My Prescription For The UK Economy

This post first appeared at Imagine Democracy.

Building on Public Investment Is The Way Forward For The UK:

The first task of the new government is get people back on their feet. (And get them fed.) Fast. Send “stimulus” checks ASAP. Then inject funds into the economy through public investment, rebuilding infrastructure (including potholes). Seriously invest in rebuilding the NHS and in a big hurry. Get things moving. Fast. Big.

That will bring the return that “funds” it.

The alternative is to fail, and usher in fascism, which is happening in so many countries that refuse to “spend” on making people’s lives better.

I have spoken.

You Can’t Shame A Corporation But You Can Shame Executives

The tactic of trying to “shame” a corporation away from harming the environment, consumers and/or democracy relies on a misunderstanding of what a corporation is. Corporations serve as masks for the actual power-brokers, absorbing the public disdain for the power-brokers’ decisions.

If activists want to change the decisions made they have to realize that a corporation’s executives and Board members make decisions, corporations don’t. The recent post Understanding What a Corporation Actually Is Can Help Restore Democracy explains,

Here’s the thing: A corporation is a contract. It is a legal agreement enabled by our (“We the People”) government. That’s it.

Corporations are not sentient entities. Contracts don’t “think” or “want” or “need” or say” or “care” or “do” anything. Neither does a will, nor a lease, nor a confidentiality agreement. Corporations also can’t be “greedy” or “criminal” or “good” or “altruistic.” But people can.

Corporations don’t do things, but the executives & Board of the corporation do do things.

Go After The Doers

Corporations don’t “behave,” executives and Board members do. Executives and Board members also care more about their personal interests than about the interests of a corporation or institution they are supposed to be managing. Instead of thinking you can change corporate “behavior,” activists should instead go after the executives and Board members who actually make decisions.

Unions Understand Power

Way back when I was consulting for unions I was involved in a campaign to get a large public institution to stop hiring non-union construction companies. This involved researching the Board members of the institution, learning about their public lives, and finding strategic points to target.

Example, one Board member funded a symphony. The union targeted the symphony with very public actions naming and shaming the Board member for forcing people’s living standards down, risking worker’s safety, etc. The Board member cared what the symphony social group thought about him. The union shamed him in front of people who mattered to him.

Another Board member was an executive at a company that was getting ready to go public. The last thing he wanted was bad publicity of any kind directed at him.

The union conducted other similar public shaming actions targeting the actual decision-makers.

The union publicly shamed the decision-makers, not some non-sentient entity (a corporation or institution) that masked the actual decision-makers. Things changed real quick.

How To Fix The World

I have come to believe it is a waste of time to discuss “policy” anymore. Billionaires and corporations control the legislative and administrative branches. And that’s that. Period.

We can’t get anything through the Congress, no matter what. The Executive branch lives in a neoliberal mindset. The agencies are controlled by lobbyists. (Once in a while something can happen, but if we fix corruption, we fix all of it.)

Activists should put 100% of effort into fixing this. Fix money in politics and corruption. Nothing we advocate can happen otherwise. Everything we fight for will happen if these are fixed – because the public wants the same things. (That’s why we do what we do.)

There really is no other fight.

There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious

“There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part, you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop, and you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!” – Mario Savio, Sproul Hall, University of California, Berkeley, December 2, 1964

Have you been to jail for justice?

“A song by Anne Feeney dedicated to all activists who have been arrested while they were fighting for justice, and especially to: the Haymarket Martyrs, Dr. King, George Carlin, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Carlos from Genoa, all who have been arrested in the Battle of Seattle, Cindy Sheehan, the Belgrade 6, all who have been arrested in the Greek riots and many others.”

Share Everywhere Please #GreenNewDeal

A Message From the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

“What if we actually pulled off a Green New Deal? What would the future look like? The Intercept presents a film narrated by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and illustrated by Molly Crabapple.”

Short Video Explains Green New Deal

Description: What if taking on climate change could create a better economy and millions of jobs? Check out this short explainer video on the Green New Deal, a bold plan to slash inequality and rebuild our communities while tackling the biggest threat of our time. Voiceover by George Elliott Clarke.

Learn more: http://theleap.org/green-new-deal/

Andy ‘Women Are Meat’ Puzder’s Troubles Grow — But Wait, There’s More

Donald Trump didn’t really appoint Walter White, the guy from Breaking Bad, to run the DEA, but his nomination of fast-food CEO Andrew “women are meat” Puzder to be Labor Secretary sure comes close.

Puzder “Fails Every Test of a Labor Secretary”

In December, Ross Eisenbrey of the Economic Policy Institute wrote of Puzder’s nomination, Andrew Puzder fails every test for a Labor Secretary

He’s opposed to the new overtime rule that gave the right to time and a half pay to millions of salaried employees earning less than $47,476 a year. Wal-Mart has already raised its managers’ pay, as did about half of all big retailers, even before the rule was supposed to take effect on December 1. But Puzder wants to kill it so he can keep working low-paid employees without paying them a dime extra for their overtime hours.

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Help Stop The Payday Loan Debt Trap Scam

“Payday loans” are a Wall Street/financial industry scheme/scam that preys on people with low incomes. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is working on rules to reign this in and protected Americans. They want to hear from you. Please join the fight by clicking here to send a comment to the CFPB in support of a strong rule.


A Last Week Tonight with John Oliver segment on auto lending, which is similar to payday lending.

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