Posts tagged corruption
Posts tagged corruption
As courts and bureaucrats continue to assert that citizens have no fundamental right to produce and consume the foods of their choice, we find Monsanto lurking nearby. The Wisconsin judge who recently ruled that we have no right to own a cow or drink its milk resigned to join one of Monsanto’s law firms.
Former judge Patrick J. Fiedler now works for Axley Brynelson, LLP, which defended Monsanto against a patent infringement case filed by Australian firm, Genetic Technologies, Ltd. (GTL) in early 2010.
Monsanto controls our food.
from Values & Capitalism by Wesley Gant Thursday October 20, 2011
What [the occupiers] want, at least ostensibly, is more opportunity for the have-nots, and justice in our economic and political dialogue. But the policies they are demanding can result only in the opposite outcome.
Businesses—even large corporations—must operate on the basic formula of customer satisfaction. If people are not happy with a product, its price, or how a company is being run, they will go elsewhere and the company will collapse. Corruption and bad business can sometimes go under the radar for a time, but it always backfires. Despite its tainted reputation, the business community is directly beholden to consumers; or “the people.”
In politics, however, only the will of the majority prevails, and accountability is loose at best. And in a nation that has gradually pushed more power to the federal level, and especially to the executive branch, decision-makers are more separated from the people than ever.
The Occupy movement is mistaken in targeting the corporate world as an enemy of opportunity and justice. And they are mistaken in thinking that government is the answer, as though government could not itself be corrupt and oppressive. Indeed, problems in the world related to oppression and corruption are far more prevalent among the political classes than entrepreneurs and business owners. Corporations look for ways to meet the demands of the community. On the heels of Steve Jobs’s passing, some have pointed out the irony of a group using Apple devices to promote their anti-corporate message.
But the Occupiers are not entirely wrong. There are legitimate rebukes to be cast against bailouts, fraud and interest groups. But the way to correct these problems is not a tighter relationship between government and business (i.e. regulation), but a clearer picture of their separate and individual roles in society. Markets provide material needs and laws protect the innocent. Governments should protect citizens against fraud, abuse and harmful neglect, thus businesses should be legally held accountable to fulfill their contracts, be honest with consumers and not pose an undue health threat.
More regulations and redistributionist policies work against the Occupiers’ goals by constricting the economy, reducing overall economic opportunity and actually encouraging greater special interest activity in Washington. When congress decides to regulate, all interested parties descend on the Capitol to argue their case and gain the favor of politicians. Rather than being a solution to “crony-capitalism,” regulation just becomes another political tool as government selects winners and losers.
Markets operate on a voluntary basis, where all parties win. Governments operate on a coercive basis, where the strongest win. Blending the two together in an effort to achieve an idealistic view of economic equality is to place America on, as Friedrich Hayek put it, The Road to Serfdom. The Occupy protestors, and America generally, would do well to see that free enterprise is the only true democracy.
The national news media continues to overlook the most fundamental reason why we’re protesting. This protest is not against capitalism, it is against corruption. This protest is not against those who legitimately earned their wealth, it is against those who struck back-door deals to benefit at the expense of the public.
The media has avoided discussing the issues at the core of the protest. The Bush administration knowingly brought us, under false pretenses, into a war which has lasted over a decade. During that time, he and Vice President Cheney awarded countless no-bid contracts to Halliburton, Kellogg Brown & Root, and their donors. In essence, they emptied out the coffers of the government and transferred those funds to themselves - becoming tremendously, dynastically wealthy in the process.
Did they add any value? No. Did they innovate? No. Were they operating on a level playing field with the “small business owner” whom they claim to revere? Let’s get real.
After the conservative party members got us into this situation, they are now insisting that the American public should be the ones to bail them out by shouldering the tax burden, accepting reduced municipal services, and Herman Cain’s infuriating assertion that “If you’re not rich, it’s your fault.”
All of this was merely the background for what has been going on in Wall Street (and, to be fair, one cannot aggregate say, venture capitalists who create jobs with, say, Mitt Romney’s style of private equity which enriches his limited partners but strips companies of their cash).
But this is not a narrative thread or fact pattern which can be found in the mainstream news coverage. They persist in reporting the story in a piecemeal fashion, perhaps hoping that the sheer scale of the corruption will make it impossible for the public to remember, recall, or synthesize all these discrete incidents into a single, powerful narrative.
This is, in part, why we are protesting.
