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Wednesday, May 07, 2003
 
What We Need To Do

Go read this over at Ruminate This.

Then, let's engage in a national discussion about fixing this problem of "corporate personhood," an issue that should serve as the foundation of a coalition platform between Democrats, Greens, Independents and others. If the Democratic Party doesn't lead, if the party decides its not in its interest to solve the problem, then the Democratic Party deserves defeat. I'm hoping the Dems will instead find merit in tackling this populist issue, and thereby distinguishing itself from the Right in a meaningful way. Without this change, we're just spinning our wheels.

Lisa is absolutely, positively spot-on. Seriously, go read the whole post.

Before we go getting any ideas, though, we're going to have to be prepared: this is going to be HARD.

Why? Well, there are...

Political Obstacles

a) Money = power in U.S. politics these days according to a very straightforward equation. Corporations have plenty of money.

b) Unions are likely to be of no help if job or pay cuts are threatened.

c) As long as we've got Terry McAuliffe & Co. slobbering at the corporate trough, Democratic opposition will be nil. If Democrats espouse wholesale reductions in corporate privileges, we've realistically got to be willing to go through at least one entire election season, and win, without any coroporate money.

d) Conservative packing of higher U.S. courts with pro-corporation judges is going to have knock-on effects for years to come. This will be a slooow, ugly process.

While we're working on it, we'll have to deal with the...

Economic Obstacles

a) Current corporations have huge networks of business relationships with other countries and corporations located abroad. We were able to knock down the robber barons because they had nowhere else to go. Multinationals will see which way the wind is blowing and get as much of 'their' money out of the country as they can. The absence of this investment capital and productive capacity will be crushing.

b) Being free of all of those constraints by definition increases the competitiveness of corporations as currently constituted. Domestic production will suffer relative to other countries as a result.

c) Reducing our corporations' profitability will cause international investors of all stripes to pull out of U.S. assets. The stock market will go to hell. Real estate prices will dive. The dollar will go through the floor. Liquidity will be nil. Cats and dogs will live together in open co-habitation.

All of that said, (some) corporations are killing this country. Suggestions are welcome.