Like other players in the highly competitive computer memory industry, Micron has had its ups and downs over the decades. Job layoffs have happened before within the company, and twice last decade – first during the post “Nine-Eleven” recession of 2001 and then during the “great recession” of 2009 – former CEO Steve Appleton chose to sacrifice his entire salary as a means of helping restore profits during lean times. Through it all the company has re-distributed portions of its profits in to its own charitable “Micron Foundation,” and has donated regularly to arts programs, and to both public and private colleges and universities to support tech education.
But this time Micron’s “unfortunate news” is different. The company isn’t merely reducing its’ workforce. This time Micron is specifically cutting jobs in America, even as it will soon be expanding its employment base in Japan. Forget trying to explain to the community organizers in our country about the company executives’ “fiduciary responsibilities” - one can imagine that President Barack Obama and lots of disingenuous members of Congress might soon make an example of Micron and unleash talking points lamenting the company’s “un-patriotic” behavior and then vow to “crackdown” (whatever that means) on those dastardly American companies that are “shipping jobs overseas.”
But Americans need to wake up and realize that it’s the policies of these disingenuous politicians that are leading the United States to become a lousy place to do business. The U.S. has the highest corporate taxation rate of any country in the world right now. Japan lowered its corporate income tax rate from 39.5 percent to 37 percent in 2012, and now the Japanese legislature is talking about lowering it even further.
And then, of course, there’s Obamacare. The President’s signature policy initiative is driving insurance costs sky-high, and most of that burden is being carried by individual American workers and their employers. Companies whose CEO’s are on “good terms” with President Obama – companies like McDonalds and GE Corporation, for example – have gotten themselves exempted from the Obamacare horrors. Micron hasn’t received our dear President’s blessing, apparently, and so must make some moves to protect the interests of its’ investors.
Do Americans want a thriving economy that produces career opportunities and potentially productive lifestyles for all? Or do we simply want to continue in our fantasy-based pattern of believing politicians’ promises of “free” things as we pay no attention to their actual policies?
The choice is ours to make.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.