What’s Wrong With The US? Connect The Dots.

It’s probably self-evident, but our government is no longer of the people, by the people and for the people. A more accurate description would be of the corporations, by the corporations and for the corporations.

But how did we get here? How have a few powerful multinationals and one percent of the population usurped power from the vast majority of the people? In order to fully understand this, all you need to do is connect the dots.

  • We have allowed a few large corporations to create virtual monopolies, often with the help of government subsidies. These corporations buy out, squeeze out and drive out small businesses.
  • The CEOs of these corporations sit on each others’ Boards and approve each others’ compensations.
  • A portion of CEO compensation is based on the companies’ productivity and share price. That means the CEOs strive to cut costs (employee benefits and salaries) while increasing the price of products and services.
  • Once corporations achieve maximum productivity and profit with US employees, they are encouraged to offshore jobs in order to further reduce labor costs and employee benefits.
  • As corporations expand around the world, it becomes easier to stash profits offshore in order to reduce their tax burden and further increase profits.
  • These increased profits and compensation allow corporations to “invest” millions in the political campaigns of those who will support corporate interests.
  • The campaign contributions by corporations and corporate leaders leads to a massive increase in the cost of running for office, driving away those who might represent ordinary working people.
  • Corporate-financed Political Action Groups and associations, such as the US Chamber of Commerce spend additional millions to support corporate-friendly candidates.
  • Once the corporate-friendly candidates are sworn into office, they pass legislation that benefits their contributors.
  • Corporations and industries finance large lobbying efforts to further impact legislation resulting in large government contracts and subsidies.
  • Eventually, the corporate-friendly politicians nominate and approve judicial appointments that make the courts more friendly to corporate interests¬†(see Citizens United v FEC, Buckley v Valeo and Bowman v Monsanto).
  • Politicians, with help from the courts (see Shelby County v Holder), undermine the voting rights of minorities and others who oppose them. At the same time, they wage war against the poor by cutting education, unemployment benefits and food stamps. They allow corporations to steal their savings, even their homes without repercussions.

We can take back our government, but it won’t be easy. It starts with election finance reform that takes the massive amounts of money out of political campaigns. It ends with politicians who, in the interests of ordinary people, are willing to break up “too big to fail” corporations as President Theodore Roosevelt once did.