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Why the "government bad, corporate good" attitude?

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posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 11:57 AM
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I am curious.

There seems to be massive distrust of government, and implicit trust of corporations here. And I don't get it.

Skepticism of government is, I believe, a Good Thing. And government programs are by no means perfect. There is fraud and waste in many places.

However, there is fraud and waste in corporate, as well.

Yet the attitude here and other places seems to be "get government out", which means, since many of the subjects under discussion will happen, "get corporate in".

Three examples.

1) Military. Until recently, the vast majority of operations conducted in the military arena were conducted by the military. This includes security, logistics, supply, housing, etc. These activities were handled reasonably well for the most part.

With the advent especially of the Iraq invasion, much of this has shifted to corporate hands. With the result that we have corporate personnel rambling around the country, immune to Iraqi, US and military law, with the predictable results. Plus we have increases in cases of contaminated food and water (now provided by corporate), and US service personnel being electrocuted in their showers (showers and housing provided by corporate).

2) Social Security. The only reason SS is in trouble today is that funds from SS have been stolen for years to pay for other programs. This practice has increased as corporate influence (aka lobbyists) has increased. In the early days of SS, there were way more people paying into it than drawing from it. Which led to huge surpluses, which should have been left alone, to pay for the time we are approaching now, when there are fewer people paying in than drawing. But due (I believe... difficult to prove this) to corporate influence, SS funds have been embezzeled down to the point where SS is in trouble. Or will be soon. Which led to the calls to privatize SS... Bernie Madoff and Co, anyone?

3) Medicare. Or more generally, "government run health care". I've not used Medicare myself yet, but my mother has for quite a while now. Prior to the Medicare changes enacted during the Bush administration, which were essentially written by corporate, Medicare worked just fine for her. Since then, it works less well... more complicated, more cost, absolutely no improvement in care. Yet we have the huge hue and cry against "government run health care" when the record of government run vs corporate run health care comes down solidly on the side of government run being better.

So why is it that so many are so against "government" being involved in these kinds of endeavors, and so for "corporate" being involved?

Military is the one exception, there are relatively few voices screeching to get government out of military. Yet, corporate influence and involvement in military affairs has grown, with not good results.

Government is at least accountable to us the Board of Directors (aka voters). This is less true now than it used to be, thanks largely to... corporate.

But corporate is not at all accountable to voters. Coporate has one interest, and one interest only: profit.

So again, why the trust in corporate and the mistrust of government?

I am as skeptical as anybody regarding government, probably more so than most. I am even more skeptical of corporate.




posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 12:10 PM
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Allow me a reply that will probably not make conservatives happy, but is accurate nonetheless:

I believe that Americans are programmed to fear "government" from a very early age, and that this programming is corporate sponsored. Conservative politicians (both Republican and Democrat) generally have strong corporate ties, and they continue the facade. It's mindblowing how these government officials are going on town hall meetings promoting fear of government, and people are actually buying it. They are spreading fear of a "government takeover of health care"...but they themselves aren't planning to give up their own government-sponsored insurance plans!

It's just another example of the old bait-and-switch. When conservatives get themselves in government positions, they follow corporate interests, and don't want the people to get the bad idea that government could actually serve the people. Instead, they have to play the game about "big government" this and "big government That", and the "private sector" (i.e., Wall Street tycoons) doing everything much better than the public sector could.

So the game goes on....



posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 12:25 PM
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I can only speak for the information I recieve and then the reseach I do daily as this is what I do for a living. What I have found to be factually based on everyday public opinion is that BOTH Government and Corporations are currupt as it is big "Elites" Corporation that rule Government via lobbyist, donations, funding, unions and so on and so on so I'm sorry but I don't see those who are awake "at least 65%" of the public believe that it's one or the other.

Solution: Corporations should be tightly regulated by Government that protect the American people and still allow profit in a capitalistic society.

I.E.: Insurance Co. who deny treatment for those who pay their premiums is a form of death panel lol. Banks who approve loans for those who are not qualified is curruption, Government taking money from lobbyist from Corporations should be illegal and both Gov and Corp allowing illegal immogration to go as far as it has is criminal and should be prosicuted!

