Corporate Rule and Wars for Oil

Corporations are a threat to democracy! In fact, they are THE THREAT to democracy. (Of course, by ‘democracy’ I mean the Trotsky version rather than the less legitimate and historically American DeTocqueville variant.)

Demonizing the corporation is a basic tenet of the left's ideology. From fighting new Walmart locations to proposing windfall profit taxes on Big Oil, (ironically as punishment for high gasoline prices), to revoking the laws of incorporation themselves, the left sees busineses and corporations as nefarious enterprises which are hurting people and usurping the role of government.

On one level, it's that corporations are in fact making the fundamental decisions that shape our society. They determine essentially what work we do, which technologies get developed, which production methods are used as opposed to other productions methods. They are constantly pushing the concept that production has to expand, and from that comes wealth, liberty and freedom. Most of the decisions that they make are essentially beyond the public's ability to interfere with. They have increasingly, through the law, got their decision-making to be declared private property. ~Challenging Corporate Power, Richard Grossman

So then, the government should be deciding what work we do and what products are developed?!

The more I think about it, the more sense it makes to me. Virtually every liberal issue finds some justification rooted in this simple premise. It is the prism through which every liberal issue is viewed.

Even the War on Terror and the War in Iraq for instance, what is it but a corporate war for oil? Amazing isn't it? Despite the fact that if we wanted more oil from Saddam we would have had sanctions removed.

Thou shalt not covet

The truth is that the left covets corporate power. To the left, private power is rival power. Don't doubt that this does not trickle down to individual power and rights as well. It is not incorporation that is at stake here, but liberty. The left sees business as a competitor to their hallowed institutions. When your ultimate goal is for government to be the provider of nearly everything it is inconvenient for people to be able to get it on their own. Hence the more that business provides the less reason there is for government to provide those very same things.

Giant corporations govern. In the Constitution of the United States they are delegated no authority to make our laws and define our culture. Corporations have no constitutions, no bills of rights. So when corporations govern, democracy flies out the door. ~Challenging Corporate Power, Richard Grossman

Is money corrupting politics?

A good example of the kind of 'campaign finance reform' that the true believers would like to see enacted everywhere in order to 'restore democracy' and 'stop the corporate corruption of our electoral process' is the the passage of Humboldt County's Measure T in California's June 2006 election.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Voters in Humboldt County, California, passed Measure T, an innovative ballot initiative repealing the legal status of corporations as 'persons', limiting corporate influence on politics... ~Green Party

_____

But the county's Measure T, on the ballot Tuesday, would carry more weight than a stern municipal harrumph. If it passes and then survives an almost inevitable legal challenge, it would bar donations to local candidates or initiatives by any out-of-town corporation.

That would cover almost all of the world's companies. As defined in the measure, a "non local" corporation is one with even a single employee, director or shareholder outside the county. However, the measure would allow labor unions with just one Humboldt County member to donate freely. ktla news

Yes, you heard right. Corporate money bad. Union money good. I wonder why they don't mind out-of-county Union money corrupting the political process in local elections?

Another reason our democracy is having a difficult time right now is because of the influence of money in our political process. People watch the process from afar, and they see the special tax breaks & loopholes that special interests are able to obtain.

Our founders feared that economic power would one day seize political power. Frankly, that fear has been realized with the Bush administration. The largest corporations and wealthiest individuals benefit from tax cuts that are bankrupting the states. They reward the largest political contributors at the expense of today's middle class, whose property taxes are skyrocketing.

Meanwhile, the oil companies write our energy policy, big pharmaceutical companies draft Medicare reform; and Halliburton is awarded no-bid contracts in Iraq. It is a government of, by, and for the special interests. The only way the American people are included in the process is that we are left to pay the hills.

issues200.com, Source: Winning Back America, by Howard Dean, p.123-4 Dec 3, 2003

Is there any doubt about the true agenda of this crowd? Try using the terms proletariat and bourgeoisie, it clarifies things greatly.

Posted by Eric Simonson at June 15, 2006 12:17 AM
Comments
Comment #157935

I see Eric Simonson is against the Net Neutrality Bill going to the Senate.

Always nice to see where people stand.

Posted by: Aldous at June 15, 2006 12:26 AM
Comment #157937

Aldous,

You know what happens when we ASSUME don’t you?

Posted by: esimonson at June 15, 2006 12:31 AM
Comment #157940

Eric Simonson:

So you are for Net Neutrality then? Why aren’t you supporting the Corporations in that front? Don’t you think Corporations would be good for the Net as your article suggests?

