By Lynn Stuart Parramore / AlterNet / Nov. 21, 2012
Macy’s is a powerful symbol of Thanksgiving, with its festive parade and freakishly large floats. But Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren is part of a group of greedy, unpatriotic CEOs who would like to seize this moment of American hardship and tear the rug out from under hard-working families. Moms, dads, grandparents, kids—he’d like to take a little something from each of you. Especially if you’re poor: he’d really like to get into your purses.
Lundgren and a coalition of other big-time CEOs are lobbying Congress to cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits so that they can enjoy tax breaks. Obviously, Lundgren did not take Econ 101, which would have demonstrated to him that reaching into the pockets of the people will leave them without enough dollars to buy your products. It’s very simple, Mr. Lundgren. Your job and your stores are supported by the spending power of the American consumer. Robbing that consumer by hacking away at hard-earned retirements and healthcare is not going to help your bottom line.
Jobs, not austerity, is the path to a healthier economy. Just ask Europe.
Lundgren and his band of reverse Robin Hoods, part of a campaign called Fix the Debt founded by “catfood commissioners” Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, have ganged up to influence post-election policy by spreading the myth that our main problem is long-term debt and deficits, rather than high unemployment. They actually like high unemployment, because it keeps their workers in check. They’re out holding town halls, trying to buy or rent members of Congress, and otherwise throwing their weight around.
Such is the spirit of giving in the world of big business. Many Americans are outraged and cutting up their Macy’s cards and signing petitions in protest. You can actuallly choose among petitions. There’s the Macy’s v. Medicare petition, or if you prefer, there’s also a petition urging Macy’s to end its partnership with the race-baiting Donald Trump. The “Dump Trump” petition has already collected over 650,000 signatures, but Lundgren stands by the loopy real estate mogul .
The Fix the Debt coalition, unsurprisingly, features a heaping helping of fatcat financiers:
- Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman & CEO, Goldman, Sachs & Co.
- James Gorman, Chairman, President & CEO, Morgan Stanley
- Jamie Dimon, Chairman & CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
- Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman & CEO, General Electric Company
- Brian T. Moynihan, President & CEO, Bank of America Corporation
- Josh Bekenstein, Managing Director, Bain Capital
There’s also a smorgasboard of guys who want your holiday dollars:
- Richard Anderson, CEO, Delta Air Lines, Inc.
- David Barger, President & CEO, JetBlue Airways Corp.
- D. Scott Davis, Chairman & CEO, United Parcel Service, Inc
- Arne M. Sorenson, President & CEO, Marriott International, Inc.
- Frits van Paasschen, President & CEO, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
For a complete list of the Ebeneezer Scrooge brigade, peruse the coalition’s Web site .
John Lawrence says
Well, when the American people wake up and stop being on a consumption binge, Macy’s et al will get their just desserts. Of course, poor people don’t shop at Macy’s. They shop at WalMart, Target or maybe Costco which treats its workers a lot better. A mild recession, as long as there was a sufficient safety net for the poor, would stop the consumption binge as the tourist market would dry up. It might put the US on a sounder footing, but everybody from the President on down is afraid of a recession, fearing it like the plague. What’s important is not extending the consumption binge which grows GDP, but ensuring that everybody has enough food and a roof over their head. That probably would not grow GDP.
micaela shafer porte says
they did a piece on Macy’s and gross consumerism years ago called, “Miracle on 34th St.”, a Christmas (or holiday if you prefer) movie classic…. where is Kris Kringle when you need him?