Money and corruption

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In 1901 with the creation of U.S. Steel Corp., the United States ended the era of industrial capitalism and entered the era of financial capitalism. This change may be said to mean that a corporation exists only to make money. Stockholders hold corporate executives to that task; after all, this is why we are stockholders.

The challenge to always make more money pressures corporate leaders to make decisions that are not in the best interests of the public, you and me. Be it labor and unions, health insurance and the Affordable Care Act, the environment and fracking, affirmative action for gender or race, the U.S. Postal System, public education and charter schools, privatized state stores and privatized prisons, the goal is always to make money, no matter how it affects the worker, his health, the environment, service, achievement or rehabilitation.

No business ever entertains pursuing a business opportunity to make money, without assurance that it will make money and lots of it. They've corrupted government on all levels to achieve the goal of making money. They are given relaxed standards and supervision, limited regulation, reduced legal redress, by using their wealth to influence government officials and officeholders,

President Dwight Eisenhower in his farewell address cautioned us about the military-industrial complex and how it will corrupt our democracy. (In an earlier draft of the speech, he called it the "military-industrial-congressional" complex.) The Republican Party is most responsible for this, but the Democratic Party has been a timid guardian. Current success of progressive candidates and the public electing progressive candidates will turn the tide. We, the citizens, must step up and be involved to preserve our democracy.

JAMES STEPHENSON
akland


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