backtop


Print 60 comment(s) - last by masamasa.. on Jan 23 at 5:29 PM


  (Source: Tristar Pictures)
Lobbyist bribery goes to waste for once, as Rep. Smith is forced to "postpone" SOPA indefinitely

UPDATE: PIPA is "dead"/postponed too... details at the end of the piece.

Over the weekend U.S. President Barack Obama's (D) cabinet hinted that he might veto the pending House's "Stop Online Piracy Act" (SOPA) (H.R. 3261) and Senate's "PROTECT IP Act" (PIPA) (S.968) out of concern that the bills Orwellian takedown provisions could damage the legitimate internet economy.  

I. The Rat Returns

With the support of politically enemy-turned-friend House Oversight Chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Rep. Eric Cantor(R-Virg.) was compelled to promise to shelve any potential vote in the Republican-controlled House in terms of passing SOPA.  It was finally over -- the months of populist protest online, media criticism, and criticism from the online industry's top innovators like Google Inc. (GOOG) had paid off.  They had won.

Or so they thought.  On Monday support SOPA rose up from the dead, after Rep. Lamar Smith (R- Tex.) -- the bill's author in the House of Representatives -- said he would bring the bill to the floor for minor revisions and a February vote.  That led to the largest online protest that America has ever seen with tens of millions of Americans taking to the internet to post protest message, email their representatives, call their representatives, and sign petitions.

The bold populist outcry seemed to work.  First some Congresspeople jumped ship.  Then more did.

But even yesterday Rep. Smith -- whose office had done its fair share of copyright infringing -- was quoted as dismissing his constituents protest as a "publicity stunt" and vowing to ignore the people and bring the bill to vote.

II. Cornered, SOPA Meets Its End (For Now)

But on Friday afternoon a weay Rep. Smith took to the internet, tail tucked and admitted defeat, agreeing for the first time to shelve the bill.  The key word is he used is "postponed".  So it's fair to say SOPA is dead, but if you've ever played Resident Evil or watched South Park SOPA is a bit like Wesker or Kenny -- it may be dead -- but it will likely return next episode.

Rep. Smith ears shut
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) has finally listened after purposefully ignoring the criticism about SOPA for so long. [Image Source: Know Your Meme]

In his statement Rep. Smith writes:

The problem of online piracy is too big to ignore. American intellectual property industries provide 19 million high-paying jobs and account for more than 60 percent of U.S. exports. The theft of America’s intellectual property costs the U.S. economy more than $100 billion annually and results in the loss of thousands of American jobs.  Congress cannot stand by and do nothing while American innovators and job creators are under attack.

The online theft of American intellectual property is no different than the theft of products from a store.  It is illegal and the law should be enforced both in the store and online.

The Committee will continue work with copyright owners, Internet companies, financial institutions to develop proposals that combat online piracy and protect America’s intellectual property.  We welcome input from all organizations and individuals who have an honest difference of opinion about how best to address this widespread problem.  The Committee remains committed to finding a solution to the problem of online piracy that protects American intellectual property and innovation.

The numbers are debatable, but Rep. Smith is right on one key issue -- online piracy is an issue that needs to be addressed in some form.  Whether it should be big media finding easier ways to distribute content legally online, such as challenging Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) exclusivity contracts and bullying, which limit the number of legal distribution outlets, or the government finding a way to balance the rights of intellectual property holders with the people's right to reasonable justice, there's certainly cause to look for level-handed solutions in the public and private sector.

But at the same time Rep. Smith's statement is problematic as it couples two very different issues -- domestic piracy (sharing copyrighted works illegally via torrents, P2P, streaming, etc.) and foreign piracy.  

Foreign piracy is already a vast sea to navigate on, as it includes everything from stealing proprietary chipmaking technique from American fabs or engine part design from American fighter jets to your everyday bazaar merchant selling phony DVD copies of popular American films.  These kinds of abuses needs to be addressed, but in recent years Congress and the White House have essentially meekly bowed to China -- arguably the biggest single infringer of American goods -- afraid to speak up against it.

So when Rep. Lamar Smith talks about fighting foreign piracy, that's great but SOPA and Congress's past actions have done scant little to challenge infringer nations like China.  What they have done a whole lot to impose Orwellian takedown on the internet and punitive punishment on the American people.

III. Federal Bribery Must be Stopped

All of the piracy debate also overshadows a far greater base issue -- the allowance of blatant bribery in American federal politics.

Anti-streaming lobbyists paid an estimated 10 percent of all active U.S. Senators' combined election costs ($86M USD) and an unspecified amount (like in the high tens to low hundreds of millions of dollars) to the U.S. Congress, according to extensive research.  It's nice to see this kind of blatant bribery attempt fail for once.

But the real issue here is that if the bribery was smaller and the "bought" legislation didn't involve dramatic erosions of rights and free enterprise that SOPA did, the American people probably would have ignored it -- in fact that's what they been doing for a good couple decades now, as lobbying has grown into a flourishing mega-industry in the capital.

bribery pays
It's hard to get anything done in Washington these days without a bribe.
[Image Source: Google Images]

The end result is that while the American taxpayer and small business labor slavishly to pay their tax debt, the corporations with well-heeled lobbyists enjoy "tax holidays" and government grants.  These are kickbacks for bribes, plain as day, but politicians pretty them up with softer speak.

A recent peer-reviewed research study by the University of Kansas' business school showed that for every $1 spent bribing politicians in Washington D.C., corporate donors get an estimated $222 USD in tax exemptions and other financial kickbacks.  This bribery must be recognized and must be put to an end.  It is anti-innovation.  It is anti-freedom.  It is anti-American.

It is a huge problem that Americans must address, as they look back on their victory over SOPA and big media special interests.

UPDATED:

PIPA, written by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) (very similar to the House's Republican-written SOPA) is also dead or delayed ("postponed").  In a press release Sen. Reid echoes the words of his Republican colleague, Rep. Smith, writing:

In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday’s vote on the PROTECT I.P. Act.

There is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved. Counterfeiting and piracy cost the American economy billions of dollars and thousands of jobs each year, with the movie industry alone supporting over 2.2 million jobs. We must take action to stop these illegal practices. We live in a country where people rightfully expect to be fairly compensated for a day’s work, whether that person is a miner in the high desert of Nevada, an independent band in New York City, or a union worker on the back lots of a California movie studio.

I admire the work that Chairman Leahy has put into this bill. I encourage him to continue engaging with all stakeholders to forge a balance between protecting Americans’ intellectual property, and maintaining openness and innovation on the internet. We made good progress through the discussions we’ve held in recent days, and I am optimistic that we can reach a compromise in the coming weeks.

The only major difference between Sen. Reid's and Sen. Smith's commentary seems to be little tidbits of party-appropriate rhetoric, designed to pander to their base's sensibilities.

Sen. Reid's uses a "union" analogy, in an effort to sway Democrat voters, while Sen. Smith's focus on "foreign" threats and his vow to "work with... financial institutions" buzz words he clearly hopes will please his voters.

Sources: Lamar Smith, Harry Reid, NPR [$1 lobbyist = $222 tax breaks]



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Here here
By geddarkstorm on 1/20/2012 3:36:36 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
This bribery must be recognized and must be put to an end. It is anti-innovation. It is anti-freedom. It is anti-American.


Now we are getting to the true root of the matter! Treating symptoms goes only so far. It's time we the people exercise the power we have in a representative democracy, and begin the long road of putting an end to this blatant corruption and stealing of our representatives (whom we elect to put our interests first above all, and not to get bought out by lobbyists and corporate interests).




RE: Here here
By ConcernedConsumer on 1/20/2012 3:46:14 PM , Rating: 5
YES YES

It's sickening to know that the privileged few own and control the elected government. What ever happened to "by the people for the people"?

Lobby-ism is nothing short of another term for legalized bribery and should be ended ASAP.

It's time people stop party blinders! Wake up and vote for someone who values integrity! (if you can find one)


RE: Here here
By Shig on 1/20/2012 4:01:55 PM , Rating: 5
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._Fe...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_personhood

Those are the primary battlegrounds to start with, we need massive campaigns against them. Ironically, we're going to need someone with some dough and media influence to get them started.


RE: Here here
By Ryrod on 1/20/12, Rating: 0
RE: Here here
By phantom505 on 1/21/2012 5:49:00 PM , Rating: 1
There's other ways to do it. That decision was just a bad one and everyone knows it. What it will really take is a different SCOTUS bench and another law that has to be brought before the court again.

You don't need an amendment, but I'd back one.


RE: Here here
By polarity on 1/21/2012 8:40:36 PM , Rating: 2
Benefit Corporations may be one way to get around Citizens United (something citizens really need to get united against), although it will take considerable public support for them to replace the current corporate system. That could be done in the same form as the opposition to SOPA/PIPA, with people contacting their representatives, or by people learning about them and then choosing to keep their money in banks that invest only in this new form of corporation, and not the conventional ones.

More information can be found at http://www.bcorporation.net/

The TED talk is particularly inspiring (I'm surprised it isn't even featured on the main TED homepage, considering it's relevance to the occupy movement/SOPA).


RE: Here here
By Reclaimer77 on 1/22/2012 12:15:10 AM , Rating: 4
Now I know I've been talking to a radical. Anyone who seriously talks about breaking the First Amendment, and seriously discusses banning corporations, isn't a rational person.

In what warped mind of yours do you figure we can "eliminate" corporations and still have a viable economy capable of serving our 330+ million citizens? Are you insane.

