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Democratic Voices

November 2nd, 2005

A Growing Movement Against Corporate Excesses

There seems to be a growing movement against the excesses of corporations and corporate executives gaining momentum in America. The greed of the Corporate mindset has produced a backlash that may change the rules of the game when it comes to government regulation of the largest corporations.

Starting in the Reagan era, large corporations start gaining political and economic power by changing laws and government policy. Each change built momentum for more changes all designed to benefit the biggest, baddest and wealthiest corporations. Corporations gutted monopoly laws, undermined fair trade laws, twisted labor laws and pushed globalization.

They found ways around campaign finance laws with the active collusion of allied politicians by expanded on the Nixon operation revealed by the Watergate hearings and investigations. They bought up the big media outlets and pushed changes that permitted them to buy even more media outlets. They funded Right Wing talk radio and numerous pro-Corporate so-called conservative organizations to sell a twisted new set of proposals by using or rather misusing emotionally charged language. Conservatives sold-out their principles to serve the tactics of the Corporate Agenda over and over again until a new Bush Republican ideology came to dominate the GOP.

With the rise of Bush Republican rule, almost all limits to Corporate power were either eliminated or went into serious retreat. The traditional checks on Corporate power are organized labor unions, lawsuits by consumers or workers and government regulation.

The Bush Administration has been making war on all three checks to Corporate power centerpieces of their legislative and administrative agenda. The twisted rhetoric used by Republicans to curb consumer lawsuits against giant corporations disguises their actions by calling their attacks “tort reform.” Injured consumers and workers are being denied effective access to the courts to obtain justice when abused by huge corporations.

Unions are being saddled with excessive government regulation and paperwork at the very time that corporations are being given almost free rein from effective government regulation. Anti-monopoly laws are being gutted, weakened or ignored in practice. Government regulations are not protecting the environment as effectively. Government regulators appointed by Bush come almost exclusively from the large corporations and return to them after leaving government service. The regulatory decisions issued by these Bush Republican-Corporate appointees almost always line up with Corporate political and financial interests.

Two recent developments highlights that this excessive Corporate power is being to create a backlash. William Chandler, the chancellor of the Delaware Chancery Court, has recently issued a warning to large corporations to control excessive corporate executive paychecks or risk having legislators do it for them. (See the October 30, 2005 editorial “Directors warned: rein in executive pay or government will” published in the Wilmington News Journal.) Considering the number of corporations incorporated in Delaware, a warning from this important judicial figure cannot be ignored.

The public is getting tired of the greed of the Corporate CEO class and starting to demand government action. The oil industry price-gouging has pushed the public past all measure of tolerance or ability to pay. The obscene profits of the oil companies are creating calls for windfall profit taxes and government action. (See “Stop Oil Company Price Gouging” by Congressman Bernie Sanders.) This writer has heard scores of callers from all over the nation to C-SPAN’s morning Washington Journal program call for government regulation of the oil companies including a few advocating nationalization.

Even Republican politicians are starting to call for investigations into oil industry price-gouging. Oil industry price-gouging and Corporate war profiteering in Iraq are seriously threatening the election prospects of Bush Republicans in 2006 and 2008. The growing movement against Corporate excesses is threatening to become the dominate political force in American politics unless the leadership of the large corporations and their Bush Republican allies start making some serious changes in their thinking and actions.

Written By Stephen Crockett and Al Lawrence (hosts of ).
Mail: 234 Johnstown Road, Elkton, Maryland 21921. Phone: 443-907-2367
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