Monday, October 31, 2011

My Take on an Interesting Article

Read this first:

I agree with the author that what these groups are protesting is more similar than the news lets on. They do both identify the same problem: too much power in the government/corporations, brought on by the too-close relationship between those entities. However, this is the easy part; solving that problem is much more difficult. The movement’s proposals for solving our problems are what really distinguish them from one another, and what really determine which movement deserves support. Each group blames the opposite half of the corporate-government relationship, and each group proposes to curtail the power of the side they blame. Tea Partiers blame government and trust business to drive the economy, whereas OWS blames businesses and trusts the government to regulate them. The thing is, only the Tea Party cites the correct culprit.

Why is the government more to blame for these crony-capitalism relationships than business? Because the government, unlike corporations, has a constitution. The government, unlike corporations, has a civic duty, a role to play, and a monopoly on the use of force in order to serve that role. A corporation's only purpose, it's only objective, it's only goal, is to make money. Corporations are succeeding in that goal. A government's purpose is to defend the rights and freedoms of its citizens. The government is failing in that goal. Therefore, the government is to blame. If a high level corporate executive strikes a deal with a high level politician, the politician is corrupt, but the executive is merely executing a wise business move. The executive, unlike the politician, has no legal responsibility to do what's best for the American people: his job description is to do what's best for the company, and he has done so.

The constitution was so brilliant because it restrained the government’s power by specifically enumerating the powers that government can and cannot exercise. However, today, we essentially ignore the constitution. Many of the checks and balances on the powers the government may undertake are no longer observed, and the government can run wild and do what it likes. It has become tyrannical, and the Tea Party is a pun on history to symbolize the protest, then and now, against that tyranny.

Ultimately, the government has a monopoly on force. For that reason, businesses must rely on government if they are to expand their power, but government needn't rely on business. If we restrict the power of government, if we stop them from giving the special favors and enforce equality under the law, the power of large corporations will naturally fall as well, because they won't have the government helping them. But if we restrict the power of corporations using the government, the result will be an even stronger government that can still reward certain corporations by punishing their opponents. One solution will restrict the power of both government and corporations; the other solution will exacerbate the problem. We cannot tell businesses what they can and cannot do with their own money; we must tell the government what it can and cannot do with other people's money. The constitution is what tells the government just that, and the longer it's ignored, the longer this nation will remain broken.

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