Remember, the past year and a half, when faced with economic collapse, we footed the bill for an economic stimulus package of 862 billion dollars? These funds have created or saved somewhere between 2.2 and 2.8 million jobs, subsidizing business, as usual. Remember how economic pundits and corporate decision-makers have been shaking in their boots over the shifting ground that our financial foundations rest on? Can anyone forget the white knuckled hand wringing that guys in suits have been doing since before the last Presidential election? Has it been so long that we have forgotten the greed and excess that created the mess in the first place?
Well, this just out, the non-financial S&P 500 companies have over 837 billion dollars in cash reserves at their disposal, but they are holding on for dear life to the cash and short term investments rather than investing longer term, just in case there is a better opportunity to invest in the future. To put this in perspective, that is enough cash to pay 2.4 million people $35,000 per year for ten years! I’m really not sure what 2.4 million folks could accomplish in ten years, but I think it is high time that we figure that out! Anyone who looks around can tell you that there is no better time to invest. Unemployed people are willing to do nearly anything to stay solvent, real estate is at bargain prices and profits are up, leading to greater and greater cash flows. The stagnation caused by corporate leaders looks suspiciously like an attempt to stall economic recovery, especially since the ultra-wealthy have not shared in the economic pain and hardship that has confronted most Americans over the past two years or so. We voted for change, but the people are unable to make change happen by themselves or even, it seems with the help of the government alone. The dollars taken out of circulation by these corporados not only puts a damper on the recovery, but echo the general mood of industry which seems to be that if they are no longer allowed to make the rules to their benefit, they won’t play at all. Why should they be required to do their job when they have laurel wreaths to lie back on? Their lame excuses about not knowing what to plan for or expect from our “new administration” only proves that they had it all too good for far too long.
We must require them to re-invest in the communities that provide them workers, resources and safe havens in which to operate. Without cash flow, the entire economy becomes necrotic. The people at the bottom of the income ladder have been asked to spend freely for far too long. Now would be a good time to see some of those dollars returned to the economy. By investing in our future, thinking about the good of all, and buying into the next generation of sustainably produced products, Corporate America has a chance to be patriotic, not just call themselves that. Ending up with all the marbles only assures that no one else can play.