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The Blue & Gray Press | February 20, 2018

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Dirty Politics Breed Inequality

Dirty Politics Breed Inequality

By SACHA BRENAC

The death of organized labor, technological advancement and globalization are joint forces contributing to the richest one percent owning 25 percent of the America’s wealth. This income disparity brings a seemingly natural decay of a system dedicated to equality. That decay is corruption.

The American ideals of freedom and democracy are under attack from this significant threat.

For the past century, the people of the United States have been deceived by three major powers at work: the financial sector, the military industrial complex and the federal government.

The financial sector of the economy establishes credit. In the U.S., they establish this with relatively little regulation. This has dire consequences, especially during the 2008 financial crisis and still today, with massive home foreclosures. Predatory lending and the exploitation of the subprime market are nothing short of corrupt.

The Federal Reserve influences how much money is printed to limit this “boom and bust” cycle. This gives the Federal Reserve the power to raise the money supply, which is what’s currently happening. As the government continues to borrow and print money from the wars we wage and banks we bailout, inflation occurs, straining the lower the middle classes of America. Politicians still refuse to discuss rising price indexes and inflation.

The military industrial complex was built during World War II to secure our interests around the world and to contain the Soviet threat. For the first time in U.S. history, there would be standing armies and career soldiers. This very system makes war profitable and creates an unhealthy alliance between the government and industry.

While the federal government supports both of these systems, they also have physical force that is used to maintain the status quo. It’s ironic that when citizens are forcibly removed from a public space in Egypt, it’s totalitarianism. Yet when citizens are removed from a public space in the U.S., it’s for “law and order.”

Corruption is astronomically high in this country, though almost nobody would admit it. People generally think of corruption happening Third World countries where wealthy ex-military presidents take bribes from business moguls. What people do not understand is that this form of corruption is relatively the same.

Perhaps the epitome of corruption in all three of these systems is the 2010 Supreme Court decision Citizens United verus Federal Election Commission. The Supreme Court declared corporations to be people. Spending money is now an articulation of free speech.

Part of this meant that they can be charged with manslaughter, but the most frightening aspect of this ruling was that now corporations have free reign to spend as much money as they please in political elections.

This is not a partisan issue. This is not the fault of the Democrats, or of the Republicans. This is the fault of over a century of a culture of corruption in this country that has mounted up to this point in history, a point when the people have to wake up and fight back to restore their freedoms, before it is too late.

Comments

  1. 2010 alum

    The Supreme Court declared corporations to be people in 1819 in Dartmouth v. Woodward. This was later expanded upon with various decisions handed down by the Supreme Court after the ratification of the 14th amendment, that corporations enjoy all the natural rights as set forth in that amendment. Dr. Ferrell in the History Department has an excellent course on Constitutional History. I highly recommend it.

  2. 2010 alum

    I find myself in agreement with the spirit of this article in that something in this country is decaying, but perhaps the blame does not rest solely (or even mostly) on governmental corruption. This was and is a participatory system–UMW students and young people across the country were a major force in bringing Barack Obama into office and that power can be brought to bear on other things as well. An educated and informed citizenry is more powerful than the most well funded of political candidates.

    Some other points:

    The article claims that corruption has been building up for the past century–that seems fairly arbitrary which doesn’t seem to be supported by any facts. Transparency.org rated the US 18th out of 180 countries in 2008 for governmental transparency and almost all NGOs involved in tracking and reporting governmental corruption rank the US similarly.

    Standing armies and career officers predate WW2. This country maintained military outposts, manned by career military personnel, throughout the colonial and post-Revolutionary eras. The United States Military Academy has continuously churned out career officers since at least 1802. The standing army as we know it today finds its roots in the aftermath of WW1 when the majority of the forces raised to fight in Europe were disbanded but a small corps of regular officers and enlisted personnel were retained in order to maintain a certain level of preparedness.

    Spending money has always been a way to express one’s political beliefs. Since before the founding of this country–one can easily recall the colonial boycott of paper goods brought on by the Stamp Act, the political statement made by colonists who insisted on wearing homespun clothes over imported British cotton goods, etc. Or perhaps the Montgomery bus boycott that began in 1955 and more recently the drop in sales of all things French in the wake of that country’s opposition to the American invasion of Iraq. Or perhaps with more relevance, I remember plenty of UMW students who refused to purchase anything from Walmart because of their employment practices and/or belief that it stifled local businesses; patronizing local stores and restaurants over nationwide chains is an articulation of free speech. This is nothing new.

    This sums up quite nicely the issue of corporate personhood: http://proxyexchange.org/2011/10/1242/

  3. jcmac

    You are absolutely correct alum. The reality of the situation is that Corporations are people as defined by the points you made. Beyond the Constitution, Corporate Law also recognizes Corporations as people and applies legal standards to them as such.