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> 100 years on..., in 1906, Roosevelt was quoted as saying:
Genesisblade
post Mar 21 2006, 11:11 AM
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"Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day":
(Theodore Roosevelt, April 19, 1906)

approaching exactly 100 years on, and in the light of the dubious (i would say corrupt, but that's just me) behaviour of politicians and businessmen to do with everything from Iraq and Afghanistan, to New Orleans, just how concerned is the current incumbent president with such weighty issues? and if not, is it a reasonable expectation of a ruler, in any country?
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Yogurt
post Mar 23 2006, 08:31 PM
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QUOTE(Cube Jockey @ Mar 23 2006, 02:31 PM)
You keep throwing out "consent of the governed" in your arguments but you are forgetting one important thing - corporations are only legal entities, they are not people and they cannot vote.  Therefore that doesn't  even apply to them.  It is also telling that you are more concerned about their interests than of the 250+ million people in the country.



I, for one am glad they are making money. It's what I will use instead of SS that will be dilapidated by then. Institutions own much of most large corporations. A large portion of that is mutual funds. And who invests in mutual funds? Most people's retirement accounts. Take everyone's perennial favorite dog to beat, HAL for instance. It is 87.7% institutionally held, mutual funds owning some 47% of outstanding shares. "Insiders" own only 0.72%. When they are making money, I, and a lot of others, are making money.

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Cube Jockey
post Mar 23 2006, 09:27 PM
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QUOTE(Yogurt @ Mar 23 2006, 12:31 PM)
I, for one am glad they are making money. It's what I will use instead of SS that will be dilapidated by then. Institutions own much of most large corporations. A large portion of that is mutual funds. And who invests in mutual funds? Most people's retirement accounts. Take everyone's perennial favorite dog to beat, HAL for instance. It is 87.7% institutionally held, mutual funds owning some 47% of outstanding shares. "Insiders" own only 0.72%. When they are making money, I, and a lot of others, are making money.
*


Once again, I fail to see your point. You've said the same thing Amlord did in different words. Government is not about making policy that makes certain groups money. Government is about protecting and defending the interests of its citizenry. If an industry wants to lets say - roll back workplace safety legislation (which would reduce their costs ensuring more profit), the government should not say "sure, as long as it makes you money" they should be concerned about protecting their constituents.
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Yogurt
post Mar 23 2006, 10:05 PM
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QUOTE(Cube Jockey @ Mar 23 2006, 04:27 PM)
Government is not about making policy that makes certain groups money.  Government is about protecting and defending the interests of its citizenry.  If an industry wants to lets say - roll back workplace safety legislation (which would reduce their costs ensuring more profit), the government should not say "sure, as long as it makes you money" they should be concerned about protecting their constituents.


Per the constitution, government is in the business of regulating commerce. They defend us from foreign powers. As for protection, we need need more protection from our government, not by it wink.gif . I already had one set of parents, I don't need another.

There are few "win-win" laws. Usually someone benefits to the detriment of someone else. Congress could pass laws tomorrow that would bankrupt every manufacturing concern in the US within a year in the name of safety, but to who's benefit? I guess if everyone was sitting back waiting for an unemployment check no one would get hurt, but who's going to pay for it? It's all cost:benefit.

As for my last reply, and as Amlord stated, business does benefit the "constituents". I tried to point out a huge amount of the stock is held by retirement accounts, much of which is for "average Joes" like me smile.gif
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Cube Jockey
post Mar 23 2006, 10:11 PM
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QUOTE(Yogurt @ Mar 23 2006, 02:05 PM)
As for my last reply, and as Amlord stated, business does benefit the "constituents". I tried to point out a huge amount of the stock is held by retirement accounts, much of which is for "average Joes" like me smile.gif
*


So then your logic goes - so what if some kids along a river downstream from a manufacturing plant get cancer as long as my mutual fund is performing well?
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Yogurt
post Mar 23 2006, 11:04 PM
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QUOTE(Cube Jockey @ Mar 23 2006, 05:11 PM)
So then your logic goes - so what if some kids along a river downstream from a manufacturing plant get cancer as long as my mutual fund is performing well?


Not quite, more like "if the possibility of someone getting cancer increases 0.0001% from normal background and hereditary causes, and the economy survives and hundreds of people keep working, then it's a reasonable risk". Not to mention the anywhere from 2.5 to seven jobs estimated created in the economy for each manufacturing job. We find out every day how over-blown risks have been. In the early 70s I used to be literally up to my elbows in PBC laiden tranformer oil repairing primary connections on pole transformers, now we worry about parts-per-billion. The wastewater at another factory I worked at was required to discharge better quality water to the POTW, in several metrics, than the water we were getting from the municipal source.

Likewise some things we consider safe now will prove to be not so, and we will regulate them. It's not financially prudent for any company to risk their employees, or neighbors, unreasonably.


