A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

Bear Cubs outfielder and pitcher Alex Leopard strikes out the side to close out the 21-9 victory against College of Marin on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023 in Santa Rosa.
Bear Cubs Spotlight: Alex Leopard
Oliver Kindt, Sports Reporter • February 26, 2024
An additional four to six-week delay faces students who have already submitted their FAFSA for 2024-2025 academic year.
FAFSA Updates Result in More Delays
Amy Moore, Reporter • February 14, 2024

Corporations, Capitalism and Corruption: Tea Party or Occupy?

To me the question is ridiculous.

The Tea party movement started out with Libertarian principles that stated the corrupt government of the United States was too large and needed to be reined in. Similarly, Civil Libertarians started the Occupy movement in 2011 with the now infamous hacker group Anonymous calling for the occupation of Federal Reserve banks across the country. If we listen to the founders of this country, both groups are identical.

Everyone knows Thomas Jefferson thought big banks were more “dangerous to our liberties than standing armies,” and predicted the creation of a central bank would lead to corporations so powerful Americans would one day wake up “impoverished on the very land their fathers conquered.”

Few people know he tried to include an 11th Amendment to the Constitution limiting the power of corporations by prohibiting “monopolies in commerce,” a corporation to own another corporation, or a corporation to donate money or influence politicians or elections in any other way. It would have dictated that for a corporation to be chartered they would be required to perform some sort of public service.

The Founders understood how each and every individual could and most likely would be influenced by economics and money. Ask a business major if they would like to have a monopoly in any given industry and the answer would be an almost laughable but resounding “Yes.” The American climate today mirrors individual economic determinism to a tee or it could, more accurately, be referred to as corporate determination.

In Federalist Paper 51, James Madison states, “If men were angels no government would be necessary.” This implies that government itself is formed to regulate people’s moral compasses. We know people are not angels, yet corporations are able to legally plunder because the individuals involved have been relieved of the moral restrictions government itself was formed to guard against.

Back in those days, Americans believed in transparency. Patrick Henry, a radical in his own day for taking on the aristocracy of the House of Burgesses with his proposed Virginia Stamps Act Resolutions, was a true advocate for transparency, ferociously criticizing the Constitution because it was a product of private and secret meetings. Henry would have never allowed for money interests to buy his government and might have gone as far as tarring and feathering every single lobbyist in Washington.

The proverbial yet lucrative revolving door would have brought colonialists from all walks of life to the capital’s doorstep. John Adams wanted “a government of laws, not of men.” Now we see the rule of law being completely tarnished by our leaders, specifically Barack Obama’s administration signing of the National Defense Authorization Act and its inability to bring justice to the scoundrels who commit fraud on Wall Street each and every day.

Take the London International Bank Offered Rate scandal for example. The largest rates-fixing scandal in the history of man, effectively looted pensions of millions of Americans for the profitable gain of a very few individuals and not a single person went to jail. Bankers rigged rates on more than $360 trillion worth of financial products and set the benchmark rates for Wall Street.

Some estimates have this scandal affecting up to $750 trillion, and to make matters worse, our own Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner knew about it as far back as 2008.

An even lower low was the recent discovery that one of the “too big to fail” banks, HSBC, laundered more than $800 million of Mexican and Columbian drug cartel money and did business with Iranian banks helping fund terrorist cells. The Justice Department didn’t arrest a single banker involved because it was concerned about what effects bringing justice to these crooks would have on the economy.

In the words of the longest-standing Supreme Court justice, William O. Douglas, “A people who extend liberties only to preferred groups start down the path either to dictatorship of the right or the left.”
If  Wall Street is a monument to Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr’s murder of Hamilton begins to seem cosmically appropriate, an act brought about by some higher force of collective liberty espoused, spirited and championed by the American people and almost every one of their leaders at the time.

Left-wing economists and politicians are starting to wake up to the systemic corruption brought about by the Federal Reserve Bank. Josef Stiglitz, chief economist at the World Bank from 1997-2000 and Nobel Prize Winner for Economics in 2001, and Robert Reich, Bill Clinton’s secretary of labor, along with self-proclaimed socialist Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, have all  called for a complete audit and restructuring of the Federal Reserve system. That is to say auditing the Fed is no longer a radical or far-right idea, but one that should be welcomed and initiated by mainstream politicians and patriots. Stiglitz went as far to say that the “Federal Reserve system…is a corrupt governing system.” At this point that statement is utterly inarguable.

It’s time the entrenched money interests, the big business crony capitalist economic order and the system of over-bearing regulations that create rapacious monopolies, be allowed to fail and replaced. The Tea Party and Occupy are one and the same. The only way these issues can be fixed or even addressed in a public dialogue is by standing in solidarity on the matters we all agree on.
Corporatism is not a system that has ever worked for its citizens and Americans have fallen into this trap. It’s time to free ourselves from the snare and take back our country. Break up the banks and corporations and advocate for transparency to deal with the corrupt government, which legitimizes their power and influence over us all. Individuals and communities must stand in solidarity as Americans with a single, relentless, assiduous and unrestrained voice that demands the plutocracy’s plundering come to an end, before it’s too late.

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Drew Sheets, Staff Writer

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