Posted by: Aldous at June 15, 2006 12:35 AM
Comment #157948

Eric,
It is an interesting topic.

The Boston Tea Party was at its heart a revolt against Big Business, specifically the East India Company.

For the first century of US history, “corporations received their charters from states and the charters were for a limited period, like 20 or 30 years, not in perpetuity. They were only allowed to deal in one commodity, they could not hold stock in other corporations, their property holdings were limited to what was necessary for their business, their headquarters had to be located in the state of their principle business, monopolies had their charges regulated by the state, and all corporate documents were open to the legislature. Any political contribution by a corporation was treated as a criminal offence. Corporations could, and often did, have their charters removed if the state considered that their activities harmed its people.”
http://www.feasta.org/documents/review2/unequal_protection.htm

This changed when American Railroads won an important case, Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific Railroad in 1886:

“… This particular case had suddenly reversed eighteen years of consistent ruling by the Supreme Court that corporations did not have the rights of human persons. He found that textbooks only quoted the headnote not any details. He eventually unearthed the original records in Vermont only to find that the judge had specifically stated that the case did not relate to corporate personhood. The headnote had been written a year later by a person whose life had been with the railroads, but by then the judge was too ill to check it. This mistaken or fraudulent headnote is still used in court as a cornerstone of corporate law.”

So! The 14th amendment was extended to give corporations recognition as “persons” in clear violation of original intent.

Posted by: phx8 at June 15, 2006 12:49 AM
Comment #157950

Corporations are writing the laws today. If you think that makes for a good Democracy…well then you must be a ceo or to misguided to understand the problem.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 15, 2006 1:02 AM
Comment #157953

Ah, Eric the terrible returns, unfortunately I have to go to work at this ungodly hour, but I shall return….but not to the phillipines.

Posted by: gergle at June 15, 2006 1:11 AM
Comment #157954

That’s Philippines, gergle. The natives become upset if you misspell it.

Posted by: Aldous at June 15, 2006 1:33 AM
Comment #157959

Like many problems currently facing American society, the problem of corporate involvement in the political process is self-imposed. Witht the exception of the last Presidential election, voter turnout has been decreasing. On average, only about 50% of citizens eligible to vote actually do so. This means that about 25% of the population makes the rules for the rest of us. Politicians and corporations have both noticed this, and both seek each other out. Corporations donate lavishly to political candidates of both parties, and politicians don’t mind this, especially as fewer and fewer people donate to their campaigns.

I propose the following would be helpful. Number 1, encourage greater voter turnout. The more people who vote, the more power the people will get over special interests. Number 2, vote the corrupt out of office. This might very well mean not sending any incumbents back, but that seems a small price to pay for a government that isn’t corrupt.

If this should ever happen, I think a few logical next steps would follow. Number 1, Congressional term limits. 12 years or 2 terms for Senators and either 8 or 12 years for the house. The Founders did not intend us to have lifelong politicians.In addition, I would revamp the primary system to be totally non-partisan. Set a threshold of voter support, say 15-20% of votes, and have a public fund for them to use for thier political campaigns. NO other money should be allowed except from individual donors. No corporate money, no union money, no special interest money should be allowed to be spent on any campaign.

These seem fairly common sense to me. Of course, because of that, they’ll never happen. More’s the pity.

Posted by: 1LT Barr at June 15, 2006 3:11 AM
Comment #157964

1LT Barr,

I liked your point about voter turnout and your ideas, but here in California we imposed term limits a while back only to watch politicians begin jumping from office to office. As their job titles change every four years, they continue to be wined and dined by the same folks day in and day out. We can’t seem to control our need for incumbency in politics. Once people learn a name, that person literally has to be involved in a child pornography scandel before people stop checking the box next to that oh so familiar and comforting name.

Here’s my idea for a start: suspend all television, sports and events that day…if we’re willing to forcefully install our democratic process in other places, then shouldn’t this day of democracy at home be celebrated like a national holiday? Instead it is another chore to squeeze in after work. Call it Democracy Day…then watch as the faithful eat it up like they did when he endorsed eliminating the “Death Tax” as a way to help ordinary people. Tell me how this can make sense to people.

Next make information about local candidates news. I mean really talk about it…put it on the news BEFORE that crap speech by the president saying absolutely nothing of any relevence (and this is truely a compliment…I’ve never seen such skill in that regard than in the past five years).