If we outlawed cars we could eliminate a lot more deaths.

edited to finish, premature submittal

This post has been edited by Yogurt: Mar 23 2006, 11:07 PM
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A left Handed pe...
post Mar 29 2006, 02:17 AM
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Before Roosevelt, you could expect to commonly eat rat poison, dead rats, and rat poop in your typical sausage. Before him, many workers got paid starvation workers, and lived in plague stricken slums. Mafia like gangs forced you to vote for one party or the other (secret ballots didn't exist yet). Rail Road companies were handed off millions of acres of free land (and I don't mean just the two foot expanses used for track). People richer then Bill Gates walked the streets, and monopolies forced the consumer to pay way too much for goods...

Roosevelt and his first two immediate successors, ended this black era, and no that era is not comparable to the one we live in today. Sure we've still got corruption, but it exists on nowhere near the scale it did a hundred years ago.
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Genesisblade
post Apr 3 2006, 03:37 PM
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QUOTE(Amlord @ Mar 21 2006, 04:34 PM)
When will we realize that business is a part of society and that the interests of businesses are just as important as the interests of the environment


I don't think the selfish motivations of business should ever be considered as important as the social issues such as the survival of the species.

It has been widely alleged that business is the reason behind many wars...

Business should be well regulated, and government should always be clear and seperate from business. You can have cross over people because the skills transfer. But you should never have people sitting on both sides of the fence at once. A family of oil barons, for example, should never be allowed to take charge of the most powerful army in the world; still less to be allowed to use it for their personal financial agendas.

Yes they might be elected, but they should forsake business for the sake of social responsibility. Business are, as described, soley about making the most money of ideas. Occasionally a 'body shop' comes along that has a more social ethic. But they are more than just the rare exception - they are virtually unheard of as successful businesses.

Business is not social. Government is not about making money. The two should never overlap, else corruption is inherent. Business may offer backhanders to government to turn a blind eye, but a government with a social concience, indicated by a rejection of the business world, would have no problem punishing those businesses who try.

QUOTE(Yogurt @ Mar 23 2006, 11:04 PM)
[The wastewater at another factory I worked at was required to discharge better quality water to the POTW, in several metrics, than the water we were getting from the municipal source.


it would be nice if this were the rule rather than the exception. But our environment, the poisons in the water and fish, the increased levels of illness directly related to heavy metal polutions and so on and so on, all directly the result of business cutting corners and breaking rules with the knowledge of the authorities, simply to add more $$ to their already bulging profits.

Authorities should be so clearly seperate that there is no way this could happen.

hell, we all know this is the case. The question is whether we should expect the president of the united states to be clamping down on corruption and destroying this invisible government. And further, if this expectation is not realised, in addition to flagrant misspending (to be kind) of the huge moneys available to the federal government (that clearly and sickeningly parallel the vision of 1984), is that not reason enough to demand the elected president stand down?

Surely but surely it is.

This post has been edited by Genesisblade: Apr 3 2006, 03:46 PM
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Amlord
post Apr 3 2006, 05:51 PM
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QUOTE(Genesisblade @ Apr 3 2006, 10:37 AM)
A family of oil barons, for example, should never be allowed to take charge of the most powerful army in the world; still less to be allowed to use it for their personal financial agendas.


You're darn right. President Bush should never have been allowed to be both the CEO of ... what company was that again? ... and the POTUS. How ridiculous of me not to have seen this before...

QUOTE(Genesisblade @ Apr 3 2006, 10:37 AM)
Business is not social. Government is not about making money. The two should never overlap, else corruption is inherent. Business may offer backhanders to government to turn a blind eye, but a government with a social concience, indicated by a rejection of the business world, would have no problem punishing those businesses who try.


The government does not have a conscience, social or otherwise.

QUOTE(Genesisblade @ Apr 3 2006, 10:37 AM)
QUOTE(Yogurt @ Mar 23 2006, 11:04 PM)
[The wastewater at another factory I worked at was required to discharge better quality water to the POTW, in several metrics, than the water we were getting from the municipal source.


it would be nice if this were the rule rather than the exception. But our environment, the poisons in the water and fish, the increased levels of illness directly related to heavy metal polutions and so on and so on, all directly the result of business cutting corners and breaking rules with the knowledge of the authorities, simply to add more $$ to their already bulging profits.

Authorities should be so clearly separate that there is no way this could happen.


Exactly!! Why the life expectancy is so low today that it is ludicrous. ermm.gif

QUOTE(Genesisblade @ Apr 3 2006, 10:37 AM)
hell, we all know this is the case. The question is whether we should expect the president of the united states to be clamping down on corruption and destroying this invisible government. And further, if this expectation is not realised, in addition to flagrant misspending (to be kind) of the huge moneys available to the federal government (that clearly and sickeningly parallel the vision of 1984), is that not reason enough to demand the elected president stand down?

Surely but surely it is.