[edit on 06/03/2009 by Rams59lb]



posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 12:28 PM
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The fear comes from not trusting an entity that is so large it is above the law. An entity that can do whatever it wants to to you and your property and answer to no one.

In this regard government is no different than some giant corporation and both share my distrust. The difference is that right now government can kick in my door, shoot my children, drag my wife off to who knows where and toss in one of it's prisons just because it feels like it. The corporations can't, at least not as directly, they would have to work within the government using their extensive connections and influence to commit such an act.

It's not as elementary as "if you dont trust one you must be some supporter of the other." Only a fool would believe so.



posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 12:32 PM
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Originally posted by Open_Minded Skeptic
I am curious.

There seems to be massive distrust of government, and implicit trust of corporations here. And I don't get it.


I am curious as well.
Which threads on ATS made you believe that this was the case?
I've never seen even one post that was promoting implicit trust in a corporation on ATS.

Can you point them all out for me?

[edit on 14-9-2009 by warrenb]



posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 12:35 PM
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Originally posted by warrenb
Which threads on ATS made you believe that this was the case?
I've never seen even one post that was promoting implicit trust in a corporation on ATS.


You have never seen any posts on ATS saying that government should not be involved in health care; it should be left to private insurance?



Can you point them all out for me?


No.



posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 12:36 PM
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Agreed with Masonic Light above!

Corporations have been Public Enemy #1 since the time we allowed them the rights of personhood accorded in the 14th Amendment. Before that time, Corporations were given a Charter to Operate in the Public Trust for a set period of time, and were thus not allowed to own private property, as they were nothing more than Contractors serving the Public Interest. Since the 1886 Supreme Court ruling on the Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, Corporations have seized control of not only our Government but our Nation on a whole.

At least with our Government, as corrupt as officials in office may be, ultimate control lies with the People. The People of the United States still hold their Government officials accountable, and have the ability to elect officials to office, and address their concerns through the enacting of legislation.

We do not enjoy the luxury of that recourse with Corporations.

Money talks in Washington, and unfortunately Corporate Interests have far more wealth to use to bribe, coerce, and persuade our Representatives than we the People do. However, that doesn't mean that Government serves the Corporate Interests exclusively...they serve the Corporate Interests when the American People are not paying attention and crying out in unison for our needs to be addressed, rather than Corporate needs.

We can have Governmental Oversight of Corporate Interests, but to do so the American People must make a priority of Oversight of Government and take an active role in keeping them on a proverbially short leash, reminding them constantly of who's interests they should be serving.

We shouldn't fear Government as our Government is what we communally make it. It is our beast of burden, whether donkey or elephant, to use as we see fit. If we don't use it, then TPTB, such as the Corporations, will use it as they see fit. So long as we are afraid to command our Government to serve in the Public Interest, then the Corporations are going to continue to enjoy their proverbial Free Lunch in Washington, all at our expense.


[edit on 14-9-2009 by fraterormus]



posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 12:40 PM
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No they are both feared and both in bed with each other. We have a govitalist system. It s not socialist, its not capitalist, its capitalism that is controlled by the government to give the corporations that have someone on the inside the upper hand.

True capitalism would work without much government intervention because the corrupt would not be helped, they would be weeded out by the consumers, users, and stock holders. Yes bubbles would still exist but they would be over quickly and new opportunities would be opened up where the corrupt and inept failed.

The corrupt and inept are not allowed to fail because the politicians (who are usually wives or husbands of the VP's of said companies, etc) give them our tax money to keep going and write laws not allowing the small guy to compete with them.



posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 12:51 PM
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Taking into consideration that corporate writes about most of the bills to be passed as laws in Washington that is why the mistrust on Government comes about.

Still I have to say that I have not seen many threads in ATS promoting corporate since I wrote a piece a while back about corporate take over, actually it was one poster, very well known that did indeed was defending corporate because the bashing in the thread


But at the time I guess it was ok, now I don't thing he still defend corporate anymore.


