Who’s Talking About Corporate Profits?


Around this time last year, both the New York Times and the Washington Post reported that annualized third quarter corporate profits broke records, bringing in an excess of $1.66 trillion, leading to outcries from liberal circles about corporate excess while American families were struggling. The data were released by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), which they do quarterly.

As we all know, the recent Occupy movements have made corporate profits in hard times a focal point for their outrage, and the 2010 BEA news release along with coverage from media outlets certainly played a role in bringing attention to the matter.

But there’s been no coverage of the 2011 BEA news release, which was put up on November 22. Why not? Is there something even more disturbing in there? Well, take a look. The numbers are right there in Table 11, the same table the New York Times cited in 2010. The 2011 annual rate of corporate profit is $1.98 trillion. To be fair, it’s not as big of an increase from last year, since the BEA corrected the 2010 profits to $1.83 trillion after all the numbers came in.

Let’s be clear on the numbers. Corporate profits are $1.98 trillion and there are 13.9 million unemployed people in the United States. That means that corporations are scheduled to profit at a rate of $142,000 per unemployed person. It looks like “job creators” could hire all unemployed people for a $45,000 per year salary and still have about $1.35 trillion to spare.

So now the inevitable questions arise. Who’s reporting on this issue? Is someone worried that the Occupy movements might get word and get even more outraged? Certainly such news is news-worthy. Given that, there are two possibilities here. One is that popular media outlets don’t want to rile up the Occupy movement any more than it currently is. The other is that they simply haven’t looked at the information closely due to incompetence, since they could surely sell more papers by making actually reporting on it.

Quentin Gee is a Graduate Student in Philosophy at UC Santa Barbara.

Weekend Edition
October 2-4, 2015
Henry Giroux
Murder, USA: Why Politicians Have Blood on Their Hands
Mike Whitney
Putin’s Lightning War in Syria
Jennifer Loewenstein
Heading Toward a Collision: Syria, Saudi Arabia and Regional Proxy Wars
John Pilger
Wikileaks vs. the Empire: the Revolutionary Act of Telling the Truth
Gary Leupp
A Useful Prep-Sheet on Syria for Media Propagandists
Jeffrey St. Clair
Pesticides, Neoliberalism and the Politics of Acceptable Death
Joshua Frank
The Need to Oppose All Foreign Intervention in Syria
Lawrence Ware – Paul Buhle
Insurrectional Black Power: CLR James on Race and Class
Oliver Tickell
Jeremy Corbyn’s Heroic Refusal to be a Nuclear Mass Murderer
Helen Yaffe
Che’s Economist: Remembering Jorge Risquet
Mark Hand
‘Rape Rooms’: How West Virginia Women Paid Off Coal Company Debts
Michael Welton
Junior Partner of Empire: Why Canada’s Foreign Policy Isn’t What You Think
Yves Engler
War Crimes in the Dark: Inside Canada’s Special Forces
Arno J. Mayer
Israel: the Wages of Hubris and Violence
W. T. Whitney
Cuban Government Describes Devastating Effects of U. S. Economic Blockade
Brian Cloughley
The US-NATO Alliance Destroyed Libya, Where Next?
Karl Grossman
The Politics of Lyme Disease
Barry Lando
Syria: Obama’s Bay of Pigs?
Andre Vltchek
Southeast Asia “Forgets” About Western Terror
Jose Martinez
American Violence: Umpqua is “Routine”?
Vijay Prashad
Russian Gambit, Syrian Dilemma
Sam Smith
Why the Democrats are in Such a Mess
Uri Avnery
Nasser and Me
Andrew Levine
The Saints March In: The Donald and the Pope
Arun Gupta
The Refugee Crisis in America
Robert Fantina
The U.S. Elections and Verbal Vomit
Dan Glazebrook
Refugees Don’t Cause Fascism, Mr. Timmermann – You Do
Victor Grossman
Blood Moon Over Germany
Patrick Bond
Can World’s Worst Case of Inequality be Fixed by Pikettian Posturing?
Pete Dolack
Earning a Profit from Global Warming
B. R. Gowani
Was Gandhi Averse to Climax? A Psycho-Sexual Assessment of the Mahatma
Tom H. Hastings
Another Mass Murder
Anne Petermann
Activists Arrested at ArborGen GE Trees World Headquarters
Ben Debney
Zombies on a Runaway Train
Franklin Lamb
Confronting ‘Looting to Order’ and ‘Cultural Racketeering’ in Syria
Carl Finamore
Coming to San Francisco? Cra$h at My Pad
Ron Jacobs
Standing Naked: Bob Dylan and Jesus
Missy Comley Beattie
What Might Does To Right
Robert J. Burrowes
Gandhi Jayanti, Gandhi’s Dream
Raouf Halaby
A Week of Juxtapositions
Louis Proyect
Scenes from the Class Struggle in Iran
Christopher Washburn
Skeptik’s Lexicon
Charles R. Larson
Indonesia: Robbed, Raped, Abused
David Yearsley
Death Songs
Jon Hochschartner
Does Word Policing Actually Help the Left?