|January 16, 2005||EDITORIAL ARCHIVES|
Corrupt Crony Capitalism Vs. the Free Market Economy:
Note: This marks the sixteenth of 20 consecutive editorials BuzzFlash will be publishing through January 20th.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIALWhy won't the so-called "centrist Democrats" make the exposing of and prosecution of corporate corruption a centerpiece of the Democratic agenda?
Because they don't know what the heck they are doing, that's why.
Does the DLC and the "centrist" block of Democratic Senators really believe that Americans embrace and support corporate corruption? What idiots; it's one of the few issues that plays nationally and could win Democratic votes in even red states.
I mean what consumer wants to be ripped off? What shareholder wants CEOs to devalue stocks while taking down the company for self-enrichment? What small businesses want to be steered toward higher cost insurance because of insurance brokers getting kickbacks? What mutual fund investor wants to be taken financially advantage of? What consumers want to be sold inferior products without recourse or because of false advertising?
Is the DLC crazy, on the take, or just plain dumb as a box of rocks?
This isn't an issue of whether or not Americans support a free market economy. The vast majority do.
But what they want is a true free market, a leveled playing field, not a rigged game for the guys at the top.
They don't want to be ripped off. They want fair competition. They want consumer rights.
Bush is in many ways the role model of the corrupt corporate CEO. Bush is to the national government what his good buddy Ken Lay was to Enron. The privileged few make out like bandits, while the vast majority of the staff and shareholders get ripped off. Just replace the latter group with American citizens and the analogy is complete.
Bush represents the class of modern CEOs who get rewarded with millions of dollars in compensation as their companies go down the tubes. So many of the recent corporate scandals are based on CEOs and senior executives who used public corporations as vehicles to enrich themselves -- and, in essence, pay themselves inflated salaries, stock options and benefits for repeated failures in company performance. That's Bush in a nutshell. Only it's our government that is his corporation.
The DLC just doesn't get it. All it can do is follow around the GOP lead like timid, cowering also-rans. The DLC's basic attitude is, "Sure, we're against corporate corruption, but we don't want to make a big deal about it. We might sound too radical. And we might make our corporate backers mad. So please, shhh!"
Well, now that's a formula for getting big DLC salaries and losing elections, if there ever was one.
If you are for a free market economy with a level playing field and for the working class and poor, then you are vigorously against corporate corruption and Bush style corporate cronyism. You don't push it off to the side. You make it the centerpiece of a fair and just economy on behalf of the people who work honestly and hard for a living. You make it the centerpiece of a pro-consumer platform. You do it because it is the right thing to do -- and it is a winning, popular position among voters.
Elliot Spitzer, the Attorney General of New York State, should know. In 2002, he was re-elected New York State Attorney General with the largest winning marginó1,509,403 votesóof any statewide candidate.
Known as the "people's lawyer," he's the odds-on-favorite to beat Al D'Amato's protégé, George Pataki, for Governor of the Empire State in 2006, if Pataki runs again.
The New York Times, in an article about corporate corruption, gave Spitzer "The  Threepeat Award...for finding corruption in the third financial services industry in as many years. First it was Wall Street research, then the mutual fund industry. In 2004, it was the insurance businessís turn. Yes, it seems that those people who love to take your money and hate to pay your claims arenít always on the up and up. Again, Mr. Spitzer found dubious industry practices that had been going on for years. But, as he made clear, that didnít make them right."
And Spitzer's biography on his official homepage makes it clear why he is so popular among voters:
Why did it take the Attorney General of New York State to uncover these practices, when the Democrats who controlled the Senate for a short period of time could have launched an anti-corporate corruption crusade? In fact, Tom Daschle and Joe Lieberman, who chaired the committee overseeing such activity, did virtually nothing to expose the corrupt practices of Enron and Halliburton when they had the chance and when the scandals were red hot. Lieberman is very cozy with the insurance companies in Connecticut and the corporate world in general, and Daschle was worried about rocking the corporate boat.
But, excuse me, we are talking about alleged malfeasance and ripping off of American voters. Are you pro-corporate crime, or anti-corporate crime? It's really rather simple.
You'd think the Centrist "Bush Light" Dems would have learned a thing or two about leading the charge by now, instead of following Bush over the cliff.
But, you'd be wrong if you did.
It's not radical to be for a true free market economy -- one that is not rigged in favor of the GOP corporate cronies and one that doesn't rip off consumers and small businesses. It's not radical at all. It's as American as apple pie -- and is a sure vote getter among small stock holders, small businesses, consumers, working class voters and the poor, which is to say most of America.
When will the Democratic "centrists" realize that they aren't centrists at all? They are just enablers of corporate corruption, and proponents of a losing electoral strategy.
Like the corporate CEOs who got paid more as their companies plunged in value, the "Centrist Democrats" argue that their continued electoral losses are proof of their "successful strategy." Say what?
It's a continuing formula for failure.
We don't know when someone like Elliot Spitzer might be considered presidential "timber," but we hope that the country can hold on that long.
As for the "Centrist Democrats," all that they really propose is holding up a white flag, because they've run out of ideas and courage, leaving a wide range of potential Democratic voters with no alternative but to vote for the corporate cronyism king, George W. Bush.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL