What is Government Capture?
Government Capture is the American Condition
American corporations today are like the great European monarchies of yore: They have the power to control the rules under which they function and to direct the allocation of public resources. This is not a prediction of what’s to come; this is a simple statement of the present state of affairs. Corporations have effectively captured the United States: its judiciary, its political system, and its national wealth, without assuming any of the responsibilities of dominion. Evidence of government capture is everywhere.
Six Symptoms of Government Capture:
The “smoking gun” is CEO pay.
Retirement risk has been transferred to employees.
Corporate money now controls every stage of politics — legislative, executive, and ultimately judicial.
Government Capture has been further implemented through the extensive lobbying power of corporations.
The most powerful CEOs are above the reach of the law and beyond its effective enforcement.
Government capture has been perpetuated through the removal of property “off shore,” where it is neither regulated nor taxed.
Government cannot and will not hold corporations to account. That much is now obvious. Indeed, the dawning realization of this truth is what has informed the Occupy movement, but only the owners of corporations can create the accountability that will ultimately unwind the knot of government capture.
The essence of the problem is quite straightforward: a failed system of corporate governance. So is the cause: the unwillingness of trustee owners of America’s corporations to assert their responsibility, legal duty, and civic obligation to monitor and oversee the corporations they invest in. Fiduciary institutions own 80 percent of the outstanding shares of corporate America and thus bear at least 80 percent of the responsibility for present circumstances as well as 80 percent of the onus for saving the system itself. And the largest institutional investors — the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Harvard University, and others — must take the lead because (a) they should and (b) all other courses have failed.
Urban park by urban park, campus by campus, the Occupiers are bearing sometimes inchoate witness to America’s capture by corporate interests. Now, men and women of conscience need to reoccupy the boardrooms of America’s corporations. The boardroom is where the takeover began, and it’s where capture can finally be undone and a government of, by, and for the people, not the corporations, restored to the land.