The American Corporate Political System appears to be thriving, prosperous, and Corrupt.
As one observes at a glance the American political system is captured by a two-party autocracy whose perennial gerrymandering results in selected districts controlled by one-party fiefdoms assuring longevity for the party and its candidates. Our forefathers would be appalled and saddened that the country they built and had high hopes for is in the hands of these two political groups. The two parties presently in control of the government, are humorously identified in Jess Ventura’s best-selling tome as the ‘Democrips and the Rebloodlicans Gangs” that is not too far from being accurate. With supreme arrogance the two entities continuously oppose a third-party, and the voices of progressive independent candidates asking recognition for participation in debates and proper access to the ballot box. An equally noxious obstacle to American competitive democracy is the infinite supply of big money provided to Corporate sponsored Super PAC’s that taint elections and political candidates into compliance with the wishes and aims of corporate will.
At the Federal level, the Congressional and the Executive branches can fairly be described as servile partners to large Multinational Corporate Regimes that perpetuate their influences at the expense of the citizenry. Although corporate giveaways were fairly common prior to and particulary during the terms of recent presidents: The “Great Deregulator” Ronald Reagan; the “Treaty Binder” Bill Clinton, enthusiast for NAFTA and the World Trade Organization agreements; and of course, last but not least George W. Bush, the corporate “Tax Reducer” who during the period after 9-11, and entering into two expensive wars, was known as “Just go shopping, Bush” while providing the largest tax capitulation to the wealthies in Wall Street history.
With the support of both parties in Congress these modern-day presidents subordinated our sovereignty and disregarded the needs of American workers by colluding with the globel Cabal of Corporatism, taking jobs from Americans and relocating them to poorer low wage overseas labor pools to significantly enhancing their profits. Generally as the jobs moved overseas they were unconcerned for those unemployed left behind. (This was inexcusable, there is something called “Tarifs” on incoming goods that could have been applied, but then again that wasn’t profitable “free trade.” To merely delute corporate white-collar – money-mongers won’t stop them, they want additional markets and free tax breaks so they my keep trillions of dollars over the next decade through rebates, loop holes, giveaways, other financial privileges, and if need be in the future…. government bailouts.
Should you have any doubt giant companies have charge of the U. S. government, here is one prime illustration: If you paid one dollar in taxes in any of the years 2008, 2009, and 2010, you paid more than the giant General Electric (GE), a super collous defense contractor. During this period GE made $ 7,722 billion dollars in U.S. profits, and paid no taxes, and received 4,737 billion dollars in return from the IRS. GM subsequently didn’t do too badly profit-wise in a more peaceful period in the years 2011-12 either, making 37.1 billion dollars, with 51.2 billon of it in foreign countries while paying no taxes and receiving a, currently in dispute, a 4.2 billion IRS refund. If well-known, ordinary businesses and households would be shaking their heads. Still not satisfied GE lawyers and accountants are busily devising strategies to continue avoiding taxes altogether, forever, and by so doing shift the burden to you the ordinary taxpayer. Citizens For Tax Justice reviewed 288 profitable Fortune Five Hundred corporations and found 26 of them including Boeing (BA) General Electric (GE) and Verizon (VZ) hadn’t paid taxes during stretches of five-years or more. What do you image the following corporations paid in actual taxes to the Federal Government in the most years? In most years, DuPont, Exxon Mobil, FedEx, Honeywell international, IBM, United technologies, Wells Fargo, and Yahoo…. Nothing. They get a free ride at your expense when the nation’s infrastructue needs it most. Through the centuries there have been warnings of a progressing Fascist-like government that would be controlled by Corporations, but only a few warnings have been heeded.
Abraham Lincoln: “I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of the country. Corporations have been enthroned and the era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated into a few hands and the Republic destroyed.”
Theodor Roosevelt: “The citizens of the United States must control the mighty commercial forces which they themselves call into being.” Known as the “Trust Buster” Teddy, was instrumental in passing multi anti-monopoly laws and the dissemination of the powerful railroad consortiums, as well he wholeheartedly supported Sherman anti-monopoly legislation.
Woodrow Wilson: “Big business is not dangerous because it is big, but because its bigness is an unwholesome infatuation created by privileges and exemptions which it ought not to enjoy.”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt: FDR in our more modern era was one of the first Presidents to alert Americans to the dangers of Corporate control. During a formal message to Congress in 1938, he called it the “Grip of Fascism.” He said, and I quote “The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to the point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That is the essence, is Faccism–ownership of the government by an individual, by a group, or by another controlling private power.” Addressing Congress with that postcript was a shot across the bow warning of the danger of a closedown of a democratic Republic, and to the people, labor, workers, to the democratic process, and the opening of government largess to the financial elitist.
Dwight Eisenhower’s famous address when leaving office in 1960, “In the councils of government we must guard against unwanted influence whether sought or unsought by the Military-Industrial Complex.
Corporations are insatiably desirous of even more, additional tax write-offs so they can keep the trillions they’ve already made, or stolen, to invest in low paying regions for greater profit. In whose pockets do these large sums go? In what tropical paradise do they hide their funds that isn’t Switzerland? Here is another moderate example: Wal-Mart imports 22 billion a year from China. Approximately a million Wal-Mart workers earn under $10.50 before deductions, in some locals the wage in the $9.00 range while the CEO makes $11,000 an hours in his Benton, Arkansaw headquarters. The CEO may deserve the sum, but is it morally or ethically acceptable? During the height, or as some would say the bottom low, of the 2006-2009 economic crises Wall Street bonuses did not diminish in the least by an agreement through President Obama, and is some instances bonuses were increased in spite serious financial errors and remaining government bailout debt.
Now what is to be done, to be accomplished, to rid the democratic system of these high-flyers who lack consideration for our people, the 99%. For us as Americans there is only one realistic source of opposition, the coming together to vote these political puppets and their mentors out of office and legislate laws to curtail the excessive contributions to these powerful elite groups. So, despite of the frustrations, lets roll up our sleeves, sign petitions, demonstrate, join with like Americans and right this wrong, or eventually, eventually in the not too distant future there will be only one direction, and that the road to perdition.
As an after thought: As reported sparingly during World War II I provide this. Throughout the worst days of fighting the Nazi Panzers on the Russian Eastern Front, and as the Germans approached Moscow, extensive measure had to be taken to increase war production. At this critical juncture guns, tanks, aircraft and even food was in short supply. Therefore, extreme measures had to be taken quickly if the country was to survive the onslaught by the “Hun” army. Factories, and shops were working 24/7, double and triple shifts were the order of the day and night. Stalin, and his staff would not and could not adhere to, or tolerate, an undisciplined work force. Every man and woman who was not a soldier, fighting and dying at the cold frozen front, was called upon to give their utmost. Infrequently workers would malinger, fain sickness, not arrive at work, drunk, or were often tardy without excuse. Accordingly the Soviets, this serious matter had to be addressed, and it was. Those very few so often disposed on arrival at work were taken outside the facility and executed in broad daylight by a two-man firing squad in order to set things right and get back on crisis production schedules. I’m not saying or recommending in any way we take the most errant, arrogant, greedy, Wall Street speculators from their offices and shot them in the street. No, I’m only suggesting it.
All the Best,
Miller is the author of Rogue Journey, 1935-1975, the way it was; and Vietnam Journey, ten years in Vietnam, both avaiable on Amazon.com and leading books stores.