Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Office Depot Capitalists demand Illinois Taxpayers pay them or else

Corporate Tax Subsides should be relabeled The Pleasure of Working For Us Tax. Office Depot and OfficeMax merged earlier this year and since that business announcement have been playing Illinois and Florida off against each other in the never ending Race-to-the-Bottom.

This has been a standard tactic of Corporations. They learned long ago workers are interchangeable and that by going to legislatures they could get State Governments to provide them with legally constructed tax havens and public assistance.

On December 10th, Office Depot announced their newly merged company will put its headquarters in Boca Raton, not at the existing OfficeMax offices in Naperville, Illinois. This despite a promise by the Illinois Government to pay them $53 million in welfare over 15 years.

And all Office Depot would have had to do would be to promise to keep 2000 clerical jobs in Illinois for that welfare. The vast majority of products sold in these stores are not made in Illinois or Florida, but China. Some paper products are produced by the Illinois company North American Paper.

So, while the Office Depot Corporate Welfare deal fell through, Sears Inc and CME Group still received millions of Illinois Tax Payer Dollars in the last 2 years and are promised hundreds of millions more over the next decade and a half.

Meanwhile, 80,000 Illinois residents are set to lose Federal Unemployment benefits in January, while 109,000 Illinois residents collecting State benefits would be unaffected at first.
"While today’s job growth allows most newly unemployed individuals to find work after a several weeks, the long-term unemployed face additional hurdles," Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) Director Jay Rowell said in a prepared statement." Ending this modest program based on a calendar date rather than economic principles and job skills could slow economic growth."
That's because benefits paid to Illinois residents are often immediately are pumped back into the economy in terms of purchases or rent, while money given to Corporations is funneled away from the state. After Sears received their Illinois Welfare in December 2011 they closed 2 Sears and 3 K-Mart stores in the State, 3 months later. They got their money from the State and left.

"I'm a Wealth of Nations guy," Republican Congressman So and So stated on MSNBC during the Republican Government Shutdown.

I seriously doubt that Republican So and So has actually read The Wealth of Nations. It's one of those books people place on their mantle to look smart and a phrase that right-wingers trot out as way of an argument instead of actually defending their positions. 

It's allows the Republican or Right-Winger to merely say the words, 'Bible. Wealth of Nations. Freedom. Flag. Founding Fathers. Ronald Reagan.' They don't actually say anything when confronted on the actual failings of their sick and twisted ideology.

Similarly, when Republicans want to attack they say, 'Liberalism. Marxism. Entitlements. Mainstream Media.' and so forth.

It's not an actual argument to make vague allusions to phrases or concepts but it is a good stimulus-response mechanism. It's all designed to invoke emotional r-brain responses in their duped and unthinking conservatives dronez.

What we are seeing in Illinois with Sears, CME Group and Office Depot and with thousands of Corporations across the Nation is Capitalism in action. Capitalism is the Privatizing of Profits and the Subsidizing of Losses.


ChickenHammer said...


Brace yourself because I'm going to agree with you again. A state's tax laws should apply equally to everyone in the state. Corporate taxes should be the same between any and all corporations in a state.

The same should apply to all taxing entities; everyone in the same jurisdiction should be subjected to the same rules.

The other corporate charity that chaff's my ass is the multi-million stadiums and sports arenas being subsidized by the taxpayer. From imminent domain to construction funding grants, to special tax breaks it's a bunch of crap. When a multi-million team wants a new multi-million dollar venue they need to reach deep down in their pocket and pay for the damn thing.

Every tax dollar your state, your county, your hospital district, your school district gives away in a tax subsidy dollar that will have to come from the working class and that's just straight up bullshit.

Nan said...

Race to the bottom is an understatement. The corporations play states, counties, townships, and municipalities off against each other and manage to get granted sweetheart deals that when looked at rationally make no sense whatsoever. You see deal that after deal where the state or city is never going to get back as much in taxes as they're giving away.

Every so often a local unit of government will stand up to the corporate bullies, but not very often. We had a rare local example a few years ago. Walmart wanted to abandon their existing store to build a new super center a mile or so up the road. The township said No. No tax breaks, no special favors, no building permit. The township board was actually smart enough to recognize that they'd be stuck with a large empty building no one else would ever want, it would kill any additional development around that site, and they weren't going to go along with it. They'd already sunk a lot into infrastructure (roads, sewers, water) and no doubt had given Walmart a bunch of favorable deals when they built the original store in the '90s (which were probably expiring, which is why Walmart wanted to move). Walmart wound up remodeling and expanding the existing store. The township was lucky because they had geography and population distribution on their side. Usually the local units of government just end up looking stupid as the big box retailers move a mile or two down the road into a different municipality or township and screw those people over for a decade or two.

Grung_e_Gene said...

Spot on. In August 2011, I highlighted a similar story concerning Lowe's,

Lowe's, Let's Destroy Something Together

Lowe's Home Improvement store in Schaumburg, Illinois snuck out in the middle of the night on Tuesday, closing the doors on it's 116,000 square foot store. The store had been open for 5 years. Lowe's also closed a nearby store in Elgin, Illinois.

Chicken hammer,

You are agreeing with me again because you've been reading my blog and learning ;)

But, the Sport Stadium deals are some of the worst. The Rickett's family, worth over $2.7 Billion, which bought the Cubs, wanted $300+ million from Illinois and Chicago citizens to rennovate Wrigley Field, while at the same time the Patriarch was spending millions to produce a glossy and slick 54 page proposal with advertisements about how to attack the evils of Obama's Socialism.

"Socialism, communism, whatever you want to call it, is never the answer.“ - Hank Steinbrenner. Unless, that is you are a Billionaire baseball Team Owner, then the taxpayers, middle class, and working class people need to give you money to finance the building of your stadium, as when Steinbrenner received $1,200,000,000 Billion dollars in Taxpayer money to finance the building of the new Yankee Stadium.

ChickenHammer said...

You are agreeing with me again because you've been reading my blog and learning ;)

Hardly. Everything I expressed in that post came from at least ten years ago. You could have probably presented those questions twenty years ago and received the same answers.

We're a lot more alike than you want to accept. Deal with it.