Ever since Reagan and fellow foxes took control of the henhouse, expanding corporatism has allowed Big Money to have almost complete control of government policy and regulations.
The wealthy are now paying their lowest tax rates in many decades. The economic elite are reaping huge new fortunes. Banking and corporate entities have more political power than ever.
The Middle class is decimated. Poverty and unemployment numbers are increasing.
Some say it is time for new ideas to correct the past several decades’ vast re-distribution of wealth to the economic elite. I can’t think of any new ideas that are as good as some old ideas; old ideas that corporations are not people, money is not free speech and public elections need public financing. America must make a Constitutional shift in that direction if it is to survive as a free country.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
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If we had more honest judges on the Supreme Court, money wouldn't be treated as "speech" and they wouldn't pretend that corporate person has a basis in anything but pure fraud.
...old ideas that corporations are not people...
Oh my God! Such a heartless statement, you going to hurt their feelings.
Too bad our Supreme Court reflects the level of honesty in the presidents who put them there.
Corporations, for such super-persons, are such delicate souls, in need of special accommodation and protection from those nasty flesh and blood sub-persons.
"...corporations are not people", damn straight, Dubya! Neither are unions, special interest groups, or PAC's. I am with you on this one, buddy.
Too bad our Supreme Court reflects the level of honesty in the presidents who put them there.
In 2000 it was the reverse.
old ideas that corporations are not people
You have to go back almost 150 years for that. Funny how one little clerk writing a court opinion giving corporations personhood has lasted all these years with no one with the balls to correct this mistake!!!!
"corporations are not people, money is not free speech and public elections need public financing."
That's the worst America-hating socialist drivel I've ever heard. If you hate free enterprise and Real Americans so much, why don't y'all just move to one of them comminist countries over there in Yerp.
Yeah things are pretty screwed up and sadly it is worse here and around the world. Those scum want a return to Reaganism "the father of this mess" to finish us and our version of America off. It really sucks pardon me!
"Clink." I'll drink to that, brother.
Ever since Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad in 1886, we’ve had railroads and corporate power buying politicians and judges. More so now, than ever.
Now just how are we supposed to convert the USA to our commanist ways from way over there?
Reaganism never really went away. Bush, Clinton, Bush II, and now Obama have all been accommodating the Big Money agenda.
Dave your post is about as succinct and accurate a statement of what's wrong and what must be done as I have seen anywhere.
Getting there is going to require leadership of a kind not evident anywhere I can detect. I look at Reps. Anthony Weiner, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and former Rep. Alan Grayson and see possibilities. I look at Senate Dems and my eyes glaze over. Bless Bernie Sanders, but he's not a Democrat.
I hope we're in a darkest-before-dawn interlude before someone comes along with the vision, passion and willingness to fight like hell required to make your constitutional shift happen.
One would think that on issues like these, where the majority share our view, that it would be an easy cause to lead. But, no, not in the Corporate States of America. Our freedom and equality are not in the interests of the power elite. As with the Patriot Act extension "debate" we see how power and plutocracy never yield willingly to the people they dominate.
Tom Harper said... "That's the worst America-hating socialist drivel I've ever heard. If you hate free enterprise and Real Americans so much, why don't y'all just move to one of them comminist countries over there in Yerp."
If someone wants a government and an economy, governed by the rule of law, they are not going to find it here!
Corruption is the heart and soul of this nation. Heck, without massive fraud, we wouldn't even have the economy we have right now! Without the massive corruption that fills our government, we wouldn't have the government we have today!
If you don't want widespread fraud and corruption pervading every aspect of your life, go to some country where the rule of law is respected.
You can't truly love America without loving the corruption pouring from it's heart in Washington DC.
It's tradition. The US and all the nations of North, Central, and South America began as imperial conquests. The native populations were slaughtered and their homelands were taken from them. The fact that later generations of white power threw off European control still doesn't change the fact that two continents were stolen.
What we see in the present is merely the continuation of the massive kleptocracy. Now most of the people are being ripped off like the original indigenous people have been.
As Russell Means says, "Welcome to the Reservation."
Dave: I have always liked your summaries of the situation - "corporations are not people", "money is not free speech".
It's interesting how easily the majority have been duped into believing rich people are entitled to more speech than the rest of us because after all, they have more money than the rest of us.
What else should we expect when sound bites and short attention spans have filled the vacuum created by the absence human thought in our society.
Our culture of reverence for wealth and the wealthy, combined with the corrupt campaign funding by "free speech" money most of us do not have, can only lead us to plutocratic neo-feudalism.
We are frighteningly very close, if not already there, in so many ways.
The next big step will fundamentally change America.
The talk of State Bankruptcies means that public assets and services will be given away to corporations.
As for instance, public water supplies could well become privately owned. In other countries where this has been enacted, and controlled by the same corporations lobbying to take control in the USA, rated were hiked dramatically and maintenance was put on the back burner.
Cities that were accustomed to a steady supply of clean safe drinking water, soon found that water supplies would be sporadically available, and often times was dirty, stinky and needed to be boiled before drinking or bathing in it.
This happened for two reasons, the corporations running the system didn't maintain it, water main breaks would go unfixed, and they found it expensive to treat the water, so they would often deliver it untreated.
Because the state or county was bankrupt, the water corporation would also gouge the government for extra interest fees. So taxes had to be raised to cover increased costs.
Along with privatization came deregulation. So no government had legal authority to oversee the water corporation or set guidelines for it's practices and services.
