Ron Paul on Corporations
Republican Representative (TX-14); previously Libertarian for President
PAUL: First, I don't like the idea that you have good bailouts and bad bailouts. If bailouts are bad, they're bad, and we shouldn't be doing it. But this argument about maybe one that works, you know, the bailing out of GM worked, that's sort of like if a criminal goes out and robs a bank, and he's successful, therefore you endorse what he did, because he's successful. The government is supposed to protect contracts. They're not supposed to regulate contracts and they're not supposed to undermine contracts. And that's what we've been doing. A lot of people will accuse me of advocating a free market, that there's no regulations. Actually, the regulations are tougher, because you have to go through bankruptcy. And it isn't like General Motors would be destroyed. There were good parts of General Motors. But politicians can't figure this out.
It's not a question of being an ideologue. The ideologue label is used to make the morally principled ideology look confrontational and uncaring. This then makes it seem like the immoral philosophy, based on government force, is morally superior. It's always couched in terms of caring for the underdog & not as a bailout of those who have unfairly been benefiting from an economic system artificially stimulated by an inflated currency that benefited certain industries' CEO salaries and workers' wages and benefits.
Very simply, there can't be a more immoral system of money than one based on a banking monopoly that can counterfeit money in secret. The moral argument against the Fed should be enough to dispense with it posthaste.
No, they come to Washington to demand that innocent Americans bail them out & protect a system that deserves no protection. They beg to be taken over, nationalized, to obey a car czar and sacrifice every bit of self-respect that they might retain.
There's a lot of blame to go around for bringing us to this point: the Fed, the Congress, the courts. But the most abhorrent is the failure of the giants of industry to defend free markets. They are willing to be junior partners with government. Fascism is not on their mind.
I call it "nationalism without a whimper," and the corporate business community is begging for it. The nationalization of industry, while retaining private ownership in name only, is just another word for fascism.
For example, large insurance and pharmaceutical companies were enthusiastic supporters of many provisions of ObamaCare because they knew in the end their bottom lines would be enriched.
Socialism is a system where the government directly owns and manages businesses. Corporatism is a system where businesses are nominally in private hands, but are in fact controlled by the government. In a corporatist state, government officials often act in collusion with their favored business interests to design polices that give those interests a monopoly position, to the detriment of both competitors and consumers.
In reality, the typical corporate lobbyist opposes free markets and champions CORPORATISM--an economic system where the government intervenes in the economy for the benefit of certain politically connected business interests. These lobbyists often claim their client's cause is an exception to their staunch free-market principles. My staff refers to these lobbyists as "libertarians, buts" because they often begin their pitch to us with, "I'm a libertarian, but in this case government intervention is necessary because."
The Fed was the key driver behind the housing bubble, which was the key instigator of the 2008meltdown. But it operates largely in secret. Congressman Ron Paul has proposed a bill to audit the Federal Reserve, and he has also called for killing the Fed. Friends of the free market should have no love for his disruptive, unaccountable entity.
Many big business people, bankers, union leaders, politicians, and professors all grew to love inflation, as they saw in it a chance to pursue their goals. Sometimes these were purely materialistic; at other times they embodied the lust for power. In both cases they were immoral.
Some say business profits are the cause of inflation. But profits--in a voluntary market--are only an indication of efficiency and service to consumers. Legitimate profits have nothing to do with inflation. But big business’ demand for “easy money” certainly has been a significant reason for monetary expansion. $600 billion in federally guaranteed loans, all of which are for the benefit of business, is the most significant contributing factor to our inflation. Since 1970, 80% of the inflation may have been for “stimulation” of the economy to aid big business and big banking.
Corporate and Financial Institution Compensation Fairness Act: Amends the Securities Exchange Act to require that any proxy for an annual shareholders meeting provide for a separate shareholder vote to approve executive compensation for named executive officers. The shareholder vote shall not be:
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. BARNEY FRANK (D, MA-4): The amount of wages is irrelevant to the SEC. What this bill explicitly aims at is the practice whereby people are given bonuses that pay off if the gamble pays off, but don't lose you anything if it doesn't. That is, there is a wide consensus that this incentivizes excessive risk.
Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. SPENCER BACHUS (R, AL-6): True, the first 6 pages of the bill give the owners, the shareholders, a non-binding vote on the pay of top executives. But then come the next 8 pages, the switch, which gives the regulators the power to decide appropriate compensation for not only just top executives but for all employees of all financial institutions above $1 billion in assets and all without regard for the shareholders' prior approval. So under the guise of empowering shareholders, it is, in fact, the government that is empowered. And, finally, on page 15, the bill designates those same government entities which regulated AIG, Countrywide, and collectively failed to prevent the worst financial calamity since the Great Depression. This bill continues the Democrat majority's tendency to go to the default solution for every problem: create a government bureaucracy to make decisions better left to private citizens and private corporations.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. NYDIA VELÁZQUEZ (D, NY-12): We need jobs that cannot be shipped overseas and will not evaporate in the next cycle of boom and bust. But those jobs aren't going to appear out of thin air. They need to be created. By expanding existing industries and unlocking new ones, H.R. 2965 will generate the jobs we need. Job creation is the primary goal of R&D. But in order to generate new positions, we have to first develop new industries. Commercialization is critical to that process.
Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. ED MARKEY (D, MA-7): I must oppose this bill because I have serious concerns about allowing SBIR awards to go to an unlimited number of businesses owned or controlled by venture capital (VC) firms. The SBIR program, responsible for over 60,000 patents, has always focused on innovation from truly small businesses for whom commercial capital market funding is typically not an option. However, with the change made in this bill, the SBIR program would be wide open to applicants that already are well-capitalized due to VC participation, crowding out the small businesses that have been the focus of the highly successful SBIR program.
While I support VC participation in the SBIR program, enabling an unlimited amount of large VC majority-owned firms to qualify for SBIR funding calls into question whether this program, intended for genuinely small businesses, is, in fact, still focused on these firms.
We should do everything in our power to strengthen small businesses that generate 70% of new jobs in our country. H.R 2965 does not do enough to ensure that small businesses are the focus of the SBIR program, and therefore I cannot support the bill.
Proponents support voting YES because:
We should not deprive the public, the stockholders, from being able to do anything meaningful once they find out about scandalous levels of executive compensation or board compensation. Everyone talks about the corporate board as the remedy. But the board is often a part of the problem, being paid huge amounts of money for showing up once or twice a year at meetings.
Give the stockholders a meaningful remedy. Once you get the mandatory disclosure put in place by previous legislation, we are saying the stockholders should be allowed to have a referendum on that and not have a runaround by the board.
Opponents support voting NO because:
This vote is based on mischaracterization--it is an unnecessary amendment. The opportunity for these kinds of votes already exists within the structure of corporate governance right now. A good company from Georgia, AFLAC, went ahead and already has these nonbinding shareholder votes. But there is a difference between having individuals in the private sector, shareholders and individuals outside of the mandating of government to have it occur and have government come in with its heavy hand and say, this is exactly what you need to do because we know best. Our constituents know better how to act and how to relate to corporations than Washington.
Whether you own a business, represent one, lead a corporate office, or manage an association, the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of AmericaSM provides you with a voice of experience and influence in Washington, D.C., and around the globe.
Our members include businesses of all sizes and sectors—from large Fortune 500 companies to home-based, one-person operations. In fact, 96% of our membership encompasses businesses with fewer than 100 employees.
"To advance human progress through an economic, political and social system based on individual freedom, incentive, initiative, opportunity, and responsibility."The ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
A BILL To repeal the expansion of information reporting requirements for payments of $600 or more to corporations. Section 9006 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the amendments made thereby, are hereby repealed; and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 shall be applied as if such section, and amendments, had never been enacted. [This is the first attempt at dismantling ObamaCare by pieces, as opposed to H.R. 2 which dismantles ObamaCare in whole. The proposed section of the ObamaCare law to be repealed appears below. --OnTheIssues editor].
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