Saturday, October 08, 2005

MEME: Separation of corporation and state

Somebody else said this on, and it's the best way to frame a progressive attitude toward business.

Like religion, capitalism will flourish best if it cannot BUY special treatment and privileges from the government.

When you have a state religion, laziness and apathy creep into that religion as posers seeking financial gain and political favor start to fill their ranks.
Likewise, with capitalism, when some corporations can rig the rules, the temptation becomes greater and greater to make their profits from gaming the system rather than providing a superior product at a superior price. That's what gives us Halliburtons and Enrons. The first abuses its parasitic relationship with the government to the degree that they can chase off any accountability and whistleblowers. The latter provided essentially no product at all. In the film on Enron, THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM, an investor asks the CFO during a conference call what exactly Enron made or did, and the CFO swore at him and hung up.

If a handful of corporations have a "special relationship" with the state, new, smaller, and more innovative companies have less of a chance of elbowing their way into the market, or even supplanting a whole category of product, as is the case with oil.

One way of doing this is to say you can't be an umpire if you played for one of the teams or will in the future.

We have to stop the revolving door between corporate America and the corridors of power.

We should start at the TOP--once you retire as president, vice president, senator, admiral or general, if you accept any money from anyone, your pension should be cut off.

We give these guys a nice chunk of change for the rest of their lives.

If they want to sit on boards,do speaking engagements, or even lobby for a cause or industry, fine. Let them do it out of the goodness of their heart. But they or their spouse should not be compensated for it in any way.

In the case of someone coming from corporate America, it doesn't seem unreasonable to ban the awarding of any new government contracts to that company for the duration of the elected officials term in office.

This is not anti-capitalism, it is anti-corruption and pro fair competition.

We cannot have a democracy as long as our elected officials trade their government access for financial favors.

This is a pro-market message, that, if the DLC was really just moderate, and not whores whistling and lifting their skirts trying to attract Johns, could get behind.

See the discussion of this on

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