Sunday, September 12, 2010

Vital Issues, Part II -- Corporatocracy

The United States was founded on the premise that "...governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." (Declaration of Independence)

There should be no "rulers" -- dictators, monarchs, emperors, etc. -- but, instead, elected officials should represent the will of the governed. Hence, such principles as "one person, one vote" have been established and perpetuated.

However, there is evidence that large corporations are exerting ever increasing control over government by means of large contributions to campaigns, the pressure of powerful lobbying groups, lucrative consulting and other employment offers to retiring legislators, not to mention possible out and out coercion and blackmail. The outgrowth of this corporate intervention has been termed "Corporatocracy."

Corporatocracy has no party. Businesses hedge their bets by contributing to candidates of both major parties. Citizens complain that there is little difference between candidates -- at least in matters which would affect the fortunes of the corporate donors. Consequently, party platforms have degenerated to so called "hot-button" issues which have little impact on the lives of voters, but which generate great water cooler conversation. The concentration on these non-issues obscure discussion of complicated, but much more meaningful issues.

Corporate influence over our elections threatens our entire way of life. Corporations have no nationality. Stock from publicly held corporations may be owned by other corporations, foreigners, foreign governments. In short, if you have cash and have no easily identified, direct link to terrorism or some other criminal element, then you can own stock in a "US" corporation. A 2005 analysis estimated that over 13% of US corporate stock was foreign owned. This percentage has almost certainly grown, if not skyrocketed.

So... who is being represented when, say, Giganticorp funnels a huge contribution into the campaign of Farly Hotaire. It's hard to know. But it's easy to say that it is certainly not the will of the governed. If not representing actual foreign interest, then it is at very least the interest of a small group of inordinately wealthy corporate high rollers.

The challenge -- how do we reverse this, particularly since the problem is in charge of the problem! Is the answer term limits? Is the answer publicly financed campaigns for all federal offices? How do we limit the collusion of corporate owned media outlets, an obvious conflict of interest? (Do you notice how much air time is given to items that obscure real news and public debate?)

We ignore this problem at the risk of our freedom... Corporatocracy is simply Neofeudalism, and believe me, you and I are NOT the nobility. We need to be thinking of this... not Mosques near Ground Zero, not Gay Marriage, not Birth Certificates.

No name calling, no talking points, no party lines -- no "isms" of any kind. But think about it... and contribute. Email your congressman.

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