  If you have sales and manufacturing in France, you can just open up another office there to manage that market rather than moving HQ all the way to Paris.

          Having an innovative culture in America means lots of companies are set up here and then stay.  This means more jobs at the higher end of the salary schedule doing management, design, etc.  However, it doesn't mean every job will be in the U.S.  Other countries participate in the market and supply chain and any company interested in participating outside U.S. borders is going to need local staff that understand those markets and can manage those supply chains.

          Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

          by Sky Net on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 07:44:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  splashy - it's good question because in 2013 (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sky Net

          there are some negatives to have your headquarters in the US, which is one of very few countries that tries to tax world wide earnings. There are a few primary reasons why so many of the multinational companies have their headquarters here.

          1. Worlds biggest market. It's always good to be close to your customer and if the US is your biggest market it makes sense to have your headquarters here.

          2. The US is still the best place to start a company. I have been involved in startups for 25+ years and we continue to have the best support system for entrepreneurs in the world and that's why we attract so many talented people to the US to start companies. Startups become the Google, Facebook, and Apples of the world.

          3. The most accessible and liquid capital markets are in the US. There is more capital for startups, as well as expansion, in the US than any other country.

          4. Most corporations have their headquarters where the founders first started the company. It's challenging from a corporate governance perspective to change the country of incorporation for a public company.

          In my 25+ years of starting companies and helping other entrepreneurs start companies I have seen some dramatic changes. The big change is how quickly new companies more into international markets as well as moving labor intensive functions offshore. That results in manufacturing, sales and profits coming from non-US activities. The US continues to be a market that is shrinking as a share of the worldwide market for most products.

          There are great benefits to having a company based in the US, but we should change our corporate income tax laws so that we tax only those profits earned in the US, like nearly all the other countries in the G20. That would help keep us more competitive.

          It's never in our interest when US companies move their headquarters offshore, which happens frequently through mergers and acquisitions. Every time a Fortune 1000 headquarters is lost thousands of very good paying jobs leave the US and communities often face the loss of a key provider of community payroll and cultural support.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 09:03:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  All hail post-nationalist hypercapitalism, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VeloDramatic, ichibon, run around

        with no responsibilities except to maximize shareholder value. It's unfortunate that the fiduciary duty occasionally has unpleasant side effects like, say, Deepwater Horizon, but we have to be clear-eyed and firm in our resolve.

        "Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous." -- Molly Ivins

        by dumpster on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 08:38:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Nader expects "patriotism"... (6+ / 0-)

    ...from corporations?

    This after locking horns in his younger days with automobile companies making dangerous vehicles. Is he getting senile? Why else would he expect such behavior?

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 04:15:24 PM PDT

  •  I have no patience with Ralph Nader (8+ / 0-)

    until he acknowledges and apologizes for his responsibility in bringing us George W Bush.

    •  Um, more Florida Dems voted for Bush than Nader (11+ / 0-)

      "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

      by Lefty Coaster on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 04:55:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And I have no patience for Clinton (14+ / 0-)

      until he acknowledges and apologizes for his responsibility in bringing us George W. Bush.

      His blowjob in the Oval Office cost more votes than Ralph Nader got in all of Florida.  

      Also I have no patience for Gore until he acknowledges and apologizes for his responsibility in bringing us George W. Bush.

      He ran an incompetent campaign against an idiot and couldn't even carry his home state.

      Economic Left/Right: -7.38
      Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.00
      Two steps to the right of Trotsky.

      by jvance on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 05:05:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  All of these points are true... (5+ / 0-)

        In a close election, one or two events make all of the difference.  But on November 1, 2000, there was really only one man who could have made a difference.  And that was Nader.  Clinton couldn't take the blowjobs back.  Gore couldn't change his campaign at that late date.  

        But Nader, realizing how close the election was, and showing true concern for what might happen in the country under Bush (knowing that Gore was clearly the lesser of two evils), could have pulled out and asked his supporters to vote for Gore.

        But he was too arrogant to do that.  

