Q #159: When has something run by the American government been good for corporations AND the people at the same time?

This one’s been bugging me for a long time, and certainly the past couple of weeks with the Texas Winter Catastrophuck of 2021. There’s a line about some government funding that would help the corporations during the Iraq War from Fahrenheit 9/11. One of the attendees at a conference said, “It’s gonna be good for business, bad for the people.”

That line’s stuck with me for years. Because that’s what it feels like. As much as people complain about the marriage of government and corporate interests… you’d think this wouldn’t be news, or someone would do something about it. Time and time again, when there’s a problem with necessities, wars, infrastructure, … when there’s a natural disaster or stock market crash, the people are hurt badly by it. And the government makes excuses, and the corporations make excuses (or a lot of money, or both). And the people are stuck trying to figure out what to do and get angry and yell at the government to make sure whatever that thing was doesn’t happen again. And then go elect folks who will wag their fingers at the corporations in front of the cameras, but then do the bare minimum if anything at all, creating paper tigers that obfuscate and make things worse.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

How many times have we seen it? And it got me thinking, because obviously I’m biased and in a pessimistic mood, but I genuinely want to understand this. Maybe I missed quite a bit. I’m not as old as some who read these questions, and I might be older than others, but I really can’t think of a time when there was some equity in my lifetime.

I mean, honestly, I can’t think of a single thing that was beneficial to both the corporations AND the people at the same time. Something both groups could see as beneficial to the country, as a win. I mean, there might be a snippet of that when stimulus checks get handed out. But that feeling evaporates as soon as you hear the phrase “corporate handouts,” which are always kept on the down-low so as not to piss the people off.

…Gee, I wonder why.

Corporations are treated like royalty and get bailed out while the people have been told “sink or swim” more times than we can count and dismissed.

I’m not gonna go on and on. I’ll let people who’ve studied this a lot more thoroughly and are a lot more articulate about the subject keep on informing.

But honestly, I just keep wondering: what regulation, stipulation, program or aspect of governmental reach has benefitted both the people AND the corporations? I just can’t think of anything. But if you have any ideas or examples, I’m all ears.

Floor’s yours…

4 thoughts on “Q #159: When has something run by the American government been good for corporations AND the people at the same time?

  1. Scottie says:

    Hello Chatty Introvert. I can think of several programs / projects that benefit both the people and companies, but they are funded by the people and the corporations freeload using them. Roads, bridges, highway systems make it possible to move goods and products from manufacture or arrival in country to the sale points. They benefit the people in the ease of movement country wide for work, play, and access to services. There are schools which train prospective workers while they give people a way to better their lives. It is well known an educated population improves the wellbeing of the entire country. I wish the US was like other developed countries and could add healthcare / medical coverage to that list as that would also help both businesses and the people. But we are too backward for that. On a local level we have fire and police protections that benefit both companies and the people but again the people pay most for the service and corporations shove as much of the cost to the people as possible. Anyway these were a few I thought of. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    • TheChattyIntrovert says:

      Hmm… that’s some good ones.

      I suppose what’s worrying me is when the infrastructure starts to crumble, as it has been longer than I’ve been alive. it keeps getting pushed to the back burner, or taken over by private interests who throw the whole thing into the fire (like the Texas grid, supposed to winterize but “voluntarily” on their own dimes). I think the crappiest, most obvious and expensive examples are sports stadiums, usually totally funded by the city and taxpayers, but it’s the team ownership or league that control them. Then the public pays insane prices to attend events in them. Crap like that is why I don’t give a rat’s behind about pro sports. How a family of four can afford to attend a baseball game, pay for parking, get food and drinks, etc. baffles me.

      I just really wish I could think of examples of corporations who make a decision thinking, hey, this would be great for the community around us (without calculating how much money they could make off moving a business to a certain place or whatever). The tax incentives to get businesses to locate somewhere (Wal-mart was the freaking worst forever) are atrocious and the company gives back nothing in taxes for several years oftentimes. They always dangle the idea of jobs, but it’s never as many as promised or they’re the most meager salaries . That’s happened in my neck of the woods so many times that I can’t believe the cities fall for it anymore… and then they wonder why the city coffers are stretched so thin. (Yeah, I’ve always freaking hated Walmart and have only shopped there twice out of desperation in a decade–both times for mouse traps at midnight).

      I just wish I could think of ways the government legislated that would benefit the people first and the corporate pocketbook second, but if it happens, it certainly doesn’t feel lasting.

      Liked by 1 person

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