News, notes, and observations from the James River Valley in northern South Dakota with special attention to reviewing the performance of the media--old and new. E-Mail to MinneKota@gmail.com

Friday, August 4, 2017

Running government like a business with plenty of suckers and serfs

Front Page, USA Today,    July 28, 2017
When people who voted for Trump are asked why, they often say he was a businessman who could bring the efficiencies of business to government.  They cite his wealth as evidence of his business acumen.

First of all,  Trump's business history is full of bankruptcies, suits for fraud such as Trump University, failures, and stiffing contractors who worked for him.  But to those voters who voted for him because he's a businessman, criminality and incompetence are permissible as long one makes money.  To many Americans,  greed and venality are virtues as long as you are successful in making money,  no matter how many people are damaged in the process.  Honesty, integrity, competence, and good will don't count with the Trump voter.

Trump sits in the White House and runs his businesses with all the greed and dishonesty that he can muster,  while systematically dismantling democracy and the protections it has devised to keep people safe from predatory shysters such as him.  Historians and political scholars keep pointing out that any other person with the history of dishonesty and the conflicts of interest that Trump flaunts before the nation would be driven out of the White House.  Congress would rise up.  But Trump claims to be a billionaire, and those worshippers of greed and venality have a person in the White House who reflects their values and ideals.  

Tump is  changing government.  He is making the United States a subsidiary of the Trump Organization, and he puts CEOs and generals in the cabinet and as head of government agencies to expedite that transformation.  When queried about his choices for the cabinet, he said,  Like, I want a rich guy at the head of Treasury. I want a rich guy at the head of Commerce because we’ve been screwed so badly on trade deals.   I want people who made a lot of money for our country.”

Trump's cabinet is composed of people who identify themselves as part of the one percent, and their histories show everything they do is to elevate the one percent and further suppress the middle class.  Treasury Secretary Mnuchin as CEO of the One West Bank was a part of the mortgage schemes that triggered the Great Recession of 2009 that put the U.S. economy in a tailspin.  He was known as the "foreclosure king" of California.

Awaiting Senate confirmation for Comptroller of the Currency,  which regulates what kind of business banks can engage in, is another One West CEO,  Joseph Otting.  He was also a foreclosure enthusiast.  One West has been fined for fraudulent mortgage activities during the time that Mnuchin and Otting were running the bank.  And Otting further showed a dishonest side when he claimed to be a graduate of Dartmouth,  but had only attended a couple of two-week sessions of continuing education held on the campus.  

These two who will decide financial policies are typical of the caliber of people Trump chooses to direct the flow of wealth in the U.S.  

The most flagrant appointment of a business CEO who assiduously demolishes democratic principles and processes is Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.  He has turned the State Department into a shambles, because as a CEO he knows only how to fuck over people and make money,  not how to build constructive relationships with the rest of the world.

Other members of Trump's cabinet were chosen to enact corporate interests by:

  • promoting the development of coal and oil and curtailing non-polluting sources of energy.
  • curtailing environmental protection regulations.
  • withdrawing fair employment provisions for minorities and the LBGT community.
  • limiting further labor unions and workplace rules
  • furthering the industrialization of agriculture.  
  • eliminating affirmative action in college admissions.
  • providing larger tax breaks for the wealthy.
And one can go on and on citing the ways in which the country is being turned into corporate enterprise.

Most corporations and business are the antithesis of a democracy.  Corporations are run by a social structure which is in fact a continuation of feudalism.  There are a few corporations which try to incorporate democratic values and principles into the way they do business, but profit is their purpose.  And humane values get in the way of profit.  Businesses can commit all manner of social disruptions, oppressions, and  rip offs under the guise of "business decisions,"  which is regarded on the same level as an act of God.  No human laws can affect a business decision. 

The U.S. is being run like a business corporation, and its purpose has become the hoarding of wealth and power for Trump and his corporate cronies.  For the rest of us, we'd better like being serfs.   

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