If you have to do something THAT radical to get around Citizens United, how can you possibly convince yourself the ruling was so wrong?


RE: Here here
By dark matter on 1/22/2012 4:04:50 AM , Rating: 1
We can have any economy we like, should we chose it. In fact, we can do pretty much anything. Nothing to do with a warped mind, just breaking the status quo from what it is now. Which given the state of the global economy, is much needed anyhow.

Of course, if you think that continuing on a debt based economy, backed up by bribing politicians and tax avasion by the richest in society leaving the middle and to pick up the slack is the best approach. That's your opinion. Just don't expect most people with any scant knowledge of the situation to back you up.

I particularly find it vile your explicit slurs about other peoples opinions. With your use of loaded emotional words and casting doubt on mental capacity of the authors posts. Just as slimy and destructive as current politics in my opinion. Attack the points, not the person.


RE: Here here
By Ryrod on 1/22/12, Rating: 0
RE: Here here
By Reclaimer77 on 1/22/2012 11:24:22 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
First off, I was merely telling a previous poster about the two ways the law could be changed. How does that make me a radical?


Well I owe you an apology. It read as if you were being quite literal and not hypothetical. Regardless, I crossed a line and I'm sorry.

quote:
I already know that you don't agree with either option, but that doesn't give you the right to assume that I am advocating either when all I said was that both were options.


No I just don't agree with killing the patient to stop the cancer. And I happen to think there are far better ways.

I guess I'm just really uptight because the election is coming up. When I see other people buying into this idea that, suddenly under Obama, corporations are the root of all evil and everything that's wrong with our country and the political process.

quote:
I am not advocating a sharp turn from capitalism or a citizen's freedom of expression. All I am offering is minor tunings to the current structure to make it more in tune with the sentiment of some of the other posters.


Again I'm sorry, but I interpreted your post as being so. I believed your ideas would be a radical departure from a free market system, and that it would have far more negative consequences that haven't been fleshed out. That doesn't give me a right to insult you however.

We have to remember we live in a WORLD economy. If corporations were banned in America, how many companies would chose to pack up and move operations oversees? And think what that would do to our country and economy. I can't even begin to predict all the far ranging consequences such a thing would cause.

The thing is though, the "sentiment" on Daily Tech by other posters is usually radical Liberalism. So coming up with ideas to make their illusions a reality doesn't necessarily mean we would want to live in that world :)

quote:
I bet you are still outraged by the Twenty-First Amendment "breaking" the Eighteen Amendment.


No because I believe the Eighteenth Amendment was fundamentally flawed (so does a boatload of lawyers and experts) in that it promoted hypocrisy, destroyed the balance of power between federal and state governments, and impaired individuals rights. The last being the big one. They passed an amendment that was SO flawed because it directly contravened the most basic founding principles.

quote:
Banning corporations assumes that people have a right to form corporations. They do not.


Legally, you're wrong. Despite not being natural persons, corporations are recognized by the law to have rights and responsibilities like natural persons. I'm highly simplifying things by using this statement, of course. But "corporate person-hood" was decided back in the 1800's.

quote:
Corporations are like driving, people don't have a right to get into a car and drive, neither do people with regard to corporations.


Excuse me but, for the most part, EVERYONE has the right to earn the privilege to drive. People do have the right to get into a car and drive, provided they have met the legal terms involved in doing so. Getting a license, having insurance etc etc.

You have to be careful when you say things like something "isn't a right". If I walk into the DMV to take a driving test, and they refuse me without providing cause or for prejudicial reasons, my rights as a citizen HAVE been violated.

The ACT of driving might not be a right, but the EARNING of the privilege certainly is.

I would like you to quantify the statement that there is no "right" to form a corporation. Because, to me, this is an anti-American statement. We have the right to voluntary association, that much is certain. I can't find a single Supreme Court ruling, or legal document for that matter, that validates your assertion. Not ONE. Can you provide something tangible so that I may further understand your position?

quote:
The ruling is wrong because corporations are not equivalent to people.


Again, legally they are. Corporations have the same First Amendment rights as individuals. I don't know why you can't wrap your head around this concept. This has been upheld by the Supreme Court numerous times. Corporate person-hood is why you can sue a corporation for damages or harm, by the way. Or do you like the idea of a CEO or group of shareholders being personally sued for every action of a person or persons in the corp? Or other legal pitfalls.

quote:
Corporations on the other hand, are faceless entities that allow a small group of individuals to use laws, unequal in application, to amplify their speech in a manner that is often contrary to the will of the individuals subsidizing that message. Now you tell me, which sounds more Constitutional and democratic?


For you to be correct, the 14'th Amendment as it stands, would have to be changed or amended. Or you would have to get some 20 or so Supreme Court rulings affirming this right since the 1800's overturned. Good luck :D

I'm actually confused about which you would rather do. Banning corporations en' total, or overturning the legal interpretation of "corporate person-hood"?

Ryrod you are eloquent as well as engaging, and you're one compelling sonofabitch. I regret some of the things I've said last night. I hope you can accept my apology, because I enjoy this discussion even if I don't agree with all of it.


RE: Here here
By Ryrod on 1/23/2012 2:58:42 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Well I owe you an apology. It read as if you were being quite literal and not hypothetical. Regardless, I crossed a line and I'm sorry.


I apologize as well. When I re-read my earlier post, at certain points I seemed to get rather flippant with you and for that I apologize.

quote:
We have to remember we live in a WORLD economy. If corporations were banned in America, how many companies would chose to pack up and move operations oversees? And think what that would do to our country and economy. I can't even begin to predict all the far ranging consequences such a thing would cause.


We do need the corporate structure at this time, but I think that isn't so much an issue of necessity of the structure, as it is a need for security. People are ingrained in the idea of a corporation and I think if we gave sole proprietors and partnerships the same rules as corporations, you would see many more companies use those structures. In theory, we could eventually wean ourselves off of the corporate system if we choose to do so.

My biggest complaint about corporations is that there tends to be a lack of accountability because institutional and societal memory is so short that people often forget things. Coupled with the often short tenure of CEOs, this creates a system where CEOs feel little compulsion to act in a manner where the benefits to the company and the harm to society is equally balanced.

I know this is an extreme one, but for example, if tomorrow, Dow Chemical decided to dump all of its corporate byproducts down a depleted mine shaft as a way to save a million dollars, they would likely do so. Now let's say the chemicals seep into the ground and the nearby city's aquifer. This causes cancer in the nearby city, but doesn't manifest for 10 years. By then the CEO #1 is gone and the corporate structure is the one bearing the burden of paying for the lawsuits and the new CEO #2 is the one taking the flak for it. As such, a new face is brought in as CEO #3 to give the company a better image. Ten years later, the new face CEO #3 is gone and they bring in another CEO #4 that is more profit-oriented and he implements the same byproduct dumping in mine shafts policy as the first CEO. At that point, we are right back at square one and the corporate structure is dealing with CEO #4 that fundamentally hurts the corporation itself in the long run, but makes the corporation lots of money in the short-term to the detriment of society.

Now there are some corporations that keep their CEOs for a long period of time, like Apple and Microsoft, but those are corporations that were founded by their CEOs and are not typically the norm. Instead, there are constant shifts between CEOs and since corporations are profit driven, CEOs are focused on the short term benefits of policies and less focused on the long-term effects because that CEO will likely have gone to a new corporation by the time the long-term effects crop up. Partnerships and sole proprietorships don't have this problem, because the people who run such businesses are so intertwined with the business since they own part of the business. Any success of the business or failure of the business, either short-term or long-term, directly affects the economic interests of the owners/operators of that business under a partnership/sole proprietorship. If we could implement such an accountability system for CEOs in corporations, I would be ecstatic.

quote:
Legally, you're wrong. Despite not being natural persons, corporations are recognized by the law to have rights and responsibilities like natural persons. I'm highly simplifying things by using this statement, of course. But "corporate person-hood" was decided back in the 1800's.


I think you misunderstand my argument. I'm not saying that courts haven't recognized corporate quasi-personhood, because courts have. I'm simply pointing out that you can't ban something that isn't a right in the first place. I know it sounds like I'm arguing semantics, but it's an important point I will address in a second.

quote:
Excuse me but, for the most part, EVERYONE has the right to earn the privilege to drive. People do have the right to get into a car and drive, provided they have met the legal terms involved in doing so. Getting a license, having insurance etc etc.
The ACT of driving might not be a right, but the EARNING of the privilege certainly is.


I apologize in advance if I sound condescending, but I'm really trying not to. I think where you are having the problem understanding my argument is because you are applying 14th Amendment due process on the assumption that driving is a right under the Constitution. Here we are dealing with an intersection of state law and Constitutional due process imposed on the state by the 14th Amendment.

You are correct that everyone has a right to earn a driver's license if such a thing is available. States cannot arbitrarily deny a driver's license to a group of people, but the state is also not required to even issue a driver's license. What I am trying to say is that if tomorrow the state, not the Federal Government, wanted to eliminate driver's licenses and ban driving altogether, they could do so because the right to drive is not guaranteed in the US Constitution. However, if a state gives such a right to anyone, then the right must apply to all individuals equally. That was the reasoning in Citizens United as well.


RE: Here here
By Ryrod on 1/23/2012 3:02:43 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I would like you to quantify the statement that there is no "right" to form a corporation. Because, to me, this is an anti-American statement. We have the right to voluntary association, that much is certain. I can't find a single Supreme Court ruling, or legal document for that matter, that validates your assertion. Not ONE. Can you provide something tangible so that I may further understand your position?


