Big business & politics are hardly 'strange bedfellows;' in fact I'd go so far as to say that they are frequent companions since business provides the financial juice that runs the political machine on both sides of the aisle. What IS new & rather disturbing is the overt & heavy handed leverage used by some companies, most recently big defense contractor Lockheed Martin. It has threatened to send out 123,000 yes that's THOUSAND "pink slips" throughout politically sensitive states in the country unless the government gives them clarity on what will happen late this fall if Congress has to resort to the de facto bargain they reached which will trigger sequestration in order to address our budget woes. This means that since the administration & Congress were unable to strike what they called a "grand bargain" last year, faced by budget necessities, they will cut into the funding of the "sacred cows" of both parties: defense for republicans & entitlement programs for democrats. Even though Congress is in the process of floating bills to reverse this measure, Lockheed Martin has decided that not only does it want clarity now but they want favorable clarity at that [meaning their contracts will not be effected].
Your Job Or Your Congressman's
Instead of dealing in the more typical "backroom" fashion, they have publicly threatened their employees with over a hundred thousand "pink slips" to make their point all with "a wink & a nod," meaning "we aren't really going to fire 123,000 people!" When did it become acceptable to overtly threaten the jobs of individuals via political brinkmanship that can threaten families & entire communities or even cities? Please don't misunderstand; I don't believe for a single second that this is the first time it's ever been done. I do believe it's never been done out in the open during a time of economic hardship when so many families are hanging on by their thumbnails to survive. Many cities in this country are "company towns" meaning one company is the major employer so when that company fires [or to be fair, hires] large numbers of people there is a huge domino effect throughout the rest of the community including shops, restaurants, professional services & the like; in other words jobs are created in order to support the employed community of the company. I guess the famous defense contractor doesn't think all those business people need "clarity!" While this maneuver can have huge political & financial repercussions, aside from a piece in Politco, there is barely a whisper out there. Given the consequences of such a move in a nation with such a fragile economy, where are the thunderous voices of sanctimonious politicians [on both sides of the aisle] from the president & his challenger Mitt Romney, right on down to both houses of Congress? If you are wondering why you don't hear them remember, they need money to get re-elected. Lockheed Martin today, your employer tomorrow. What's your view?