Author Topic: Conservatives are so wrong about corporations  (Read 226 times)

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Offline Oceander

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Conservatives are so wrong about corporations
« on: March 27, 2014, 07:11:33 PM »
EDITORIAL COMMENT:  Barf alert - get your barf bags ready!



Conservatives are so wrong about corporations


By Sally Kohn
updated 12:02 PM EDT, Thu March 27, 2014

Editor's note: Sally Kohn is a progressive activist, columnist and television commentator. Follow her on Twitter @sallykohn.

(CNN) -- According to court documents that surfaced this week, General Motors' engineers knew about ignition-switch problems in the Chevrolet Cobalt as early as 2009. The company may have been aware of the dangers as early as 2005 soon after the first Cobalts rolled off the assembly line in 2004. Since 2009, at least a dozen deaths have resulted from the flaw in which, upon impact, the ignition switch slips out of the "on" position and thus prevented airbags from deploying. Last month, GM announced the recall of 1.6 million Cobalts.

In a June 2013 deposition, Gary Altman, program engineering manager for the 2005 Cobalt, was asked whether GM made a business decision not to address the problem. "That is what happened, yes," said Altman.

This news comes just a week after Toyota Motor Corporation announced it would pay $1.2 billion to settle pending criminal charges from the Department of Justice alleging Toyota covered up evidence of safety defects in its vehicles.

"The private sector is more efficient," says Sen. Rand Paul and his fellow conservatives. Really? Efficient at what, exactly — fraud, deception and disaster?

Many of the public policy disagreements between conservatives and progressives are at essence a debate over whether government or the private sector is best equipped to provide vital services. Conservatives argue that government can be bloated and inefficient, which is certainly true sometimes, but attributing those characteristics to all government is like accusing every small businessperson of being Bernie Madoff.

At its heart, whatever the occasional shortcomings, government exists solely for the purpose of advancing the public good. That's the mission. That's the entire design of the enterprise. Corruption, waste and falling short on delivery are inherently anathema to the core principles and existence of government.

On the other hand, the point of the private sector is to make money. That's a good thing. Private enterprise is a vital engine of economic growth and opportunity in America and worldwide. That said -- if your primary goal is to make money, then hiding inconvenient facts, deceiving customers, cutting corners or sweeping risks under the rug are endemic to your enterprise.

In an era of capitalism where businesses are increasingly massive and removed from the direct consequences of their business practices on employees, customers and communities, these profit-at-all-cost impulses are increasingly unbound.

That's how you end up with companies knowing that its products are killing or hurting people and yet still refusing to do something about it lest it hurt their bottom line. Today we're talking about the Chevy Cobalt, but before that it was securitized sub-prime mortgages and before that it was tobacco companies selling cigarettes to kids. The list goes on and on and on.

And this week, we have the Supreme Court hearing arguments in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood cases that private businesses should be able to claim religion in order to evade tenets of the law. The litigants want to evade compliance with the Obamacare mandate that they provide health insurance that covers contraception.

But, as Justice Elena Kagan asked during oral arguments, what's to stop a company from using religion to object to vaccinations? Or blood transfusions? Or minimum wage laws or family medical leave or child labor laws? We've already ushered in unprecedented corporate rights through Citizens United and various doctrines of corporate personhood. Do we really need to go a step further and let corporations use religion as a loophole to rationalize their whims?

More importantly, in spite of example after example to the contrary, why do we trust corporations to tell us the truth and do the right thing when they are not only designed but incentivized to do the opposite? Why on earth would we trust oil companies to tell us that fracking poses no harm to our drinking water? Or that our old health insurance policies are good ones? Or that our education system would be better off in their hands?

It seems that almost every day there's yet another corporation covering up how it endangered people's safety and well-being for the sake of profit. This is why we need to strengthen checks and balances of government regulation and be wary of privatizing vital public services.


Offline Oceander

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Re: Conservatives are so wrong about corporations
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2014, 07:17:06 PM »
Quote
At its heart, whatever the occasional shortcomings, government exists solely for the purpose of advancing the public good. That's the mission. That's the entire design of the enterprise. Corruption, waste and falling short on delivery are inherently anathema to the core principles and existence of government.


:bigsilly:


Why doesn't this loathsome bi*ch go ask V. Putin - or Lenin, or Stalin, or Mao - what the purpose of government is?  She'll get a much different - and more realistic - answer.

And the failings of government aren't just occasional, they are frequent, and frequently deadly.  In fact, if she had only bothered to bone up on some liberal/progressive history from, say, the 1950s, she would have known just how evil and deadly the government can be, and how readily it stoops to those levels.

This idiot makes the fundamental error that all liberals/progressives make:  assuming that intention is all that matters and assuming that intent is always carried out and produces the intended results without any real significant negative side effects.

Offline speekinout

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Re: Conservatives are so wrong about corporations
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2014, 09:25:21 PM »
I wonder why Sally hasn't noticed the huge failure of the news reporters? They should be telling us the truth behind both corporate and government actions. But they have become so corrupt that they lie to us about both gov't and corporations. They are shills for the left. They cover up misdeeds from leftists in all walks of life  - there are a lot of green corporations that could use some investigation as well as dim politicians. And they lie about conservatives.

Of course, I do know why Sally hasn't noticed -  :whistle:

Offline andy58-in-nh

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Re: Conservatives are so wrong about corporations
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2014, 09:42:16 PM »
There's sadly little that can be done for people like Ms. Kohn. Everything she thinks she knows is wrong.
Liberalism isn't really about making the world a better place. It's about reassuring the elites that they are good people for wanting to rule over it.

Offline Fishrrman

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Re: Conservatives are so wrong about corporations
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2014, 09:59:47 PM »
Andy wrote:
[[ There's sadly little that can be done for people like Ms. Kohn. Everything she thinks she knows is wrong. ]]

Of course, you're right.

The only problem is that -- as of late -- the number of folks with Ms. Kohn's "problem" are increasing, and will soon overwhelm us...

Offline andy58-in-nh

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Re: Conservatives are so wrong about corporations
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2014, 10:35:06 PM »
Andy wrote:
[[ There's sadly little that can be done for people like Ms. Kohn. Everything she thinks she knows is wrong. ]]

Of course, you're right.

The only problem is that -- as of late -- the number of folks with Ms. Kohn's "problem" are increasing, and will soon overwhelm us...

No profits - no business. No business - no economy. Government will provide all. Let's see how that works for them.

The idea that businesses succeed by means of deception is an intractable quasi-religious belief among the Left. And it frequently comes from their own inabilities to provide something of value that anyone in their right mind would ever wish to buy. Companies must compete and provide superior value in order to flourish in the marketplace. But when government, and not the market chooses winners and losers, the only thing that matters is access to power and influence. That is not capitalism, but cronyism, and the result is corruption and an abandonment of the pursuit of excellence in favor of the pursuit of political favor.

Liberals think that government is the source of wealth, and that fairness is defined only by how evenly wealth is distributed, not by how well it is earned. They are no better than common thieves, yet falsely ennobled by a desire to redistribute the success of others whose achievements they could never themselves hope to duplicate.
Liberalism isn't really about making the world a better place. It's about reassuring the elites that they are good people for wanting to rule over it.


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