And as for Measure T and other measures which serve to seemingly penalize and stifle industry, well lets just call it reactionary (like leaking sensative intelligence info for political gain). These people are just sick of having no say in government. So they change it at a local level…something conservatives used to appreciate. I guess they’d rather just wait for a crisis so they can create a new federal agency.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 15, 2006 4:22 AM
Comment #157965

We should characterize corporations as inherently neither Evil nor Angelic. They are Tools, not enemies, of Society. In our economy today, they are the main engines of wealth creation. Maybe we should focus on learning how to better nurture & use the goose that lays the Golden Eggs … rather than focusing on how to kill / hurt it.

Capitalism is based on the premise that the more one (individual, corporation, or other entity) contributes to society, the more one receives.

That is, greed is good IF AND WHEN benefit to Society is proportional to profit (or personal income).

The purpose of the gov’t is to set law & policy such that the Premise, above, is true … and to take care of Public Goods, which are not handled by supply & demand.

Apparently, the USA has one of the (if not the) best laws currently doing this. However, I personally feel that we can still do MUCH, MUCH better. That is, our Gov’t is quite good relatives to others, but maybe still ~Sucks relative to what it can/should be.

I propose we (THE LEFT & THE RIGHT) suggest laws by which Corporations, Individuals, Nonprofits, Gov’t Institutions, etc. are all governed / motivated to maximize good to the Society-of-the-Long-Term-Future (my personal definition of the Purpose for us all).

But I suspect this should be done by those with education, intelligence, and open minds … not those who pronounce “International Corporation” with the same intonation used to say “Nazi Germany”.

Posted by: Brian at June 15, 2006 4:53 AM
Comment #157970

I always find it funny that the Red team screams foul when a city/county/state decides to play by a different set of rules then they think should be used. That being said they in the next breath talk about shrinking government. So tell me are you for Small fed or big fed. If small fed keep your nose out of local politics unless they are your local. If you are big fed then PAY for it. Pick a side and support it. I hear the red team over on the blue side talking about how the blue team is such winers and come over here and see the same style of article that is lamented (sp) on the blue side.
If all of those disillusioned voters and the small number of us who vote 3rd party were to show up this november and vote 3rd party you would see the largest turnover in congress/local reps ever in history. That would be such a wonderful thing. I may not agree with those 3rd parties about much but at least you know what they stand for.

Posted by: timesend at June 15, 2006 5:37 AM
Comment #157978

OurLadyOfTheTruth is no longer permitted to comment here for violating our Critique the Message, Not the Messenger policy.

Posted by: WatchBlog Managing Editor at June 15, 2006 6:34 AM
Comment #157987

Who runs this country? Whose interests are these people there to serve? All too often, favoritism has been shown to the corporate citizens ahead of their private counterparts. Often times, the legislation betrays common interests for the sake of the few lucky enough to be part of the corporation.

It is this public sovereignty we seek to defend. We don’t need to destroy corporations, just have them occupy their proper place in society, under the rule of law like everybody else.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 15, 2006 7:25 AM
Comment #158001

Wow, a liberal viewpoint on a conservative blog. I see more and more conservatives jumping over to the other side, but now we see them trying to keep the conservative label, just adopting liberal views. Welcome!

Posted by: Nick at June 15, 2006 8:39 AM
Comment #158017

I agree with most of the conservatives out there. I do not hide my true intentions like some politicians. I believe that the corporations are great. Why do Libs hate businesses that help the economy? They need to remember that the corporations each once started out as one lone town shop. So now if you become a wealthy success, Libs hates you? What happened to rugged individualism? That is what makes America great. Corporations create jobs, which takes people off of welfare (which shouldn’t exist anyway).

In other words, people should be the best they can be!

Posted by: Stubborn Conservative at June 15, 2006 10:04 AM
Comment #158034

Blind faith in nameless, faceless, and self motivated entities. I wonder how that’ll work out for you Stubborn Conservative. I mean, why stop there? De-regulate securities too. After all, these magical coprperations would never do anything to screw over the little guy just to add a few more cents to the value of their stock. I mean, when has that ever hapenned?

Personally, I like having at least SOME level of control or recourse. Just balence the detriment of potentially temperarily stifling innovation and maybe not creating as many jobs in a given year, against the possibility of crippling a national economy and ruining millions of lives…and we haven’t even touched on the environment (and yes, the environment is in fact more imortant than a few jobs).

And for that matter, what about corperate welfare? How many times do we need to bail out our industries because they can’t seem to listen to the consumers…their bread and butter. They’d rather listen to the shareholders than to guarantee their own viability.

