Free Markets or Corporate Socialism
Who are these so-called “free market libertarians” who are feeding the Tea Party members and other Americans ideas that our country needs less government interference. Actually, the definition of a free market is ‘no government interference’. This is what Charles and David Koch want, and based on frequent op-eds in The StarPress, our Ball State economists also push for the same. By the way, as we’ve noted on Muncie Voice, the Koch’s pay the shills at Ball State to have that opinion.
We also know corporate America funnels mega-millions to influence Washington politicians through lobbying firms and a myriad of trusts to cleanse their names from the donations. If this isn’t a giant red flag to every warm-blooded American, I’m not sure there is a better sign of wrongdoing than laundering money – do you?
We are also learning more about ALEC who specifically targets politicians in states like Indiana where they own 33% of the legislative caucus.
Although ALEC’s corporate membership took a hit this past year due to the negative brand, there are still over 200 corporate members who pay dues to ALEC which goes toward influencing state policies and laws. The Center for Media and Democracy calls ALEC a “bill mill” since they produce laws which are passed around as templates for lawmakers to simply add their state and type their names – how convenient for the Hoosier Tea Party lawmakers.
With one-third of all our Hoosier lawmakers being members of a group paid for by corporate members, now you know why all our laws favor corporate interests? Voters send the politicians to Indy, but once they get there, lawmakers go to work for the Oligarchs implementing laws favoring them and/or eliminating government regulations.
How is this a “free market”? It’s not even a fair market.
Operating for 40 years, ALEC counts nearly 2,000 state legislators (almost a quarter of all state lawmakers) and their private sector groups include members such as Altria, AT&T, ExxonMobil, Google, Pfizer and UPS. Nearly all these companies are publicly held and owned by shareholders. Charles and David Koch own their companies privately, so any legislation benefiting their companies are reaped by them directly.
Yet, these Oligarchs advocate for a “free market” without government influence – almost laughable. If anything, it would seem they are incapable of running a business without corporate welfare or government help – either taking the form of politicians colluding with their interests and/or money from taxpayers.
If we go to Investopedia for help, it says the following about free markets:
In simple terms, a free market is a summary term for an array of exchanges that take place in society. Each exchange is a voluntary agreement between two parties who trade in the form of goods and services. In reality, this is the extent to which a free market exists since there will always be government intervention in the form of taxes, price controls and restrictions that prevent new competitors from entering a market. Just like supply side economics, free market is a term used to describe a political or ideological viewpoint on policy and is not a field within economics.
However, they ALL claim to “promote free markets” – even their paid economists and academic shills who write editorials supporting and promoting a ‘free market’ solution to our economic problems.
Ask the Tea Partiers and they also promote a free market solution – end government entitlements. Yet, a “free market” means NO GOVERNMENT INFLUENCE which isn’t possible – it doesn’t exist – it’s simply an ideological belief.
Not only that, it’s NOT what they’re saying. They want to cut social programs, public unions, welfare for the poor, unemployment compensation, affordable health insurance, etc.. They want government to stop helping Americans, but they still want the government working to support the Oligarchs.
How convenient…just because you believe in Santa Claus, doesn’t make him real.
Therefore, the obvious question is why don’t they just spend all their time and energy on creating solid financially solvent businesses? If these guys are the best and the brightest business strategists, why do they need so much welfare, or corporate socialism? Why spend mega-millions rigging the system to their favor?
In reality, they have been the most expensive entitled class over the past forty years.
Oligarchs Are Dependent Upon Welfare
None of them are advocating for free markets – they are specifically advocating for policies that protect and benefit their corporate interests at the expense of the environment/consumer/voter/taxpayer/homeowner/citizen. At the same time, they want to do away with each subsidy because it breeds dependence and is a form of socialism. They should know, right?
Meanwhile (as our attention is focused on the poor and public unions), they want corporate socialism to continue because “it’s okay, it doesn’t breed dependence. Again, just because your mom and dad told you gifts came down the chimney with care, doesn’t mean it’s reality.
Let’s be honest, what they really want is all the benefits of socialism without giving up their ownership rights while they advocate (with a straight face) for eliminating individual assistance programs (entitlements like SSI and Medicare). This is why they fight so hard and spend so much money-getting their message across. This is why they bought up all the newspapers and broadcasting companies. They need to control the discussion so you won’t stop and say, “Wait a minute, let’s sit down and discuss this…we’re starting to get this gut feeling that we’re getting doubly screwed in this deal.”
