How Our Government Has Merged With Corporations
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The 20th century was the bloodiest and most violent in human history. This led some countries to fascism - a system characterized by the state and large business becoming almost indistinguishable. The first decade of the 21st century suffers from that anti-democratic legacy.
The government of the United States, for example, is largely rented to corporations. Big business sends multiple thousands of lobbyists to Washington, DC, to buy favors and get their point of view across in Congress and the executive branch: The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the new war in Libya have been a boon to munitions manufacturers, "security" companies and private mercenary armies. They are part of a permanent war economy, making the US the world's sheriff.
This so-called "defense" has spawned America's largest businesses, besides being the mother of the military-industrial complex. One company, Lockheed Martin, gets more than $29 billion per year for making weapons for the Pentagon. Lockheed Martin also makes foreign policy for America.(1)
The financial meltdown of 2008 proved beyond reasonable doubt that the government is in the pockets of, in this case, banks "too large to fail." President Barack Obama, elected to redress the injustices of the George W. Bush administration, ditched his promises and ethics to bailout banking billionaires.
The BP poisoning of the Gulf of Mexico in the spring of 2010 was a consequence of BP making energy policy for the US government.
The federal government often sides with manufacturers of hazardous products. I know this from personal experience. I worked for 25 years for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA has been manipulating science with the blowing of corporate wind and political interest.
The EPA nearly always is using science to cover up the hazardous and biocidal nature of American industry, including the poisoning of nature and humans by nuclear power plants, which are siblings of nuclear weapons.
This is happening not because we don't know the effects of nuclear power. We know too much, in fact. We know, for example, that uranium and plutonium, fueling both nuclear bombs and nuclear power plants, are toxic for almost an eternity. John Gofman and Arthur Tamplin, who made contributions on the effects of radioactivity on humans and the environment and worked at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory in Livermore, California, called nuclear power "poisoned power."(2) Leonidas Petrakis, a former senior scientist and department chairman at Brookhaven National Laboratory, did nuclear scattering experiments at the Berkeley accelerator and, otherwise, is an expert on energy. In a personal note, he equaled "nuclear" to "insanity." Helen Caldicott, a pediatrician and former professor of medicine at Harvard, called her 1978 book "Nuclear Madness." She repeated that charge in an interview with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! on March 30, 2011. Petrakis says it would take 250,000 years for an area contaminated by plutonium-239 to be safe again. This is why he dismisses as irresponsible any talk by "experts" or "nuclear hawks" recommending "glass encapsulation of the nuclear waste," storing it in salt caves in Nevada or New Mexico for 1,000 or more years. These nuclear advocates, he says, "prefer to ignore the scores of isotopes involved in nuclear waste (including Pu-239) and talk only about iodine-131, which has a half life of 8 days, and for which conveniently there is 'a pill' (as a society we love those pill solutions!)"
The reason behind the barbarism of manufacturing nuclear bombs and using bomb technology to boil water for electricity is the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and its efforts to legitimize the monster of the nuclear weapons. In addition, the owners of nuclear power plants influence politicians and scientists to support their lethal product.