Now I realize we are in an era where we accept a certain level of ineptitude from our politicians, and lately letting them legislate anything is a scary notion, but lets not go back to the stone age. Corperations are, by design, not content with stagnation - they’ll keep pushing … right off a cliff if you let them.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 15, 2006 11:23 AM
Comment #158035

I want to hear how esimonson responds to aldous’ question.

net neutrality: should corporations be trusted to control the internet?

Posted by: mpc at June 15, 2006 11:28 AM
Comment #158052

I wish I had more time to respond to this thread; it is a crucial issue to the establishment of just, free, democratic society here in the US, and around the world. Instead of relying on ideological dogma (e.g. the infallibility of capitalism vs. that of communism), let’s dispassionately (if possible) examine some facts about the current global situation. I maintain that the incalcuable power wielded by the present model of transnational corporate globalization does in fact undermine democratic principles, and is creating an unjust and unequal living situation for a majority of the world. Please note, that I have not—and will not—use the word evil, or greedy, etc. I will describe the facts as I see them (with some editorializing, perhaps), each can decide whether to believe or accept them, or not, and then judge for him/herself whether they are bad or good or evil or just. I personally stay away from such terms; I believe life is never really that black and white.
Corporations, by definition, exist to make a profit, not to develop democracy, not to enrich the lives of the world’s citizenry, and not to enhance the natural environment in which we all live. Nothing wrong with that, in and of itself, just a definition. Within the last fifty years or so, within the context of the elimination of global super powers vying for international power (Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, and eventually the Soviet Union) the world in which we now live is dominated by geo-economics much more than geo-politics. It seems to me that for many, especially in the US and the industrial West, the fall of the Soviet Union signaled the unqualified triumph of capitalism over communism (though neither ideology was purely practiced, nor often even understood, and both were deeply flawed in practice within the respective countries). This “victory” has been parlayed into a justification for the imposition of the West’s notions of progress and natural economic law on the rest of the world. Many in the US have become convinced that the trinity of free markets, privatization, and government non-intervention in the economy (referred to as neoliberalism) is not only beneficial to human society, but is actually an immutable law of nature of the democratic society. It is not divine law; neoliberal economic theory is a quite manmade ideology, based on Western traditions, especially the writings of Adam Smith during the eighteenth century, and reinforced during the 1950s and 60s in large part as a response to the political and military conflict with the USSR. Please note, I’m not judging the efficacy or justice of “free-market capitalism” unto itself, or vis a vis communism or any other “ism”, just trying to establish a factual (if brief) context for the rise of global corporate power, which, again, I will leave to the reader’s judgments as to the current threat to democracy or lack thereof of corporate power (I’m trying to stay on topic here, I promise).
Now to the rise of the transnational corporations, and the international institutions which represent their agenda. Since the 1970s, the IMF and the World Bank have assumed the role of deciding who, and under what conditions, shall receive international loans and foreign investment. Again, in and of itself, this is not a problem—it seems we need international governance of an increasingly global marketplace. But these institutions were created in the West; and unarguably represent the interests of the 24 or so industrialized democracies of the West (or in more current terms, the Global North) and the multinational corporations by and large based there. Neoliberal economics have been taken to be infallible by those who govern the big 24, and especially those in the IMF and WB, as the best and only way for poor countries to develop their economies and acheive democracy and freedom. (Here is where we get to the part about democracy, finally!) Among the conditions required for the vast majority of poor and barely viable countries of say, Latin America, Africa, SE Asia, to receive the desperately needed IMF and WB funds to serve their nations’ peoples, the governments in these countries must adhere to Structural Adjustment Policies (SAPs)—policies crafted by and for transnational corporations and their stockholders—not determined by local populations or their leaders:
—Remove all protective tariffs to enhance competition
—Privatize nationalized industries to private (often foreign) investors
—Devalue their currencies to combat inflation
—Enhance the rights of foriegn investors in their countries, including changing laws that interfere with foriegners doing business in ther countries
—Slash government spending by instituting austerity measures, cutting government subsidies and social spending
These Structural Adjustment Policies (SAPs) have had truly disastrous effects on the socio-political, cultural, and environmental conditions in a vast majority of the world. Most relevant to this discussion is that they have eroded the national soveriegnty and prerogatives of the people and the governments in the countries in which they have been implemented. Under this scheme, and thus decimated by it, companies and individuals within these often chronically war-torn and impoverished nations cannot possibly compete in the worldwide market. This is not free-market capitalism, certainly not the version under which the US developed into the great industrial democracy that it has become. The US could not, and would not, I maintain, have acheived its greatness if it were not allowed to decide for itself if and when to erect tariffs to allow for its own companies to grow and compete with the long established economies, technologies, and infrastructures of the Old World. Nor if foreign interests were given supranational power to dictate to our fledgling democracy what laws it may or must enact, enforce, or repeal, or how to create and regulate our own fiscal policy could the US (or the entirety of the industrialized world) have developed into the society that values above all liberty and human dignity.
It is fair to ask, “If these countries are seeking loans and foriegn investments, why should the IMF and WB not be able to offer what terms it wants, and leave those nations free to choose to accept them or not?” First, for most of the underdeveloped world, they really had no choice from the start. But especially since the implementation of neoliberal economics into the global marketplace, there has been no alternative to buying into the program. In a majority of the world, the very basics of life, food, water, and energy are under the control of the interests of transnational corporations operating across national boundries, but accountable to no national authority. They have not been elected by anyone, especially not the estimated 80% of the world’s population that cannot afford to share in the dream of mass consumption and high standards of living promised by neoliberal globalization. Nor have the officers and members of the IMF and WB, who are responsible for the actual imposition of economic and socio-political regulations on those peoples and their governments been elected in a democratic fashion. The votes in the IMF (184 members) are distributed by the number of shares in the bank, not by a “one man, one vote” system. It is therefore possible, for example, for 1 of those 184 to veto a measure even if the other 183 all support it. The US holds 17% of the vote, and an 85% majority is required to pass a measure.
Finally, the statistics, whether from the UN, IMF, WB, or other national and non-governmental agencies organizations, show that poverty is growing around the globe. The gap between the incomes of the top and bottom 20% is growing, in every country, including the US. I apologize for not citing sources for all this info, but I didn’t intend to write so long or thouroughly just now. But just go online—look at the UN studies on poverty (among many)… I’ll also mention a book that deals with these issues (admittedly, one-sidedly), called The Myth of Development, Oswaldo de Rivero.
Discovering some of these facts takes some work; democracy takes an informed citizenry, and that takes work. To conclude, then, ignoring ideologies that paint capitalists as evil monsters or communists as immoral totalitarians—or conservatives as greedy and liberals as big-government, entitlement-loving crackpots, the realities here on planet earth, oblivious to our fragile egos and the beliefs that sustain them, tell me that, yes, transnational globalization—by definition—erodes the principles of democracy, self-rule, and national soveriegnty that we as Americans rightfully cherish, but have not fully realized, in our own country, much less around the world. I appreciate the opporunity to share my views, and as always, look forward to hearing those of others.

