Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The World Struggle in Petto:

The Bolivian government, under pressure from the World Bank to privatize water utilities, contracted with Aguas del Tunari, the major shareholder of which is Bechtel subsidiary International Water Ltd., to run the water system of Cochabamba, a water-starved region in central Bolivia. At the time, Cochabamba was served by an old and decaying system that did not reach areas of the countryside where many peasants lived. Aguas del Tunari, when it took over the system, raised rates, to up to three times what they had been, and began charging peasants for water they drew from their own wells. The government, in compliance with its contract with the company, passed a law that prohibited people from collecting water from local lagoons, rivers, and deltas, and even rainwater. The company confiscated people's alternative water systems, without compensation, and placed them under its control. All of these actions, including the rate increases—which imposed severe hardship on many—were justified by the company as necessary to meet contractually mandated profit levels.

People organized in the city and in the countryside, and demanded that the company leave, which it did, eventually, but only after bloody confrontations between citizens and the police and military.

The water corporation was deprivatized and returned to the people of Cochabamba. The nonprofit corporation, with a board of directors composed of local officials and representatives from unions and professional associations, is "not only transparent, but more just, more efficient, and encouraging of participation of the people in the solution to their problems."

Joel Bakan, The Corporation (2004)

Keywords: arrogance, brutality, Bechtel Corporation, corporations, corporocracy, corruption, democracy, deprivatization, directors, plutocracy, privatization, rapacity, republic, World Bank

Corporations Should Either Be Publicly Directed Or Lose Their Shareholder Liability-Limitation

Corporations have existed for some centuries, although very limited in numbers, purposes and durations until the nineteenth century (indeed, at the time of the US Declaration of Independence in 1776, they had been outlawed in Britain for half a century, under the Bubble Act), and one of the new advantages given to corporations toward the end of that century was limitation of liability of shareholders for corporate debt:

In other words, instead of shareholders being treated as partners each of which was liable for all corporate debt, shareholders' liabilities were limited by GOVERNMENT REGULATION to amounts corresponding to their shareholdings.

But the arrogance, the rapacity, the corruption and the brutality of the present-day corporocracy, American and global, makes it critical that these INSTITUTIONS be reined in.

And one way of doing this is giving corporations a choice:

Either their boards of directors are selected by random lottery on a yearly basis from among the citizens of the countries in which they do business, or they lose shareholder liability-limitation.

Keywords: arrogance, brutality, Bubble Act, corporations, corporocracy, corruption, deregulation, directors, liability, plutocracy, privatization, rapacity, shareholders

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Don't Fall for It Again:
An Open Letter to Jim Gilchrist and His Minuteman Project

Over and over and over again we see it:

When "either" Party is "out", it makes populist noises, such as pretending that if they're put back "in" they'll stem the flow of illegal immigrant labor that their owners whom they represent so desire.

But whether "in" or "out", "both" "Parties" represent only their owners and themselves:

Beyond Plutocracy and Its Two-Plutocratic-Party System
American working people have suffered attack after attack over the last several decades, "out-sourcing" of manufacturing jobs to countries where the workers are even more oppressed (we both probably remember when "conservatives" hated "Communist" China—"Communist" in quotes, since a hereditary absolute ruling party is neither Marxist nor Communist, and it's instructive how easily the "New Class" of the old Soviet Union slid and that of "Communist" China is sliding into good old-fashioned plutocrats somehow owning everything that used to be supposedly owned by the people)(Solzhenitsyn was firing up about that when he died); importation of illegal immigrant labor to take the lowest-level service jobs at levels of pay and benefits that Americans balk at, thus kicking out the underpinning of the wage-scale; and bubble after bubble run against the economy, even in food (what's a little malnutrition or starvation if someone can make a little money causing it?), climaxed by the Oil Bubble of 2006-8, which quite deliberately wrecked the economy of the world, in the greatest economic attack and act of war and war-crime and crime against humanity ever:


But please, please, please, in your admirable efforts on just one front against this plutocratic war against America and its people and land, don't fall for the "good Party/bad Party" BS the American plutocratic two-plutocratic-party-system flacks and thugs and media dish out:

The politicians and professionals of "both" "Parties" are the relentless and merciless and completely dishonest enemies of you and me and everyone else except their owners and themselves.

John Kennard

PS: The so-called "Libertarian" Party is even worse; when it comes to money, especially Big Money, they run with the plutocrats EVERY time.

Keywords: commodity speculation, Columbia University, Communism, "Communist" China, food bubbles, illegal immigrant labor, Jim Gilchrist, Marx, Milovan Djilas, Minuteman Project, "New Class", Oil Bubble, out-sourcing, plutocracy, Russia, Soviet Union, two-plutocratic-party system