How Does the Corporation Offend Thee? Let Me Count the Ways

The country is in a terrible state and we activists are run ragged trying to deal with endless permutations of corporate abuse and government corruption, running around like the proverbial headless chicken after all the assaults on our civil liberties, human rights, the environment, workers’ rights, the social safety net, women’s rights, a free and open Internet, and on and on.  There is, however, one overarching source of these problems which encompasses all the others, ties them together, and once one understands its significance, explains what otherwise would be an overwhelming array of separate, disparate, insoluble predicaments over which we might throw up our hands in despair.

Regardless of the concern, all of them are traceable back to the corporate “personhood” abuse of our system and subversion of our democracy.  Take any issue you like from foreign policy to food production and we can see how the corporate world has monopolized and controlled it for the purpose of amassing enormous wealth at the rest of our expense.  How has it managed to do this? By utilizing the misbegotten legal doctrines of corporate “personhood” and money as “speech” that came in through the back door by way of the Supreme Court’s being taken over by some old corporate attorneys back in 1886.  This precedent, set by what was actually a clerk’s summation of the Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad case, has been wreaking havoc ever since.

Let me give you an example.  Pretend for a moment that you are a poor, beleaguered billionaire who owns a pharmaceutical company and say you have this nifty new drug you want to foist on the public and there are all these pesky regulations that require you to actually test it first to make sure that it doesn’t cause birth defects, cancer, or premature death.  What do you do?

Well rather than wring your hands in desperate frustration, you get to work and go out and lobby congress, bribe some politicians, buy a few elections in key districts, gobble up some tv stations and start disseminating disinformation about how safe and wonderful and life-enhancing it is, place some corporate shills in some key agencies like the FDA, get a few judges in your pocket, corrupt some research, patent some human genomes, challenge whatever laws or regulations may be on the books or slipped through congress that are cramping your go-getter, capitalist style and go to court under the commerce clause and argue that your “right” to make obscene profits off of people’s suffering is being hampered, and voila, you’ve got your drug approved!

If all of that doesn’t work, go to court on the basis of corporate “personhood” and argue that your “rights” under the Bill of Rights have been infringed upon and that you should be compensated by the taxpayers for all your pain and suffering at outrageously being required to actually do business legitimately!  That will show those do-gooders and bleeding hearts that corporations are people too and your feelings are mightily hurt!

Now if we actually had a free press rather than a corporate-owned press, journalists could challenge this kind of propaganda and corruption, but once again, because of corporate rule and undue influence allowing them to dictate and even write many laws, impact policies of government agencies, not pay taxes, get government subsidies (i.e. corporate welfare) so they can amass billions, these corporations, owned by the 1%, can buy up all the news media they like and monopolize the message and go to court endlessly and challenge every law, regulation, and restriction until they get what they want. Case in point:  the Koch Bros. are trying to buy the Tribune now (in addition to elections and politicians).  As if Rupert Murdoch controlling the flow of information were not enough!

The corporation has been allowed to run amok, enabled by an increasingly corrupt government, becoming so enmeshed, that more and more the corporate world and government are indistinguishable from one another. In addition, the press has been taken over by the 1% and commandeered to be nothing more than corporate copywriters dispensing its pre-approved messaging, rather than doing its job of challenging and exposing this merger and sabotage of our democratic process.

Corporate “personhood” is the root cause of how nothing is working any more, like it did when FDR was President for instance, because it is a cancer that has metastasized throughout our entire political system and mortally infected it by eliminating all the safeguards and checks and balances on the abuse of power.  It is as if the immune system has been disabled so that there is no longer any effective response to the opportunistic disease of corruption–a system that was previously capable of throwing off illness is no longer healthy enough to do so.

The patient has succumbed and is in its death throes unless we intervene and pass a Constitutional amendment to restore our democracy by excising corporate “personhood” and money as “speech,” the only remedy to this dire situation.  We can no longer afford to offer the patient palliative relief by chasing symptom after symptom (though that billionaire big pharma owner would love us to do so).  We must go for the all-out cure because democracy is all-but-dead and our Constitutionally-protected right to a government of, by, and for the PEOPLE, not the CORPORATION, is null and void if we do not.

There may be a plethora of problems, but fortunately the solution is elegantly simple:  stop chasing the symptoms and attack the root cause of corporate “personhood.”

The Social Safety Net Under Attack

Our social safety net is under assault by the representatives of the ultra wealthy who want to rob the Social Security fund and take away the earned benefits for which many of us have been working our entire lives.

Write your Representative today and tell them to stand against cuts to our earned Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits.

Have you signed the Cancel The Sequester petition yet?

If not, take a minute now.

Is Obama Dangling us Over the Cliff?!

Obama &  the Social Safety Net

I am very concerned that the White House is going to cave in to pressure from the hostage-taking Republicans with regard to the phony “fiscal cliff” despite the fact that it is a huge betrayal of the middle class and the poor to continue to allow the ultra-rich 1% to evade paying their fair share of taxes off the backs of the rest of us.  We also are not fooled by the phony “fiscal cliff” nonsense, nor are we taken in by the attempt to gut Social Security and Medicare, programs to which we the people are ENTITLED because people have paid into them their entire adult lives!  Social Security and Medicare do not add ONE PENNY to the deficit so this is a total red herring and the budget crisis is one of their own making.  But we the people, per usual, are the ones who stand to lose from the political posturing because these threats have real financial consequences in the real world to real people and Obama is not grounded in terra firma if he risks the well-being of the American people in this game of chicken.  Will he throw us over the cliff or throw us a lifeline and keep the social safety net intact?

Obama was re-elected to stand up to these right-wing lapdogs to the ultra-rich, not give in to their rigid, grossly unfair, preposterous demands, but if history is any indicator, he will forget who elected him, become the weak, spineless (or worse) non-leader he has been, and cave in once again.  Worse, Obama has been the one who has opened the door to cutting Social Security and Medicare, decrying his not “getting credit” to negotiate away our most basic programs upon which millions of Americans depend.  As these cuts would especially harm women who are the poorest of the poor, I here reiterate what the National Organization of Women stated, that specifically he should NOT:

  • back down from allowing the full amount of the Bush-era tax cuts for the top 2% of income earners to expire
  •  agree to the “chained CPI,” a cruel and immediate cut in Social Security benefits
  • agree to raising the Medicare eligibility age
  • agree to means-testing Medicare
  • agree to cutting Medicaid funding in any way

All of this current discussion in Washington is a distraction.  If cuts were applied where they need to be–wars and the Pentagon–and the richest 1% and multinational corporations were paying their fair share in taxes and generating the jobs they supposedly create, there would be no deficit and no budget shortfall.  John Boehner, Paul Ryan, and the rest of the austerity fascists and their enablers like Obama need to fall off their fictional fiscal cliff, not mercilessly shove the middle class and the poor over it by destroying the social safety net while allowing their billionaire paymasters to continue to evade responsibility for their actions and live as fiscal predators and parasites off the backs of the 99%.  We would be far better off to have tax increases across the board go into effect than trade away these vital lifelines.  In a world where the interests of the people were actually considered, Congress could then draw up a sensible budget strengthening Social Security and streamlining Medicare, and eliminate the deficit by increasing taxes on the ultra-rich, ending all the wars, and drastically reducing the bloated Pentagon budget.