Governmint Monkey Business

*Editorial*

Corporate and political policies need to change if we care about ourselves. The two are so enmeshed in nepotism, lobbying, campaign finance and the perpetuation of the status quo that it is difficult to ascertain the relationship between corporate strategies and the legislative process. How is it possible to enact guidelines that ensure a non-polluted future in the local area when the only means of employment is a coal mine, a paper or steel mill and those same enterprises contribute a disproportionate amount of the local tax revenue, and are connected financially to political officials through lobby efforts and other camouflaged bribery? It’s true there is no law that requires conscience or humanitarian effort by corporate and political  institutions, but there does appear to be somewhat of a change related to this, although it is likely to be a product of slick public relations or other lip service.
As the economy continues on it’s death spiral, abbetted and narrated by the government and the media, the changes society faces and embraces may not have the positive effect on the market many claim is needed (to maintain the status quo). Most believe a proposterous amount of effort and financial resources have now been spent to prevent a devastating future. The “too big to fail” proposition likely has found no real solutions. When the letter of the  law is followed (that’s a real change), the economic condition can only worsen, as with the under writing of personal and corporate finance.  It appears as well that the fundamental societal changes in values and hence habits will have a far more significant effect on the new “old ways” soon to be in effect. As the selfish greed and consumerism of the recent past is destroyed through nothing more than a majority lack of participation, the reluctance to invest in the same type of enterprises by the upper echelon will perhaps provide some entry by these entities into new “old way” commerce. The most unspoken and here theorized principle of corporate philosophy up until now appears to have been not to provide value to the consumer, but to return equity to the shareholders, creating a paper value for publicly traded issues. The stock exchange reinforced the notion that the best way for a company to make money when they couldn’t make a legitimate profit through the sale of goods and services was to invest in other’s hopefully increasing or decreasing stock value. Research and development didn’t receive the needed investment, which facilitated the horse track mentality. In the case of the American “auto makers”, perhaps the unspoken credo  was, “It’s easier to sell to investor greed than to consumer savvy”.  Do investors bet on actual corporate performance, or more likely; the participation of corporate and other investors’ perception. This betting on the betting, which is bet on the other’s betting has “volatized” the corporate finance “community”. Printing money hasn’t solved any problems either.

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