Americans are pretty mellow about climate change, terrified of everything else

The fear mongers have been doing their jobs well.


Obamacare is at 35.7%. A health care law that has been on the books for several years without societal collapse - terrifying.


Government kowtowing to oligarchs and letting industry get away with all kinds of criminal shit counts as government corruption in my book.


Funny thing is, when I clicked through my first thought was, where the heck is the diagram? But I took a deep breath and the ability to read came right back to me, just like riding a bicycle.


Sure, and no one is saying that the government can’t or isn’t corrupt, but to imagine that it’s somehow more corrupt than corporations is kind of laughable. I think the problem is really large-scale institutions, of whatever kind, that are not accountable to people.


Pie charts or GTFO.


Climatic anomalies can cause irrational fear of other dangers; For instance, drought can lead to melissaphobia:

Corporations don’t need to be corrupt in order to work directly against the public interest - it’s often their entire purpose for existence. Failure to serve the public interest could be a sign of perfect corporate health.

Governments are meant to serve the public by design, so failure to do so could be seen as corruption.


But corporations deliver us the news!

If anybody is helping us maintain a realistic view of the threats facing our existence it would be those saintly corporate entities…

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The survey also asked 88 separate questions, which is probably a few too many. It also asked if people were afraid of zombies, ghosts and clowns - maybe as some sort of control that could be used to adjust for irrationality?

Anyway, if people were asked to respond about what they fear most without prompting by ranking their fear in specific categories, this list would look a lot different.

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Yeah. In the UK the problem is one of the relationship between the government and the regulators and governance. The government draws up the remit for the regulators after representation from and consultation with all parties concerned. (They wouldn’t be doing their job otherwise.) When ministers retire they are taken on as consultants (or whatever) by those same industries for which they were responsible in government. Do you not have the same problem?

Here, this did not used to happen. Ministers would retire to produce operas, breed pigs, paint, grow flowers, etc. These were real interests. But their retirement was also a form of voluntary gardening leave, putting themselves in a position where they could not take advantage of their status, the knowledge they had acquired or the contacts they had built up. They weren’t ignorant of the possibility of using their position as ministers for future personal benefit and would have considered doing so corrupt. Blair, Cameron et al. cannot get out of politics fast enough (anything less than two terms would seem a bit hasty) to work elsewhere.


I’m scared of being a disappointment to my parents and dying alone…

Only the government can legally take my money, my freedom, or my life, without my consent. That might be a reason why government corruption is taken more seriously.

The only thing I have learned from listening to Libertarian-Capitalist ideology is that they want to be able to do that too. That’s not an improvement in my eyes.


But now you’ve got a situation where people who own/run corporations are getting into government. That becomes its own breed of corruption.

That’s never not been the case that stakeholders in corporations have a major stake in government too. See, for example, southern slaveholders and the fact that many of them were prominent politicians, and the relationship between governments (state and federal) and the railroads. There has long been a revolving door between government and industry.


And it has that, in part, because we consent to that. The reasons corporations don’t is because they are not beholden to us the way that a state is (or should be). The corruption we should be worried about, is how the state has begun to delegate their responsibilities to corporations. Arbitration is just one example of that - when you get a credit card, it likely has a arbitration clause, which says you can’t sue, you must work any disputes out via arbitration, where corporations nearly always win. We’ve even started delegating force to corporations. Mainly overseas for security, but black water was in NOLA after Katrina, and I wonder how many people were shot “looting” water by those guys. Private spaces can also function as a near fiefdom, and private security have wide leeway to do what they deem necessary. In some states, we have worker’s comp literally being side-stepped by corporations so that they can extract as much money out of injuried workers as possible. Have you not heard any of the utter bullshit coming out of the privatized prison system that crosses this country? Inmates are wards of the state, and we’ve let them be foisted off on people who just want to turn a buck and we wonder why violence is so high in some prisons, or why we have the recidivism rates that we have… What about the huge cover up by cigarette manufacturers, which probably led to far more deaths than there needed to be.

This is not to say that governments can’t be corrupt on it’s own, but my point is that we need to worry about what happens when corporations exploit government corruption to their own ends. Losing the public sphere will be a huge step backwards. What’s the real difference between a monarch holding all the land and a corporation doing so? Well, the monarch is at least working within a system of mutual obligations. The corporations don’t give a shit if we are able to pay our rents and bills, put out kids through school, die of cancer that was preventable, or are unable to retire because we don’t have any savings because they didn’t pay us enough to make it. They care about the bottom line.


I think it’s good to ask what the root of the failure to serve the public is, of course. In many cases, it’s privatization.


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