Third Party & Independents Archives

Politics Gone Global

Was on I-81 recently and between Harrisonburg and Staunton I noted two 53’ trailers parked near the Interstate with signage calling for voting incumbents from office in November. Sorta plucked at my heart strings.

A recent Wash. Post article makes us painfully aware that hundreds of foreign corporations, as subsidiaries to US firms, are playing an integral and legal role in our politics. PAC’s connected to foreign based corporations have donated nearly $60M to parties and candidates over the last decade, including $12M since 2009. Donations linked to foreign firm PAC’s must be made by US citizens. Top donors in the current election cycle include PAC’s tied to British drugmakers GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca totaling about $1M and Belgium’s Anheuser-Busch InBev at nearly $650k and Credit Suisse Securities at over $350k.

Neither party has drawn attention to PAC’s linked to global companies. Foreign companies have a vigorous lobbying presence in Washington. More than a dozen such firms registered to lobby against, and defeat legislation that would have prevented them from having PAC’s.

Democrats are speculating that the US Chamber of Commerce is using foreign dues to fund a $75M pro-Republican ad campaign. It’s clear that both parties benefit from contributions from US companies operating in other countries. BAE is a leading contributor among US subsidiaries, giving $600k to candidates in this cycle with 55 percent going to democrats. Many global health-care, defense and energy companies are represented among the top donors.

Some 5 million US citizens work for foreign owned corporations, free to participate in politics, including contributing to their employer’s PAC. Not a stretch to suggest a conflict of interest in all that. A spokesperson for the Organization for International Investment stated that ‘we will be heading down the wrong path if we continue to put flags on these companies. Other countries are turning away from that.’

Used to be said that ‘politics is local’ but more correctly said today that ‘politics is global’. Must be in the Constitution somewhars.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by Roy Ellis at October 20, 2010 1:09 PM
Comments
Comment #310774

Arlo Guthrie said, if one of us does it, its called crazy and paddy wagon time. If two of us does it, its a conspiracy and they should be tarred and feathered and shunned. But, if thousands of us do it, and we influence thousands of others to do it, well, then we have the makings of a Movement. He wasn’t speaking of voting out incumbents, but of ending the war, at the time. We have a different kind of war today, between the American people and their political system and its elected officials. Its a movement so very long overdue.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 20, 2010 2:16 PM
Comment #310799

There is a lot of foreign investment along 81. They have created lots of American jobs. Perhaps you would prefer they take their investment money someplace else.

Don’t you complain that American firms are taking jobs overseas? Maybe German workers should complain that their firms are taking jobs and giving them to Americans, but I am not sure we should be unhappy about it.

Posted by: C&J at October 20, 2010 7:13 PM
Comment #310802

Roy,
Glad to see you are back. However, why I agree that the Charlatons and Vagabonds of Washington need to see a New Political Party come to town, I do believe that America needs to still help other citizens in the world develop jobs. Just not at the expense of us giving up our jobs. So why Our Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders most do a better job of proving the God Almighty Dollar must take second fiddle to Political Correctness, failure should result in We the people voting out the Incumbents.

For why we can say that the Youth of the 60’s and Silver Spoons of the 70’s sold their Mom and Dads 40 hour work weeks and home in the subs. Looking toward the next 100 years I wonder if the U.S. Chamber of Commerce jobs will even be here if Americans stay the course.

Yet, given Americas’ Political History and somethings only folks like David should know (legal things) I do believe if the GOP wants to stay around as a National Political Party than they are going to have to deal with President Obama Vision for America in 2012. For even though I may not seek Political Office I do believe given the next two years I can show My Brothers and Sisters of the 70’s as well as the Children of the 21st Century a Personal Vision of America and Humanity like no other.

So keep the faith for why I can’t say wha the next Corpocracy we will have. I do believe the Political Winds are blowing in a storm that will send even the strongest Rapitalist running for shelter.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at October 20, 2010 7:34 PM
Comment #310821

Henry, there is a lot of talk about the developed nations investing heavily in the development of South Africa. Not so sure it will happen in the middle of a worldwide recession. Do you think the US will sit this one out?

Agree David. A war worth having IMO, way more important than the Afghan/Iraq nation builders. Some, like myself, want to cling to our guns, our Bible and our Constitution. Others want ‘utopia’, everybody kissing up to everybody else, US and N. Kor’s supping from the same bowl of rice, while making plans to bail for the first green planet that might support a golf course. Some want to get on with rewriting the Constitution with little or no thought as to the ‘extenuating circumstances’. Some want accountability for those who delivered us a failed government – greatest xfer of wealth in history and all that. Some want ‘one world’ with the Chamber of Commerce appointing a President every so often and supported by a council made up of characters right out of the movie ‘21’.

