More recently, think of the exemption given the pharmaceutical industry in the recent health care bill. It actually mandates protections for the industry against competition for the lowest cost. Add to the list the $10+ billion in contracts that BP still operates with the federal government (mainly with Defense); these contracts never seemed to be in question despite BP’s alternating moods of bluster, cover up, and belligerence. Further up the list would be the entire process that reviewed and assigned oil leases on and off shore. Evidence is abundant that it is not just Congress, but the regulators and bureaucrats in the Adminisration who are the receivers of corporate largess and the enablers and protectors of corporate wealth.
The Pentagon is a known and widely accepted gateway to astronomical wealth at a scale that flies above common perception. In the same way, we can’t feel the world turning, most of us can’t fathom the vast sums of money flying out of the budget in the name of defense.
Sadly, much of this enrichment is done in the name of working class Americans. When deep water drilling was suspended, the faces of affected families and workers reinforced the political assault politicians led to overturn the temporary ban. But who had more at stake? The faces of wealthy companies hid behind the coat tails of those they put at risk.
Health care is another. In order to avoid possible increases in premiums, corporations have engaged in patient dumping by laying off older workers and have acted as cherrypicking agents for the insurers. Again, the government has failed to institute quotas on the hiring of older workers or start Medicare earlier so that employers could pay lower rates for those workers. And so the 99ers descend into homelessness, caught between the corporations who are trying to throw their livelihood on the government and the government that has fallen prey to the notion that tough love is love and that safety nets are immoral.”