[edit on 14-9-2009 by marg6043]



posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 03:46 PM
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reply to post by I_am_Spartacus
 


Reagan, I believe, was the first one to say ''government can't solve the problem, government is the problem." Since then it's been the Republican mantra, and unfettered capitalism their ideal.

Before Reagan, Republican presidents like Eisenhower and Nixon, while still ardent capitalists, acknowledged that there was a place for government in America.

I am Spartacus, your defense of laissez faire capitalism puts you in the corporatist camp. Without some restrictions on corporations, especially the big powerful ones, capitalism runs amok and creates disasters like the one the U.S. just had to bail the country out of. There have to be some regulations and boundaries on corporate greed, which, as we have just witnessed, is boundless.

Letting the free market completely regulate itself has been disastrous for the country.

BTW: Being a conspiracy site and everything, you probably find more suspicion of anyone with too much power on ATS than you would elsewhere. But there's still a sizable percentage who believe that unbounded capitalism is an ideal.




[edit on 16-9-2009 by Sestias]



posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 04:00 PM
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Originally posted by Sestias
reply to post by I_am_Spartacus
 


Reagan, I believe, was the first one to say '" government can't solve the problem, government is the problem." Since then it's been the Republican mantra, and unfettered capitalism their ideal.

Before Reagan, Republican presidents like Eisenhower and Nixon, while still ardent capitalists, acknowledged that there was a place for government in America.

I am Spartacus, your defense of laissez faire capitalism puts you in the corporatist camp. Without some restrictions on corporations, especially the big powerful ones, capitalism runs amok and creates disasters like the one the U.S. just had to bail the country out of. There have to be some regulations and boundaries on corporate greed, which, as we have just witnessed, is boundless.

Letting the free market completely regulate itself has been disastrous for the country.

Do not try to lecture someone on "mantras" until you fetter yours first. Did you even really read what I wrote? No you just made assumptions.



You obviously missed me saying "we do not have a true free market" or what i said on another post "government should only be there to protect the innocent i.e. consumers". Capitalism for the favored and connected is what we have. Crony capitallism, THAT is what causes the problems. The government decides who "succeeds" and who suffers.

You /we have never experienced true laissez faire capitalism, the bankers and power brokers have made sure of that.

The inept and "greedy" suffer no consequences for their actions if they have men on the inside or pay for their support. In a TRUE free market most would feel the wrath from their wrong doing via competitors and consumers. Of course no system is perfect but the free-est system is pure capitalism, not the monstrosity you all like THINK is capitalism. You don't know any better because it only existed for a short time.

Although the socialist "liberal" plan is to remove as much risk from life and create artificial equality, both philosophies still have risk.

The risks of too much freedom include cycles of boom and bust, good and bad, risk you may not have as much as another or your dreams go partially unrealized.

The risks of Marxist/Socialist/Fascist/Totalitarian are gulags, slavery, unattainable dreams, required compliance, loss of identity, loss of individualism, loss of meaning, and complete and utter stagnation.

The more freedom a society has the shorter the bad times are. The more controlled a society, the length and number of good times decreases exponentially.

In a Marxist/Socialist/Fascist/Totalitarian society there will still be people who have more than you, but they will be your masters.

Me, I will take the risks of freedom.

[edit on 16-9-2009 by I_am_Spartacus]

[edit on 16-9-2009 by I_am_Spartacus]

[edit on 16-9-2009 by I_am_Spartacus]

[edit on 16-9-2009 by I_am_Spartacus]

[edit on 16-9-2009 by I_am_Spartacus]



posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 04:53 PM
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Originally posted by Sestias
reply to post by I_am_Spartacus
 



Capitalism runs amok and creates disasters like the one the U.S. just had to bail the country out of.




[edit on 16-9-2009 by Sestias]


You really think "we" were bailed out, really? The only ones who were bailed were the greedy bankers, corporations (and politicians) you accuse me of supporting. Really, think for yourself, the MSM talking heads are either in on the take or are idiots.

