Down with evil corporations!!!


The problem isn’t corporations per se, it’s the lack of regulation. Lots of those shares of stock are owned by 401(k)’s and public pension plans.

Of course if you want to do something about regulation you need to go to Washington DC, not Wall Street.

(graphic stolen from TrogloPundit)


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About Myiq2xu™

Being an asshole is all part of my manly essence.
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60 Responses to Down with evil corporations!!!

  1. So someone sent the protestors to Siberia, and they haven’t noticed.

  2. yttik says:

    “The problem isn’t corporations per se, it’s the lack of regulation.”

    It may be even more complicated than that. For example, taxes and tax deductions are a form of regulation. Just a few years ago we had a tax structure that “regulated” businesses into buying the biggest gas hogging vehicles they could find. We regulated people into buying Hummers.

    I don’t think things are as black and white as “more regulations” versus “less regulations.” I’m a dinky little business and I have to jump through so many hoops and regulations and tax structures I have a head ache, but not one of them has a darned thing to do with wall street or protecting people.

    Also, there are quite a few regulations on corporations. What they do if they feel hindered by any of them is either go over seas, or buy themselves a US congresscritter and get a waiver. Guess who is left behind and forced to comply with all these regulations everybody wanted? Me.

    We really need to be careful advocating for more regulations. I’ve watched it strengthen corporations while running the little guy out of business. The unintended consequence is that the wealthy get wealthier, corporations become more powerful, and the rest of us get poorer. You have to be very specific about what “more regulations” means.

    • elliesmom says:

      I also have a problem with the government using taxes to do social engineering. Taxes should be collected to pay for services that only the government (local, state, or federal) can provide. When we start taxing products or behaviors to either promote them or suppress them, we open the door for businesses to jockey for preferential treatment for their goods or services.

    • crawdad says:

      Between the extremes of “get rid of all corporations” and “laissez faire” capitalism is a regulated free market.

      What kind of regulation and how much is a huge topic outside my field of expertise.

      • WMCB says:

        Both Big Government and Big Corporations are a threat to liberty. And both have a valid, useful function that we don’t want to get rid of.

        The nexus where they meet has TWO aspects, not one. One aspect is the money – the lobbying and campaign contributions. Lefties are mostly familiar with and watchful of that one. The second aspect of that nexus is the area of regulations. Conservatives tend to be aware of that part of the nexus and critical of it, whereas lefties seem to deem it a blanket good.

        In order to bribe, one party has to have something to sell. The threat of unfavorable regulations, or exceptions to the same, or regulations written to advance or punish this or that business or industry, is what the govt has to sell. We need to pay attention to curbing and keeping transparent and sane both aspects of the govt/corporate nexus.

        If you remove the ability of the govt to endlessly regulate, and restrict them to clear, equal, enforceable rules that apply to ALL businesses, then you take away their favor-dispensing machine that they are being handsomely paid for.

    • imustprotest says:

      Yes, because the opposite side of that coin is: don’t regulate businesses because they are the “job creators” and they’ll take their jobs overseas! Our labor force, even the “right to work” type of wages can’t compete with people in 3rd world countries that make $1 a day in sweatshops. We’ll never be able to compete with that…..unless we become a 3rd world country ourselves.

      • 1539days says:

        But assuming that’s the case, how would we rectify that? Do we impose tariffs or block importation of products? Do we force manufacturers back into the US?

        • r u reddy says:

          We rectify it by canceling NAFTA, withdrawing from the World Trade Organization, and repealing Most Favored Nation Status for China. We have “free-er” trade with countries who have the same or higher wage levels, environmental protections, etc. as we have (or had), so
          that the competition between them and us is strictly on efficiency, quality, etc. The more below our standards a country is, the more we restrict trade with it so as to prevent companies from working the differential labor and standards costs between Haiti and us, China and us, Mexico and us, etc.

          Many years ago I read in a paper I get called Acres USA about how
          Colin Clark, the economics adviser to one of the major recent popes (and shame on me for forgetting which one) suggested something called “equity of trade”. If any company wanted to ship something from a lower wage-lower standard area into America, that comopany would have to pay our government a tarriff equal to the difference in the price that comopany charged for its product and what our American-made equivalent would cost. That money would NOT be kept by our Government for general government use. That money would be put in a special fund for use by the country from which the tarriffed prudct came. That use would be strictly limited to using that specially held tarriff money to buy American goods with. That would forcibly put an end to the differential standards arbitrage racket by cancelling out the differential price based on the differential standards.
          It would also force equal trade between the exporting country and America. (I couldn’t find anything about Colin Clark and “equity of trade
          anywhere on the internet). Also, this comment looks so clumsy because the ugly icons prevent me from seeing what I am typing.

