Traditional Values Warped by Corporate State

Money problems are the #1 cause of family breakup. If we ever want to get back to our middle American family value called "stability" that we once so happily enjoyed, we need to get back to the kind of national economy we had back in healthier times. In the pre 1980 era most companies employed executives who were compensated at a rate generally 17 times what the average factory or office worker earned and our economy was healthy, proportionate and rational.

This is no longer true as the rich discovered and invented ways to make huge amounts of cash that weren't available to outsiders. They pulled more and more of society's chips over to their side of the table and employed means, sneaky and underhanded, in a variety of ways, to keep it there.

Once we collectively knew that getting into debt on any level was an extremely dangerous thing and we avoided it like the plague. That was in the pre-WWII period but since then our corporate dictated culture made us into "buy-now-pay-later" consumers intent on "instant gratification" to the point that our own comfortable futures and that of our children steadily recede from our grasp and into theirs'. We indulge our appetites while paying our hard earned money to the rich because their advertising convinced us that the best course possible is to voluntarily redistribute our money to them for their own unadvertised purposes. The Corporate State led us to neglect our duty to our families to save and invest wisely, for education, for retirement and for an unexpected rainy day, just so it could get hugely rich off us.

American values and financial sanity have been warped in this post war Corporate State era where the profit and prosperity of the corporations and the rich are of absolute paramount importance to the ruling class. They would not make money if we followed our traditional value of thriftiness, even frugality, and used our money for our future instead of their present. When was the last time some corporate shill advised the average American to save for a rainy day? That would be sacrilege to the gospel of wealth. So they slowly, but effectively, turned us into a nation of impulsive spend thrifts. Now we suffer in debt.

We lost a major source of stability when we allowed the Corporate State to rob us of our traditional family friendly value of stay-at–home-moms who were able to nurture the kids, guide them, teach them and participate in community events because the dad had a good, steady job.

But then a flood of cheap money issued by the corporate controlled Federal Reserve Bank swamped the market kicking off an inflation that forced most families to get a second wage earner at the expense of neglecting the kids, leaving the older ones unattended, or exiling the little ones off to some kiddy kennel. The rich distain day care because they can afford first class professional care and they sure don't care about the fate of our children because the well being of our children stands in the way of their profit.

Tight economic times cause households to give a higher priority to their corporate jobs than to their own children. Now their very lives revolve around their service to the corporation and the corporations do love being #1 in so many lives. Now husbands and wives eagerly kow-tow to their corporations accepting big paychecks in exchange for what amounts to be the souls of their children.

Nixon's big contribution to the welfare of his buddy Nelson Rockefeller and that man's class was the annihilation of the middle class wrought by the double digit inflation caused by his floating of the dollar beginning in 1971 with the cutting of its anchor to gold.

This move served its real purpose as the destroyer of the new middle class suburban American culture that had been born and borne by the "socialist" G.I.Bill, and which gave birth to the middle class youth counter-culture of the sixties that so terrified the bloated burghers of the ruling class.

Here was something entirely new under the sun that after years of the suburban cornucopia of plenty, and of the civil rights and anti war movements, the stable middle class was turning out into the world millions of young, open minded and fair minded liberals, intelligent, idealistic and capable, who wanted to remake society as the embodiment of their democratic idealism.

Nixon and his cronies panicked at the sight of the best and the brightest youth of the middle and upper middle classes who had been coddled every day of their lives by a strong economy that allowed them to grow up without fear, confident that they would take their rightful places in the future, choosing not to bind themselves to the mindless conformity of the past but instead create something different and better. With the declining standards wrought by increasing inflation Nixon and his Corporate State presented a bitter pill for them to swallow, making them choose between their youthful idealism or adapting to stagflation.

A steady, reliable, long term job is a traditional American value that the Corporate State lackeys never mention. They don't say word one that corporations and governments ought to keep the promises they made, in the interests of upholding our traditional value of honesty.

Instead they want to make it easier for corporations to break the social contract they made, that people relied on and made important life decisions based on, and remove all ethical standards and safety regulations that now burden the corporations and hold down their profits.

