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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 7/26/12

Left-Right Terminology Doesn't Work, Time for a new Paradigm

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Terminology History

The political terms 'left' and 'right' originated with the French Revolution of 1789 having to do with people sitting on the right of the King (supporters of the King) and on the left of the King (supporters of the Revolution).  Today, we have the left composed mostly of Democrats (blue) and the right composed mostly of Republicans (red).

Corporate Control

However, this political spectrum conveniently hides the fact that most of our politicians on both sides are bought by corporations. These politicians make decisions favoring corporations to the detriment of the citizens they are supposed to represent.

There may be no direct bribery, but corporations clearly get their way. As Alan Grayson noted, a lobbyist can come to a candidate and say "I have a million dollars and I can spend it for you or against you, depending on whether you support 'x'. So what's it going to be?" And usually these positions are contrary to the needs of their constituents (or the bribery would not be necessary). Sadly, studies show a very high correlation (approximately 94%) between a candidate spending the most money on a campaign and the success of that campaign. Follow the money.

Using the metaphor from the Occupy Movement, 99% of the elected members of our government respond to the desires of 1% of the population, and 1% of them respond to the needs of 99% of the population.

Money and Politics

Make no mistake, corporations are not spending huge amounts of money on political campaigns because they want to be good citizens. They spend it on campaigns because it works. They get what they pay for - their bottom line and the stockholders benefit from their "investment". Whether to spend money on a political campaign is a business decision, plain and simple.

A recent example of the "benefit" of fraud is GlaxoSmithKline being forced to pay a $3B fine. But the fraudulent marketing campaign resulted in an income of about $27B. Given that corporations are required to maximize profit for stockholders, perpetrating the fraud was clearly a good business decision. Studies show that for every $1 a company spends on bribery (or euphemistically, "lobbying"), they get return of $16.

You want to discourage this behavior? Convict the individuals making these "good business decisions" and the politicians, and put them in a real jail, not a country club. Make the fine that companies pay be greater than the profit from their fraud. But the government does not do this because the politicians running the government want to be re-elected so they promote this charade of punishment. And the mainstream media is complicit because they refuse to ask the tough questions. Instead, they distract us with the sordid details of the latest celebrity melt-down.

And the result of this class warfare (declared by the rich on the unwitting Middle Class) is the devastation of the Middle Class. The war has been going on for decades, and as billionaire Warren Buffet says, "My class is winning".

We're heading toward corporate feudalism with no Middle Class, similar to the Middle Ages, when society consisted of nobility and serfs. The Middle Class did not exist. All the progress the Middle Class has made in the last several hundred years is vanishing.

Polls show that the vast majority of people understand the corrosive effect that money has on our politics and they favor eliminating at the very least the recent disastrous Supreme Court decision. Unfortunately, the majority of the Supreme Court is deliberately ignorant of that effect, and thus a Constitutional Amendment will be required. I made a video in support of one of the organizations involved in this effort.

Left and Right Bifurcation is an Illusion

Both the left and the right wings of our political system are under corporate control - a classic definition of fascism.  And our old terminology of "left-right", just like our political system, is failing us. That old terminology perpetuates the illusion of opposites when the powerful people of both the left and right are essentially in partnership against us. As Jesse Ventura observed, politics is a lot like professional wrestling, except in wrestling, the spectators know the fight is rigged and the adversaries are really friends behind the scenes.

Reframing the Conversation

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I was a computer engineer for ~25 years, now I've changed careers and am flying. Currently I'm flying freight on Caravans. I was at SkyWest flying a CRJ as a First Officer. And previous to that I was flying as a First Officer in a Lear Jet air (more...)

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