Letter: A vote for Sanders is a vote against corporate abuse

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A vote for Sanders is a vote against corporate abuse

To the editor:

Amid election monomania, I've been reflecting on how much ordinary taxpayers have lost to corporate power in America. Since Citizens United gave corporations the right to spend unlimited amounts to influence elections with no reporting requirement (repeat, no), the plutocrats that run them have piles of money they can use in secret to get laws written that benefit them and their companies at our expense. And they do.

How else do you explain it being legal for Pfizer to cheat the US out of hundreds of millions in taxes they rightfully owe every year by buying a foreign company and saying that foreign company now owes them? How else do you explain it being OK for leading US companies to shelter hundreds of billions of US profits overseas and pay no US tax? Do you believe Apple's intellectual property originates in Ireland and not Cupertino? Do you believe General Electric generates no taxable income? The people who write the tax code apparently do.

Our corporate servants in Congress are poised to enact yet another giant giveaway to private enterprise, the Trans Pacific Partnership. This 12-nation pact will protect American pharmaceutical companies from price competition with generic equivalents, but it won't protect American workers from wage competition with countries like Vietnam. It also establishes extralegal courts that will allow foreign companies to sue American taxpayers for US regulations that interfere with their business model. The only US jobs the agreement is likely to create, TPP's protagonists admit, will be in international law and finance. For everyone else, it will be a race to the bottom.

Food safety is at risk like never before, thanks to Congress doing the bidding of the meat-packing industry and the World Trade Organization. Just last month Congress voted to remove the requirement for country of origin labeling. Smithfield Farms has fired its American workers and shipped its slaughterhouse operations to China. The labels read "raised in America," but don't say the animal in question was fattened, slaughtered and processed in a Chinese feedlot.

Can we do anything about any of this? One thing Massachusetts voters can do on March 1, primary day, is get out and vote for Bernie Sanders. Then maybe, just maybe, we will usher in an era of more for the middle class.

George Fitzgerald, Lee


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