Corporations know good and well that when people buy homes in company towns and the company leaves town for China, or some other un-American destination, those homes cannot be sold and there won't be any good jobs for the mortgage holders. The corporations don't care because they exist for the profit of the shareholders and the Corporate State dominated law requires shareholders get profit where profit can be gotten.

Instead of meekly accepting the dictates of the ruling class to live under this brutal regime, we need to just change that regime and decree social responsibility as civic duty #1 of the corporate citizen. Once these corporations accepted "personhood" they assumed an obligation to act like decent human beings. We need to hold their feet to the fire.

Decent human beings don't intentionally mislead each other, but the corporations lie to everyone continuously and with malice aforethought. Look at corporate advertisements. Corporations sell products by unfairly inflating the expectations of consumers. Never trust a corporation that touts its products as working or lasting "up to" a certain length of time. For example, big businesses claim that their product works "up to" 12 hours, but when we buy them we'd be lucky to get half that amount. "Up to" is not the minimum time, it is the absolute maximum that was reported during trials to have occurred at least once, but most Americans hear it as meaning "at least" and the crooked corporations never explain this truth to the consumers, they just lie with impunity and steal from us with their practiced and sleazy advertising finesse.

After endless repetition of blatant lies we are beaten into submission without a whimper and they get even richer while insulting our intelligence, our basic honesty and our common decency. Corporations know they make more money when the consumer is ignorant and that is one of the reasons the corporations support property tax cuts because those taxes pay for our schools and if these places are under funded our kids get under educated and become easy prey for the rich who send their own kids to expensive private schools in continuance of their family's rotten traditions.

Corporations pay lobbyists big bucks to get legislators to write laws that will help the corporation pull the wool over our eyes by allowing misleading ads that a product works for x amount of time simply because a single test subject, who had no special training, reported in a study that the product worked for that long. Under the law as long as a test subject said something, the corporation could legally advertise that claim. In today's Corporate State, what is legal is rarely what is true, moral or ethical. The Corporate State rules by brute force, wielding its wealth, its politicians and its judges against us.

The Corporate State now promotes that both corporations and governments should break their promises with impunity, denigrating those promises as being mere "entitlements" that need not be honored. But try to get the rich to pay more taxes and we hear in panicked reply what a squealing, stuck pig sounds like. But soon such sounds will be like music to the ears of hard working Americans unburdened of the massive debts forced on us by the greedy and profligate rich who will finally be made to pay their fair share. This revolutionary future is fast approaching.

Corporations spend billions of dollars every year paying unethical corporate lawyers to short change their clients, customers, and employees with dense, complicated, finely printed contracts that result in legally unassailable superiority for the corporations but confusion and weakness for the unorganized little guys. And most of these contracts have clauses that state the corporation can change any of the terms of the contract "at any time, for any reason, without notice." No wonder most people don't bother to read them and just sign them obediently, blindly trusting a corporation that should in no way, shape, manner, form or degree, ever be trusted, now, or at any time since the beginning of time and until the end of time.

Corporations also demand that consumers and employees sign contracts that force private arbitration to resolve disputes according to the self made rules of the Corporate State instead of taking legal action according to the rules of the Constitution. Corporations claim that courts are clogged with "frivolous" lawsuits even though 85% of cases are filed by corporations against other corporations.

These lying corporations even misuse the courts in actions called SLAPPs, (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation,) which they use to attack "do-gooders" and win by simply vastly outspending their opponents and making them go broke instead. This is not what the Founding Fathers called "equality under the law."

Corporations put out expensive propaganda, not a cent of which is approved by the shareholders, to advance their Nazi-type "big lie." This lie holds that those who dissent from the Corporate State line which claims that the Corporate State is the "wave of the future" are un-American liberals. (Our Founding Fathers were themselves dissidents, and classical liberals, and the Brutish Empire was the Revolutionary era equivalent of the current Corporate State.) All this is indicative of the way corporations do business but it is neither fair nor conducive to the economic well being of 99% of the American People. It is downright un-American.

