Posted 5 years ago on Jan. 13, 2012, 2:53 p.m. EST by Donangelo
from Fields, OR
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
REFORM THE CORPORATIONS!
A common complaint against the Occupy movement is that we have no agenda. This is not true.
We are gradually developing our agenda through the consensus process. Our chief objective is to end the corruption of our government by the Big Money interests. We have wide agreement throughout the country that we need a Constitutional Amendment that will establish that money is not protected speech and that corporations and other organizations do not have the constitutionally protected rights of live human beings. These two points will help to limit the power of Big Money.
In addition, on January 4, 2012 the General Assembly of Occupy Bend at my suggestion
adopted a resolution to reform corporations, requiring them to be responsible members of our society. We are for responsible capitalism, not crony capitalism or predatory capitalism. The resolution asks for a law that requires the charters of all corporations doing business in America to contain the following five points, in order of priority:
This corporation will produce high quality goods and/or services that make a clear contribution to society. Most corporations already do this. If people find that questionable activities such as casinos contribute to our entertainment and therefore to society, then these activities are accepted. However, if a company produces products that are clearly harmful to us, such as cigarettes or hydrogenated oils in food, then it is appropriate to tax them, as cigarettes are now. Likewise, if people cannot find any contribution to society from such activities as hedge funds or commodity speculators or day traders, then these activities can be outlawed or taxed, most likely by a transaction tax. If an activity only makes its participants rich at a cost to society but contributes nothing, then that activity is parasitical. Why should we allow parasites to game the system and suck up our lifeblood?
This corporation will function as ecologically as possible in all ways. The Germans already do this, and it makes their production system perhaps the most efficient in the world. This point would be a major challenge to coal companies and other polluters. Cap and trade is a sham that allows for enormous fraud. Taxing unecological practices would work much better. Mother Earth sustains us in every way, and all of us, including corporations, need to function in ways that are beneficial not only to our long term survival but to all the other species we share this planet with. Our mismanagement of the ecology is causing the largest die-off of species since the meteor hit the Yucatan Peninsula 67 million years ago, and climate change is making everything worse.
This corporation will hire Americans to produce goods and services sold in America and will pay fair wages and benefits, as determined in negotiation with its employees. American businesses have a responsibility to provide quality jobs for Americans. This would eliminate sending all our jobs overseas. Making a product or service cheaper somewhere else does us no good when we’re out of work and can’t afford it at any price, and sending our money overseas simply puts us in debt. Corporations can be fined or taxed for not hiring Americans to make goods and services sold to Americans. This can apply to foreign and off-shore corporations as well as those registered in America. This may mean a tariff on all imported goods and perhaps also a tariff on all exported raw materials, including oil and gas, since why should we give away our resources merely for money? Furthermore, negotiation with employees includes being able to cap management compensation. By what logic is a CEO worth a thousand times his lowest paid employee? Aren’t we equal beings?
In addition to the corporation as a whole, management and board members shall be individually liable for significant breaches of these first three points. Let’s straighten out the Supreme Court on the appropriate rights and responsibilities of corporations. Fining a CEO $500,000 means nothing when he is worth $100,000,000. Sure, fine them, but also jail them!
This corporation is entitled to make a reasonable profit on its operations. Note that this so-called bottom line is fifth in order of priority of a responsible contributor to society. This simple change would do away with the claim that a corporation has to do all kinds of heinous things because the bottom line requires it. The bottom line is not money: it is contribution to society.
The resolution also suggests that Free Trade may profit a few corporations, but otherwise it is an absolute disaster and we should explore strong alternatives. Everyone from Ron Paul to Paul Krugman seems to support Free Trade, even though Free Trade has shipped a huge portion of our manufacturing jobs and even some of our service jobs overseas, and over the last 20 years we have accumulated a trade deficit of over $8 trillion, causing us to be out of jobs and out of money. The US concept of Free Trade does not protect American workers or our true financial interests. The French protect their workers, and consequently they have high wages, a 35 hour week, six weeks of vacation, and retirement at 62. The Germans pretend to support Free Trade, but in fact have all kinds of trade barriers that protect their manufacturing and enable them to be the third largest exporter on the planet. Furthermore, in the name of Free Trade we have destroyed various components of other countries’ economies, such as the dairy industry in Jamaica or the indigenous corn growers in Mexico. Through the WTO and World Bank we have required so many Third World countries to grow coffee, cocoa, cotton, and other commodities that the world prices on these items have been driven so low that no one can make any money growing them. We have seen what Free Trade has done to us and other countries. It’s time to explore a little protectionism.
These reforms would eliminate the excesses of unbridled capitalism and give us a steady and productive economy. But first we need to take the corruption out of politics. After we pass our Constitutional Amendment, we can pass a law that says only individuals can make political contributions, up to $2500. All else is bribery. So much for Obama’s $38,500 a plate fund raising dinners!
I am not a designated spokesperson for Occupy Bend, nor has this statement been offered for approval by the General Assembly. It is just this one Occupier’s view. But perhaps by collecting and synthesizing all our many views, we can see more clearly what we need to do to dig ourselves out of this corrupt mess.