This goes back to my earlier statement about semantics. We do have a voluntary right to associate, but this applies specifically to organizations focused on political speech or advocacy of an issue. The Supreme Court has never weighed in on a "right to incorporate" as a 1st Amendment right and likely never will.

This is because the corporation is a creature of state statute. The legitimacy of a corporation exists at the state level and not at the Federal level. There are no federal incorporation laws, only state incorporation laws and states play by different rules than the Federal government because states have plenary power while the Federal government has enumerated powers.

The 14th Amendment has only incorporated a select number of Amendments that are applied to the states. These traditionally are the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 13th, and the 15th. So in theory, the 3rd Amendment does not apply to any states and they may require a homeowner to "quarter" a national guard member in his home, but the Federal government may not do the same for the national army because it would run afoul of the 3rd Amendment. This, of course, is assuming that the Supreme Court does not later rule that the 3rd Amendment is incorporated by the 14th Amendment.

This difference in rules means that a state may deny incorporation to all individuals without Constitutional repercussions because incorporation is not considered a Federal Constitutional right, as the 1st Amendment is currently interpreted. Now once a state allows any individual to incorporate, then they must allow all individuals to incorporate if they so choose. Once a state gives a right, it must be applied equally, but unless provided by the Federal Constitution, a state is not required to even give such a right to its citizens.

quote:
Again, legally they are. Corporations have the same First Amendment rights as individuals. I don't know why you can't wrap your head around this concept. This has been upheld by the Supreme Court numerous times. Corporate person-hood is why you can sue a corporation for damages or harm, by the way. Or do you like the idea of a CEO or group of shareholders being personally sued for every action of a person or persons in the corp? Or other legal pitfalls.


I guess I should have been more specific. I meant that Corporations are not equivalent to people in the First Amendment context. I am aware that you can sue a corporations for damages. That I am not contesting, but I believe that the Citizens United decision was wrongly decided. I've read all 183 pages of the decision, including the dissents and concurrences, and I think the reasoning is sound, but that the Court took it in a direction that I feel does not comport with the people-centric nature of the Constitution itself. I know that you will probably reply that 5 Supreme Court Justices disagree with me, but I know there are 7 current and former Justices that would agree with me. If Sandra Day O'Connor was still on the Court and Alito was not, I could be saying that 5 Justices agree with me. Consider that prior to Citizens United, the Supreme Court upheld McConnell v. FEC which dealt with similar issues.

As for the idea whether I like a CEO or group of shareholders being personally sued for every action of a person or persons in the corp, yes and no. I think shareholders are, in all but in maybe a few instances, innocent of any actions illegal or ethically questionable that are committed by the corporation. Holding them responsible would be wrong.

However, I think that for CEOs, they should be held liable for actions they take on behalf of the corporation. The Standard & Poor's CEO, as well as the Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, etc. CEOs, should all be personally liable for misleading the public in the sale of their junk derivative mortgages. It is wrong for the blame to fall on the companies themselves and for these CEOs to get away scot-free when they caused such damage to their own companies and the public at large. I know this would cause some CEOs to shy away from taking the job, but it would create an incentive for CEOs to act appropriately as opposed to "robber barons".

As for actions of employees under the CEO, a theory of respondeat superior should apply to the CEO and he should be held liable for actions taken by subordinates that harm individuals or the public, but only for those actions which he did or should have known about. For example, suppose we are talking about a grocery store courtesy clerk that retrieves shopping carts. If he accidentally loses one which travels into the road and causes an automobile accident, the CEO should not be held personally liable for such an incident. Now compare that to a situation where the CEO orders a subordinate to cease maintenance on brakes for the shipping vehicles the company uses to transport goods. If the brakes fail driving downhill and an 18 wheeler strikes a row of cars killing all of the drivers/passengers in the cars, then the CEO should be held liable directly, along with the company, for such an incident.

quote:
I'm actually confused about which you would rather do. Banning corporations en' total, or overturning the legal interpretation of "corporate person-hood"?


I don't think I would ever advocate banning corporations completely. I think modifying the rules for corporations would be ideal, but I even question whether people would be on board with such an idea. If people were not, then I would love to see the Federal government even the playing field between Corporations and Partnerships/Sole Proprietorships. Part of my desire in leveling the playing field is to actually help small business, as opposed to these hypocrites who claim to want to help small business, but in fact, all they do is provide more benefits for corporations because the corporations give more money.

As for overturning the legal interpretation of "corporate person-hood", I am suggesting that we eliminate corporate speech in elections through an Amendment to the Constitution. I am saying that we get rid of the corporate PACs and limit corporations to the contribution limits set for individuals in FECA and BCRA ($2,500 to candidates, $30,800 to national committees, $10,00 to state, locoal, or district committees, and $5,00 to any other political committee). Once elected, corporations should be allowed to lobby as much as they want, without bribing to legislators.

I look at it as leveling the playing field. Either the corporations should get the legal and economic benefits of incorporation and stay out of elections, or they should lose all of the legal and economic benefits, but retain the right to advocate during the election cycle. I don't think corporations should have the ability to "have their cake and eat it too" while individual people don't have that same luxury.

Reclaimer, if you feel confused about something I've said, please feel free to ask to explain it. I was told in the past by many of my professors that I, at times, fail to explain things clearly and I would like to avoid any misunderstandings, or eventual frustrations, that may result from my inadequate explanations.


RE: Here here
By geddarkstorm on 1/20/2012 4:33:40 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
It's time people stop party blinders! Wake up and vote for someone who values integrity! (if you can find one)


Indeed! Or raise up and run for office.

But here's a radical idea:

The founding fathers created the "Separation of Church and State" for a reason, as they had seen the corruption that both suffered inevitably when the two crossed.

Maybe it's time we amend the constitution with a "Separation of Corporation and State".

Should the government ever tell a corporation which person to elect as a CEO and run the company? No! Should a corporation tell our government (through bribery or direct!) which laws to enact and bind all people and other corporations by? Never! They do not stand for us, WE stand for us.

Like everyone else, the individuals of any company or church must vote for the representative who carries their ideas and beliefs if they wish to see those ideals expressed in government. There must be no short circuiting the system!

Separation does not mean a lack of laws or general regulation. Government passed laws still restrict the church. No church could do child sacrifices and then claim "separation of church and state" to avoid prosecution! Likewise no company can dump pure lead into drinking water and claim "separation of corporation and state" to avoid prosecution. It just means one cannot meddle with the running of the other beyond the rule of law (which applies to all men and women) as enacted by the government, not by corporations through bribery. And surely this separation is what we need now between companies and government!

It's easy to see where the government is overstepping its bounds in trying to regulate and run corporations. And it's easy to see where corporations are overstepping their bounds to run and regulate our government (ironically, lobbying usually pushes for more convoluted and complex regulation, as then they can hide in the loopholes and make laws too pretzeled to enforce; as well as crush competition, and stymy innovation and small business). It's a system that breads pure corruption, subverts the representative democratic process, and strips out the "by the people for the people" part of governance to be replaced with "by the money for the money".

The government is made to serve us. Government officials, from the President down, are the servants of the people of the United States of America--first before all else. It's time we remembered that and brought them in to accountability. They are sworn to uphold the Constitution not corporations. But since they are failing, we need to blatantly introduce a "Separation of Corporation and State" in some manner, to stop lobbying, restore our control over our own government, and thus restore our freedom and liberties corporations want to strip for their profits. Truly, this sort of corruption in any form is what the founding fathers fought to destroy and prevent from ever contaminating the Grand Experiment that is our country.

And how can all this be done? By common people voting, by common people making their voice heard, by common people running for government on ideology and platforms others can get behind. Platforms to get this issue changed, instead of slanderous campaign ads with no substance or reality. Not the hyperbole we see now, but actual pragmatism. And all this can only be done by getting people to see just how dangerous the current situation is, the reason and forces behind it all, and to exercise our rights (the ones that still remain) for returning this country back to what it is supposed to be: a representative democracy by all for all, with a free capitalist economy (with laws for the protection of that freedom, not government running our lives and making choices for us), where the government is a service that allows us to have a common structure and guidelines within which all can do business (there must be freedom to fail), enjoy liberty, live their lives, and pursue happiness.

Those are just my ideas though, which I truly feel passionate about. I'm sure there's plenty to disagree with, but I sure hope the idea of a "Separation of Corporation and State" catches on, as I truly think this will solve the base issue we see now affecting so much of our economy and lives.


RE: Here here
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/20/2012 5:01:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Maybe it's time we amend the constitution with a "Separation of Corporation and State".

Should the government ever tell a corporation which person to elect as a CEO and run the company? No! Should a corporation tell our government (through bribery or direct!) which laws to enact and bind all people and other corporations by? Never! They do not stand for us, WE stand for us.

Exactly.

Look @ who is currently in the lead in the presidential race -- Obama and Romney. Now look @ who is in the lead in the fundraising race:
http://www.opensecrets.org/pres12/index.php

The Obama situation is particularly humorous because he's trying to play "Wall Street is turning against me!"

e.g.:
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/9860b902-f9a1-11e0-...

But are the small donors protecting him from "evil big business" even real? Or are they just one lobbyist donating multiple times?

We'll never know, because cash contributions under $200 are virtually untraceable.

In fact about half of Obama's 2008 contributions came from this:
http://www.cfinst.org/Press/PReleases/08-11-24/Rea...

