NEOhio AFSC September 16, 2016 Podcast

podcasticon

Listen here

We summarize last week’s activities; share next week’s upcoming events; and comment on the new report estimating the $5 trillion cost of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, the criticism by the IMF head of globalization, and the Ambassadorships and other prestigious jobs awarded to those who politically donate/invest  (Length 36:33).

Call in TODAY to Congress. Vote NO on the TPP

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While candidates are furiously campaigning to be elected this November, a much quieter but just as furious campaign is being waged to pressure Congress to pass the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the lame-duck session just after the election, but before the new Congress convenes next January.

Not very democratic is it?

Neither is the TPP and its profoundly undemocratic Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision giving giant corporations the power to challenge national laws, rules and regulations protecting workers, consumers, communities and the environment that they claim has harmed their ability to maximize profits.

Today, Wednesday September 14, is a national call-in day opposing the TPP. Call toll free 1-888-659-7351 and tell your Congressperson and Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown to vote NO on the TPP. Global Trade Watch and the Citizens Trade Campaign are among the major organizers of this action.

The TPP is terribly misnamed. It’s not ultimately about trade (be it free or fair). It’s about corporate global rule.

Despite earlier hopes, the TPP is not dead. The Obama Administration is doing the bidding of hundreds of transnational corporations that had a seat at the table when the TPP was first negotiated by pressuring Congressional members to pass the TPP during the lame duck Congress.

The most dangerous provision of the TPP is the ISDS, which hijacks democratic self-determination. A detailed and devastating 4-part investigation into the ISDS is the Global Super Court: A BuzzFeed News Investigation. You don’t have to read much before concluding the ISDS is lethal to national sovereignty, workers rights, consumer protection and environmental sustainability.

AFSC has produced an earlier background piece on the TPP:
Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement – Background Information

Click to access AFSC%20Trans%20Pacific%20Partnership.pdf

So, please call-in today. Call toll free 1-888-659-7351 and tell your Congressperson and Senators to vote NO on the TPP.

Not sure who your Congressperson is? Go to http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

Also, if you’re on Twitter, post this message right now to all your followers:
It’s National #StopTPP Call-in Day: Click here to call yr member of Congress & demand he/she commit to oppose #TPP! http://thndr.me/iU3NrV

Thank you.

REAL Democracy History Calendar: September 12–18

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https://realdemocracyhistorycalendar.wordpress.com/2016/09/12/real-democracy-history-calendar-september-12-18/

Subscribe to the REAL Democracy History Calendar: https://realdemocracyhistorycalendar.wordpress.com/about/

‪#‎TheDemocracyCalendar‬ ‪#‎EndCorporateRule‬ ‪#‎CorporateRule‬ ‪#‎GetMoneyOut‬ ‪#‎Democracy‬ ‪#‎WeThePeopleAmendment‬

MONETARY HISTORY CALENDAR September 11-17

Greenbackk

SEPTEMBER 11

1857 — STEAMSHIP ‘CENTRAL AMERICA’ HIT BY HURRICANE, SINKS
In the second day of a hurricane, the ship sprang a huge leak. It sank the next day, drowning over 400 passengers and crew. The steamship had a million dollars in gold and silver onboard. It caused the Ohio Life and Trust Company to fail and sparked the Financial Panic of 1857 since money was backed by gold. Under such a metal-based money system, the less gold and silver, the fewer dollars in circulation. The fewer dollars, the less economic transactions occur, resulting in less production and more unemployment.

SEPTEMBER 12

2013 – TALK BY ADAIR TURNER, SENIOR FELLOW, INSTITUTE FOR NEW ECONOMIC THINKING, “CREDIT, MONEY AND LEVERAGE”
“Banks create credit, money and purchasing power. That fact is fundamental to macro-economic dynamics in any economy with a complex banking (or shadow banking) system: and fundamental to both the 2007 – 2008 financial crisis and the depth of the post crisis recession.”

