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Buttigieg Is a Wall Street Democrat Beholden to Corporate Interests

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17.02.2020

The most important – and often most ignored - issue in the coming election is not health care, taxation, education or even climate change. It is Power: who has it, how it is obtained, who benefits and who loses. Power determines the ability to address or not address all the other issues. I have previously analyzed the process through which corporations dominate our political economy through a system of legalized corruption in which Big Business basically purchases the allegiance of politicians by investing billions of dollars in campaign contributions; obtains favorable legislation by spending billions more in lobbying; and ensures that the legislation is supported by pro-corporate judges who have been appointed by those same politicians (see here, here and here).

This system has allowed big corporations and the wealthy elite to dominate our politics over the past 45 years during which they have obtained trillions of dollars through tax cuts, deregulation, unfair trade deals and the privatization of public assets. Simultaneously, they have prevented the passage of pro-worker and consumer legislation. This system of corporate domination has prevailed with bi-partisan Congressional majorities under both Democratic and Republican presidents. Big corporations, especially Wall Street, will invest hundreds of millions of dollars during this election to ensure that their domination continues into the future.

In this and a number of future articles, I will examine specific presidential candidates not in terms of the liberal, moderate or conservative labels but in terms of their relationship to the U.S. power structure: who supports and funds them, whose power is increased or decreased from the policies they espouse, and whose interests they have in the past and will in the future actually represent.

Wall Street plays a significant role in the overall economy as it basically controls the Federal Reserve which, by setting interest rates, has more power over the general economy than any president.

Wall Street is probably the most powerful sector in the corporate economy. Wall Street plays a significant role in the overall economy as it basically controls the Federal Reserve which, by setting interest rates, has more power over the general economy than any president. Wall Street also influences the decisions of all other major corporations. Corporations rely on Wall Street in order to market stocks and bonds and obtain various loans. But it goes much deeper: the concerns of Wall Street can alter the behavior of even the largest corporations.

AT&T provides a cautionary tale. This gigantic corporation was forced by a vulture hedge fund to buy back $30 billion of its own stock in order to artificially increase the stock price and, not coincidentally, the value of its corporate officers' stock options. Concurrently, AT&T eliminated 37,800 jobs and reduced its capital expenditures by $1 billion. Moody's, the credit rating agency stated that the large cost of the buyback could put AT&T at risk for a credit downgrade. Not surprisingly AT&T is still being rewarded with a $42 billion tax cut even though it is cutting jobs and investments. Wall Street also has cemented its dominance of our political system by investing $6.53 billion in their chosen political candidates from 1990-2019, an additional $8.94 billion in lobbying these same politicians and by utilizing a well-known revolving door between Wall Street lobbyists and key........

© Common Dreams