We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
I revisited the text of the constitution recently to see if my ideas of government were close to what the original founders of our nation intended. In general, yes. But somewhere along the way, I think we’ve lost sight of some of these principles. So many times, I hear from the political right that the role of government is too big as it is now, that the role of government was never intended to be so invasive, and that that is too much regulation hindering businesses. Let me start off by saying, I am a staunch democrat, HOWEVER I am also a person who believes in efficiency and capitalism. Some of what the right says about government has truth to it. The amount of bureaucracy involved is ridiculous, and I can say this with 100% certainty as I am remodeling a house right now (getting a building permit in this city is like passing a bill in congress…..really, it’s STUPID). It really shocks me that after all that we have experienced in the last ten years, how people on the right want to eliminate all regulation regarding business, banks, commerce….etc.
Remember what happened when we deregulated financial institutions, allowing them to bundle up mortgages and sell them off? People who worked at McDonald’s could buy a $400,000 house here in Las Vegas. And who made all of the money for those loans? The banks. The banks were allowed to make horrible risks with borrowers who should have no business getting a loan. When the housing market started to turn and the banks started to lose money, the entire financial system started to crumble. ….all because the government allowed them to deregulate. Being in Las Vegas, the epicenter of the housing crisis, we’re still digging our way out of this crazy mess. We’ll probably be digging our way out of this mess for 3 -5 more years. So when republicans continue to push for less regulation, it astonishes me. Really, it baffles me that they think corporations are “going to do the right thing”. Did Enron do the right thing when they hid billions of dollars of failed investments? Did Massey Energy do the right thing when they ignored 57 safety violations? Did Goldman Sachs do the right thing when food and commodity investments they engineered caused people do go starving while they made profits?
I do not trust large corporations to “do the right thing”. Corporations are run by shareholders, shareholders want money, profits equal happy shareholders. Regardless of the cost, corporation’s only goal is to get money at the expense of people who have no voice, i.e. the people who don’t have the financial influence to make a difference. That’s where I come back to the role of government: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Who is going to force corporations to do the right thing?