Further, the water corporation was able to pass laws that strictly controlled what a citizen could do with water. Rain water collection was criminalized.
Some folks likely won't believe this. But it's documented on the internet and in books. And you can likely find many eyewitness accounts on the web, though many may not be written in English.
It will be easier to believe if you find yourself boiling water to drink, after your city privatizes the water supply.
I am despairing of this country surviving the greed and the stupidity as an intact entity. I'll be stunned if it does.
I share your despair. Stupidity and greed are backed by Big Money. The simple Constitutional fix is out of the question until after the collapse, I'm afraid. That's if we even have a Constitution in the new Corporate States of America.
Here's an new idea we have never tried. 100% public financing for elections.
TomCat there is a host of things that have to be changed to fix this.
Publically financed elections would certainly be a good start.
I'm afraid that if you got that implemented, our beloved grifters in Congress would just create a new way to screw us.
One technique used is charitable contributions. Say you're running for office. Your wife, brother, dog what have you..., sets up a charitable organization say to feed hungry storks in Botswana. Your good friends from K-Street all contribute a total of $2 million. Your wife pulls down a salary of $1.8 million. $100 thousand goes to overhead (favors) and the rest is used to advertise about the good work your wife is doing.
Though your wife is bigwig CEO of a major charitable corporation, you're just a humble public servant.
I agree, Dave, on all counts :)
The closest we came was to Teddy Roosevelt's idea. In 1971, Congress passed the Federal Election Campaign Act, which required candidates to report expenses and contributions, and the Revenue Act, which set up a Presidential Election Campaign Fund, financed by an optional checkoff box on income tax returns that diverted $1 (since raised to $3) from the U.S. Treasury.
This is so short of the obscene amount of money "needed" for campaigns it's refused. This is in order to take donations from those who can afford "free speech", of course.
And of course the cycle of corruption will never end as long as the foxes keep running the henhouse.
I just want to comment again on a positive note. The pro democracy protests in the Middle East, Wisconsin, and Ohio are showing that people are starting to fight back. The more the rich take away from the rest of us, the less we have to lose.
Dave, I'm not saying that idea will fix the mess. It's just one that has not been tried before to go along with all the old ideas we both support.
I have to agree. This is exciting and provides a glimmer of hope. We are at the point where we need a serious "Democracy for America" movement.
It's pretty easy for us to provide the ideas that would solve much of the problem. I'm afraid the ruling elite will never concede power, let alone allow their politicians to institute the reforms democracy requires.
Dave, your post is spot on.
Libhom said "If we had more honest judges on the Supreme Court, money wouldn't be treated as "speech" and they wouldn't pretend that corporate person has a basis in anything but pure fraud."
I say, I am a person and I pay taxes. If a corporation is a person, then that person needs to pay their taxes too.
But there are some real dildographers out there who actually believe corporations should not have to pay taxes at all...
One of the absolute worst things about the whole mess is that the GOP is heavily engaging in what Naomi Klein calls "disaster capitalism". They did this to us by using "9-11" as an "excuse" for getting into the Iraq War and for ramming the Patriot Act down our throats, and now they are trying to use the budget deficit as an excuse for gutting the public sector. Sadly, it is easy to convince people in dire times that such dire solutions are the way to go.
And when about 80% of the talking heads in the media are conservatives, we all know what kind of message the people will be getting pounded into their heads, over and over, night after night on this union-busting thing. I wouldn't be surprised to soon see major opinion polls that show the public wanting to make all public employees' jobs privatized, make all the public schools into private schools, get rid of all unions in the public and private sectors, etc.
George Lakoff nails things down very nicely in this article. Sorry I don't know how to add a working link to my comments, but you can copy and paste this into your browser... it's worth the read!
Thanks. That's a good article. "What Conservatives Really Want" is a bit misleading. Typical people who believe they are "Conservatives" do not want change. Voting for Republicans has meant more change than Dems are capable or willing to do. We are rapidly changing into a neo-feudal plutocracy of economic elite lords and a population of serfs.
I like to begin the discussion with the idea that there's a big difference between conservativism and radical right wing ideology. If fiscal responsibility is a conservative virtue then Clinton was more conservative than Republicans. Amish are conservative. Republicans are more like fascists than ordinary conservative people. They have been very successful in utilizing fascistic propaganda, with fear-mongering and scapegoating, to dupe ordinaty Americans into accepting their anti-democratic plutocracy as conservatism.
This is not a struggle between liberals and conservatives. It is between democracy and totalitarianism. It is people against plutocracy. The great conservative flaw is they are invested in a false belief system nurtured by the plutocratic powers.
Short but very sweet post Dave.
That people continue to vote against their own self-interests still baffles me.
People put the Rethugs in power in Wisconsin. What they were thinking when they pulled the lever for all those corporate bootlickers is beyond me.
We can only hope that the demonizing of the middle class by assholes like Walker will backfire on them during the 2012 elections. But I ain't holding my breath.
Tragically, people all over have done the same thing and gave it away to the Plutocracy. Many brave, bold and good Wisconsin folks are making up for it and giving us an example to follow. It's good to see this surge in democracy catching on in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan as well. If the midwest is finally waking up a bit, maybe we'll see some momentum.
While neither of us are holding our breath, it's time we all join the New American Democracy Society.
We must have the NADS for freedom, democracy, and the American way.
But seriously, it's time to make a stand, if it's not too late already.
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