Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Best Government Money Can Buy 2

In the last article, I wrote that I had 3 opening proposals to wrest our government away from the corporations and the special interest groups that now dictate our political policies and direct our national debate. Like the tick or the octopus with its sticky tentacles, loosening the hold of corporations and special interest money will be difficult and will require the efforts of all of us. These guys rely on the apathy of the masses to continue their hijacking of our government and elected officials. Here are my proposals and I welcome comments and other suggestions on the part of fellow concerned citizens.

The three suggestions I would like to have implemented are:

1) Revoke the personhood of corporations.

2) Limit the number of lobbyists, the amount of money they are able to donate, and require a five year ban on government officials and employees from joining or lobbying for corporations in which they have worked on legislation for.

3) Institute a two term limit for all elected offices.

Revoke the personhood of corporations

This I believe is the cornerstone of any real reform of our political process. Our political system has become more and more unresponsive as corporations have been given more rights as individuals. The founding fathers of this nation were very suspicious of corporations; it was after all a corporation (East India Trading) that was used by the English crown to project their empire on the Americas. It was even debated and proposed by Thomas Jefferson to have freedom from monopolies inserted into the Bill of Rights.

We believe that corporations are not persons and possess only the privileges we willfully grant them. Granting corporations the status of legal "persons" effectively rewrites the Constitution to serve corporate interests as though they were human interests. Ultimately, the doctrine of granting constitutional rights to corporations gives a thing illegitimate privilege and power that undermines our freedom and authority as citizens. While corporations are setting the agenda on issues in our Congress and courts, We the People are not; for we can never speak as loudly with our own voices as corporations can with the unlimited amplification of money.[1]

Corporations were never meant to be endowed with the rights of humans, by their very nature they cannot be human or considered so. In a grave miscarriage of justice and bribery the Supreme Court in 1886 granted personhood to corporations and the rest as they say is history. Because many of the judges were once corporate lawyers themselves eventually the pleas of the corporations that they were in fact people won out. This decision opened the flood gates and allowed the wealthy corporation owners to remove the shackles placed on them by the states that chartered them. They now had 14th Amendment protections from government intrusion. This amendment had been written for one purpose and that was to guarantee the rights of slaves, period.[2] This was stated in the dissenting opinion and still holds true today. Because the original decision was based on incorrect interpretation of the law and bribery on the part of greedy corporate owners, it is in the best interest of the Republic to resend the original decision.

Why is this change so important? With the current sitting Court co-signing on the side of all corporate cases that come before it, the power of the corporations is only going to get greater. We the people cannot compete with the corporations. The founding fathers of this nation knew that and warned of this impending loss of control of the government to these corporate benefactors. It is unfortunate, but they knew that the darker side of human greed for money and power would overrule what is best for the people. As long as we afford corporations 14th Amendment protections they can continue to pump boatloads of money into the political process and continue to corrupt our system of democracy. Democracy is based on one person, one vote and equal protection for all. How can this include a non-entity?

How cruel was it to use the same law that disproved one lie (slavery; one man can own another) to create another lie (that corporations were people). Sometimes the irony of these guys just baffles me. They have the gall to use the same law that freed people and use it to enslave people. The whole purpose of corporations getting personhood was so that the same small group of owners could continue to control the country and maintain “white male privilege”. Remember when all this started “We the people” only included white males, who owned property. This only amounted to 10% of the population at the time and they were the only ones able to participate in democracy. If we are really serious about changing this clusterf**k we call democracy, we must open up democracy to all the people; not just those of privilege.

And please spare me all the corporate PR feel good messages about how corporations have been good for America through its racial policies, gender equality, and foundations. Corporations have done more to harm to the Republic than to help it and we will all be better off once they are relegated to being under the control of we the people once again.


[2] 83 U.S. 36, 81 (1873)

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