Question: Why was America the slowest, and most reluctant of the planet’s most advanced nations to ground their potentially dangerous fleet of Boeing Max 8's? Answer: Because last year alone Boeing spent 15 million dollars and hired more than a dozen firms to lobby the government, to the point where the FAA now serves Boeing’s interests before it serves ours.
This is how our country operates now in situation after situation: the powers of our government are used to advocate for corporate profits more than for the people or planet on which we live.
And that is morally wrong.
The FAA seeking first to protect Boeing was not an isolated incident, but rather an example of how a corporatocracy operates. It is not just the FAA playing footsies with Boeing. The Department of Defense (DOD) acts at the bidding of the top five Defense Contractors, who hire one quarter of departing DOD employees every year. And of course the FDA shills for opioid-pushing pharmaceutical companies like Purdue, when these companies pay 45% of the FDA’s budget.
What are we to call this? There’s only one word for it, and that’s corruption. The nefarious influence of unlimited corporate money allowed to flood our political system has created a system of “dark money” that literally imperils the safety of our food, the safety of our environment, the safety of our health care, and even the safety of our skies.
Government “of the people by the people and for the people” has become a “government of, by, and for” the major corporate conglomerates whose money and influence dominate Washington.
And they do not just dominate Washington, I’m afraid. They dominate too often state legislatures and Governor’s mansions as well — cutting educational funding, compromising safety standards for workers, lowering food and environmental standards, even seeking to suppress the votes of people who might rise up against this. All of this for the sake of an outdated, obsolete and increasingly dangerous economic ideology that turned America into a veiled aristocratic system, in which we steal from the many in order to bolster the profits of a very few.
We cannot function as both a corporatocracy and a democracy at the same time; we must choose between the two. Let’s become a generation of Americans who saw our country get way too close to the cliff, and then pulled it back. In fact, let’s get out of the vicinity of the cliff altogether. Let’s return the power of the United States government to the hands of, and placed at the service of, we the people to whom it belongs.
As citizens, we must rise up. We must not allow ourselves to be in denial about any of this, or distract ourselves from our responsibility as citizens to put our country back on track.
This is our moment. We can change this. Let’s make it happen...
PS: Please remember that we must achieve 65,000 unique donations of even $1 to make it to the national debate stage in June. To those of you who have been spreading the word and increasing your donations, I am deeply grateful. If you haven't yet donated, I hope you will consider sending at least $1 now.