Losers Magazine (tm) Article No. 10 (10/6/95) by Carl E. Person

Politics, Big Business, Big Government, Big Media - It's All Part of One Big Economic Package

To understand why losers are economic losers in this nation's economy you should look to see who the winners are.

Persons who are successful in politics are winners, being able to live off the public with substantial perks, including high salaries (more than they could ordinarily earn elsewhere); lavish living (where everyone else is anxious to pick up the tax); expe nse accounts and slush funds without much accountability except by other politicians similarly situated; extraordinary power over people, business, and the economy; massive, continuing publicity and public exposure; persons of any desired sexual persuasio n; free hospitalization; liberal retirement programs even though they are voted out of office; inside tips to make investment of ill-gotten gains a sure thing; the ability to put persons into what euphemistically called jobs but are really high-paying pos itions in which the lack of qualifications may be the only objective qualification.

Politicians, as we see them above, grab money to maintain their political posts from big business in a variety of way, including Political Action Committee grants, contributions from the officers, directors and large shareholders of the businesses; and ev en from the taxpayer, through matching funds. Big business, in return, obtains perhaps $10,000 in return for every dollar spent. Something which the country should focus on when deciding whether the public or big business should fund election campaigns. A $10,000 campaign contribution can and does buy a vote to give a tax break worth $100,000,000 to a single big business or group of them, at a stratospheric rate of return of 10,000 to 1. Thus, the country's tax base and tax revenue is turned over to bi g business in a variety of ways by the legislators who receive just enough to enable them to retain their office and continue diverting funds to their benefactors.

The elected politicians have to build a base of persons under them who can be expected to assist the elected officials in a variety of political ways, and the best way to do that is to create government jobs for such persons, who quite frequently are unab le to gain or retain meaningful employment in the private sector. These non-elected government officials are the heads of the massive bureaucracy which enables big big to prosper and prevents small business from being competitive, because small business cannot afford to play the administrative game. For example, what small business can afford to put $100,000,000 into compliance with the bureaucratic demands of the agency which oversees the release of new drugs in the United States. Is it not possible t hat $1,000,000 would suffice instead of $100,000,000? It's only a question, and the answer might be somewhere between the two amounts.

The public doesn't seek big government. Instead, it is put there by elected officials who seek power by commandeering a significant part of the economy upon which a power base of bureaucracy can be built, which adds to the power of a small group of Repre sentatives and Senators who are responsible for such agency and obtain campaign contributions from members of the regulated industry; agency operations create employment in some, many or all states, adding to the political clout of many of the Representat ives and Senators from such states; and the agency administrators are able to appoint friends and allies to high-paying agency jobs, with all the perks which taxpayers themselves usually cannot afford.

Yes, there is a tremendous incentive for politicians to spend the public's money, and very little incentive for an honest politician to try to change things. Of course, there is always hope, and one of my best ideas for change would be to cut the elected politicians (and even the appointed agency managers) in on a portion of the economic benefits obtained if such benefits are carefully defined. For example, if the heads of the Securities and Exchange Commission were to be given profits, I would like to have such profits be based on the amount of the nation's savings which wind up as successfully invested in small business (defined appropriately, to mean businesses having 1 to perhaps 25 employees and no more than $250,000 in gross assets, or something l ike that), to ensure that truly small business is favored by such industrial policy designed to motivate politicians into doing the right thing. I would give lawmakers an override on the compensation earned by the agency officials. This is the kind of thi nking we need to deal with the problem of big business domination and deterioration of the United States government and economy.

Then, we have the major media. How do they share in the spoils? Obviously, they are dependent on the advertising of big business to sustain operations and provide profits, and if a newspaper or television network started exposing the wrongdoings of big b usiness, or threatened to upset the existing cozy arrangements which are threatening the U.S. economy, hundreds of millions of dollars or more in advertising would be lost, and the billions or hundreds of millions of dollars in market value of a specific media would undergo substantial loss. We really can't expect this to happen voluntarily. Reporters find out soon after leaving journalism school (which is financed by big business in many respects) that freedom of the press is not something enjoyed by t he reporters or editors; instead, it is a freedom enjoyed by the persons who control the network or newspaper to keep the truth from being published whenever they feel it is desirable to do so.

Thus, we have one intricate combination of business, financial and political interests which dominate the economy for themselves, and not for the rest of the United States, which has resulted in the rich getting richer, while the rich move their jobs out of the United States and make others in this country poorer, including the ongoing destruction of the middle class.

Understanding what is going on is the first step towards correcting the problem. In fact, if the problems are defined accurately enough, I believe, the solution becomes self evident, and it becomes obvious what needs to be done.

Copyright © 1995 by Carl E. Person. Permission is given for non-commercial users to send a copy of the data processing file for this work by electronic means to a specific individual for his or her own use, and then only if the entire file is sent, including this copyright notice, but no permission is given for anyone to copy or transmit this file for or to any person for public viewing or downloading. It is intended by the author of this work that the work shall be made available in electronic fo rm only through LawMall (tm).