Friday, January 7, 2011

Tea Party: What would the Bostonians have done?

"Today’s “Tea Party” movement arises in a moment of far greater corporate misfeasance and political corruption.  However, it remains curiously silent on even the most shocking corporate crimes and depredations.  These misdeeds have been made possible by deregulation, weak oversight, cozy relationships among government officials and lobbyists and executives, and the capturing of regulatory agencies by the regulated industries.  A Tea Party that lived up to its honorable name today would have spent the 2010 election demanding that the government bring to justice the large corporations that caused far more harm to Americans over the last decade than the East India Company ever did.  It would have insisted on criminal prosecution of the CEOs and executives who engineered the sub-prime mortgage crisis through securities fraud and predatory consumer practices and brought millions of Americans to the brink of foreclosure, homelessness, unemployment, and financial ruin—and then pushed them over."

from "Corporate Infusion: What the Tea Party’s Really Serving America" by Jamie Raskin, a professor of constitutional law at American University’s Washington College of Law, a Maryland State Senator (D-20), and a Senior Fellow at People for the American Way


  1. You keep mentioning "corporate crimes", but never bring up any specifics. In most cases those "crimes" are cases of Mommy Government forcing everyone to be dependent on its judgment and then failing miserably, as can be expected from a coercive monopoly whose real incentive is to grab on to ever-more power.

    In a free and rational society, there can be no regulatory monopoly dictating which products, services, investments, etc are kosher - there would be scientific freedom, meaning potential for multiple quality assurance / rating / certification authorities that compete on the basis of their reputation. It is within the self-interest of consumers to avoid bad products and demand objective quality assurance, and it is in the best interest of the producers to provide transparency to make this possible, because if they don't their competition will.

    The current economic problems, like all prior ones, was caused by too much government intervention - blind faith in a czar up on high to do all the thinking for everybody, and easy credit down the barrel of a gun.

  2. Alex says, "You keep mentioning..."

    Apparently you didn't notice that this particular post was entirely a quote -- an excerpt -- from an article written by someone else. I can't speak for Mr. Raskin, but I would guess that perhaps he assumed his audience would have a sufficient acquaintance with at least recent history to be well aware of the existence of corporate crimes -- at least the famous ones -- such that it would be unnecessary to delve into specifics.

    Regardless of specifics or not, how do you arrive at the strange notion that "most cases" of corporate crimes are somehow caused by the government? Admittedly, without govt there would be no laws and thus no crimes. Corporations would then be "free" to do any vile thing in the name of profit that they could pressure their employees into carrying out. That somehow doesn't sound like a good situation. We know from history that many corporations have undertaken some thoroughly horrific "business practices" until stopped by govt regulation. Most of us are not willing to go back to the dark days of such unregulated times, with no oversight of food safety or such things.