Business’s and Corporations
In our capitalist society, business’s and corporations have one, and ONLY one purpose in life. That purpose is to make money. If a business does that – it is successful. If it does not, it is not. If it makes money – it does not matter HOW it does that. As long as it does – it has satisfied its purpose – and the even “higher” purpose (where applicable as not every company has shares which are “traded”) of satisfying its “fiduciary duty” to its shareholders.
“Fiduciary duty” – is why stockholders generally are against any unionization. With a union, a strike can be declared if a majority of workers feel they are not being treated fairly. Read some of the stock message boards of companies whose unions are in the process of renegotiating its workers contracts and you will quickly find that most shareholders have nothing nice to say to union folks when a strike is imminent.
Fiduciary duty is why corporations are lauded for laying off their workers – cost savings for companies equates to happy stock analysts and happy shareholders. (Are you asking yet why laying off workers is lauded and so are large bonus’s for upper management yet? If you are – GOOD – you are obviously thinking!) Fiduciary duty is a good reason to remove 1/2 the light bulbs from overhead lights in an office. Does that seem ridiculous? It happened.
Yes – business’s and corporations (two different things with the same purpose) DO have to abide by laws and regulations set forth at a local, state, and federal level. These laws and regulations are, in fact, VOLUMINOUS and costly. However – HOW these businesses and corporations make their money is immaterial to its ultimate purpose. This can, and does, include things like “payoffs” and “PAC”s, and shortcuts to approvals. To NOT make money in any way legally possible would go against one (and in some cases BOTH ) purposes of the business/corporation.
Business is under NO obligation to have morals. Business is under NO obligation to care about the people they affect in any way. In fact – this philosophy has been cultivated more in the last 30 years than at any other time before. At one time – it was thought that good customer service and a good product were all that was needed to make a business successful. Sam Walton proved that. (Sam – NOT his decendants). At one time, it was thought that spending on the workers and research and development was extremely helpful in making a business successful.
Today – business has turned to the overall philosophy of “cost-cutting”. This is the resounding philosophy today in the corporate world. Because every penny saved is a penny earned. But is it?
Wondering yet what Business and Governments have to do with Water is Life? Patience please. Bear with me- I promise I will get there.
Theoretically, governments are BY the people and FOR the people. Each state has the right to tighten (but not loosen) any federal law or regulation. Each city has the right to tighten (but not loosen) any state law or regulation.
All laws and regulations, being BY the people and FOR the people – must therefore be good for the MAJORITY of the people. This includes short term as well as the long term. Governments have a “fiduciary duty” to their “shareholders” too. Let me translate that – governments have the duty to the taxpayers (“shareholders”) to spend their tax dollars wisely (“fiduciary duty”) thus ensuring that taxpayers are not unduly burdened by their financial obligations to the greater good.
How THEY do that DOES matter. They DO have a moral obligation to their “shareholders” (us), -or taxpayers(us again)- as well as a fiduciary duty to them (us still).
The phrase “BY the people” is generally understood to mean that our elected officials are “everyday citizens” who are elected fairly AND they do their level best “FOR the people”. These people are no better AND NO WORSE than anyone in the general populace. In theory, any person who has reached the age of 35, has been a US citizen for more than 14 years (according to our Constitution: link here ) can become president. There is nothing saying one must be independently wealthy or have a college degree.
The phrase “FOR the people” is generally understood to be ALL people – or every current AND FUTURE tax-paying citizen. That is the theory. (please do note the use of the word “theory”. ) .
One more thing before I get to my point………
In a letter to the Danbury (CT) Baptist Church, Thomas Jefferson (yes, I know he was a slave owner and not a particularly nice one – nevertheless – he IS one of our country’s “Founding Fathers” – and it is in this capacity that I mention him) stated, “legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. ”
Please find here the transcript of that letter for your reference.
Therefore, the intention of the Founding Fathers was to keep specific religion OUT of the running of the country. This, NOT religious involvement, would KEEP the religious freedoms which was a HUGE concern of most of our British ancestors. This does NOT mean that morality must ALSO go out the window – far from it. This means that morality is morality without regard to religious rules. So – murder is murder – in ANY religion. And I think we can all agree that murder is wrong.