        • 1539days says:

          What’s the time frame for that? First, we have to back out of the WTO. In that case, we start losing contracts for our goods to other countries. Caterpillar and Boeing, for example, have billions in Chinese contracts.

          Assuming we can shift some of our manufacturing to the US, people will find that any TV, iPad laptop or computer will now cost over $1,000 minimum. The consumer electronic stores may have to close, giving Wal-Mart the market share. Then again, Wal-Mart will have to deal with empty shelves from the lack of Chinese products.

          China’s response will be to stop investing in the US or buying our debt. True, China does not own that much in American bonds, but the loss of a $1 trillion customer will force up the interest rate at least temporarily. Every 1% increase in treasuries translates to $150 billion more in interest per year. That’s about 8% of the budget we actually pay for with tax revenue.

          I’m not saying China has us over a barrel, but this is going to be a slow, complicated process. It took over 20 years for American industry to be moved out of America.

        • r u reddy says:

          That’s a good question, 1539days. I don’t have a good time frame answer. Perhaps I am just being wistful. When Colin Clark wrote down
          his “equity of trade” ideas, they could have been applied as painless prevention. Now we would face a searingly painful 20 year period of cure. But if we don’t begin the cure process soon, Forced Free Trade
          will exterminate the American economy all the way back down to its bare resource-extraction roots.

          Perhaps because the NAFTA problem is most discretely contained within the NorthWest Quadrisphere, NAFTA would be easiest to abolish or withdraw from first. Since Canada exists at or above our level, we might have a bilateral trade agreement without threatening
          either America or Canada. America would be free to stop its industry from working the wages and conditions arbitrage racket between Mexico and America by shutting down all the maquiladoras making “for” America what America used to make for itself in America itself. meanwhile, Mexico would be free to exclude subsidized MidWest
          corn from the Mexican food market and Mexican corngrowing mini-farmers would be able to make a living selling Mexican corn into the Mexican market again. Several million now-dormant Mexican peasant farms might become viable peasant farming enterprises again, and some of the millions of the economic refugees and exiles driven out of Mexico into the United States might be able to go back to Mexico once they had a viable rural economy and society to go back to again.

          If we could make that work, then we could address the China MFN problem.

      • WMCB says:

        We could if we based our corporate tax structure on employment here. Pay zero if you hire 100% here, start scaling up the more overseas employees that you have.

        It’s not perfect, but it would level that playing field a fuckload more than it is now.

        • imustprotest says:

          Yes I agree. We also as consumers could/should begin to speak up and ask for American Made Products….and refuse to buy stuff that’s made in sweat shops. Sadly, we needed to do that years ago when we still had some things still made here! Now, it’s almost impossible to find American Made products.

        • 1539days says:

          You can’t buy any electronics that aren’t made in China. The best you can get are things assembled in the US from Chinese components. Most textiles are made overseas. Out of season food items are imported.

          ABC news did a story like this a few months ago, seeing if people could live on Made in the USA products. It involves a considerable lifestyle change. Besides, your job likely involves foreign partners in some way.

        • DandyTiger says:

          There are plenty of places outside of China where you can get all the components you need. In fact as China moves towards a larger middle class, they’re starting to outsource. So China isn’t the problem. Just outsourcing in general is an issue we need to grapple with.

    • Three Wickets says:

      I think in the financial sector, we definitely need rule changes and stronger enforcement in areas like derivatives trading. The Commodities and Futures Trading Commission has become so captive to the markets, it’s probably run today by traders more than by government. Derivatives trading was at the heart of the mortgage securitization bubble, and everyone paid the price for that. Dodd-Frank so far has done little if anything to reign in excessive speculation in these instruments and markets. Whether it’s gas prices, food prices, bursting bubbles, underwater homes, thieving traders, dying banks, currency volatility, global defaults, we are all affected by it. We’ve just gone thru Enron x100 or x1000 with the 2008 financial collapse…hard to imagine allowing derivatives trading to continue without reform. We forget, but many sovereign investors in Europe and even China also bought tons of the crap bundled securities that these traders were peddling, and the housing collapse continues to impact economies around the world. Much goodwill has been lost on all sides.

    • Karma says:

      Honk!!

      From another dinky business owner.

  3. HELENK says:

    off topic
    MYIQ2XU
    I know you are a Raider fan. I am sorry for the loss
    Death of Al Davis

    http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/sports/pro/football&sa=NFL&eid=7074380

  4. WMCB says:

    The problem isn’t corporations per se, it’s the lack of regulation.

