Democracy or Corporacracy? A People’s History
Democracy or Corporacracy? A People’s History
By Grant Marcus, guest blogger
one in a series of political posts for peace
WE NO LONGER HAVE A TWO PARTY SYSTEM, JUST ONE BIG
CORPORATE PARTY HELD AT THE EXPENSE OF ALL OF US
It’s so important, let me repeat that again:
We no longer have a two party system. We
just have one big corporate party held at the
expense of all of us. In other words, we have
a government of, by, and for international cor-
poratists, their lawmakers, and their lobbyists.
The voting public, our democracy, matters
least to these vipers of Capitol Hill.
The problem is severe, but not new. The
first time it happened began a revolution. You
see, our country was founded by corporatists–
in a way. Or at least corporate power made us
so angry, it created heroes like Paul Revere,
Thomas Paine, Patrick Henry, and Thomas
Jefferson…who stood up to it.
The first corporation that tried to rule Amer-
ica was the East India Company. Declaring
a monopoly on tea, they refused to let farm-
ers grow the product, while they inflated pric-
es for it. They did it so they could take the
profits back to their king (or CEO in today’s
terms) and the king would use it for his war
chest, so he could pay for ammunition or
firepower to steal resources from other help-
less countries. (Sound familiar? Think big
oil–oilgarchy/monopoly–wars for oil in the
Our Founders decided they did not like
paying taxes for war, and they didn’t like
one company, working for a king, control-
ling what they could or couldn’t grow on
their own farms.
The first action of the farmers was to grow coffee in protest, so they could staycaffeinated. Their next objective was to endthe stiff war tax. In order to do that, leaders decided to stop buying the King’s tea fromhis East India company. So a bunch of radical footsoldiers, working for our future leaders, dumped East Indiatea into a harbor, and called it the BostonTea Party. After the revolution, and when our government was established, we would have no king and no serfs. We would have a president and citizens with inalienable rights.
And in order to control corporations like theEast India Company–and all future corpor-ations–our new government taxed corpor-ations at 99%. That’s right. 99%. Since the banks were also considered compan-ies, the government ruled that it had thepower to coin its own money.
Unfortunately, today, the banks “coin”
our money and charge us a fortune
to do that.
And corporations are only required to pay 28% in taxes.
But since they have lawyers, who follow all the dots or
loopholes, corporations pay far less than
If you are GE, Exxon, and Halli-
burton, you pay no taxes at all.
Warren Buffet famously said, “I pay less
taxes than my secretary. Is that fair?”
And that’s our situation folks.
For 100 years, our government was
completely paid for by the monies taxed
if you were a nurse, or a doctor, or a cobbler,or blacksmith, your skills could not betaxed. Skills were considered a part ofyour person. It was only during the in-dustrial age, when patents were burgeon-ing in the hands of corporations, and anenormous unskilled labor force was need-ed, did those laws change.
Beginning in the 1870s, the industrial
age, or the age of the “robber barons,”
brought back into power corporations.
They ruled America with a vengeance.
Washington legislators were mere pros-
titutes stooping to please them.
After the Great Depression, caused
by a few corporations and families con-
centrating wealth, The People again rose
up, and factory owners were killed. A
revolution began. Our leaders were so
afraid of losing our country to revolution,
that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was el-
ected President. He was the most pop-
ular President of all time, and was the
only President elected to three terms.
Why was Roosevelt so popular? He stopped
the banks from foreclosing on people.
He gave homeowners new interest rates
and extended times they could pay off
that interest and principle. Then he took
over the banks, and through the Glass
Steagall Act, regulated them to the bone.
It worked to stabilize the country.
Next, Roosevelt established work programs,
like Tennessee Valley Authority, Workers
Progress, and others. He es-
tablished a living wage, and he hiked
corporate taxes to make those rich rob-
ber barrons pay their fair share of it.
Meanwhile, he was not afraid to point
all the blame in corporate directions
Next he took over Wall Street and
abolished monopolies, and regulated
that too to the bone through Glass
Steagall. Wall Streeters were arrested
for their corruption, and jumped from
buildings rather than serve time in jail.
Old people were dying in the streets.
They were toted away in wheel barrows
and dumped in unmarked graves. FDR
put a stop to that by implementing Soc-
ial Security so that people could retire
and have enough money to live out the
rest of their lives in dignity.
