Corporations control our lives...

Corporations control our lives...

In our nation, finance has a hold on almost every single part of our lives – from the day we're born, until we take our last breath. Capitalism and the quest for larger profits have taken hold of our healthcare, our education, our homes, our communication, and even our government. Today, most babies are born in for-profit hospitals, and their medical claims are paid by for-profit insurance. As children grow, many go to for-profit charter schools or private schools, and our public education system continues to crumble. Young adults are forced to deal with for-profit lenders to go to college at for-profit universities, and everything from their backpack to their first home will generate a profit for someone on Wall Street.

Throughout our lives, we are forced into paying huge monopolies for access to phones and internet and communication, and all that data is turned over to for-profit corporations who spy on us for our government. Even the vast majority of our elected leaders answer first to corporate lobbyists, and second to the American people. Corporate power has a strangle hold on the entire American existence, and it has turned our entire lives into a profit-making venture.

There is a place for profit in our world, and a reason for corporations, but we must shift the power back to actual people. Without us, corporations would have no production to make their goods, and no customers from which to make a profit. Business should be here to serve American needs, not control us and commercialize everything that we do. We must regain our power by declaring that corporations are not people and money is not speech. Only then can we stop the cycle of putting profit before people.

Comments

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 42 weeks 6 days ago
#1

Arizoina, land of John McCain, and Maine had adopted a system of public financing of election campaigns. They were, of course, made illegal by Citizens United. While they were in effect the lobbyists were largely cut out of the equation in those states. Legislators of those states spoke of how they could get from their cars to their offices in a short amount of time, just the time it would take to walk, because the very many, lying in wait to ambush legislators, lobbyists knew enough to leave them alone since they would be wasting their time otherwise. The other legislators, however, took at least a half an hour from car to office as they had to wade through and finnagel with all the lobbyists who would be waiting for them to arrive.

Perhaps Move to Ammend should seek an ammendment not only reversing Citizens United but mandating public financing, as well.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 42 weeks 6 days ago
#2

Campaign Finance Reform and Move to Amend have been my political mantra for some time now. When you look at the big picture, every major issue we have in this country boils down to the lack of these policies in government. The best approach to resolving all our issues is to focus all our energies into making these policies a reality. Anything else is a waste of time and resources.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 42 weeks 6 days ago
#3

Wow Thom, very well said!

Putting profit at all costs ahead of the general welfare of humanity is the ugly truth behind under-regulated capitalism. I agree there is a place for supply and demand profit, but there also remains areas where profit is totally inappropriate. These sectors include, education, energy, and healthcare. The Affordable Health Insurance Act although well intentioned is still enriching private for profit insurance companies at a cost we can no longer afford. Corp. billionaires like the Koch's are killing the planet thanks to their private for profit control of energy, not to mention the associated wars for profit. Private for profit education is teaching mythology as science and worse. A non profit system for these sectors is the answer, an answer much of the rest of the world already greatly benefits from.

The lazy capitalist always loves privatization, it means massive profit for himself while union busting and low wages for his hard working victims. Wealth flows to the top!

Truth is, at about $70,000 per year max happiness is reached. Unable to obtain this wisdom, a few carry the obsessive pursuit of money and power to a point at which the resulting collateral damage to society is unacceptable. It's at this point, if the few out of control citizens don't get professional help, we the people are forced to legislate wisdom to temper their out of control compulsions of greed. Pre Reagan tax rates would be one way to circulate the stolen wealth back into society. It may well be that some of these billionaires come from inferior gene pools where mental illness is common, but we as a society are obligated to step in and do an intervention.

