The oil companies have figured out that it is more cost-effective to influence our votes than to pay a fair price for our oil. I had questioned why we were paying oil companies to take our oil and was told by some that it is a sliding scale of payments and once the price of oil reaches $150 a barrel, we won’t need to pay them to take it. I stand corrected.
Bribing our officials is illegal, but there may be a work-around. Nick Begich is reportedly loaning $650,000 to his campaign. If he wins, entities that are pleased with how he votes can donate to his campaign so that he can repay himself with interest. Since corporations have somehow been ruled to be “people,” it is a short step from there to corporations ‘’loaning” money to politicians. If those politicians vote the wrong way, can the loan be recalled?
While most of us were better off financially before the pandemic started, I have read numerous articles stating that the wealthiest of us have doubled their net worth during that time. Changes could be made to help balance that out and alleviate some of the misery caused by poverty in this country, but the wealthy would object, and those who have the gold make the rules.
I want to live in a democracy. If you want to live under a dictator, please consider moving to Russia, China, Nicaragua, Syria or North Korea. There are a lot of choices out there, so you really don’t have to stay here. I have often wondered why anyone would want to live under a dictator, since their regimes tend to be incredibly corrupt. The best answer I have come up with so far is that those individuals feel they are unable to compete in a free economy and figure they can do better by serving a corrupt leader and hoping to share in the spoils.
The real dangers I see from dictators and corporations is that they have incredible power and little concern for the rest of us. A dictator can start a war on a whim, and if they have nuclear weapons, can cause suffering on a global scale. Corporations do not eat food or drink water or breathe air, so those things matter little to them. And as climate change related storms, flooding, drought, fires and heat waves make parts of the earth barely livable, some corporations will figure how to make even more money on the new normal. We could join together to try to improve the situation for all of us, but the stumbling block that we cannot seem to get past is the ‘join together’ concept.
— Mark Beaudin
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