So, I was recently put in the corner with fingers pointing and the word: “Liberal” metaphorically applied like a scarlet letter to my forehead. But, given the issue, I have to wonder whether or not people really understand the terms “Liberal” and “Conservative”? While it’s true that my opinions are only my own, I don’t care what other people think, and frankly, ignorance is so rampant in humanity that it’s hard to take people seriously, yet, I still wondered: are my views Liberal … or Conservative? The issue, you ask? Oh:
Businesses can do whatever they want as an independent entity. They can charge what they want. They can cater to whatever customers please their pallets. And, they can operate (within the confines of labor laws), hire and fire, and bargain with whomever they choose. That is, until businesses reap the benefits of government backing that gives them power and privilege over the lives of the people.
I may be mistaken, but last I checked, the Constitution starts out with three, simple words: “We the People …”. And, while the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that corporations are, and can be treated as people … they are not. Corporations are not a group of people united as one. They are a small body, governed by a single authority, that do not exist to live, but exist to profit. People must have air, water, food, and shelter. Corporations must have money. I personally think the distinctions are clear.
I understand some laws that protect corporations make sense. Theft laws – in some cases – make sense. The ownership of an item may not be transferred from one person to another until such time as a form of agreeable compensation is made. Anti-theft laws actually protect a lot of people in a lot of ways and are a staple of good business operations that should be protected (again – in some cases). But, what about laws against stealing cable, or power, or even movies, for example? Well … let’s examine those unique situations:
- Cable companies have become infamous for the mistreatment and abuse of their customers. Cable companies also get a special benefit from Uncle Sam: monopolization. They are given regions where cable lines may be run, the right to cross over peoples’ properties with a guaranteed easement for which they do not pay, control over the air-waves to avoid competing broadcasts (crushing competitors and limiting business and labor growth), and so on. Thus, competition is eliminated. This is a government granted law, to cable companies, which was not voted on or even presented to the people. And, in turn, cable companies have severely abused their privileges. They have sought to control and limit your internet, threatened the entire U.S. economy by limiting internet speeds and controlling access to websites, overcharged, and without reprimand, ignored literally millions of consumer complaints (because consumers can only complain now, with government regulations that protect cable companies from consumers taking action themselves), and there is no end to the madness. For those who would argue, “Well, the FCC fined them $2.3 million …” Yeah, well, for the $80 billion dollars they made … I don’t think it was effective beyond putting some money in the FCC’s pocket. But, how do people fight back? The cable box outside your house says it’s a criminally punishable offense to mess with it. I’m not talking about stealing cable or internet from a neighbor – because that’s wrong. But, if someone is stealing from you and you LITERALLY have NO way to stop it, except to give up everything or break the law (because the government backs the corporations and not you), is that wrong? I think so – but supposedly, Conservatives labeled me as a Liberal for this.
- Utility companies are infamous for their abuse of the system. In his State of the Union address, President Roosevelt called utility companies the most “evil” organization on Earth. Even back then, hedge funds were amassing millions while intentionally crippling and controlling the nation’s growth. Today, PacifiCorp gets back $450 million in net profits while the hedge fund (which is not legally supposed to be a part of a ‘regulated’ utility), takes home about $4 and half billion. On one hand, it’s a business and should be allowed to do what they want with their profit, right? Well, the Power Company recently goes to the PUC (repeatedly) and says: “We need to raise utility rates because we can’t afford to maintain the power grid.” But, since no one can compete (and there is NO outlet for consumer complaints), and it is literally a national crime to ‘steal power’, consumers are left with the option to freeze to death and not be able to store food – or break the law. There’s no support from the PUC – you cannot argue and rarely a case has been won by consumers complaining against utility fraud, theft, or other action. In fact, in Ohio, when de-regulation was granted that allowed independent power producers to compete, the rates went down – dramatically. So, how does the rest of the country fight back? Is it okay that people just surrender their ability to have power, like the little old lady in her apartment that is on oxygen or she’ll die but can’t pay the jacked up rate because the power company passed on their tax obligation and dam removal costs to her? Is it okay that hard-working people are sent into the dark because the utilities jacked up their rates on a lie (thanks to Mr. Warren Buffet, PG&E, and others), are denied clean energy because utilities spend YOUR money to fight it and lobby Congress and because they have a government-regulated monopoly that denies you the right to follow the American dream and get your power elsewhere? I don’t think so – but again – this supposedly makes me Liberal.
