This column is archived at: http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/c2007/cbarchive_20070727.html
Most of us who believe in the free enterprise system have been taught that business interests normally work to the betterment of America's overall health, both commercially and politically. While there might have been a time when this was true, it is definitely not true today. Not only has Big Business become unfriendly to the principles of freedom, it has also become freedom's greatest threat.
To say that Corporate America is America's greatest threat is a harsh accusation, but one that I believe is warranted. I will even be so bold as to say that freedom has much more to fear from today's Chambers of Commerce than it does from Al Qaida.
Today's Americans need to carefully heed the sage counsel of Thomas Jefferson, who said, "Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains." The truth of that statement aptly explains the serious damage that Big Business is currently inflicting upon our liberties.
Someone rightly observed that one can determine the focus of, and influence upon, societies by analyzing its architecture. For example, from the founding of Jamestown in 1607 through the beginning of the War for Southern Independence, the most notable buildings (in most communities) belonged to churches. From the mid-nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century, the most prominent buildings belonged to various governments. From the mid-twentieth century to the present, the biggest, most lavish, and most notable buildings belong to Big Business. This is not accidental or coincidental. These buildings are the monuments of men to the ideas that mean the most to them. Accordingly, a vast number of today's Americans have come to worship at the shrine of Big Business.
However, this idolatry comes at great price. Not the least of which is the way we have allowed Big Business interests to virtually control governmental policy, including our war and defense policies.
For example, I recently obtained a copy of the U.S. Navy's "Playbook." This Playbook succinctly summarizes the Department of the Navy's policies and guidelines, and is made available to naval officers and to public affairs professionals. Under the section entitled "Vision" it states, "Americans secure at home and abroad; sea and air lanes open and free for the peaceful and productive movement of international commerce; enduring national and international naval relationships that remain strong and true; steadily deepening cooperation among the maritime forces of emerging partner nations . . ."
Notice the emphasis of "international commerce," "international naval relations," and "emerging partner nations."
Under the section entitled "Focus On Execution" it states, "We must continue to embrace the vital contributions that out [sic] partners make in working to secure the global community."
Notice that part of our Navy's policy is to "secure the global community." So, who is our military charged to defend? Is it the American people? Is it the "global community," or is it Big Business? Navy brass might answer, "All of the above." However, it should seem obvious to anyone who is paying attention that in the grand scheme of things, the will and interests of the American people are being submerged under the will and interests of Big Business, which is creating the global community.
Under the section "Maritime Strategy" it states, "This new Maritime Strategy is required to face the threats of our interdependent societies and global economy."
Can the reader not see how that even our military and defense departments are being coerced and manipulated by the interests of Big Business? Need more evidence? Look at Iraq.
Are you aware that America has almost as many civilian contractors in Iraq as we do military personnel? According to a recent census report, there are more than 100,000 civilian contractors currently working in Iraq. In fact, the war in Iraq has become "the most privatized war in U.S. history." (Source: Multinational Monitor, Nov/Dec 2006) The Halliburton company alone has received some $20 billion from both its oil and troop logistics contracts. Contracts, that according to MM, include "[f]orty-five dollar cases of soda; $85,000 trucks in need of minor repairs . . . tens of millions of dollars in gasoline surcharges; thousands of meals prepared but never served to the troops . . . [and] contaminated water served to the troops."
And if one were to actually believe that America has any intention of pulling out of Iraq, consider this: experts predict that private, civilian contracts will grow into a $200 billion-a-year global business by 2010. Why do you think that our government is currently constructing the biggest U.S. embassy in the world in downtown Baghdad? In fact, when our embassy in Iraq is finished it will be larger than the Vatican!
No, my friends, our government has no intentions of pulling out of Iraq. Not next year. Not ever! Why? It is the desire of Big Business that we be there.
Consider, too, the way that the Chambers of Commerce around America attempt to facilitate the flow of illegal aliens into our country. In fact, the national Chamber of Commerce is one of the biggest proponents of amnesty for illegal aliens. Many within Corporate America also support "sanctuary cities" for illegal aliens. They lobby our congressmen in Washington, D.C., and in state capitols to NOT enforce our nation's laws against companies that hire illegals and against illegals themselves.
Anyone with even a modicum of common sense understands that nothing compromises America's safety and security as does the current invasion of our country by illegal aliens. How anyone can believe that President Bush is serious about fighting a "war on terror" when he has done absolutely nothing for nearly six years to secure our borders and ports is the height of naïveté.
As we can easily observe by reading the aforementioned U.S. Navy's own Playbook, this administration is basing its foreign and domestic policies more on the desires of Big Business than the interests of the American people. And lest Democrats think that, should they capture the White House in 2008, things will change, guess again. The same Big Business interests that control the Republican Party control the Democratic Party, which means there will be no significant change to our government's policy regarding Iraq if Democrats are in charge. Count on it!
Look, too, at how Big Business tries to manipulate laws regarding the right to keep and bear arms. One of the chief proponents of denying people the right to transport firearms in their vehicles to and from work is Corporate America. All over the country, companies threaten their employees with dismissal should they have firearms in their cars. In fact, it is the diabolical duo of Big Business and Big Government that are the biggest proponents of denying the American people their right to personal self-defense.
Speaking of personal self-defense, if you own a firearm and intend to have ammunition to put in that firearm, you might want to buy it while you can afford it. By the first of next year, the price of ammunition will be at least double what it is today, that is providing one can find it at all. The reason? Corporate America is selling the raw ingredients necessary for the construction of ammunition (at top dollar, I might add) to Red China. As with everything else, Corporate America would rather sell to Communist China than to the American people.
Another sign of Corporate America's treachery: just last Tuesday (July 24, 2007), Westinghouse Electric Company signed a deal to build four nuclear power plants in China and to transfer technology for its newest reactor to a Chinese partner. According to Westinghouse president, Steve Tritch, the Chinese nuclear plant deal is worth "multibillion-dollar contracts." But the Chinese buyers asked the company not to disclose details. (Source: the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) Just like we will never be told why China is buying up all the raw materials that go into making ammunition.
Of course, the marriage of Corporate America with the communist elite in China is now well established. USA Today recently reported that "U.S. corporate profits in China passed $2 billion the first six months of 2006." Companies currently doing business in China include Caterpillar, Starbucks, Greif (a Delaware, Ohio-based maker of industrial packaging), General Motors, Google, UPS, Microsoft, Nike, AT&T, and of course, Wal-Mart. In addition, the Chrysler Corporation recently announced that it will begin importing cars made in China.
In fact, the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai represents over 1,300 corporations, including 150 Fortune 500 companies, and the U.S.-China Business Council represents 250 companies doing business all across China. (Source: Multinational Monitor)
Plus, we should realize that it is Corporate America that is behind the push to outsource America's jobs and industries. It is also Corporate America that is behind the push to create a NAFTA superhighway and North American Community. In short, it is Corporate America that is behind the push to sacrifice America's national sovereignty and independence.
It is also Corporate America that opposes Country Of Origin Labeling (COOL) laws that would require companies to tell consumers where their food comes from. In fact, such a law was passed back in 2002 and signed by President Bush, but Corporate America's lobbyists successfully blocked the implementation of that law. Therefore, you and I still have no idea where the food we purchase comes from.
The list just goes on and on.
As one can easily see, Corporate America has morphed into an international juggernaut that threatens our safety and security, as well as our liberty and independence in a way that foreign terrorists could only dream about. The American people need to start seeing these giant corporations for what they really are: freedom's greatest threat.