While unemployment remains stuck around 8.5 to 9 percent, and many analysts continue to insist the economy is in dire straits, corporate profits are at an all-timehigh. The reason profits are high is quite simple. Corporations have fired many of their employees and have required more production from those they retain. Those mighty corporations, who tell us they need lower taxes and less regulation to spur employment, are the very ones shrinking the number of available jobs. But they aren't shrinking their workforce because they can't afford to retain the employees. They're reducing the number of employees because executive compensation is tied to quarterly profits and firing employees is the quickest way to affect the bottom line. This is why major corporations oppose labor unions and support right-to-work laws - getting rid of the unions gives executives much greater latitude in firing employees, which provides greater flexibility in reaching those target numbers for the quarter, resulting in million-dollar bonuses for executives at the expense of hourly wage earning American workers.