And in case you missed the NY Times article of January 11, 2005 by Ken Belson: "Your Call (and Rants on Hold) Will be Monitored," the corporations have arranged to legally eavesdrop on any American who phones a corporation, presses the buttons as directed, and then gets put on hold for a period of time (with which you could and should be doing better things.) The corporation could be playing music or corporate propaganda or just staying blank but it has your phone acting like a microphone to broadcast to the corporation's digital recorders whatever sounds are occurring within range of your phone, including private conversations.

Corporations are always putting out lies that try to convince our people that the Corporate State gives them lots of choices. When was the last time anyone was offered a choice of whether or not they want their calls to a corporate 800 number to be recorded for "security or training purposes?" Why don't we ever hear "if you want this conversation recorded and a copy made available to you please press #1" or "if you don't want to be recorded, please press #2?"

Corporations will never give this choice to the public because the corporations like it the way it is, with the advantage solidly to the corporations. With digital recorders, corporations record and save everything but try to get a straight answer out of them as to exactly what they do with all these recordings and you'll get nothing but denials, double-talk and disrespect. Corporations utterly disrespect the American People and when a dispute arises over who said what the corporation just checks the recording and if their position is correct they will say "we recorded this conversation for security or training purposes and it supports us." But if the recording backs the consumer the corporation discards the recording and stonewalls the consumer. Corporations keep records of, and about, everybody for the exclusive use of the Corporate State.

Corporations will do anything for money, including the wholesale invasion of our privacy. They even monitor social media to pick up clues about individual American's lifestyles and political beliefs so they can assemble detailed dossiers about us to use against us in the future, especially in deciding whom to hire or fire, or to use in legal proceedings, or to (eventually) throw in a political re-education camp.

And guess what? While it is un-Constitutional for the government to do this, our new quasi-government, the Corporate State, can and does do this as five men against America have ruled that individual Americans do not own the information about them, but that this information is owned by whoever has it and it can be used or sold for any reason.

This arrogant, un-American Supreme Court has also held that the American people do not deserve to have integrity, fairness and transparency in our voting process. When we found out that the computerized voting machines in Ohio in 2004 seemed to be out of kilter in how they tabulated the votes, the executives of the companies that made these machines (one of whom promised to do everything he could to achieve Republican victory in Ohio,) opposed an effort by independent election monitors to open up the machines and examine them (and their source code) for irregularities. The five ruled it was more important to protect the "propriety interests" of corporations than the right of Americans to have free and fair elections. We need to overthrow the Corporate State because it has put into power "justices" who openly say that the property and profits of corporations are far more important than the Constitutional Rights of We the People.

As a result of 2004, (and 2000,) two illegitimate appointees to the court, bastards of the Corporate State, now have the ability to further harm our democracy and extend the aims of the Corporate State. Both of them, especially the one who used the term "stare decisis" about a hundred times under oath to describe his judicial philosophy to leave settled law as it was, leaped at the opportunity to overturn a hundred year old established law forbidding corporations from flooding political campaigns with dirty money. The Court's self-appointed task is to help the Corporate State increase its power over the rest of us while pretending to be a solemn guardian of the Constitution.

These five understand that "knowledge is power" and they have given intrusive power to the Corporate State while denying to individuals and non-governmental organizations this same right to acquire and use knowledge about the corporations, citing the "proprietary" rights of the corporations, while allowing nothing similar for the people's enlightenment. These five black-robed political hacks, (apologies to Maureen Dowd,) have murdered the idea of "equality under the law," by making corporations "people" and then making these corporate/people "more equal" than the rest of us. Our Revolution will right these wrongs.

All this is now perfectly legal because the corporations paid Wall Street lawyers and K Street lobbyists to convince lawmakers and judges this would be a boon to the Corporate State and then corporations paid off the lawmakers as a fig-leaf "favor" to help them defray the extraordinary expenses of running for public office.