And why would the banks turn on him, when he helped push $70B USD for AIG and plenty more Goldmann Sachs, et al.:
http://money.cnn.com/news/storysupplement/economy/...

More likely the banks realize they're unpopular and playing along to boost someone who's proven to be on their side.

But to be fair to Obama, Romney has also accepted plenty of corporate donations and likely plenty of these small untraceable "small donor" corporate donations as well. Why do you think he's leading all other Republican candidates in the bribery/fundraising war?

At least we know the RIAA/MPAA won't be giving their $$ to Obama because on this issue he actually DID side against them. Maybe they should try Romney... with the banks on Obama's side, Romney needs all the help he can get in this war of bribery... er.... presidential race.


RE: Here here
By Ryrod on 1/20/2012 5:46:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Look @ who is currently in the lead in the presidential race -- Obama and Romney.


Romney already had a head start over all the other candidates because he ran in 2008 and was able to keep all of the campaign money. He had a 3yr old war chest before most other candidates even considered running.

quote:
But are the small donors protecting him from "evil big business" even real? Or are they just one lobbyist donating multiple times?


Most of the time, one person will hold a fundraiser for a candidate and will require a maximum allowable donation for the candidate and a voluntary donation for the candidate's PAC or the National Party Committee of the candidate. This person, known as a "bundler" will gather all the donations, tie it to the guest list and donate it as one big lump sum to the candidate. So, yes, the donors are almost assuredly real, but most of them are not common people, but instead are the wealthier portion of society that has plenty of money to give the PAC, National Committee, and candidate.

quote:
More likely the banks realize they're unpopular and playing along to boost someone who's proven to be on their side.


Give it time and I'm sure you will see banks donating large sums to Romney. Obama is just the sure bet right now for the Democrats because they rarely upset an incumbent in an incumbency election. When Romney is selected as the Republican candidate, the funds will start pouring in. This is primarily because corporations don't want to be left out in the cold, so they hedge their bets and donate to both candidates, but not always the same amount.

quote:
At least we know the RIAA/MPAA won't be giving their $$ to Obama because on this issue he actually DID side against them.


They are still likely to donate to Obama's campaign. Chris Dodd is a shrewd politician and an intelligent man. This makes him highly sought after as a lobbyist, especially with his ties to Congress and how long he served. Dodd is not going to cut ties with the WH simply because SOPA and PIPA appear to be shelved this Congressional session. There are plenty more bills out there dealing with intellectual property laws and there will be more each year. This may not be the year to get SOPA passed but next year might be, or another bill can have an amendment added with some of the less controversial provisions of SOPA. For those reasons alone, I can see the MPAA donating money to Obama.


RE: Here here
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/20/2012 6:06:48 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Romney already had a head start over all the other candidates because he ran in 2008 and was able to keep all of the campaign money. He had a 3yr old war chest before most other candidates even considered running.

Did you not even BOTHER to read the link I put?

That Open Secrets page listed the campaign contributions for THIS year alone, by quarter -- Romney was wildly ahead.

Has nothing to do with his "war chest", just as the Obama contributions in that graph have nothing to do with Obama's leftover 2008 "war chest".
quote:
Romney already had a head start over all the other candidates because he ran in 2008 and was able to keep all of the campaign money. He had a 3yr old war chest before most other candidates even considered running.
True, but so

quote:
Most of the time, one person will hold a fundraiser for a candidate and will require a maximum allowable donation for the candidate and a voluntary donation for the candidate's PAC or the National Party Committee of the candidate. This person, known as a "bundler" will gather all the donations, tie it to the guest list and donate it as one big lump sum to the candidate. So, yes, the donors are almost assuredly real, but most of them are not common people, but instead are the wealthier portion of society that has plenty of money to give the PAC, National Committee, and candidate.

Again you didn't read carefully. I was specifically referring to small $200 or less contributions. A handful of guest list dinners go this small, but most of these contributions are not from these type events.

Typically dinners are an effective technique, but used to collect bigger donations. But even there a special interest can funnel money by giving its employees a matching or greater bonus if they attend and donate.
quote:
Romney already had a head start over all the other candidates because he ran in 2008 and was able to keep all of the campaign money. He had a 3yr old war chest before most other candidates even considered running.

True, the RIAA/MPAA is used to milking the system. They did under Bush, they did under Obama. Both Bush and Obama drew the line SOMEWHERE at least in that they wouldn't just let the RIAA/MPAA have completely free reign.

But consider that the RIAA/MPAA are kind of a fringe case.

Yes they are indicative of the general bribery issue, but they're not your average special interest bribers, as can be seen by the 10% of the Senate costs ($86M USD) figure.

Because they're spending more, they're more visible. And they HAVE to spend more than most special interests largely because their objectives are so unpatriotic and alarming.

It'd be like if you wanted the politicians to pass the "Ryrod can kill puppies act" you might have to hand them $80M USD, vs. if you wanted to pass the "Tax breaks for Ryrod's Widgets 'R Us Comp. aka The American Freedom Act of 2022".

Most special interests might pay $1M USD to a few politicians, and then get anywhere from tens to hundreds of millions in tax breaks, gov't contracts, etc.

Or in the case of some special interests like evangelical donors, the idea is to stir up as much controversy as possible to polarize people in order to drive them to your church out of fear. Then you can profit off that fear.

Once enough extra people feel compelled to attend your services religiously you will pull in more millions and let the associate pastor buy his next BMW.

This also helps make sure people don't grow complacent for lack of fear and stop attending your church. In that case your associate pastor might have to downgrade to a Ford Fiesta (horror)....


RE: Here here
By Reclaimer77 on 1/20/12, Rating: -1
RE: Here here
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/20/2012 6:53:48 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
What's Romney supposed to do? Apparently it takes $900,000,000,000 to run a campaign in this day and age that has a chance of winning, and if that's what he has to do to turn this disaster around, then so be it.

Of course. It's like sure Giaovani: "Sure I murdered Vincenzo, but how else was I supposed to get in the mob."

Well yes Giaovani is right, if you're trying to join a corrupt system you'll have to be just as corrupt -- probably corrupter.

Perhaps you're right. Maybe Romney is only moderately corrupt and not super duper corrupt so he will be unable to beat Obama... there's lots of ways you could look @ it philosophically.

But the bottom line is this, philosophizing aside:
You're either a force of change.
or
You're a force for the status quo.

Could a TRUE change President be elected? Perhaps not today. But maybe tomorrow. We can only hope.

Americans want change ... look how many voted for Obama. While I admit that on a handful of social issues like repealing don't ask don't tell Obama has been better, overall he's been more of the same, at least in terms of fixating on corporate tax breaks that got him in the White House.

Once Americans wake up and see the "For Sale" sign on the White House lawn and actually start to pay attention to the bribery that goes on, maybe things will get tough enough for lobbyists that their grip weakens.

After all under the current system candidates can legally get a large percentage of money from direct corporate donations. when you can pour out half the campaign funds in open "donations" (bribes), it's a lot easier to hide the other half (say in small untraceable <$200 cash donations), vs. if public outcry and/or laws forced you to try to hid all of it. Could you still funnel some money? Yes. Could you funnel as much? Probably not.

If the pork train dried up, the politicians would have to turn to the PEOPLE for support and hence give a bit more of d@mn about them.

I think the people need to insist on voting for the non-bribed alternative in any election there is one. People can easily find this info on sites Maplight and OpenSecrets.

Start with Congress, then move up to the President. Once the majority of the blatantly corrupt are flushed out, call for a constitutional amendment preventing corporations from bribing as defined by corporations funding candidates, pressuring employees to fund candidates, or sending bribes through a lobbyist, forcing these payout to go underground and marginalizing them.

Even many lobbyists I talk to off the record support such an idea.

Remember, part of the problem is just that politicians are so devoted to certain special interests that it actually HURTS some businesses -- these businesses have to hire their own lobbyists to try to counter. (e.g. nuclear v. solar, "carbon credits" firms v. automakers etc.)

Many of those involved in this system don't like it, even. It's just that like you, they're skeptical in that they miss that there's clear paths to change via education and responsible voting.

It's basic behaviorism. Politicians may be a bit thick at times like a dog, but if you teach your dog that when it whines for food, it doesn't get fed, it learns not to whine. You can teach the politicians. When they take bribes, don't vote for them or vote them out if they're already in office. Over time they'll get the message. They're not entirely dumb -- just exploitive.


RE: Here here
By Reclaimer77 on 1/20/2012 7:18:23 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Perhaps you're right. Maybe Romney is only moderately corrupt and not super duper corrupt so he will be unable to beat Obama... there's lots of ways you could look @ it philosophically.


I don't know if he is or isn't. But I'll tell you one thing, the fact that other Republican's are bashing their own candidate because he pulled himself up and made something of himself, things that this party is SUPPOSED to stand for ( capitalism ), is abhorrent to me and scares me. It's seriously like they're trying to hand Obama the election already.

I'm enjoying this discussion, and I appreciate how much writing you're doing, old friend. I guess just talking about this stuff is depressing me and I can't reciprocate as much as I should. You're probably right, I dunno. I'm gonna go out and have a drink.


RE: Here here
By rdawise on 1/21/2012 12:50:48 AM , Rating: 3
I'm sorry but "pulled himself up"? Really? Because like time I checked his father wasn't doing too bad. I very much doubt how hard he how to "pull himself" up.


