Corporate Control of the Electoral Process
The party’s anti-democracy laws; allowing unlimited international corporate money to overwhelm reasoned judgments and there by control our electoral process. (15)
In this section we will be recalling all the ways that, starting with the Reagan Revolution, the Republican Party took us from a functioning democracy to the present complete loss of democracy. By complete loss it is meant an election decided exclusively by mind-bending advertisements rather than useful information; an election where the broadcast voting information platform is such that the biggest liar has a built in, overwhelming advantage. This platform, installed for the dishonest and mercenary needs of international corporations, has been completely the efforts of the Republican Party, and their handpicked judges. In the next section we examine the effects that these laws have on our communal moral and ethical health, but in this section, we are simply looking at the law changes that, over time, has reversed our countries democracy. We start by examining the very obvious (to all but Republican installed Judges) idea that public corporations are not citizens and then recall the common sense controls of the “New Deal”, now destroyed, that in the past provided free market capitalism that worked for all in a viable democracy.
Perhaps the only way a corporation is like a person is that each corporation is as varied as an individual. A large number of us, reading these words (all of us stellar Americans), have themselves been a corporation; a larger number have been officers of a corporation, and perhaps most of us have owned stock. Unions and charitable organizations are corporations. It should be added that with proper regulation the stock market has become a modern, though slightly risky, saving institution for all of us. The process of incorporating provides an access to both private and public capital, both domestic and international, allowing the economic advantages of production of scale. This capital is the capital in the word capitalism and is as much of the character of America as all our varied religions and other government institutions. All of these advantages have never been the issue; the historical issue has always been, do we citizens control the corporations or do they control us.
That said, a citizen is one person; a big corporation is a large group of both citizens and noncitizens. An individual citizen forms a special relationship with all other individuals in a democracy, first and foremost, so we can live free as individuals. You protect my individuality and I will protect yours. While a large corporation could be a very advantageous association of working humans (as could any free market business) it could also be the very thing that we form a democracy to protect ourselves from. Corporations, both foreign and domestic, like individuals have the whole rainbow of morals and intentions but they do not, like you or I, have a need to worry about being an individual. Indeed, they are the anti-individual. Therefore, for all the good corporations might provide, they are clearly not citizens. While the giving of citizen-like free speech constitutional rights to many of our patriotic corporations would have done little harm to our individuality or freedom, the very size that capitalized business, who might otherwise be intent on social and economic unfairness can be an unequal, overpowering and dangerous participant. The answer to the historical question raised above is clearly; when the corporations have political citizenship rights, they control us; when they have no political participation rights, we control them.
Furthermore, we should not forget that Corporations are themselves government organizations. They are sub-governments of the state they are incorporated in. To exist they need to be regulated with certain reporting requirements so the stock market can access their value. While each state has every right to set any number of corporate requirements it is generally, for the most part, left to the business to develop their own bylaws. What we generally get is a business government run by a one-party voting block that installs a dictatorial leader who; has absolute control of his proletariat, is financed by government bank money, and whose stated goal is world market domination. Some have more land, income and resources then fully flagged countries. For the same reason that we do not want other countries involved in our national elections we should not want the same of corporations.
All laws or judgments giving citizenship rights to corporations are anti-democratic.
Capitalism has been around for a long time; we know how to make it work but we also have a long history of policies that make it not work. As a response to the “Great Recession” of the 1930s, the power of the pirating capitalist was diminished and fair-minded economist crafted the policies that both saved capitalism and strengthened democracy; and with it, then went on to WW II, to save the democratic world. So, let’s examine the major common-sense goals of Roosevelt’s “New Deal” policies; how they made us great in the first half of the 20th century and how, with their demise, by the Republican Party, they have returned us to mere cattle for corporate farming.