Posted by: "ism-free" at June 15, 2006 12:21 PM
Comment #158065

Aldous,

re: net neutrality

Truthfully I need to do some more research on this issue, but my position on this is not as simple as ‘the corporation is always right’.

The customer is always right. But too often the telcos behave more like governments in truth. What I am for is a principle of liberty. Sometimes that includes allowing corporations to make dumb decisions and even behave like arrogant government agencies who view their customers as subjects rather than customers.

That said, from what I already know, providers are already paying for bandwidth. No matter what anyone says those who use more pay more. I don’t see how anyone is ‘getting a free ride’ at the moment.

So in answer to your question, at this moment I am for keeping the rules as they presently are. I haven’t heard any argument that explains any good reason to change the regulation. But I also haven’t dug into very deeply. There may be an argument for allowing owners of networks to charge what they please.

For instance I have nothing against any corporation deciding to build a whole new (second) internet if they want and charging whatever they wish for it. But that is not the case.

Posted by: esimonson at June 15, 2006 1:20 PM
Comment #158147

Ford is reportedly helping to stem the immigration from south of the border by creating 150,000 jobs in Mexico. According to a leaked company memo, Ford will spend up to $9 billion during the next six years in Mexico (as reported by Reuters).

Ford, which is eliminating 30,000 jobs in the U.S., could be persuading some illegals to sneak back into Mexico for these high paying jobs.

How wonderful to see a US company support US workers.
or is the conservative thing to do…
just screw ‘em, we’re in it for the money.

Posted by: Joe at June 15, 2006 4:59 PM
Comment #158199

ism

Wow, I have no comment other than I got through your post and I need to read it again. Very insightful;

thankyou

Posted by: Cube at June 15, 2006 7:26 PM
Comment #158233

Eric, great post. But I’m confused.

