Sunday, January 31, 2010

Joseph A. Palermo: Corporate Power

The Huffington Post
"Citizens United" for More Corporate Power
by Joseph A. Palermo article link
Author/Associate Professor of History
Posted: January 24, 2010 12:51 PM

With the Supreme Court ruling by the "Fabulous Five," Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a single corporation will be able tap into its deep pockets and disfranchise a million citizens. A group calling itself "Citizens United" has just won a fight to give huge corporations more control over our politics. Even the 1886 "ruling," Santa Clara Co. v. Southern Pacific, that established a corporation as "a person" was fraudulent. Now these fictive "persons" have been granted more political rights than real human beings. What's to stop these conglomerates from using their vast stores of cash to implant their servants at every level of municipal, state, and federal government? ...

Corporations are immortal. They don't need health care, or minimum wages, or pensions, or food stamps. They don't raise children and have families. They have no morality or ethics other than maximizing their profits. They are sociopathic. ...

And there are countless other examples of corporations egregiously violating societal norms and humane conduct that far exceed the level of damage that an individual citizen could ever cause, such as when Big Coal chews up rural communities with "mountain top removal" mining; or the McWayne foundry brutalizes its workers; or Cargill uses meat processing subcontractors that spread E. coli across the country; or Nestlé's rips off Sacramento's municipal water supply in a time of drought; or Wal-Mart and other "big box" stores obliterate main street America; or Blackwater and Haliburton profiteer from war; or media conglomerates function as corporate propaganda ministries; or Aetna and other health insurance giants prey on the American people like vultures; or ExxonMobil and the energy monopolies flaunt environmental laws and gouge consumers; or the financial services companies bring down the American economy and trade derivatives based on life insurance policies betting that Americans are going to die sooner than later; and so on, and on, and on.

Today, we have levels of inequality worse than the Gilded Age and the "trusts" are bigger, more powerful, and possess a global reach that is greater than ever. The corporations have already given the country years of disastrous public policy. The health care fiasco shows their power to pull the strings in Congress. And George W. Bush's Supreme Court drops enormous new political powers in the laps of these corporate behemoths? So much for Chief Justice John Roberts' promises during his confirmation hearing to respect stare decisis. Just when you think our politics couldn't get worse you get surprised again.

Wikipedia stare decisis
Stare decisis (Latin) is the legal principle by which judges are obliged to obey the precedents established by prior decisions. The words originate from the Latin phrase Stare decisis et non quieta movere, "Maintain what has been decided and do not alter that which has been established".

The Huffington Post home page

Joseph A. Palermo: "Citizens United" for More Corporate Power
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NAME: ljmck comment page

Now corporations won't have to buy elected officials (although they will). Just running ads, a corporation can swing an election--no messy dickering with candidates necessary. They do not "speak," they advertize!

Targets: any politician who supports minimum wages, consumer protections (e.g., child protection caps on medicine), environmental protections (look for turn-of-the-century-coal-blinded-London right here), building regulations (we'll be the new Haiti), corporate taxes (only actual citizens will pay taxes). OSHA supporting politicians--gone. Banking protection--gone. Privacy--not if a corporation wants to know something about you (but they'll definitely increase their own privacy).

Corporations have a citizen's most important rights, but without the responsibilities. They don't vote and they don't join the military (just usurp it). They have multiple, global citizenship; try achieving that as an actual citizen. They don't need passports. They don't have to take a citizenship test if they were born overseas. They certainly don't make a voluntary pledge of allegiance. They don't have to register to vote--but make no mistake, they do vote (on the floor of the House and Senate). And they do exercise their freedom of choice concerning religion--their god is mammon. The one way these person/hoods resemble actual citizens is that they do cheat on their taxes.

Ain't it just wonderful--the freedoms of this country have been extended to person/hoods that have neither brains nor hearts nor conscience. They do have fists and very big feet. Monsters.

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