RE: Here here
By Reclaimer77 on 1/21/2012 1:06:54 AM , Rating: 2
Paris Hilton's father was doing pretty good too. Compare her life and achievements to Romney's. Just because your parents are well off doesn't mean everything you've ever done in your life is because of that, or all for nothing.

"Pulled himself up" is an expression. He could have pissed his life away living the good life, like several Kennedy's we know (yet the Left still idolize). You can flap your gums all day long about how terrible it is to be a CEO and run companies and organize businesses, I'm not hearing it. Those are the marks of a productive member of society and a responsible human being. Those are GOOD qualities, occupy crowd be damned.

Maybe you should Wiki him up and see all the things he's done. Only an idiot would say he hasn't worked hard to get where he is.


RE: Here here
By dark matter on 1/22/2012 4:00:13 AM , Rating: 2
Please put the hyperbole away. The gulf between CEO and their workforce is untenable. Not only that, but the directors still get their bonus, even if they fail (banks).

Not only that but remuneration in the board room is voted for by the directors peers, at the same time they are subduing domestic wages and offshoring work.

You talk about CEO's being productive members of society and RESPONSIBLE then you're utterly deluded. Greed is the motivation of CEO's these days, nothing more. You can flap your gums all day long, but the truth is there to see.


RE: Here here
By Reclaimer77 on 1/22/2012 2:09:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
he gulf between CEO and their workforce is untenable.


I'm one of these crazy kooks who still believes that anyone can be a CEO (or whatever they want) in America. The pursuit of happiness is, actually, guaranteed in this country. Sorry but that even applies to people and jobs that you, personally, have a problem with.

quote:
Greed is the motivation of CEO's these days (sweeping blanket statement)


Greed is a human condition. Our attempt to asses it as being inherently "bad" is a flaw. One that is quite frankly born out of ignorance. Everyone is greedy. Greed isn't just financial. It manifests itself in all shapes and sizes.

You're a small minded immature person. You want to believe that everyone with money is a bad person. This is how a child rationalizes the world.


RE: Here here
By teacherlee on 1/20/2012 7:34:57 PM , Rating: 2
Did you think it was such a disaster when Bush was in office?


RE: Here here
By Uncle on 1/20/2012 10:34:15 PM , Rating: 2
You better check the fine details about Romney and his money. He was part of the wall street gang.Now you want him in charge of the chicken coup.


RE: Here here
By Ryrod on 1/20/2012 6:28:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Did you not even BOTHER to read the link I put?
That Open Secrets page listed the campaign contributions for THIS year alone, by quarter -- Romney was wildly ahead.


No, I read the link, but I may have misunderstood your argument.

I was simply trying to say that Romney already had money to spend to get (or buy, your choice of verb) a wide base of supporters through calling banks, advertisements, etc. This was even before he started raising campaign funds.

I was trying to allude to the fact that Romney had the money and was spending it, before he even started collecting donations this year, while other candidates were trying to raise money and organize their spending strategy at the same time. It would be something similar to Romney starting the race with his pants on and running in the right direction, while all the other candidates were still trying to put their pants on and figure out where to go.

quote:
Again you didn't read carefully. I was specifically referring to small $200 or less contributions.


You are correct. I did misread that part of your statement. For some reason, I skipped over your statement "We'll never know, because cash contributions under $200 are virtually untraceable."


RE: Here here
By Reclaimer77 on 1/20/2012 5:23:19 PM , Rating: 1
So we're exclusively blaming "the corporations" for everything that's ever gone wrong with our Government and society at large? How convenient. You're taking the Obama rhetoric and cranking it up to 11, I see. You realize you're dictating that we make corporations and employees second class citizens, right?

Not that I'm against your idea exactly, but if it's gotten to the point that we have to cut our Constitution in half and split the country up between "us" and the "corporations", just because our elected officials have no integrity, I'm wondering what's the point? Might as well give up if things are that bad.

You're trying to make a radical idea, that would effect virtually thousands of laws and statutes and require millions more pages of legislation, sound so simple and neat. Simply making an Amendment (and I would like to see how these same people would possibly PASS such a thing) can't be all there is to it. I would like to know the real meat and potatoes of how we legislate this. Not to mention actually enforce it. It doesn't stop under the table bribery, which is what would probably just happen anyway.


RE: Here here
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/20/2012 5:44:44 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
So we're exclusively blaming "the corporations" for everything that's ever gone wrong with our Government and society at large? How convenient. You're taking the Obama rhetoric and cranking it up to 11, I see. You realize you're dictating that we make corporations and employees second class citizens, right?

Not that I'm against your idea exactly, but if it's gotten to the point that we have to cut our Constitution in half and split the country up between "us" and the "corporations", just because our elected officials have no integrity, I'm wondering what's the point? Might as well give up if things are that bad.

You're trying to make a radical idea, that would effect virtually thousands of laws and statutes and require millions more pages of legislation, sound so simple and neat. Simply making an Amendment (and I would like to see how these same people would possibly PASS such a thing) can't be all there is to it. I would like to know the real meat and potatoes of how we legislate this. Not to mention actually enforce it. It doesn't stop under the table bribery, which is what would probably just happen anyway.

Reclaimer, the idea he mentioned isn't so radical... it's in fact INCREDIBLY simple.

(... to legislate, a bit tougher to enforce...)

People could still work for corporations and donate, just the corporation themselves couldn't directly donate, funnel money through lobbyists, or ask employees to donate (a separation of corporation and gov't).

It's quite a simple, easy, and practical idea.

Most of the money politicians run on today in the U.S. is from corporations so obviously:
a) They will oppose the op's suggestion.
b) They will be marginally interested -- at best -- in helping their constituents as their true "boss" is the corporations and special interests groups which paid their way into office.

The clear solution is for the people to vote these people out and continue to vote out each and every elected official that takes this money until a nominee is finally selected who did not take any bribes and practices full disclosure. Better yet, when possible, Congress people who accepted bribes/corporate donations should be recalled, as there's laws to do so.

His idea is hardly "radical", aside from the fact that system is currently so f'ed up. It's common sense.

The way things stand right now, the special interests/corporations own the government, which is really no different than what you see in a communist dictatorship where the government owns the corporations. Either way you have a small elite group in control and looking to consolidate their wealth while not carrying about the good of your or I.

quote:
you're dictating that we make corporations...second class citizens, right?

Wait???!?!?!? Since when were corporations a "citizen".

Last I checked, like the op said the government should not take control of businesses and the businesses should not take control of government.

I know, I know Reclaimer. I actually enjoy your commentary and I know what you will say "Yes, but there's now way any of them will ever vote for that! They've been doing that since forever! Things will never change!"

Well, my friend, I say you have to have a good mix of optimism and action... that's why I make a point of writing about these issues where science and technology meets politics -- particularly in the case of representation and freedoms. And I try to keep an open mind to all the comments you readers give me.

If you're pessimistic I understand your feelings. But I think with education and the erosion of public apathy (look @ European countries like Sweden or Germany where people are much more politically knowledgeable and involved), the system will eventually be forced to change. You can be part of that change or you can wait there feeling sorry for yourself because the current situation stinks.


RE: Here here
By Reclaimer77 on 1/20/2012 5:57:55 PM , Rating: 1
There was once a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish... it was so fragile. And I fear that it will not survive the winter.


RE: Here here
By TerranMagistrate on 1/21/2012 2:14:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What we do in life... echoes in eternity.


RE: Here here
By Ryrod on 1/20/2012 5:56:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
but if it's gotten to the point that we have to cut our Constitution in half and split the country up between "us" and the "corporations"


Can you elaborate, please? I'm confused as to what you mean by this statement.


RE: Here here
By Reclaimer77 on 1/20/2012 6:02:42 PM , Rating: 1
Just seems like it would lead to a lot of prejudicial situations. Let's say I'm rich because my parents left me a huge inheritance and I want to give a candidate or Congressman $10 million dollars for something, whatever. I'm not affiliated with a corporation in any way. So legally I could do that, but a Corporation couldn't? And what's to stop a Corporation from hiding a money trail and doing the same thing though a third party?

It just seems like a HUGE mess to me. A them vs. us mentality.

Not to mention you guys are REALLY cranking up the class warfare, which grates me for some reason because it's intellectually dishonest. Money is NOT the root of all our evils.


RE: Here here
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/20/2012 6:35:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Just seems like it would lead to a lot of prejudicial situations. Let's say I'm rich because my parents left me a huge inheritance and I want to give a candidate or Congressman $10 million dollars for something, whatever. I'm not affiliated with a corporation in any way. So legally I could do that, but a Corporation couldn't? And what's to stop a Corporation from hiding a money trail and doing the same thing though a third party?

You're right, but that's what investigative journalism is for.

It seems you're essentially admitting that corporations purchasing favors is bad, but you're saying it's too hard to stop.
quote:
It just seems like a HUGE mess to me. A them vs. us mentality.

Only among the clueless/thoughtless.

Some corporations don't exploit the system for tax breaks. But when it's so easy, many do.

I have nothing against corporations as a business entity, but I do have serious objections to corporate bribery.

Corporations are all about the bottom line, which means they're only as evil as you let them be. If you let them bribe, they will bribe.

When you let them commit to mass bribery, you've essentially put a "For Sale" sign on the White House lawn.

When you let corporations buy the government you're no longer living in a Republic or a Democracy or a Socialism or a Communism... you're living in a oligarchy where the rich rule.

But these rich never get to enjoy their wealth like they did in the old days because they have to perpetually worry about keeping the little guys down.

