The Gingerbread Corporate Man (A Bedtime Story)

After having travelled across the Atlantic Ocean to build their little stone baking mill, an elderly American couple wished for a son. Knowing that America considers corporations to be citizens, they decided to bake a gingerbread corporate man. They added equal amounts of capital, toil, and love to bake their son. Upon coming out of the oven, he immediately began to delight his parents.

He worked side by side bringing them prosperity and joy. However, as he grew older and collected more capital unto himself, he grew haughty and began to think, “Why do I toil for the benefits of my parents. I am the capital of flour and sugar, and they are but mere laborers.” So one day to his parents’ horror, he ran down the dirt road for other worlds singing, “Run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread corporate man.”

As he ran down the path, he happened upon the mayor of the town who asked, “May I take but an arm or a leg to help feed the townspeople?” The gingerbread corporate man would have none of it, running away shouting, “Run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread corporate man!”

A little further down the road he met a tree hugging, spotted owl who exclaimed, “Slow down your development! I want to eat you.” But sidestepping the owl’s advances, he ran away shouting, “Run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread corporate man!”

Over the Wall, he dropped to the street finding a gaggle of banker geese honking, “Don’t stop! We will collect all of the flour and sugar in America and give it to you for your journey.” The gingerbread corporate man, thought a moment and asked, “You don’t want to eat me?” “No”, they cackled. “We want to eat a bit of every bag of flour and sugar we take from the little old ladies of America and give the rest to you so that you grow big.” “You’ve got yourselves a deal!” shouted the gingerbread corporate man as he ran down the street.

As he neared the seashore, he came upon a bevy of bakers from the baker’s union who shouted, “Stop, you have all our flour and we will be without a livelihood if you run away.” “Will you bake until the midnight hours toiling in heat?” asked the gingerbread corporate man. “No, will you let us eat you?” retorted the baking guild. Instead, he ran down to the sea shouting, “Run, run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread corporate man!”

As he reached the shore looking back toward the mayor, spotted owl, gaggle of geese, and bakers all running after him, the gingerbread corporate man shouted, “Oh no! They will catch me. How can I cross this deep ocean?” At that moment, he came upon a crafty Huli Jing, a Chinese fox lingering at the shore. The fox exclaimed, “Climb upon my tail and I will swim across the Pacific.” “You won’t eat me?” asked the Gingerbread corporate man. “Of course not”, said the Chinese fox, “I want to help you.”

As the gingerbread man climbed aboard, he brought the huge bags of flour and sugar that weighed down the fox. The fox said, “Climb upon my back so you won’t get wet.” As they swam closer and closer to China, the gingerbread man added more and more of the capital onto himself, making him bigger and bigger, weighing down the sly fox further.

When China appeared on the horizon, the fox said, “You are much too big and powerful for my back and I am tired. If you want to enter China, you must bring all your fast ideas with you and hop upon my nose to keep dry.” Wanting to escape the Americans who wanted to eat him, the gingerbread corporate man did as he was told.

As soon as they reached the Eastern shore, the Huli Jing tossed the gingerbread corporate man into the air, opened his mouth, and snap, that was the end of the Gingerbread Corporate man!

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Filed under American Governance, China, Multinational Corporations, U.S. Tax Policy

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