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Previously by this author: Dirty Secrets of the Pharma-Cartel: Part Four
|Disclaimer: This column appears as would a syndicated column in a newspaper. It does not necessarily reflect the views of Alex Jones.|
|Americans most affected are expected to simply forgive and forget the endless scandals and criminal behavior involving major corporations and companies, that are having such a devastating effect on our country. Corporations have
a responsibility not only to themselves, but to the people of this country.
Posing a serious problem for society, white-collar crimes are under-reported, while "street crimes" are made the focus and handled much differently. When the term white-collar crime was first coined in 1939, as "crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation", it was meant to say that poor people are not the only ones to commit crime. Yet there is no uniform system for reporting it. Offenders typically believe that whatever they've done is not wrong, but rather an expected entitlement or fringe benefit of their positions of power. Lavish executive compensations, that are
obtained dishonestly, demonstrate a lack of ethics, unrestrained greed, and disregard for the rule of law.
White Collar Crime - www.umsl.edu/~rkeel/200/wcolcrim.html
Firms with declining profitability or budget cuts are more likely to break the law, as are firms in highly regulated areas such as pharmaceuticals and petroleum. White-collar crime is larceny committed by a respectable, legitimate enterprise involving embezzlement, forgery, or fraud committed in the course of normal business. It is highly unethical and violates accepted accounting principles, as it erodes the public trust/confidence. Deception and cover-up are the hallmarks of white-collar crime and the economic costs are staggering at an estimated $300 billion annually. Criminologists sometimes refer to white-collar crime as business crime, corporate crime, suite crime, crime at the top, elite crime, state crime, governmental crime, or political crime.
Cornelius Vanderbilt said, "Law! What do I care about the law? Hain't I got the power?"
Matthew Josephson tells the story about "The Robber Barons" (1934) and the massive industrialization of America that generated a giant interlocking system covering steel, oil, railways, coal, food processing, and banking. There were serious instabilities that they were producing in society along with their achievements. The effect was to put a monopoly lock on wealth creating technologies, as they became a lot like "the ancient barons-of-the-crags", using force of arms to monopolize strategic valley roads, or mountain passes, that
commerce flowed through. Indeed, contemporary robber barons are following the examples of their predecessors.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines robber baron as 1) a feudal lord who robbed travelers passing through his domain or 2) one of the American industrial or financial magnates of the latter 19th century, who became wealthy by unethical means; such as questionable stock-market operations, or exploitation of labor or political connections. American tycoons have built their wealth by building monopolies and ruthlessly exploiting labor and natural resources.
The Robber Barons - http://history.sandiego.edu/gen/soc/robber-barons.html
The New Robber Barons - www.geocities.com/ishmael53/
The illegal activities of Rockefeller's Trust were exposed in a series of articles, by journalist Ida Tarbell, that were published as a book in 1904 and became a hallmark of a new breed of investigative reporting (can be read online below). Many readers got angry at the way John D. Rockefeller did business. Theodore Roosevelt labeled this new generation of conscientious journalists as "muckrakers", and of course, Ida Tarbell was known as the foremost "Lady Muckraker" of her time. Her work resulted in the U.S. Justice Department
(under Taft) bringing suit against Standard Oil for violation of anti-trust laws in 1911. The court ruled that Rockefeller's Standard Oil monopoly should be broken up into over thirty companies.
The History of the Standard Oil Company by Ida Tarbell -
"Now a man who possesses this kind of influence cannot be allowed to live in the dark. The public not only has the right to know what sort of man he is, it is the duty of the public to know. How else can the public discharge the most solemn obligation it owes to itself and to the future, to keep the springs of its higher life clean?
By what qualities did he grow to such power? Does he give to the public whence he has drawn his wealth a just return in ideas, in patriotism, in devotion to social betterment, in generous living, in inspiring character? Has John D. Rockefeller made good?
From time immemorial, men who have risen to power have had to face this question. Kings, tyrants, chieftains, since the world began have stood or fallen as they have convinced the public, that they were giving or not giving a just return for the power allowed them. The time is here when Mr. Rockefeller must face the verdict of the public by which he lives."
The above quote by Ida Tarbell was taken from "John D. Rockefeller: A Character Study", in which she also discussed William, his father, who had all the vices with the exception of drinking. He became known as a quack doctor peddling a medicine he concocted himself. He was fearless, reckless, and unfettered by love of decency, in his passionate pursuit of moneyand fame. Ida wrote that William was still classed in Moravia as one of the gang who operated the "underground horse railroad" and ran off horses from various parts of the
country. In 1850, although there is no absolute proof of his involvement, it was said that "he was too smart to be caught", while three of his closest pals were convicted and sentenced for horse-stealing . However, in the Cayuga County records, there was an indictment against William A. Rockefeller for a more serious crime.
Verifying this statement, Albert I. Berger wrote that William was indicted in July, 1849, for the alleged rape of a houseworker (see following link). Though William was not arrested or tried, it is quite probable that he left Moravia under compulsion when he moved his family to nearby Owego, New York.
William Avery Rockefeller of ND: The Father of the Man Who Founded Standard Oil and his Remarkable Double Life - www.nd-humanities.org/html/rockefeller.html
The 1907 Tillman Act, which was signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt, makes it unlawful for any national bank, or any corporation... to make a contribution or expenditure in connection with a federal election. During the 1904 presidential campaign, Roosevelt promised he would not accept any corporate contributions and portrayed himself as a champion of reform. After the election, however, it turned out that he had raised large sums in contributions from corporate officers and directors, including J.P. Morgan. Over half of his
campaign money came from railroad and oil interests.