Rich Americans back in the 1800s enjoyed a much more decadent lifestyle than rich Americans today as they spent their money and lived like kings (hence the "robber baron"). Was it fair? Perhaps not, but life isn't fair. At least it was a whole lot better than today's system where nobody wins.

A system where taxes are high for the SMBs and the people, and hence a system where the wealthy sink their money into corporations and then leave billions in stock options stagnant and untouched, afraid to remove it due to capital gains taxes kept artificially high by the near zero EFFECTIVE corporate tax rate that you end up with once all the tax breaks and loopholes baked across recent legislation fall into place.

The wealthy are afraid to take their money out of the corporation and be taxed, while the poor and middle class are getting poorer as they're paying more taxes that are being funneled into tax breaks for the corp.

Regular apolitical corporations are terrific -- good for the economy.

But when you let lobbyist corporations like GE (who received $3B in tax refunds while making $14 in profit) molest the government, you're essentially dealing with leech -- a creature that sucks up money and whose entire goal is to suck up more money, and over all does more harm than good. The employees and public don't win because competition, good services, and good pay stand in the way of profits. The majority of wealthy investors don't win as much as they could either because corporate taxes stand in the way of corporate profits, so their corp. lobbies and tries to lower them -- too shortsighted to see that low corporate taxes stand in the way of low capital gains and income taxes, which in turn means that even they are screwing themselves.
quote:
Not to mention you guys are REALLY cranking up the class warfare, which grates me for some reason because it's intellectually dishonest. Money is NOT the root of all our evils.

Money is a symbol and object. If you said money was the root of all evils, you would only be half right. Money and the things associated with it -- power, fame, respect, the pursuit of happiness -- are the root of all evil.

After all, if a corp. sends a Senator and their family to the Bahamas, that's not a direct monetary gift, but it will likely help make their case esp. when combined with a donation of good old cash.

Politicians aren't selling themselves to get money, at least not in the short term -- they're doing it for the power, the prestige.

The root of all evil is human selfishness.

Selfishness/greed is okay up until the point where it makes it so others cannot lead normal free, productive, happy lives if they work hard. That's why there's laws against being able to break into your neighbor's house and take his crap.

"Class warfare" is a term invented by the neo-con movement, which is quite humorous because they typically apply it to Democrats, who themselves are big supporters of big business. Do you see your taxes drastically slashed under Obama? He's scaled back troops in Iraq and Afghanistan so we should be seeing billions if not trillions in money pouring back into the federal budget. But no, taxes are as high as ever. Where Bush funneled money to defense donors, Obama is funneling to banks, "green" startups (some of whom pocket the money and then go bankrupt, etc.

"Class warfare" is a myth because a "war" requires two sides. Under the current system of bribery there's one side -- profit-motivated special interests.


RE: Here here
By Reclaimer77 on 1/20/2012 7:01:12 PM , Rating: 2
"Class warfare" was coined by Larry Kramer. Someone who was ANYTHING but a "neo-con" lol.

quote:
It seems you're essentially admitting that corporations purchasing favors is bad, but you're saying it's too hard to stop.


Yeah, pretty much. At least not in our lifetime. You act like this idea is being proposed somewhere man. It's all hypothetical, meaningless words.

quote:
When you let them commit to mass bribery, you've essentially put a "For Sale" sign on the White House lawn.


Jason you've really been hammering this point home in all your articles lately. But I think you can go too far. Do I have to point out that, at least this time, the system worked? A bill was written, we the people backlashed and made our representatives listen to us, and the bill is now dead for all intents and purposeless. All that money didn't matter in the end.

Maybe if people were this passionate and aware about EVERY issue....who knows.

The problem is people will agree with it when it suits their ideology. Like turning a blind eye to the insurance companies throwing their wallets at Obama to support his national healthcare agenda. Democrats don't seem to cry about the "rich corporations" when something they agree with happens.


RE: Here here
By Ryrod on 1/20/2012 7:06:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Let's say I'm rich because my parents left me a huge inheritance and I want to give a candidate or Congressman $10 million dollars for something, whatever. I'm not affiliated with a corporation in any way. So legally I could do that, but a Corporation couldn't?


A large part of the complaint comes from advantages that corporations enjoy. Corporations are a creature of statute that have the same rights as individuals when it comes to speech, but do not suffer some of the disadvantages associated with being an individual, such as personal liability in bankruptcy. These advantages allow a corporation, in theory, to accrue more money from business activities, due to advantageous legislation, than a sole proprietor or a partnership would be able to accrue.

If you want you could look at Donald Trump as an example. Trump would be broke if his corporations were treated as sole proprietorships or partnerships. The corporate laws saved him from going broke during his financial troubles in the late 80s to late 90s, and allowed him to massively increase his personal and corporate wealth, which he donates to political candidates.

People don't like corporations having a voice because they use laws, specific to corporations, to get ahead and then use the money to maintain laws beneficial to corporations to stay on top. It's one thing to build your wealth as an individual by creating, building, or selling something on the same playing field as everyone else, but when you start adding advantages for some, people tend not to like it. You can call it class warfare and us versus them, but corporations (and their advocates) are the ones who created this us versus them atmosphere when they created laws that helped corporations more than individuals.

quote:
And what's to stop a Corporation from hiding a money trail and doing the same thing though a third party?


Well FECA, and BCRA attempted to stop corporations from doing such a thing. In the case of FECA, many of the provisions were struck down by the Supreme Court in Buckley, while corporations (and to some extent, individuals) came up with PACs to get around the remaining limit on individual donations. In an attempt to stop the PACs, BCRA was enacted, but was neutered by Citizens United. So we did come up with a system that, for all intents and purposes, worked well, but ultimately was shattered both times by the Supreme Court.


RE: Here here
By teacherlee on 1/20/2012 7:37:03 PM , Rating: 2
Nobody is cranking up anything. There has always been class warfare, and the rich have been winning.


RE: Here here
By Fritzr on 1/21/2012 1:13:54 AM , Rating: 2
A corporation is not a US citizen. It is a business license that allows the owners of shares of the business to hire people to run the business.

The ruling that made corporations people for legal purposes changed things.

Before the ruling the shareholders could donate money to campaigns. The people operating the business for the shareholders could donate money to campaigns. Management could send a memo to all employees informing them that the management would appreciate their support of selected campaigns.

After the ruling all of the above AND in addition, the business license can now donate a portion of the business revenue to campaigns and reimburse employees for their donations and fund political campaigns and all other forms of fundraising or support that is allowed to US citizens and Residents.

The big change is that before, you had to get the individual people to take action. After the change, the CEO sends a memo to accounting and the campaign gets a check for whatever the CEO believes will generate 'goodwill' for the company.

Politicians now design their new laws to generate maximum "goodwill" from their largest contributors. Only now instead of people like Warren Buffet or Bill Gates who could pay these massive bribes using their pocket money, it is Ford, GM, IBM, AT&T and other non-citizens that are paying the majority of the costs of an election.

Yes the ultra-wealthy have always been able to buy politicians, but a company was favored only if one of these ultra-wealthy individuals took an interest in it. Bell Telephone was such a case at the turn of the 20th century. Railroads and oil were such cases in the 19th century.

This bias towards successful PEOPLE is built in to the system and was considered a 'good thing' by the Founding Fathers who had also considered restricting the vote to those citizens who were successful. Such as "only landowners can vote". You're renting? Sorry, come back when you can present a land title.

The right of citizens to tell the government what to do has been destroyed by granting business licenses the status of Permanent Resident (allowed to donate, but not to vote)


RE: Here here
By Reclaimer77 on 1/21/2012 12:00:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The ruling that made corporations people for legal purposes changed things.


The ruling upheld the First Amendment. It didn't make them "people". And you know what, the ruling was correct. We don't just follow the Constitution when it's convenient or when there's no consequences. Barring corporations from political speech was wrong and illegal, plain and simple. Do you realize that's the MOST basic First Amendment principle? That the government has no business regulating political speech.

And all of you seem to be REALLY confused about this ruling. The ruling did not disturb the ban on corporations donating directly to candidates. That hasn't been changed. You people, and the rabid Left in general, act as if this ruling opened up some kind of floodgate of corruption and bribery. Which is absurd and not accurate at all.

This is America, goddammit. If a company want's to spend money running or funding campaign commercials to back a candidate they support, that's PROTECTED SPEECH. Banning that is specifically prohibited in the Constitution. But I suppose you know more about the Constitution than 5 Supreme Court justices?

quote:
The right of citizens to tell the government what to do has been destroyed


????

Okay excuse me but what JUST happened with SOPA? Because I thought, we the people, lead a protest on the Internet and got the entire Congress of the United States to back down and kill a bill. That, let's be honest, otherwise would have went through no problem.

Our rights haven't been "destroyed". The problem is we just don't exercise them enough. Maybe if we got as impassioned about everything as we did about the idea of our free porn and music being hampered, we wouldn't BE in this mess in the first place.


RE: Here here
By Ryrod on 1/21/2012 5:31:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And all of you seem to be REALLY confused about this ruling. The ruling did not disturb the ban on corporations donating directly to candidates. That hasn't been changed. You people, and the rabid Left in general, act as if this ruling opened up some kind of floodgate of corruption and bribery. Which is absurd and not accurate at all.


