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Ralph Nader: The Empire of Big Business

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    Big Government and the Empire of Big Business Taming the Giant Corporation By RALPH NADER http://groups.yahoo.com/group/libertyundergroundtalk/ Back in the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 3, 2007
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      Big Government and the Empire of Big Business
      Taming the Giant Corporation

      Back in the nineteen thirties, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
      went on the national radio and declared what the basic necessities
      were for the American people--a wage that can support a family, decent
      housing, the right to health care, a good education and future
      economic security.

      Sound familiar today? It certainly would sound familiar to a majority
      of the American people. The struggle for livelihood, the struggles to
      escape poverty, calamitous health care bills, mounting debt, gouging
      rents and failing, crumbling schools continues year after year.

      What's that French saying--"the more things change, they remain the same."

      Things have changed for the rich and corporate, though. The rich have
      gotten richer. The talk now is about the super-rich and the
      hyper-rich. The richest 1 percent of people in this country has
      financial wealth equal to the combined financial wealth of the bottom
      95 percent.

      The big corporations are more avaricious than ever. The past decade's
      corporate crime wave, dutifully reported in the major business
      media-newspapers and magazines-demonstrates how trillions of dollars
      were looted, or drained away, from tens of millions of small
      investors, pensioners and workers.

      In FDR's time, the CEOs of the top 300 corporations paid themselves
      about 12 times the average wage in their company. Now the "top greed"
      registers 400 to 500 times what the average workers eke out in a full
      year. WalMart is an example of that sheer self-serving power at the top.

      All this is occurring while the big companies deliver comparatively
      far less to the economic well-being of the American worker. The CEOs
      are otherwise preoccupied with figuring out how they can outsource
      more American jobs to China and India, how they can hollow out more
      communities and ship whole industries to those and other countries,
      many under authoritarian rule, that promise to keep the CEOs'
      operations at costs close to serfdom.

      Interesting, isn't it, that the CEOs say it is necessary to flee our
      country-where they were nurtured to their size and profits-in order to
      keep up with global competition. But they never urge outsourcing their
      own CEO jobs to hardworking, bilingual executives in the Third World
      willing to work for less than one-tenth of the U.S. CEOs' pay package.

      Besides, who wrote the rules (NAFTA, WTO) that define the global
      competition? Big Business and its lawyer-lobbyists.

      Uncle Sam has bent over to give Big Business what it has demanded in
      the past 25 years. Huge tax reductions, compared to the prosperous
      nineteen sixties. Massive deregulation, or the abandonment of law and
      order against criminal, negligent or defrauding corporations. Your tax
      dollars were transferred in the form of subsidies, handouts, giveaways
      and bailouts to demanding, mismanaged or corrupt large businesses.

      Still, it was not enough coddling to keep these giant companies from
      casting aside what allegiance they had to our country, its communities
      and people. The companies' standard is to control them or quit them as
      these CEOs see fit.

      When BusinessWeek Magazine answered a resounding YES to its cover
      story in 2000 "Too Much Corporate Power?" the editors were not
      kidding. They even wrote an editorial saying that "corporations should
      get out of politics." I guess they meant that since corporations do
      not vote, and are not human beings, that they should not be honing in
      on what should be the exclusive domain of real people.

      More and more conservatives believe that Big Business (Wall Street vs.
      Main Street) is out of control and stomping on conservative values.
      They don't like corporate welfare, corporate eminent domain against
      the little guys, commercial invasion of privacies, WTO and NAFTA
      shredding our sovereignty, corporate crimes (Enron, Worldcom, etc.) or
      Big Government on behalf of Big Business Empires around the world.

      They are appalled by corporations directly selling bad things and
      violent programming to their children, whom these companies teach to
      nag parents.

      It is time for the American people to get off the defense and take the
      offense against corporate power, the way it was done in the consumer,
      environmental and worker areas from 1965 to 1975 and beyond to new
      frontiers of subordinating the big corporations to the rights and
      necessities of real people.

      Toward those objectives, hundreds of leading advocates, scholars and
      activists will convene on June 8-10 in Washington, D.C. to address how
      to subordinate raw corporate power to the will of the people.

      The title of the conference tells its content: "Taming the Giant
      Corporation: A National Conference on Corporate Accountability."

      Conference speakers include: U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT),
      Democracy Now's Amy Goodman; Robert Monks, veteran leader for
      corporate governance; Mark Green, president, Air America Radio; Robert
      Greenstein, Director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities;
      Ron Daniels, President of Institute of the Black World in the 21st
      Century; Dr. Sidney Wolfe and Lori Wallach of Public Citizen and many
      more distinguished persons.

      If you wish to attend the entire conference, including the Saturday
      evening dinner, go to www.tamethecorporation.org for details or call
      202-387-8030. Hurry up. Space is available but seating is limited.

      Ralph Nader is the author of The Seventeen Traditions

      email: libertyuv @ hotmail.



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