The thoughts that were thunk and the goings on of my life.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Who is Really in Control?

While watching the news lately you can see all sorts of information about the effort being made by the 2008 presidential candidates to raise funding for their campaigns. What's ridiculous is the amount of money they will need to move forward. The figures are astounding, in the 10s-100s of Millions of dollars. I wouldn't be surprised if the 2008 candidates end up spending about one billion to get elected.

But all of that money made me start thinking a bit about where it all comes from. I know that I'm not spending that much. And I know that many of the issues that are pursued in this country do not really reflect the desires and opinions of the majority of the people in this country. The groups that really stand to benefit from the policies of the government (either Republican-led or Democratic-led) are the huge corporations and organizations that exist in this country.

But why are the bills created to benefit those companies? When you look through the constitution you do not see the government as being created "Of the businesses, by the businesses, and for the businesses." No! The government is intended to be "Of the People, by the People, and for the People." Granted all people are ultimately employed by some business, but the government should remain a solemn entity that represents the needs of its citizens. It's concerning to me though that these huge campaigns that are run, and the focus of our political system (both on foreign and national policy fronts) are centered not around the needs of the people upon which the system is built, but on the desires of corporations and organizations which cannot even vote.

When looking for the reason for anything in this world, the simplest place to start is to look for where the money is flowing. If you look at the political class, it does not take a genius to realize that most of the money in our political system comes from organizations and corporations. Naturally then it follows suit that since these are the largest portions of monetary flow for our government officials that they will be most interested in making policy for whoever lines their coffers.

However, when you think about the root, just how many votes does a corporation have? How many votes does a union have? How many votes do illegal aliens have? How many votes do other governments have? Not a one. Not a single vote. So why is it that we continue to allow them to contribute to a system that is not created for them? Why do we continue to make policies that benefit corporations that contribute to campaigns? Why is the minimum wage raised everywhere except for where one business runs their operations and their headquarters just so happen to be in the same district as the speaker of the house? Why (since the 1970s) do we only fight wars where we can later extract or leverage some natural resource? Why was there a mandate put out declaring that all adolescent girls are required to take a vaccine produced by a company that contributed to a governor's campaign? Why are toll roads being created throughout Texas even when large pieces of the projects were already publicly approved and funded? These interest can at best help the electorate in some abstract and probably intangible way; however, they can directly be seen as helping Corporation X in Senator Y's district. When looking at situations like this I think it's very appropriate to use Occam's Razor, and you'll quickly see where the truth lies.

One of the greatest things that I think could happen in this country is to create a complete and total ban of any corporation or organization from donating to any political campaign or cause. But how would those organizations be able to affect national policy? Well, they could have education campaigns to individuals in their organizations/company and then the people in those organizations can make the choice as to what to do or who they want to contribute to. It's way overdue that something be done so that we the people can actually control the government that we created. I truly believe that by eliminating corporate and organizational contributions we could level the political playing field a bit and our politicians would be forced to listen to those who donate the most to their cause...which would just so happen to be the same citizens that vote for them.

While we're at it maybe introduce a policy similar to the tech industry's 'do not compete' clause stating that all government officials cannot join a lobby or head a group they've funded for 5 years after leaving their office. That way they don't start making off the books deals that roll-over at a later date.

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