Americans, traditionally a friendly, trusting lot, naively believe that a favor extended should be repaid. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this sentiment on the Main Street level, but when we get up to the rarefied Dirkson level we encounter real money and real power and these hidden bribes affects the entire country, rarely for the better.

There are plenty of decent small business people who still honor one of our traditional national values, one that was subscribed to by every major Founding Father: "Meet on the level and depart on the square." This kindly American wisdom served us well during the Main Street Era but now the family/small business culture has been pummeled by the Corporate State Era.

Joe and Mary are traditional denizens of Main Street and the salt of the earth. Joe is a small businessman who runs Joe's Hardware Store and Mary is the proprietor of Mary's Diner. There are Joes and Marys in every town in America, though not nearly as many as in previous generations. Joe and Mary used to be the backbone of traditional American capitalism, earning a decent living in a friendly atmosphere, enjoying the American Dream of financial and personal independence.

Then the Corporate State invaded small town and Main Street America with its money and its lies. The once healthy economic culture of Joe and Mary was smashed and a lot of this had to do with the building of the Interstate Highway system, a lobbyist's nirvana if there ever was one. Wealthy corporations paid big bucks to buy up property near the access ramps, which local Main Street business persons could not afford. Wal-mart and McDonalds moved in and relegated Main Street to locals only and frequently forced them out of business.

And when Wall Street moved in it came fully equipped with "studies" that projected more jobs for the region. In modern Corporate State parlance "studies" means self-serving lies that would persuade people of limited ethics, integrity or intelligence that the Corporate State is the greatest creation since God said, "Let there be light." And, of course, the Corporate State likes to keep its proprietary doings in the dark away from the prying eyes of a fair minded and level headed populace. The local politicians drank this Corporate State kool-aid and Main Street culture began to die out.

These promised jobs never materialized and small town culture evaporated. People eat. When they eat prepared food away from home they inject money into those restaurants. If McDonalds wasn't there all those hungry folk would eat at Mary's Diner and Sam's Café. There is never a net gain of jobs because McDonalds sends a certain portion of the profits out of the community to the corporation's Chicago headquarters, never to return to that community again. Thus, money and prosperity are drained from the local economy and redistributed to the Corporate State, and its wealthy urban investors. If McDonalds hadn't come in, swaddled in lies, all that money would have stayed and circulated locally and Mary and Sam would have had to employ just as many or more people to feed the local populace.

Keeping wealth local obviously would create Main Street jobs and if Joe and Mary and Sam would organize a "Chamber of Small Business" as a common shield to protect and promote the traditional Main Street culture, prosperity would return. With a "Chamber of Small Business" for Main Street, allied with various co-operatives, all the Joes and Marys and Sams of American could unite and fight off the depredations of Wall Street. They can create and share integrated vertical supply lines which imitate those of Wal-mart and McDonalds and create together economies of scale that could greatly reduce costs and thus improve profit. Joe and Mary would get their independent lives back.

Joe and Mary are the American version of Adam Smith's notion that Britain was a great country because it was a nation of shop-keepers. America is in decline because our small, independent business people have come under attack by the rough beast of Wall Street. The Corporate State wants to crush free and independent Americans and steal their livelihood and make these formerly unshackled small scale entrepreneurs into vassals dependent on the Corporate State, who labor for it as managers rather than for themselves and their families as their own bosses and owners.

The Corporate State has put us on the road to serfdom, and we need to get off it ASAP. Why work for a wealthy person's benefit? A Revolution will accomplish the re-liberation of independent family and community centered small scale capitalism of the sort that once made us great, prosperous and happy.

Ask a traditional small business person, especially a family farmer, and you'll hear how he'd rather use a handshake with a fellow local business person and forsake the diabolical corporate contract, full of loopholes available only to the corporation, like secret landmines planted in a garden, a work of the devil if there ever was one. The first thing we do, let's kill all the corporate lawyers.

The small scale capitalist knows all too well that "some rob us with a six shooter, while others use a fountain pen." Small entrepreneurs have known this vivid truth for generations, even centuries, and while the style of the robbery has modernized, the victims and the perpetraitors remain the same, locked in a struggle of which only the predator has knowledge, an historic crime against humanity that dares not speak its name: CLASS WARFARE.

