Corporate Rule

We have a new form of government: corporatism. Policies are determined by the most lobbying influence.

Thanks to the Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court, corporations are able to give unlimited amounts to politicians.

This influence-peddling has brought unprecedented changes in the nation’s laws to accommodate the pleads of industry.

GMO Labeling laws have been repealed, as has a country-of-origin law.

The latter change occurred as part of the infamous Omnibus Budget passed at the end of 2015.

Nowhere was the submission of our government to corporate rule more evident than in the Omnibus. Passed at the last moment, and containing numerous giveaways to corporate masters, the Omnibus gave tax-and-spend Democrats more spending, and borrow-and-spend Republicans more spending.

The next devolution will be government policies that restrict competition. This process requires weakening the Middle Class and getting them to accept the loss of their safety net.

Multinational corporations are no longer constrained by border–an accomplishment that’s taken decades to achieve. To pursue the lowest labor costs, corporations have offshored and downsized. Many industries simply no longer exist in the developed world.

In cases like Germany, where labor laws protect more of the workforce, especially in manufacturing, huge numbers of immigrants have been brought in. Average Germans are now at risk of losing their jobs and government safety net as the public trough is emptied due to the cost of absorbing the million new immigrants.

The chief purpose of the migratory submission is to make the costs of the welfare state so high as to “starve the beast,” a term used by Grover Norquist to describe a process of eviscerating government finances to the point social programs–a bastion of support–can’t be paid for. The Greeks are experiencing this kind of austerity.

In America social security has been referred to as the “third rail of American politics.” Votes coming from recipients of government aid are a major threat to the Right, or at least that portion of the Right which pursues corporatist aims. This was the “47%” that Mitt Romney referred to.

As I wrote some time back in “Is the Tea Party waiting to burst out of the GOP’s chest?” at OpEdNews.com:

“The Tea Party can’t change the Establishment from within as it is likely to be corrupted by it.”

Within the GOP, the fiscally conservative Tea Party agenda has been repressed and the pro-corporate agenda laid atop. In this way fiscal responsibility doesn’t threaten the established troughs. Of course the Military Industrial Complex is front and center, being the largest of any recurring recipient of federal money.

As the Tea Party knew, federal borrowing is unsustainable. Lacking an understanding of how Washington really works, TP idealism died a quick death. Populist policies suffocate in the corrupted guts of the federal machine, with all its hangers-on and entitlements safeguarding the status quo from any meaningful change.

Norquist and the Tea Partiers were right to speak of reining in federal spending but political competition is the primary motive, not betterment of our society through more responsible government.

The “any crisis is a good crisis” modality has affixed itself to the political agenda of both parties. In this regard, true fiscal conservatism can’t–nor will it ever–find a home within either party.

Interesting also how the social divides between Americans force us to separate from each other. If anything, this suggests that the Right-Left divide is permanent. Maybe a populist leader could surmount the social divide and address real issues that needs to be dealt with, like the hordes of un-vetted Muslims immigrants slated for entry under the Omnibus.

Trump represents the biggest threat to the status quo. His popularity allows him to transcend the Washington-centric morass of complacency and concession to corporate authority and the control of money over politics.

He may not make things better but he certainly can’t make them worse in the medium-to long-term. We’ve sold out our futures and eventually the economy will pay us back for our lack of concern for budget fundamentals and sustainability.

Already college debt tops $1.2 trillion, bigger than credit cards. With so little income available, younger people can’t afford homes. The numbers of young living with parents is at a record high.

Isn’t it obvious that the long-term future  has been sold out? Ultimately this will hurt us–yes that “we” we tend not to think about nearly as often as me–more than the status quo helps.

I don’t see good things happening from the amount of debt that’s piling up. Unemployed due to offshoring, no one can afford the Boomer’s overpriced houses, their values will wither. Lending is tight and interest rates are headed higher.

Growth will stall and portfolios suffer, so the rich won’t escape the shortsightedness of an economy preying on its young and their future prospects for financial independence.

I guess it’s the myopia of greed that keeps the rich from thinking past their own immediate needs. There’s collectivism, yes, but it’s more of an Oligarchical form of Collectivism, like Orwell wrote about, not one that attempts to benefit the bees in the hive but rather those in charge, on the grounds that the profits brought in will “trickle down.”

One thing we’re seeing is that what benefits the Top is utterly unconnected to that which benefits the Bottom. Take military pay. Our soldiers are qualifying for food stamps but corporate contractors are receiving record amounts. Rhetorically, military spending is for our defense, and patriotic. In reality, the spending fattens the pigs already at the trough.

This nearsightedness has decimated our readiness and contributed to a serious technological deficiency on the battlefield, one which is already affecting the balance of power in Syria and Iraq. The Russians new anti-air missiles are being exported to China and Iran. They have a new mobile ICBM that can’t be found or tracked. We are–in short–falling behind technologically.

I guess we’ll discover how far behind we’ve fallen when the next conflict arrives. Politicians are already cheer-leading for more defense spending; one wonders how far they’ll push their mouths to stir up more trouble if the people really knew where their spending/borrowing went, and how the overspending contributes to a degradation of our fighting capability.

Washington can’t change from within; this we see quite clearly with Obama’s failure to bring change. If anything, Obama’s presidency has descended from its early rhetorical heights in its praise of change to a complete sell-out to every entrenched Washington interest.

At no point have any truly democratic reforms been able to pass up from the people to the government. This non-democratic process illustrates how far the conversion to corporate rule we’ve gone.

I guess any fiscal conservatives left may see a total destruction of the entire Washington establishment as the only way to reform spending. No one has come forward with an alternative system.

Americans will be suffering when Weimar-era inflation floods our economy. The Austrian school of economics deduces that an imperial economy at its apex or decline thereafter will shrink due to overreach–this we know. I can’t see any avoiding of the final outcome, but not resisting just allows the D.C. status quo to further damage the long-term interests of this country.

Hastening a collapse might have its good points. It’ll be over more quickly. And the parties benefiting from the status quo–who are clearly trying to sustain it–will have less time to ride the federal system, sucking off it like parasites.

No real transition is ever easy, especially not as easy as casting a vote for a candidate who says he will bring change. The danger is that we delude ourselves into thinking we can have the rain without the lightning, as Frederick Douglas said.

The democratic process requires vigilance and participation. Many citizens are simply overburdened with work and day-to-day challenges to meet the requirements of the democratic process.

From a conspirator’s point of view, a dumbed-down, overworked populace makes governance that much easier. Take primaries. With a turnout ratio as low as 14%, a single primary voter will be 7 times more powerful than as if everyone participated. In political districts where one party dominates, the primary likely  determines the winner of the General Election. This effect is even more pronounced in state and local elections. Even though one person gets a single vote, it counts as if they’d voted seven times.

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