Jul 312012
 

I would like to have one more go at the effects of the core philosophies of the elites among us. I have described those working from an early “Puritan Ethic” of community betterment and their opposite, those working from an early “Plantation Ethic” of being above the law with the freedom to control and exploit others and their property at will. How is this playing out in 2012?

The Republican Party seems to have been seized by elites with the Plantation Ethic during the past few decades. They love their money and privilege and will do anything to protect their private advantages. They have been preaching a host of destructive circular arguments. Here are a few examples:

They describe government as being out of control and being the root of all evil. They say that government needs to be slashed, reduced, and killed. No joke. Grover Norquist, the lobbyist and conservative “No Taxes” activist said, “… I just want to shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” Then they work to systematically cripple government so that it has trouble doing the good things that government is supposed to do. Finally, they point at this damaged government and say, “See, government really is worthless.”

They describe our government’s financial, pollution, and safety regulations as being out of control and the root of all evil. They say that government regulations are preventing businesses from making a profit and so there are fewer jobs. They have been working to systematically cripple important regulations so that financial, pollution, and safety issues pop up more often. Then they point at these preventable problems and say, “See, government really is worthless.”

They describe our public schools as being ineffective and the root of all evil. They work to underfund schools and lay-off teachers while burdening them with mountains of paperwork. With teaching becoming a thankless struggle against parental and community apathy, overwork, and buying your own books and supplies, good teachers give up. Then the elites point to these problems and say, “See, public education really is worthless.”

What is their alternative? Well, of course: contracts for private companies to provide services that were previously provided by public employees. Now, do you think that a corporation with these private contracts will actually work in the best interests of their employees and of those they “serve?” Or, will they work to maximize profits? Color me real skeptical. I absolutely believe that there are some things that public agencies and public servants are better able to do, and one of those things is caring for neighbors. The “public sector” isn’t just some big anonymous bureaucracy; it’s your neighbors and mine. When was the last time that a big multinational corporation brought you a casserole or tutored your child for free after class?

And, have you forgotten that “the love of money” is named as the root of all evil? While our economy is still struggling to recover from the last big private adventure in financial risk-taking, corporate profits are at a record high and employee wages, as a proportion of our economy, are at an all-time low. Yeah, tell me that the “job creators” need more tax cuts so that they can create more jobs. We’re fools to keep on thinking that the moisture we feel is the start of trickle down from the corporations who love us. I don’t think its trickle down; I can tell when I’m being pissed on.

© 2012, David Satterlee

[amz-related-products search_index='Books' keywords='America elites business government' unit='grid']
Feb 072012
 

Source: Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy by Bill Clinton
Abstracted from page 87

In the 1980s, Wall Street and many large corporations embraced what was then a new idea—that publicly traded companies’ first and overwhelming obligation is to their shareholders. Until that time, most people thought that the corporation, which receives limited liability and other privileges under the law, owed an obligation to all of its stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and the communities of which they are a part. This “shareholders first” philosophy created and ironic situation: the corporation was now supposed to be run primarily for the benefit of the shareholders, who have the biggest interest in its short-term profits but the smallest stake in its long-term success.

This approach has continued unchecked, amplified by the dramatic rise in executive compensation based more on short-term stock appreciation then long-term viability and by an even more explosive increase in funds dedicated to complex financial transactions. These deals generate huge incomes for those who put them together and for CEOs whose companies get a bump in stock prices, but they rarely create jobs for or raise the incomes of ordinary Americans.

Over the last 30 years this “financiaiization” of the American economy, combined with the anti-government tax cuts, weaker oversight of everything from banks to polluters, and, and the last decade, lax enforcement of our trade agreements, has created a “you’re on your own” economic and social policy that is the bedrock of anti-government governance.*

*This is not an oxymoron. Though they profess a hatred of government, they spend lots of time and money to get control of it.

[amz-related-products search_index=’Books’ keywords=’taxes profit’ unit=’grid’]

Nov 242009
 

AuthorPatricia Aburdene is one of the world’s leading social forecasters and co-author of four Megatrends books with John Naisbitt—including the New York Times bestseller Megatrends 2000. She is a highly respected speaker and lectures around the world on global trends.

Patricia Aburdene is an author and motivational speaker. As an advocate of corporate transformation, Aburdene now inspires audiences with predictions of how values and consciousness will transform business. Her latest book, Megatrends 2010: the Rise of Conscious Capitalism, was published in 2005. She co-authored the bestsellers Megatrends 2000, Re-inventing the Corporation, and Megatrends for Women. The Megatrends books topped bestseller charts in the United States of America, Germany, and Japan. Aburdene has lectured throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, South America, Australia, and the Pacific Rim. Her clients include the Management Club of Vienna, the Professional Coach and Mentor Association, the Management Institute of New Zealand, and the Consciousness in Business conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her career in business journalism began at Forbes magazine in 1978. As a Public Policy Fellow at Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 1993 to 1996, she explored emerging leadership models.

For more information, please visit www.patriciaaburdene.com.

Patricia Aburden Article on Wikipedia
Patricia Aburdene Books on Amazon
Patricia Aburdene Podcasts on Personal Life Media