Letters to the Editor – 10/14/2011

Corporations are a good thing. Don’t believe me? Of course you don’t. They gave themselves massive bonuses, sometimes only weeks after they’ve been “bailed out” by the US government. If you’ve been following the “Occupy Wall Street” protests, you might think we’d just be better off if we just got rid of them all!

So let’s say we did it. We somehow convinced Congress to pass a new law saying that every corporation in America is immediately disbanded and will no longer be allowed to do business anymore. Let’s assume that Congress actually has the ability to enforce this. Approximately 120 million Americans would immediately be out of work, since they were formally employed by corporations (approximately 61 million Americans work in the corporations with 500 or more employees). Since the size of the civilian labor force right now is 154 million the official unemployment rate would skyrocket from 9.1% to 77.9%. Without employment, consumption would plummet to the lowest levels since it began to be recorded, and since consumption accounts for approximately 70% of our economy, we can expect to lose at least half of that.

But of course, we’d hope that the government would step in and make sure that its citizens are fed. Unfortunately, there’s not much the government can do. By eliminating corporations, it’ll destroy 9% of its tax receipts immediately, as well as another 64% when the newly unemployed are no longer paying Income Tax and Social Security Tax. Just paying the interest on our debt will consist of approximately 1/3rd of our federal budget (if interest rates stay at their current all-time lows which they won’t). Social Security checks will not go out. Medicare and Medicaid recipients will no longer receive their benefits. Food Stamps will disappear. Our soldiers will no longer be paid, and the $5.8 trillion in combined government spending (hat contributes to our GDP every year would be almost eliminated. Sooner or later, the United States of America would go into default.

The reality is that corporations are the most predictable and effective entities in our society. Corporations operate on the simple goal of maximizing profit, which means that you can predict corporations’ actions, and even control their actions if you know how to set the rules.

So while it’s easy to simply hate corporations for what they are, we should be careful how we treat such an important part of our society. After all, don’t the 120 million Americans that work for corporations count as people too?

 

Timothy James

 


 

Dear Jacob,

To listen to some media outlets you’d think the multi-billion-dollar organic industry was infallible. I’m trusting you’ll be a bit more objective.

I worked for five years in the United States and Canada as an organic inspector. I believe in the principles of organic farming, but maintain that we have to prove those principles instead of operating on the politicized, bureaucratic honor system that’s been the mainstay of the organic industry over the last decade.

Here are three recent stories which I believe demonstrate where the organic industry has gone terribly wrong:

First an “organic” spinach farm near San Diego has been infesting the surrounding community with deadly eye-gnats for a decade now.

Next an “organic” miller in Quebec, Canada, which lost it’s certification back in July but the feds still won’t say why and are allowing this guy to sell his remaining inventory. This miller was certified by an Argentine-based certifier even though it was a Canadian-based business, and the feds were okay with that.

Last but certainly not least, the story of 44 deaths and over 3,700 illnesses caused by an E. coli outbreak on an “organic” farm in Germany.

In all three cases, the complete lack of science in the organic industry was the root of the problem. And yet, the most influential people in the organic industry are unwilling to allow organic crops and livestock to be tested to ensure they’re actually purer, more nutritious, and safe, as claimed in multi-million-dollar advertising campaigns.

 

Mischa Popoff,

Author of Is it Organic? The inside story of the organic industry