[edit on 16-9-2009 by I_am_Spartacus]



posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 05:41 PM
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reply to post by Open_Minded Skeptic

If you are referring to me as being someone who trusts corporate entities, I assure you, that is a mistaken impression. I trust no one. I barely can bring myself to trust me.

(I know you called no one by name. I am not accusing you of accusing me.)

The military is definitely the arena of government. There should be no (or at least a minimal) corporate structure in the military. Military action includes the possibility of forced indentured servitude (aka the draft) in a hazardous venue, and as such should never be under the control of anyone who does not have the best interests of the country at large in mind. As you correctly pointed out, the corporate structure exists not just to perform a duty, but to make a profit.

Social Security is not corporate-driven. I'm at a bit of a loss as to why you would think that. The money that has been extorted from the Social Security trust fund is not the result of corporations; it is the result of unscrupulous politicians spending money they didn't have without raising taxes (they simply diverted one tax into another account). The concept of 'privatization' was somewhat of a misnomer; the idea was not to allow corporate entities to take over the Social Security operations, but to allow individuals to voluntarily choose to invest up to 5% of their contribution through regulated corporate venues in the hope of a higher return. It was emphasized over and over again that this would not disrupt the Social Security services in any way and could not affect those over a certain age (since any such re-routing of their contributions would have little to no benefit due to the short investment period). Social Security privatization did not pass, and I am now assured that when it is time for me to retire and draw that money out, there will be nothing to draw. It is not a tax for my benefit; it is a tax for the sole benefit of others. Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible by opposing 'privatization'.

Medicare pays less than the going rate for most procedures. So doctors are required by financial realities to cover those costs by raising the cost for everyone else. Now exactly how do you expect this to continue if the entire population is under something akin to Medicaid? It can't. It will artificially hold down prices, and should someone miscalculate what a doctor should be able to make, you will find certain procedures simply not available. No one will take a job that costs them more to accomplish than it pays. That simply won't work.

Also, Medicare only works so well because it is no more than a minor governmental stopgap program. The health care industry is still mainly run by corporate interests, and there is therefore enough profit to make sure there are enough doctors and advanced technology to operate. Take out the profit, and the entire industry will crumble.

Now, I know it is politically expedient today to rant against profit. But i ask you, would you continue working at your job if you no longer got paid? No, of course you wouldn't (except for the few liars who will say they would
). Your pay is your profit. Your profit is the very reason you take time away from doing the things you enjoy to work. Without that profit motive, there is no work, there is no efficiency, there is no advancement. Without profit, there is no economy.

The total absence of profit has a name: Communism.

And finally, as to corporate not being accountable to the voters: yes, it is, but in a different way than government. Instead of an election every two years where you can vote for someone you never heard of, you vote for a corporation every time you buy their product. Without paying customers, there can be no corporate entity. I vote every day, for a restaurant, a convenience store, a grocery store, a food producer, a manufacturer. I don't have to wait two years. I get to vote NOW. And so do you.

The problem is we don't seem to care that we are voting; we just pay our money and go our way, whining about how terrible the people we just voted for are.


Come to think of it, maybe there is a lot in common between corporate and political...

TheRedneck



posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 07:59 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Amen brother, one day they will get it, hope its not from "learning the hard way"



posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 09:22 PM
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Great debate & posts!
3 words for you - Monsanto, Monsanto, Monsanto

Power corrupts & absolute power corrupts absolutely. (hey, that's what the say)
If you don't have faith in the morality of those above you (hey mister, want to buy a Rolex) then you must have checks & balances.

Those in power (gov't), financial institutions, companies here and abroad, they have all found out that old saying is true

"You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time." Lincoln

"You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on." George Bush

You know, if the sayings didn't have a ring of truth they wouldn't have hung around.



posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 09:59 PM
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Originally posted by thisguyrighthere
The fear comes from not trusting an entity that is so large it is above the law. An entity that can do whatever it wants to to you and your property and answer to no one.

