Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Corporate Power

Just watched another great episode of Thom Hartmanns tv show, The Big Picture, on RT TV on youtube where he talks about the rise of corporate influence in this country. He said until the 1890's it was illegal for corporations to lobby politicians, or attempt to influence any election or law, the punishment was jail time and the corporation would be dissolved.

But starting will Abraham Lincoln, who gave out tons of free land to the Railroad barons, so they could built a trancontinental railroad, so the North could win the Civil War, corporate power grew among the barons to where a "small group of men became the wealthiest men on the planet."

"With that wealth they bribed a few members of the Supreme Court so they would rule that corporations had the same rights as people, so there money could influence elections and law."

In 1870's a Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justice warned his law students, basically saying corporate power is building, for economic and political power,
"The question shall arise in your day, which shall rule, wealth or man, which shall lead, money or intellect, who shall fill public stations, educated and patriotic free men or the fuedal serfs of corporate capital." Edward G. Ryan

The Railroad barons than gained citizenship status for all corporations when in a lawsuit that went to the Supreme Court, a court reported noted the citenship-like rights belonging to the corporation.

2010 citizens united Supreme Court officially allowed corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence the political process and not report who they donate the money to. The result was 300 million dollars was spent on the 2010 political campaign, up from 60 million in 2006.

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