Stand down from what, exactly? Don't invoke George Orwell and expect not to be called on it. Do you really think that it is business that is likely to exert overwhelming control of us, ala 1984, or the government? If it's more likely to be the government, then how do you justify giving that same government more power over the potential counterweight that is business?

Henry Ford, to the annoyance of his competitors, instituted the eight hour day and forty hour week in 1914, almost 25 years before the federal government made it the standard. Before that, it was unions that organized and demanded shorter work days and weeks, not the heavy hand of government.

The big difference between how business operates and how government operates is the give and take of business. Business is a series of voluntary transactions. There is nothing voluntary or give-and-take about government. It carries the force of law behind its decisions: you follow them or ELSE!!

When government gets involved in business too closely, then businesses must push back to protect its own interests. If the government did not exercise such control over business, business would not find it profitable to meddle in government.

However, do not attribute virtues to government. It varies from a benign dictatorship (ala many European governments) to an amalgam of varied interests (ala the United States). In no case is the government moved by purely wholesome motivations. They may be wholesome during some period, but over time the role of government is a restriction on freedom, not a guarantee of it.
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Genesisblade
post Apr 5 2006, 12:47 PM
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QUOTE(Amlord @ Apr 3 2006, 05:51 PM)
The government does not have a conscience, social or otherwise.

Conscience: the sense of right and wrong that governs thoughts and actions. And you say the government doesn't have (or shouldn't have) one of these?

QUOTE(Amlord @ Apr 3 2006, 05:51 PM)
QUOTE(Genesisblade @ Apr 3 2006, 10:37 AM)
QUOTE(Yogurt @ Mar 23 2006, 11:04 PM)
[The wastewater at another factory I worked at was required to discharge better quality water to the POTW, in several metrics, than the water we were getting from the municipal source.


it would be nice if this were the rule rather than the exception. But our environment, the poisons in the water and fish, the increased levels of illness directly related to heavy metal polutions and so on and so on, all directly the result of business cutting corners and breaking rules with the knowledge of the authorities, simply to add more $$ to their already bulging profits.

Authorities should be so clearly separate that there is no way this could happen.


Exactly!! Why the life expectancy is so low today that it is ludicrous. ermm.gif

right... thumbsup.gif forget about the advances in medical science, and overlook the vast increase in levels of illnesses related to man-made poisons, heavy metal or otherwise. Compare this to China, where historically old age is a time of wisdom not weakness and alzheimers.

QUOTE(Amlord @ Apr 3 2006, 05:51 PM)
Stand down from what, exactly?  Don't invoke George Orwell and expect not to be called on it.  Do you really think that it is business that is likely to exert overwhelming control of us, ala 1984, or the government?  If it's more likely to be the government, then how do you justify giving that same government more power over the potential counterweight that is business?

Henry Ford, to the annoyance of his competitors, instituted the eight hour day and forty hour week in 1914, almost 25 years before the federal government made it the standard.  Before that, it was unions that organized and demanded shorter work days and weeks, not the heavy hand of government.

The big difference between how business operates and how government operates is the give and take of business.  Business is a series of voluntary transactions.  There is nothing voluntary or give-and-take about government.  It carries the force of law behind its decisions: you follow them or ELSE!!

When government gets involved in business too closely, then businesses must push back to protect its own interests.  If the government did not exercise such control over business, business would not find it profitable to meddle in government.

He should stand down from his position if he is unable to make decisions based on the wider needs of the people without being swayed by business.

In 1984, governments spend all the extra money that should be spend on health and education and divert it to fabricated or unnecessary and deadlocked wars with the other two world governments, in which no country wins or loses but drains all the money. The purpose of which was to keep people too busy working to feed their families to realise the truth of the situation.

The point i made was that government and business are merged into one in 1984. The strings of both (and indeed the rebellion) are pulled by the same people. This is increasingly the case in the modern world. You want an example other than Bush? Look at Italy.


QUOTE(Amlord @ Apr 3 2006, 05:51 PM)
However, do not attribute virtues to government.  It varies from a benign dictatorship (ala many European governments) to an amalgam of varied interests (ala the United States).  In no case is the government moved by purely wholesome motivations.  They may be wholesome during some period, but over time the role of government is a restriction on freedom, not a guarantee of it.

an amalgam of varied interests? nah, i'd say it was an oligopoly, where only a limited related few families run the whole show, and its only their unvaried money oriented interests that are served.

But you did pretty much paraphrase the concern i have... certain (if not all) governments are not motivated by purely wholesome motivations. But surely that is exactly what they SHOULD be motivated by and no by money. That is exactly the question. The president of the united states should be obliged to break down any links between government and business, should direct federal policy actions (through his assistants etc) with a purely wholesome motivation. this should include issues such as survival of the species and environmental concerns (not pretend nothing is wrong and carry on as before).

the president should be the healing balm that counters man's greed, not the deepest darkest part of the problem.
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