The Corporate Enemy-Who’s With Us?

hillary bernietrump kasich cruz

Which of the candidates in the photos above would you choose to change corporate behavior? Who among them would actually be willing? Are any of them truly with us…or do they owe their souls to the corporations?

If you happen to get the chance, please ask one of them let us know what they said.

Corporations, especially multi-nationals, are the enemy of everyday Americans. Corporations play by a different set of rules from the rest of us. They now enjoy almost all the rights of citizens, but are not burdened by the civic responsibilities we follow. They follow only one rule: maximize profit. They don’t care about providing a living wage, maintaining human rights, improving public health and worker safety, protecting the environment or anything else that would better the lives of Americans. Of course the government could force them to… but corporations are willing to pay for the privilege of reeking havoc on us without such consideration…they provide campaign funds for candidates…who then write the laws.

Corporations bear responsibility for being bad citizens. Part of the problem is the never-ending push to be more competitive and increase profits. Even assuming that some corporations would be good citizens if given the chance, if their competitors did not also take this stance the good corporate citizen would quickly lose market share to those that cut corners. This is where a responsible government should step in. We need a government that will design a working set of laws that establish minimum standards of corporate conduct. The Pro American Party has already done much of the work via tenets # 1,2,4 and 5.

We also need to change our expectations. If we refused to do business with companies that were not good neighbors, they would soon go out of business or change their ways. So at least a part of this problem is one of our own doing. However, we need to recognize human nature for what it is; we’re all looking for the best deal and the lowest price. This is why we need the government to step in and establish a set of rules that require all corporations to consider more than just profit.

Robert Hinkley is a former corporate lawyer who has come up with an idea that would completely change the corporate culture. He calls it “The Code.” In his article he argues that lawmakers should change the law to reflect what the vast majority of people want. He states this can be accomplished by eliminating the doctrine of shareholder primacy (focus on profit only) and by adding the following:

It is the duty of directors to make money for shareholders … but not at the expense of the environment, human rights, the public health or safety, the communities in which the corporation operates or the dignity of its employees.

Hinkley goes on to say “This simple Code for Corporate Citizenship balances the rights of citizenship that corporations already have with obligations of citizenship that they have been able to avoid.”

Please look at his entire article using the following link: http://multinationalmonitor.org/mm2002/02july-aug/july-aug02corp4.html#name

Do you want to change the corporate environment? If so, contact your elected representatives and let them know.

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Trade Agreements Suck

Land Of The Free And Home To A Lot Of Cheap Stuff
Land Of The Free And Home To A Lot Of Cheap Stuff

Ever wonder why the U.S. enters into so many trade agreements?   The short answer is to allow U.S. companies to exploit the natural and human resources of other countries.    In essence, most of these agreements have clauses that allow U.S. corporations to move their production activities to foreign countries, use their cheap labor and then bring their product back into the country without facing a tariff.

Why would U.S. corporations do this when they know it will cost American jobs?   The answer is simple.   They don’t care.  Cheap labor allows them to make more profit; that it also puts Americans out of work is ‘collateral damage’.   To our mind these ‘American’ companies are acting in an UN-American manner.  The Pro American Party protects our country from this abuse.  Take a look at tenets #2 and #4 to see how we address this.

Look at the results of the NAFTA agreement.  In the first 15 years following this trade agreement (1994 – 2010) we lost almost 700,000 jobs, mostly in manufacturing, and our trade deficit with Mexico has soared to just under 100 Billion dollars over those years.  These industries included motor vehicles, textiles, computers, and electrical appliances. (Source: Economic Policy Institute, “The High Cost of Free Trade,” May 3, 2011)

Ironically, many Americans are complaining about stagnant wages, when it is the inevitable result of bringing in products using cheap labor from foreign countries.   So why has this taken so long to become a big political issue?   The corporations pay big money in political donations to political candidates, and they don’t want it broadcast.   Although If I Had The Power does not endorse political candidates, it is interesting to note that both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, who don’t rely upon corporate money, are both talking about the problems of our terrible trade agreements.

According to researcher Jeff Faux, NAFTA strengthened the ability of U.S. employers to force workers to accept lower wages and benefits. As soon as NAFTA became law, corporate managers began telling their workers that their companies intended to move to Mexico unless the workers lowered the cost of their labor. In the midst of collective bargaining negotiations with unions, some companies would even start loading machinery into trucks that they said were bound for Mexico. The same threats were used to fight union organizing efforts. The message was: “If you vote in a union, we will move south of the border.” With NAFTA, corporations also could more easily blackmail local governments into giving them tax reductions and other subsidies

In a double tragedy, NAFTA also caused thousands of Mexican farmers to lose their jobs.  The Congress, in their wisdom, blessed U.S. agribusiness with HUGE subsidies, allowing them to steamroll over poor Mexican farmers who could not compete.  In case you don’t know, agribusiness is NOT your local farmer, instead they are large corporations that take advantage of several laws designed for small farmers and rake in millions in taxpayer money.  (The ProAmericanParty will correct this problem too!)   By the way, when Mexicans can’t find work in Mexico, where do you think they go?

One other factor of these trade agreements is that U.S. pollution standards do not apply in foreign countries.   However, Mother Nature does not recognize borders and Mexican pollution finds its way to the U.S. whenever the wind blows our way. Once again corporations don’t care about people, or the environment.   Their short term, profit-oriented outlook harms Americans and the world on a daily basis.

The bottom line is that trade agreements almost always hurt U.S. workers.   They cost jobs and hurt the hourly wages of those who manage to keep their jobs.   They hurt our environment.  Big business use these agreements to increase profit and access, at the expense of our national well-being.   The rich get richer and the little guy gets screwed. Trade agreements suck and both political parties allowed this to happen.

George Washington

George Washington, father of our country, made the following statement:

“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

Have you ever considered how the two major political parties in our country have put a strangle hold on power?   Do you think Republicans and Democrats have the answers to every problem?   I don’t.

One of the things that really upsets me is the coercive manner the parties use to ensure their members stay the party line.   Our elected representatives are not free to speak their minds…at least not without retribution.    Party leaders decide who gets into key committees.   They also decide whether certain members will get money from the party for reelection and how much, based on their adherence to the party platform.  God help the man or woman who sides with the other party on an issue of importance.   If you do, they will run a candidate against you in the next primary to highlight their displeasure.

Imagine if we did not have political parties and instead required each representative to create their own unique platform.  In such a case strategic alliances would hold sway only when there was a meeting of the minds.  Our country would be stronger for it.

Some of the nonsense within political parties is currently being highlighted mostly by the Republicans in the race for the presidency.   After spending an entire debate excoriating Donald Trump, complaining how incompetent he was, at the end of the debate each of the candidates then swore they would support him if be became the nominee.   Were they kidding?   No, unfortunately they were not.   In our current environment, their loyalty to their party is more important than their values.

How did we get to this point?   Wow.