10 Ways to Stop Corporate Dominance of Politics !
Hey, did you notice? American big Corporations don't think of us American people. Not for a moment! Mega corp WHIRLPOOL has paid no taxes in decades. Actually, the FED gives them money. Billions! Half the corps out there don't pay a cent of tax on their billions of profits. Their Corporate lobbyists somehow convinced Bill Clinton to pass NAFTA AND GATT so that corps can move their factories to dollar a day slave states. That car, appliance was probably built in China or Guatemala. In a beanless world, a worker who gets a cup of beans is King! While you here have no beans, you have no job --so how are you going to buy that product? They don't care. They are locked onto the concept of the annual bottom line so they destroy the world they live in. This is exactly the kind of short sighted corp think that Karl Marx predicted. That the corps would squeeze the world so badly nobody could afford their products and they'd shoot themselves in the foot and die of gangrene.
PROOF: You do know that the Supreme Court voted to allow unlimited corporate spending in politics. You'd think this CONTROL they have on laws would be the straw that makes the VOTER SO ANGRY that together, we break the plutocracy’s hold on the system, but no. The American people SLEEP! Their belly rumbles but they seem to be sound asleep!
So you think Corps don't see that? They can slide through YOU like a hot knife through butter. It is time to join pro-democracy groups, local activism groups, small business leaders, (go door to door on our main drags, shaking hands, showing literature) and put the CITIZEN pressure on our elected representatives so that they propose mechanisms to prevent or counter the millions of dollars that corporations can now draw from their treasuries for LOBBYISTS who use that melted butter on suceptible pols to push for government action favorable to their bottom line.
The outrage ignited by the SUPREMES' ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission extends to President Obama, who has promised that repairing the damage will be a priority for his administration. But so far Obama just went and got OSAMA and that's his bid for the 2nd term, so what can be done to limit or reverse the effect of the Court’s decision? Here are 10 ideas:
1. Amend the U.S. Constitution to declare that corporations are not persons and do not have the rights of human beings. Since the First Amendment case for corporate spending as a free speech right rests on corporations being considered “persons,” the proposed amendment would strike at the core of the ruling’s justification. The push for the 28th Amendment is coming from the grassroots, where a prairie fire is catching on from groups such as Public Citizen, Voter Action, and the Campaign to Legalize Democracy.
2. Require shareholders to approve political spending by their corporations. Public Citizen and the Brennan Center for Justice are among the groups advocating this measure, and some members of Congress appear interested. Britain has required such shareholder approval since 2000.
3. Pass the Fair Elections Now Act, which provides federal financing for Congressional elections. This measure has the backing of organizations representing millions of Americans, including Moveon.org, the NAACP, the Service Employees International Union, and the League of Young Voters. Interestingly, the heads of a number of major corporations have also signed on, including those of Ben & Jerry’s, Hasbro, Crate & Barrel, and the former head of Delta Airlines.
4. Give qualified candidates equal amounts of free broadcast air time for political messages. This would limit the advantages of paid advertisements in reaching the public through television where most political spending goes.
5. Ban political advertising by corporations that receive government money, hire lobbyists, or collect most of their revenue abroad. A fear that many observers have noted is that the Court’s ruling will allow foreign corporations to influence U.S. elections. According to The New York Times, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-New York) and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland) are exploring this option.
6. Impose a 500 percent excise tax on corporate contributions to political committees and on corporate expenditures on political advocacy campaigns. Representative Alan Grayson (D-Florida) proposes this, calling it "The Business Should Mind Its Own Business Act."
7. Prohibit companies from trading their stock on national exchanges if they make political contributions and expenditures. Another one from Grayson, which he calls "The Public Company Responsibility Act."
8. Require publicly traded companies to disclose in SEC filings money used for the purpose of influencing public opinion, rather than for promoting their products. Grayson calls this "The Corporate Propaganda Sunshine Act."
9. Require the corporate CEO to appear as sponsor of commercials that his or her company pays for, another possibility from the Schumer-Van Hollen team, according to The New York Times
10. Publicize the reform options, inform the public of who is making contributions to whom, and activate the citizenry. If we are to safeguard our democracy, media must inform and citizens must act.
The measures listed above and others that seek to reverse the dominance of money in our political system—will not be easy. But grassroots anger at this latest win for corporate power is running high. History shows that when the public is sufficiently aroused, actions that once seemed impossible can, in hindsight, seem inevitable.
Fran Korten wrote this article for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions. http://www.alternet.org/story/145441/
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