Me? I want a 3rd party made up of centrists/populists that would govern from the middle. For example, small government, less spending, abolishment of corporate personhood, campaign donations to one central kitty to be shared by all political candidates. Rather than this insane ‘globalization’ where we work feverously to give it all away, I would opt for strategic protectionism, keeping our nation prosperous and solvent while working with developing countries along the lines of common interest.

C&J, why should one be content with a competitive disadvantage in international trade averaging 30% because our Corpocracy won’t adopt a protective VAT, as over 153 more sane/rational countries have done? And, should we work our way out of innovation and high-tech development by supporting foreign business entities through our education system, taxpayer R&D dollars and corporate welfare system? It is possible to kill the goose and continue eating her eggs while they last. I would suggest the continued use of trade as a tool of foreign policy has been way overplayed. Not sure it’s working with the Chinese as they strive to match the US in submarines. But, perhaps they plan to use them against Nepal to finish the rape and pillage of that small landlocked but resource bountiful country. That ‘utopia’ thing may take a while longer, IMO.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at October 21, 2010 12:17 AM
Comment #310823

Roy,
Why we can’t have a Political Party from the exact middle I do believe one that would come out for America being a little Left of Center verses the little Right of center being talked about by the Main Steream Media might work.

For why I would like to see what would happen if every American was given the opportunoty to collect a tax credit which would allow them to purchase a Personal Renewable Energy Power Plant from an U. S. Manufacture along with an Electric Vehile. I do believe most parents and grandparents now living Right of Center would have a problem with such an agressive move.

Nevertheless, knowing what can be done and what should be done over the next 50 years to make sure America comes out as a leader to a Race to the Top I do believe a more progressive economic and social agenda could/should be followed. For why I have no doubt that some in America and Humanity will want to keep an a chain around the ankles of the Children of the 21st Century. Knowing they cannot be set free to run wild I do believe Americans can find the Political Leadership necessary to openly challenge President Obamas’ Vision of America to run in 2012.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at October 21, 2010 1:56 AM
Comment #310839


The coming political war might center on what is the proper relationship between the taxpayer, government and the human corporate entity. For example, should the taxpayer be expected to provide corporate welfare to move GM to China, fund their US bankruptcy in taking their legacy equipment off their hands and restoring pension funds they promised to their employees? Taking a harder view, what about the profits earned overseas by US corporations that aren’t being returned to the US but kept in offshore tax havens and erased from the bottom line.
Recently you, the taxpayer, put up $5B for further development of electric vehicles. Many would view the taxpayer supporting energy efficiency as a positive. Obama administration officials say the government needs to help U.S. manufacturers catch up with Asian rivals who have moved more aggressively to develop such critical technologies as automotive lithium-ion batteries and related technologies.
Should the taxpayer not question why the US is in the position of ‘catching up’? What about accountability? Or, is it a slap in the face to capitalism for the taxpayer to promote the auto industry? Few have a problem with taxpayer dollars going to support broad projects affecting each state such as Rural Electrification, TVA and the proposed new power grid. But, should the government be making winners and losers out of corporations using your taxdollars? Should the taxpayer question why gasoline was allowed by the government, regulator of commerce, to hit $4/gal in 2009 when BP paid no US taxes that year.
Most understand that some entitlement programs are necessary for struggling taxpayers. But, do corporations, even though they have certain human rights, need entitlements? If the taxpayer ponies up some tens of billions for electric car development should the mfctr’s add another $20k to the price of each vehicle?
Terms that will need re-definition in the political war: capitalism, competition, taxdollar slush funds, corporate welfare.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at October 21, 2010 12:02 PM
Comment #310840

Roy, you may want to look into NAIP. This is an evolving Independent voter party, and their direction is centrist/populist. With each passing election, the landscape becomes more fertile for the rise of a third party contender.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 21, 2010 12:31 PM
Comment #311203


The aristocracy used to fear democracy before they learned how to control it, control us.

Roy, over the last decade, the U.S. taxpayers have spent many millions of dollars to build infrastructure in Africa.

That is good in that the Africans sure could use some help and most of those developed countries extracted much wealth from there.

