‘This is really dangerous’: Prominent commentator calls for the return of McCarthy-style Loyalty Oaths

On Wednesday, Glenn referred to the push for so-called “economic patriotism” as a “virtual Berlin Wall.” In an effort to thwart corporate inversions (i.e. when companies that conduct at least 20% of their business overseas incorporate in another country to avoid the U.S. tax burden), Senate Democrats like Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) would like President Obama to act unilaterally to toughen the threshold.

Earlier this week, commentator Jonathan Alter published an article on the Daily Beast in which he took this concept a step further. In a piece entitled, “The United States Needs Corporate ‘Loyalty Oaths,’” Alter argues for a “scheme” that would have companies “sign non-desertion agreements” and – in turn – “embed a tiny American flag or some other Good Housekeeping-type seal in their corporate insignia for all to see.”

While Alter seeks to evoke the image of a Depression-era America, in which businesses that agreed to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s recovery plan placed an emblem in their shop window, Glenn found the plan to be more in line with McCarthy-era loyalty oaths.

On radio this morning, Glenn explained he appreciates Alter’s candidness and proceeded to break down the argument and why it represents “dangerous thinking.”

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“Honestly, I thought [this] was like a parody,” Glenn said of that article. “I thought it had to be Jon Stewart – no one could seriously be considering this. But it’s serious.”

In the article, Alter refers to companies like Walgreens and Chiquita that have recently renounced citizenship as “unpatriotic,” and he suggests the media adopt a new phrase. Instead of “corporate inversion,” Alter would like to see the media “routinely” refer to the practice as “corporate desertion.”

“If 47 companies have now left and renounced their citizenship, that should tell you something,” Glenn said. “We’re doing something wrong. People have always come and wanted to set their businesses up in America. If American companies are saying, ‘I can’t do business here,’ we’re doing something wrong… We can’t build walls to keep people out. But they are building walls now figurative walls to keep American citizens in.”

After blaming Republicans in Congress for their unwillingness to deal with this issue, Alter makes this bold declaration:

So it’s time for red-blooded Americans to take matters into our own hands. My answer is to make every corporation sign something.

So what does Alter propose these businesses sign?

Because oaths and pledges are a little creepy, this effort needs something else—something that comes out of the legal and business worlds: a contract. More specifically, an NDA.

Non-disclosure agreements are common in corporate America, where tens of thousands of senior managers and employees sign contracts promising to keep all sorts of information confidential. It’s often a condition of employment.

Now it’s time to change the “D” and expect the same from boards of directors—a “non-desertion agreement” with the John Hancock of every board member and CEO in the United States.

[…]

Companies that fail to sign non-desertion agreements would face the kind of public shaming that has gone out of fashion but could come back with a vengeance: boycotts, petitions, angry shareholder meetings full of the language of patriotism.

Read the entire article HERE.

“What a dangerous statement that is,” Glenn said. “He is making the case for a loyalty oath, but what he’s saying is, ‘Yeah, we look at those dark days, but let’s not forget they were really, really effective.’”

Ultimately, Alter believes the power of the Internet will allow the American people to put pressure on corporations, which will lead to widespread compliance.

“With viral online organizing, the idea of non-desertion agreements could spread quickly,” he writes. “Then American corporations will learn that if they want to enjoy this country’s bounty, they’ll have to be good citizens and pay taxes like the rest of us.”

Much like the way he responded to the alleged blacklists in Hollywood, Glenn is glad to see Alter being upfront with his intentions, but that does not make his thinking any less “dangerous” in Glenn’s eyes.

“America, run for your lives. This is really dangerous. You have people who are openly saying that they want redistribution of wealth. That is socialism,” Glenn concluded. “When a country is so mishandled and misrun that they have to build walls – be them virtual or literal walls – to keep… people from going out that is a sign a country is about to go very dark.”

Front page image courtesy of the AP

  • the_independent_truth

    Why don’t we just stop giving tax cuts to companies that go overseas

    • Bob Anderson

      I agree with that, give the tax cuts to companies that stay here.

      • the_independent_truth

        That’s what we should be doing.

    • BigSkyDan

      wow… you swallow Obama’s talking points hook line and sinker… I would like for you to do some research for yourself and see how many “tax cuts” are going to “companies overseas”. I think you will find that tax cuts, aren’t really tax cuts at all. If you stop allowing companies to write off for example… donations. Then the United Way will cease to exist… Lots of corporate tax cuts are given by states and local municipalities to attract business and jobs. I would like to know what federal taxes you proposed we stop cutting to businesses? If you can answer this question than congratulations you’ve done more than Obozo has. Also what defines a company as going overseas? Is it anyone that has any operations based overseas? Is there a certain percentage that is accepted? I’m going to go out a on a limb and say that you have no clue what you are talking about.

      • the_independent_truth

        I do research that and they get a lot of tax cuts. Sounds like you swallowed Glenn Beck talking points hook line and sinker.

    • DagwoodTudberry

      Why don’t ‘we’ just stop imposing one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world upon jobs producers.

