When government no longer represents the interests of the people, but instead represents the interests of corporations, it is a Fascist state. Despite what the American Supreme Court says, Corporations are merely legal agreements that are formed to generate profit, not people. When corporations infiltrate and dictate the agenda of a government, then that country can be said to be a fascist state. Communist, democratic, dictatorships, and socialist countries can all fall into the trap of fascism. And by “trap” I mean that when a country becomes fascist, it is usually the beginning of the end of that country.
So what is fascism ? Lawrence Britt, writing in Free Inquiry magazine, Volume 23, Number 2, summarizes fourteen common traits of a fascist society.
1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
4. Supremacy of the Military
5. Rampant Sexism
6. Controlled Mass Media
7. Obsession with National Security
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined
9. Corporate Power is Protected
10. Labor Power is Suppressed
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
14. Fraudulent Elections
Obama Forcing Management Decisions on Corporate America
Monday, March 30, 2009
By Philip Elliott, Associated Press
Washington (AP) – Neither General Motors nor Chrysler submitted acceptable plans to receive more federal bailout money, the Obama administration said as it set the stage for a crisis in Detroit that would dramatically reshape the nation’s auto industry.
President Barack Obama raised the possibility that two of Detroit’s teetering carmakers could be forced into bankruptcy today, blasting General Motors and Chrysler for failed leadership, unrealistic business plans and a slow rate of reform.
The White House pushed out GM’s chairman and directed Chrysler to move quickly to forge a partnership with Fiat if it expects to receive additional government assistance
President Barack Obama and his top advisers have determined that neither company is viable and that taxpayers will not spend untold billions more to keep the pair of automakers open forever.
In a last-ditch effort, the administration gave each company a brief deadline to try one last time to convince Washington it is worth saving, said senior administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to more bluntly discuss the decision.
Frustrated administration officials said Chrysler cannot function as an independent company under its current plan. They have given Chrysler a 30-day window to complete a proposed partnership with Italian automaker Fiat SpA, and will offer up to $6 billion to the companies if they can negotiate a deal before time runs out.
If a Chrysler-Fiat union cannot be completed, Washington plans to walk away, leaving Chrysler destined for a complete sell-off. No other money is available.
Shawn Morgan, a Chrysler spokeswoman, said the company wants to work with the Treasury Department and Obama’s auto task force but declined to comment on the White House’s plans.
“With the administration’s announcement on the restructuring of the automotive industry imminent, it would be inappropriate to comment on speculation,” Morgan said in a statement early Monday.
For GM, the administration offered 60 days of operating money to restructure. A frantic top-to-bottom effort began Sunday after chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner stepped aside under pressure from the White House.
In a major management shake-up, new directors will make up the majority of GM’s board, the automaker said.
“The board has recognized for some time that the company’s restructuring will likely cause a significant change in the stockholders of the company and create the need for new directors with additional skills and experience,” Kresa said in a written statement.
Officials said GM had failed to make good on promises made in exchange for $13.4 billion in government loans, although there are currently no plans to call in those loans.
Administration officials still believe GM’s chances are good, given its global brand and its research potential. Officials say they are confident GM can put together a plan that will keep production lines moving in the coming years. They planned to send a team to Detroit to help with that restructuring.
Chrysler, meanwhile, has survived on $4 billion in federal aid during this economic downturn and the worst decline in auto sales in 27 years.
In progress reports filed with the government in February, GM asked for $16.6 billion more and Chrysler wanted $5 billion more. The White House balked and instead started a countdown clock.
Administration officials acknowledged the short turnaround time was harsh; one described it as a nanosecond in a business cycle.
Two people familiar with the plan said officials will demand further sacrifices from the automakers and bankruptcy would still be possible if the automakers failed to restructure. Those officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to make details public.
GM and Chrysler, which employ about 140,000 workers in the U.S., faced a Tuesday deadline to submit completed restructuring plans, but neither company was expected to finish its work. The White House’s plan renders them, as well as a potential discussion about the companies’ borrowed money, moot.
GM owes roughly $28 billion to bondholders. Chrysler owes about $7 billion in first- and second-term debt, mainly to banks. GM owes about $20 billion to its retiree health care trust, while Chrysler owes $10.6 billion.
An exasperated administration official noted that the companies had not done enough to reduce debt; in some cases, it actually increased during this restructuring and review process.
Under the terms of a loan agreement reached during the last administration, GM and Chrysler are pushing the United Auto Workers to accept shares of stock in exchange for half of the payments into a union-run trust fund for retiree health care. They also want labor costs from the union to be competitive with Japanese automakers with U.S. operations.
Little progress has been made between the companies and the union.
Entire article at CNS news.com