Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Politics is Puppet Theater

We're all persuaded or at least influenced by those voices that speak powerfully.  Well financed, well polished voices.

Unfortunately there are fully valid arguments on both sides of most issues, but the powerful voice is often the winner in the battle for agreement and cooperation.  It's a rare person who is wise enough to withhold concurrence until all sides are considered.

I hate it when I listen and agree only to discover soon afterward that the presentation had been one-sided and, as it turned out, just wrong.  Motivated by the 'win' mentality, the presenter had offered all the good they could muster and deliberately ignored all the bad.

Welcome to the lobbyist's world.  Polished, primed, and well paid,  the powerful voices of industry.

There are less than 150 corporations that control more than 40% of the world's economy.  They're tightly interconnected and interrelated; each owns a significant portion of many of the others.  They breathe in sync.  And they campaign (lobby) in the world's governments for regulatory favor.

It's not a conspiracy, at least not formally.  They don't collectively intend to rule the world; perhaps just the world's economy.

What they've persuaded our legislators to do in the last couple of decades has given us a degree of 'globalization' that was unforeseen.  The U.S. economy and others are intimately interconnected.  A hiccup in the the U.S. or the EU can affect the developing world catastrophically.  It did, and it will again.

In Belize City, local Rotarians labor to build a fair marketplace, 
a fair and helpful business world for their country.
Wandering the edge of  Belize city, I see that Rotary International has put up the 4-way test questions on signs along the way.  These have been the Rotary's endorsed and adopted standard for business ethics for almost a century.

Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Curious how many of the worlds financial behemoths are led by Rotarians? Or better yet, how many would pass the four way test?  Zero and zero, of course. Since the 80's, we've raised a breed of business folks whose only goal is winning, regardless of the cost to others. Millions have suffered as a result. The market crash of 07/08 killed more than a half million in eastern Africa alone, we're told.  AIG and JP Morgan did that along with a few others.  

Zip, zero, not a one would pass the Rotary's four way test or any other reasonable test of ethics.
Despite being within the boundaries of the law, these banking barons have passed from the realm of 'participant' in the human saga to 'predator'. Relatively new on the historical scene, they are considered invasive and detrimental to all the world and to all the people.

Curious what comes next?  Yup, me too.