No, it didn't disturb the restrictions against direct contributions, but it did eliminate the restriction saying that a corporation could not use electioneering communications within 30 days of the election. When you say that it did not open up some kind of floodgate of corruption and bribery, you're right. The law didn't open the floodgate, but the floodgate was already open. Candidates are not stupid by any regard. They are well aware of the PACs that air these advertisements in the weeks preceding the election, and who owns the PACs. FECA and BCRA limited donations directly, but that just means that donations are essentially feed to candidates through the third party PACs who use the money to aid the candidates. We didn't eliminate corporate financing of elections, we just created a middle man that is supposed to make everyone feel better about the whole process.

quote:
The ruling upheld the First Amendment. It didn't make them "people". And you know what, the ruling was correct. We don't just follow the Constitution when it's convenient or when there's no consequences. Barring corporations from political speech was wrong and illegal, plain and simple. Do you realize that's the MOST basic First Amendment principle? That the government has no business regulating political speech.


Part of the problem with Citizens United is that we assume corporations are a quasi-persons under the Constitution. The whole idea in Citizens United was that the Court viewed the corporation (or PAC) as a person representing other individuals who actually had a Constitutional right to freely express themselves. I don't think that is correct and I disagree with the decision because they effectively equate a non-profit organization focused on organizing political interests, such as the Constitutional or Communist Party (which is an association of people), with for-profit organizations such as GE and Merill Lynch. Simply creating a PAC and funneling corporate money into it does not change the fact that it is speech by a corporation.

A corporation is not equivalent to a person and shouldn't be treated as such because all corporations, which are a creature of statute, could cease to exist tomorrow, if the people so choose. You can't do the same thing with individuals.

Now I do understand the reasoning of the case, because it would otherwise create three classes of associations with different rules, corporate non-news, corporate news and social. It is sound reasoning, but I still think it is incorrect that they went that route with the decision.

quote:
But I suppose you know more about the Constitution than 5 Supreme Court justices?


The Citizens United case overturned McConnell v. FEC. Furthermore, if this case had been heard back in 2005, it would have gone the exact opposite way and BCRA would have been upheld. So what does that say about the decision itself?


RE: Here here
By geddarkstorm on 1/20/2012 7:00:50 PM , Rating: 2
"You realize you're dictating that we make corporations and employees second class citizens, right?"

What do you mean? We are the ones who makes up corporations. How can you make every American a second class citizen to every American? Does "Separation of Church and State" make every church and religions person or clergyman a second class citizen?

And it's the -interplay- and intermingling of corporations with government that has caused quite a lot of trouble; not corporations in and of themselves in any form (they are part of capitalism, and again, they are made of us and where we do our work and get our paychecks for the most part). The repeal of Glass-Steagall, the demands by the feds for banks to give subprime mortgages that hurt them, the bailouts that encouraged companies to go underwater to get free funds from -our- pockets to line theirs; inflating our debt and fleecing our economy till it's been stuck on perpetually shaky ground (which rippled across the globe). And has not Obama been adding into this whole problem? No piece of legislation should ever be sponsored by a corporation in any way, yet so many are, such as SOPA/PIPA. It should be unconstitutional, just as any legislation being sponsored by a church is unconstitutional.

A corporation is not a "thing". It's just a bunch of people working under one umbrella (just like a church), making and selling products. There's nothing mystical or amazing about it. But it's geared specifically for maximizing profit, it has no regard for the populous as the government is supposed to be about. The two are at odds, and should never cross.

You can't stop under the table bribery of law enforcement agents either. But you do prosecute it, and seek explicitly to find it. Make it an issue and hunt it down, that's a check and a balance. What would you say if churches were trying to bribe and corrupt officials like corporations are doing, how do we already fight that as it's already unconstitutional?

And in truth, so many laws could be slashed, and so many more simplified--and should be, since over complication of laws and too many laws actually weaken the system and make it impossible to navigate let alone apply (this is why lobbyists do this on purpose, purposefully trying to get more regulations and complex laws on the books so nothing works and they can do whatever they want). But that's actually a -separate- issue, not the same thing as I'm talking about. And thinking that it is one and the same is a horrible obfuscation. Separating out direct interference of the government by corporations (or churches) is to ban interference in the form of knockbacks, bribery, agenda writing, legislation sponsorship, etc. How do we keep the church separate from the state? Is it some sort of mystical process that requires millions of pages of legislation?

If people all want to contribute to the campaign of some politician, and they all work at the same company, that doesn't matter, it's their individual right. But a company itself should not officially be able to take any of its -corporate- funds to contribute, as that puts the company's interests into politics, where it should never be (the same goes for churches already!). Influencing legislation and telling our representatives what to do, when its us and us alone they are elected (hired!) to listen to. Individuals who make up the corporation can put their collective will forward, but the corporation doing it of its own flips the system upside down. And the thing is, corporations didn't always have this ability to game the system as they do now, but since they have had it, things have only gotten worst and never better for us all. Look at corporations as if they were churches and you'll see how simple and obvious this whole issue is.

But that isn't even the worst part. The worst part is corporations are multi-national (like churches!). They don't have -American- interests at heart. They are, in essence, a foreign power. What would you say if Britain or Russia or Iran were sending millions to our representatives to make them put forth agendas and legislation those nations wanted, rather than for us the American people?

Do churches still try to wield influence into the political process? Yes. But the explicit separation only allows them to go so far before the checks and balances trigger and root it out. It gives a benchmark for evaluation so things don't spiral out of control. Will corporations still try to wield influence into the political process? Yes. But if we explicitly separate corporation and state, that will prevent the out of control actions we see now, where our representatives don't listen to us unless we go to extreme lengths, and only listen to how much green some company rep is putting into their pocket to forward and put into law some agenda.

It's pretty clear cut to me.


RE: Here here
By Solandri on 1/21/2012 12:53:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Maybe it's time we amend the constitution with a "Separation of Corporation and State".

I bring this up every time someone comes up with this idea. I don't have a problem with your idea per se. But you do realize that disenfranchising organizations (corporations are just organizations) from a political voice also means morally we shouldn't be taxing them? No taxation without representation is how the saying goes, right?

Corporate taxes only account for about 12% of IRS revenue (income taxes are about 50%). However, FICA taxes (Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid) are half paid for by your employer (that's right, the part you see on your paycheck is only half the total, the other half is paid for by the company you work for). Those taxes account for about 33% of IRS revenue. So the share of FICA taxes paid by corporations is another 16%.

So overall corporations are paying about 28% of all IRS taxes. If we shifted those taxes to individuals, that would mean on average everyone's Federal tax burden would increase by 39%. (In theory, this would be partly offset by lower prices of goods and services, and higher salaries, due to corporations no longer having to pay 28% of Federal tax revenue. However, due to the way proportions work, there would still be a substantial net individual tax increase)

I don't have a problem with this; in fact I think it'd be preferable to the way we do things now. I think it's much better for the voters to see and feel (through their paycheck) exactly how much of our economy has been taken over by the government. The current system of taxing corporations is primarily a way of hiding the true size of government from the people. If the people won't stand for an individual income tax increase, just increase a corporate tax. The people still pay for the tax, but because they're paying for it through higher prices their anger will be directed at corporations, instead of at government.

The question is, are you ok with paying 39% higher taxes to implement your idea?


RE: Here here
By Uncle on 1/20/2012 10:29:49 PM , Rating: 2
"Lobby-ism is nothing short of another term for legalized bribery" Ive said this hundreds of times, Lobbing is another name for Influence pedaling, which a few years ago was against the law.Would some Americans please check and see why the politicians are not being charged, I don't remember that Influence pedaling was ever repealed.


RE: Here here
By Solandri on 1/21/2012 1:07:55 PM , Rating: 2
I don't have a problem with lobbying. In fact, I think it's a crucial mechanism by which an individual or group of individuals can focus attention on an issue with our elected representatives, without having their voices scattered and diluted in a sea of generic mail/phone calls, and without having to wait until the next election.

The problem isn't lobbying. The problem is secret lobbying. Elected officials are employees of The People. Employers are allowed to monitor their employees while they work. So all meetings between elected officials and lobbyists should be videotaped, and the videos made available to the entire voting population via the Internet.

If an individual or a corporation has a legitimate issue, then their lobbying pitch will be just as effective on the public as it is on the elected official. So legitimate lobbying has nothing to lose from this - in fact it gains because it's free advertising (more of the public learns about the issue affecting you). But all this nonsense like secret backroom deals, kickbacks, and letting lobbyists write laws would come to a screeching halt.


RE: Here here
By Shig on 1/22/2012 12:27:21 AM , Rating: 2
Rate me up if you think Reclaimer77 is part of the problem with this country.

*Cough* Digital Lobbying *Cough*


RE: Here here
By Reclaimer77 on 1/22/2012 1:59:18 PM , Rating: 2
LMAO I probably have a thousand burned DVD's from downloaded ISO's, a hard drive of MP3's, and god knows what else. Hell I was using Napster before most of you even got on a computer. If I'm part of the "digital lobby" then brother, they're in trouble!

You just don't understand my position because your brain is clouded with hate and media vitriol. Freedom and Liberty are NOT part of the "problem" with this country. And suspending the freedom's of one group or marginalizing them, so the rest can make themselves feel better..hmmmm, I think there's a quote for that often used.

Or here's a radical concept; how about we expect some integrity and accountability from elected officials? Nah, let's just keep cranking up the anti-capitalist diatribes. Because, you know, that will fix everything.


