December 25, 2010

169 words 1 min read

Chains of a Different Master

chains Perhaps the most famous of all of Karl Marx’s writings was the clause “you have nothing to lose but your chains.”

Many people still believe that human beings are chained to corporate masters. Writers like Seth Godin talk about an awakening in which workers refuse to remain cogs in someone else’s machine.

These well-meaning people (some are well-meaning, anyway) have no problem, though with giving more power to a handful of slave-masters in Washington. They miss the big picture.

Corporate leaders are no longer independent movers. As we’ve seen acutely in the past two years, corporate CEOs grovel before the throne of government, begging and pleading for scraps from Washington’s table.

The whole idea of earmarks is part of this game. Senators tax (or borrow) billions which they earmark for, say, a university in their state. The university donates up to 80 percent of that earmark back to Senator X’s campaign. Or the CEO of Goldman Sachs becomes Secretary of the Treasury and funnels US bonds through Goldman Sachs.