Corporations Shaft America

Back in 1816 Thomas Jefferson—who wrote the Declaration of Independence and later served as the third president of the United States—was understandably suspicious of the rise of corporations.  He felt that such business structures would function as a perpetual threat to democracy and therefore had to be strictly limited.  Jefferson stated his fears regarding corporations assuming power saying of the looming threat that governing policies must “…crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of the country.”

 Today the United States is bound in shackles to corporations, and they have proven what Jefferson had feared: corporations are, just as are all organized religions, inherently antidemocratic and are presided over by a wealthy select few who have no concern for “the masses.”  Over the decades corporate shysters have underhandedly and intentionally chipped away at the noble democratic principles set down by the nation’s founding fathers to indulge themselves in amassing vast sums of money through corporate stealth, then use that wealth to elevate their private interests over the nation’s common good.  In the process they have managed to tangle laws for citizens protection—such as price controls, monopoly laws, etc.—so that those who invest in their shady work are absolved of any personal responsibility carried out under the umbrella of their corporations. 

Of course the Constitution gives no recognition to corporation rights, stating in that noble document the sovereignty and right of self-governing to “The People.”  Nowhere was there made allowance for corporate exercise of power over the citizens that we see in the U.S. today.  But oil, pharmaceutical, insurance, coal and similar conglomerates hold the nation in ransom with absolutely no regard for equality and fair exchange that makes democracy work.  And this abuse of corporate power has been aided and abetted by none other than the U.S. Supreme Court!

Especially the John Roberts Court.  Roberts, we should remember, held political jobs in both the Reagan and Bush I administrations, and he was active in crafting policy aimed at curbing personal privacy rights and religious liberty rights.  In fact, he authored a brief for the Bush administration that proposed allowing clergy-led prayers at public school events! 

Under the “guidance” of Roberts and abetted by Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Antonio Scalia, and Samuel Alito—all Catholic, all Republican sponsored—and antidemocratic elements have lurched forward with stunning favoritism toward corporate power and radical right religious trickery.  With their brand of  “justice” the nation’s workforce, taxpayers, environment, etc. have been repeatedly spurned in favor of corporate law-breaking and theocratic notions.

 This antidemocratic stance of the Supremes has been obvious from at least 1998 (thus even before Roberts), which then set about actually rewriting long standing laws.  In that year the Court rejected  legal precedent to rule that a woman claimant had no valid claim to antidiscrimination by a tire firm because she had not filed her disparity of pay suit within 180 days of first suffering the discrimination.  Totally ignored by the Supremes was that the claimant had not been aware that men holding an equal position had been earning forty percent more for years.  Snickering up their judicial sleeves, the Justices brushed her off and democracy suffered still more loss of integrity.  This is the same Court that struck down the majority wishes in the 2000 national election to put oil men Bush-Cheney in control of government.  That tramping upon the elective process revealed the extent of their alleged “impartial” judgment.

Thanks Supreme Court for giving the U.S. eight historical Bush years.  We’re still paying for it.

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