In this regard government is no different than some giant corporation and both share my distrust. The difference is that right now government can kick in my door, shoot my children, drag my wife off to who knows where and toss in one of it's prisons just because it feels like it. The corporations can't, at least not as directly, they would have to work within the government using their extensive connections and influence to commit such an act.

It's not as elementary as "if you dont trust one you must be some supporter of the other." Only a fool would believe so.



Unfortunately that is the way many conservatives act though... Hannity, Beck, Boortz, Limbaugh etc...

But you are right... they are fools.



posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 07:23 AM
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Originally posted by HunkaHunka

Originally posted by thisguyrighthere
The fear comes from not trusting an entity that is so large it is above the law. An entity that can do whatever it wants to to you and your property and answer to no one.

In this regard government is no different than some giant corporation and both share my distrust. The difference is that right now government can kick in my door, shoot my children, drag my wife off to who knows where and toss in one of it's prisons just because it feels like it. The corporations can't, at least not as directly, they would have to work within the government using their extensive connections and influence to commit such an act.

It's not as elementary as "if you dont trust one you must be some supporter of the other." Only a fool would believe so.



Unfortunately that is the way many conservatives act though... Hannity, Beck, Boortz, Limbaugh etc...

But you are right... they are fools.


Although Beck can be a buffoon and will change his tune on many things (as humans do I guess) he does not support one group just to be against the other group. He doesn't like either. I do have respect for him because he is putting it on the line to expose the corruption on both sides (although the dems have cornered that market as of late)

Even Rush has become a fairly serious republican basher, I think he has wised up some in the past few years, I have new found respect for him as yes I used to not like him so much because he was such a republican shill backing them no matter what they did.

Rush and Beck are both conservative (even though Beck now says he is libertarian), which is the value the republican party HAD represented the last 70 years or so. They have come to realize "their" side (the side I have had to side with just to try to keep the dems out who I see as the greater of 2 evils) is no longer on "our" side either.

[edit on 17-9-2009 by I_am_Spartacus]



posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 07:35 AM
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Originally posted by Masonic Light
Allow me a reply that will probably not make conservatives happy, but is accurate nonetheless:

Conservative politicians (both Republican and Democrat) generally have strong corporate ties, and they continue the facade.


and that is what "liberals" are programmed to believe. 95% OF GOVERNMENT AND POLITICANS ARE IN BED WITH OR CONTROLLED BY CORPORATIONS< BOTH PARTIES, IDEOLOGY, WHATEVER!!!!

Both "libs" and cons use whatever support they can get to get and stay elected. I find it hilarious that "libs" think they get their power thru different means. There is a serious lack of self awareness in this world.

Don't you see the game? They tell you things to make you feel like a part of a TEAM so you don't notice them bending you over and inserting the object!!!!!!!

[edit on 17-9-2009 by I_am_Spartacus]



posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 07:39 AM
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[edit on 17-9-2009 by I_am_Spartacus]



posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 08:02 AM
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Some excellent points, thank you...



Originally posted by TheRedneck
the corporate structure exists not just to perform a duty, but to make a profit.


I'd disagree with you on inclusion of the word "just". By all appearances, currently the corporate structure exists not to perform a duty, but only to make a profit. And that, I believe, is why corporate influence or participation especially in the military arena is just not good for the country.



Social Security is not corporate-driven. I'm at a bit of a loss as to why you would think that. The money that has been extorted from the Social Security trust fund is not the result of corporations; it is the result of unscrupulous politicians spending money they didn't have without raising taxes (they simply diverted one tax into another account).


