By: Keith Burton
What a terrible predicament we Americans have found ourselves facing. On one hand, we have the lofty ideals our nation was founded upon, those of freedom and liberty and justice for all. Then on the other hand we have violence in our communities and around the world, declining morality, despair among the poor, and greed at all levels of society. We seem to be a people becoming uncertain of our place in this world, and blind to the positive vision our forefathers saw in this nation we call home.
Today, we are losing more of our liberty as a result of business practices, than through the actions of government.
Haven't you noticed so often our freedom is defined by our ability to go to a store to make a purchase? Perhaps that explains the strange encouragement of our president shortly after the World Trade Center attacks. You know, the call for us to return to the stores and restaurants in our communities and continue to purchase things. As that was our patriotic duty during that time of crisis.
We live in a nation where many of our problems both nationally and internationally can be traced to activities in the business world and not to the ideals our nation holds.
Consider this: It isnít the government that forces people to take drug tests or get medical examinations prior to employment. It isnít the government that is installing cameras at every business and parking lot invading our privacy.
It isnít government that tells working people when they can go to the bathroom at work and how often.
It isnít the government that controls our medical care. It isnít government that moves cargo through our ports of entry flooding our nation with drugs. It isnít the government that ruins the environment and destroys resources.
But you sure would think so, thanks to the corporate-owned news and information media that never seems to blame business for any of the ills of this world.
You can also thank business for seeking to redefine marriage. This is clearly an outcome of "diversity" programs found in the workplace. You can also thank business for promulgating illegal immigration, which is lowering everyone's wages and creating a new "peasant class" of American citizen.
Today, unlike when our nation was founded, people face the tyranny of businesses, which have grown larger and more powerful than most nations, perhaps even a nation as large as our own.
We are a fearful people today, we Americans. By way of the drums of what some call the news media, our past is being discredited, our leaders defamed, and our principles, challenged. But it is not the media that creates the messages; they are just the drum beaters, the corporate mouthpieces of big business. While much of the information we hear is sad and discouraging, there is a certainty of hope also.
Our nation will not fail. No matter how corrupt the world becomes, because there is more to America than all of its problems.
Thatís because America isnít only a nation. It is an idea, a faith. A faith that there is a God who loves mankind. A God that believes mankind is worthy and kind, and capable of justice. America represents a nation of hope and freedom to all mankind, and that is its real power.
But this does not mean our government is that hope. It also doesnít mean our economy is that hope. But both are important. Freedom and prosperity need the structures of government and business, but not at the expense of liberty.
Our nationís constitution was written to prevent the tyranny of government. But today, we face the tyranny of business. Very few of us understand that being free, doesnít mean being able to buy a new TV, or traveling, or getting a burger at McDonalds. But that is all most of us know, or can express about what freedom means.
There is only one threat to America and that is the ascending power of business. If the principle of the bottom line becomes ultimately the law of the land, our future as a free nation will end. You have probably already noticed the battle of morality. Morality and big business often fail to agree.
Slavery is more than just something that happened in the past. Today, many of us are slaves to our jobs and to companies that could care less about our lives. Proof of the power of corporate slavery comes in many forms.
Why is it that health insurance is provided from your employer? Your employer doesnít pay your house insurance. Your employer doesnít pay your car insurance. Why then do we have a system where employers pay our health insurance? It is part of controlling people.
That is why there is such a big battle regarding nationalizing health care. Neither business or the government should be in charge of our health care. WE should be. But no one ever mentions that as an option.
The same is true regarding your money where personal income taxes continue to climb at rates far exceeding the rate for corporate taxes.
The federal government takes in far less corporate taxes than you might expect. In fact, personal income taxes have grown unbelievably faster than increases in corporate taxes. (See chart below)
This reflects business interests controlling our government to the extent that despite ever increasing personal income, we Americans still feel like we are becoming poorer. The truth is we are, as we carry an increasingly unfair burden of taxes supporting the government at all levels.
Our nationís constitution protects us from many evils of government. We are free to speak and to write most anything about our governmental agencies and politicians. But not about what goes on in business.
Reporters in the news media do not have the same rights when it comes to reporting activities in the business world. The news media doesnít have access to business leaders or board rooms in companies. Reporters can be thrown out and charged with trespassing. Even worse, there are no protections for journalists when faced with a lawsuit, even when they are right. Just the threat of an expensive lawsuit will back down most journalistic organizations, from the largest and most certainly small news operations. So it is no surprise that you may feel betrayed by the news media at times.
As the old saying goes, ďknowledge is power.Ē But we are powerless in ignorance, and that is the state we are in today. We are left with an empty appearance of freedom with millions of dollars of our savings and investments disappearing in repeated business scandals.
It doesnít have to be this way. A new subject needs to be added to the national agenda.
There is a need to expand the Constitutionís authority into the business arena, a permanent foundation of citizen rights and principles that applies to the business world as well as the government. I believe there is still enough support in the principles of freedom in the U.S. Constitution to expand its application into the business world. This can be accomplished on three fronts.
First, business answers to money, therefore shop only at companies that prove to be responsible to their people and to your community, and be vocal about your choices.
Secondly, become vocal politically. Write letters to the editors of your daily paper and political leadership. Insist that constitutional liberties be applied to businesses. Don't wait for the current crop of politicians to take up the banner, way too many are in league with big business and only actions by you will change their focus.
Most importantly, talk about this with your friends and family. It is time to move forward. The future is brighter than we can know.
Government Income By Source in Millions of Dollars
Source: Budget of the United States Government
About the author: Keith Burton owns and operates GulfCoastNews.com. He is an award-winning journalist with over 25 years professional news experience including professional work in radio, television, newspapers and the Internet. He also writes on a freelance basis for a variety of national automotive and boating magazines.