Profits, stock buybacks soar, but “no money” for wages or school books


On eve of teachers’ protests in North Carolina and South Carolina

Profits, stock buybacks soar, but “no money” for wages or school books

Niles Niemuth

14 May 2018

The wave of strikes and protests by US teachers against cuts in funding for public education is set to hit North and South Carolina this week. At the same time, reports on record stock buybacks and soaring corporate profits are exposing the fraud pushed by Democrats and Republicans alike that there is “no money” to meet teachers’ demands for higher wages, guaranteed pensions and adequate funding for basic school supplies such as text books.

Bolstered by windfalls from Trump’s tax cuts, corporations have spent at least $158 billion in stock buybacks in the first three months of 2018, according to a recent analysis by the Wall Street Journal, rewarding their shareholders, including their own executives and large investment firms, and artificially inflating stock prices.

Analysts from Goldman Sachs expect that corporate spending on buybacks and dividends will continue at the current record pace, topping $1.2 trillion by the end of the year. The 500 largest corporations in the US will funnel more money into the pockets of wealthy investors than they will allocate for capital expenditures and research and development.

Apple, which led the way by spending more than $22 billion on buybacks between January and February, announced earlier this month that it would use its tax windfall on overseas profits to give $100 billion to investors by the end of the year. The company is also sitting on a cash hoard exceeding $280 billion.

Corporate profits have gotten a major boost from the tax cuts, rising by 25 percent since last year. Almost half of business income growth is due to the slashing of corporate…

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