1880 – BIRTH OF H. L. MENCKEN, AMERICAN JOURNALIST
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace in a continual state of alarm (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing them with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

SEPTEMBER 13

1785  – PENNSYLVANIA REPEALS THE CHARTER OF THE BANK OF NORTH AMERICA
This was the nation’s first private commercial bank, chartered by Congress under the Articles of Confederation. The Articles gave Congress the power to “emit bills of credit” — to create money. By a single vote, Congress voted to transfer their authority to issue money to the Bank, thus, become a quasi central bank. The Pennsylvania legislature repealed the Bank’s charter, which was significant since it primarily operated in just three states. Why did Congress willingly give up their money power in the first place? The public argument was that the business of finance could not be ably conduced by a public body (Congress) — only by a small number of private financiers.

1873 – NATION’S BIGGEST BANK, JAY COOKE & COMPANY, BECOMES EFFECTIVELY INSOLVENT
Congress had passed the Coinage Act earlier in the year, which ended the minting of silver dollars. US money system was, thus, backed only by gold. The effect was similar to other instances in US history when money was backed by gold — a depression ensued, prices fell, unemployment increased and major banks failed since there wasn’t enough gold to back the money needed to fuel the growing economy. Jay Cooke & Company was the largest bank to fail due to this policy of gold-backed money.

SEPTEMBER 14

1321 –    DEATH OF DANTE, ITALIAN SCHOLAR AND POET, AUTHOR OF “THE DIVINE COMEDY”
The first portion of the epic poem, The Divine Comedy is called “Inferno,” which contains these words on usury:
“Once more go back a little to the point,”
I said, “where you state usury offends
The divine goodness, and untie the knot.”

“Philosophy, to one who understands,
Points out — and on more than one occasion —
How nature gathers her entire course

“From divine intellect and divine art.
And if you pore over your Physics closely,
You’ll find, not many pages from the start,

“That, when possible, your art follows nature
As a pupil does his master; in effect,
Your art is like the grandchild of our God.

“From art and nature, if you will recall
The opening of Genesis, man is meant
To earn his way and further humankind.

“But still the usurer takes another way:
He scorns nature and her follower, art,
Because he puts his hope in something else.”

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“Dante puts the usurers in the lowest sub-circle of the seventh circle of hell, with others whose sins are regarded as doing violence against nature and nature’s God; many people have noted that usurers are placed deeper into hell than violent murderers, violent suicides, blasphemers, and sodomites. Dante regards usurers as perverting art, i.e., productive skill, by means of which we are supposed to produce and create and thereby imitate the goodness of God. Usury is the anti-art: it produces nothing substantial; being just a set of multiplication games with money, and therefore does not really contribute anything to ‘earning one’s way and furthering humankind’. It merely gives the illusion of doing so, and is therefore a sort of mockery of both human reason and divine providence — indeed, a sort of universal violence against neighbor, God, and one’s own reason, an extraordinarily efficient form of violence by which you do the most damage with the least effort.”
http://branemrys.blogspot.com/2009/07/dante-on-usury.html

2012 – STATEMENT BY DONALD TRUMP, US BUSINESSMAN AND CURRENT REPUBLICAN PARTY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, ON THE FEDERAL RESERVE’S QUANTITATIVE EASING PROGRAM
“People like me will benefit from this.”

SEPTEMBER 15

2008 – LEHMAN BROTHER INC FILES FOR CHAPTER 11 BANKRUPTCY PROTECTIONS
Lehman was heavily involved in the subprime housing market. They borrowed substantially against their assets (leveraged) — 30 times the amount of their actual equities.  Investment banks like Lehman were not under the same leverage limits as commercial banks, which invited greater risks. The $600 billion filing remains the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history.

SEPTEMBER 16

2003 – STATEMENT MADE ON THIS DAY BY HENRY C.K. LIU, PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS
The current monetary system is a cruel hoax.  There is virtually no “real” money in the system, only debts.  Except for coins, which are issued by the government and make up only about one-thousandth of the money supply, the entire U.S. money supply now consists of debt to private banks, for money they created with accounting entries on their books.

2008 – FEDERAL RESERVE BAILS OUT AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL GROUP (AIG)
AIG was the largest insurance corporation, which had speculated in risky home mortgages. The Fed issued AIG $85 billion in credit in September 2008 to meet their financial obligations

SEPTEMBER 17

1787 – CONSTITUTION DAY
“The Congress shall have power to…coin money [and] regulate the power thereof” Section 8, US Constitution.” “Coin” is a verb used in this way, representing the power to issue money. We the People possess the constitutional authority to issue and circulate our own money. Instead, we have permitted banking corporations to “privatize” the creation of money via loans (debt). This is both economic and political madness.

