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A Modest Proposal to Create a Business for Corporate Parasite Bounty Hunters and Whistle Blowers

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From Polluters' Gain, Citizens' Pain
Polluters' Gain, Citizens' Pain
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We know that corporations often make profits because they parasitize the commons-- stealing assets, like clear water, clear air, uncompensated or treated worker injuries, use of educated workers or use of roads that far exceeds the average human's use.

If those corporations paid for those abuses-- paid to the commons-- then we might not have the budget problems we have and we might have a lot less problems with the environment or workers or other ways that corporate parasitization exploits our commons.

Corporations might even find that some of their business was no longer profitable, or they'd come up with ways that did not expose them to the costs of compensating the commons.

So here's my proposal. Make it a viable business to find and report cases of corporate parasitization of the commons. Set a law that makes it illegal to parasitize the commons. Don't provide specifics, like adding X amount of toxic sludge to a creek. Simply make it a law that there is zero tolerance for any exploitation of the commons. And then, offer bounty hunters rewards for exposing parasitization abuses. Of course this will include whistleblowers-- people who are inside the corporations who have an opportunity to see wrong. The rewards for exposing corporate parasites should be large enough so a person can blow the whistle without worrying about losing his or her job.

Of course, corporations will fight every charge at first, with an army of lawyers. But, if the laws are well written, without gaping loopholes, it should be possible to make legitimate accusations hold.

I envision a business where environmentalists, using the law, can not only stop companies from polluting, but also fund their organizations' activities for years to come. Whistleblowers will be able to stop execs from exploiting the commons. Ideally, the law will make it a crime to knowingly continue to exploit the commons once it has been made clear, by various means, that the action or policy is indeed commons exploitation.

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My guess is that companies and individuals in the US exploit the commons to the tune of at least a trillion dollars a year, probably more. Some will be wealthy and some will simply be lazy or just not care that they are dumping poison into the environment, or poaching electricity, or simply littering.

If bounty hunters and whistleblowers report just ten percent of the abuses each year, the government will get $100 billion or more, and I propose that the bounty hunters get 10% of the fine.

Of course, once the abuse is identified, the corporations will have to pay fines annually until they come up with alternative approaches. That will bring in additional revenues to local, state and federal governments. I'd love to see this applied to fracking. And I'd like to see extra fines and jail terms for companies and executives that lie about what they are doing.

I can imagine some of the more red, conservative states refusing to participate. But the law should include federal penalties as well, with states and localities sharing in the benefits if they share in the policing and prosecution of corporate parasites in their areas.

I imagine that companies and the US Chamber of Commerce will howl bloody murder, saying that this will cost jobs. On the contrary, it will create jobs for bounty hunters, lawyers, inspectors, people who follow up to see if compliance orders are being met. And if some companies go out of business, so be it. We have too many corporate parasites and the world will be better off either curing them of their parasitic behaviors or ending them by putting them out of business.

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As with most legislation, this would probably be set to apply at first, and with tougher rules, for bigger corporations, say with more than 50 or 100 employees. But ultimately, even company and individual should be accountable for what they take from the commons.


Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also (more...)

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If you want to pass such a law, you'd better stop ... by Samson on Sunday, Jun 1, 2014 at 3:31:28 AM
We should also be talking about the corporate veil... by Jack Flanders on Sunday, Jun 1, 2014 at 7:19:41 AM
One more suggestion - this is a crazy idea, but I'... by Jack Flanders on Sunday, Jun 1, 2014 at 8:50:01 AM
Bounty hunters could be used for this too. ... by Rob Kall on Sunday, Jun 1, 2014 at 10:13:17 AM
Jack, One of the better ideas I've heard! Seriousl... by Daniel Geery on Sunday, Jun 1, 2014 at 12:17:03 PM
My, Oh my, Rob! What a great idea! I concur! ... by Paul from Potomac on Sunday, Jun 1, 2014 at 10:23:05 AM
Stop Taxing of the Commons, for the Primary Bene... by Hugh Campbell on Sunday, Jun 1, 2014 at 11:00:44 AM
....aren't the "regulatory costs borne by the comm... by Jill Herendeen on Monday, Jun 2, 2014 at 12:36:56 PM
Readers might be interested in my six-part series ... by Gary Brumback on Sunday, Jun 1, 2014 at 12:01:48 PM
Gary,Give us your "elevator speech". Pitch the se... by Richmond Shreve on Sunday, Jun 1, 2014 at 3:33:20 PM
Rich, my friend, I really appreciate your comment,... by Gary Brumback on Sunday, Jun 1, 2014 at 9:18:52 PM
Great idea, and it could begin on a statewide leve... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, Jun 1, 2014 at 1:02:06 PM
An interestiing, related comment from another site... by Robert S. Becker on Sunday, Jun 1, 2014 at 2:31:52 PM
Yes, punishment must be punitive for violators. An... by Deborah Cochran on Sunday, Jun 1, 2014 at 3:46:07 PM
HA! They should be forced to live in & drink thei... by Jill Herendeen on Monday, Jun 2, 2014 at 12:38:51 PM
Yes, and that, too. ... by Deborah Cochran on Monday, Jun 2, 2014 at 12:56:59 PM
New Jersey had a law that encouraged activism like... by Richmond Shreve on Sunday, Jun 1, 2014 at 4:15:33 PM
Excellent idea! To start, whistleblowers could be ... by Simon Leigh on Sunday, Jun 1, 2014 at 4:48:11 PM
Should all of what is proposed come to pass, the c... by Doc McCoy on Sunday, Jun 1, 2014 at 11:31:45 PM
Perhaps, but why would this be a problem? Do you w... by Simon Leigh on Monday, Jun 2, 2014 at 5:41:36 AM
There will always be "car thieves" in the area, no... by Doc McCoy on Monday, Jun 2, 2014 at 6:23:11 AM
No, crime is open to control with the right set of... by Robert S. Becker on Monday, Jun 2, 2014 at 9:49:14 AM
Rhetoric always runs wild Robert when new things a... by Doc McCoy on Monday, Jun 2, 2014 at 11:19:17 AM
Realistic? The way I see it you want to talk about... by Rob Kall on Monday, Jun 2, 2014 at 10:04:24 AM
Not a fool required any products sold in the Unite... by Rob Kall on Monday, Jun 2, 2014 at 10:01:08 AM
It is a desirable market for now, but it is a stre... by Doc McCoy on Monday, Jun 2, 2014 at 11:05:16 AM
If the extremists continue to be influential - the... by Robert S. Becker on Monday, Jun 2, 2014 at 11:33:30 AM
I'll leave it to others to find compromises. We d... by Rob Kall on Monday, Jun 2, 2014 at 12:39:09 PM
The Congress has given corporations their blessing... by Lance Ciepiela on Monday, Jun 2, 2014 at 12:01:31 PM
Yes, that, too. ... by Deborah Cochran on Monday, Jun 2, 2014 at 12:55:57 PM
It's a nice idea, BUT, since around 2% of the peop... by Jill Herendeen on Monday, Jun 2, 2014 at 1:06:48 PM
What makes this possible is the the growing tenden... by John Reed on Monday, Jun 2, 2014 at 3:58:36 PM
Great ideas but what congress is going to pass the... by Hosea McAdoo on Friday, Jun 27, 2014 at 10:23:14 AM