      • the_independent_truth

        LOL, most of those corporation don’t pay taxes because of loop holes. And a lot of them get corporations get money back from the government. You may need to look at how the corporate tax works.

    • rsuca

      I checked out some of your comments and boy are you a dumass.

      • the_independent_truth

        prove me wrong.

  • Matt Bauwens

    Ayn Rand is more right every day!

    • Bob Anderson

      What about George Orwell?

  • kiltmaker

    Actually, to stop the exodus of companies overseas, cut the corporate taxes. The money will flow back in and jobs, good jobs that don’t need minimum wage requirements will be created.
    This is just ACORN community organizing on steroids. Its a shake-down. They would threaten a business, scream and hollar in the lobby and get a monetary settlement based on their terror tactics.
    Same thing. Just on a grander scale

    • Kat

      Well said, kiltmaker.

    • mspatdev

      I agree with you. When obammy came in he has raised all of the businesses taxes so high up and many, many pages of paper work, that they can’t pay people to work as they can’t afford to. Some of these businesses has been in business for a long time in the USA. I have worked for a lot of them and now a lot of them are moving out of the USA. They don’t even get tax breaks or anything when they move to another country, unless that country gives them money to come to their country. Business is not what obammy wants in the USA. He wants all of the jobs under the unions and he wants all of the POWER. I don’t know where he is going to get tax money to pay for his many freebies and paying everybody not to work. The union heads are not providing jobs for their members except to take away good jobs and threaten then to be unions. The Community Organizer sure can’t do anything with jobs. He can’t even keep the USA going. He brings in more and more terrorists, criminals and good for nothing people. If I had the money, I would move to another country to live the rest of my life out, but I don’t.

    • mickster99

      Yeah corporations shouldn’t have to pay any taxes, right? The nominal rate on corporations is 35% but the tax rate they actually pay is probably closer to 0%. Google for corporations that pay no taxes. But note: I don’t expect you to change your mind in the face of facts. You are a winger aren’t you?
      “If Glenn Beck said it, I believe it, case closed!” that’s your motto right?

  • landofaahs

    “The Daily Beastiality” It’s more than a name 666.

    • MaxColdest

      Amen……”they will call good evil and evil good” Get ready!

  • Christine Guinn

    Actually, it IS similar the the FDR era “National Industrial Revocery Act”, where companies used a “Blue Eagle” symbol to show compliance. Of course, the act was declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL by SCOTUS.

  • http://truthofg.blogspot.com/ Connor Kenway

    Next the left is going to want us to swear loyalty to Obama. Do they even realize that this sounds more like a dictatorship than a free country. Maybe if liberals stop spending money then maybe we can bring companies back from Communist countries where their own corporate tax rates are lower than ours and the left refuse to realize how sad and marxist that is.

    • DagwoodTudberry

      The Obama Swastika has been around for around six years… it is a circular emblem.

  • vadave

    Useful idiots will always think bootstepping is a good idea as long as their guys are in charge. They can’t see the forest for the trees! That’s what makes them idiots.

  • Salverda

    A “corporation” cannot be a citizen, it can’t be patriotic, it cannot swear an oath or sign something. Do we believe in the ten commandments in this nation? A corporation is not a person! (It is invisible, immortal it can make laws through lobbyists and force us to make sacrifices to and obey them) Corporate person-hood is a sin. what is “Idolatry” anyway?

    • zemla

      Correct, I would add, that every book on corporate globalism (not the Alex jones stuff, but the real world international trade stuff) explicitly explains that corporate “nationalism” or “patriotism” is a horrible business model.

  • freedomcosts

    Glenn talked about an article- an essay- something in which the person listed 18 components, or steps, to becoming a dictatorship. He said we were probably ay step 10 now. Anyone know where th see those 18 steps?

    • pisces

      Freedomcosts, I’m looking for that right now. Please post when you do find it , and I shall when I find it..

      • freedomcosts

        I just put it on Glenn’s FB page.

    • Jeff Green
      • freedomcosts

        Thanks a bunch, just posted it on Glenn’s FB page- only cited your first name, didn’t know if you wanted your last name out there.

  • http://www.mrchrisg.com/ mrchrisg.com

    Politicians take an oath to uphold The Constitution…they seldom do.

  • AmericanIrish

    How important is some lone article by one virtually unknown writer? Seriously, this whole newsletter is nothing but a waste of time. Stupid little stories blown up to try to mean something

  • Chris B

    Glenn, you are against loyalty oaths for business but for them for Teachers? Help me understand…I found the following old video clip of yours where you seem to think that teachers should sign one that seems very McCarthy era and the person who made the video clip on YouTube explicitly says so. Do I have the context wrong here?

    http://youtu.be/txOaS2thZPU

    I agree they should be upholding the constitution but the whole anti communist thing…seems very similar.

