The Evolution Of Corporate Welfare And Inequality In America Since 1970

1170 words - 5 pages

Over the last forty years many people have claimed that the level of equality has risen to an all time high. The evolution of corporate welfare in the United States, aided by the spread of globalization has put a huge burden on many lower class Americans. Race is still an issue we face everyday, as many minority groups are in the lowest percentile of salary or are living in extreme poverty, in addition, residential racial segregation furthers the disenfranchisement of minorities due to the lack of opportunities available in areas with a concentration of poverty. American politics as a whole contributes to all of these factors that engender hardships in everyday American life. In reality, over the last forty years we have seen a great increase in both scope and depth of inequality based around the role of race, globalization and corporate welfare supported by corporate sponsored American policymaking.
The main factor contributing to the rise of inequality over the past forty years is corporate welfare. A term used to analogize welfare payments to corporate subsidies. Between 1990 and 1993, the federal government spent one hundred and seventy billion dollars on corporate subsidies. Medicaid, the federal government’s most expensive social program costs thirty billion a year. This is almost half of what the corporations receive in tax breaks, grants and other government subsidies. The fact that corporations get more tax breaks than American citizens get in healthcare is preposterous. Possibly the best example of frustration with corporate welfare in recent years is the Occupy Wall Street protest, which embodied the frustration of working American people who had seen their jobs, savings and in some cases homes disappear due to the irresponsible behavior of corporate executives. In 2008, large corporations like GM, Chrysler, and a number of large banks and mortgage brokers were bailed out by the government’s TARP program, after defaulting or filing for bankruptcy which authorized seven hundred billion dollars to rescue these “essential corporations”. While the corporations in question are critical to our economy, many Americans felt disenfranchised when they discovered that the rich were being bailed out by their own government while many were jobless with no prospects in sight.
Corporate welfare has been likened to “crony capitalism”, which describes market collusion among corporations; this entails corporations lightly competing with one another, but creating alliances to insure the security of their respective markets. This, coupled with globalization, residential segregation based on race, and consequently income, makes it literally impossible for new businesses to really thrive in the typical American sense of the term. This is not to say that small businesses do not provide a good deal of money to their purveyors, just that the potential for such enterprises has been completely diminished by the airtight lock corporate America has placed around...

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