One of the most ignorant but often repeated sound bites you hear spouted by conservatives is that “government regulation” of business is liberal and communistic, preventing job growth, destroying America, etc. etc. But one really has to have one’s head buried way up an orifice of one’s body on at least a semi-permanent basis, NOT to see the critical need for sensible regulation of business in our free market system. After all, if we were not a capitalist democracy, but were built primarily on a socialist government system, those same folks would then pull their heads out of said orifice, and clearly see the need for sensible regulation of GOVERNMENT in that instance, wouldn’t they?
Well then, if one is intellectually honest, one should readily admit that unregulated corporations with too much influence on government is JUST AS DANGEROUS as any similarly unregulated central government system! Strong regulations guarding the primary interest of “we the people” are just as important in both systems!
And from the start I need to qualify something…The BIGGER the business or corporation, the MORE NEED for stronger regulation of that business or corporation. Yet what so many conservatives routinely seem to ignore is the opposite reality in our current system:
The bigger the corporation, the more special favors and tax avoiding loopholes they are routinely given. That is the definition of “crony capitalism”. But it is absurd and un-American to suggest that ending “crony capitalism” is accomplished by REMOVING effective regulation of big business.
That said, to some extent I would agree with many conservatives that the SMALLER the business, the LESS it should have to deal with regulation. (But that of course is not to say it should face none). The system in our country is currently upside down in this respect for the most part.
Small independent ‘mom and pops’ are disproportionately dealing with unnecessarily high, exceedingly cost prohibitive government obstacles (especially in states like California) compared to their mega-monopolizing, big corporate competitors who have the money to buy lobbyists, who in turn have the influence to buy politicians, etc., etc.
Saying we need unregulated corporations in a free market capitalist system is akin to being trapped in a cave with a big lion on a very cold night and thinking, “I will use my wooden spear for making a fire to keep us both warm…I don’t need to control the lion with the wooden spear… I can trust him to be a vegetarian…He will need the warm fire too. We will work together and survive the cold night.”
RIIIIIIIIIIGHT…Good luck with that!
Indulge me for one more similar example here:
Not having very strong regulation of large corporations in America would be like if the Bronx Zoo in New York City was being run by a Rush Limbaugh fan who thought this way too. He gets so brainwashed listening to Rush’s “Incontinence in Radio” program, that he announces the following to his ZOOLANDER staff:
“Hey everybody, the zoo board of directors has decided that our zoo experience would be SO MUCH BETTER if we had much LESS REGULATION of the animals…We have determined that our profits would soar if we let folks have a much more real and up close experience with them…Not just the sheep and the giraffes, but the carnivores as well”…
“We want to lessen the current restrictions of all the animals. After all, as we see it, this place is for them…THEY are how we make our money…And we are convinced that the lions, tigers, bears, gorillas, elephants and rhinos all know where their ‘bread is buttered’… They know the easy street free ride we give them. They know they are getting all the food they need from us, so the idea that they would want MORE than that by attacking, mauling or eating our customers is just “liberal stupidity”. Hell, we might even let the whole place become a PETTING ZOO on select holidays like “REAGAN’S BIRTHDAY!”…
“Our attorneys have of course suggested we have all zoo customers sign a medical release waiver as they enter, so as to protect the zoo from any frivolous customer lawsuits, as many customers may PROVOKE an attack on their own…Maybe they wear too much perfume, maybe they are just too obese and enticing to the tigers, which would THEIR FAULT and entirely on them!”
(Of course, the zoo’s “customers” in the above example represent the American citizens and workers, just in case that wasn’t obvious to everyone)
CORPORATISM is what I took to calling it back when I had my local call in talk radio show in Central Florida, long before I heard a lot of other pundits eventually using that word as well. “Corporatism” is what has REPLACED our former healthy system of capitalism in this country. And make no mistake about it…The reason this has occurred is entirely due to a LACK of strong, effective regulation of business and Wall Street in our country.
Also, make no mistake about this fact as well… Corporatism is what has destroyed the “American Dream” for the majority of working class and middle class Americans today, NOT government regulation of business. Lack of proper regulation of business, which ironically really began under President Clinton’s presidency and was bolstered even more under George W. Bush, is what caused the corruption and fraudulent investment practices that almost destroyed our nation’s economy in the 2008 financial collapse.
No one went to jail for that immense criminal corporate investment fraud. Worse yet, YOU and I paid those corrupt corporations back for their billion dollar losses that otherwise would have taught them a lesson by putting many of them out of business. But no, instead of the ‘free market’ bringing that result for such corrupt business practices, unregulated Wall Street convinced the government they had to use AMERICAN TAX DOLLARS to bail their criminal asses out as a result…TALK ABOUT WELFARE!… to the tune of not just a billion, but almost a TRILLION of our tax dollars!
So truth be told, due to non-effective business regulation of super corporations and Wall Street, we have become the “United Corporations of America” rather than the United States of America. This is not hyperbole or exaggeration on my part. Our government today is completely sold out to “We the Corporations,” instead of serving “We the People.”
You have to CONTROL the lion in the cave with a very sharp and strong ‘spear of regulation,’ or the best you can ultimately hope for is to become the cause of his strong constipation. I prefer being his strong regulation, don’t you?
And in closing, if you think that the charlatan, casino mogul, con-artist and ‘ZOOLANDER’ side show act Donald Trump is going to be your defender with that sharp spear of corporate regulation, you deserve to be laughed out of the room by public school educated FOURTH GRADERS!(See, that would mean even by the sad, low standard of our public schools in America, even those 4th graders are smarter!).
You are in for a rude awakening and a huge disappointment my friend. You will become his fast-food lunch, and maybe if you’re lucky, you might get to make him just a little constipated on the other end, but that’s about all.
(Connie Bryan is a writer in Sacramento, CA. Check out all of her material on her website and blog at www.conniebryan.com)