It is bad in that the only return that the American people can expect to receive is another slave wage, low regulation consumer products haven for the corporations.

With globalization, the Republicans promised less expensive consumer goods and the Democrats promised job protection.

Instead, jobs started going overseas, job production in the U.S. declined rapidly, millions of Americans have suffered wage stagnation, consumer and government debt as well as corporate profits soared.

Globalization of the economy is a benefit to all common people and the degree to which it benefits us is solely dependent on us. That is why those with power spend billions to divide, and control us.

While Smith may be the father of capitalism, Freud, Pavlov and Darwin should be considered the fathers of the modern corpocracy.

Posted by: jlw at October 25, 2010 1:38 PM
Comment #311213


Jlw, I agree with that. And, the divisive thing seems to work pretty well. For example, the Repub’s are claiming the Dem’s are stealing the election through rampant voter fraud, calling out ACORN and the SEIU primarily. The Corpocracy has to love it. I think we differ primarily as to how to go about fighting Corpocracy.

I think that operating from the center is the better way. And, watch Obama head for the center over the next coupla years, just as Clinton did, in trying to get reelected.

Rather than this left and right thing, I believe the better way is to work from the center. Start by correcting some wrongs that render the government unable to function as the founders intended. That is, abolishing corporate personhood and money is free speech. Nearly every President, starting with Jefferson, left us with a warning about the detriment to government from the money influence of big business. Corporations worked for decades to get the court to see corporations seen as entities deserving of certain human rights and a bunch of ex-corporate judges fixed them right up. Call it illegal, under a cloud or a conflict of interest, it is wrong and needs to be corrected before we try to go further forward.

If we could take the big money influence out of government and accomplish REAL campaign finance reform where elections are financed from one single donor account then, the world is our cherry. I see nothing to be gained in a continued left/right fight between labor and management.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at October 25, 2010 3:10 PM
Comment #311364

Roy, I am not so sure about what you said regarding Obama. His approval rating is 47%. At this same time in his presidency, Reagan’s approval rating was in the 30% range.

Clinton had to move to the center due to a Republican Congress. And he brilliantly out Republicaned the Republicans, in achieving a surplus at the end of his 2nd term, driving down the deficit throughout his 2nd term. As we saw when Republicans got the W.H, surpluses were nowhere in their agenda - 5 trillion in deficits was their legacy.

Obama knows a couple things the rest of us tend to not think about or be aware of. First, he knows that as the Health Care Reform provisions kick in, the public will warm to it over the next few years. Second, he knows that McConnell will exercise every possible move to undermine Obama’s success. Knowing one’s adversaries intentions and lengths to which they will go, can be very useful in shaping public opinion. Third, he knows that the sluggish economic recovery is structural, and not cyclical (Bernanke knows this too and has spoken to the issue.) This means, that Obama knows that whatever compromises he makes with Republicans to speed up the economic recovery, will fail. Structural economic conditions are not remediable without major reforms which he will not be able to get passed through McConnell, et. al. This means Obama can give Republicans enough rope to hang themselves and they will never realize they were sticking their heads in the noose.

Lastly, he knows, the confidence in the Republican Party is in the 20% range and that fading public memory over the next few years will be minimal at best, precisely because the economic growth is not going to quicken much. There is too much American money that is not circulating through the economy for structural reasons, and all measures to correct that will be be vehemently opposed by Republicans. So, in the absence of a democratic majority in the Senate and House sufficient to address those structural economic needs, he and Democrats won’t waste political capital on such measures, leaving Democrats with only one course of action, to continue to remind the public which Party was in control when our economy was ruined.

This is the grid-lock I have referred to in other comments about the post Nov. election legislative environment. And grid-lock is going to hang heavier around the necks of the GOP in government, than Democrats, especially as the McConnell makes good on his only priority - to undermine Obama, which McConnell was quoted saying just this last week. It is a comment that Obama will make McConnell et. al, regret in a profound way. Not that any of this does America or her future any good. It doesn’t. But, Obama cannot logically be held responsible for the actions of the Republicans or the voting public that now seeks grid-lock in the face of mounting economic threat.

He will do what he can, given the state of our political conflict and corrupt foundation. But, on economic grounds, there simply won’t be much he can do fiscally. Bernanke knows this, which is why Quantitative Easing II, is assured, and why the stock markets have been giddy because of that realization. QE means low interest rates, and banking and financial corporations couldn’t be happier. But, that is the only economic stimulus that is in the cards going forward.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 27, 2010 6:32 AM
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