It has always been the same across all the continents and back through the mists to ancient times, harming all races and all creeds: Them the rich tiny minority vs. Us the modest everyone else super majority. The Corporate State became dominant because it managed to portray this struggle as labor vs. business, when the true battle line is the Corporate State vs. small business + labor.

Who benefits from "free" trade with China? Small business? No. Labor? No! The Corporate State? Yes. The Corporate State in China? Yes! An Internationalist Corporate State with a well "oiled" propaganda machine? 'Fraid so. It is said a sure sign of insanity is continuing to do the same thing expecting a different outcome even though the results are always the same. The Corporate State has brainwashed us into believing if we continue to trust them and vote for their candidates and hand them our hard earned money we will somehow gain a benefit in some gracious, rosy, trickle-down future. Never. It's a lie. That will not happen. As long as the Corporate State remains in charge nothing will ever change for the better for the vast majority of the American People.

We will continue our historic decline, somewhat more hastily than Rome's, but the result will be total victory for the Internationalist Corporate State, barbarians true, but possessing awesome PR people.

Our only hope is to take Revolutionary action NOW. If We the People don't do it, who will? The rich will never surrender unless we persuade them, in an unambiguous manner, that their pattern of action evinces a design to reduce us under their despotism and that we have the Right to be rid of them and their malignant power once and for all. We can let them escape with their lives, but that is all. We will take back everything they've stolen from us, our prosperity, our sovereignty and our sacred future.

There is nothing that the rich do that we can't do ourselves, better and cheaper, without their selfish interference. We don't need them. They are just the superfluous middle men stealing the cream. Eliminate them and the rest of us can split up their wealth. And there is quite a bit to divvy up. 1% owns 75% of the wealth. That means 25% of the wealth is currently fought over by 99% of the People. A back-of-the-envelope calculation tells us that if 99% of the people were to divide 75% of the wealth everyone will get a nice, fat, dividend check. Social Darwinism works in mysterious ways.

A simple Constitutional amendment will do the trick to put the shares of all the publicly traded corporations into a single holding company, or a giant mutual fund, wherein each American voter has an equal share. And then every year the profits will be counted up and divided equally to every American voter. If there are one hundred fifty million voters and total annual corporate profits are 1.5 trillion, simple division tells us that every American voter will receive as his or her share, $10,000. Not bad for a retirement plan, year after year. Plus, since most households have at least two voters that household will receive 20K. Or we can reinvest half the current profits to gain increased future profits.

There are other things that can be done. Political power means the ability to pass a Constitutional Amendment that could declare, literally anything, to be the Law of the Land and the Supreme Corporate Ayatollahs are powerless to stop it. A Constitutional amendment could declare universal debt forgiveness to wipe out all government, business and personal debt so we, both individually and as a society, can make a fresh start, without the pushy interference of the self centered rich. This "fresh start" is a traditional American value.

For over a hundred years after Independence the rule of the frontier applied. As a young, expanding nation we encouraged our people to "Go West," to fill in the "empty" spaces and build a great nation from scratch and it worked! There can be no denying or decrying this historic migration of millions who felt a need to start a new life and head out toward the sunset. Millions made the perilous journey and succeeded in turning around their lives while creating this great nation.

People who were successful and comfortable didn't join in because they had no need to. Those in need, did, and that made all the difference. Victims of disaster, bankrupt investors, failed farmers, crooked businessmen, debtors, adventurers, petty criminals, frustrated mill workers, fallen ladies, ambitious youth, men of the cloth, former slaves and newly arrived immigrants from a hundred cultures all picked up the call and turned the wilderness into civilization. It was manifestly good but it officially ended in 1893 with the "close" of the frontier. And since then the Corporate State has consolidated civilization to the point of incivility and inequality while generating immense wealth for the rich and only the rich.

