We, The People . . .

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To a large extent, American history IS the history of the ebb and flow of political power between "We, the People" and "them, the Corporations."

"We, the People" overthrew the Monarchy, and the biggest multinational corporation of its day - the British East India Company, in 1776.

"The Corporatists" rose to power, with the growth of the Rail Roads in the middle to late 1800s, and stayed in power until they crashed the economy with the Great Depression in 1929.

"We the People" fought back, and restored the founders' vision of self-determination with FDR's New Deal. That "golden age" for the American middle class - when, on a single middle class income, a man could raise a large family, take them on a vacation every year, put his kids through college, pay off a 30 year mortgage, and save enough money so that he and his wife could comfortably retire - lasted approximately from the end of WWII through the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.

"The Corporatists" have been in control since the Reagan "revolution,"and they have recently consolidated their power with the Supreme Court's decision in CITIZENS UNITED.

The ONLY way to undue the damage done by that "anti-(small 'd')-democratic" decision is to Amend the Constitution so that it states, clearly, that the Rights recognized, and potected, by the Constitution belong to HUMAN persons, only, and NOT to artificial persons such as Corporations and Labor Unions.

Hopefully, 2011 will be the year that America wakes up to the very real threat posed by this "Second Rise of the Corporations." It is time for us to begin the hard, but patriotic, work of pushing back against the Corporatocracy, before the idea of "We, the People" is lost to history.

Steve.I.Am's picture
Steve.I.Am
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

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Yeah, amend the Constitution. This will happen? It seems like a dream, and even with the substantial blocks to actually amending (2/3 majority in both houses, 3/4 of states ratify), what will it really, actually acomplish? Anything? Ok, you have a new benchmark against which a judiciary will measure things related to our coporate citizens. They've been pretty good at making wax of the Constitution so far.

I'm 27, unemployed, over educated, indebted. I should be working in medical research, engineering and design, like I would if I lived in any other given OECD country. My entire life, without me even noticing or being able to stop it, people have been making the country unbearable for young people, for poor people, for anyone aspiring to move up in the world. I don't have the killer wall street instinct, I have no desire to kick someone in the teeth and take their job, especially not when it's done by my state out-incentivizing another state into drawing the jobs to it.

This country was settled by pioneers and border-line loons seeking whatever, something, freedom to do something or another. Religious freedom, economic freedom, social freedom. My father's family were shipbuilders, and they did that from the 1700's up to WWII, moving from CT to WI after being out monopolized in SE england. My mother's family fled the Franco-Prussian war and chopped lumber in WI. Where can I go? Where can I go to escape economics that cause investors in my company to drain 8 figures out of my company and toss me out without a fare the well? Where can I go to get away from the fact that the only jobs program for young people is the military, the only legislation being passed for my generation being pro-military measures? Where is left? Mars?

I make a 'living' refereeing soccer now. I work with college students. To a one, they have a plan, and it's the same plan. They work into their coursework portions in international studies, foreign languages, internships in Europe, anywhere, anything they can get to get a job there, where they exist. Young people are giving up; Thom talks about how long it takes to engender change. Look at teenagers, do you really think they have the patience for that? I don't. I want to emigrate, I've been made to feel unwelcome and born in the wrong country. I see no politics resembling my own, my cohort is disorganized. I know the meaning of austerity measures now, I think they do too. I want the self-evidently awesome set up they have in the EU, where they consider Paul Krugman the most influential left-of-center thinker.

http://www.social-europe.eu/2010/10/surprise-result-the-most-influential...

Anti-science makes me ill. Things are not going to get better. Go ahead and try to start a company, a biomedical device company. Forget it; it's not something you can do in your garage. I need, need, need government funding just to start an idea; forget entrepeneurship, there is none. The only aspiration anymore is to develop an idea to the point that someone with real money will buy it. You know nobody gets rich engineering. Do you think I can manage a human trial? An animal trial? A drug trial? Do you think there's a reason you can't run a medical device company with fewer than 50 people, 1/3 of them former FDA employees? I'm not saying get rid of the FDA, but gee sarn it is there a way for anyone without 7-figure annual budget to get approval for anything? And now there are cuts coming and you better believe R&D is first up.

Why have people let this happen? Did you want to leave anything for me? I can see my options dwindling daily. What is there for me in this country? What good is my vote? What good is my effort? So my kids can have it better? I know that's been the idea forever, the American dream. I can't afford kids, and I'm decent enough to not birth one into this cess. So what's in it for me? A rich person might decide to fund my company? My rich uncle? He lost his shirt on his real estate investments; a life-long skeptic of the stock markets, and even he took a hit. Help from my parents? Cancer and Crohns is draining their equity and soon I'll be taking care of them, too.

And you know what? Nobody wants me. They have their own lucky duckies, born in the right country, educated for 20 years at no cost, with the capability to work. I envy doctors and lawyers, their built-in job sectors, but I don't envy the cost of getting there. So here I am, getting ready to join the quality guild, using statistics to verify whatever my boss wants to do anyway. This is my exciting American dream. Not making anything, just doing QC on the bilge they make in the foreign plants. That's what makes me spit, the way even with science, with math, with rational, empirical certainty, anything can just be waved off, dismissed because someone who's rich obviously knows better. I'm sick of being pushed down just to maintain the illusion that one day I, too, can be a high income earner. I want more from life than that, and I can find it somewhere with free dental.

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Hedges Ahead
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