September 29, 2008
-- by Dave Johnson
And: any new bailout package must address the ROOTS of this problem. It is time to prohibit corporations from using money for anything except operating the company. Or more correctly, prohibit the executives from using corporate resources for anything except operating the company. This includes all forms of political influence including influencing public debate -- no lobbying "philanthropy," charities, etc. This means trade associations will have to be constituted differently.
Posted by Dave Johnson at September 29, 2008 2:41 PM
That damn First Amendment is ruining our economy!!!
Makes sense to me.
How, exactly, is the First Amendment relevant to corporations? Elevating non-sentient beings to our level in the eyes of the law is the problem not the solution.
The US Supreme Court has held that campaign contributions are a form of first amendment rights and so we have the best politicians that money can buy. But we do have some controls that need to be used over the next 2-3 days. Call, email, fax, contact your elected reps and tell them: The core concept proposed by Bush is flawed. Call some hearings and ask some economists. Google Sweden 1992 banking crisis. They had good success promptly steering their financial institutions back to safety. Learn the lessons, write it for the Democratic base, and own it. The “compromise” tweeking that was done to the Bush proposal resulted in a toothless and weak 100 page bill that tried to bury and hide its weakness from the voters. Rather than condescendingly claiming that the American people didn’t understand (Cf, McSame of Obama at first debate), or that the leadership didn’t explain it well enough, the reality is that public outrage finally made the Republicans blink, to borrow from Palin. If they vote in favor of bailing out the bad actors, they lose votes from constituents in five weeks at the next election. That is their only moral hazard. The bill that failed would not have prevented one of the 10K daily foreclosures, could have been filibustered until Bush spent all $700B, would only have made some parachutes non-tax-deductible, merely required a report “suggesting” how the taxpayer will be paid back, and allowed the same bunch of lobbyists to set prices for their trash that the taxpayers would pay. As a final insult, instead of providing more confidence through transparency, the failed bill would allow Paulson to suspend the mark-to-market rule. This is intellectual dishonesty that will further erode confidence in our banking system. Do a better job on all these issues and allow bankruptcy judges to implement the rewriting of loans, or face the wrath of the voters. I think many voters would accept a temporary governmental equity position in the banking sector as long as the bad guys aren’t seen as maintaining their ability to subvert the programs and continue to rip off the system. Don’t pull another FISA cave.
The first amendment protects the freedom to assemble (corporations).
It also protects the right to 'petition the government for a redress of grievances' (lobbying).
Does that clear it up?
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