The truth that has rarely been stated is that America was largely built on the greatest, most massive socialist give-away program in history, signed into law by the very first Republican president, the U.S. Homestead Act of 1862. It gave away millions of prime acres for no money down, $0 per month. All the pioneer had to do was work on the land, in any of a variety of ways, for five years, and ownership was awarded. We need another Homestead Act.

The fact that it wasn't exactly our land to give away was immaterial given that the operant capitalist philosophy at the time was to provide for the "greatest good for the greatest number," a kind of Victorian Laffer Curve, which held that social good was the optimum outcome for a complex modern society. But that kind of social-economic outlook didn't last long even though it was allied with another traditional American value called "Christian Charity."

But homesteading did, and may yet again, become a traditional American value whose invitingly warm breezes are longed for and gratefully felt, especially by certain sectors of the political spectrum both left and right. Today we can bring that idea back and advocate a new Homestead Act that will achieve the reality of home ownership and steady income that every American deserves, and needs, to provide a stable life for his family.

The new Homestead Act will transfer title of all real property to the persons currently living there, rip up their mortgages, match homeless families with vacant housing, condo-ize existing public and corporate owned apartments and give chits for future built housing, as well as finance the jobs that will build all this. As long as we keep our money in America we can afford it. Or we can simply make the rich pay more in taxes every year, (plus a one time wealth tax at a rate to be determined later.) The current "owners" of these properties, such as corporations and banks, (but not private individuals,) will be out of luck, just like the Indians were.

America survived and prospered after the first Homestead Act and we will survive and prosper even more after the next. All we need is a Revolutionary Constitutional Amendment so ordaining it.

When we lost the frontier we also lost one of our most basic values, the ability to disappear, learn from our mistakes and start afresh. We once even had a right to just be left alone, but now there is no more anonymity, no more self reform, only the hounds of Javert baying through the gloom.

A Revolution can also provide a golden one time opportunity to forgive the trespasses of millions of minor (and expensive) convicts and ex-cons. They will gain something to live for and will endeavor to better themselves to be healthier and happier: A miracle doorway to better jobs and a brighter future for all of God's children, and their children to come.

Rolling urban renewal is an idea whose time has come. We need to sweep away anything smacking of slumdom and replace it with new, modern urban blocks, carefully planned to achieve an intelligent environment for happy living. Start with some vacant land and build new blocks around the need for inexpensive, safe and comfortable apartments for people who prefer the urban experience. Move entire neighborhoods into these new blocks and then demolish the blocks they came from, and build more such modern housing.

Most contemporary urban spaces are littered with city streets and boring building facades and a glaring dearth of uses for backyards and rooftops. Put these underused areas front and center in urban planning and use them to the max to improve the daily lives of urban dwellers.

The new city block will be a rectangle formed on all sides by attached brownstone style buildings, four stories tall and all walkups (to facilitate healthy exercise.) Half the apartments will face the outside and half the inner yard, which will be quite large. This yard will be accessible only from apartments facing it so that non-residents cannot get in without permission. Only families with children will occupy these inner units and the kids will have a safe place to play, with all the amenities. Kids, being kids, will be noisy but only apartments with kids will face this yard. The front apartments of these buildings will have as tenants (actually owners since these units will be condos,) who are childless and not very enamored of the sounds of childhood. Up on the roof will be gardens and other vegetation to provide both food and entertainment, and lots of shade to limit heat and give older kids some safe privacy. There can be a communal kitchen in the yard to provide nutritious meals for kids, their parents and the childless tenants. Because hundreds of people will use this kitchen every day some of the parents will earn a living by cooking and providing day care for working parents. Several of these blocks will be collected in "pods" that will have four blocks surrounded by walls with limited access. No automobiles will be in these pods but will be garaged in nearby structures. There will be no actual streets, but narrowish walkways, nicely landscaped, with removable barriers to let in emergency vehicles and trucks.

This will be a huge building project that will provide jobs up and down the line for workers and the workers of suppliers, just like in the good old days. And since the universal debt forgiveness amendment will free up a few trillion dollars, just about everybody in our country will benefit.

Isn't that was representative government is for?