In his report, 'Robber Barons of the Information Age' (Mercury News), a review of
"Broadbandits: Inside the $750 Billion Telecom Heist", Steve Powers summarized the sordid story of the dishonest men, who profited from the broadband boom. More than 100 companies went out of business when the telecom bubble burst, and an equal number was shut down. Up to 600,000 telecom industry workers were left without paychecks, as $750 billion mysteriously vanished in the greatest heist of all time, which created a huge
problem for everyone but the executives.
The mismanagement, misconduct, and shocking greed of the unsavory businessmen, who benefited as companies collapsed, is beyond deplorable. While they lined their pockets, many of their loyal employees watched as their life savings and retirement funds evaporated into thin air. Some of the insider culprits cited are:
Global Crossing's Gary Winnick took in $735 million, while the company blew $15 billion ofthe investor's money resulting in the 4th largest bankruptcy case in U.S. history.
Stock analyst Jack Grubman of Salomon Smith Barney pocketed $100 million and had buy recommendations on 20 telecommunications companies, of which twelve are now bankrupt and the others are on the brink.
Lucent's CEO Richard McGinn was fired in 2001, though his severance package was $12.5 million and his total take for reducing Lucent to shambles was about $38 million.
Ken Rice of Enron Broadband Services, Bernie Ebbers of WorldCom, and Joe Nacchio of QWest Communications are also cited.
Then there is Tyco International's Dennis Kozlowski and Mark Swartz who are on trial in Manhattan's state Supreme Court. They are charged with grand larceny and enterprise corruption. Prosecutors say that they stole $170-million from Tyco by taking and hiding unauthorized pay and bonuses, raiding company loan programs, and forgiving loans to themselves. They say that the defendants made $430-million more on their Tyco stock by lying about the conglomerate's financial condition from 1995 to 2002. Prosecutors also contend that the two chief executives looted the company of $600-million by secretly making Tyco foot the bill for their expensive tastes.
An example of what Kozlowski bought with Tyco's money is the $2-million extravaganza on the island of Sardinia, which was a six-day all-expenses-paid event. Although there is a four-hour videotape showing young women in scanty frocks and half-naked male models, among other things, the jurors only saw 21 minutes of it. Justice Michael Obus had ordered "some" segments removed since it could prejudice the jury against the defendants. Let's see, four hours equals 240 minutes and if we subtract 21 minutes, that leaves 219 minutes the jury was not allowed to see. Makes me wonder just how extravagant and raunchy that "birthday party" really was... Must have been a real humdinger!
Naturally, the defense lawyers say that the two executives earned all the compensation they got and that the appropriate overseers knew about their compensation and loans.
Tyco Jury Sees Party Tape -
In his outstanding special series, "Exporting America", Lou Dobbs has taken an unpopular stand against outsourcing American jobs to cheap overseas labor markets, which is affecting millions of Americans. He has a degree in economics from Harvard and is qualified to address this important issue. Dobbs also addresses illegal immigration and its impact, in another ongoing series called "Broken Borders".
The confirmed list of companies that are exporting America is shown each evening on "Lou Dobbs Tonight" (CNN). When I first saw the list of these companies quickly scrolling down the screen, certain names jumped out at me as some were mentioned in 'Dirty Secrets of the Pharma-Cartel'. Some of the companies that are guilty of wrongdoing in the vast pharmaceutical sector, are also some of the companies that are exporting America. Many of the companies/corporations on Lou Dobb's growing list are also on other lists:
Top 100 Corporate Criminals of the Decade by Russell Mokhiber -
CBS MarketWatch -
Who's Outsourcing? - www.whosoutsourcing.com/
The dark underside of the marketplace is obvious in Russell Mokhiber's important report about corrupt corporations. These corporations have pled guilty or no contest to crimes andhave been criminally fined. Corporate criminals fell into the categories of environmental, antitrust, fraud, campaign finance, food and drug, financial crimes, etc. Companies that are criminally prosecuted represent only the tip of the iceberg of corporate wrongdoing. Big corporations have immense political power and the resources to defend themselves in the
courts. The emerging consensus of criminologists is that corporate crime and violence inflicts far more damage on society than all street crime combined.
Big business is primarily responsible for polluting the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink. Although they like to blame everyone else for this grim reality, the greedy corporations are mainly the ones profiting by all of the damage they cause.
All of this and more is done while many Americans are living shattered lives filled with broken spirits, dreams, and homes. Hard-working Americans have earned the right to reap the harvest and enjoy the fruits of their labor, not to have it squandered away on nonsense. Is this how the moneyhungry bigwigs thank their dedicated employees, who tried to never be late or miss a day of work for a paycheck that is not even enough to take care of their needs?
Buying power is further diminished by devaluation of the dollar and inflation, price gouging, and other methods of keeping people at a disadvantage. Unless the majority of Americans insist upon corporate accountability and the restoration of the American workforce, things will only get worse. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, so protesting and boycotting self-serving companies are necessary to be heard loud and clear. By doing without many of their goods and services, while exposing their criminal activities, we would be sending a strong and significant message about what they understand and care about most... Money. To do otherwise would be to continue living in a fool's paradise, while ensuring our demise.
|Corporate Corruption Runs the Gamut
Mary Louise January 13 2004
Wrongdoings by many big corporations run the gamut anywhere from profiteering, fraud, bribery, larceny, and environmental violations, to the outsourcing of badly needed jobs and just about everything else in between.