    I’d modify that further. It’s not the lack of regulation per se, it’s the unchecked growth of bullshit regulations that in effect become a system of govt favor-dispensing to be lobbied for, combined with a total lack of clear, simple, commonsense laws that would prevent abuses, or lack of enforcement of those we do have.

    I don’t buy the “more regulation is good, less regulation is bad” paradigm, or vice versa. American businesses are clogged to the gills and stifled by tons of ever-expanding, ridiculous regulations that do nothing but expand the buyable influence of politicians, and set up an environment that leads to a more corrupt system, not a less corrupt one. Companies will buy favor so long as the govt has favor to dispense. If the way to succeed is to suck up to the liege lord who holds your success or failure in his little grubby apparatchik paws, then you will spend millions courting that favor. It is inevitable.

    This is the piece of the puzzle that teapartiers DO see, and the left mostly wants to ignore.

    OTOH, we NEED good, solid, equally-enforced regs to prevent abuses. No, banks should not be allowed to function as speculative gamblers with depositor money. Bring back Glass Steagall. No, the ponzi scheme called CDS’s should never have been allowed to occur. AIG was functioning as an unregulated insurance company – promising “insurance” for losses they did not and never did have the capital to cover. That’s insurance fraud. The accounting fraud and cooked books that occurred in almost all the major banks should have been prosecuted. Etc.

    This is the part that the Left “gets”, and a few conservatives do as well.

    We need to move beyond yelling “More regulation! No, less regulation!” at each other, because as tempting as it is to boil it down to that kind of simplicity, it isn’t. That simple.

    • Dario says:

      Honk! Most regulations, including taxation laws, have been set up at the request and to benefit the corporation being regulated. Good regulations are short and do not prefer one corporation over another.

    • ralphb says:

      Regulations are bad, unless they are not? I don’t necessarily disagree but I see no focus on a workable solution. What is needed is perp walks and lots of them for those who took advantage of deregulation to crater the economy. Barring perp walks all that’s left is the Swedish solution to the crash and it’s too late for that this time. We’ve already taken the Japan approach too far. Though it looks like there may be a chance to take the Swedish approach when Bank of America goes under again.

      Bring back, Glass-Steagall? No one in power is proposing to do that unless I’ve missed it. And if that happened, they would turn around and deregulate again at the first opportunity when enough legislators were bought.

      As long as we have a First Amendment (which I would like to keep) and a Supreme Court which keeps affirming that Money = Speech, I see no way around rampant corruption. It would appear that what is required is legislation which would take personhood away from corporations. And that would have to get by a SC challenge.

      • WMCB says:

        Supreme Court which keeps affirming that Money = Speech

        If you are going to reference the Citizens United decision, pro or con, at least be honest about what it actually said. SCOTUS did not say that money = speech. Nor did they say that “ZOMG, corporations can now donate all they want to politicians!!”, a misrepresentation that I see often bandied about the internet. The caps on direct monetary donations remain in place.

        What they said was that speech is speech – whether it be done through print means, film means, radio means, whatever. The question was whether the govt can bar any association of people from engaging in political speech, without violating their 1st amendment rights. Corporations are not robots. They are an association of people. As are unions. As is the Sierra Club. As are other organizations. Also, all of our national press are corporations. The stickler was, how can one bar only certain organizations or even certain corporations, from engaging in political speech, without barring all of them – including the NY Times and CNN? The justices acknowledged in their majority opinion that they were indeed troubled by some of the implications of the ruling. But they found no constitutional support or precedent that would allow them to bar political speech for associations of persons, and most especially not to bar it for certain corporations but not others. A corporation is any association of persons joined together and recognized by the state as an entity. Planned Parenthood, MoveOn and the Green Party are as much corporations as BP is. The distinction is important.

        Also, be careful before you start advocating getting rid of “corporate personhood” altogether. Those decisions were not made to give corporations more power, but to curb abuses that existed before. It gave individuals standing in court to sue them just as they would another person.

        Prior to “corporate personhood”, if a FedEx truck ran you over, you would have to individually track down and sue every single shareholder of the company. That was the way it used to be. Corporate personhood allows regular humans to sue a company. The doctrine arose specifically to combat the abuse of the corporate form by those seeking to avoid responsibility before the courts.

        The issue is not as simple legally as many make it sound.

        • Lola-at-Large says:

          This is why you need to stop that silly too-dilettante-to-front-page dance you do with Myiq. I’ve never heard this argument about corporate personhood before, and you explain it in a way I can understand, and which changes my opinion of the status of things regarding that particular piece of the puzzle. A link or two thrown in there and you’ve got a blog post, one that persuasive enough to change minds.