———————–

Why this calendar? Many people have questions about the root causes of our economic problems. Some questions involve money, banks and debt. How is money created? Why do banks control its quantity? How has the money system been used to liberate (not often) and oppress (most often) us? And how can the money system be “democratized” to rebuild our economy and society, create jobs and reduce debt? Our goal is to inform, intrigue and inspire through bite size weekly postings listing important events and quotes from prominent individuals (both past and present) on money, banking and how the money system can help people and the planet. We hope the sharing of bits of buried history will illuminate monetary and banking issues and empower you with others to create real economic and political justice. This calendar is a project of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee. Adele Looney, Phyllis Titus, Donna Schall, Leah Davis, Alice Francini, Deb Jose and Greg Coleridge helped in its development. Please forward this to others and encourage them to subscribe. To subscribe/unsubscribe or to comment on any entry, email monetarycalendar@yahoo.com

NEOhio AFSC September 9, 2016 Podcast

podcasticon

Listen to podcast here

We summarize last week’s activities; share next week’s upcoming events; and comment on growing opposition to the profoundly undemocratic investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), minimal punishment for Well Fargo banking corporation for fraudulently creating several mission fake customer accounts, the impact of huge sums of money for political ads in the U.S. Senate race in Ohio, recent wide-spread awakening in the media of the undemocratic threat posed by voting machines controlled by private for-profit corporations, and how the U.S. economy still hasn’t recovered due to economic inequality (Length 42:34).

REAL Democracy History Calendar: September 5-11

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https://realdemocracyhistorycalendar.wordpress.com/2016/09/05/real-democracy-history-calendar-september-5-11/

Subscribe to the REAL Democracy History Calendar: https://realdemocracyhistorycalendar.wordpress.com/about/

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MONETARY HISTORY CALENDAR September 4 – 11

Greenbackk

SEPTEMBER 4

2014 – QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON INDEPENDENCE AND MONETARY REFORM — VIDEO
Skip to 2:21:50 for the start of the question and answer session on how Scotland can change the banking and monetary system — not only in their own country but in setting a model for the world in democratizing money creation

SEPTEMBER 5

1927 – BIRTH OF PAUL VOLKER, FORMER CHAIR OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD
QE3 (the third round of Quantitative Easing – the creation and distribution of money by the Federal Reserve, which went largely to financial and other corporations) is the “most extreme easing of monetary policy” that he could ever remember. “Another round of QE is understandable – but it will fail to fix the problem. There is so much liquidity in the market that adding more is not going to change the economy.”

2016 – LABOR DAY IN THE UNITED STATES
Begun by President Cleveland in 1894 as a means to distract attention and break solidarity of US workers from workers around the world that celebrated worker progress and activism on May Day (May 1).
The enactment of the National Emergency Employment Defense (NEED) Act, HR 2990 in the last Congress, would create 7 million jobs. The jobs would focus on repairing our nation’s infrastructure. The debt would not need to be raised. Taxes would not need to be imposed. Funding from any other public program would not have to be shifted. Public creation and circulation of U.S. money is all that would be required. Just as the colonists did when fighting the British. Just as President Lincoln did during the 1860 when creating Greenbacks. Just as economists proposed under the “Chicago Plan” during the 1930’s to President Roosevelt to move the nation out of the Great Depression.
For more information on the NEED Act, go to http://www.monetary.org

SEPTEMBER 6

1943 – DEATH OF RICHARD MCKENNA, FORMER PRESIDENT, MIDLANDS BANK OF ENGLAND
“I am afraid that the ordinary citizen will not like to be told that the banks can and do create and destroy money.  And they who control the credit of a nation direct the policy of governments, and hold in the hollow of their hands the destiny of the people.”  (From a 1924 speech)

1948 – BIRTH OF BILL BONNER, FINANCIAL AUTHOR
“The entire world economy rests on the consumer. If he stops spending the money he doesn’t have on things he doesn’t need we’re done for.”

1951 – BIRTH OF WILLIAM BLACK, AMERICAN LAWYER, ACADEMIC, AUTHOR AND FORMER BANK REGULATOR
“The best way to rob a bank is to own one.”

