08 November 2007

Corporations Versus Democracy

Corporations Versus Democracy

The Nation - Ned Resnikoff

"The most important issue to young people in the 2008 campaign is one that no presidential candidate will discuss. In fact, even touching on this subject is taboo for anyone with aspirations to Congress or the White House. Anyone who has the temerity to mention this political third rail will almost certainly lose the campaign.

The issue is the curtailing of corporate power, and as long as corporations continue to finance major candidates, it will remain unspoken. No one running for office wants to be blacklisted by corporate lobbyists in Washington.

That's a shame, because this issue is connected to almost every other problem facing America today. As long as corporations have no incentive to avoid polluting, we will continue to poison this planet at an alarming rate, and as long as corporate lobbyists hold an inordinate amount of influence in Washington, there will be no substantive solutions to problems like income inequality or our woefully inadequate healthcare system.

The unchecked power of American corporations does not just affect America, either. It is our corporations that are exploiting developing nations by employing their people at low wages in inhuman working conditions. The environment, obviously, is a global issue. And while some may scoff at the idea of the United States waging war for economic reasons, it is difficult to ignore the mounting evidence that we invaded Iraq, at least in part, to bring profit to American oil companies and defense contractors. What country is next? Iran?"

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