        • ralphb says:

          I’m being dishonest? No I just don’t agree with your bullshit for a change. A basic shorthand for unlimited campaign contributions is money = speech. Do you see any damn quotes around that phrase.

          I’ll believe a corporation is a person right after Texas executes one.

        • WMCB says:

          Ralph, they did not rule that money = speech. They simply didn’t. They ruled that a film was speech, regardless of who paid for it. They also did not rule that unlimited campaign contributions are okay.

          I’m all for doing things to curb the influence of money on politics. I just don’t think this case was the way to do it. If perceived political advocacy in a film is not protected speech, but instead a campaign contribution, then Al Gore could have been barred from releasing An Inconvenient Truth, as I’m sure producing that film went over the limits for a contribution. The production company was a corporation, you know. I know we are all angry, but you have to think about the power of precedent in SCOTUS rulings.

          I also recognize the problems with corporate personhood. I just don’t think doing away with it altogether is something that’s wise. We may need to more narrowly define it.

          “Do away with it!” would result, if you got your wish tomorrow, in the complete inability to sue any corporation.

          I fail to see how any of this is bullshit.

        • votermom says:

          This is why you need to stop that silly too-dilettante-to-front-page dance you do with Myiq.

          HONK!

      • WMCB says:

        John McCain and a few others have advocated bringing back at least the part of Glass Steagall that walled off regular banking from investment banking. He even proposed a bill, if I recall, with Cantwell from WA. An R from NC and Marcy Kaptur have also tried, I believe.

      • Three Wickets says:

        Yes on bringing back the basic elements of Glass Steagall. A big no on the Citizens United decision. 🙂

      • Three Wickets says:

        However, I very much appreciate the clear case that you make WMCB. Just think there’s too much money in politics already, and I’ve seen first hand what corporations can do with propaganda when they become unleashed, it’s not pretty. Here’s Nick Gillespie also making the case “for” Citizens United, though not as persuasively as you. 🙂 Btw I’m not a Reason libertarian, I don’t think.

        • WMCB says:

          We need to find a way to limit the influence of ALL money in politics, not just corporate money. I take issue with unions outright buying candidates and much as I do Goldmann Sachs buying them. We need public financing of campaigns, something.

          But I’m really tired of people assuming that anyone who sees the logic and reason of SCOTUS’s ruling in Citizens United being branded as in favor of corps buying the govt. I’m not. Or saying that the ruling allowed unlimited contributions. It didn’t. It was indeed about speech. The problem arises because we live in the modern technological era, where disseminating speech to large groups and countrywide requires very expensive bullhorns.

          Saying that a particular set of corporate entities cannot buy a bullhorn to speak with, but other corporate entities can, is not a good decision.

          It’s a difficult problem. And my saying “this is not the correct solution” does not mean I don’t believe the problem exists. It does. We need a better way to solve it.

        • Three Wickets says:

          Wonder if Citizens United will make hollywood an even more aggressive center for liberal propagandizing. Kinda makes sense in that dumb hollywood way.

        • Mary says:

          I think he makes a very valuable point.

          Worrying about $$ in ads, films—–from corporations or unions or Move-On.org is not the issue.

          Worrying about $$ in LOBBYING, and buying legislators from both parties, who write laws to accomodate those lobbyists—-from Exxon, Move-on, or SEIU—-is the issue.

          Kinda like Joe Biden’s son’s lobbying firm lobbying DOE on behalf of the Brookfield Corporation for huge taxpayer $$$subsidies for their Wind Farm.

          Quid pro quo happens all the time—-on both sides of the aisle–and taxpayers never have a clue unless real journalists dig up the information.

          That’s not koolaid that you don’t drink, Ralph, as you told the TC’ers. That’s just FACTS, brushed off by people who call others ratfuckers.

          LOBBYING $$$$ is the problem.

  5. Three Wickets says:

    For anyone interested, Katie Harbath at Facebook does “outreach to GOP politicians for the 2012 elections.” You can friend or subscribe to her on FB, and you can follow her on Twitter at @katieharbath. Her Facebook counterpart for Dems is Adam Conner, also on Twitter @adamconner.

  6. Three Wickets says:

    A few active, friendly and newsworthy conservatives on facebook and twitter. There are many others of course.

    Tony Fratto
    Liz Mair (more twitter)
    Elizabeth Blackney
    Mark McKinnon
    Anne-Marie Fowler (more facebook)
    John Podhoretz
    Virginia Postrel
    Lisa Mathisen (more facebook)
    Josh Barro (more twitter)

  7. Three Wickets says:

    Progressives who don’t firehose their streams.

