Wanted Economic Patriots to Save American Dream

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka yesterday described the upcoming elections this way:

This election is about economic patriots, and it’s also about corporate traitors.

Economic patriotism resonates among working people and the millions ofAmerica’s jobless workers–and corporate traitors is an all-too apt description of many in Big Business, such as anti-patriotic corporations moving jobs out of this country. A graf buried in an a New York Times article on Wall Street this week me hard:

Just last week, Paul S. Otellini, chief executive of Intel, said at a dinner at the Aspen Forum of the Technology Policy Institute that “the next big thing will not be invented here. Jobs will not be created here.”

Mr. Otellini has overseen two big acquisitions in the last two weeks — the $7.7 billion takeover of the security software maker McAfee and the $1.4 billion deal for the wireless chip unit of Infineon Technologies. If he is true to his word, those deals will most likely lead to job cuts in the United States, not job creation.

Otellini is not an outlier. Reports this week say Citigroup–which received $45 billion in taxpayer bailout funds–now is creating 12,000 jobs. In China.

Also this week, a new report shows that between November 2008 April 2010, the CEOs of the top 50 job-cutting companies made $598 million in compensation. The top 50 layoff firms reported a 44 percent average profit increase for 2009, the Institute for Policy Studies report said.

Calling out such behaviors and casting them for what they are–unpatriotic, anti-American–can help us take back the ground grabbed by reactionaries for so long, with the Tea Party just the latest manifestation of such warped usage of the red, white and blue.

Patriotism means more than lip service. It means taking action to ensure that working families have the good jobs they need to support their families–creating an environment that’s worthy of our American Dream.

This is a crosspost from AFL-CIO Now blog.

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