We’ve obsoleted many things …
By Jack E. Lohman
Kodachrome, Polaroid, 35mm, 8mm movies, 8 track, cassettes, vinyl records and reel-to-reel tapes have all yielded to digital technology. Telephone booths and land lines have given way to cell phones. Calling (you know, actually “talking to people” on the phone) has been replaced by texting, email and Facebook. Typewriters are gone and digital flat screens are in. Even parking meters and human coin collections are being replaced by electronic credit-card boxes.
These are being replaced with smarter technology.
But some scams avoid the hatchet.
1) The health insurance bureaucracy has become obsolete. It’s like giving the pizza delivery guy a chauffeur; an absolute waste of money on an unneeded service. The insurance scam consumes 31% total (but 20% unnecessary) of health care dollars without ever laying hands on the patient, when that money should be spent on patient care instead. A Medicare-for-all system would be far more efficient without a loss of quality, and would be a boon to 100% of U.S. businesses that hired Americans.
2) Corporations, in their current form. Originally established to protect owners from liability, they are now owned by shareholders (including retirement funds) who have invested dollars and have virtually no say on how their companies are run. These owners should be given a binding vote on CEO tenure and pay, and political contributions. The conspiracy “compensation consultants” should be fired and the shareholders put in their place.
3) Corporate Integrity. Corporations can cheat shareholders out of their dividends through repurchase agreements (“repos,” see definition HERE). Just prior to assessing profits and CEO pay, the executives can sell company debt to another friendly crook for $1, thus making the company look profitable as hell, then give the newly-made star CEO a gigantic pay package, and then buy back the toxic debt for $2. Think “Enron.” It’s also a way of driving stock price up. This should be prosecuted as the fraud it is, and the CEOs and Board of Directors should go to jail.
4) Hiding behind 501(c)(3)’s. Originally created to allow charitable organizations like the Red Cross to operate tax-free, they are now being misused by political organizations (with government permission) to help their “friendly” politicians get elected.
5) The creation of 501(c)(4)’s. They allow special interests to lobby and bribe politicians, all legally. And though there’s nothing wrong with lobbying, when done with cash in hand it becomes bribery. That so-called “transparency” and disclosure Republicans had sought for years, was recently filibustered by those same Republicans. Go figure.
6) Private funding of political campaigns. The biggest scam of them all, because without this bribery and corruption the politicians would never have allowed the other scams in the first place. It is the one scam that crashed our economy and keeps it in a very deep hole. All others are secondary, but the Fat Cats that currently fund the elections love it.
How can this happen?
Cash dollars put in the right political hands can save your current scam and help create others. We can try to correct all of the above or simply take the bribes out of the system and let the others be corrected over time. Because without bought-and-paid-for politicians they will be.
And no, this next election is not going to fix it because the new politicians will start receiving the payola instead. It is the structure that must be changed and the Dems are more willing to do that. Only “optional” public funding of campaigns will correct it.
And God help us if John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are put in the driver’s seat. Even as a moderate Republican I see these guys as too far Right (or too corrupt, whatever your choice).