corporate crime


Corporations can be very good for a country because they employ people, create things, sell things, and provide services. But there can be problems when corporations have too much influence over government and when they refuse to negotiate with unions or use union workers. John Edwards is the democratic candidate who is talking the most about corporate greed and the problems that it can cause. Here’s part of an article from Huffington Post that explains what he said in Iowa on Friday.

While Edwards has consistently campaigned on an economically populist program, his speech today in Dubuque was marked by a noticeable ratcheting up and radicalization of his critique of corporate wealth and power.

“Why on earth would we expect the corporate powers and their lobbyists, who make billions by selling out the middle-class, to just give up their power because we ask them nicely?” Edwards asked. He made no mention of rivals Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton in today’s speech; in the past, he has slammed Clinton for being too indebted to powerful Washington lobbies.

Edwards is in the midst of a final 38-county push to win next Thursday’s Iowa caucuses. Even his own supporters will concede that taking Iowa is a do-or-die must for a campaign running third in national polls, but in a virtual dead heat in the Hawkeye State with rivals Clinton and Obama.

Nestled on the gritty Illinois border, Dubuque has been hit hard by the collapse in American manufacturing jobs and offers itself as a perfect venue for Edwards’ message of economic fairness. The local Flexsteel plant has lost about two-thirds of its 800 jobs over the past decade. Paper maker Georgia Pacific, another big employer in town, has also been hit hard by job exports.

“Iowa has lost twice as many jobs to unfair trade deals than it’s won in the so-called technological revolution,” Edwards adviser Dave “Mudcat” Saunders told the HuffPost before today’s event started. “What kind of revolution is that?” Saunders said Edwards would stay on his message of opposing “unchecked greed” and that it was a theme that resonated deeply throughout the state.

 

I have a friend that always wants to sell stuff on eBay.  I don’t know if he has ever sold anything but he knows how.  His plan is to offer something really, really cheap so people will bid on it, and then have a $50 shipping charge.  Well, I hope he never becomes a defense contractor with no morals at all, because then look what might happen!

This is from Think Progress:

Pentagon paid $998,798 to ship two 19-cent washers.

The Pentagon paid a small South Carolina parts supplier about $20.5 million over six years “for fraudulent shipping costs, including $998,798 for sending two 19-cent washers to an Army base in Texas. The company also billed and was paid $455,009 to ship three machine screws costing $1.31 each to Marines in Habbaniyah, Iraq.”

OK, here’s the deal.  I know it costs money to get stuff safely to Iraq and then safely to the place you’re sending them.  My brother does it all the time through the army and it takes a while.  So they always send over EXTRA PARTS for all the vehicles they send!  But maybe these marines needed the screws fast.  What about FedEx?  What about UPS?  The screws are all going to the same place — how much could it possibly cost.

 But I live in Texas.  Right near an army base in fact.  Pretty safe.  A friend sent me a DVD and it cost her $2.36.  If I needed it overnight she could get it to me for $10 or $15.  If she got on an airplane to bring it to me, it would cost about $500.  And why couldn’t the guys from the army base in Texas go to the hardware store themselves and get a few washers.  They don’t get paid a lot, but most of them have an extra 38 cents!

This is corruption.  That’s why they didn’t think of any of those solutions.  But the real question is if the company will have to give back the money and if they will be able to get more contracts from the government in the future.  Will they go to jail?

corporate crime, http://www.anu.edu.au/fellows/jbraithwaite/_images/Subject/Corporate_Crime.gifI don’t pay a whole lot of attention to the mainstream media, but between that and school, there’s a lot of “stuff” that I know. Turns out a lot of it is wrong. A friend pointed me towards this article from AlterNet and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t read much of it when she told me it was about corporate crime. Well, I DID read it and you should too! (No worries, when you click it will open in a new window and I’ll still be here.)

Here are some of the FACTS that the news and my teachers never told me, and I pay pretty good attention to most things involving crime and prison:

Corporate crime inflicts far more damage on society than all street crime combined.

That includes frauds and swindles.

Corporate crime is often violent crime.

Recite this list of corporate frauds and people will immediately say to you: but you can’t compare street crime and corporate crime — corporate crime is not violent crime.

Not true.

Corporate crime is often violent crime.

The FBI estimates that, 16,000 Americans are murdered every year.

Compare this to the 56,000 Americans who die every year on the job or from occupational diseases such as black lung and asbestosis and the tens of thousands of other Americans who fall victim to the silent violence of pollution, contaminated foods, hazardous consumer products, and hospital malpractice.

How about these two?

 There are very few career prosecutors of corporate crime.

Most corporate crime prosecutors see their jobs as a stepping stone to greater things.

Here is their conclusion:

1. And the number one thing you should know about corporate crime?

Everyone is deserving of justice. So, question, debate, strategize, yes.

But if God-forbid you too are victimized by a corporate criminal, you too will demand justice.

We need a more beefed up, more effective justice system to deal with the corporate criminals in our midst.

So how do we change it? How do we get real equality?