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For a very long time, and not for the first time in our history, economic power has become disproportionately focused into an ever smaller group of people. People that now can use that vast economic power to sway legislators and elections at their whim, as well blackmail the country as a whole with their economic clout. This is a precarious position for our country to be in.

However, without workers to work the factories or plow and tend the fields. All that economic power held by the very wealthy is truly worth very little. This lead to the rise of unions during the previous consolidation of economic power. The problem now is those same unions have been bypassed and circumvented by the process of off-shoring jobs to places that have no unions and workers are willing to work in slave labor like conditions for wages little better than slavery. This has sapped much of the power of unions to keep the wealthy investors and owners in check.

There is yet one more leg of this tripod we call an economy, the customers. Without customers neither the workers nor the owners have any power either. What's more, often the customers are in fact workers themselves. Collectively we also outnumber the wealthy business owners and high level investors, on the order of 10 to 1. If we're ever to wrest control back of our economy, because yes it belongs to all of us, then we must use this last leverage left to us.

This is a result of my thinking on the Citizens United case. If we want to retain our democracy, we need to do something to stop the tide.

The corporations and those that control them have decided to step into the political arena openly, and in my mind that makes them an open target to all that entails. If they wish to be political entities then they need to be treated as such.

We need to stop solely focusing on the candidates that receive the donations, or are campaigned for on the behalf of the corporations.

We need to start targeting the corporations themselves, painting them as political targets.

We need to make the revelation of corporate campaigning as toxic to the public as we can. To make it a political liability instead of an advantage.

The legislative solution to this problem is likely closed to us now, what we have left is the court of public opinion. We need to stage protests and boycotts focused squarely on corporations caught campaigning for candidates. Picket signs and sit-ins in front of their offices and headquarters. The media will likely ignore us, because they themselves have become in large part the enemy too. However, local people will still see, and word of mouth, in this internet age, is just as powerful as ever.

Originally posted to Ninbyo on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 06:01 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Like it or not, none of us will be customers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If things keep going this way none if us will be customers anyway.  With or without conscious choice.

    That's what the bastards don't realize. They're killing their golden geese.

    All the middle managers that "think" they're part of the club are the biggest fools because they are "working class" too.

    So, soon there won't be an "America" anymore... we will have sold ourselves away for a sting of beads, a handful of magic beans, or a den of $30 dvd players.

    And the 400 billionaires?  Where will they go?  Maybe to a high-rise in Dubai, America certainly won't be attractive, or safe, for them anymore.

    And left behind we will be, to tend our backyard gardens and maybe plow some of the abandoned fields that the corporate farms can no longer exploit.

    We have the power to kill the corpse.  They know it but we don't --- yet.

    •  Let's not get too carried away. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2, debedb

      Retail sales were about $375B per month at the peak, in 2008. Now we're averaging about $360B per month. We're down about 4% in terms of total consumer purchases. That is not a good thing, but "soon there won't be an America anymore" is a bit over the top.

      I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

      by doc2 on Fri Oct 08, 2010 at 08:02:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Reminds me of the Roman Empire. (0+ / 0-)

      One of their more astute emperors was well aware that the Romans were spending a fortune on Indian spices which were all the rage. He commented that if it continued, there would be no Roman market for Indian spices because the Roman treasury would be drained paying for the commodity.

  •  Yes. The real politics are people vs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LuckyLu, isabelle hayes


    Additionally, the only body of size in Washington, advocating for real economic change, is the Progressive Democrats.

    Everybody else is pro corporate.

    Republicans are all about "trickle down", and "personal responsibility", or translated as "the poor suck".

    Coin Operated Democrats, who are not progressives, basically want to keep the corporations happy, believing there is a "third way", where we just serve the public greater good through for profit corporations, figuring the costs will all work out in the end.

    It is important to differentiate big corporations, particularly multi-national ones, from small to mid-sized business.  They are not the same, and the small to mid-sized businesses have the same basic needs that ordinary people do.

    They should be on our side, because the big corporate norm in Washington is crushing them, same as it is you and me.  We don't message to them very well yet, advantage GOP, for now...


    by potatohead on Sat Oct 09, 2010 at 08:28:33 PM PDT

  •  Great point, some major obstacles (0+ / 0-)

    The first major obstacle is one of information.  It's not as if the mainstream media is going to go out of its way to let people know which corporations are donating huge money to particular candidates or parties.  Some websites like will put information out there, but you have to be more dedicated to than the average consumer to go out and find it.

    Second, in many cases both a corporation AND its competitors are all donating to the same candidates.  That means the only way to really use your economic consumer power against them is to simply give up many of the products/services that we have become nearly addicted to.  Not saying it's not noble or possible, just saying that's a hard thing to get people (myself included) to do.

    Lastly, remember all the rage about "Made in the USA.'  We thought if we would just put the labels on items so people would know where they are made, then people would buy American more often.  How has that gone?

    The sad truth is that for most Americans not in the top 2%, the pressure of trying to make their dollars go farther confronts them when they see a $15 t-shirt made in America and a $10 t-shirt made in Bangladesh.  It's hard for many to justify the extra expense when they know it's their responsibility to provide for a family, etc.

    Aside from all that whining, though, I totally agree with you, for what its worth.

    "What is essential is invisible to the eye."

    by greywolfe359 on Sun Oct 10, 2010 at 08:10:01 AM PDT

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