Mike Gravel on Corporations

Libertarian for President; Former Dem. Senator (AK); withdrew from Presidential primary July 2019


Use antitrust authority to break up large businesses

The American economy of 2019 is plagued by a problem that some thought was a relic of the 1910s--monopolies. Industry after industry has become highly centralized and controlled by a handful of private bureaucratic entities. Horizontal corporate agglomeration and vertical integration have produced economic behemoths that control vast swathes of the market, are unresponsive to consumer demands, and enjoy undue influence over politics and economy at both national and sub-national levels. It is time for the US to return to the grand tradition of trust-busting and break apart market-controlling businesses.

The US should use the government's antitrust authority to break up large businesses. Regulators should take a much harder line on mergers and acquisitions.

The US should hold the executive heads of companies directly and legally liable in the event that their businesses are found to be defrauding consumers, or producing goods and services that result in injury and death.

Source: 2020 Presidential campaign website MikeGravel.com , Apr 9, 2019

Re-establish public banking services within post offices

There is an informal poverty tax in America: the poorer you are, the more fees, expenses, and costs pile up. Public banking is a fix to some of these problems, by offering beneficial alternatives to predatory payday loans, banking deserts, and overdraft fees.

The US should re-establish banking services within post offices as Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has put forth, using our pre-existing nationwide infrastructure to benefit people in even more ways. Include no-cost checking and savings accounts.

Source: 2020 Presidential campaign website MikeGravel.com , Apr 9, 2019

Democracy is gone when elections are commercialized

Senator Gravel knows that elections have been commercialized to the point where the very media expectation of candidates is determined by how much money they've raised in every quarter. It's almost like a corporation: What is the quarterly report? Money from commercial interests, with their 10,000 political action committees, comes heavily in terms of quid pro quo.

Senator Gravel understands that we must take the domination of just about everything by giant corporations as a major issue. If you don't make this a major issue, it will affect our economy and our electoral reforms, and we will be avoiding a critical issue and engaging in rhetorical charades, slogans, clich‚s, and self-censorship.

If money is the index of electoral politics, Senator Gravel rightly believes our democracy is gone. We're supposed to have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. There can be no democracy if it is a government of the Exxons, by the General Motors, for the DuPonts.

Source: Mandate for Change, foreword by Ralph Nader, p. ix-x , Jan 24, 2008

Only natural persons should participate in politics

Democracy Amendment: Section 5. Only natural persons who are citizens of the US may sponsor an initiative under the authority of this Article.

Section 6. Only natural persons who are citizens of the US may contribute funds, services or property in support of or in opposition to a legislative initiative created under the authority of this Article. Contributions from corporations including, but not limited to, such political action committees, organized religions and associations, are specifically prohibited. Such entries are also prohibited from coercing or inducing employees, clients, customers, members, or any other associated persons to support or oppose an initiative created under the authority of this Article.

Source: Mandate for Change, by Mike Gravel, p. 144 , Jan 24, 2008

Hold accountable war-profiteers like NBC and GE

[Cutting me out of the Drexel debate] is corporate censorship. It’s not just NBC. NBC is owned by General Electric, one of the war profiteers in this country. We have to hold them accountable. I will go at them where they live. Because it’s not fair for them to do what they’re doing. I have a voice. I may not have the millions of dollars that the other candidates have, but I don’t need millions of dollars to tell you the truth about what’s going on in this country.
Source: Protest about 2007 Democratic debate at Drexel University , Oct 30, 2007

Leadership fails because US is run by corporate America

We are going downhill as a nation. We refuse to accept this. We’re stuck in triumphalism, thinking we’re the greatest in the world. Well, boy, start looking at educational statistics around the world and you’ll see we’re far from the greatest in the world, and we’re going downhill.

No, we are failing, and it’s our leadership that’s failing, and the American people, if they had the power to make laws in partnership with representative government, they could correct this.

But you can’t, since the country is run by corporate America, particularly the military-industrial complex, the medical-industrial complex, and we do nothing about it. Look at this election and it’s all money. Follow the money, and you’ll find out what you’re going to get in the way of leadership.

Source: Huffington Post Mash-Up: 2007 Democratic on-line debate , Sep 13, 2007

Corporate taxes just get passed on to consumers

Much demagoguery swirls around issues of taxation: