Thursday, May 27, 2004

The revised GDP figures for 2004:I are out today. You can get the broad outline anywhere, but here's an angle you might have missed.

Folks over at Angry Bear have been debating this week whether George W. Bush is the worst President of all time. While that may be true, there seems no doubt that the Boy King has been among the best Presidents of all time for corporate profits. When Bush came into office in 2001, corporate America was in crisis. After peaking in 1997:III at $817bn (all figures are in constant 2000 dollars), corporate profits sank over the next four years to $555bn in 2001:III -- a real 32% decline. Dubya set about quickly reversing course. In a single quarter real corporate profits jumped 16%; in three quarters, 32%. By 2003:I real corporate profits had skyrocketed to $740bn, all in the midst of a nationwide recession and sluggish recovery. And that was just the beginning.

According to the revised 2004:I GDP figures, real corporate profits stood at $969.4bn. In just one year, they rose an amazing 31%. Real after-tax profits rose even more, from $537bn in 2003:I to $741bn in 2004:I -- a stunning 38% ascent in a single year. Since Bush first took office, real corporate profits have jumped 62% while real after-tax corporate profits have ascended an amazing 94%.

The worst president in history? Not for capital -- not by a long shot.


At 5:18 PM, Blogger Blog Gently said...

This analysis has got me thinking... since corporations seem to have done so well during a time of recession just who did the recession hurt? Well the people of course, who funded the recovery largely through the transference of their savings (and credit) to corporate profit.

It is evident that corporations want to play it both sides of the fence - all the beneifts of corporate tax loopholes and protections from the law, but with people rights (aka corporate personhood). What would happen, I wonder, if people were treated like corporations? I'm thinking specifically of taxation. Treat spending on essential durables as capital investment, make income saved tax free until spent, and only tax the residual "consumer profit" that you spend on "luxuries". And allow averaging of taxes over years like corporations get to do. How would that change everything and is it a viable system that would benefit consumers and the planet?


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