- In 2016 alone, more than $45 million dollars was spent in lobbying funds by the television and movie industries. Why on Earth would movie companies lobby Washington? That seems … pointless? Well, one reason is because movie theater companies like AMC are owned by Chinese companies and are pushing for mass take-overs and monopolies over the movie theater industry. Yes – it’s true – read it here. Until 1948, movie producers could force you to attend their theaters – at whatever rates they wanted – or tough luck. BSkyB gets to avoid any monopoly reprimands along with Netflix, and others. Movie theaters get to charge you $8 for a soda or, with government enforcement, “legally” throw you out for bringing your own, $0.99 cent soda from the nearby mini-mart (yeah – the same Chinese owned theaters get full, U.S. government back to literally steal). Movie theaters are allowed to “cook the books” and abuse the government system, repeatedly ignoring court rulings against them, to claim losses that don’t exist, steal from people, and cheat the system (and you). And, while movie theaters claim high labor costs, this is bull – if you’ve ever talked to their employees at ANY length. Additionally, movie companies get to put product placement in their movies, without disclaimers, knowing that influences human behavior (and even though the government denies subliminal messaging, not only has it been proven to work – they wouldn’t do it if it didn’t). There are laws that are supposed to stop this – but conveniently, don’t. So … maybe movies aren’t an example of something as devastating as utility rates or the unregulated, out-of-control rental housing industry. But, maybe the movie-goer didn’t want to be unconsciously forced into buying cat food that was part of a government-authorized monopoly that murdered thousands of beloved pets. But, you can’t fight back because government laws support these businesses stealing from you and subjecting you to harm, while not holding any of them accountable for lying to you. Is it wrong to download the movie to avoid the theater, filter the crud out of it, and have some control back? Maybe … but to what extent is it okay for them to harm you? This juxtaposition supposedly makes me Liberal?
And, of course, there are countless other consumer abuses that you’re not even probably aware of. This ranges from exposing your personally identifiable information by a government who won’t back you vs. corporations and themselves, to corporations like Albertson’s that circumvents FTC rulings and is backed by the government when they monopolize, kill off business, and then raise all their prices (like they just did with the Safeway takeover). You can’t compete as a small business or individual, for example, in the case of the markets, because of the control markets have over transportation, and the executive branch powers to circumvent everyone. Thanks to the lobbying influences of these companies, you can’t grow your own food at the level needed, acquire the resources, or protect yourself, your family, friends, loved ones, and others because these businesses have more government supported rights than you do. Pharmaceuticals don’t care if they get sued because they make billions more than that in profit, suits aren’t typically enforced, and governments protect and safeguard (and sometimes prevent), you from fighting back. Is it okay to support big business and commerce if it comes at the deaths of HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of people (and that was back in 2010)? Is it … and I’m just thinking out loud here … actually just sensible to try and put a stop to this rather than labeling it as Conservative or Liberal?
Conservatives are a proponent for pushing business growth, first. Liberals put the civil liberties ahead of business and will try to control and regulate businesses. I don’t know, and won’t speculate if either party is right or wrong. Either way – this business of ‘big business’, has been incredibly harmful to the U.S. economy. Rather than healthy competition, low prices, job growth, and economic balance – a few businesses hold the power (backed by Uncle Sam and special interest) and everyone else has to deal with it. Please – someone correct me – but I’m pretty sure that’s not one of the principals that America was founded on if you read the Constitution or Declaration of Independence (although the Transcontinental Railroad started out that way). This not only harms the economy, but education, social welfare, and crushes civil liberties (which a Republic and Constitution are supposed to protect). If business is a Conservative priority – then how is permitting these huge corporations to have more privileges than people helpful when the costs of living are driving people into an impoverished state that will kill business? How is it that Liberals are about civil liberties and yet, they demand a tax rate that keeps you working for the big businesses (to supposedly promote a more equalized balance of income), and support big government as a big business (of which this article also protests)?
So, when doing the research, there are some very terrifying right-wing agendas out there. Jeffrey Dorfman on Forbes writes: “Income Inequality does not affect the economy?” Really? Maybe there’s an economist out there who can point me in the right direction to show otherwise, but last I checked, with over 60% of the nation in the lower class, that’s 108 million adults, out of the 180 million in the labor force, who can’t afford to buy ‘stuff’. That probably includes a large number of people that need subsidies because of monopolies and abuses against consumers for basic things like … FOOD! Not buying ‘stuff’ means less business and higher unemployment. And, the same people that blame food stamps for a large portion of the economic crisis, contending against the Forbes article, also agree with the Forbes article, that food stamps need to be reigned in, because:
“Adding adults who should be able to find jobs has helped make the program too expensive to maintain … It also creates ill will, as consumers see people in grocery checkouts who they think shouldn’t qualify“
Okay, so which is it? Does income inequality affect the economy, or doesn’t it? Should we just assume that corporations and businesses are giving out jobs like candy from sheer love when in reality – as presented in here through links to articles that can be backed up – big businesses are cutting corners and hurting the economy and average worker? Should uninformed consumers be the ones who make the decision on who gets food stamps … or is ill will created when consumers are paying 180% mark-ups for merchandise because all other options have been quashed thanks to businesses in bed with the government? Oh yeah, these are the same conservatives that refuse food stamps to felons and at the same time, give corporations and businesses full Cart Blanche to discriminate and leave these people without work. So – am I Liberal because I think that idiots who support big business rights with government backing and trash the impoverished should be stopped? Or, is not opening a nation to starvation and a massive economic decline more an act of common sense that supports both party’s agendas?