Today, what has caused our current
fiscal crisis is again, corporations. Their
new boon is because of several reasons,
one being their lobbying efforts to rescind
the Glass-Steagall Act–which has been
substituted for far weaker laws. (I imag-
ine Social Security is next).
Other factors have come into play,
such as advanced technology, the pri-
vatization of essential needs, and the
rise of the military industrial complex
These four factors have raised the
cost of living exponentially, while stagnat-
ing wages. In effect, there has been a
re-concentration of wealth, much like the
times of the Great Depression. Today, the
top 1% own half the wealth of the country.
Cuts in social programs, or austerity mea-
sures will only make this gap much worse.
Technology has been a major factor
in the re-concentration of U.S. wealth.
During the industrial age, factories were
made of cement, brick, and mortar. They
could not be moved. Scabs had to be
brought into America. And America saw
the unfairness before their very eyes.
Today, technology builds erector-set
factories on foreign lands. Together,
with the military industrial complex, cor-
porations set up puppet governments
that will provide cheap labor through
the abuse of foreign peoples through
Back in the States, the corporation
lobbies and buys congressional law-
makers, and they reduce tarriffs on
the goods made overseas by abused
labor, so that the corporation can pros-
per from it. Meanwhile, no American
companies can compete with these
low prices, and 75% of all manufac-
turing jobs have been lost to Ameri-
can workers. Why? Because corpor-
ate kings (CEOs) would rather hire
foreign labor than pay Americans a
In India, for example, they hire peo-
ple for a $1 a day. They work in abom-
inable conditions and 16 hour days.
Many do not get to see their families
for months. Fires break out in the
buildings because of no regulations.
Workers die. And yet corporations like
Walmart are allowed to bring those
goods home, tarriff-free and make
a profit off of their abuse abroad–
Meanwhile, the military industrial
complex, through Halliburton, has pri-
vatized the military. Contractors for
private companies make ten times
what our soldiers make, and at tax-
payer expense. These military corp-
orations hire very few Americans,
and instead use cheap, third world
labor they transport to foreign war
sites abroad. After Katrina, Halli-
burton gained another no-bid con-
tract, but instead of hiring Ameri-
cans, hired braceros from Mexico.
To compound matters, these
militray corporations have changed
laws, so there is no accountability.
For example, thirteen soldiers
were electrocuted in their showers
because of the faulty work done
by Halliburton and its use of foreign
labor. Halliburton misplaced $8
billion in cash it was supposed to
use for reconstruction in Iraq. And
it cannot account for all the oil mis-
sing from Iraq. (Halliburton had a
near monopoly on contracts in Ir-
aq for not only construction and
oil, but also supplying food for our
soldiers at inflated prices). Moldy
bug-infested, and poisonous foods
were a problem that goes without
No wonder this recent ten-year
privatized war has cost more than
WWII. It is estimated to have cost
American taxpayers, so far, $4 trillion.
Yet companies like Halliburton have
made a fortune, and their corruption
is not prosecuted, while they pay no
taxes. What would our Founders
say to these Tories in Washington?
Failing to nationalize our military,
our education, our oil, and our water–
or essential needs–has lead to the
privatization and rising or runaway
costs of all four. And it has lead to
war. It also means that people with
money can afford to invest in privat-
ization, set up monopolies, and de-
mand the price they want for products
and services the majority of Ameri-
cans will find it more and more diffi-
cult to afford.
As our Founders rebelled against
their oppressors, King George and
his East India Company, and as work-
ers rebelled against the robber barrons,
we too, may have come to the moment
in time when we need another great
leader like FDR to come to the aid of
the average American; or, that we too
will be forced to rebel against the in-
justices of kings, CEOs, and their in-
It should be no surprise that our
country was lead by two CEOs, Dick
Cheney (Halliburton) and George Bush
(Carlyle). And while they were in office,
we went to war and our nation was cor-
poratized much more than it had been.
Think of our history. Think of develop-
ing patterns. Follow the money that
makes decisions that are not in the
We must know our history, so we
can recognize a corporacracy from a
democracy, if we are to be America
- Corporacracy (irenewatson.typepad.com)
- East India Company: The Original Too-Big-to-Fail Firm – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)