Corporate CEO's economic solution: Cut corporate taxes!
Well, this is all kinds of disgusting, and not just in the fawning way the interviewer treats Mike Duke, the (most recent) CEO of Wal-Mart (or as I like to call it, The Bad Place).
Cripes, Maria, "keep fostering the Wal-Mart culture"? Really? Didja get any onya down there? You need a napkin or something?
Anyway, leaving aside what I'm sure is a great big load of merdre about Wal-Mart and what a great place it is to work and how wonderful their people are (I'm sure not THAT much has changed in the last 6 years or so since I left their dubious ranks), Mr. Duke weighs in on the subject of the American economy, and, mirable dictu, asserts it's all because of the horrible, horrible tax burden American companies suffer under:
I recently testified before the Senate Finance Committee about corporate tax reform because of the uncompetitive situation we put American companies in in a global environment. We need to lower the corporate tax rate as much as we can, make the tax base as broad as we can make it, and we need to move to a territorial system as quickly as we can. Corporate tax reform is one of those real structural issues that face American companies.
Well, gosh, imagine that.
Of course, back here in the real world, Wal-Mart is the 14th most profitable company worldwide in 2011, up there with Chevron and Exxon-Mobil and Microsoft, making a mere pittance of 16.39 billion in profits last year, up a little over 14% from 2009. Aaaand what was their U.S. tax bill in 2010? Just under $6 billion. Oh, my, that's only 10.4 billion left over, even if you're just looking at the numbers I gave. How ever would they hire workers with a profit margin that slim? *swoon, clutch pearls*
And that's only the profit for one year. This has been going on for years now, these companies have socked away billions, and yet sit on their hands and whine about how their taxes are still too high.
Oh, but Mr. Duke has a plan for keeping his company above water in such hard times, which, unfortunately, has nothing to do with creating American jobs:
Outside the U.S., our investment in capital and number of stores, potential acquisitions in emerging markets will be an area of real growth opportunity. I was really pleased recently that we completed an acquisition of South Africa-based Massmart. Even entering a new continent like Africa helps us to reach millions more customers in the emerging market status. We're growing rapidly in China, Brazil and other Latin American countries. So we will be having a greater percentage of our capital invested in emerging markets.
Gosh. Um, yay? Meanwhile he also blathers something about "trade agreements that are holding up the development and expansion of American jobs"; what trade agreements, which seem to have been used to ship jobs overseas, will do to create American jobs I have no idea. Probably bring Korean-style sweatshop labor here so we can make tchotchkes for those affluent confident Chinese.
Oh, wait, sweatshops? Got 'em.
So what does the grand mind of the guy who's taken over Sam Walton's creation bring us?
A. More of the federal tax burden on the less fortunate non-corporate people of the U.S. who haven't accumulated billions to hire lobbyists, and
B. more jobs shipped overseas while Americans do fuck-knows-what to earn money to but cheap crap at Wal-Mart - crap they may soon be manufacturing themselves for even crappier wages than they get already.
Win-win, I'd say, if you were a sociopathic corporate asshole.