Sunday, March 2, 2008

Plutocracy

Plutocracy is defined as a government controlled by the rich.

The people of this country are being viewed more and more like a commodity to be exploited rather than free citizens. As with any commodity the more you can control the market the easier it is to guarantee profits, you do not want massive swings in corporate cash flow.

So as Americans go broke from government supported outsourcing of the labor market, the criminal lending practices of the banking industry and the crushing medical cost associated with health care and insurance; the corporate/government complex must stabilize cash flow and guarantee their income levels regardless of cost to the citizens.

It is an unfortunate truth that our duly “elected” representatives are nothing more than figureheads for the corporate elite who own them. Through direct contributions, soft money, employment of family members and outright bribes corporations are able to influence politicians to pass laws that guarantee profits and create new revenue sources, supported by mandatory participation, at the people’s expense.

Let’s take a look at a few examples of plutocracy in action.

Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005

With the housing collapse on the horizon and fearing the next great depression the loan industry has been lobbying since the late nineties to reduce the publics ability to declare bankruptcy and gain debt relief. Finally in April 2005 the credit and finance companies got their wish as Congress and President Bush passed the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005.

Finance and credit companies contributed more than $8.2 million in individual and PAC contributions during the 2004 election cycle, 64 percent to Republicans. Credit card giant MBNA's employees and PAC contributed more than $1.5 million, including $354,000 to President Bush's reelection campaign. The company spent $5.2 million on federal lobbying in 2003.
This industry designed piece of legislation basically stripped American’s of the ability to declare bankruptcy. The vast majority of bankruptcies are from medically incurred debt. It instead forces people into industry manipulated repayment plans meant to protect corporate profit over family stability.

Not only did the Act decrease protection for the American family it spawned an entire industry based around consumer credit counseling, now mandatory under the new law, and raised attorney and filing fees. It also greatly limited the publics ability to exempt their homes from the foreclosure process.

The Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005 was written by the banking industry to maximize their profits at the expense of the American people. The credit and financial institutions next big push will be for tax refund seizure of people who owe them money, turning the IRS into a collection agency for corporate elite.

Mandatory Auto Insurance


The last period of runaway inflation we experienced was in the 1970’s. As the cost of day to day items skyrocketed people cut what they considered unnecessary expenses from their monthly budget. One of the sacrificed items was car insurance, it did not feed you or warm you or keep a roof over your head, and it was expendable.

The insurance industry did not like this drop in revenue and started a campaign on the state level to force every American motorist to purchase insurance. Participation is mandatory and enforced with fines, automobile confiscation and imprisonment. The auto insurance industry told us it was our personal responsibility to have their product and with mandatory participation it would lower rates (unrealized) but the reality was a windfall for the insurance companies and an undue burden for the American citizen.

You will hear these exact same arguments next year when the health insurance industry starts its national push for mandatory participation. Strangely enough also occurring at the onset of a large recessionary period when people are having to decided between health insurance and food..

In Colorado the law states that if you are stopped twice without auto insurance it is a mandatory two year jail sentence. Your economic situation does not matter, you will be jailed unless you pay the insurance corporations. These are guaranteed profits for the insurance industry with no social benefits for the public at large.

There was a couple that lived above me for a while. He would get drunk and beat his wife, the first two times he only got ticketed the third time he punched her while she was holding their newborn infant, the judge really let him have it with that one. He was sentenced to monitored house arrest for two weeks. She had to move out. But at least he had his auto insurance.

Homeland Security Legislation

Pick any piece of security related legislation passed since the attacks of September 11, 2001 and you will find a bloated love gift for the newly founded security industrial complex. Billions and billions of dollars have flowed into this highly profitable industry without any value being added to the American society or our economy. As a matter of fact the freedoms this country was founded on are being sold off for the sake of corporate profits.

These laws are sold to the citizens as reform, as safety but in reality it is plutocratic government at its zenith. Laws of this nature are designed by corporations to maximize and guarantee profits for the elite at the expense of American citizens…this is not a free market economy. If participation in the market is mandatory it is not a free market.

Laws should be constructed around two simple questions:

What does this law take from the American Citizen and society as a whole?

What does this law give the American Citizen and society as a whole?

To reclaim this government the citizens must come first. You would be hard pressed to point to any piece of legislation passed in the last twenty years that was not a corporate handout. This must stop.

12 comments:

Michael Hawkins said...

This is exactly how the government will turn into an incorporated body.

You can either cut your ties with society, get rid of all debt and secure your own provisions (noted: you will still need medical care) Or you can try to amas wealth.

Driving the price of a college education up, cutting scholarships to keep the poor poor is the next logical step, preventing them from seeking fortune abroad.

Oldman in the Boonies said...

Ultimately THEY have the guns and will kill you if you do not comply. It is that simple. Carry your car insurance example to its logical conclution. " WE can and will take your life unless you comply with this law".

Who is John Galt?

The Urban Survivalist said...

Force all politicians (at least at the national level) to liquidate their public assets and find a way to limit their association with businessmen once they take office. Also, make it a crime for politicians to associate with lobbyists. Force the lobbyists to lobby the public. Those two things will go far to limit the corruption and corporate welfare in our government.

theotherryan said...

Government mandated pritate insurance is rediculous.

Anonymous said...