Occupy Wall Street/Chicago
some great voices from my favorite city!
…But what are you so willingly signing away in the fine print and consenting to in the legal jargon? Lets peruse the contents and discuss implications, shall we?
Section 14: Termination “ You may also delete your account or disable your application at any time. In all such cases, this Statement shall terminate, but the following provisions will still apply: 2.2, 2.4, 3-5, 8.2, 9.1-9.3, 9.9, 9.10, 9.13, 9.15, 9.18, 10.3, 11.2, 11.5, 11.6, 11.9, 11.12, 11.13, and 14-18. “
So, even if you delete your account, here are all of the things Facebook still claims:
- (2.2 / 2.4) = If you delete content like photos, backup copies still exist on Facebook’s servers. Anything you post as “Public” is public forever
- (8.2) = Facebook gets to use anything you share however they choose
- (9.15) = After deleting your Facebook, your information can still be used by advertisers and incorporated into other people’s streams and profiles.
- (10.3) = Facebook “may not always identify paid services and communications as such”…they can cleverly work their ads into every site on the web.
- (11.2) = If Facebook isn’t getting enough money from advertisers, it will broaden the target demographic and give out more profile information… even if you delete you account, your information is still on the servers and will still be given to advertisers.
Ever wonder why there is a “Like” button, but no “Dislike” button?
The millions of Facebook users naively assumed the button was a fun little way to further customize their pages. You see these buttons popping up all over the internet, perhaps even on this page. Often it will have a little blurb next to it: “Be the first of your Friends to Like this!”
Wait a minute, how do they know that?
Think of these “Like” buttons as little spies. Facebook provides “Like” and “Recommend” buttons to over 905,000 Websites and sends information about your web browsing back to the behemoth information-gathering company. This information is key to why Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest millionaire in history for a free service: all of your private information both on and off the site are compiled by advertisers to provide you targeted ads. It is no coincidence that if you visit sites with “Like” buttons, ads with similar content will start appearing.
If you dislike the idea of being an advertising plaything and being watched everywhere you go, you should have some issues with the leadership of Facebook. I believe Zuckerberg initially meant well with his revolutionary social networking site, but—as with anything—money corrupts. His quest for web domination will continue unless we, the users of the internet, do something to curb his lust for information power.
Americans Are Protesting for the Same Reasons Arabs Are Protesting: Corruption, Unemployment and Rising Food Prices
Oct 3, 2011
Corruption, Soaring Food Prices and Unemployment
And I’ve repeatedly pointed out that it is a global – not Arab – revolution:
The worldwide riots are not mysterious or unforeseeable. They’ve been predicted for years, and are a direct result of the bad policy choices made by most nations worldwide.
Nations around the world decided to bail out their big banks instead of taking the necessary steps to stabilize their economies …. As such, they all transferred massive debts (from fraudulent and stupid gambling activities) from the balance sheets of the banks to the balance sheets of the country.
The nations have then run their printing presses nonstop in an effort to inflate their way out of their debt crises, even though that effort is doomed to failure from the get-go.
But the fact is that every country in the world that can print money … has been printing massive quantities of money.
Moreover, the austerity measures which governments worldwide are imposing to try to plug their gaping deficits (created by throwing trillions at their banks) are causing people world-wide to push back.
Numerous high-level officials and experts warn that the economic crisis could lead to unrest world-wide – even in developed countries ….
Unemployment is soaring globally – especially among youth.
And the sense of outrage at the injustice of the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer is also a growing global trend.
Countries worldwide told their people that bailout of the giant banks was necessary to save the economy. But they haven’t delivered, and the “Main Streets” of the world have suffered.
A Message from Anonymous Concerning Bankers
This video may come across as odd and too intense for some people, but there is very significant hardcore truth here. Impressive!
I think there is some danger on the horizon as hordes of the victimized begin to unleash their wrath indiscriminately. There are differences between central banks and community banks; between central banks and Wall Street; between central banks and corporations; between central banks and Congress; between central banks and the executive branch of our government. The central banks are at the core of the problem. Here in the US that means the Federal Reserve. End the Fed as Ron Paul has long been pleading we do. But let’s not turn revolution here into an indiscriminate bloodbath like the French Revolution.
You still think you’re FREE in the U.S? You’d be wrong.
In a frightening example of how the state is tightening its grip around the free Internet, it has emerged that You Tube is complying with thousands of requests from governments to censor and remove…