Apr 14, 2008
On Friday, April 11, the stock market dropped 256 points, after General Electric announced its profits were “lower than expectations.”
GE did make money, however – an enormous amount: over four billion dollars profit in just three months. But it wasn’t enough. GE wanted more.
But since GE, this behemoth with tentacles throughout the economy, made only 4.3 billion, instead of 4.5 billion, Wall Street panicked. Not enough profit, not enough profit – you could practically hear them moaning all the way out to L.A.
Corporations have been rolling up record profits year after year, decade after decade, building up enormous wealth, rewarding executives with tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses every single year, buying up other companies, enriching their already very rich stockholders.
Where did they get all of it, those vast sums of money? GE, itself, is a trust, a company that owns other companies that produce a vast range of products and services – light bulbs and lighting equipment, refrigerators, stoves, jet engines, nuclear reactors, medical equipment, silicone and plastics, not to mention the entertainment and news that Universal Studios and NBC churn out. It’s all that, plus an investment bank, GE Capital, which isn’t doing so well these days because, like all the other big financial interests on Wall Street, it got stung in the mortgage swindle they were all running.
Every other big company has been running the same scam. The auto companies, which have been telling workers for years they were making no money, made enough out of production to hand over hundreds of billions to GMAC and Ford Motor Credit. And those big financial giants had enough to join the mortgage speculation game.
They all did it – and they all got caught in their own scam. Today, they are coming back to bail themselves out by starting an enormous offensive against the working class, pushing to cut jobs, cut wages, telling us they have no choice, since they aren’t doing well.
When monster companies say they’re not doing so well, watch out! They’re scheming, trying to extort still more wealth from the workers who produce all their products. They want a double shot of cash to clear their heads and straighten out the financial mess they made for themselves.
Sure, they’re going to tell us they need our help to save the company – or even the country. Don’t believe it. They want to steal from us to save their own big financial holdings.
The big financial operators made the mess. Let them pay for it. Let them lose some profit. Let them lose their shirts. But don’t let them come back, trying to push fewer workers into putting out more production. Don’t let them think we will give up our wages so they can have still more profit.
We’re not at the end of the mess these swindlers created. We’re barely only at the beginning. If we don’t want to get dragged down into their hell, don’t give in to their blackmail.