It's easy to talk about how unfair it is to require people to have liability insurance on their automobiles and that it’s nothing but a chance for Big Insurance Companies to try to squeeze more profits out of “the little guy". I used to feel the same way. Then I got rear ended by a guy who had no job, no insurance, but somehow still managed to have the money and time to ride around all day playing his music as loud as he could, right up until he rear-ended me. Once you've been left holding the bag financially because of someone else's irresponsibility, you tend to change your views on what is and is not fair. I tend to be very libertarian in my views, but you also have to remember that if you're going to be self-reliant, that means being financially responsible for your actions. It does not mean driving around and if you have an accident having the attitude that it’s “the other guy's problem if he gets hit and I don't have any insurance”. So while you're complaining about mandatory automobile insurance laws, I'm curious how you'd feel if it turns out the guy who rear-ended you a few days ago turned out to have no insurance and you had to pay the cost out of your own pocket, even if it's "just" the $250 deductible I had to pay. Actually, this has happened to me twice. So far, I'm out a total of $500 for two idiots who didn't think they needed to have insurance, but would scream long and loud about "their absolute right to drive". To hear them talk, they both can't work if they don't drive, but neither one seemed to have a job. Sorry if I'm rambling a bit, but I'm just trying to point out that most stories do have two sides, and I've also discovered that a lot of people with sob stories, if you dig deep enough, oftentimes brought part if not most of it on themselves. I'm sure with you this isn't the case, but every person I've ever met personally who said it was wrong to require automobile liability insurance, that it was somehow unfair, was really nothing more than a chronic deadbeat just looking for one more red-herring excuse why he or she should not be responsible for his or her own actions or pay his or her bills.

BigBear said...

dear 4:41

So what you are telling me is $500 is your price for liberty. You want liberty as long as it does not cost you anything. That is weak.

I am a true Libertarian and quite frankly $500 a year to secure myself from over reaching government involvement is a cheap price to pay.

I have been rear ended by uninsured drivers before it cost me several hundred dollars and guess what, I am ok with that as long as the government stays the hell out of my life. By the way the woman who ran into me lost her 3 daughters to the government who claimed child endangerment. That is what I am against!

Freedom from government/corporate involvement is what matters to me. I don't put a price on my liberty.

BigBear said...

If you are driving around in a $60,000 car you need have enough insurance to cover your self. If I have a $1,000 car I should have enough insurance to cover my car. That is personal responsibility. I should not be held responsible for your stupidity in buying a $60,000 car it is your responsibility.

You take a risk by driving. You should cover your vehicle. Laws can be written that do this but insurance companies then could not change you for uninsured motorist insurance.

This is where this type of law leads this county. The government passes a law that says you must have a cell phone to report terrorist activity or call emergency services. This is passed as personal responsibility issue but in reality it is just a guarantee that the phone companies will make money off you. They can charge you what they want and you have no choice.

Government should defend country build roads and stay the hell out of my life.

BigBear said...

As a Libertarian I am not even sure about building the roads. If the government mandates you pay something it is a tax.

The Other Mike S. said...

Anon: When I was younger, I my car was totaled by a woman without insurance, and I only had the minimum (no uninsured motorist coverage). My options were to either suck it up, or sue her in small claims court, get a judgment and attach her wages and any assets. In my case, it would have been more costly (in my time) to follow up rather than just eat the loss and move on. It was my personal choice.

I don't want the government telling me or anyone else how to live their lives. If you screw up, you need to be held responsible. THAT's where we've screwed up. Look what's coming down the line on this sub prime crap: The greedy banks, greedy borrowers and greedy investors are all going to be let off the hook, and we're all going to pay. It seems like we get to share the pain, but not share the wealth.

Alpine Acres said...

Touchy subject for sure! I was in 2 car accidents and both times I was a passenger! Both accidents were on March 1st and while I laid in the hospital for various back and leg issues that I do not discuss, the drivers that caused the accidents were uninsured, on welfare and/or disability. I recovered, cut my losses and survived it just fine. The vehicle I was in covered my medical and loss of time expenses plus a little for me but on March 1st of ANY year, I'm home!

Should insurance be mandatory?

NOT IN MY BOOK!

And this is from someone who pays $24.00 per month for full coverage plus towing, ETC.

fallout11 said...

I agree with the majority opinion here, you make your own choice, and take your chances/responsibility accordingly. If you feel you need to be insured, insure yourself. If you do not, it is not within the authority of the government, as outlined in the Constitution, to force you to pay extortion to a private entity.

However, there is a real-world problem with this premise. Insurance should cover the insured, not other parties (as is presently the case, i.e. I hit you, my insurance pays, not yours, and vice versa). In the present insurance scam system, if an uninsured motorist hits you and you are severely injured, your own insurance company will either not pay, or pay and raise your premiums, or pay and cancel you outright. In any event, you are punished for the actions of others.

Likewise, you cannot get blood from a turnip, good luck seeking retribution and/or 'justice' from some indigent irresponsible unemployable moron. Been there, done that. Instead, moron cripples you for life, and the best you can hope for is that if he/she ever managed to get and stay gainfully employed at the local burgerrama, you might get some of their wages. Maybe.
*Sigh*
What the hell happened to personal responsibility?

Don Birkholz said...

On this mandatory auto insurance debate, there are three web sites of interest. The first site shows 44% of the respondents said they could not pay rent or buy food due to auto insurance http://www.autoreform.org/090998mar.pdf

I have a site that shows 12 of 96 food stamp applicants in Billings, MT said auto insurance was a reason for needing food stamps http://www.foodstampstudy.com

The third site lists insurance industry opposition to these laws http://www.centspermilenow.org/715oppos.htm