The joblords

In some parts of the world, the government is relatively weak, and the real power lies in the hands of the warlords. I think we’re rapidly approaching a similar situation in the United States, at least economically: the government is relatively weak financially, and the real power is being concentrated in the hands of the joblords. Sure, they prefer to be called “job creators,” and they pay people to call them that on TV, but seriously, how many jobs have they been creating lately? They’re not job creators, they’re joblords, holding the rest of the country hostage to their demands, and threatening to withhold jobs, or even downsize, if the legislature does not crank out policies more favorable to the joblords increasing financial and political power.

A while ago my son and I were talking politics and he said an interesting thing. I forget his exact words, but they were something like this: our Founding Fathers made a very wise decision when they wrote the separation of church and state into the Constitution. Now we need someone to figure out how to do the same thing for the separation of business and state.



  1. sailor1031 says

    Totally agree but it needs to be in conjunction with a way to regularly clean out the Augean stables of the Supreme Court which has over many years given to corporations rights that properly belong only to individuals. Doing away with lifetime tenure would be a good start – after all other federal courts manage without it.

  2. unbound says

    It definitely needs to be done. Government is one of the few counter weights against corporations (unions being the other) if and only if government isn’t infested with corporate toadies.

    @mikespeir – Ayn Rand advocated that government not be involved in economic issues. I read Deacon’s son’s suggestion to mean that corporations need to have the same lack of influence in government affairs the same way that the founders intended for religion. I wouldn’t expect the government to get out of economic affairs…indeed, in the real world of economics and business, the government has a big role to play to make and enforce rules for businesses as much as making and enforcing rules for proper behavior of individuals.

    • mikespeir says

      I wasn’t being quite serious, of course, but is the proposal that business not control government or that government not control business? The comparison is being made to religion. I think most of us here would argue that it goes both ways with religion.

      • F says

        The idea is that they not be intertwined, so that a religion cannot take over, nor can the government destroy the less popular religions. Government does regulate religion, it’s just that there are far, far fewer regulations regarding religion because the nature of business is far more intricate, more involved with property and money, etc.

        Without assuming anything new, the phrase makes sense without being Randian.

        In fact, it is positively Jeffersonian.

  3. d cwilson says

    Excellent idea. I have two modest proposals for constitutional amendments to move us in the right direction:

    1. Amendment to overrule Citizens United. Declare that corporations are not people and that the Bill of Rights only applies to individuals.

    2. Codify net neutrality into the Constitution and declare the internet to be a commons resource much like the public airwaves. The internet is one of the few places where people can get something other than corporate-approved news. It’s no surprise that many corporations are opposed to net neutrality.

  4. longstreet63 says

    It is worthy of note that Teddy Roosevelt (IIRC) and contemporary progressives consiously began to grow government specifically because it was no longer able to compete with the power of the Robber Barons of the Gilded Age.
    I always think of this when I see the Joblord-funded babbling about the joy of small government.

  5. The Gregarious Misanthrope says

    If corporations want to be people, they need to be subject to criminal laws like the rest of us. If a corporation’s actions lead to deaths it gets tried and, if convicted, either the corporate officers can go to prison or the enterprise can be shuttered for the duration of the sentence. In egregious cases, the corporation can be dissolved (corporate death penalty) and forced into Chapter 7 bankruptcy. I’m guessing corporations would be against that much personhood.

  6. Brian M says

    I like Gregarious’s suggestion.

    As for the rest of it…impossible, I am afraid. Regulatory capture is inevitable whenever private interest and government action that affects such private interest intersect. The only hope is constantly fighting such regulatory capture.

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