In 1972 NAM (National Association of Manufacturers) decided to move it’s base from New York City to Washing DC.
This doesn’t seem like a big deal until you look at the underlying implications of why they chose to make this move.
NAM’s Chief, Burt Raynes, is quoted as saying:
“We have been in New York since before the turn of the century, because
we regarded this city as the center of business and industry.
But the thing that affects business most today is Government. The
interrelationship of business with business is no longer so important
as the interrelationship of business with Government. In the last several
years, that has become very apparent to us.”
It had become apparent to corporations in the 1960’s and 1970’s that the population of “the greatest country,” had become more progressive in its views toward corporate greed and the desire fo a social safety net system.
The people believed it was their right to demand adequate conditions from corporations. Not only for the work environment but also the natural environment of the planet as a whole, would have to be made a top priority for all businesses.
Washington Listened to the People!
In a surprising turn of events, the people succeeded in forcing Washing to take action. DC introduced extensive regulations that would expand its regulatory power. Businesses would be held to new environmental, economic, and safety standards that had never before been seen.
In corporate circles, this shift in power from business to the masses was met with disbelief and then ALARM.
Even after the GOP succeeded in placing one of their ranks into the presidential seat, the corporate powers defeat continued unabated.
Enter Lewis Powell Jr.
Having seen the shift in power from corporations to the common man a corporate lawyer, Lewis Powell Jr., drafted what would become the playbook for corporate control.
Powell drafted a memo, which he titled:
A Call-to-Arms for Corporations
In this memo, Powell outlines the steps necessary to be taken if corporate America wishes to take back control of the people and government of this country.
“American economic system is under broad attack.”
This attack, Powell maintained, required mobilization for political combat:
“Business must learn the lesson . . . that political power is necessary; that such power must be assiduously cultivated; and that when necessary, it must be used aggressively and with determination—without embarrassment and without the reluctance which has been so characteristic of American business.”
Powell went on to stress that strength lied in the organization and the willingness to “play the long game.”:
“Strength lies in organization, in careful long-range planning and implementation, in the consistency of action over an indefinite period of years, in the scale of financing available only through joint effort, and in the political power available only through united action and national organizations.”
Companies of the World UNITE!
The organization of the companies around Powell and others of a like mind was unheard of. Within the span of 10 years, companies headquartered in Washington increased 400%. Within 11 years, the amount of lobbyists in Washington went from 178 to almost 2500.
What these numbers don’t show is something even greater. Employers learned to work together in Washington to achieve shared political goals. Before this time, airlines may have lobbied for what they desired while the mine owners lobbied for their desires. They discovered, if they can create a united force, they had a better chance of overpowering the government regulations and controlling democracy.
We The Corporations…
It has taken until now to see what the inevitable outcome of these events would create. Corporations have created a system, through government influence, that favors their desires above all else.
Too often, the people of this country are deemed to be second in line to corporate interests. Too often, we watch as laws are passed that declare money to be a form of speech. Too often, do we sit idol as OUR judges make the declaration that a business in a person and therefore has the right to contribute all of the “speech” it wants to any political candidate it chooses.
The Big Brother We Were Afraid of Wasn’t the Government After All.
We have become a country ran by corporate interests. So much so, that they now have the right to sell the information that we view in our homes to the highest bidder.
The places we visit on a daily basis are tracked. The stories we browse online are tracked. The links we click are tracked. Yes, even the articles we write are tracked.
They claim to do this in order to customize what we see for our own good.
The fact is, we are in an infinite loop of control. We are told where to eat, what to watch, where to travel, and maybe worst of all, how much we will get the privilege of paying them for making that decision for us.
Does Big Data Really Know Best?
It is up to us as American citizens to stand and shout “We will not be controlled any longer.” Americans love our country, as well we should. Let’s make it ours again!
Do what Americans did in the 60’s. Elect leaders who will fight for the people and not corporate interest.
They will be hard to find after all corporate money is tempting. But they are out there…
What do you think?