It has become clear that big corporations have immense power over Congress. We have seen that on many issues where there is a broad consensus in the general population, Congress refuses to act. There are a number of examples on pollingreport.com.
Our Congress has not acted on any of these issues despite how the people who voted for them feel. Why is that? Powerful contributors to congressional campaigns are against action. Both parties have cooperated in this lack of action. The election cycle has highlighted the use of power by corporations, the media, the very wealthy and the two major political parties. Somehow we need to recognize that the powers-that-be control the political agenda and figure out how to ensure that our desires are acted on. We must monitor our elected officials and get rid of them if they do not act on public agreement on issues. It is tricky because there are so many hot button issues like abortion, gun control, vaccinations, etc., that tend to keep us from demanding action on the issues we do agree on. We must join together to exert our will.
There will be two ballots this November that could be helpful for the general good.
One is a proposal for community rights allowing local communities to have a say in their relationship to potentially harmful effects on their community. Communities in Pennsylvania and Maine have created laws to control confined animal operations, ban fracking in their communities and prevent their water from being stolen by large corporations.
The second ballot issue creates a single payer health care system in Colorado. Residents would choose their own health care providers, but ColoradoCare would pay the bills. Ivan Miller, a psychologist and author of a book on health care reform, contends that if the initiative passes, residents will gain premium health care coverage for $5 billion less than they pay now. ColoradoCare would slash administrative costs of private insurance and negotiate bulk rates for pharmaceuticals. The coverage would extend to anybody who earns income and lives in Colorado, he said.
Somehow we have been convinced that private corporations are more efficient than government. But private corporations have a commitment to their shareholders to maximize profit without taking the environment, their workers, the health of their clients and social justice into account.