        •  But NOW that doesn't matter (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jvance, ichibon

          ...and Nader's true worth is as a consumer advocate, and that shouldn't be discarded just because angry people like ME still have a mad on for him.

          "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

          by leftykook on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 08:10:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  So your argument is (0+ / 0-)

          that less than a week before the election, he should have dismantled his campaign infrastructure and sent all of his supporters home, so that someone whose policies he disagreed with might win.

          And this is based on the dubious reasoning that his supporters would then turn around and vote for Gore.  Considering that 88% of Nader voters in Florida had not voted for Clinton or Dole in the previous election, and 10% of them had voted for Perot (1% each for Clinton and Dole), that's pretty darned dubious.  Most of them would have stayed home.  Some would have voted for Bush.

          And the reason he should have done this is ...future 9/11 I guess, right?

          Economic Left/Right: -7.38
          Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.00
          Two steps to the right of Trotsky.

          by jvance on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:02:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Ignore the messenger for a moment. (8+ / 0-)

      Is there anything worthwhile or interesting or appropriate in the message?

      Looks like there might be.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 05:27:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, please look at the message (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        leftykook, YucatanMan, ichibon

        After all, Nader had a hand in getting everyone to have to have auto insurance, which led to the insurance corporations taking on the auto manufacturers and getting us all safer cars.

        That's a win in my book.

        Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

        by splashy on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 07:33:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The message seems to be that we'd be better off (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        plumbobb

        with Big Business parading their patriotism and linking arms with the US Government.
        In other words, he's promoting fascism.
        And this after writing a book on how the only force in America large enough to "save" us is that of the Billionaires.
        Nadir went down the drain sometime back in the 90s, by 2000, he was helping Rove and along the way, he destroyed the Green party.
        Nothing left of the Ralph Nadir I followed as a kid.

        If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

        by CwV on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 06:18:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Ah, the zombie lie n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bnasley, TracieLynn

      Oklahoma: birthplace of Kate Barnard, W. Rogers, W. Guthrie, Bill Moyers & Eliz. Warren. Home to proud progressive agitators since before statehood. Current political climate a mere passing dust cloud; we're waiting it out & planning for clearer days.

      by peacearena on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 05:34:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  how come the 2.9mill who voted Nader (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      White Buffalo, splashy, run around

      catch all kinds of flack but the 7 million registered dems who voted for Bush get a free pass?

      congress: passes Patriot Act then demands investigation of government seizing phone records.

      by bnasley on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 07:49:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because Nader's interference changed the election (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wilderness voice, CwV

        ...and a lotta people in safely Blue states voting for Nader DID NOT.

        "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

        by leftykook on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 08:12:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  aaannnnd proving my point... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          run around

          congress: passes Patriot Act then demands investigation of government seizing phone records.

          by bnasley on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 08:34:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Proving your point? Hardly. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wilderness voice, CwV

            Just the opposite!

            People voting for Nader in California didn't affect the election at all.

            People voting for Nader in staunchly blue states didn't change the electoral map one bit, but 8000 of them voting for him in Florida DID.

            "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

            by leftykook on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 08:49:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  the 7mil registered dems who voted Bush (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              run around

              had no effect then? 7mill < 8K?

              congress: passes Patriot Act then demands investigation of government seizing phone records.

              by bnasley on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 10:34:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  NO! (0+ / 0-)

                You have to look state by state.

                The Presidential election is not conducted by popular vote!

                The disaffected Californians, for instance, who didn't vote for Gore and voted for Nader and a string of minor party Presidential candidates didn't change the California electoral vote at all, even though they added to the total number of Democrats who didn't vote for the party's candidate.

                "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

                by leftykook on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 04:33:52 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  still not addressing the point (0+ / 0-)

                  you want to go just by a state then? OK. 200,000 registered dems in FL voted for Bush in 2000.  And ~half of FL's registered dems stayed home.  There were also 7 other 3rd party candidates in FL and every one of them received more votes than Gore's loss margin.

