Or, as was common in the 19th century, should they be dissolved by the state and have their assets sold to other corporations that will behave in a way that is not toxic to democracy or the community?
The American Democracy Experiment is unique in human history, and it deserves a fighting chance to prosper. It is prudent, however, to recognize that this form of governance is NOT a democracy in the sense that many people on the 'left' tend to want it to be. Nor is it a republican governance system in the manner that many people on the extreme right think it ought to be. In the summation of our new AI system: "As of 20 Jun 2023, the United States is a constitutional and federal republic, according to the Constitution of the United States. 0 A republic is a form of government where the people delegate their responsibility to elected representatives in government to make decisions, while a democracy is a form of government where every person has a voice. 1 The Constitution creates the form of government we have in the United States, which is a constitutional and federal republic. 0 While it is common for people, including American politicians, to refer to the US as a "democracy," this is shorthand for the representational republic that exists, not for a pure democracy."
American voters who have taken their treasured system of governance for granted while they have enjoyed the last 80 years of peace and prosperity have re-elected their corporate-owned elective representatives with a near 90% repetition (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congressional_stagnation_in_the_United_States).
Mr. Hartman's research is impeccable, and timely; Congress, composed of our elected representatives in the House and the Senate, has the ability and the fortress-like ability to write important legislation that precludes a challenge by a stacked court system. When our elected representative do not insert a judicial exclusion clause it is 'de facto' a backdoor trojan horse (https://www.techtarget.com/searchsecurity/definition/Trojan-horse) that their corporate supporters may have suggested in the face of lacking enough floor votes to prevent the passage of legislation that specific corporations or the Chamber of Commerce want to have a longer opportunity to limit or eliminate over time, and out of the public spotlight, with expensive court challenges that the public can't fund well.
The American Democracy-that-is-really-a-representative-Republican experiment with a balancing lever of the Electoral College to weigh the will of a massive number of urban voters against the will of the more sparsely populated rural states can, and should survive, with corporations and dangerously rich people NOT being allowed to control the Commons with deceptive advertising-media ownership, voter restrictive districts and an almost unlimited ability to lobby and pressure all our elected people to do their bidding.
Power corrupts all people (https://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Topical.show/RTD/cgg/ID/5095/Power-Corrupts.htm) unless each elected individual has limited time in office to create an invisible network of corporate contributions, or unless each elected person has an ethical basis and a personal fortune to withstand intense pressure. As individual American voters, the post-Baby-Boomer generation ought to think about being more pragmatic and more involved in lowering the re-election data. What if our state and federal elected officials knew that their constituency was going to send them home after 1-2 terms regardless? WHAT IF THE PERCENT OF VOTERS, BE THEY FROM THE LEFT OR THE RIGHT SYSTEMATICALLY STOPPED VOTING FOR ALL INCUMBENT POLITICIANS.
What IF voters used the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale called The Emperor's Clothes (https://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/68/fairy-tales-and-other-traditional-stories/5637/the-emperors-new-clothes/) and DEMANDED that all critical legislation include a Judicial Exclusion "“SEC. 267. JUDICIAL REVIEW. No determination, finding, action, or omission under this title shall be subject to judicial review.” as cited by Mr. Hartman. The absence of this should be an automatic legislative message that our children's children will be unable to trust this legislation.
Mr. Hartman Citations:
Congress has the sole power to overrule Supreme Court decisions, and even the power — which they asserted in the recent bill to raise the debt ceiling — to exempt laws from judicial review, the power of the Court to strike things down based on their bizarre interpretations of the Constitution.
Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution is unambiguous, asserting that Congress is the first among equals, as I laid out at length on December 29th in an article titled Gorsuch Knows “Three Co-Equal Branches” Is a Myth. That clause of the Constitution says:
“[T]he supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.”
And Congress, in the legislation to lift the debt ceiling that was signed into law by Joe Biden the first week of this month, reached back to that section of the Constitution, asserting their power to do something called “court-stripping”:
“SEC. 267. JUDICIAL REVIEW. No determination, finding, action, or omission under this title shall be subject to judicial review.”
Judicial review, of course, is the practice the Supreme Court itself legalized in 1803 in the Marbury v Madison case wherein it strikes down or even re-writes laws passed by Congress and signed by the president.
That judicial review power exists nowhere in the Contitution: the Supreme Court gave it to itself in Marbury, a decision then-President Jefferson raged against and both Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln openly ignored.
Justice Roberts himself — back when he was a lawyer working for Ronald Reagan trying to find ways to overturn Roe v Wade and Brown v Board — wrote extensively about how the Reagan administration and Republicans in Congress could pass legislation overturning both decisions and then simply insert court-stripping language like that above to prevent it from being overturned. (This is treated extensively in my book The Hidden History of the Supreme Court and the Betrayal of America.)
A nation where two powerful corporations can overwhelm the will of 1.3 million citizens (the population of Maine) can hardly call itself a democratic republic: instead, it’s the very definition of a corrupt oligarchy.
Every day one can read a story (stories?) about how one or more big businesses uses its market power to cross the line from the purported amorality of capital to outright immorality and often enough criminality. Unions have been neutered as a countervailing force, and the federal government has neutered itself. All of Adam Smith's worst predictions have come true. I can only wonder whose worst predictions will be next.
