Tom Schorr: The American ‘corpocracy’
Throughout history most countries have been controlled by a small elite group. Whether it be kings, dictators, religious leaders or elected officials, these groups make the rules to their financial advantage, and to stay in power. Money and power sustain each other. These people do not need to work harder for more pay because they have the power to take it. They solidify control with the increasing wealth.
In the last few decades the United States has been headed down this path. High level corporate executive pay has skyrocketed out of proportion compared with the pay for the rest of Americans. We now have a “corpocracy” instead of a democracy. This should be especially obvious to anyone who buys individual stocks. As a share holder, you are only given one choice of board members to “vote” for. You also have an “advisory only” non-binding “vote” on the executive pay board members have chosen for themselves. In other words, you can only give a yes or no opinion on how much they pay themselves without any alternative suggestion. Additionally, these corporate board members can line the pockets of politicians and special interests with your money and no disclosure requirement! They can also buy and control the media. That’s why we have opinion channels (Fox, MSNBC, etc.) instead of real news. Do you really think your vote counts compared to theirs?
Warren Buffet once said he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary. The billionaires use loop holes and tax shelters to pay a lower tax percentage than average Americans. The president just wants the super wealthy to pay their fair share. Will this “kill jobs” and ruin our economy? Can people making $10 million to $100 million per year spend enough on frivolous extravagance to save our economy while the average American is going broke due to health care? Did these executives work 1,000 times harder than you did, or do that much better at their jobs? If so, why did we have to bail out so many of them? Do not worry if your answer is yes to the first two questions. These billionaires will vote themselves raises to cover any extra taxes.
I am of the middle class and have never taken a free dime from our government. I have paid into Social Security for over 30 years. I do not expect it will be there by the time I reach retirement age. Like so many of my peers, I will most likely be traveling to other countries for affordable health care while our insurance industry and drug companies continue to make record profits to pay their executives. Even so, the issue is not so much our personal wealth as it is our freedom. We must demand equality and accountability from our political leaders and corporate titans. We need serious political campaign funding reform to reduce the influence of the super rich on our politicians. If the tide does not change soon, average Americans will totally lose their voice in government. Like Syria, Libya, China, Yemen, Egypt, Venezuela, and too many countries to name, the American people will once again be left with revolution as our only option to be heard.
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