There is, of course, another reason that companies should never be allowed to become “too big to fail.” That is political clout. The US political system is already largely an owned-and-operated subisidiary of corporate America. When companies become as large as AIG or GM or Bank of America, they also gain a disproportionate influence over the political apparatus that is an order of magnitude larger than their share of the national GDP. It’s not just that they have limitless money to donate to political campaigns. They also, by their size, are able to dispense political favors in virtually every congressional district, much as the Pentagon has been doing for the past half century, and also to threaten national havoc if they don’t get their way.
Don’t expect much in the way of scrutiny of this bailout process from the corporate media, by the way, which has been engaged in the same process of national consolidation for the past few decades. But clearly, the public needs to wake up and start demanding that if our money is going to be used to bail out these corrupt and horrifically managed enterprises, we the people need to have a controlling interest in running them, so that they are run in our interest. Better yet, we should be demanding that these bumbling colossuses be broken up into little pieces, and then left to sink or swim on their own like the rest of us.
DAVE LINDORFF is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. His latest book is “The Case for Impeachment” (St. Martin’s Press, 2006). His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net
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