Thursday, May 18, 2006

Loosen the corporate grip!

Ours is a government of the people, by the people, for the people? Yeah, right! Not since a bunch of corrupt Supreme Court Justices decided that corporations were entitled to the same rights that are guaranteed to individual citizen under the Constitution, anyway.

Now, what we have is a government of the people, by the corporations, for wealthy corporate investors. Yeah, it’s that bad, but what did you think would happen when corporations were given the power to take over the government? Did you really expect them to let a golden opportunity like that slip away?

Maybe it’s time for citizens to take back control of the government rather than allow corporations to maintain control. Commercial interests have a stranglehold on the national economy, on national politics, on the global environment. They’ve proven, on numerous occasions, that their only allegiance is to the corporate bottom line. They’ve proven, time and again, their willingness to sacrifice, on the twin altars of money and power, the essentials of well being for the illusion of well being.

How to wrest power away from entities that have controlled so much for so long remains the big question. Is it even doable? Maybe, but only if enough citizens take enough interest in the political processes that control every aspect of their lives and demand that enough politicians take enough appropriate actions to effect meaningful change.

Maybe the answer lies not in revoking corporate Constitutional rights but by achieving true parity between corporations and individuals by giving them all the rights and responsibilities of individuals, not just the ones that work to their advantage.

If corporations had to achieve 18 years of age, from the date of their inception, before they could enter into contracts or make major financial decisions, it would probably have a dampening effect on corporate activities. Corporations should also face mandatory retirement at age 65 and automatic death at age 75. It's ludicrous to give corporations the rights enjoyed by individual citizens and endow them with immortality, too.

Tax corporate stockholders at individual income tax rates. Hold them liable for any damage the corporation does on their behalf. Limit corporate CEO pay to no more than 20 times the amount paid to the lowest-paid corporate employee.

Finally, get rid of the lobbyists and take away corporate ability to fund political campaigns and influence government policy. Corporations are in business to make widgets, not run the damned government.

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