SEPTEMBER 7

1867 – BIRTH OF JP MORGAN, JR, BANKER
Morgan was instrumental is providing financing several nations during World War I, including loans and other financial support to France, England and Russia. Accusations were made that this financial commitment led him to influence the Wilson Administration to enter the war.

2006 – STATEMENT OF NOURIEL ROUBINI, US ECONOMIST
Roubini warns the International Monetary Fund about a coming US housing crash, failures of mortgage-backed securities failures, bank failures, and a major recession. His work was based partly on his study of recent economic crises in Russia (1998), Argentina (2000), Mexico (1994), and Asia (1997). His warnings proved to be correct.

2013 – DEATH OF ALBERT BARTLETT, EMERITUS PROFESSOR OF PHYSICS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AT BOULDER
“The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.”  [Note: Exponential growth requires exponential resources – which are finite. If we have no energy, we have no economy.  Also, exponential growth is mandatory under a debt-based money system since exponential natural resources must absolutely be plundered to produce endless stuff to sell to pay off the endless compounding/exponential interest connected to the endless debt. Multiple crashes are inevitable.]

SEPTEMBER 8

1999 – DEATH OF HERBERT STEIN, FORMER CHAIRMAN OF PRESIDENT’S COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISORS
“If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”
[Note: Sounds like our current debt-based money system – an unsustainable system which can only continue if more debt is issued, which happens by banks when they issue loans and purchase treasury bonds, bills and notes]

SEPTEMBER 9

1801 – DEATH OF ROBERT YATES, POLITICIAN AND JUDGE
“I can scarcely contemplate a greater calamity that could befall this country, than be loaded with a debt exceeding their ability ever to discharge. If this be a just remark, it is unwise and improvident to vest in the general government a power to borrow at discretion, without any limitation or restriction.” – Brutus pseudonym, probably Robert Yates

1828 – BIRTH OF LEO TOLSTOY, RUSSIAN WRITER AND SOCIAL REFORMER
“Money is a new form of slavery, and distinguishable from the old simply by the fact that it is impersonal, there is no human relation between master and slave.”

1890 – BIRTH OF MARRINER S. ECCLES, FORMER CHAIRMAN AND GOVERNOR OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM
“That is what our money system is. If there were no debts in our money system, there wouldn’t be any money.”

SEPTEMBER 10

2015 — 11TH ANNUAL MONETARY REFORM CONFERENCE, SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN MONETARY INSTITUTE
The conference brings together some of the world’s most serious advocates of real and achievable monetary reforms. http://www.monetary.org/2015-ami-monetary-reform-conference
“The banking disaster, created and facilitated by false economic and monetary ideas, used by some very bad people, actually poses a real danger to the survival of the species. We must transform the ongoing disaster into an opportunity to achieve real and lasting monetary reforms for mankind. These are the reforms indicated as necessary by decades of study and centuries of experience…
“The main cause of the problem is using debt in place of money when the banks make loans, as our present system does. That single error, allowing banks to control our money system, promoted by those really trying to block monetary reform, and by some economics professors trying to keep their salary checks coming, is all it takes to wreck any monetary system, and begin the insane concentration of wealth, into exactly the wrong hands, as we now see in our society! The conference shows why money must be created by our government and spent into circulation on infrastructure, healthcare, and education. The conference highlights recent important moves in that direction by key people, and institutions, around the world.
“We have a once in several generations’ opportunity to fix an obviously flawed money system that is causing so much pain and hardship among a growing section of our people. It is clearly time to fix our monetary and banking system! Come and find out how, and the role you can play in that process.”
[Note: the 12 annual conference is September 29 – October 2. More information at http://www.monetary.org ]

———————–

Why this calendar? Many people have questions about the root causes of our economic problems. Some questions involve money, banks and debt. How is money created? Why do banks control its quantity? How has the money system been used to liberate (not often) and oppress (most often) us? And how can the money system be “democratized” to rebuild our economy and society, create jobs and reduce debt? Our goal is to inform, intrigue and inspire through bite size weekly postings listing important events and quotes from prominent individuals (both past and present) on money, banking and how the money system can help people and the planet. We hope the sharing of bits of buried history will illuminate monetary and banking issues and empower you with others to create real economic and political justice. This calendar is a project of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee. Adele Looney, Phyllis Titus, Donna Schall, Leah Davis, Alice Francini, Deb Jose and Greg Coleridge helped in its development. Please forward this to others and encourage them to subscribe. To subscribe/unsubscribe or to comment on any entry, email monetarycalendar@yahoo.com

Connecting multiple problems with a single solution

CorpRights
It’s difficult to keep up with the many seemingly different ills facing us. What helps reduce frustration and increase understanding is when we’re able to group those with a singular root cause. It’s also empowering since the way to solve them many be similar.

