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February 28, 2017

Archives:

14 Year Old Child Bride Facing Death Penalty for Murdering Husband -

Saturday, November 29, 2014

BREAKING: New Coal Disaster In West Virginia -

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

U.S. Hostage Freed by Colombia’s FARC Rebels (Video) -

Monday, October 28, 2013

Here’s Why The Zimmerman Verdict Matters -

Sunday, July 14, 2013

BREAKING! UK Government Spied On Allies At TWO G20 Summits (Video) -

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Swiss Support Tougher Asylum Legislation as Refugee Numbers Spike -

Monday, June 10, 2013

American Woman Killed in Syria Fighting for Terrorists, Syrian TV Claims (Video) -

Friday, May 31, 2013

CO2 in the Air Reached its Highest Level in Human History -

Friday, May 10, 2013

Terms of the New Abortion Bill Agreed by Irish Cabinet -

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Boston In Lockdown As Manhunt Intensifies -

Friday, April 19, 2013

2 Dead, Dozens Injured After Boston Marathon Bombing -

Monday, April 15, 2013

Fast Food Workers in New York Stage Surprise Strike -

Saturday, April 6, 2013

N. Korean Rhetoric Provokes Missile Shield Deployment -

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Eyewitness Accounts from Meiktila Massacre -

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sudan to Free All Political Prisoners -

Monday, April 1, 2013

A New Free Press In Burma Juxtaposed With Genocide: The World Will Be Watching -

Friday, March 29, 2013

Pressure Builds to End Ethnic Violence in Myanmar -

Friday, March 29, 2013

Activists Demand Action As Further Genocide Looms -

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cyprus Reaches Last-Minute Bailout Deal With EU -

Monday, March 25, 2013

Myanmar Muslims Brace for Possible Genocide -

Sunday, March 24, 2013

America’s Bargained Democracy

Alison Stanger wrote “knock on the door of the Federal Government in 2009, chances are that you will find nobody at home” in her recently published book One Nation Under Contract. The staggering scope of privatization of our government’s services and duties started by Eisenhower and accelerated with George W. Bush, has created a shadow government that in size has neverbefore been seen in the history of industrialized world.

Federal contracting of every imaginable government service, from prisons to census to tallying up our taxes-and many more-engorged the outsourcing-industrial complex in a way that now Americans have virtually next to no control over their governments’ processes.

Stanger’s research confirms that the top five U.S. contractors–Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop, General Dynamics, and Raytheon-reaped profits totaling $12.94 billion in 2005. To understand the amount of this staggering sum; she gives the example that Goldman Sachs at the height of its powers reported profits of $5.6 billion that same year.

Privatization of our national security is especially of concern with mercenary armies taking over the duties of our troops while getting paid often twice to three times more, and in return creating  a culture of resentment, distrust and an insurmountable amount of waste at the levels of billions and trillions of dollars.

Moreover, there are many revolving doors where corporations and the uber-wealthy directly or indirectly fund political candidates during their campaigning to win their political races. In turn these politicians become indebted to these organizations and/or individuals. Politicians pay their dues by pushing for fewer regulations, less taxation for the related industries or stopping laws that can keep these industries accountable for damaging our planet or practicing fraud.

Also, it has become a routine practice for high-level government officials to be hired at high-paying positions by these corporations once they are done with their government jobs. It is clear that revolving doors between government and the private sector are channels to corruption.

Of course it would not come as a surprise to most of us that these same companies are mostly the ones at the top of the donation lists of many politicians’ winning campaigns. Consequently, all of these ‘purchased’ government officials are under constant pressure from corporate lobbyists and wealthy campaign donors to do their bidding at every level of congressional decision and action.

In layman’s terms our government, and therefore our democracy is taken over by corporations, and we are now officially a corporatocracy: a corporate-government partnership that controls society. As Bruce Levine explains in his book, Get Up, Stand Up, in direct democracies people directly rule, in a coporatocracy, the candidates supported by these corporations win most of the elections, especially when the mass media is a major part of the corporatocracy. We do not have an uncontrollable big government; we have a government that is suffocating at the hands of self-serving corporations.

So what do we do to get our democracy working again and get our government back?

Several accountability and transparency initiatives are currently in workings; from 2006 FFATA –Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act- to bring transparency to government spending (initiated by then Senator Obama) to 2010 DISCLOSE Act -also known as H.R. 5175 (S.3628-Senate) – to prohibit government contractors from making expenditures relating to such elections, and to establish additional disclosure requirements with respect to spending in such elections, and for other purposes.

Of course as the people of this country, it is our job to keep our government accountable and pressure it to stay transparent in its dealings domestically and internationally. It would be a grave mistake with devastating consequences to assume government will correct itself without our impetus or support.

We are the ones needed to press for freedom of information laws, campaign reform laws, regulation and oversight. We are the ones needed to elect candidates who pledge to work for these transparency initiatives and for the American people, not for large corporations. We are the ones who must practice the due diligence of checking backgrounds of the political candidates before voting them into office and giving them the power to make decisions on our behalf.

In short, we are the ones that will take our democracy and government back from the tentacles of these extremely powerful corporations and their frenzied lobbies. Like Shaw once said “The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not react.”

Emine Dilek (194 Posts)

Publisher/Managing Editor: Progressive Press. Contributing Editor: WVoN-Women's Views on News. Columnist: Palm Beach Woman Magazine. Former executive producer and radio host: WVR -Women's Voice Radio, Human Rights/Peace Activist, Aspiring Author/ Journalist/ Poet/ Blogger. Emine also appears as a revolving guest on PNN radio show -international political analyst-, and had been a guest on Liberal Fix and Brian Hammer Jackson Show. Her articles have been published in various publications such as The Vibe UK, The New Agenda, W.E.A Women @ Work, Amazing Women Rock and ICAHK.


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