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|Riverside, San Diego County, CA||March 2, 2004 Election|
What We Need to Do.
By Mike P ByronCandidate for United States Representative; District 49; Democratic Party
This information is provided by the candidate
How to make our economy boom again and create good, well-paying jobs for all Americans.What We Need to Do.
by Mike Byron
There is a widespread feeling among American voters that something is fundamentally wrong with--well with America itself. There are many opinions voiced as to just what it is that is wrong and even more pertaining to WHO is at fault and what we must do to "fix things." You can't fool all of the people all of the time as Lincoln famously observed. Given the pervasiveness of these sentiments, and their persistence, and considering that they transcend political affiliations, something truly fundamental must indeed be "wrong" - but what?
The actual deep source of our national anxieties lies in the growing mismatch between our economy and our political system. As any glance at a map or globe will tell us nations are geographically bounded. Politics is localized. However, our economy is increasingly global in scope. Large corporations ("multi-nationals") can treat the entire world as a seamless whole for business purposes. The sway of national governments, by contrast ends at their borders. In fact nations such as ours are no longer fully sovereign even within their own borders. As a result of international trade agreements such as the WTO Treaty, to which the US is a signatory, national laws can now be overturned almost at will by multinational firms if they can be shown, to the satisfaction of a WTO selected arbitration panel, to be an "unfair restraint on trade." To make a long story brutally short, the net effect of this mismatch between growing multinational entities with their ever growing wealth and ever harder pressed national governments is that the multinational firms' money has captured and subordinated national governments across the planet - including ours. Across the world national governments are less and less in control of their own policy-making decisions. Multinationals, many far richer than most nations; are increasingly in the driver's seat. More and more governments are becoming tools of this multinational juggernaut. It should be noted that these giant firms use their control of markets as well as their control of the regulatory functions of national governments to ensure that no competitors can emerge to challenge their economic fiefdoms. At the level of the multinational firm business is oligopolistic: For each market sector only a few big firms dominate. Coke and Pepsi are examples. More to the point: the "seven sisters" in the oil and energy field. Adam Smithian, Econ. 101 notions of free enterprise capitalism have no explanatory utility here.
In the USA the capture and effective subordination of our national government was appallingly easy. Money has always spoken in this country. But until recently the political buying power of big business was more or less checked and balanced by that of big labor. However with the rise of multinational firms and the consequent deindustrialization of America as high paying manufacturing jobs were exported to low wage nations, this check is ever less effective. The industry centered labor union movement has been gutted by these lost high wage unionized jobs. Consequentially, American national policy is ever more written by and for multinational firms. A fundamental check became increasingly less and less effective.
Since our Supreme Court ruled in Buckley v. Vallejo (1976) that injecting essentially unlimited outside money into political campaigns is protected by First Amendment free speech rights, our political system has become almost wholly beholden to the highest bidder. And no one has anywhere near as much money as the giant multi-nationals. Statistics show that in Congressional races the candidate that spends the most money wins about 96 percent of the time. It's a case of "who has the gold makes the rules." American government no longer serves the interests of its citizens. It has become an appendage of a coalescing global corporate oligarchy. Expect wages for American workers to continue to decline - when they can find employment at all. A non-unionized, low wage, no-benefits, Wall Mart economy awaits us.
Multinational firms have no interest whatsoever in anything except the corporate bottom line: Maximizing short-term (usually quarterly) profits to facilitate the enrichment of their owners and major stockholders. The Enron accounting scandal in conjunction with dozens of other recent corporate scandals, including the cold-blooded manipulation of the California energy market and consequent and continuing robbery of every ratepayer in California of countless billions of hard earned treasure, all testify eloquently to the naked truth of this proposition. If American is de-industrialized in pursuit of lower wages and a docile workforce, if the polar ice caps are melted and costal populations are flooded, due to global warming, multinational firms and their bought and paid for lackeys currently residing in the White House and the US Congress could care less so long as there is money to be made and to be distributed! Government in a nation such as ours was designed to be a "res publica" a "thing of the people" (from which we derive the word "Republic"). Not long ago we were advancing fitfully along the road towards the creation of a true Republic "of, for, and by the people." No more. Our res publica is being rapidly looted by these avaricious parasites. Soon, only an empty, bankrupt, police state shell shall remain - unless we the people rise up to put a stop to this.
On one level global problems require global solutions. The spontaneous rise of the worldwide anti-globalization movement in instinctive response to the multinational takeover of national governments across the planet is a beginning. Global problems require globally organized solutions. Given a level playing field provided by common standards based upon the principle of reciprocity ("do unto others as you would have them do unto you") international trade can indeed be made to work for the benefit of all. A rising tide does indeed lift all boats. But to achieve this desirable result, citizens of nations across the planet must act resolutely to reclaim control of their own national governments. The solution to the threat of runaway multinational firms lies in citizens in nations across the world reclaiming control over their national governments. Here in America instituting mandatory, loophole free, public financing of elections would sever the coupling between corporate cash and winning elections. As a start to our reclaiming our Republic from its usurpers, we must demand that this be done now.
The American Revolution began as an uprising against the world's first multi-national corporation the British East India Company--after all just who do you think owned all of that tea that Sam Adams and friends dumped into Boston Harbor? Whose monopoly on goods and trade do you think that all of those royally-imposed taxes actually benefited? The second American Revolution, this time a peaceful but determined citizens' movement to take back control of our Republic from our newly self-enthroned corporate barons, is now inevitable if we are to retain and reclaim our freedoms. The 2004 elections will be the most crucial in our nation's history at least since the Civil War. Ask yourself: "Do I want to be a free and prosperous citizen of a Constitutional Republic, or would I rather be a police state suppressed, impoverished, subject of a global, corporate oligarchy?" Act accordingly. Act now.
Position Paper 2
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