Take the following recent problems over the past month that have been in the news – on food, immigration, education, energy, and jobs/wages/unions.

While very different problems, the root cause is pretty much identical – corporate power and rights.

FOOD

President Obama in late July signed into law S. 764. Dubbed by opponents as the “Denying Americans the Right to Know,” or DARK Act, the bill nullified the laws of Vermont, Connecticut and Maine requiring the labeling of genetically engineered foods. It also preempted the genetically engineered seed labeling laws in Vermont and Virginia which allowed farmers to choose the seeds they wanted to buy and plant. The law also struck down Alaska’s law requiring the labeling of any genetically engineered fish or fish product, passed to protect the state’s fisheries from contamination. To top it off, passage the DARK Act deters other states from following in the health, safety and democratic footsteps of Vermont, etc.

Over 90% of Americans support clear mandatory GMO labeling, yet President Obama defied overwhelming public sentiment despite his promises during his 2008 presidential run that he would support the labeling of genetically engineered food. It’s ironic when this bill was signed – a week after the Democratic National Convention – where the Democratic leadership portrayed themselves as leaders of the party of the people. Not quite.
Trade groups representing the Big Food industry like the Grocery Manufacturers Association and biotech corporations like Monsanto supported the DARK Act. According to OpenSecrets.org, Senators who had voted on a procedural vote in favor of the Senate bill received more than twice as much in political campaign contributions (or investments) from the agriculture lobby than those who voted against it ($867,518 for the supporters vs. $350,877 for opponents).

The President justified the DARK Act’s massive hijacking of local democracy on the grounds that the bill would create national standards for labeling of GMOs.  The bill, “directs the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a national mandatory bioengineered food disclosure standard,” The “disclosure standard” includes consumers having to scan a QR code on a food product to find out about genetically modified ingredients, or call a 1-800 number. There’s no certainly even these measures will happen for another 5 years.
So the national standards are at the lowest common denominator possible – providing much less protection to the safety of our food and health of our citizens.
The bill is just another example of how powerful corporations and moneyed interests have usurped what remains of our representative democracy.

IMMIGRATION

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced last month the end of using corporate prisons to house federal inmates. The DOJ made the decision after determining the facilities were both less safe and effective at providing correctional services than those run by the US government.

This is a step in the right direction. But the decision applies to a mere 13 DOJ-run facilities, which detain a small percentage of all those currently held in US. It doesn’t apply to state prisons – many of which like in Ohio are run by for-profit corporations. And it won’t affect prisons run by other federal agencies – including those that detain immigrants. These facilities will continue to be run by giant for-profit corporations, the two largest of which, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and the GEO Group, receive half of all their entire revenue from federal contracts.

The U.S. deports over 300,000 people annually and holds approximately 400,000 people in immigrant detention facilities across the country at an annual cost of over $2 billion. More people have been deported under the Obama administration than under the Bush administration. Part of the explanation for this is what’s known as the “immigrant detention quota” or “bed mandate” – a law passed in 2009 during a decline in the undocumented immigrant population to maintain a level of 33,400 beds on a daily basis (raised to 34,000 in 2013).

The quota system triggered an increasingly aggressive immigration enforcement strategy by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to fill the beds. Pressure increased to place most of the beds in corporate-run detention centers. CCA and GEO Group did their part by lobbying to expand the corporatized system and make sure they profited from imprisoning people. Those two corporations alone have invested more than $11 million in lobbying in recent years. Together, they operate eight of the ten largest immigrant detention centers. GEO and CCA combined operate 72 percent of the privately contracted ICE immigrant detention beds.

So while the DOJ announcement is a step in the right direction to close federal prisons, CCA and GEO have managed to continue locking down the bulk of their profits by ensuring that the “bed quota” system remains in force and that most of those beds of undocumented immigrants are in their detention centers.

