In 2010 the U.S Supreme Court over turned limitations to Corporations financing political broadcasts in the U.S. They argued that to limit financing from Corporations would be an attack on their first Amendment rights. They didn’t however set how why they have defined Corporations as some kind of living organism that has political rights in the first place. It is a worrying precedent. It means all of a sudden that Corporations are like people. Only richer and more powerful, with very different interests. People tend to vote for safe jobs, better healthcare, safe products, and a decent level of funding for education. Corporations want weak labour laws, low Corporate taxes, and regulations (safe products?) as minimal as possible.
A lifeless, soulless, dead entity like a Corporation, having the rights assigned to people, is an awful step in the wrong direction. Should a Corporation like ITT have rights, in the US? ITT owned 25% of Focke-Wulf, the manufacturer of the Luftewaffe Nazi aircraft that was used to shoot down American airplanes during the war. It then won $27,000,000 in compensation after the Allied’s bombed the Focke-Wulf factory during the war. ITT also made radar and radio equipment used by the Nazis. ITT were funding the killing of Allied troops. ITT also helped to fund Pinochet’s control over Chile. One of the most evil dictators in the World. Colonel Sosthenes Behn, the head of ITT during the war, was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery for his service to the Country.
Exxon, whose named used to be Standard Oil of New Jersey, are responsible for shipping oil to the Nazis, even after Pearl Harbour. They also contributed, through a bunch of subsidiary companies, to Himmler’s personal fund. They now have the same rights as US citizens.
Profit before people.
The 2010 ruling means that climate change takes a back seat because it isn’t in the interest of oil companies. That the 1% of scientists who dispute man made climate change will be the only ones who are listened to. American Petroleum Institute, whose members include Exxon, have began to finance mainly Republican candidates this year. Martin Durbin, API’s executive vice president for government affairs quite openly said:
“At the end of the day, our mission is trying to influence the policy debate.”
Koch Industries Inc, gave $1.79mn to candidates. 90% of those candidates were Republicans. This of course comes as President Obama proposed ending subsidies for Gas and Electric companies by 2012. Apparently those companies aren’t happy that their Welfare cheque is about to be scrapped. A Welfare cheque that adds up to over $45bn. Their Republican bitches will of course defend them. But no universal healthcare! Healthy citizens = bad. Rich oil companies = great.
Republicans in the US House of Reps voted to cut off all funding to the UN Climate Change panel, the IPCC, because according to Blaine Luetkemeyer, a Missouri Republican:
“The IPCC is an entity that is fraught with waste and fraud, and engaged in dubious science, which is the last thing hard-working American taxpayers should be paying for”
The idea that it is “dubious science” is laughable. And the phrase “hard working Americans” is an empty one. Those same hard working Americans, I doubt want to see their money going to a mass of Corporate tax cuts either. Blaine Luetkemeyer’s claim of “dubious” apparently isn’t without irony, given that in 2004 he introduced a bill, based on Biblical principles, to the Missouri State Legislature, to define marriage as between a man and a woman. All for personal “freedom” as long as he gets to define what “freedom” means.
One the “dubious science” claim surrounding Climate Change, it always seems to come from Republicans. So I wondered why that could be? And then I found this. It shows Oil company contributions for 2010, and which Party – Republican or Democrat – those funds went primarily to. I think it’s pretty conclusive.
Roy Blunt, the United States Senator, from Missouri and whose campaign funds came mainly from big oil ($293,400 altogether) opposes cap and trade and supports drilling for oil on US coastlines. The League of Conservation Voters, who work to turn environmental issues into national priorities said that Blunt is:
“In his twelve years in office, Rep. Roy Blunt has taken good care of Big Oil by maintaining their costly tax breaks while continually voting against opportunities to create clean energy jobs, reduce pollution and improve fuel economy for Missourians,”
One wonders who runs the World? What a wretched democracy we all seem so proud of.
America is not the only country who laughably refer to their Corporatocracy as a Democracy. Britain is just as bad. Our Tory Government is funded heavily by the financial sector and very wealthy individuals. Apparently there is no money left to pay for the care of disabled people, or to keep arts centres open. But there is money, for a 83% tax payer owned bank to offer its CEO a £4.5mn bonus in shares, on top of his 3.2mn bonus for 2010. There is enough money to give one man, a bonus (on top of his salary) of £7.7mn. We are still an economy controlled by the Financial sector. It is not Capitalism.
The Municipal Governing Body of Greater London is the City of London Corporation. It’s main control is over the City of London financial district. There are residents whom live there, but their vote is not very important, given that the majority of the votes for that region, are given to Corporations. They are called “non-residential voters”. Corporate voters. A Corporation may appoint a number of people to cast votes on its behalf based on how many employees it has. The employees don’t get a say, the CEO gets the vote. Those who are appointed voters can vote twice. Once for their Corporation and once for their own vote. Residents of the area can only vote once. It is one big Corporatocracy. The Republicans over in the States would be proud. They’d some how manage to refer to it as “freedom” and “giving power back to people“.
Corporate regulation is essential. Corporations have one legal requirement: profit. Humans, i’d argue are motivated not just by profit, but also by compassion, loyalty, doing the right thing, the advancement of the species and survival. Corporations, by law, must ignore all that stuff if it conflicts with their ability to make profit, and that is a dangerous thing.
Today we learnt that the Tory Government’s next line of attack against its much hated public sector (which, again, remember did no wrong, and caused no problems itself) is the attack on public sector pensions, because they are unfair in relation to private sector pensions. Well, instead of forcing equal misery across the public sector to match that of the private sector, why don’t you make the private sector pay up more?
Damn right i’m a Marxist, especially in this climate of horrendous shock right winged economics.
Let’s stop referring to Corporatocracy as Democratic.
Let’s stop referring to Corporatocracy as freedom.
Let’s stop blaming government for failings, when Government is pretty much owned by the Corporate World.
The point is, Corporations do not deserve rights. They are not people. Government is supposed to work for the people, not for the very wealthy, and at the moment there is no government in the Western World that is not wholly run for the benefit of the very wealthy. It is not democracy. It is not at all what the Founders envisaged.