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As American Workers Suffer, Corporate Profits Rise To Historic Levels

As most of America workers are reeling in the face of an awful economy with high unemployment, Big Corp iss making the biggest profits of all time. NY Times The nation’s workers may be struggling, but American companies just had their best

As most of America workers are reeling in the face of an awful economy with high unemployment, Big Corp is making the biggest profits of all time.

NY Times
The nation’s workers may be struggling, but American companies just had their best quarter ever.

American businesses earned profits at an annual rate of $1.659 trillion in the third quarter, according to a Commerce Department report released Tuesday. That is the highest figure recorded since the government began keeping track over 60 years ago, at least in nominal or noninflation-adjusted terms.

The government does not adjust the numbers for inflation, in part because these corporate profits can be affected by pricing changes from all over the world. The next-highest annual corporate profits level on record was in the third quarter of 2006, when they were $1.655 trillion.

Corporate profits have been doing extremely well for a while. Since their cyclical low in the fourth quarter of 2008, profits have grown for seven consecutive quarters, at some of the fastest rates in history.This breakneck pace can be partly attributed to strong productivity growth — which means companies have been able to make more with less — as well as the fact that some of the profits of American companies come from abroad. Economic conditions in the United States may still be sluggish, but many emerging markets like India and China are expanding rapidly.

Tuesday’s Commerce Department report also showed that the nation’s output grew at a slightly faster pace than originally estimated last quarter. Its growth rate, of 2.5 percent a year in inflation-adjusted terms, is higher than the initial estimate of 2 percent. The economy grew at 1.7 percent annual rate in the second quarter.

Still, most economists say the current growth rate is far too slow to recover the considerable ground lost during the recession

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Isn't it great to be rich? And the Politico carries water for those poor and misunderstood CEO's who are so terribly upset at President Obama because he was mean to them.

Digby writes in "Devil's Grand bargain":

Meanwhile, back in the Village:

The White House’s relationship with the corporate world has always had a sort of Mars-Venus quality to it. Business leaders say Obama simply doesn’t get them and has no one in the White House with corporate experience or who is steeped in the daily challenges of operating in a global economy. It didn’t help when Obama lashed out at “fat cat bankers” on Wall Street at the height of the regulatory reform effort or attacked BP, a onetime White House ally on energy reform, in the midst of the Louisiana oil spill.

The message to other sectors: "You could be next," said one corporate lobbyist.

Some White House officials, in turn, privately express frustration that the business world seems to give Obama no credit for supporting bailouts of Wall Street and the auto industry as well as an economic stimulus bill that likely spared the country a deeper recession. Many CEOs now are enjoying hefty corporate profits and a Dow at healthy levels in part because of Obama’s efforts in steering the economy through the global meltdown, administration officials contend.

Sure, they may be making record profits and cleaning up like a bunch of rapacious vultures while the rest of the country spirals into economic despair, but Obama said something mean about them! They're scared! They're uncertain!

Yes, that may be so silly as to merit derisive belly laughs from any sentient being, but we are talking about the Politico here:

But the stakes for Obama couldn’t be higher, economically or politically, in rebuilding relations. Cooperation with the business community is vital for job growth and economic recovery. Expanding trade and cutting the deficit, two other Obama priorities, will require Republican votes — which the business community could deliver.

Yeah, business is going to deliver Republican votes for Obama on trade deals and the deficit. I have serious doubts that Republicans will need to be "delivered" on some job destroying trade deals or tax cuts and those are going to be the only deals that might come to the table. (And I don't know if anyone can deliver a free trade deal right now.)But business doesn't deliver Republicans. It is Republicans. They are not "honest brokers" or mediators. That's just laughable.

It's so frustrating reading these stories and watching most of America suffer while the fat cat billionaires whine and whine and whine. Republicans will never recognize a Democratic administration as morally acceptable to them even if they reap huge profits and clean up past Republican messes. It boils down to ideology and to hear Villagers on TV and in print proclaim that progressives aren't serious because we believe progressive ideas are better for the nation just illustrates how broken our country is. The media elites are busy debating whether middle class workers should lose social security benefits while CEO's are laughing all the way to the bank. The White House should stop trying to find common ground and move in a direction that will help the American people because they will never get credit either way.

Digby wraps up with this:

The fact is that these businessmen believe they should be worshiped like Gods and they get very cranky when they are treated like ordinary mortals and subjected to the same scrutiny and criticism to which other elites are subjected. They are America's big winners and it's simply not acceptable that they be held accountable for ... well, anything.

More importantly, they rightly understand that if they can take advantage of this situation and punish the Democrats for their mild criticism, they can guarantee that that CEOs and Master of the Universe will never personally be held responsible for anything they do going forward and will be guaranteed the right to gobble as much profit as they can and give back as little as humanly possible.

Is this a great country (for rich people) or what?

No matter what happens in America, it's never the fault of the Republicans and if they happen to get caught being the culprits then they go on and say that they've changed over night and the media just plays along. The economic downturn has weakened the strength of an independent press which also makes CEO's smile from ear to ear.

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