They don’t want you to question them at all…they want you to believe this narrative: “We’ll get rid of this government causing your taxes to be so high and freedoms to vanish, and then your life will be grand. So help us fight against entitlements which are bankrupting the American way. Capitalism has worked for 200 years, the only thing failing us are Big Spending democrats and the liberal media protects them.”
Sound familiar. The problem is, just like Santa Claus, the fairy tale is wonderful to believe in, but it isn’t true.
Classic Example of Corporate Socialism
Let’s run through a quick, somewhat familiar example, like a Big Mac from McDonald’s.
Any idea how much government invests (socialism) in the production of a Big Mac so we can consume it for around $1.00?
Big Food Processors and Big Meat needs loads of government subsidies (farm bill) and they cannot afford annoying government regulations which protect consumers from salmonella and other food borne diseases (ALEC, lobbying, Farm bill, Right to Farm, EPA, USDA, FDA). Big Ag needs huge government subsidies, yet limited government regulation to mass produce grain and meat cheaply (free to spray poisonous chemicals on plants) so they can sell to Big Food Processors for next to nothing (Farm Bill, lobbying, Right to Farm, USDA). Big Energy also needs subsidies and be able to use cheap sources of fuel even if it means contaminating our air and water, since Big Ag and Big Food consume massive amounts of energy to produce the meat which goes into the Big Mac patties.
Does any of this meet the definition of a “free market”?
All of the corporate entities behind the production of a Big Mac are receiving billions in annual taxpayer subsidies and loose regulations (corporate welfare) so they can produce a cheap piece of substance for around $1.00, which enables the Oligarchs to pay CEO’s top salaries and return a profit to their shareholders – which are not taxpayers, even though we give more than shareholders.
McDonald’s other big expense is labor, so they spend millions of dollars with ALEC, US Chamber of Commerce, and other lobbying organizations to persuade members of congress to keep minimum wages low. As a result, many of their employees qualify for federal and state welfare programs – more corporate subsidies paid for by us taxpayers. Does this sound like a free market?
What other costs do taxpayers pay for from this Big Mac analysis. How about our health?
Eating a highly processed concoction of meat, crushed bone, high fructose corn syrup and pink slime which has loads of salt and fried in grease causing all kinds of diseases in the human body, requiring pharmaceuticals or more costly medical procedures, can get rather expensive. So, if we added up all those costs to society – definitely not free.
Listen to the narratives coming from Ball State’s economics department, Gov. Pence, and our state media sources over the coming weeks. What are they communicating to the consumer/taxpayer? Who needs tax breaks? Who is the center of the discussion? Whose lives are they trying to improve? Who are they saying is dependent upon government? Do they even mention all the millions spent in Indiana to make sure corporate socialism remains in tact? Will the media or academic free market hacks even mention ALEC or how they interfere with government policy?
Over the past four decades, all the wealth in this country has shifted to one-tenth of one percent of our population under this so-called push for a ‘free market’ via trickle-down economics. Yes, the rich are getting richer, and the taxpayers are getting the bill, but we are also getting poorer.
We’ve been told that progressives want socialism for all. If you listen to the corporate owned media, progressives want to hurt the rich (job creators, innovators, investors) by increasing their taxes which will cause job loss. They’ve spun the narrative to make Americans despise the idea of socialism, but our Oligarchs have benefited from socialism for over 40 years, while people must live under the rule of capitalism.
How About Fair Market Solutions
If society wants to continue operating under capitalism, then we need to remove the layers of deep corporate welfare and subsidies which skew markets and causes them to act improperly. We need our politicians to quit working for the Oligarchs to rig the game in their favor while sending us the bill. We need the “real cost of a Big Mac” to be reflected in its price. If suddenly the price goes up and is comparable to healthier options, then good for society. If people start eating healthier because it costs the same as drive thru processed substance, so be it. Bye bye McDonald’s – hello fast, fresh food options. We won’t lose jobs – they’ll simply shift over to the new corporate entity serving lite turkey wraps.
What progressives are really asking for is the elimination of corporate subsidies and welfare (socialism) so the markets will be fair and not rigged to advantage one industry over another, or give one business preferential treatment over another business. Let the market work the way it’s supposed to so we can make informed decisions as consumers/citizens/voters/taxpayers. This should be an obvious solution to reach as a society – if Americans are told the truth, we believe they will favor fair markets because it’s the right thing to do.