Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Public Property

At a time when our bodies are no longer private, but subject to x-ray, our emails are "read" for advertisement content, national id is just around the corner and RFID is a marketing tool, isn't it time for corporations, who are after all individuals, to share as well?

I understand that Comcast is claiming it has the right to charge NetFlix for using their cable, and a pharmaceutical company can own the rights to a person's genes.  Car manufacturers can buy the rights to the great oldies and sell their metal pollutants to songs that remind us of our youth.  Amazon has records of every book I've ever bought, and lets me know it with a smiley face that says, we'll take care of you, we'll tell you what you want to buy next.

So how is it that corporations get to own stuff and keep it secret, but we don't?  Why is every single thing I do available to corporations and the government, but pharmaceutical companies get to hoard their research findings, prohibiting further research and competition?  Why does a cable company get to lay down cable through my neighborhood, and then own the rights to it forever?

And why is a corporation allowed to benefit from government research, investment, subsidies, with absolutely no obligation to us, the American people?

Why do we continue this fantasy that a corporation does so much good that it owes nothing?  That in and of itself, a corporation has the right to merely serve itself?  Capitalism for its own benefit spawns greed and stagnation.  Capitalism is at its best with solid government regulation, because the theory corporatism espouses is not just amoral, it is immoral.  Capitalism which injures innocent people for profit (health insurance), which prohibits research and growth (pharmaceutical), which inhibits or prohibits access to information (internet neutrality, free wireless access), these are all immoral.  When our government has to provide airports as well as airport security, while the airlines are charging for everything but use of the restroom (wait, it's coming), we need to rethink what capitalism is, and what a democracy should be in relation to it.

I don't need to hear one more time about how we need to be giving corporations tax breaks for the privilege of making profit from our communities.  I believe it's time our government rethought to whom it was responsible:  the citizen or the corporation.

No comments:

Post a Comment