Sunday, August 7, 2011

Corporate America: Facilitators of War, Killers of Jobs, Destroyers of Democracy

by michael payne

Why does America remain caught in this continuing, seemingly insurmountable, crisis? Why has our manufacturing sector collapsed, why are we locked into an agenda of permanent war and why are we witnessing the steady erosion of our democracy? Who or what should we blame for the monumental damage that is being done to this nation?

While some of the blame might be placed on many different entities and institutions, the mass of evidence points to one in particular; it's Corporate America. Yes, it's that business sector that has long been one of the foundations of America and a bedrock of this economy. So if corporations have been a mainstay of this economy why would I point to them as the root of our problems? Jut what evidence is there to prove that to be a fact; why are corporations being blamed?

It's become quite evident that Corporate America has greater goals in mind than just involving itself in the commerce of the nation; it wants a much greater role in setting and controlling our nation's direction and national agenda by using its power and influence over the government and the society. And its success in doing so becomes more and more evident when we see those who we have elected to public office fall under its dominion and control.

American corporations are not inherently bad or evil; I do understand that their objective is to generate profits and dividends for their investors and that they are not intended to be social organizations. However, in recent decades they have shown themselves to be a negative rather than a positive force; they don't want to employ American workers, they want cheap overseas labor, they want tax breaks and incentives as U.S. corporations; they want it all.

Yes I am accusing Corporate America of being the foremost reason why this nation finds itself in such a deep dilemma. But is it fair to lay the primary blame at the feet of corporations when they are still an important part of this nation's economic base? Yes, in my opinion, it is entirely fair because their agenda and strategies are at the center of this nation's most critical problems. Corporate America is the relentless, overwhelming power that:

Facilitates war the gigantic defense industry is one of the few manufacturing sectors in America that is robust, highly profitable and growing; but, in order to maintain this position, it must promote an agenda of perpetual war. This part of Corporate America has become a facilitator of war in order to guarantee its continued existence and it has become very adept at doing just that. It has an army of lobbyists in Washington that blankets the Congress, using its suffocating influence to promote its agenda.

Corporate America and this Congress, mainly Republicans, have become very close associates. Campaign contributions and many other perks are channeled to those selected "patriotic and dedicated" elected representatives of the American people who loyally support and fund the Defense Department. Anyone who dares question the costs or lengths of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and other nations is labeled as being unpatriotic. Corporate power and influence in this Congress is extensive and pervasive. And these relentless efforts have worked beautifully for the wars continue fully funded and unabated.

The American people want no more war, they are well aware that wars are destroying this nation's financial base. However, Corporate America wants unending war, they have this government solidly behind them and it will not be deterred.

Destroys jobs the U.S. manufacturing sector might still be vibrant and the backbone of our economy if not for the greed of these corporations. They wanted greater and greater profits and so they decided to toss the American worker overboard and pledge their total allegiance and loyalty not to America but to foreign nations and their cheap slave labor. While corporate profits soar, that practice has hurt this nation terribly as the diminished purchasing power of many millions of unemployed workers has crippled our consumer-driven economy. Corporations win while workers and the nation lose.

His actions to date have been nothing short of abysmal; he says we need jobs, we must have jobs and then he does nothing specific to lead an ambitious movement in that direction. If he did he would have the full support and backing of the majority of Americans and he would win the fight. But he continues to miss a great opportunity to restore stability to this nation. Is it the power and influence of Corporate America that is behind his failure to act?What this country drastically needs is for President Obama, for once, to show some courage and leadership in standing up for the American worker and taking the fight directly to Congress to do something of substance about our nation's greatest need; to create jobs, jobs, and more jobs.

Is destroying the American democracy how are corporations destroying our democracy? Let me tell you the ways. After the Supreme Court ruled that corporations have the same right of freedom of speech as a person, their campaign contributions to those who they want to place in power in Congress and state governments have reached monumental proportions. Corporations have, in effect, usurped the power of the American people and are hard at work to make sure that the opinions of the citizens of this nation become irrelevant.

Corporations have been extremely active in funding Republican governors and state legislators in order to dismantle America's union movement and public sector jobs. They are behind the dirty tactics by which their Republican associates are using every means possible to slow down or restrict the ability of voters to cast their votes. They are also very responsible for the layoffs of thousands of teachers, police and firefighters.

Destroys financial and environmental regulations and safeguards -- one of the greatest objectives of Corporate America and its main subsidiary, the Republican Party, is to eliminate every regulation and control that affects corporate profits. Therefore, they have been very busy working to do away with regulations involving drilling for oil, on land or in the sea, those in the mining industries, and those which safeguard the air we breathe and the water we drink. Do they have any qualms about doing harm to the people of this society with their deceitful partnership with the Congress? Absolutely not, they have their agenda and they care nothing of the harm they do to this nation and its people.

Stifles, suffocates the creation of new industries - the massive petroleum industry is using this Congress to block any and all attempts to have the U.S. government fund new industries to develop new, alternate sources of energy needed to end America's addiction to imported oil. These corporations are the most profitable in America and in the world, and yet they get billions in special subsidies-- that they don't need. Why doesn't this Congress take these misused subsidies and invest them in creating and developing aggressive and innovative programs to develop new sources of energy? Because corporate pressure forbids it.

These legislators will simply not take the steps that are absolutely critical to America's energy future. Unless these programs are started soon, as petroleum becomes much more scarce and costly, our energy problems will be magnified to the point that every element of this society will be adversely affected. Nothing is happening in this area of need because these corporations feed money into Congress to make absolutely certain that any attempts to fund new energy programs are blocked.

Any elected representatives of the American people who specifically take corporate money in any form and respond by taking actions that harm the nation in which they live to facilitate wars, by eliminating vital entitlement programs, stifling any attempts to develop alternate sources of energy, doing away with important financial and environmental controls and regulations, and otherwise acting to benefit Corporate America at the expense of the nation -- is morally corrupted and a traitor to this nation and its democracy.

What's happening in America is becoming very alarming in what it portends for the future. The thought that the power and might of Corporate America could replace our democracy is frightening; and yet, as events seem to be unfolding, it can certainly happen. If there ever was a time in the history of this nation that called for Americans to stand up and do everything in their power to prevent such a national disaster, that time is now. Corporate America must be stopped in its tracks by every means at our disposal.

Michael Payne

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