Tag Archives: Corporations

Don’t be mad, but…

here are some infuriating facts about inequality in America.

On second thought, go ahead and be mad. It’s good for you.

I wish I’d written this…

I would normally say Twitter’s not good for much, except I’ve made a friend in Mary Ann Dimand, a minister and a sharp thinker. She wrote this letter and shared it with me. I wish I’d written the letter, myself:

Dear Mr. President,

You were elected chief servant of this nation. On your watch police are enacting the role of storm troopers, beating peaceful Occupy protesters, evicting them from public space and destroying their property as they attempt to exercise the rights of free speech fundamental to this country’s founding.

The Supreme Court has decided that corporations are persons with political voice and that money is a form of speech.

Civic government leaders and administrators are deciding that human beings are not persons with political voice and that human flesh cannot be permitted to enact speech.

I expect the Arab world is watching this oncoming American Winter—despite the ejection of television and newspaper reporters from Occupy sites as they are laid waste.

I call upon you to act to protect the voice of your people, to stop the violence against them, to halt the brutalization of the people who make up the police forces called on to violate their rights, for some orders devastate those who abbey them. You were elected to serve all of us, as individuals and as a vast community.

Our nation has become one in which labor is devalued and corporations increasingly permitted the role of traffickers in their flesh. At such a time as this, the people who were becoming Israel cried out, and Pharaoh did not hear them.

God did, though.

I hope you will hear me and the embodied cries of Occupy. Call off the dogs of oppression. Let our press be free to cover the actions of civic governments.

And let us become a better and more united nation, all of us, together.

Yours in the names of human fellowship and possibility, democracy, and justice,

The Rev. Mary Ann Dimand

Cc: The Honorable Michael Bennet

The Honorable Mark Udall

The Honorable Ed Perlmutter

The Honorable Evie Hudak, Colorado State Senator. District 19

Need v. greed

While the Super Committee discusses how to lower the federal budget by $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years, a new report “Food Choices: Families or Corporations” from the Praxis Project and the Alliance for a Just Society, shows just what role the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s family nutrition programs (like SNAP, the former food stamp program) play in feeding 16 percent of America — or 48.8 million people.

That makes the Farm Bill — the main policy tool for the government when it comes to food — even more precious.

The report also covers the $95 billion in federal subsidies and contracts the federal government gives to Big Agriculture. Some highlights are:

Riceland Foods, Inc., a transnational corporation with revenues of $1.3 billion in 2009,
received $554 million in subsidies in 1995-2010.

In 2005, Tyson Foods, the largest meat producer in the U.S. with revenues of $26 billion,
received $46 million in USDA commodity contracts.

Smithfield Foods, the fourth-largest meat producer, with $11 billion in revenues, received
$18.2 million in contracts.

The report, along with a petition you can sign here, will be delivered to the Super Committee prior to its Nov. 23 deadline for making recommendations.