One clear reason the right wing think tanks that have been at the root of the right wing 's success in politics have received so much money from wealthy businessmen is these think tanks have envisioned national policies that will make megacorporations megabucks. The Here are 17 "what ifs " that are very doable.
By Rob Kall
Today, I was reviewing the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) document that describes the Bush pre-emptive war policy, published in 2000, even before Bush was president. The document, titled REBUILDING AMERICA 'S DEFENSES; Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century, has the following credits; DONALD KAGAN, GARY SCHMITT, Project Co-Chairmen and THOMAS DONNELLY Principal Author
I'd done some research on Kagan and Schmitt but I hadn't checked out Donnelly. So I Googled him. His little writing exercise for PNAC certainly paid off. He went from being executive director for PNAC to... are your ready for this? ... Director, strategic communications and initiatives, Lockheed Martin Corporation, 2002. Now, would you like to guess how many billions his strategic plan has made for Lockheed? Nice payoff.
One clear reason the right wing think tanks that have been at the root of the right wing 's success in politics have received so much money from wealthy businessmen is these think tanks have envisioned national policies that will make megacorporations megabucks.
Sadly, I must face the fact that corporations drive this nation's policy. Being very pragmatic, I wonder if it might be possible to how we can draft some policies that would reward corporations for peaceful pursuits, for healing the planet, for supporting humane treatment for all. On Christmas day, I 've put together a realistic wish list of what-ifs that could make lovely giftsto humanit that would brighten future Christmases, Kwanzas and Chanukahs.
What if we could create a collection, a vision of policies that encourage and reward corporations for doing good?.
What if we established regulations (as opposed to de-regulation) that encouraged, with higher profits and lower taxes, employers to treat their employees better?
What if we sought an energy self reliance program that took away profits from oil sales and that gave extra profits for renewable energies, for US job creation and for ecological responsibility?
What if we put taxes on products produced by slave or lowest-cost-human labor, whether made in the US or abroad? This might even finesse the cheap labor policies of the WTO and NAFTA.
What if we taxed corporations extra heavily for weapons production and sales, and gave them tax breaks for business operations that strengthened democracy and freedom, and ecological balance?
What if we set up a reward system for pharmaceutical and health care companies that gave them more profits based on the number of people they helped, rather than by squeezing the most money out of the system. The current system allows the US government to provide millions in research funding and then the corporations can predatorially sell the products these funds help to develop to American citizens at inflated prices while discounting them to other countries?
What if health insurers could only make money by keeping people healthy for the long run, rather than making their money by teaming with pharmaceutical companies and hospitals for quick fix, short term, illness treatment rather than wellness maintaining policies?
What if automobile manufacturers were required to operate in an economic environment that rewarded them for making safer, more ecologically friendly, energy efficient vehicles, rather that the obscene situation we have now, where they are encouraged to build bigger and more energy wasteful vehicles? A few weeks ago, a family in my congregation lost their ten year old son when an SUV driven by a 17 year old hit their high mileage, gas efficient small sedan. If they were driving an SUV, he might have survived. SUVs should be taxed, not only for being gas guzzlers but also for being more dangerous to people who take ecological responsibility by driving smaller, more gas efficient cars.
What if we created laws for imprisoning criminals who do things who hurt others-- like corporate heads who pollute or build dangerous products, or waste precious resources, or export high paying jobs from the US via internet and telephone outsourcing?
What if we could let millions of prisoners out of jail who didn't hurt anyone but themselves by smoking pot or using drugs? We need to deal with drug abuse, but jailing drug users is the wrong answer. Let's create an industry that helps drug users, rather than an industry of privately run prisons that incarcerate them?
What if companies that make their money building weapons and war planes and missiles were given opportunities to make even bigger profits designing and building more affordable public transportation and space exploration technologies and even renewable energy technologies?
What if we rewarded retailers who stayed small, who did not turn into giant megacorporate chains, putting local stores out of business? What if we rewarded small businesses and gave them tax and licensing and zoning advantages over the "Terminator" megacorporations? We would have to revoke the right of corporate personhood that was fraudulently perpetrated on this country by railroad barons in the late 19th century. And while we're getting rid of corporate personhood we could deal with creating a corporate death penalty for companies that repeatedly hurt humans and the communities they operate in.
What if we rewarded big, mega-chain retailers for supporting and maintaining the survival of small stores, perhaps even partnering with them?
What if we re-invented the school systems so kids, instead of being made to sit passively and learn from lecturing teachers, were taught by engagement in work, in projects that they would be guided to CHOOSE, so they'd be motivated to work MORE than they had to, because they wanted to, needed to? We might find that schools and education, instead of costing billions of dollars and putting pressure on budgets, might actually contribute to the economy.
What if our leaders were empowered and regulated by legislation that rewarded them for withstanding the entreaties of special interests and rewarded them for providing legislation and leadership that empowered and protected the people of the nation rather than the corporations and special interest groups?
What if these "what-ifs" were seen by businesses as real opportunities to be both corporately responsible and profitable, and they contributed to progressive PACs and think tanks that worked on developing policies and strategies that supported these visions?
What if progressive leaders chose which corporations and businesses were, based on the nation's interest, based on humanity's interest, worth supporting, rewarding and encouraging to grow, rather than the current criteria used by the Bush Administration?
What if corporations asked what they could do for their country rather than what their country (or, as is more often the case nowadays, their former country, since they set up international tax haven offices) could do for them?
What if we started thinking when these "what-ifs" can happen and how we can make them happen instead of what if?
Rob Kall firstname.lastname@example.org is editor/founder of OpEdNews.com, president of Futurehealth, Inc. and organizer of the Futurehealth Winter Brain, Optimal Functioning and StoryCon Meeting. This article is copyright Rob Kall and originally published by opednews.com but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog or web media so long as this credit paragraph is attached.