Monday, September 06, 2004

Quoting Mussolini

Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of State and corporate power.
-Benito Mussolini

Corporations exist to make money for their shareholders. Investors want to see consistent profitability and indications of future profitability. How the corporation gets its wealth is irrelevant to the investor as long as the share price keeps going up.

As an example, consider your mutual funds. Do you know who you are investing in? Do you care? Probably not. When you chose your mutual fund you were interested in the returns you would receive over the life of your investment.

Any of you have Microsoft stock that you purchased in the 80's or early 90's? Good for you! You've made some huge returns on Microsoft stock over the years.

Fair enough. Corporations have given America much of its strength.

Unfortunately, for the reasons I gave above, corporations don't care about Americans or America. No one invests on that basis. That's why giant companies like Tyco register their companies offshore to avoid paying taxes. In a time of war no less.

That's why Enron was literally laughing it up as California wildfires shut down power plants.

Fortunately, this is a nation for the people, by the people and of the people.

When we reform Medicare, we make sure that, um,... we the people can't negotiate drug prices with big pharmaceutical firms. Rats.

When we update fair trade legislation, we make sure that the people, er, the big monopolies get a fair shake. Darn.

The most amazing part of the deal is that, by my reckoning, less than one in five Americans know they are being ripped off, poisoned and blinded by their own elected officials (Republicans*) in the name of corporations. Since the news networks are almost totally controlled by corporate influence, the people aren't going to find this stuff out by watching any major network.

I consider myself to be centrist and pro-business. But we are now seeing a breakdown in the checks and balances that should be present in our system of government.

Let corporations do their business. Let government do ours.**

*President Bush excluded. He was appointed, not elected.

**Don't give me any "government doesn't work" nonsense. Think government can do better? Show some guts and fix it. Don't outsource it to Worldcom, Halliburton or India.


formerbackpacker said...

Funny--"outsourcing so Halliburton" is right. They have over 15 subsidiaries incorporated in tax haven countries like Vanuatu (try finding that on a map). In 2002, after shuffling all their wealth overseas, they paid $15 million TOTAL coporate tax in the U.S., a drop in the bucket next to their billions in contracts.

Doctor Logic said...

From MSNBC this morning:

"Halliburton shares have risen 16 percent this year, closing Friday at $30.12 each."

Halliburton was fined by the SEC earlier this year for misleading investors by not disclosing an accounting change (one that inflated their earnings). The penalty: a paltry $7.5 million.

They now stand accused of overcharging the defense department $186 million, and that's just for feeding troops. As I recall, this does not include any overcharging for the $2 a gallon fuel they were importing from Kuwait where they were buying the stuff for about a dollar.

Cheney was CEO of Halliburton and received more than $20 million just before becoming VP. His office was illegally involved in assigning the contract to Halliburton.

This is blatant corruption.

Can you imagine what would have happened if Bill Clinton had given his friends more than $4 billion dollars in a no-bid contract?