On Democracy Now! we have often spoken of the corporate crime wave that is sweeping the country.
Barely a week goes by without new scandals grabbing headlines, revealing long lists of betrayed pensioners, deceived shareholders, and bereft employees. In the last six months, Enron, Arthur Anderson, Merrill-Lynch, Halliburton, Qwest Communications, Xerox, and Tyco have all come under investigation for serious corporate crimes. More recently, the telecommunications giant, WorldCom, admitted it had “improperly booked” nearly $4 billion in expenses and hidden an additional $1 billion. The admission sent shares plummeting and cost thousands of employees their jobs. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed fraud charges against Worldcom shortly after. It has been called one of the biggest cases of crooked accounting in history.
President Bush has vowed an investigation of the Worldcom scandal and said that he will not allow high-level fraud to go unpunished. But his statements have done little to block the perception that government is behind big business–and not the people. Days before the Worldcom scandal broke, President Bush hosted a Republican fundraiser underwritten by the pharmaceutical industry. Drug companies paid as much as $250,000 for a seat at the legislative table. Just two days before the drug gala, Republicans unveiled a prescription drug plan backed by the industry. Just one day after the gala, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the plan.
Well, today, the day after July 4th, we are going to listen to a speech on reclaiming political power from the corporations. It was given by Ralph Nader this past Sunday at a Democracy Rising super rally in New Haven, Connecticut. Democracy Rising is a new organization founded by Ralph Nader as a means to educate and empower citizens throughout the United States. It has been sponsoring super rallies in stadiums across the country.
Here’s Ralph Nader speaking on reclaiming power through citizen action.
- Ralph Nader, former presidential candidate and consumer advocate.