EDUCATION

In late July, the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), a charter school in Ohio, finally complied with an order from the state to turn over attendance records. At issue is whether 15,000 students are actually engaged in 920 hours of “learning opportunities” required each year to justify the more than $100 million it receives from Ohio taxpayers.

A preliminary look by the Department of Education last spring found that ECOT students spent, on average, only one hour participating in online work each day. Five hours per school day are required to reach the state’s minimum 920 hours of “learning opportunities” annually. ECOT maintains that the bulk of student “learning opportunities” take place offline, but there are no records to prove it. ECOT claims state law doesn’t mandate keeping such records, and has filed suit for “purposefully discriminating against them.”

ECOT has been a major beneficiary of laws and regulations regarding charter schools and, of course, a major beneficially of huge contracts. These are directly related to their political influence.

William Lager, ECOT CEO, made political contributions/investments of $2.36 million between 2000-2015. The bulk of these gifts have gone to House and Senate Republicans who’ve been defenders and cheerleaders for ECOT.

It’s been a darn good investment as these same cheerleaders and defenders are paying dividends to block any serious audit of the school’s books and present any claw back of millions of taxpayer dollars that seem to have been wasted.

ENERGY

As reported today on Cleveland.com, a Virginia wind-power development company, Apex Clean Energy, hopes to erect four wind farms in the northern Ohio. Two state laws, however, are preventing the company from committing to the investment. One of them is the 2014 legislation freezing for three years a mandate for investor-owned utilities to tap renewable energy sources. Two bills currently in the state legislature would extend the freeze on renewable energy standards or make them permanent.

Other states are rapidly moving ahead in wind energy. In Iowa alone, more than 3400 wind turbines generate 5700 megawatts of electricity – 28% of the state’s total electricity generation, the equivalent of 1.5 million homes. If you drive across Iowa or southern Minnesota, as I did recently, you’ll witness the future – hundreds of wind turbines. Wind energy developed roots in Iowa because there wasn’t much political influence from oil, gas and coal corporations.

Not so in Ohio.

Those industries have locked down the Ohio legislature with campaign investments, lobbying and funding for bogus science touting the wonders of “clean coal” and questioning the long-term sustainability of wind and solar energy generation.

This hurts our pocketbooks, environment and what’s left of our democracy.

JOBS/WAGES/UNIONS

The decline of organized labor has contributed to the loss of jobs and decline of wages – for organized workers to be sure, but also for nonunion private sector workers.

A just issued report from the Economic Policy Institute, timed for release near Labor Day, researched the amount of money nonunion workers would have earned in 2013 if union membership in the private sector stood at 1979 levels.

The report concluded that wages for men would have been 5% higher, or $2700 higher per year. For nonunion men with lower education, it would have been 9% greater, or nearly $3200 annually.

Why? Because unions provide workers collective power when approaching management. Without that collective power, or in the case on nonunion workers the threat of forming a union, workers have little leverage over job protection, wages, benefits and workplace conditions and input.

Of course the rules in our nation apply very differently to individuals wanting to join together to form a corporation compared to forming a union. To form a corporation, a group of individuals merely come fill out a form, pay a filing fee and voila, they are recognized by the state as a corporation. Being recognized as a union is much more difficult that merely filling out a few pieces of paper and writing out a check. The union certification process involves more hoops than circus animals must jump through.

It didn’t use to be this way. A separate piece of legislation at the state level had to be passed to form a corporation during the first several decades of Ohio’s history – which was similar to the process in every other state. The rise of corporate power before, during and following the Civil War changed all that. Now, it’s just about as easy to form a corporation as it is to get a dog license.

If it were as easy to form a union as it is to form a corporation, the power imbalance in our nation would tip much more toward the rights of working people and their families and communities. It’s a good lesson to remember on this Labor Day weekend.

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These are just a few of the many issues and problems facing us, our families, communities, nation and world from the growing power and never intended constitutional rights of corporations. If won’t change one iota if all we do is prepare more in-depth reports of problems or simply try to manage the abuses by accepting that corporations have the same constitutional rights as human persons.

That has to change…fundamentally. The way forward is amending the constitution to end never-intended inalienable constitutional rights and the doctrine that political money is equivalent to “free speech,” as defined in the We the People Amendment.

Join AFSC, Move to Amend, and people from all over the country in this growing movement.