One percenters and corporations can secretly buy politicians. Using front groups, the wealthy can “donate” unlimited millions to elect a candidate and remain completely anonymous. So the public won’t know that the senator pushing for smiley faces to be printed on cigarette cartons instead of health warnings received $50 million in ads paid for by the tobacco industry.
“It should be like a corporation. You pay a million dollars in taxes, you get a million votes. How’s that?” Igor Volsky billionaire venture capitalist
A surprisingly small number of corporations control massive global market shares
Banks and Finance, Media, Big Oil, The Global Food Conglomerates,
The World’s largest banks hold a total of $25.1 trillion in assets
It’s a Small World at the Top:
Which Corporations Control the World?
Largest banks hold a total of $25.1 trillion:
1.) ICBC, China, $2.95 trillion in assets, over 18,000 outlets, 108 branches globally
2.) HSBC holdings, UK, $2.68 trillion in assets, 6,600 offices in 80 countries, 55 million customers
3.) Deutsche Bank, Germany, $2.6 trillion in assets, 2,963 branches, 70 countries, 46 million customers
4.) Credit Agricole Group, France, $2.58 trillion in assets, 60 countries, over 21 million clients
5.) BNP Paribas, France, $2.51 trillion in assets
6.) Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Japan, $2.49 trillion in assets
7.) Barclays PLC, United Kingdom, $2.41 trillion in assets
8.) JPMorgan Chase & Co., U.S., $2.39 trillion in assets
9.) China Construction Bank Corp., China, $2.36 trillion in assets
10.) Japan Post Bank, Japan, $2.12 trillion in assets
Enough to fund the federal U.S. government for over 7 years. Or roughly $3500 per person on earth.
1.) Comcast Corporation: $62.5 billion revenue, $6 billion in profit
2.) The Walt Disney Company:$42 billion revenue, $5.5 billion in profit
Walt Disney Records
Disney Music Publishing
The Baby Einstein Company
50% of A&E Networks
3.)Time Warner Company
Time (Southern Living, Sports Illustrated, Time, Golf Magazine, Health, Entertainment Weekly)
Grupo Editorial Expansion
Turner Broadcasting (TNT, TruTV, TBS, TCM, NBC, Cartoon Network, March Madness, CNN)
Warner Bros. Picture Group
4.) Viacom $15 billion revenue and $2 billion profit
5.) News Corporation, $34 billion revenue, $1.1 billion profit
Wall Street Journal
Times of London
Food and Beverage Companies
1.) PepsiCo Inc
Seattle’s Best Coffee
Starbucks: Doubleshot, Frappucino, Iced Coffee
2.) Tyson Foods Inc–World’s largest Chicken Processor
3.) Nestle (U.S. And Canada)
74 brands of water
38 brands of ice cream:
And Nestle Drumstick
California Pizza Kitchen
30% share in L’Oreal, Garnier, Maybelline, and Lancome, and The Body Shop Stores
4.) JBS USA–Subsidiary of the world’s largest beef processor
G.F. Swift 1855 Brand Premium Beef
Aspen Ridge Natural Beef
Swift Black Angus
Cedar River Farms
5 Star Beef
Showcase Premium Ground Beef
1855 Premium Pork
Swift Premium Dry Rubbed Pork
Swift Premium Natural Guaranteed Tender Pork
Swift Premium Natural Pork
Swift La Herencia Natural Pork
5.) Anheuser-Busch InBev
Over 200 beer brands made in 30 countries
Sold in 130 countries
St. Pauli Girl
The top five oil producing companies produce almost twice what the US’s refined petroleum product consumption per day is.
1.) Saudi Aramco
12.5 million barrels a day
$1 billion plus in DAILY revenue
9.7 million barrels per day
$40 billion a year profits
3.) National Iranian Oil Co.
6.4 million barrels per day
5.3 million barrels per day
$40 billion in profit
4.4 million barrels per day
$21.93 billion in profits
- Bankrate, 10 largest banks of the world
- WIkipedia, 2013 United States Federal budget
- Wikipedia, ICBC
- Deutsche Bank
- Deutsche Bank at a Glance
- Assets Owned by Comcast
- Assets Owned by Disney
- Assets owned by Time Warner
- Assets Owned by News Corp
- Food processing Top 100
- Tyson Acquisitions
- Nestle Brands
- JBS US Beef Brands
- JBS US Pork Brands
- JBS US Chicken brands
- InBEv Brands
- Forbes, top oil producers
- US Oil Consumption
- What Corporations Control Almost Everything You Buy Infographic
Several news stories last week illustrated exactly how this threat to democracy, sanctioned by the Supreme Court in the Citizens United case, plays out. The most jaw-dropping is the case of former Republican Utah state attorney general John Swallow, who used shadowy nonprofit organizations to conceal hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from the vilest industry in America – payday lenders.