Populist or popular
By Moohbear on 1/20/2012 3:45:46 PM , Rating: 2
I've seen several articles using the term "populist; where I believe a better word would be "popular". Is it a conscious choice?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
Populist:
1: a member of a political party claiming to represent the common people; especially often capitalized : a member of a United States political party formed in 1891 primarily to represent agrarian interests and to advocate the free coinage of silver and government control of monopolies
2: a believer in the rights, wisdom, or virtues of the common people

Popular:
1: of or relating to the general public
2: suitable to the majority: as
a : adapted to or indicative of the understanding and taste of the majority <a popular history of the war>
b : suited to the means of the majority : inexpensive <sold at popular prices>
3: frequently encountered or widely accepted <a popular theory>
4: commonly liked or approved <a very popular girl>

Now, populist can mean what I think Jason wants it to mean, but the general acception has a certain connotation.




RE: Populist or popular
By ppardee on 1/20/2012 4:23:05 PM , Rating: 1
According to Dictionary.com
Pedantic:
1: ostentatious in one's learning.
2: overly concerned with minute details or formalisms, especially in teaching.

One ought not be a picker of nits.

---------------------

Seriously, thought. I think 'populist' is correct in this case because the outrage over the bill is because we the people believe that a free and open internet is the right of the common people.

The green movement is a popular movement because it is based solely on the fact that it is cool to be green (or at least was a few years ago).

The Tea Party is a populist movement (ok, not quite) because it is against the idea that the government knows how to spend the common person's money better than the person does.


RE: Populist or popular
By Moohbear on 1/20/2012 4:52:40 PM , Rating: 2
It's easy to bash someone but maybe I was not nitpicking but actually had a genuine doubt about the topic in question? And maybe english in not my mother tongue either ? The meaning of the two words overlaps, but there are also some significant differences. Jason clearly exposed his mind and I know have no doubt left.


RE: Populist or popular
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/20/2012 4:30:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I've seen several articles using the term "populist; where I believe a better word would be "popular". Is it a conscious choice?

Yes, because in your definition you put, the key word is the "common" people, as in Americans that have to work for a living and don't have millions to bribe politicians to get their way, or aren't a politician who can grow fat like a leech off of blatant bribes.

I think in the beginning the SOPA opposition was not "popular" at all. Few in the "People Magazine" crowd had heard about it or new anything about why it was good or bad or why they should care. It was not popular. It was inherently "populist". It was a handful of people -- journalists, advocates -- and businesses reading the legislation and realizing the negative implications and then digging into the blatant bribery by big media that put it in place.

Only months later would this populist protest become also popular. I would argue attacking SOPA wasn't popular until exactly Wednesday when the SOPA strike hit.

I think for most people it was the combination of seeing Google with the protest image and being unable to use Wikipedia (especially the latter) that convinced them... forced them to care... At that point the protest become popular, as well as populist.

Some of those who finally came to look at the issues understood them, but I do worry because again many in the "People Magazine" crowd don't get what they were protesting.

I asked one friend of mine why she thought SOPA was bad and she said, "Oh yea I know why"

I could tell she didn't because I know her, so I was like "Oh really, why?"

And she was like well "I went to the Google thing, its about censoring the internet."

So I of coursed asked "That's sort of halfway right, but do you know what exactly it means? What would the law actually do? What specific provisions are bad? What aspects of its proposal were bad?"

At that point she became very confused -- she really had no idea what she was protesting and had never heard anything about the bribery that funded SOPA. Heck a much more informed friend of mine had never heard of the 10 percent of active Senators in bribes figure from Maplight.

(I was the first one I've seen who calculated it as an estimated percentage, as the Maplight study gave the more obtuse $86M USD figure, which is kind of ambiguous in terms of how big or small that really is versus a much more concrete % number, based on contributions versus campaign costs from other studies.)

We're fighting an information war, but we're also fighting a war against apathy.

My less informed friend says she votes for a Presidential candidate by "watching a couple of the debates" and then picking which one she thinks sounds the best/she likes the best. But I think she's probably in the majority... how many people really dig into what various candidates have voted on or done in the careers, what they stand for, have stood for?

Populist is a fair label as it encompasses all stages of the mounting opposition -- from the very early when I was covering it when it was in the works back in 2009-2010, to today when it's suddenly cool to post "STOP SOPA" on your FB wall, even though you have no idea what that means...


RE: Populist or popular
By Moohbear on 1/20/2012 4:45:23 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that populist can have the meaning you imply, but it does have some negative connotations, especially for a European such as me (demagoguery & anti-intellectual). But if you stand by it and by your post I can see you do, then you're certainly right.


RE: Populist or popular
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/20/2012 5:12:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I agree that populist can have the meaning you imply, but it does have some negative connotations, especially for a European such as me (demagoguery & anti-intellectual). But if you stand by it and by your post I can see you do, then you're certainly right.

I think "populist" probably takes on more of a negative term in Europe do to it being abused in association with communist Eastern Europe/Russia not to long ago.

Ironically today Americans find their government increasingly looking a lot like cold war Russia. In Russia the communist government had seized and taken ownership of businesses, but today the situation is increasingly the same in America in that most decisions of government are controlled by a handful of mega-corporations and special interest groups who given their marriage to the politicians by bribery, have essentially become the de facto shadow government. Either way you have government ownership of key industry, increasingly Orwellian domestic spying laws and police provisions, attempts to stoke the populous' nationalistic fervor to trick them into ignoring the issues, and mounting economic problems.

Soviet Russia collapsed and if the U.S. continues along this path of bribery and corruption -- particularly at the federal level -- one can only wonder what will happen to it.

It's ironic... Adam Smith said the government should stay out of business... but what he failed to predict was the dangers of the reverse occurring... big business financially fondling for favors the government.

In the old days there weren't the mega corporations of today, so politicians had to be more overt in their intentions -- either you were a dictatorship/oligarchy (common), or your were a democracy/free republic (rare). Today people are in a far more dangerous system in which they are deceived into thinking their politicians work for them, when in fact, they work for corporate lobbyists and special interests.


RE: Populist or popular
By JasonMick (blog) on 1/20/2012 5:13:41 PM , Rating: 2
*I think "populist" probably takes on more of a negative term in Europe due to it being abused in association with communist Eastern Europe/Russia not too long ago.

...ugh homophones, sorry!


RE: Populist or popular
By michaelklachko on 1/20/2012 8:24:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's ironic... Adam Smith said the government should stay out of business... but what he failed to predict was the dangers of the reverse occurring... big business financially fondling for favors the government.


Actually, according to Chomsky, Adam Smith predicted that:

"...the principal architects of policy are the "merchants and manufacturers," and they make certain that their own interests are, in his words, "most peculiarly attended to," no matter what the effect on others..."

http://www.chomsky.info/books/warfare02.htm


RE: Populist or popular
By Reclaimer77 on 1/20/2012 8:40:01 PM , Rating: 2
Chompsky *snort*

A rich man who owns stocks and has millions of dollars, who writes books and makes speeches telling others that doing the same is evil.


RE: Populist or popular
By lyeoh on 1/22/2012 1:38:57 PM , Rating: 2
Thing is even without SOPA or PIPA the USA managed to pwn megaupload, get a bunch of people arrested who are not US citizens, and weren't even in the USA... And still that is not enough power to use/abuse?

In contrast, when MF Global apparently broke rules and didn't keep customer money separate from trading accounts (and thus lost customer money) the people involved get to go about freely? AFAIK if I temporarily diverted other people's money to my bank account to trade, even if I always put the money back 100%, I'd be in big trouble if I got caught.

My country is racing the USA to the bottom, and the USA sure is providing strong competition...


So now can we move on to Apple's SOPA?
By ack on 1/20/2012 11:12:30 PM , Rating: 2
Will people go up against the threat of iBooks 2.0 - requiring each student to buy an iPad to be allowed to read school e-textbooks? Or should it be subsidized by tax payers?




RE: So now can we move on to Apple's SOPA?
By Solandri on 1/21/2012 1:17:44 PM , Rating: 2
Apple has been really smart about picking their products. They've been inserting themselves between the buying public and hated organizations, so they can replace that organization with something which is still bad (so they make lots of money), but is still better (so the public likes it).

Music/Movie distribution? Everyone hated record and movie prices, and the restrictions those groups tried to put on media. Apple swooped in with iTunes which still has restrictions, and takes an obscene cut of the profits (30%; credit cards don't dare take more than 5%, and usually it's closer to 2%). But because it's better than the old system, people think good things about it.

Now they're tackling ridiculously overpriced school textbooks, which students are forced to rebuy every year because of a few trivial changes. The iBook 2.0 will probably still be overpriced, and will probably be more restrictive. But because overall it'll be an improvement over what school textbook publishers have been feeding us, people will think good things about it.


By ack on 1/21/2012 1:54:48 PM , Rating: 2
With music, you can say it's a personal preference. But education... do we really want a corporation to be in control of that?

If Apple said SOPA was required for the iphone, it probably would have passed. As long as people continue to buy Apple stuff, they can/will do anything they want.

http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2012/01/enthusia...


Well done.
By ciparis on 1/20/2012 8:37:16 PM , Rating: 3
Good article, Mick. You're on a roll lately.




This won't end
By masamasa on 1/23/2012 5:29:02 PM , Rating: 2
Consumers are fed up of being taken advantage of. If it was up to the record companies or film studios they'd likely go back to selling albums that couldn't be copied, at $20 a pop, with no way to hear a sample of what you were buying other than the radio.

Welcome to the age of the Internet fools, where the consumer now has the power. If it wasn't for the review sites, etc. I'd probably still be getting stung by these companies releasing their crap in an attempt to pass it off as quality project.

Power to the people is right! Long overdue.




"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki