August 25, 2008
Corporate conventional wisdom
By Terry Warren
Am I the only one who feels the need to vent about the amazing and disgusting numbers related to some large corporations' “sponsorship” the two political conventions? I only heard this mentioned once on National Public Radio, and haven’t seen, heard or read anything in the corporate news about it, so I am led to believe that everyone else takes it for granted that it is okay for corporations like Qwest and Xcel Energy "donate" millions of dollars to fund the extravaganzas that are our national political conventions.
I believe I heard that Qwest is providing $5 million to each of the conventions. Xcel is supporting at least one convention with a donation of $1 million.
Meanwhile we listen to corporations bemoan the state of the economy as they cut jobs, negotiate to provide fewer benefits and lower pay to employees, and outsource to foreign countries in the name of “remaining competitive.” If U.S. businesses can’t afford to pay decent wages, where is this convention money coming from?
I work with Habitat for Humanity to provide the opportunity for homeownership to low-income families living in poverty housing. Each year I submit grant proposals for a few thousand dollars each, and when the grants are awarded we are grateful to receive the help to fund home construction. I just can’t help but think how many men, women and children we could help with the millions of dollars these companies are spending on the conventions.
Am I the only one who thinks this way?
(Terry Warren lives in Rice Lake and she is the executive director of Barron County Habitat for Humanity.)
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