In exchange for the money, Swallow promised to use the office of attorney general to champion payday lenders, the flim-flam men who exploit and bankrupt the poor with short-term loans at exorbitant interest rates.
Swallow made bald promises to this despised industry. In one letter to a Tennessee payday executive, he wrote, “I look forward to being in a position to help the industry as an AG [attorney general] following the 2012 elections.” In another, he pledged to ward off regulation by the new federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by organizing a posse of other right-wing attorneys general.
Swallow knew, however, a payday lenders’ water boy would disgust voters. So he and his associates shrouded the payday lender donations with a bunch of “social welfare” nonprofits, which don’t have to report who contributes, the New York Times reported last week.
The scam disintegrated when the Internal Revenue Service began investigating one of the shady nonprofit groups that contributed to Swallow. Other inquiries followed, and Swallow resigned after less than a year in office.
Swallow’s payday lender benefactors didn’t lose their investment so quickly in another case, however. They bought ads vilifying Utah state representative Brad Daw, who had pushed for legislation that would have barred payday companies from loaning money to people already deeply in debt. After the payday lender-sponsored attacks, Brad Daw, a four-term lawmaker, lost his primary. Payday regulation defeated!
Payday lenders, justifiably, don’t enjoy high public approval ratings. Yet, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, they can circumvent democracy with boundless cash and get candidates elected or rejected.
What the justices ruled in the Citizens United case is that government can’t limit the amount of money corporations spend to get a candidate elected, as long as they don’t hand the money directly to the candidate.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the Republican of Bridge-Gate infamy, provides an example of how badly this sort of purchased politics plays out for citizens. In 2009, hedge fund manager Paul Singer donated $100,000, not to Christie, but to the Republican Governors Association. The Association, in turn, aired ads for then-candidate Christie.
At the time, The Nation magazine reported
Christie was blasting the Democratic gubernatorial incumbent for what Christie asserted was unethical investment of public employee retiree money on Wall Street, where risk and fees are higher and returns are lower than with traditional conservative investments such as U.S. Treasury notes.
Christie won and almost immediately after taking office began investing New Jersey public employee retiree money on Wall Street, with, of course, Paul Singer’s hedge fund. A former trustee for another state retirement system estimated for The Nation magazine that Singer’s fund collected $8.6 million in fees from the New Jersey investments – for one year, 2013. That year, Singer gave $1.2 million to the Republican Governors Association, which by then Christie chaired.
That’s good for Christie, a potential presidential candidate, of course. The same can’t be said for New Jersey workers and retirees. With an unusually large portion of the state retiree money in the hands of hedge funds by 2013, New Jersey’s return, at 11.79 percent, was significantly lower than the median return on pensions that year of 16.1 percent.
The Supreme Court are expected to rule any day in another case,McCutcheon, that would further empower the wealthy to buy the political process.
Right now, there’s a limit on the aggregate amount a person or corporation can contribute directly to candidates during a two-year election cycle. The right-wing justices are expected to eliminate that cap.
It’s $123,200. The average American doesn’t make that much money in two years.
So, it’s no wonder that politicians don’t do what average Americans want. Significant majorities of average Americans think Congress should raise the minimum wage, extend unemployment insurance, lower income inequality and provide a path to citizenship for immigrants. But these are not the priorities of the 1 percent or of corporations. And, naturally, they are not the priorities of the politicians who owe their victories to buckets of cash from the 1 percent and corporations.
The rich can buy more of everything. More food. More cars. More houses. More land, More vacations. More yachts. But for a democracy to function properly, they should be forbidden from buying more votes.
Corporatocracy railroads, lies, subverts and legislates to guarantee profit, power and privilege for ‘the few’ at the expense of humanity and the Earth.
Corporatocracy employs continual warfare, be it pre-emptive, false-flag, illegal or otherwise, including; the killing of millions of people through wars, extra-judicial assassinations, poverty, violation of personal data through global surveillance networks, rigged financial markets, premeditated government shutdowns, currency wars, corporate media spewing endless propaganda and spin, increasingly brutal police crackdowns, ‘trade’ agreement coups (manufactured in secret), and the silencing and criminalization of journalists, boycotters, whistleblowers and dissenters.
The embezzling bribing 1%-steers “the system” toward its own personal agenda: naked power. Whilst the majority of their actions are legislated, they are destroying ecosystems and poisoning our food, water and bodies. Meanwhile, we are corralled and controlled into staying silent, paying taxes, funding corporate bailouts and subsidies, and voting to give government the consent that legally ‘legitimizes’ their rapacious partnerships with the Corporatocracy.Although we can ‘follow the money’ and see the heavily cross-pollinated connections between oligarchs and their toxic marriages with governments and banks worldwide, it is crucial that we step beyond this level. An empowered awareness involves the deeper recognition now of what is also the collective allowing thereof. In evaluating the allowing, we might subsequently discover and recover the power, sovereignty, freedom and rights we have willingly handed over to the Corporatocracy.