  • John R. headrick

    It should be widely known by now that Obama is rabid communist, devout Muslim and an illegal alien. Plus a closeted homosexual. Considering these documented facts Obama charged with treason and shot by a military firing squad. Since this hasn’t happened yet anyone that idolizes Obama should be completely ostracized and considered a deadly enemy of our country. We veterans are damn fed up with the fascist democrat bastards.

    • fawnday

      The president is probably just strange is all. He makes laws helping gay people to get civil rights and then poses for photos with people who kill gays. That’s all kinds of weird. Same with the loyalty pledge. It goes against all the globalism he and the administration have been calling for. So the president really ought to figure out what he wants to do and stick with it.

      • zemla

        This won’t be popular on here, but I think you are more right than some may know.hes supposed to be some social commie fashist (?!?) but I think really he is some guy who thought he could change things and then,once elected, was “informed” that the president does what they are TOLD.

        We just aren’t the ones who do the telling.

  • DagwoodTudberry

    Liberals have created a nation with one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. This is just a case of another liberal shooting himself in the foot with a gun then throwing a hissy fit because it hurt.

  • fawnday

    Glenn, how come you don’t like this loyalty oath but you had some guy on your program a few months ago who invented an app about what companies support American values? Actually, it would seem you and the audience who love knowing that companies are American and sell things made in America should be crazy about the oath. Especially with the little flag picture thing on the seal of approval. That way everyone can buy American by looking for it. But the loyalty oath is goofy. Forget the “virtual wall” the oath reverses the whole idea of everyone being global citizens the way President Obama has always talked about. It’s kinda neat that Walgreens is going to Switzerland, the stores might stat carrying things that are best sellers from that country. Not things made here and just called Swiss but true foods and stuff. You know what? If every American store goes overseas then America might get back to being small shops and mom and pop stores. Which was the way things were sixty years ago. Only this time there is the internet so nobody will spend hours going shopping the way people had to do back then every Saturday afternoon since there weren’t many department stores and supermarkets were unheard of.

    • Chris B

      Neat that Walgreens will be doing business in Switzerland, not neat if they are relocating there. That’s tax dollars that are being paid here leaving here and going to another government but at least the Swiss might be more responsible with what they do with the tax dollars, our government certainly isn’t…they can even be responsible in how they collect them…otherwise we may not even be having this discussion.

      A made in America with American Values badge would be great but a loyalty oath is problem…we are in a global economy period…currencies may be independent but lets not kid ourselves, the economy is intertwined. What we do impacts the economies of other countries and their decisions affect us. So I would support a badge like “Made by Americans, using American Values, to supply the whole world.”

  • CORMAC___NJ

    Walgreens did not invert. They caved o the Obama administration. Don’t sop there!

  • ginnielynn

    Sign a loyalty oath–yeah they can sign it and then forget it. What’s going to happen to the corporations, probably nothing. The answer is cut corporate taxes along with loop holes. Give the corporations as much as they’re getting overseas and not a bit more. The other thing we can do is boycott these companies. There are cheaper and better pharmacy’s that Walgreen’s. We’ll buy bananas from other companies rather than Chiquita. If the corporate name are nationally and widely known, then people can encourage others to boycott these stores and companies. Since we are probably their largest consumers, they’ll come running home begging for our business.

  • Derek Carlon

    Hi Glenn, I understand the points you are making but I can’t for the life of me believe that companies who are hoarding mountains & mountains of cash can reasonably claim that they “can’t do business here” & that they can’t afford to allow employees to keep a much much larger amount of the profits that employees create. The lies and the thieving not to mention the deadbeat parent attitudes have gone on for decades now. You & I & a lot of other folks want a strong American military. Well if companies are going to continue paying poverty wages & hiding all of their profits overseas… where on earth are you & I & all of the rest of the Americans like us going to find the money to pay for a well funded military? Investors paying 15% or less? Do you have a “Glenn Genie” in a bottle we don’t know about? Really guy, world class militaries aren’t built or sustained from taxing a nearly entire populace making slave wages & business licensees who hide every penny they can from Uncle Sam. So what is it Glenn? Taxes on much higher wages & profits that stay here in the U.S. with plenty of money for a growing military or continued playground antics & money upped lawyers?

  • 13citizen13

    I would boycott those companies with the insignia. Instead of trying to fix America, they choose to bow to government control.

  • Hooshaw

    Loyalty for government is not very Patriotic.

  • 2 IT too

    “HEH! —while communism may NOT be everyone’s cup of tea,
    ———————-they Chinese Communist government! – – – -WORKS!”
    JEFF “I–MELT—down’
    GE Fukishima CEO
    TAX FREE globalist
    RED CHINA handover booster
    Obama ‘Jobs Czar’
    CNN interview
    Feb 2013

    LOOK at what’s been PULLED OFF these past 4 decades.

    LOOK at gutted, voided, franchise slummed POST America
    itself being PULLED.

    SEE the ‘GLOW BULL—ISM’.

    IDENTIFY the ‘workers’ of ‘GLOW BULL’ mafia.

    PREPARE to LAY HOLD!