Corporations are the real problem

Published 10:49 am Thursday, October 18, 2012

Many Americans believe we are on the wrong path. Did that path start at Promontory Summit with the placement of the celebrated Golden Spike? The railroad was completed with massive government assistance. Estimates of what the road should have cost were less than half of what it did cost much of the difference siphoned off through purchases from businesses wholly owned by officers of the railroads, a golden feast for the robber barons. Over years the baronies gave way to publicly held corporations run by professional managers whose loyalty is to the bottom line.

The corporations justify themselves as innovative but much of their tax incentivized research is designed to extend the life of existing patents and fully depreciated invested capital or steal market share from competitors. They do not have to prove their new products superior to those on the market, only that they are effective! Innovation is increasingly done with government grants to government institutions with the results licensed to corporations.  Government has tried to protect capitalism from itself through regulation and through competition (like the Tennessee Valley Authority). The corporations fight back claiming the rights of a person while attacking your rights to defend yourself by supporting bankruptcy reform, right to work laws, tort reform and voter ID legislation. The corporate person is at best a sociopath, at worst a cannibal devouring the public, smaller businesses and the environment. This person will not be satisfied until the public lands are reduced to superfund sites.

Will we elect Republicans and turn the planet over to the plutocrats for the privilege of returning to the rat-race? Democratic foot-draggers are at least open to the evidence of science. A Democratic alternative path can’t be born unless we repudiate consumer capitalism, stop worrying about me and mine, start worrying about us and give Democrats a working majority in Congress.

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John Gibson

Blooming Praire