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READINGS: Bob Monks
Jeff Clements: Why is Bob Monks' new book extraordinary? Because of his experience
Jeff Clements, co-founder of the NGO "Free Speech for People," which is seeking a constitutional amendment to overturn the impact of the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, has reviewed Bob Monk's new book: "Citizens Disunited: Passive Investors, Drone CEOs and the Corporate Capture the American Dream." Here is the link to his blog report:
Jim McRitchie of CorpGov.net Reviews Citizens DisUnited
Bob Monks -- a quick overview
Bob Monks, age 78, is a scion of a Yankee family -- ministers and doctors -- who has had every type of role in law, corporate leadership, banking and investment. He is mainstream, Harvard educated. And like Hedrick Smith, he has concluded, in stark language, that American democracy cannot last much longer unless the rules change. Here is the first paragraph of his new book, just being published this month:
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.
Monks' 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.