The following commentary was broadcast on Wednesday, November 10th on Marketplace on National Public Radio. Click here to listen to the audio.
DAVID BROWN – HOST: Consumer advocate Jamie Court sounds off on how the President’s second term will mean a further division between government and the people… and how that schism damages consumers’ rights.
JAMIE COURT – COMMENTATOR: In the Next Four years, we’ll see Greed Breed. That’s the Bush Administration’s agenda. And to accomplish it, the top tactic will be to make you terrified of government itself.
How else could Americans be convinced to trust the unrestrained market power of big oil, drug companies, HMOs, and Citibank, if we didn’t fear government more?
Does any one really believe that any government official, except Dick Cheney, is scarier than an HMO bean counter? Well, I guess if you can confuse Osama and Saddam, no other switcheroo is that remarkable.
For four years President Bush will turn every day on Capitol Hill into Halloween. The trick will be scaring us into turning government over to the free market.
The treats will be reserved for the biggest companies that paid to put Bush in power.
Wall Street will take over social security funds because our government just can’t be trusted to manage the people’s money. It’s safer in the hands of those ethicists at Merrill Lynch.
Alaska will be open to drilling because oil companies know better than government how to keep gasoline prices low while protecting the environment. Doesn’t Shell advertise in National Geographic?
And if you want companies to stay here instead of shipping your job abroad, then you better trust them to make products that won’t harm you and decisions that won’t cost you.
So, let’s get rid of those activist judges and juries made up of people like you. Instead, just toss away your legal right to sue.
Look, government has never been the model of efficiency. But when it comes to being scary, I’ll run from the drug maker, the chemical company, and the H-M-O every time.
We the people ARE the government. And if you’re scared of government, then you’re scared of yourself.
In Los Angeles, this is Jamie Court for Marketplace
Consumer Activist Jamie Court is the author of Corporateering.