My take on politics has been out of bounds for my blog, until now. It just doesn’t seem right not to speak out.
Tomorrow at the polls the democrats are supposed to get their butts kicked, and they deserve it. They aren’t delivering as promised, fell short on health care, haven’t regulated the financial markets, caved in to that stupid bail out crap, not a word on campaign reform, are letting our cities fail at an alarming rate, not much on jobs or corporate controls… But that still doesn’t make me happy about the onrush of Wall Street financed Republicans.
I don’t know if it’s my age, or the frustration of the economy and its impact on my ability to make a living or if I am just waking up to what’s been going on around me, but I am getting more sick of our government, the media and direction of our society every day.
There is so much wrong with our political and economic reality it is hard to pick one thing to rail against. But with this unprecedented corporate funded election coming up I am appalled at the amount of traction the Republicans are getting from their “greed is good” message and feel the need to spell out why wall street is a major factor for the piss poor job market and diminishing “middle class” as they like to call it.
This isn’t a long dissertation because you either get it or you don’t. Wall Street control over our corporate environment has been a disaster of the highest proportion. It rewards behavior that is bad for companies, bad for employees, bad for our economic structure and bad for America. Since the loosening of SEC regulations, the ONLY thing that matters to any public corporation is appeasing the markets, which means cutting costs, growing the bottom and line and improving stock prices and dividends.
If you have to ask, “What’s wrong with that” then here is the short of it. Operating costs are a natural part of doing business (operating costs by the way includes salaries paid to US citizens), and while cutting waste and running efficiently is all good there is no balance or limits on how companies achieve their goals of ebidta and stock ratios. And since the incentive is so great for major holders, corporate officers and board members to up stock prices and earnings, they have little ability or control (and I would suggest concern) for the people that work for them, the customers they serve or the communities they inhabit. In a heartbeat, they ship jobs overseas, do business with over sea manufacturers and service providers and will sell a company or drop any investment that could mean job growth in order to satisfy the financial markets and get their payout.
Wall Street is about the money guys. It is not about jobs, communities, paying for essential services, pensions or retirement funds (unless they’re skimming money out of your investments with fees and their screwball derivatives), the environment, the economy (except their own fake economy) or anything that can really benefit you in the long run – unless you’re made of money.
Of course the government is a key conspirator, failing us on SEC regulations, misaligned corporate incentives, harmful trade agreements, and generally establishing a business and market environment that not only enables this behavior but drives it. And now corporations are allowed to contribute whatever they want to campaigns to more directly influence the legislation they need to line their pockets while raping our own future.
After “the great depression” there was a big movement to reign in corporate power and limit the harmful behavior of the huge monopolies in favor of a competitive market that would enable smaller business and local concerns to compete. This worked well for a time but now that environment and mindset is gone. And we’re once again in a grave economic crisis with an inordinately small population getting filthy rich and using their wealth and power in ways that is hurting the rest of us and hurting our own economic stability as a country.
We used to do business differently here in the US. It mattered that our neighbors (and ourselves) had jobs. It was a problem that communist countries and dictatorships violate the very idea of freedom, human rights, decent working conditions and opportunities for individuals to earn a living. And the government was the guardian of that principal, not allowing us to do business with a country where 12 year olds are housed in factory dorms working 12 and 16 hour days for next to nothing. It’s good that we can’t do that here in the US, so how is it good that we allow companies here in the US to finance countries, giving them our money and buying products from them? And how much of that profit is used to terrorize the US?
It used to matter that farmers, the care takers of our food supply at one time, could farm healthy food and real nutrition. Now, corporations figure out how to cut every corner in developing something that barely resembles real food, void of nutrition and full of chemicals and hormones, because this crap is cheaper to produce and improves their bottom line. Of course that has nothing to do with the poor health of our children, or major increase in allergies and diseases like autism.
It used to make a difference if you were good to your employees and created a local economy that supported our cities and towns. You could actually work for a company for many years and there was a sense of loyalty. A company would provide pensions and opportunities to grow. Now it is up or out, strip away benefits, raises, opportunity so that the corporation can improve its bottom line. This means we hire cheap labor both here and overseas and that you will eventually have to be let go to make the bottom line better.
So sure, let’s vote for a bunch of corporate bought republicans who plan to make our city/state/country more “business friendly”. Just remember what they mean by business friendly and who is getting the friends with benefits arrangement here.
btw… For Gov of MA I will be casting my vote for independent Tim Cahill. At bare minimum I hope the two major parties get the message that there are a lot of us out here who won’t put up their bs anymore and they need to begin to work for the people of this state.