What does it say when irrespective of which party is in power, corporations increase their power, malfeasance, unionization, and profits? Is there an answer? YES!
Remember the joy those who were not blinded by the fallacies of healthcare felt when Obamacare passed. Even the people in ruby-red Kentucky were happy with Obamacare by a different name, Kynect. But guess who else loved it? Health insurance stocks went through the roof. Why would that be?
Corporations, via their non-profit misinformed and paid politicians, created enough chaos to scare politicians into making the Affordable Care Act somewhat patient-friendly but mostly corporation-friendliest. Yes, you get a free colonoscopy, but if they find something wrong, the colonoscopy is no longer coded as screening. In other words, millions that would not have had a colonoscopy get one. It may or may not save their lives if cancer is found, but to many, it drains their financial resources. Understand what that means. Screening becomes a marketing tool, subsidized government advertising to increase business for screening centers, hospitals, and the entire private healthcare industrial complex. And this type of scenario occurs over and over in Obamacare.
Every time a law purportedly helps the masses look under the hood, corporations are going to get their pound of flesh extracted by their bought politicians first. Remember our previous topic where we discussed stakeholders? The capital class gets the most, and we get the crumbs.
Stakeholder Theory is a view of capitalism that stresses the interconnected relationships between businesses, their customers, suppliers, employees, investors, communities, and others who have a stake in the organization. It is clear, based on the declining economic state and powerlessness of the employee and the customer, that the theory does not treat stakeholders evenly. Capitalism, in its name, is probative. The stakeholders who own and control the capital continue to be the lord as the consumers and employees remain the serfs.
Two stories come to mind. Few will initially see their interrelation, but they must. The first is that under this purported union-loving Democratic president and administration, unionization is at its lowest. The second is that under President Joe Biden, Corporate prosecutions have hit a record low.
The Common Dreams article “Low Union Numbers Amid Organizing Wave Spark Calls for US Labor Law Fixes” should give everyone pause. It says the following.
Labor advocates renewed calls for boosting U.S. worker rights and protections on Thursday as federal data revealed that despite union membership rising by 273,000 from 2021 to 2022, a jump in nonunion jobs meant the unionization rate fell from 10.3% to a record low of 10.1%.
“In 1983, the first year where comparable union data are available, the union membership rate was 20.1% and there were 17.7 million union workers,” the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) noted in a statement announcing the new figures.
The number of workers who held a job covered by a union contract—including those who report no union affiliation—rose by 200,000 to 16 million last year, but the percentage of employees represented dropped from 11.6% to 11.3%, according to the BLS.
The bureau found that though 7.1 million public sector employees belonged to unions in 2022, similar to the 7.2 million private sector workers, the union membership rate was 33.1% for the public sector compared with just 6% for the private sector.
Responding to the BLS release, the AFL-CIO, a federation of unions representing 12.5 million workers, asserted, “These statistics highlight the need for the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act and the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act, which will hold union-busting companies and organizations accountable and give workers the negotiating power they deserve.” …
Specifically pointing to the record-low unionization rate last year, Nina Turner, a former Democratic congressional candidate and senior fellow at the Institute on Race, Power, and Political Economy, said that “this is a move in the wrong direction.”
Noting the same statistic, Democrats on the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce tweeted: “Unfortunately, this is not a surprise even though unions are extremely popular among workers. This is a direct result of employers using illegal union-busting tactics and Republicans turning their backs on working people.”
At the same time, another article titled “Analysis Shows Corporate Prosecutions Hit Record Low in 2022 Under Biden” is probative.
Despite the Biden administration’s pledge to crack down on corporate crime, a new analysis of Justice Department data shows that business prosecutions fell to a record low in fiscal year 2022 even as there appeared to be no shortage of wrongdoing—from healthcare fraud to large-scale price gouging.
The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a nonprofit data-gathering outfit, noted Thursday that out of the more than 4,000 federal white-collar prosecutions last year, “under 1% or only 31 of these defendants were businesses or corporate entities.”
“This is the lowest number of criminal prosecutions of business entities for white-collar offenses since federal prosecutor tracking began for these in FY 2004,” TRAC observed. “The decision to criminally charge a business in contrast to an individual for engaging in white-collar criminal activity is exceedingly rare (just 1%).”
TRAC also found that “the prosecution of white-collar offenders in FY 2022 reached a new all-time low since tracking began during the Reagan administration.”
While vowing to break with its predecessor and take a tougher stand against corporate crime, the Biden Justice Department has made explicit that its “top priority for corporate criminal enforcement” is “going after individuals” rather than institutions, pointing to the high-profile convictions of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes and former JPMorgan traders.
Corporate prosecutions have been plummeting for years under both Republican and Democratic presidents, a trend that experts have attributed in part to the rise of deferred and non-prosecution agreements.
The consumer advocacy group Public Citizen pointed out in a report last year that “over the past two decades, such agreements have become the DOJ’s routine method for resolving criminal cases against big corporations.”
Corporations know that at best, irrespective of their crimes, including union busting, the worse most need to worry about is a negotiated slap on the wrist. The average American is not afforded said leniency in the aggregate.
It is on us to emancipate ourselves from our voluntary antiseptic slavery and assert our worth and collective power. Until we cut the chains in our minds from accepting corporate evil deeds as fait accompli, there will be no change. It is up to use vote our interests and elect those who will bring a fair economy to all of us.
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