The Republican takeover of government both nationally and in Iowa promises huge boosts in profits to corporate America. From Trump’s slashing of EPA protections to Iowa Republicans’ war on workers, corporate America is already counting the money. Wall Street gets it; just look at the Dow Stock Market rise since Trump was elected. The market rises directly as corporate profit potential grows. Wall Street would never admit it but they understand that when companies can freely violate environmental, financial and consumer protections, it boosts their profits.
It’s much cheaper for companies to dump their waste rather than handle it responsibly. It will add to business profits to slash financial controls put in place to prevent another 2008 financial meltdown. Cutting consumer protections will allow business to increase profits through dishonest marketing schemes. Robert Weissman, the head of Public Citizen, a consumer watchdog group predicts, “Americans will once again have to pay the price for the consequences of corporate recklessness, greed and lawbreaking.”
One of the first actions of the Trump administration illustrates their commitment to corporate greed at the expense of trashing the environment. They overturned an Obama stream protection rule that restricted coal companies from dumping their waste in streams and rivers. In early February Congress passed and Trump signed the bill that allows coal companies to dump their highly toxic mine waste into streams. The heavy metals in that waste pose dangerous health risks for the people that come in contact with that contaminated water. Coal companies are celebrating this gift to dump their waste on the public as a cost-cutting, profit boosting, shrewd business tactic. The irony is that much of this rural coal country voted for Trump and are about to be poisoned by his actions. Trump promised to restore dirty coal but he failed to mention his plan to dump the waste on the neighbors.
Much of the environmental protections Democrats and the long extinct moderate Republicans put into place, do come with a price. If we could all dump our garbage and sewage in the street we would cut our costs by avoiding paying garbage removal fees and sewer bills. However, obviously that would be unacceptable to our neighbors and would result in chaos. Trump and the Republicans’ all-out assault on protecting the public from corporate irresponsibility will result in unacceptable consequences as well.
Most of corporate American would never admit it, but they believe depressing workers’ wages is good for business. Wall Street and the corporate bosses understand when you can crush workers’ ability to negotiate wages, it boosts profits. They understand depressing wages cuts costs and benefits their bottom line. Iowa Republicans have vigorously embraced that corporate playbook by their war on Iowa workers. They are simultaneously repaying the Koch’s and their corporate allies for electing them and delivering on their promise by passing worker crushing legislation. The Republican sponsored legislation killing collective bargaining, preventing increases in minimum wages and gutting worker compensation will directly boost potential corporate profits by reducing those worker costs.
However, cutting corporate costs at the expense of workers has consequences; there is no free lunch. Those costs will be pushed onto the public taxpayer in the form of food stamps and other required public assistance. The Republicans’ worker-crushing legislation is really taxpayer welfare for corporations.
Trump’s agenda of destroying the financial oversight like Dodd-Frank, obliterating consumer protections and slashing environmental safeguards translate to big increases in profits for corporate America. This is no secret; Republicans ran on a platform of cutting regulations. They argued American corporations were overregulated and overtaxed. Their attacks on workers are consistent with their pledge to boost corporate profits regardless of the consequences to the taxpayer. The Republicans are right; there is a corporate cost to protecting consumers, workers and the environment and they are determined to cut them. They are simply fulfilling their campaign promises to gut consumer protections and slash workers’ wages and benefits.
They are clearly picking the winners and losers with their destructive actions. The big winners are corporate greed and reckless business practices. The losers will be the American workers, the environment and the taxpayer.
We must resist and fight back for consumers, workers and the public.
by Rick Smith