BARBARA NECKER's picture
BARBARA NECKER 42 weeks 6 days ago
#4

Is there no way to boot at least one of the GOP hacks off the Supreme Court before President Obama's term is up? Citizens United has GOT to go. My choice would be either Thomas or Scalia -- preferably both.

uncbros's picture
uncbros 42 weeks 6 days ago
#5

This battle has been on going since the beginning of mans life on earth. The founding Fathers came up with the perfect solution. So they thought. I do not think they factored Human nature or greed into their equation. A better way for a better place for the people to have, life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Over the life of their grand experiment. Greed has been at the forefront of over taking their vision.
In the past it seems their vision has prevailed. But greed has gained in each battle until now. Greed has total control. Corrupting the entire system. I see vision fighting a losing battle at this point in our history. Greed is now speeding it's tentacles throughout the world. Uniting the greedy into a full frontal attack against all that is good for mankind. To a point of what is good for the few. I believe the Nordic nations are the last frontier. Even though France it seems has had an epiphany...
The answer is there for all to see. It has been since the beginning. You cannot place the good of the world in the hands of profit. Profit will not tolerate rules, Morals, Gods, or anything that gets in its way.
Cash is speech and cash speaks louder than any entity on earth. With cash in conjunction with human nature greed, all is possible .I know the answer and I’m sure I’m not the only one. The question is how do we fight speech that is so loud and getting louder nothing else can be heard?

jea4arch@aol.com's picture
jea4arch@aol.com 42 weeks 6 days ago
#6

Agree with your premise.

All we have to do is look back at Holland to see where we are going. Look at the speculation of tulipmania and the cheap energy from windmills in the 17th Century during the Dutch Golden Age. The Dutch economy moved from a craft based existence where they actually made things that were useful for people to a financial based economy where wealth was extracted out by the very few of the privileged class. Sound familiar?

richinfolsom's picture
richinfolsom 42 weeks 6 days ago
#7

Struck a chord!<p>The origins of capitalism run deep in the psyche and has long been used interchangeably by politicians and bankers in support of their self serving ideologies - especially how they argue for personal wealth and power. The mass marketing machine is built on three tenants, each of which serves a positive need, and each fail to meet the fulfillment of it's inherit promise. The mass marketing and execution of capitalism, religion, and politics. </p> <p>We are assured that capitalism by its very nature is the answer to man kinds needs, building as Ronald Reagan often said, the shining city on the top of the hill. Imperially, unchecked capitalism has never ended all poverty, fed all the hungry, or solved healthcare for all. It rises and falls in cycles of painful destitution, such as the crash of 1929. </p> <p>The message of capitalism is the promise of mis-truths and falsehoods, pretenses developed by psychologists based on advertising research, sometimes measuring a viewer's brain waves. The draw and effectives of the advertisement cannot be denied and is predictable as Pavlov's dog. We live in a world - perhaps our very interpretation of life - is predicated on mass marketing. The pervasiveness and intrusion of commercialism has created an illusion of society centered around the expectations of capitalism. </p><p> The concept of "community" has dramatically changed from gathering in the city square to Facebook and Twitter. The homogenized "issues" of the day are published through commercialized information sources and weighed in their importance by real time clicks. The carefully constructed algorithms provide immediate feedback to the advertiser as they compete for advertising value with other mega companies. News is converted from important but boring congressional legislation to simple minded stories about the thoughts a hillbilly type tv show character on Duck Dynasty. </p> <p>With the advent of instant communication and a smart phone on hand we have seemingly lost our connection with understanding how we are interconnected. We were taught by commercials that "stuff is good," and the cheaper, the better. Commercialism - the process of being indoctrinated by commercials - justifies self and personal gratification over the well being of community.</p><p> Humanity is at a pivotal juncture as we live our lives bombarded by commercialism while the machine devours our soul. Tis this the best we can do?</p>

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 42 weeks 5 days ago
#8

"Richinfolsom" - great post!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 42 weeks 5 days ago
#9

richinfolsom ~ Very well said!

N Z Sarah's picture
N Z Sarah 42 weeks 5 days ago
#10

Thom when you say shift the power BACK to the actual people It sounds like you want to continue the male dominated society that this point in time has evolved to.

EQUAL GENDER GOVERNMENTS are surely the way to create a balanced future. The social group of females have proven their atitude, abilities and nature, just look at any prison records and statistics from any country. Women may have the vote but not the representation to actually change anything. People like you can help recognise that this is one of the greatest human rights issues of all time.

Statistics about women in prison http://www.womeninprison.org.uk/statistics.php

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 42 weeks 2 days ago
#11

Well said, Richinfolsom! I suppose one of the reasons why I am so averse to marketing hype is that I rarely watch TV channels that hype all that psychological garbage. That and my keen awareness as to what they are trying to do.

