- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 21, 2019

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has made an entire political career out of denouncing Big Business, Wall Street, Big Pharma and of late, Big Tech. So, too, most of the rest of the Democrats on the campaign trail and in Congress.

But America should tread cautiously on ye olde “Hate Business” path.

Not only do corporations, obviously, provide jobs that lead to self-sufficiency. But they also bail out plenty in need. They also help keep America free by taking on costly responsibilities that would otherwise fall to Big Government.

“51 Popular Companies That Donate to Nonprofits,” ran one headline from Double the Donation, a site that helps the charity-minded make the most of their financial giving.

Among?



Bank of America has a couple of programs that help those in various needs — one that matches employees’ charitable contributions, up to $5,000 per year. And there’s another program that provides direct aid to low-income communities.

General Electric has been matching employees’ donations to nonprofits since 1954. The GE Foundation, meanwhile, gives money to causes around the world that foster good health, educational access and entrepreneurship.

Google matches employees’ gifts; Google Dot Org donates $100 million each year in grants and another $1 billion in products.

BP gives. Intuit gives. State Street gives. Darden Restaurants gives. McAfee gives.

Best Buy, Starbucks, Chevron, Outerwall, CVS, Kohl’s, Verizon? They all give. There are more, many more.

“Just last year,” Double the Donation reported, “Disney gave over $315 million to nonprofits that help children and families.”

Walmart in September announced $500,000 in cash and donations for Hurricane Dorian victims.

But that’s a drop in the bucket compared to what else the company donates.

“Since 2007,” the Red Cross wrote on its online donations’ page, “Walmart and its Foundation have donated more than $35 million for disaster preparedness and disaster relief efforts. … [B]y hosting blood drives … Walmart and its associates have provided an opportunity for people in the U.S. to give nearly 500,000 blood donations. Each blood donation can help save up to three lives.”

Thirty-five million. That’s $35 million of taxpayer funding the Federal Emergency Management Agency didn’t have to give because Walmart did.

Yes, Walmart, the very corporation leftists love to hate. 

The very company both Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have denounced in recent weeks — for the crime, in essence, of making money. For the crime of being successful. How is that even American?

Sanders, in June, disparaged the Walton family for the crime of being “the wealthiest family in America,” with a net worth of $170 billion.

Warren, in April, tweeted this: “The Walmart heirs make $4 million an hour. A new Walmart associate makes $11 an hour. My two-cent wealth tax on families like the Waltons would help level the playing field for working families and rebuild the middle class.”

No. What it would really do is raise prices on the consumers and quite possibly, cut into corporate giving.

And therein lies the skinny. This is what political condemnations of big business are really all about — control and power.

Big Government types like Warren and Sanders and the rest on the left like to condemn the wealthy corporate world because it’s easy political punching. It’s easy to point fingers at those supposedly soulless Big Business types who collect millions upon millions of profits on the backs of the hardworking peons they employ — and pay little.

It’s easy to give the impression of caring for the little guy, particularly the low-information voting little guy, by pretending to be a man or woman of the people while being whisked from campaign stop to campaign stop by limousine. Or by private aircraft.

Ask Michael Moore, the Hollywood propagandist who habitually pretended poverty and donned hobo dress, all the while banking big bucks from his anti-capitalism movie messages.

Thing is, Big Business indeed has its demons. Bernie Madoff, certainly, reached new heights in greed. Executives at Walgreens, Publix, CVS and others, definitely, are trouncing Second Amendment rights by trying to restrict lawful gun owners from openly carrying in their stores — though honestly, this should draw the left closer to the corporate world, not farther away.

But if charity helps keep America free — which it does, because the more the private sector gives, the less the citizens have to turn to government for assistance — then Big Business absolutely plays a crucial role.

Big Business itself helps keep Americans free.

If Warren and Sanders and Democrats and leftists truly wanted to help the poor and downtrodden, rather than seize power for themselves, they would stop condemning the very sources that provide for the poor and downtrodden — the job creators; the charitable givers; the distributors of educational, entrepreneurial, and economic development assistance dollars.

They would stop pitting Big Business against the very people Big Business so often serves.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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