You advocate corporations become political bodies? You are against punishing corporate criminals? I like the Citizen Works site. It’s a “progessive site” and I did not review the whole site, but what’s wrong with making Corporations responsive to their shareholders and responsible for their actions as outlined in this 12 point list. Even in Red State Texas it’s illegal for a corporation to make campaign contributions to a candidate. That’s what the hammer boy is charged with doing illegally. You state all this as “leftist” philosophy, but isn’t reigning in corporations libertarian?

In response to Aldous, you also talk about “governmental” acting telcoms. This seems in direct contradiction to your worshipping at the corporate god post here.

Aldous, screw the flipping Philippinos. I was in a hurrry. My favorite past time is cruising the “love you long time” women searching for American hubby’s.

Posted by: gergle at June 15, 2006 9:19 PM
Comment #158265

Without business how would the left get a job?
O yeah, (slap back oh head) Ouch! Silly me , I forgot, the government will make sure they have everything they need. But where will the money come from? Damn, I forgot, (slap back of head again) Owe that hurts. The government will confiscate everything the wealthy have and give it to everyone else. But then there won’t be any after that. What? Yeah no ones working, there’s no more wealth to confiscate, No more money going to the government. Now what?

Folks like to slam corporations and want to villianize them like they’re some big bad evil. The fact is most corporations are small businesses. A lot of them are Ma and Pa type. They’ve Incorporated for legal reasons but they’re still family owned.
I know that there are large corporations that contribute to political campaigns just to get the winner in their hip pocket.
That’s why we need TRUE campaign finance reform. Not the bullshit stuff that our elected idiots up there in DC are trying to tell us is so good.
But true campaign finance reform won’t come from this bunch. They’re to deep in the pockets of special interest for that. And I’m talking about BOTH parties.

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 16, 2006 12:03 AM
Comment #158408

We should not conflate the Marxist impulse to nationalize industries with the Left Wing impulse to ensure that corporations fall under the rule of law.

We don’t hate corporations, we just don’t trust them. They’re too apt to distort the system to suit their self interests. Just look at California’s energy crisis. Folks were saying that it was all just a lack of energy generation, when in reality, there was an excess of energy, but also a great deal of manipulation of the grid for profit as well.

We need a balance of interests at work, not the corporations able to dictate our lives to us without restraint.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 16, 2006 3:14 PM
Comment #158511

This article is hopelssly shallow. It shows a lack of understanding of history and American Democracy as well.

Our founding fathers WERE very leary of settiing up laws for the formation of corporations because they had seen the all-too-corrupt power exercised by the East India Company.

It has long been an American value, handed down from the fore-fathers, to treasure the value of a self-regulating free market. We have sought to create freedom of oportunity for all. Such values have made it possible for American small businessmen and women to do things found and run ‘Starbucks’ ‘McDonald’s’ ‘Dominoe’s’ etc. etc.

Now we live in a day and age where entities like Enron, Worldcom, Adelphia, Wal-Mart, Arthur Anderson and others can come in and manipulate markets and laws in ways that take advantage of us all. They can pervert the course and intent of laws to steel money from California ultility-rate payers, investors, employees, retirees…the list goes on.

Such things are not remotely American or free-market or democratis either. They are more akin to fascism where those in power exert total control over the economy for the purpose of extending the power of themselves and the nation as far as the amount of control over the citizens and the militaristic stance of the country as a whole.

Accusing the democrats who point this out of being proletariat or bourgeoisie is shallow in it’s lack of understanding of how a free-market is supposed to work.

We no longer live in a free-market economy. The larger companies now exert far too much influence in government to the exclusion both of free enterprise and our disposable income and economis stability and well being as individual citizens and small business people.

Posted by: RGF at June 16, 2006 7:09 PM
Comment #158517

“We don’t hate corporations, we just don’t trust them. They’re too apt to distort the system to suit their self interests”

Well Put. I love free markets and competition. All things being equal we have a great system. But what hapenned to CA was a distortion of the underlying facts and goes to show you NEVER let the fox guard the hen-house. At least not while you’re in the house asleep.

The role of gov’t then is to carefully craft policy to make all things as equal as possible.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 16, 2006 7:47 PM
Comment #158518

Let me disclaim…gov’t should intervene only when necessary, not whenever they feel it will get them another bullet point for the next election’s literature.

Posted by: Kevin23 at June 16, 2006 7:49 PM
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