Sympathy for the Devil
by Vedran Vuk
by Vedran Vuk
Halliburton, Chevron, Exxon-Mobil, and Lockheed Martin quickly roll off the lips of anyone attacking special interest groups influencing policy in this country.
However this viewpoint of major corporations maintaining power through political contributions is only a skip-deep view of those who are really trying to run this country.
Some of the most influential groups around are not capitalists but instead labor unions. The usual suspects are only used as scapegoats for the constant corruption that occurs year after year. Liberal after liberal keeps screaming at oil companies and other major corporations.
As the right hand points at the financiers of the Republican Party with contempt, the left hand is handed its own wad of cash from corrupting organizations with their own agendas. The whole debate of oil companies and Lockheed Martin contracts is only a distraction from the even bigger beguilers creeping around Congress.
The main groups behind these activities are labor unions. The trap is set perfectly. Make everyone hate business. Talk about lobbyists and special interest groups. Scream "Corporation! Corporation! Corporation!" while secretly influencing politics more than the blatant poster boys of campaign financing. The American people willingly fall into this snare every time.
Let's take a look at some of these coercive unions. The Center for Responsive Politics organizes campaign financing in an easy readable format.
Their list of the top 100 major donors since 1989 quickly shows the reality of special interest groups which is far from the all too popular dejections against the oil boys.
Here are the labor unions with their rankings:
- American Federation of State, County, & Municipal Employees (#1)
- National Education Association (#4)
- International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (#6)
- Laborers Union (#7)
- Service Employees International Union (#9)
- Carpenters and Joiners Union (#10)
- Teamsters Union (#12)
- Communications Workers of America (#13)
- United Auto Workers (#14)
- Machinists & Aerospace Workers Union (#18)
- United Food and Commercial Workers Union (#19)
- National Association of Letter Carriers (#26)
- AFL-CIO (#27)
- Sheet Metal Workers Union (#37)
- Plumbers & Pipefitters Union (#45)
- International Association of Firefighters (#50)
- United Steel Workers of America (#51)
- Ironworkers Union (#60)
- American Maritime Officers (#86)
- Seafarers International Union (#93)
- Marine Engineers Beneficial Association (#96)
Six from the top ten major donors are labor unions! Yet discussions around campaign financing do not regularly acknowledge these groups as culprits.
It's no wonder the United States is being infiltrated with Socialist and Communist ideas of redistribution. Many of these labor unions were born in their beginnings with outright Marxist ideologies. Their influence is spreading this agenda to this day.
The number one, American Federation of State, County, & Municipal Employees, holds itself as a major hypocrite. Labor Unions in theory are supposed to use collective bargaining against exploitative money hungry corporations. Their employer is not a corporation but the government. The union throws in all this money to campaigns in order to see how much more they can steal from taxpayers.
Unions eventually kill the industries in which they are prevalent, but with a limitless supply of taxpayer money the lifeblood of this union flows at our expense.
They're not the only ones; all of these unions are caught in a deep hypocrisy. These "exploited" workers are always attempting to garner higher wages. If their wages are so low, then how are they able to hire lobbyists with permanent positions in Washington with millions of dollars to bribe politicians? This hardly sounds like down-trodden exploited workers to me.
Now let's look at our earlier-mentioned poster boys and their rankings. A good first look is at General Motors. GM ranks 68th while the United Auto Workers 14th. If these corporations have so much money to influence politics then why are the workers of General Motors giving more money than GM itself? The realities of finance are far from the anti-corporation and anti-business mentality spoon-fed to the American people on a daily basis.
Now for our poster boys:
- Lockheed Martin (#35)
- Chevron (#67)
- Exxon Mobil (#73)
- BP (#100)
*Halliburton the most demonized company around doesn't even make the top 100 list!
I'm not attempting to pretend that this is the sole bribing that goes on in Congress, but this list does give a general idea of the some of the bigger donors.
If these companies are supposedly so influential, then the oil industry should not be so regulated. If their influence is so huge, we would have plenty of new refineries as well as no taxes on gas. However these restrictions and taxes do exist.
If I had the perceived omnipotent power of oil companies, I would not start a war in Iraq. I would end the restrictions at home. Simply ending gasoline taxes could yield higher profits than any war imaginable.
The accusations facing oil companies are not all-encompassing in their field. The rich in general are constantly accused of controlling this country. But once again we must ask, "If they run this country why do they pay 40% income tax; why does the top 50% pay about 97% of the taxes to fund everything in this country?"
It hardly seems with these numbers that the rich are controlling America in their favor. Labor unions play a huge underestimated roll in America. Socialist policies like universal healthcare did not become platforms for the Democratic Party out of thin air. Someone with money and influence has been pushing these long-run disastrous policies; that someone is the labor unions.
I dislike everyone on this top 100 list. But, if we're going to have a serious discussion regarding special interest groups in Washington D.C., we need to tell the full story.
I hate the devil, but I do harbor a slight sympathy for the devil when other demons are running wild and destroying freedom without anyone noticing. The finger pointing needs to point out the deception in every special interest group, not just a few major corporations. The Iraq War has blinded many wise, common sense people from seeing the atrocities at home. The Democrats through their labor union funding are just as corrupt and controlled as Republicans.
Let's not single out a few and attack them. Let's attack the institution of lobbying on every level and have sympathy for no devil.
February 23, 2007
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