Well, if you ask The Guardian, a traditionally, left-winged, UK published paper, I’m at least partially correct about my conclusions since welfare actually reduces poverty and helps get people out of the hole. So I guess in that regard, yes, I must be Liberal. The Center for American Progress, a “progressive” group that is presented by many as Liberal, provides some very compelling arguments about the misconceptions about poverty and welfare that support what I’m saying. On the flip-side is the Townhall, a die-hard right-winged paper that published an article in 2014 by Kurt Schlicter, who wrote:
“Take it from someone who employs a bunch of people – if I have to pay more for you at the unskilled bottom of the ladder, assuming I don’t cut low-end positions, that money is coming out of everyone else’s raises. Yeah, you warm, wonderful, caring and compassionate paternalists supporting raising the minimum wage are going to pay for it, because I’m sure as hell not.”
Really? Is THAT Conservative … because … wow! According to an article I JUST published, saying that the poor would suffer because the rich are just too greedy and abusing those government privileges stated herein – is not only supported 100% by this statement – but I guess is very NON conservative. So … I guess I get it … a little? Liberals want big government to save the people … although … I’m adamantly opposed to that. But, is it wrong then, to say that Conservatives “want big business” to save the people? ‘Cause, that’s sure how it sounds.
I don’t think telling so-called lazy people to ‘get off their butts and get a job’, is exactly the American principals that founded this country. In 1932, arising from the Great Depression, Wisconsin was the first state to institute unemployment. Although a Democrat supported act (shortly followed by Roosevelt with Social Security benefits), I’m not sure it was all that detrimental for the country – and in fact, kept people above poverty which promoted: business! So, doesn’t that also support the Conservative agenda, too? Yet, here’s an interesting twist, not only has Donald Trump recently come out against big business, but Rick Perry, although I am NOT a fan of this decision, is speaking out against big business. And, taking from Perry, while the Conservatives who pointed and labeled me “Liberal” were touting about how amazing the Dow was doing, I guess they failed to hear their own, elected leaders say:
“There’s something wrong when the Dow is near record highs, and businesses on Main Street can’t even get a loan. Since when did capitalism involve the elimination of risk for the biggest banks while regulations strangle our community banks?”
Maybe I’m smoking crack and just didn’t know it because, last I checked, supporting the Dow Jones and a list of 50 billionaires over the growth of general business and commerce across the United States was NOT a Conservative value. While some big businesses (supported by these same Conservatives), like Google, Facebook, and others have lobbied and influenced laws about immigration reform, among other activities, their efforts are less than scrupulous (to say the least). The Fwd.US movement sounds ‘neat’, on its face, but supported the liberal agenda of opening the doors to mass floods of immigrants, training them, and then using them as their workforce in place of American labor. So, is my stand against these companies then a stand against Liberals?
Well, here’s the interesting thing. Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, and others, these so-called “loving” companies that just want to help people with wonderful immigration reform and education, also: ban felons of any nature (no matter how long or the crime) and sometimes ban people who’ve had no other problems than merely being accused of crimes, from applying; ban LGBT policies; support unpaid overtime, create an environment of fear for their employees; and are a consistent hiring nightmare. Was the right-wing purpose of supporting business growth and dependence supposed to end up like this? Why do these companies want to bring in foreign labor?
Simple: They aren’t technically “outsourcing” jobs anymore because the payroll is in America … even if that payroll is cheaper than it should be, hours are extended brutally to people who are scared to leave, and the companies still get away with cutting out American jobs.
Is it Liberal to think that’s wrong? Wouldn’t it also be Conservative to think that’s wrong? In 2014, Google alone received more than $630 million in government subsidies!?! How do people fight back? How are people supposed to stand up for themselves? It almost seems as if those who were pointing fingers and labeling me as “Liberal” were acting on the robotic programming of news, media, and generational input that told them how to think. I thought it was Conservatives who claim Liberals told people how to think? In an excellent article by Sharon Beder, ironically, the equal influential manipulation of the public is shared by both Liberals and Conservatives.
So, I pose the question to you: Is it Conservative or Liberal to:
- Want to put an end to government and big business deals that hurt the economy?
- Put an end to big businesses milking incentives and grants and stealing from the public?
- Putting stronger regulations on those businesses that want to be treated as persons and have more rights than consumers, thus creating a fair balance between protecting the business’ interests and monopolies while also forcing lower prices and protecting the consumers?
- Stop giving taxpayer dollars to companies that use it as lobbying funds to force an agenda that will exacerbate the American unemployment rate?
- Stop allowing utilities to rake over consumers and hide their monies in hedge funds so that one person gets wealthy while welfare needs skyrocket (burdening everyone), the public at large has unnecessary and unreasonable cost of living increases, and independent business / job growth is needlessly halted?
- Force Facebook, Google, and others who have been receiving taxpayer dollars, to change their policies to enforce privacy laws, stop selling people to marketers, and change their hiring practices to everyone! (Not to mention their abusive labor practices).
As for any other business – commerce is as commerce does. And, if you think it’s neither Liberal or Conservative, or a little of both, to support these types of changes, isn’t that just, common sense? I dunno’ … I’ll let this one be YOUR call!
“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” – John F. Kennedy