    Clara Jeffery (more twitter)
    Brian Beutler
    Dahlia Lithwick (more facebook)
    Matt Yglesias (more twitter)
    Eric Alterman
    Lindsay Beyerstein
    Melinda Henneberger
    Seema Kalia (more facebook)
    Ezra Klein
    Matt Stoller

  8. tommetzger says:

    Agitate and support third world labor to strike for higher wages. When they get pissed enough they will burn down the plants hopefully before the Pentagon can send troops. Presto your jobs will return. Capitalists are not that brave if you MAKE THEM AN OFFER THEY CANT REFUSE.

  9. Three Wickets says:

    Down the middle, sort of.

    Jake Tapper
    Amy Siskind (more facebook)
    Dave Weigel
    David Frum
    Patrick Gavin
    Garance Franke-Ruta (more twitter)
    Howie Kurtz
    Jackson Diehl
    Shikha Sood Dalmia (more facebook)

  10. ….”and the rape victim wore short skirts, so there…”

    • WMCB says:

      Oh, please. I think we need a Godwin’s law for rape analogies.

      • angienc says:

        Amen.

        I’m getting sick & tired of analogies using rape to compare it to anything BUT rape. It is demeaning & insensitive because guess what? No matter how much you think the big corporations, bankers, etc. are screwing you over it ain’t NOTHING compared to what a rape victim goes through. So there.

  11. DandyTiger says:

    Just a thought exercise. Since the organizers and planners have not divulged their goals or plans to their followers, it makes the OWS a Rorschach movement. Now what does that remind me of…

    • Fast Neutrino says:

      Took the words out of my mouth.

    • Mary says:

      Uh, yeah. And since we’ve all seen the video telling the plebes to quit making demands and let the “organizers” do it instead, we haven’t a clue what the “organizers” will say.

      That makes the plebes’ concerns kinda irrelevant right now.

      Myiq is right—the key is who are the “organizers?”

    • votermom says:

      A blank paper everyone can project their desires on.

      • Mary says:

        And everyone is given the illusion of thinking they’ve been heard, even if they haven’t.

        Kinda like he supported a public option all along. NOT

  12. Three Wickets says:

    Reason’s Nick Gillespie seems to be taking a bit skeptical but wait and see attitude on OWS. Good tape and good links here from him.

  13. r u reddy says:

    I just read a Naked Capitalism post so fascinating that I will cutpaste a
    paragraph out of context so people can decide if they want to go read
    the post it came from.

    Money itself is on the line. Equity capital is already in deep trouble. Peter Strachan, who runs a newsletter in Western Australia, has recently called for an alternative stock market in Australia (to the ASX and ChiX) that bans high frequency trading and CFDs and all the leverage games. Companies are sick, he says, of having price earnings ratios below 10, and dividend yields that are above 10. It may not be long before the Occupy Wall Street movement is matched by an Exit Wall Street movement instigated by big American companies.”

    • r u reddy says:

      (Defeated again by the ugly icons. Here is the link:
      http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/10/capital-is-enough.html

    • Dario says:

      I don’t believe companies will exit Wall Street in big numbers because most shareholders want the option of quick asset liquidity.

    • Three Wickets says:

      Who cares what someone in Australia thinks. Most of the money in stocks comes from people’s retirement funds managed in one form or another by either retail or institutional money managers. Actual companies do not invest in stocks that much, beyond their own. Agree however that we need reforms badly for derivatives trading in equity, fixed income, and commodity markets. The two biggest forces moving all markets these days are: 1) strong preference for cash in this risk-averse, low yield, and deleveraging private sector environment, and 2) the exposure the US economy may or may not have to the impending EU breakup.

      • r u reddy says:

        For now “who cares what someone in Australia thinks” may be the reasonable response. But sometimes big people study a small example from the strangest places. If someone in Australia actually creates a little parallel stock market, Australiam companies may or may not decide to be traded there. If they decide to be traded there, they will get good or bad results. If they get good results, bigger companies in bigger economies may study carefully the results and the process. For years “who cared” that North Dakota has had a State Bank. But now some people beyond North Dakota are beginning to study it to see if it can be applied (in altered form?) in bigger states.

        But I am just a total layman and this is pure speculation. But most of us are economics amateurs and we will have to figure out how to survive our strange future. Many of the economic professonals don’t appear to have been right in their analyses or predictions either.
        Some of them in fact appear to be intellectual authors and instigators of the economic problems we are now having.

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