Agreed, and I also agree that the corporate connection to the current state of SS is tenuous and difficult to prove. Maybe my point here was that SS itself is a fine program... the only reason it is in trouble is due to the theft we have both noted. My speculation is that corporate influence of said politicos contributes to the enthusiasm they demonstrate in doing that.



the concept of 'privatization' was somewhat of a misnomer; the idea was not to allow corporate entities to take over the Social Security operations, but to allow individuals to voluntarily choose to invest up to 5% of their contribution through regulated corporate venues


Right. The idea, as I remember it, was to provide a set of corporate-managed avenues in which SS contributions could (and would be required to) be invested. A predefined set of such entities. As defined by Congress. Corporate owned Congress. Had they said "we are reducing the mandatory SS contribution by 5%, do with it what you wish" I might have been more in favor of it. As it was, given that the set of entities would have been those with the most influence in Congress and not of my choosing, it was not something I could support.



and could not affect those over a certain age (since any such re-routing of their contributions would have little to no benefit due to the short investment period).


Yeah... hehe. I was one year under that minimum age at the time, so I would have been forced to participate in the mandated set of corporate entities, and would have then been involved in the demolition of it when last year rolled around.



there will be nothing to draw. ... Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible by opposing 'privatization'.


And there's the rub. Had 'privatization' passed, you (and I) would have been forced to invest in corporate entities we might have otherwise avoided like a plague, they would most likely have been corrupt - since they have sufficient influence in Congress to be the "chosen" it is almost by definition they are corrupt - and would have skimmed off huge personal and corporate profits from the contributions, then when the market in general went to hell, as it did, still no money at retirement time.

That is my main point. Given the state of things, the gov't run SS is in trouble. Also given the state of things, I see no reason at all to assume 'private' SS funds, in a restricted set of entities, would have been any better off at all.



Medicare pays less than the going rate for most procedures.


And therein is the problem there. The "going rate" is, in my opinion, execessively high.



Now, I know it is politically expedient today to rant against profit.


I personally rant against exessive profit, and the corporate environment where profit is the God of all and no other factors are considered. I'm all for profit, but when the top level execs of too many companies have income several hundred times the average income of the company, I see that as a problem.



But i ask you, would you continue working at your job if you no longer got paid? No, of course you wouldn't. Your pay is your profit. Your profit is the very reason you take time away from doing the things you enjoy to work. Without that profit motive, there is no work, there is no efficiency, there is no advancement. Without profit, there is no economy.


Largely agreed. As it happens, where I work there are cost cutting measures in place at the moment, in trade for no layoffs, so I am in fact not being paid for all the time I work. But that's a side issue...


It again comes down to excessive profits. Let's say I had the ability to force my employer to pay me $8000/hour. It happens that my job does not contribute to the economy or culture such that it is worth that much (my opinion is that few if any do). But if I can force that to happen, which is essentially what is going on with corporate these days, it will have a long term destabilizing effect on the economy as a whole, especially if all my friends did the same thing. And that is what we are seeing now. The excessive profit being leeched from the economy has screwed it up big time.



Instead of an election every two years where you can vote for someone you never heard of, you vote for a corporation every time you buy their product. Without paying customers, there can be no corporate entity.


Fully agree. The problem here is two-fold:

1) It takes a statistically significant number of people acting, in either kind of voting, to make a difference. Too few give enough of a damn to look up from the latest game on their cell phone (usually while driving
- personal peeve) to make wise or even semi-educated decisions.

2) The current corporate structure is such that it is often difficult if not impossible to NOT support a given corp. You don't like the corp that owns store A, so you go to store B, only to find out the same mega-corp owns both.



The problem is we don't seem to care that we are voting; we just pay our money and go our way, whining about how terrible the people we just voted for are.



Again, agreed. But see point 2 above. It does not help that corporate and gov't have colluded to drive manufacturing out of this country. Have you tried to buy tools lately? Very difficult to find tools made in the US, and the crap that is available is, uh... crap.



Come to think of it, maybe there is a lot in common between corporate and political...


I think we can safely say that is true! And part of the problem, they are becoming indistuingishable.

As I said at the beginning, gov't is by no means perfect. But given that many of the issues being discussed - health care, energy production and distribution, etc - are going to happen if we are to maintain an industrial culture, there seems to be a push to get gov't out of those areas. Which means that, since they are going to happen, they will be under corporate control

And as we see, corporate is at least as corrupt as gov't.

Thanks again for your excellent response.



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