                  But its still all Nader's fault.

                  and why can't it be turned around that Nader lost b/c of all the Gore voters?  most of whom were & are more closely aligned to the Green platform than the proven corporate dem track record?  and you think the Nader voters would've just lined up and voted for Gore?  or would you rather the Nader voters just have stayed home (like the GOP wishes about non-whites)?

                  i'm not saying Nader didn't have an effect on the race but i really don't get why he's so villified when there were a bazillion other contributing factors to Gore's loss (pretty sure you can't realistically blame Gore's loss of TN on Nader).  

                  i voted for Nader and for some time regretted it.  But every. single. time. this topic comes up Nader & Nader voters get this crazy disproportionate amount of disdain & villification. Its as though there weren't any other factors.  And not once have i heard the anti-Naders address the number of registered dems that voted for Bush.  After over a decade of this i'm back to thinking i cast the right vote.  I wonder if the villification doesn't have its root in shame b/c the Green platform policies more closely match what the villifiers claim to believe but they were scared to vote their conscience.

                  I didn't vote for Jill Stein in 2012 but i can pretty much guarantee if she'd won we'd be having a rather different conversation re: NSA data collection.  Same w/Guantanamo.  And the banking/financial industry.  And NDAA.  And SOPA.  And military rapes.  And GMOs/Monsanto.  And Keystone XL.  And drone strikes.  And...

                  but, thankfully, i voted for the 'democrat' in 2012.

                  congress: passes Patriot Act then demands investigation of government seizing phone records.

                  by bnasley on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:49:28 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  This sounds like the Cultural Revolution (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ichibon

      ...even Deng Xiao Peng got rehabilitated eventually, whadda ya want, Ralph to be sent to the countryside for a period of self-criticism and re-education?

      This piece by Nader is him doing what he's best suited for, it's what he ought to be doing, as far as I'm concerned.

      When he does this sort of thing, he has my support again.

      (Forget Florida? Hell, NO I ain't forgot Florida, It just doesn't matter any longer.)

      "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

      by leftykook on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 08:07:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. (5+ / 0-)

    This is exactly the language we should be using.

  •  Nader's Sentiments are Spot On (5+ / 0-)

    but somehow he always manages to shoot us in the foot.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 05:34:11 PM PDT

  •  Ralph Nader: "Where is Corporate Patriotism?" (6+ / 0-)

    That would require the leaders of corporations ot be patriotic. Instead, they only care about two things; Profits and themselves.

    "We see things not as they are, but as we are." - John Milton

    by Jasonhouse on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 05:34:58 PM PDT

  •  Ralph Nader (4+ / 0-)

    could be in favor of hot and cold running water for all I care. Until he offers up even a scintilla of regret over his responsibility for the Bush regime sleazing into power, nothing he says is of value. He is an egomaniacal old man, far past his prime, desperately seeking any kind of attention whatsoever, and this country along with the rest of the world paid the price for that narcissistic hunger.

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 05:44:21 PM PDT

  •  You are looking at corporations from an American (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, splashy

    perspective.

    At the end of WWII American corporations went out into the world markets, especially in the underdeveloped nations, and brought home the spoils. This helped to create the wealth for the fantastic rise of the middle class in America.

    With the advent of globalization, these American companies became multinational in scope and now no longer fly any flag. Some have wealth far beyond many small countries and are almost sovereign entities.

    What Americans are now starting to experience is what the people in third world countries have been experiencing for decades. These multinationals are now feeding on their own.

    Bon appetit....

  •  Patriotism (4+ / 0-)

    If I'm going to take a lesson in patriotism it won't be from Ralph Nader.  He says right in the article he just sees it as jingoism.  The man's never had a good thing to say about the U.S., but now he wants everyone else to be patriotic when it suits his purposes.

  •  Yeah, go on. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sagebrush Bob, zett, splashy, run around

    Blame Nader. Don't blame Florida wingnut Katherine Harris for stopping several recounts. And don't blame SCOTUS for overturning the Florida Supreme Court's ruling. And whatever you do, don't blame Gore for not contesting enough votes. (And, BTW, don't blame John Kerry for conceding Ohio to Bush early when we all knew, right here on this site, the shenanigans that were being pulled.)

