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Helping You To Know The News > Politics and Big Business...the role of Corporate America in our lives...

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message 1: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments The NY Times has an interesting editorial today on Obama and Corporate America....


How do you think politicians and big business should work together?

I really hate the idea that some big businesses, from what I can tell, seem to think they're these economic monarchs that deserve tribute and, well, whatever they want in terms of tax breaks, etc. Sometimes I think large corporations are the villians, not republicans or democrats or whatever. They don't seem...human...or compassionate...more often than not. At the same time they're players in our economy, and their voice needs to be heard, but not necessarily heeded.

What do you think?

message 2: by Félix (last edited Jan 28, 2011 05:44AM) (new)

Félix (habitseven) Eisenhower warned of the growing military-industrial complex in 1961. Corporations have way too much influence and access to public funds.

There was a Frontline on last week about how since 9/11 the military-security-information complex has grown to huge proportions, with no accountability for spending. New office complexes are popping up all around DC to support the contractors (large corporations) that are feeding from that trough. What scares me is that there is no accountability for it all. They point to "no major attacks" as "proof" that it all works.

message 3: by Michael (new)

Michael One thing I get tired of hearing about is that corporations deserve more and more tax breaks under the logic that then they'll create more jobs. I was reading that corporations have had record profits for the last two years, yet we haven't seen the job growth. I asked someone about this and he said that they're waiting until the economy is more stable before they invest and that seemed like a shaky answer to me.

message 4: by Michael (new)

Michael Larry wrote: "Corporations have way too much influence and access to public funds."

They also have a lot more influence politically since the Supreme Court ruled last year that the government can't ban corporations from financially supporting political candidates. Maybe these should make these guys wear lapel pins showing their sponsors?

message 5: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca White (rebecca_white) | 1028 comments You know what, it's not capitalism. For all that talk about the free market and such, this isn't it. I remember seeing somebody ask Noam Chomsky what was so bad about capitalism and he said "maybe we should actually try it."

message 6: by Lobstergirl, el principe (last edited Jan 28, 2011 04:48PM) (new)

Lobstergirl | 24360 comments Mod
Big business controls everything. Absolutely everything. 99.99% of Congress is beholden to them. Don't think for a minute that your congressperson/senator is actually writing our laws. The lobbyists write the laws, and the lobbyists work for industry.

message 7: by Félix (new)

Félix (habitseven) It's true. Sadly, it's true.

message 8: by Arminius (last edited Jan 28, 2011 05:40PM) (new)

Arminius Rebecca wrote: "You know what, it's not capitalism. For all that talk about the free market and such, this isn't it. I remember seeing somebody ask Noam Chomsky what was so bad about capitalism and he said "mayb..."

Rebbecca, I agree. In fact, the former president of Shell Oil states vividly, in the book I am reading, that energy production is in no way free market capitalism.

message 9: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24360 comments Mod
There is nothing in the U.S. right now that resembles free market capitalism.

message 10: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 3447 comments Lg, your post about big business is succinct and right on.

message 11: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca White (rebecca_white) | 1028 comments And it seems like there's absolutely not a thing we can do about it. I used to be optimistic about politics but I tell you, I just am getting to the point where I don't think there's any way to dig out from under the shit.

message 12: by Scout (last edited Jan 28, 2011 11:24PM) (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 3447 comments My heart sank with the Supreme Court's decision. How the hell did that happen? I no longer see any point in discussing issues. We the people are like pebbles on the bed of a river.

message 13: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca White (rebecca_white) | 1028 comments Well, I guess Vermont has introduced a Constitutional ammendment saying that corporations don't get the rights of people. It's so hard to get an ammendment passed, and it should be, but I'm behind this one.

message 14: by Ken (new)

Ken (playjerist) | 721 comments Not infrequently in my opinion art offers a more lucid and rigorous representation of reality than any other source, be it political or journalistic or academic.

The film NETWORK, written by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Sidney Lumet was incredibly prescient in very many ways. But this monologue by Arthur Jensen (Ned Beatty), CEO of the fictional conglomerate CCA, pretty much sums up the current state of affairs:

Arthur Jensen: “You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immune, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels. It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU... WILL... ATONE!

“ Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale? You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM, and ITT, and AT&T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those *are* the nations of the world today. What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state, Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, minimax solutions, and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments, just like we do. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that... perfect world... in which there's no war or famine, oppression or brutality. One vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock. All necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused. And I have chosen you, Mr. Beale, to preach this evangel.”

message 15: by Scout (last edited Feb 02, 2011 12:42AM) (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 3447 comments OK, we know big money is in control. That goes against the ideals on which this country was founded. Money shouldn't equal power. But the Supreme Court disagrees. So what do we do about it? Is it going to take a revolution to change things and get people into office who respond to the will of the people? I want my vote to elect someone who represents my best interests. So I want change. And I'm looking for a leader who will make those changes. But, guess what? No real change can come about in the face of the entrenched establishment. So, it's status quo, unless we oust everyone and start over. I looked for a Jefferson quote and found these. The truth in them strikes a chord in me.


message 16: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24360 comments Mod
Wow. GE is so good at avoiding taxes that the Treasury owes it money!


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