And when I go to the movies, I often just tune out the advertizements on the big screen...taking a quick nap...or just rest my eyes. I wonder if they ever do surveys at these theaters to see if anyone is paying attention to the ads on the big screen? Actually, I think they might...I often see theater people, with clip boards, standing off to the side constantly monitoring the seated people. And I didn't even think of this possibility (ie: paying attention to ads) until just now.

I could delay getting to the theater until after most of the ads but then I wouldn't get a good seat.

I try to keep most ads off my computer and email and tune out that which gets through.

I have been able to screen out the phone pests by using caller ID and just not answering the phone when I don't recognize the numbers (but I usually investigate them on the internet to see who they are..and they are always scammers). I keep a list of good numbers and a list of scammers by my phone.

By never answering those scammer calls..my phone has become much quieter...hardly ever get them anymore..certainly not as frequently as before when I answered them. If I ever made a mistake and didn't answer a call that turned out to be someone I did want to talk to, I have their number from caller ID and can call them right back. If everyone got caller ID and never answered phone numbers they didn't recognize, we would drive these pests out of business.

Some more sophisticated telephones with caller ID will actually not even ring if the calling number is not in the list of approved phone numbers you set up.

Message recorders still answer the call and it tells the scammers that they've reached a valid number and will continue to call back using their robocallers. They are pretty much assured that someone will hear their message, even if it is a recording. So they will keep calling.

They count on the fact that people have been psyched, like Pavlov's dogs, into automatically answering their phones. No one will ever call you telling you you won millions of dollars unless it is a scam caller. But some people just don't get it.

Even those religious nuts (you know, the well dressed ones that canvas the neighborhoods) avoid knocking at my door now. Thank Zod! I watched them just today on my security cameras..hesitating on the sidewalk, glancing at my address..then..continuing down the sidewalk. I used to always argue against their stupid beliefs at the door. I suppose when they start burning heretics again I'll be the first to go!

I used to get any number of people at my door, usually with some paraphernalia, like a clipboard, that is supposed to impress their intended victims of their validity or authority. But they don't come around anymore either. I got to the point where I would watch them, with my security cameras, standing at the front door and I would just let them get tired and frustrated then they'd walk off.

The DoNotCall list doesn't seem to work...so neither the Government nor the Telephone company will be proactive in stopping these scam callers so we have to be proactive and just not answer those scam callers by using caller ID.

I include pollster, charity, religious and political calls as scammer calls as well. I don't want to hear from them either! And those categories are excluded from the DoNotCall list, I believe.

Craig Bush's picture
Craig Bush 42 weeks 2 days ago
#12

We are currently passing around a petition for a county referendum here in Santa Cruz, CA to accomplish the goal of reversing citizens united. Thank you Thom for your brilliance in sparking citizen organization for change!

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 42 weeks 1 day ago
#13

Paul Ryan's budget was about $970 billion; annual advertisement budgets are $600 billion. We have a significant battle ahead of us.

Should public radio program in the public interest?

NPR is supposed to be our national public radio, but they're barely covering climate issues that are in the public's interest.

Only one month ago, a national New York Times/CBS News poll found that half of all Americans think that global warming is already having a serious impact. Sixty percent of those surveyed even said that protecting our environment should be a priority “even at the risk of curbing economic growth.”

From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Beneath the success and rise of American enterprise is an untold history that is antithetical to every value Americans hold dear. This is a seminal work, a godsend really, a clear message to every citizen about the need to reform our country, laws, and companies."
Paul Hawken, coauthor of Natural Capitalism and author of The Ecology of Commerce
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann is a creative thinker and committed small-d democrat. He has dealt with a wide range of topics throughout his life, and this book provides an excellent cross section. The Thom Hartmann Reader will make people both angry and motivated to act."
Dean Baker, economist and author of Plunder and Blunder, False Profits, and Taking Economics Seriously
From Cracking the Code:
"No one communicates more thoughtfully or effectively on the radio airwaves than Thom Hartmann. He gets inside the arguments and helps people to think them through—to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."