    Whatever you do, don't take time to read Chris Hedges' piece at truthdig, How the Corporations Broke Ralph Nader and America, Too. Just one snip for folks who'd rather rag on Nader than read even a couple of pages of history.

    Ralph Nader’s descent from being one of the most respected and powerful men in the country to being a pariah illustrates the totality of the corporate coup. Nader’s marginalization was not accidental. It was orchestrated to thwart the legislation that Nader and his allies—who once consisted of many in the Democratic Party—enacted to prevent corporate abuse, fraud and control. ....
    /snark

    There. I've finally said it.

    Thanks for the fine diary, Bud.

    "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

    by cotterperson on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 06:26:27 PM PDT

  •  corporations are a construct (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Level Ten, Mortifyd, wilderness voice

    might as well demand patriotic behavior from an elf, or love from a fairy, or affection from a unicorn

    now someone explain that to the idiots on the supreme court,

    fact does not require fiction for balance (proudly a DFH)

    by mollyd on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 06:55:51 PM PDT

  •  Several years ago (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, jan4insight

    a friend of mine was going to a political conference in DC. I had written up a proposal that went something like this.

    All American flags must be Made In America. Any clothing displaying the American flag must be Made In America. Any clothing with the word America or USA must be Made In America.

    He actually had an opportunity to give it to then Senator Clinton. She read it and gave it to one of her staff to "look into."

    Oh well......

    "If fighting for a more equal and equitable distribution of the wealth of this country is socialistic, I stand guilty of being a socialist." Walter Reuther

    by fugwb on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 07:07:38 PM PDT

  •  We know who the real takers are: corporations! (0+ / 0-)
  •  Think also of the lack of patriotism... (0+ / 0-)

    of those politicians who are servile to the whims of the "globalist" corporations.

    Tax breaks are being handed out by these people to companies who send jobs to places like China and are actively impoverishing people at home. Talk about treason.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

    by richardak on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 08:58:42 PM PDT

  •  Corporate Patriotism... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice

    is just another word for marketing  technique. They want you to believe that they actually care about you and your country. They want to be "people too", but without citizenship; free to pimp their loyalties to the highest bidder.

    Glottal fricative and breathy-voiced mid-low central unrounded vowel, repeated, diphthong ending with a high front vowel.

    by glb3 on Thu Jul 04, 2013 at 09:14:33 PM PDT

  •  Y'all don't see this as a call for fascism? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sky Net

    Corporations expressing their patriotism, making their case by integrating their mission statement with that of their congressional employees, waving the biggest flags and pledging only to hire the most patriotic workers?
    It may sound nice on the surface but like every other Nadir project, the ramifications, the unintended consequences, the follow-on mayhem, is left unexplored.
    The reason he won't own up to the damage he does is that, like any other sociopath, he doesn't see the secondary effects, they seem to him to be new primary inputs.
    People in these comments keep referring back to his "triumph" over the Auto Industry. He demolished our industry and his misguided rules for automotive design gave us the lumbering gashogs of the 70s followed by the miserable new designs of the 80s and led to the rise of the Japanese makers in our markets. Unsafe at any speed was focussed on a vehicle that had already fixed the problems he detailed, he killed America's most innovative car at the time, over problems that had been redesigned. Our Auto industry never recovered and the rules put in place in the 60-70s are still screwing us. Those rules didn't include light trucks so we have an explosion of 10 mpg pick-up trucks that are used as commuter vehicles and the adaptation of that class: the SUV. Ecological destruction as one of the unintended consequences of do-gooder rulemaking.
    But will Nadir fans ever own up to their hero's shortsightedness?
    If they do, as I did, they will cease being Nadir fans.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 06:41:34 AM PDT

    •  Am I missing something? (0+ / 0-)

      Is there some cult meaning to the mistaken spelling of the man's name? Is it an insult, a pun, an honest mistake, some cuteness I am missing, or is there someone named
      Zinith that we can argue about as well?

      I'm from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party

      by voicemail on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 06:54:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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