The Linear Canvas
This journal is about the wrongs and rights of the world, as I see them.

The Linear Canvas

Corporatism: Killing Demcracy For Profit

March 4th, 2010 . by Alexander Fisher

No matter what you think about the current administration or the previous one, the problem with our government has always been the level of corporatist influence in it and the corruption that it has caused. But I just don’t believe that it has ever been this bad and out in the open. The last thirty years has been a real bonanza for the well connected corporatist

The end of the broadcast fairness doctrine and relaxing media ownership concentration rules certainly played a part in this, as the watchdog of investigative journalism was finally under the control of the corporate owned media conglomerates with no equal time for dissenting opinions and any real fact checking. Other factors are the uncontrollable propaganda that 500 different cable channels could broadcast, again without any requirements any of it be true, or fair. The fairness doctrine never covered cable, so that was never an issue anyway. Another is that corporations have long been about controlling whatever government agencies and branches they could, to extinguish labor and safety regulations and their resulting law suits and other responsibilities. Corporations know that it’s hard to market a defective product when people know the truth about it and them.

Big money has such an influence on our elected representatives that there is no way anything that the public needs can be put into action without a fight. Only those issues that have consequences for corporations ever have any urgency to these people. A recent example is the Wall Street Bailout (a.k.a. rip-off) that was passed so quickly in 2008. Conversely, insurance company reform has been going on for a year and if the corporatist’s have their way, it’ll just keep going on and on. In the mean time, insurance companies are trying to increase insurance rates by double digits in some states and no doubt are turning down treatment to people who need it, as usual. Insurance companies are the true “Death Panel”, not some government program designed to give a little competition to the insurance companies’ legal monopolies.

An example of recent corporatist influence is the armed conflicts that we have been engaged in during this century. The former U.S. president that the right-wing really should be wishing to emulate is former Army General, Dwight D. Eisenhower (R). He was a true American hero that didn’t just play the part in a movie; he lived it in dangerous times and guided us through them with knowledge and maturity. Fortunately as he was leaving office he tried to warn us about the rise of corporate military profiteering. In 1961 he said:

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

Unfortunately, no one seems to have been listening.

With all the money that we went into debt spending, I think we could’ve gotten a little better investment for our cash. In our country, infrastructure (new roads, bridges, and schools) and even health care for all could’ve been completely paid for with that money. Instead, someone would have to tell me what we received or accomplished with it. And don’t tell me we freed all those people from their hated dictator. A) The USA sold him most of the WMD to start with and B) we could’ve hired the Israeli’s or somebody to knock him off for a few hundred million and saved a bundle. Heck, had you offered his son a few million to kill him, I’m sure he would’ve at least thought about it.

The real problem is that armed conflict is about making money for the corporations. We in effect pay large amounts of our tax money directly to these corporations, almost as if they are the government. Not only were our recent armed conflicts really about the transfer of middle class taxes to the wealthy corporations, but nearly every conflict we have been involved in since the Revolutionary War has been more about selling bombs, bullets, uniforms, food, and toilet paper than almost any other concern. In these modern times the corporatists are aided and abetted by their media partners who foment fear about the dangers we would face without this constant war making. The media loves conflict, especially war and celebrity sexual infidelity. It’s too bad they seem to have lost the knack for real journalism, where they find corruption and cronyism and actually do something about it, like expose it.

These recent armed conflicts have been planned so that no military draft was held to provide soldiers. Drafting the children of the influential would result in turning the supporters of these conflicts against it. So the primary source of recruits has been the middle class and poor volunteers. Many of these recruits really have few choices in life as the manufacturing jobs that they would’ve gotten thirty years ago are no longer available. I realize many of these recruits become better citizens because of their experiences, but some don’t come home at all, and others do not function well in society because of danger related stress disorders, after they return home.

The problem with all of that is that the number of recruits could not keep up with the demand so other sources were needed for manpower. Methods like “Stop Loss” were employed to just keep the same soldiers going back to the conflict over and over until they were killed or completely worn out.

Another tactic that was used was to call up National Guard units for foreign service. This kind of duty was not what these Guardsmen thought they had signed up for. In addition many of them were paid less than their counterparts in the Army, Air Force, and Navy. If they were injured, many were also not eligible for the same benefits as the major service branches either.

But the worst part is that the country lost some of its best first responders to natural disasters. When Hurricane Katrina hit, much of the equipment and many of the National Guardsman that were really needed to help save lives and property in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas were in the Middle East. As  recent major snowstorms prove, our country needs these troops here more than they need them there. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow recently commented about the snowstorms and our inabilities to cope with our own national disasters:

“A huge northeastern snowstorm…has dumped as much as two feet of snow on my colleagues at our New York City home…More than a million people lost power in the storm…So, once again, the most powerful nation in the world has such decrepit, fragile infrastructure that we are stunned into helplessness and are shivering in the dark because it snowed in the winter like it does every single year.”

Not being prepared for winter snowstorms is just the “tip of the iceberg”. This is about creating a complete shadow government, run by sub-contractors paying illegal immigrants to fight our wars, clean up our snow, and cook our food. All of this will be profitable for a select few, and more expensive for the taxpayer with lowered quality of work. Not to mention less good paying jobs for citizens.

The methods that the corporatists will use to accomplish the goal of seizing total control of government and the tax money that it generates know no bounds. Maybe in the future we will hopefully discover the lengths that these criminals have gone to, to set their plans in motion. Unfortunately, by then, those that were responsible may be long gone and their replacements will be left to profit from their misdeeds.

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