Growing up in a political family, Tessa joined her first political party at 14. Her interest in progressive politics & economics continues.
How Business Has Too Much Power for the Common Good
When I was at school in the 50s and 60s, we were taught that business played a beneficial role in the community. They produced goods, distributed them, provided jobs and income for everybody, and this made for a stable, happy society.
What was forgotten was that, in those days, a mixed economy (socialism and capitalism) was the dominant economic system in the first world. This meant that the State ran social welfare programs, provided an excellent education either freely or at a nominal cost, and subsidized many services like public transport, communication (telephones), and energy (electricity).
Business owners earned 30 or 40 times what the person at the bottom of the company was earning, and there was a strong growing middle class.
Universally, there were high taxes (up to 90%) for the mega-rich.
"A mixed economy is variously defined as an economic system blending elements of a market economy with elements of a planned economy, free markets with state interventionism, or private enterprise with public enterprise. While there is no single definition of a mixed economy, one definition is about a mixture of markets with state interventionism, referring specifically to a capitalist market economy with strong regulatory oversight and extensive interventions into markets." Source.
Reagan and Thatcher Sell Off the Family Silver
And then along came Reagan and Thatcher.
Together, in the 80s, they sold off the nation’s goods to private enterprise. The meme of the day was that business did a far better job than government did. It was thought that business kept a more careful eye on costs and therefore these services (energy, public transport, medical care, communications) would service the common good better than government could.
In addition, Unions were crushed and seen as a dirty word. Why would ordinary, working people want to earn more than they did? (Perhaps because business owners were earning 20 times more than they were.)
"Following the Tories' third election victory, they were sufficiently confident to roll out their most aggressive privatisation programme yet. British Steel, British Petroleum, Rolls Royce, British Airways, water and electricity were among the major utilities for sale. These privatisations provoked serious opposition, perhaps sufficient to curb any tendency toward privatisation in the NHS. Nonetheless, market-driven measures continued to be imposed in the public sector, from the "internal market" in the health service to Major's ill-fated citizen's charter." Source.
"There is no denying that the state today is bigger and more potent than ever before. It just happens to look very different – a consequence of it being privatized, marketized and generally reconfigured along decidedly businesslike lines. In short, Reagan didn’t, and couldn’t, kill the nanny state. But he did replace our old familiar nanny with a commercial upstart – a nanny corporation, as it were." Source.
The Yuppy Love Fest
In the 80s, the love fest with money was born. There was a joke going round about a yuppy in New York driving in his Ferrari with his arm out of the window. A truck comes along and takes off his arm. The yuppie’s response? “My Rolex! My Rolex!”
There was also a book out at the time (I’ve forgotten the title) that explained to CEOs how they could push up their salaries to that equivalent to the mega-rich, the owners, and the shareholders. So from earning an appropriate recompense for their efforts, in the decades since, CEOs now take home multi-millions. This never used to be so.
In 1965, the average CEO earned 20 times more than the worker at the bottom of the scale. Today, the average CEO earns 168 times more than the worker at the bottom of the scale. It’s not unusual for some CEOs to earn between 300 and 500 times more than the person at the bottom of the business hierarchy.
In order for corporations to reward their executives at this rate, several actions had to be implemented. Salaries and wages had to be lowered substantially and the price of goods had to rise substantially.
None of this is good for the employee.
Business Influences Government
Increasingly, business has bought politicians. The Bilderberg organisation needs to be destroyed. Its purpose is to influence government to support business, and it has been amazingly successful at this.
Politicians and we-the-people have bought into the lie that the more business flourishes, the more there will be for everybody.
That really depends on whether business is beneficent or not. Clearly, it’s not. Its purpose is ruthless – to make profits regardless of who or what is destroyed in the process.
Milton Friedman, the economist, was in no small way responsible for this unethical change of direction. He famously said in 1970 “The business of business is business.” By that he meant that the only responsibility of business was to produce a profit. He was convinced that the only thing that was keeping society from prosperity for everybody was government. He was the original Neo-Liberal.
Lobbying in the United States is nothing more that State Capture. To quote wiki “State capture is a type of systemic political corruption in which private interests significantly influence a state's decision-making processes to their own advantage.”
Donald Trump is the ultimate success of neo-liberalism. He is now implementing the final stages for business to rule the world.
"Friedman introduced the theory in a 1970 essay for The New York Times titled "A Friedman Doctrine: The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase Its Profits". In it, he argued that a company has no social responsibility to the public or society; its only responsibility is to its shareholders. He justified this view by considering to whom a company and its executives are beholden: the shareholders." Source.
Government Legislation Favours Big Business
In my opinion, the outcome of the tremendous influence of business on public policy is that there are fewer and fewer services for the general public. In the United Kingdom, the once highly-efficient public train system has become excessively expensive and unsafe under moguls like Richard Branson. Postal services in remote regions have been closed down because they are not ‘profitable.’ Government was never meant to be profitable. It was meant to use the taxes of the people for the good of the people.
In the United States, life is a dog-eat-dog battle for survival. Tax money is used by the state to wage war on nations which have resources that American business wants. In the meantime, education, medical services, postal services, public transport, or any of the facilities that flourished in the 50s and 60s, have been diminished to a point of no-return.
"According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011 Current Population Report, 46.2 million Americans are considered impoverished – 15 percent of the country’s population. Approximately 16.4 million American children – 22 percent of the population younger than 18 – live in poverty. The rate for people 65 and older is 8.7 percent." Source.
One of Maggie Thatcher’s famous cuts was to close homes for the mentally ill. They now live on the streets.
All of this has been done in order to lower taxes for the rich. The rich simply didn’t want to pay the 50% to 90% of their profits. So they claimed that if they didn’t have to pay that money for profits, then they would invest in further business, provide more and more better paid jobs, and this would be a far better solution than ‘the welfare state.’ Business uses lobbyists to 'influence' politicians to write laws that benefit business. Needless to say what benefits business does not benefit workers. In the rest of hte world, the term for lobbying is state capture, and it is illegal.
"It's been a long-accepted truth in Washington that lobbyists write the actual laws, but that raises two questions: Why does it happen so much, and is it a bad thing?" Source.
In America, war veterans live on the streets while medical services for those who served their country (in the pursuit of profit for American companies) are cut.
Effects of Business Propaganda
It has reached a point where it has become socially unacceptable to attack business despite the fact that it is destroying the earth in pursuit of profit. Business is destroying humanity as well as the 150 and 200 species which are going extinct every day as a result.
Consumerism is the result of brainwashing. Another word for brainwashing is advertising. Despite what people are told – that advertising provides a service by informing people of what is available, this is not true.
"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, and our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of…. It is they who pull the wires that control the public mind." Source.
Any form of communication which is repeated over and over again, is training the brain to accept it as truth. To quote Edward Bernays, ““Men (people) are rarely aware of the real reasons which motivate their actions.”
In order for business to increase profits every year, people have to buy more and more ‘stuff.’ I know a man who used to build barns for people. He gave it up because he felt he was enabling consumerism. The barns were used to store excess stuff.
Business Has Power Over Government
For the past thirty or forty years, government has legislated in favour of business rather than we-the-people. It has specifically legislated in favour of big business leaving small business to rot.
That said, even small business is guilty of wage slavery.
In the United States, business influences the academic syllabus. This is horrific in terms of what students are taught and the way students are taught. The brainwashing and indoctrination is complete.
Unless Government is returned to its status as a representative of we-the-people rather than a representative of business, the world will be polluted to a point where life can no longer survive.
Sources of information.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2017 Tessa Schlesinger