While multinational corporations trumpet their role in American economic growth, and while many in Congress warn against ending sweetheart corporate tax breaks, some important information is missing: exactly how many Americans are being hired, versus how many jobs are going overseas.
So secretive are these companies that they hand the figure over to government statisticians on the condition that officials will release only an aggregate number. The latest data show that multinationals cut 2.9 million jobs in the United States and added 2.4 million overseas between 2000 and 2009.
Some of the same companies that do not report their jobs breakdown, including Apple and Pfizer, are pushing lawmakers to cut their tax bills in the name of job creation in the United States.
But experts say that without details on which companies are contributing to job growth and which are not, policymakers risk flying blind as they try to jump-start the hiring of American workers.
For many Working America members who have lost their jobs to outsourcing and off-shoring, this is upsetting, but not surprising.
In our 2010 report Outsourced, we wrote about a 2008 Duke University survey of 1,600 service companies about their future investments. 53 percent had come up with a company-wide off-shoring strategy – a 200 percent increase in three years. Moreover, 60 percent of the firms already engaged in outsourcing intended to expand those activities over the next three years. Former Hewlett-Packard CEO and Republican candidate for Senate Carly Fiorina encapsulated the attitude best: “There is no job that is America’s God-given right anymore.”
But when working families caught wind of this deliberate strategy to rip away their jobs and devastate their communities – all for the bottom line – there was a huge uproar. In 2004, the U.S. Senate voted to stop federal contractors from shifting jobs overseas using U.S. tax dollars, and some 30 bills to restrict outsourcing were introduced into state legislatures.
Seeing the anger, multinational CEO’s – instead of changing their off-shoring strategies – decided it would be best to hide the numbers. And that’s where we are today.
But make no mistake: the shuttered factories and long unemployment lines aren’t an accident, and they aren’t a “natural” development of the global economy. Shipping away American jobs is part of a deliberate strategy on the part of U.S.-based multinational corporations to increase profits, and they want Congress to charge us – through tax breaks and loopholes – so they can keep doing it.