Without a maximum wage or taxing the rich 90%, it is impossible to have a self-sustaining and "CIVILIZED" nation. Letting the rich or corporations have any influence is detrimental to "WE THE PEOPLE"! Limits on campaign contributions and no lobbyists is needed to keep any Nation from becoming a corrupt oligarchy. America, in my opinion, now has the corrupt oligarchy criminals in charge of the department of Justice and all other branches of government. It is not going to end well. Americans were taught unlimited greed or capitalism was good in schools, they were groomed by the right wingers to be fleeced.
RE: "Back in 2022, I suggested that our federal government should spend about one-third of the cost of the Trump Tax Cuts to buy the three largest oil companies in this country. They could then be run for the public interest, prevented from continuing to fund climate change denial, and end their support of toxic Republican politicians."
Thanks for bringing this to everyone's attention. Any corporation that is putting profits before citizens is abusing citizens and/or nature and should be stopped.
As you have pointed out elsewhere, the Federal government has taken over corporations to minimize national abuse of citizens/workers. But eventually, government control has ended and corporations return to profit over all. We need new laws that will prevent a return to abusive policies for the sake of maximizing profit.
We must pass laws to promote employee-owned businesses and allow employees to take over abusive large corporations, https://www.democracyatwork.info/. Employee-owned businesses won’t send their jobs to other countries. Businesses owned by employees won’t pollute their communities. Employee-owned businesses will manage work schedules to minimize unemployment. But most importantly, employee-owned businesses won’t create (empower and protect) oligarchs to buy our government.
To enable employee coops and end corporate abuse of employees, citizens, suppliers and customers, government must initiate action and pass supportive laws. This gvernment action action has considerable historical basis, https://hartmannreport.com/p/where-is-the-accountability-for-the. The government should buy controlling interest in abusive corporations, like diirty energy profiteers, and alter corporate goals to reduce corporate/profit based abuse. After this corporate reorganization is completed, the government would turn over their controlling shares to the non-management employees of the re-born corporation.
By giving employees control of the corporation, they will decide democratically how their profit will be used minimize corporate abuse.
[First of all, please, do not keep asking me to go look for an email to sign in again (twice now) This means I cannot step away and then come back to commenting. And, the beginning of my commenting has disappeared.]
Thank you Thom Hartmann for this beautifully reasoned argument for changing greed driven corporations into corporations that truly serve the people they are meant to SERVE. This kind of transition could bode well for our nation, and transform our way of demonstrating what the USA could show the world as a "Capitolist" country. We could finally create a democratic and socialist country in the way of European countries that eliminates our embarrassing imbalance and concomitant suffering.
I'm grateful every time I make the time to read your offerings.
My public utility does everything Thom mentioned and then some. They make great paying jobs available, and they TRAIN people for them. This involves PAID training. It's a win/win to keep all that money in your local economy.
As for the corporate tyranny we are living under, I lived under it directly. I was not given a raise the last three years of my employment, because of an overpaid CEO's desire for acquisition. Every year they told us how lucky you were to get insurance, and they changed it every year. That's a recipe for insanity if you are dealing with an on-going illness for yourself or a family member. They made it abundantly clear they didn't value you. These younger people have figured out corporate loyalty goes one-way. Force a gig-economy and that's what happens. THEY get it!
So now that the new generations have figured this out personally, it's easy for them to understand what is happening politically. My favorite line of White's dissent is “The State need not permit its own creation to consume it."
They should sit down, shut-up, or we should make them go-away.
Mr. Hartmann needs to run for office. His knowledge, research ability and common sense are needed.
Check out the ESG rulemaking at sec - a fascinating collection of comments from the broad landscape of lobbies and interest groups, attorneys general, Kochs.... all of whom showed up for what us usually a mundane industry affair - rulemaking for mutual funds.
A key issue that's addressed by certain esg indices or ratings could be whether companies make "misaligned" political donations that don't support esg policies. This was not in proposed sec rules but it could be added. Here is a potential way to address citizens United concerns other than just talking about it.
All media coverage has been lacking iand poor, especially lefty media coverage, which is almost universally lacking and poor on covering financial industry and related power brokers. In just one aspect of this, it's a potential way to address topics like citizens united, and environmental degradation.
Forget about whatever you hear commentators say about it - like so many other things there's a right wing campaign to completely discredit anything that could impact corporate power or corporate profits - the thing to remember is that whatever E.S.G. rules have existed, they could be improved and effectively we as citizens can help write the rules - we could all go to the SEC right now and comment and tell them what the rules should be for companies. Millennials are demanding to have esg policies and reporting., so if meaningful rules might tell you that they are really doing some thing good but it's more than that it's data ..... It's data collection and the ability to assess things that have an impact on climate change and other factors, and a way yo measure that data.
so please don't rush to judgment on this issue. It is a significant way in which people who want to do something about citizens united, but can't control the Supreme Court, may actually have some ability to contribute as citizens and investors.
Maine should look at Nebraska. The entire state is served by public power districts. https://www.nebraskacityutilities.com/general/public-power-in-nebraska/