The first was the separation of the banks from business. Banks create money to provide the capital needed for production equipment and land ownership. If there only source of income is the interest earned from loaned money, they have it in their benefit to police the productive ability of the borrower. On the other hand, when a business owns a bank, it can create money up until the time the country goes bankrupt. The Glass- Steagall act of the New Deal was passed to provide this separation. In the words of the act’s preamble, “To provide for the safer and: more effective use of the assets of banks, to regulate interbank control, to prevent the undue diversion of funds into speculative operations…
The banking industry had been seeking the repeal of the Glass–Steagall Act since the 1980s. Instead of giving us a balanced budget, Newt Gingrich's “Contract with America” Republican Party gave us the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999. (all three republicans though it was signed by Clinton). This allowed commercial banks, investment banks, securities firms, and insurance companies to consolidate. Furthermore, it failed to give to the SEC or any other financial regulatory agency the authority to review. During debate in the House of Representatives, Rep. John Dingell (Democrat of Michigan) argued that the bill would result in banks becoming "too big to fail." Dingell further predicted the future by prophesying that this would necessarily result in a bailout by the Federal Government.
After the predicted bailout, Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Protection act of Obama was meant to prevent a repeat of the “Great Recession” and has been rightly criticized as too complicated. While Trump's Republican Party is busy eliminating Dodd-Frank citing the complications; the real solution is the much simpler separating banking from industry. By not doing this we are allowing capital to be used, not for production, but for acquisitions and conglomerates. These bank-inflated, conglomerates will always be too big for democracy.
The second New Deal policy was progressive taxation. The idea with 80 and 90 percent tax rates at extremely high amounts of income has never been to collect the tax. It is to keep personal income out of those tax brackets; brackets of wealth that no human really earns. Post “New Deal” saw the greatest growth in American capitalism partly because of this tax structure. Not only did the need to stay out of high tax brackets encourages philanthropic spending, it encouraged higher employee wages and more reinvesting in the American industry. In the Republican Party’s successful repealing of such taxation they have invited the anemic extracting of wealth away from industry and the inequality in wealth that not only adversely inflicts our society but give bigger voices to too fewer citizens
Another trashed New Deal policy were laws providing for labor unions; ensuring that productivity gains were shared with those whom did the production. Strong labor, admittedly in some cases too strong, nonetheless increased wages as profits also increased. The higher wages which, circulated in the local economy, paid for the infrastructure which enriched us all. While Unions like the Teamsters with their objective of simply “More” harmed the union movement; unions, primarily women’s unions, like nurses and teachers with objectives like fairness for all (including for customers and taxpayers) are still strong today in spite of Republican Parties repeated assaults against all labor law. What makes this germane to the countries campaign environment is that strong unions had the power to counter corporate propaganda. The Republican laws lessening and even preventing political union participation are maintained to provide an uneven dogmatic political field tilted to the corporate world of “More”.
Then there is home ownership. As documented earlier Republicans have not only destroyed “New Deal” programs for first time homebuyers (Saving & Loan program and VA home loans), they have removed finance regulations that have resulted in taking homes away from nearly 4 million families. Making it hard for working families to own their homes puts an upward pressure on rents. Add to this to excessive student debt, and more and more people are living in a country that is owned by someone else and whose rents subjugate them into poverty as well as making the local economy feeble. As these Republican policies that transfer capital ownership from the many to the few persist, obviously democracy suffers. Finally, Republican efforts to make it hard for the poor to vote, to obtain citizenship, and stay out of jail develops a pretend democracy when in fact we have an off-shore despotism voted in by a misinformed minority.
But while the three issues above damages democracy by wealth disparities no “New Deal” change has been more damaging to democracy and more advantages to corporate power then the destruction of our free press.
This is covered in the next section, but as was mentioned earlier, capitalism has been around for a long time; making it fair is not an unknown mystery, that it is unfair today is not a result of mistakes or poor judgment, but of purposeful theft. Today, those who wish to enrich themselves, not by productive means, but through control of America’s business coffers, control the laws of our country. They see that the creation of capital is used to consolidate their holdings rather than for individual home and business ownership. They bless international corporations with citizen rights while, on the other hand, workers are denied unions, some workers even citizenship and in our resulted poverty, we are jailed in abnormal numbers. To accomplish this, as we shall see in the next section, they purchase our broadcast media so they can fog our reality so that we fault, and fight, each other rather than see that it is their pirating that we all suffer under. To affect this mind sclerosis, they have usurped the Republic Party to provoke a series of broadcast consolidation laws to further their mind control over both the Republican Party, who was once an exceptional champion of individual freedom, and ultimately over our once free nation.
To reverse this, we have no need for violent revolution, even if violent oppression has been rained upon us, we just need to vote. With every opportunity we need to vote for candidates that are not allied with the treasonous Republican Party.