Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a small, local company does good work, employs local workers, and is a great asset for a small community. Soon enough, the good little company does well enough to draw the attention of the big corporation, who offers to buy the good little company. Now, the people at the good little company know they have two choices: take the money now, or risk being bludgeoned by “market forces” (and the possibly-not-legal-but-who-knows tactics of the big corporation) until they end up either closing shop, or having to sell for much less. Plus, we’ve been living in this world of go-go mergers & aqcuisitions capitalism for, well, as long as I’ve been alive (which is more every year, as the white hairs in my beard tell me) so we’re basically trained to let the corporations have their way. After all, they make our lives so much better, or at least that’s what their ads say.

So we sell, and, wait for it.... the big corporation comes in and decides it would be more profitable to move the production of the good little company somewhere far, far away, where they don’t have to pay the employees anywhere near what American workers make, and in fact pay them so little and have so little safety in place that it is actually cheaper overall to make a product thousands of miles away, put it on an oil-burning boat, and chug it all the way back to America to sell in some other massive corporation’s big-box store.

That’s capitalism, baby.

And now it’s hitting home. Miken, now part of Rawlings, which is owned by Major League Baseball and “private equity owners” (aka Wall Street ghouls) is seeing its workforce being outsourced to China. You know, that supposedly “communist” place that has McDonalds and makes products for Walmart, those well-known communist all-stars. But don’t worry, your elected officials are here to save the day...by begging the big corporation and getting their tongues fully covered in boot polish.

Widdle Jemmy and Greggy have asked the big company to pwease weconsider gutting a company that has been a bluff country cornerstone for two decades, so that ought to fix everything. As we all know, corporations are famous for immediately reversing course and risking a loss of profit just to please a small, rural town. I’m sure asking real nicely with their tail between their legs will fix it. If only, you know, these two clowns had been in office for 10 and THIRTY YEARS respectively and could have maybe done something about taxing corporations to get our money back, or fighting against outsourcing, or even trying to prevent consolidation and mergers to near monopoly levels, but strangely it’s only now, with it hitting home, that they suddenly seem to care.

And this isn’t just a GOP issue, either. Our current governor was in congress for 12 years as a DFL representative for this area, but he didn’t do anything to try to stop the predatory actions of corporations, either. But now that capitalism is doing exactly what capitalism does, and puts more and more money in less and less hands, now our brave legislative soldiers come waddling out to go through the political theater of shaking their head and appealing to who REALLY run things, but essentially doing nothing.

It’s not like they’re the ones who make the laws or anything, right?

Let’s start voting people in who are actually going to take it to these vampire corporations and tell them their decades of feasting at the workers’ necks is over. Let’s have a government that tries to help people, not corporations, and when the corporations do what corporations do and act without and regard for humanity or decency, we need people in office who are going to nail them to the wall, not hop into their lap and purr that they really should try to spare their towns, if they could see it in their infinite grace and generosity to do so.

We the people run this country. Not corporations. And it’s about time we start acting like it.

Eric Leitzen

Hokah, Minn.

 

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