[Editor’s note: I wrote this piece two years ago just after the terrible SCOTUS decision in Citizens United. I’m re posting it today in order to include the excellent video by Thom Hartmann “The Truth About the Original Tea Party” Bob Higgins] Updated (originally posted 2/17/10)
The Washington Post’s Dan Eggen reports this morning on the results of a WaPo/ABC News poll which shows Americans to be “overwhelmingly” opposed to the recent SCOTUS decision to allow corporations to spend unlimited amounts of cash in election campaigns.
“Eight in 10 poll respondents say they oppose the high court’s Jan. 21 decision to allow unfettered corporate political spending, with 65 percent “strongly” opposed. Nearly as many backed congressional action to curb the ruling, with 72 percent in favor of reinstating limits. The poll reveals relatively little difference of opinion on the issue among Democrats (85 percent opposed to the ruling), Republicans (76 percent) and independents (81 percent).”
Americans have always been distrustful of corporations and their ability to exercise power and control over public affairs.
Ever since Elizabeth I created the East India Company in 1600, corporations have been a pain in the public neck. Her royal act to protect the monetary interests of wealthy members of her court, parliament and herself created a company that would, over the course of two centuries, grow in power to rival many of the worlds nation states.
A legal fiction, corporations exist solely to protect the oligarchy from the results of their risky behavior in the search for ever greater profit. Incorporate and pass the risk on to someone else, creditors, taxpayers, anyone but those involved in the scheme itself.
Businessmen of the time, as today, were and are, infinitely more comfortable operating in an environment devoid of risk to their profits, unless of course they are operating on someone else’s money, (taxpayers) in which case nearly any risk can be accepted; “it’s public money, double down and toss the dice boys.”
Cross Posted at FilmAnnex
It will offer small consolation to the long term unemployed in the US to know that much of the rest of the world is suffering from the same problem. The International Labor Organization (ILO) reported late last month that more than 1.1 billion people were either unemployed or underemployed and living in the clutches of poverty.
While there may be some truth to the old saw that “misery loves company” and the discovery that there are a billion people in the boat may be somehow weirdly comforting, you have to wonder how long the dinghy will dally on the surface before behaving more like an anchor.
It’s also unsettling to realize just how long the unemployment lines are and how many people have applied for the job you so desperately need. With 1.1 billion people waiting the line will stretch around the globe 25 times so you’re not likely to get home for lunch.
Read more at FilmAnnex
Cross posted at Film Annex
“Chevron oil rig on fire in Niger Delta,” “BP’s Deepwater Horizon sinks in Gulf of Mexico,” “Shell confirms oil leak in North Sea,” “Massive fish kill in Trinidad and Tobago.” The headlines have become as familiar as announcements of freeway pile ups and severe thunderstorms.
From Nigeria to the North Sea, from the icy chill of Alaska’s Beaufort Sea to the azure bathwater of the Southern Caribbean the scripts are eerily similar. They tell stories of thousands of oil or gas rigs, tens, hundreds of thousand of abandoned wells and the extraction of fossil fuels from the earth. Tales of pirates hunting treasure, not cargoes of gold on sunken galleons but poisonous black sludge buried millions of years ago under thousands of feet of rock, under miles of ocean.
The stories begin in sweat and toil, hard labor and mind numbing tedium, stories of men drilling holes in the Earth. Then the special effects begin and the drama unfolds.
Read more at Film Annex