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Big Business Doesn't Care About You (Part Two in a Series)

Robin Alexander

Posted on December 15, 2017 10:11

3 users

Big government and its regulations should protect the other 99% of us. Labor and the poor and minorities and children and immigrants and the disabled and the LGBTQ community and women – in fact the entire citizenry, especially the most vulnerable – are the ones who should feel cozy with government. Why else do we even have government?

We know that we can’t rely on the oligarchs to protect us. No matter how much wealth they have, they can’t seem to curb their enthusiasm for more. It took the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (after decades of violent activism), to set a national minimum wage of 25 cents an hour, a maximum 44-hour work week, and limits on child labor (children under 16 could no longer work in manufacturing and mining).

Don’t think for a minute big business wouldn’t go back to how it was, given the chance. Have you noticed how many hours a week most people now work in corporate America?

On the side of big government are the regulations, designed to guarantee pure air and food, protection of public lands, safe conditions in the workplace, handicap access, and ethical banking (to name a few), while guarding against multiple forms of discrimination. Where regulations hamper business, it is usually to the advantage of the big and the detriment of the small, simply because, as Geoffrey James from CBS Moneywatch opined, "legislators and regulators are usually ‘owned’ by big businesses, either through campaign contribution bribery or the promise of future employment."

These days lobbyists even write the regulations – which is why we should publicly fund campaigns and overturn Citizens United (read "don’t support anyone who takes corporate money").

Welcome to the stage, Ajit Pai, chairman of the FCC, the revolving door poster child. Pai is intent on eliminating FCC oversight of the Internet which currently ensures, "that all online content is treated the same by the companies that deliver broadband service to Americans." In other words, Internet service providers (ISPs) can’t block a site they don’t like, slow it down, or charge more for it. If net neutrality goes away, all of the above are possible. Pai formerly worked for Verizon ISPs (one of the three biggest SPs) and will most likely return one day where he’ll be paid millions, having helped Verizon to make billions. Very cozy.

Instead, here’s how it should work: big government and its regulations protect the other 99% of us from big pharma, big food, big tech, fossil fuel and health insurance industries, the military-industrial complex and of course Wall Street. Labor, the poor, minorities, children, immigrants, the disabled, the LGBTQ community and women – in fact the entire citizenry, especially the most vulnerable – are the ones who should feel cozy with government. Why else do we even have government?

Finances could be re-arranged to provide a sane minimum wage, universal health care, free education, curb climate change, and that’s just for starters (read "stop  the American-made wars all over the world"). That’s the social contract I envision.

But, something doesn’t add up. Our dichotomy of big government versus big business doesn’t really work because they’re pretty much one and same these days. So, now what do we do?

[More to come on what we do next]

Robin Alexander

Posted on December 15, 2017 10:11

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Source: TechCrunch
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