For edification – my use of the word ‘murder’ means pre-meditated taking of another’s life for ones own gain. To further refine – ‘murder’ also does NOT include categories like abortion, medically-assisted termination of ones life, unintentional death (accident), or defense of ones own (or loved one’s) life. These are separate, and contentious issues which I will NOT address herein – nor will I respond in comments to same. They can be addressed – but not here.
One More Side Trip
The Chairman of Nestle Corp did NOT state that water is not a basic human right. What he DID state was a sad attestation to the inhumanity of capitalism. To paraphrase – he said that all people have a right to clean water for the necessities such as drinking and agriculture. He also said that we do NOT have the right to water for such things as washing cars and watering lawns. He said that the best way we can guarantee the investment in getting clean water to people is to put a value on it. Translation: give it a dollar value, give each person a “free” allotment, they can pay for the rest.
For Peter Brabeck-Letmathe’s (Nestle Chairman) actual statement, please go here.
We the People
We the people have a right to a safe water supply. For edification – when I say ‘We the People’ – I am, indeed, referring to ALL humanity WITHOUT exception.
While Article 25 from the Declaration of Human rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly does not EXPLICITLY state that all people have the right to a safe water supply, one can reasonably assume, based on the fact that ALL life requires some form of water to survive, that it does indeed IMPLICITLY state that water is a basic human right.
Excerpt – Article 25
“Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”
The entire Declaration can be found here.
Why I Stand with Standing Rock
Pipelines of all sorts wander across this country from one end to the next. Spills from these pipelines ALSO wander across this country from one end to the next. Spills surround us. Everyone was outraged over the BP spill in the Gulf a few years back. Does anyone know about the current one? Does anyone have any idea how many there have been in just the last 16 years?
Did you know about the faulty pipeline that can’t be found?
Energy Transfer Partners – the company constructing the Dakota Access Pipeline has said that this pipeline will create many new jobs. That is true – during the construction phase only.
Full statement to ETP employees by Kelcie Warren
This pipeline good for the economy. That is also true. Again – mostly during the construction phase. After construction, which is due to be completed this year (2016), there will be state and federal tax revenue.
A pipeline is the safest way to transport crude oil. This is VERY true.
It is equally true that solar energy and wind energy are real, useable, manageable, renewable, and as CLEAN as we can make them at this point.
We have known for decades that we have an unhealthy dependence on fossil fuels. So why are we allowing ourselves to CONTINUE the dependence on it?
Instead of asking why gasoline is not cheaper – it is time to ask why the electric and hybrid cars have not become commonplace. Electric cars have been around since 1859. Why are they still cost-prohibitive? Why are they still “ugly”. Why are there not more charging stations available?
Ask why solar energy is not commonplace?
Ask why wind energy is not commonplace?
And while you are at it – ask the government why rainwater collection is illegal in most places.
We cannot force business’s to become moral. This goes against their sole purpose – which is to make money. Business, by its very nature, cannot have a conscience – nor should it be required to do so as that would imperil the capitalistic theory they were built upon. (Or maybe they should? Again – another discussion.)
However, together, we CAN force our government – our “FOR THE PEOPLE” government to do its job. This job includes overseeing thoroughly what companies can and can’t do. This means protecting the people – ALL the people. This means stopping what happened in Flint MI from ever happening again. This means stopping the Yellowstone spill, the BP Gulf of Mexico Spill, the Exxon Valdez spill and hundreds (possibly thousands) of other “spills” from EVER occurring again.
It is past time for a change. Far past time. This change will not have much of an impact in our lifetimes. Further, if we keep moving to rely on fossil fuels – this will not have much of an impact in our lifetimes. At least not on our individual lives. Likely it will not have a great impact either way on our children.
What about our children’s children?
Will we keep destroying THEIR world for our greed?
Change is hard.
No change will mean our extinction as a species.
Climate change is real. It always has been. Humans did NOT start climate change. Nor can they END it. Humans have EXACERBATED and ACCELERATED climate change by 110%.
We CAN change now. We CAN slow down the inevitable. One pipeline at a time.
WE THE PEOPLE
Or we can wait until after the last tree has been chopped
Or perhaps after the last fish has been eaten
Or perhaps after the last drop of clean water is gone…………………