Another excellent Op-Ed by Bob Herbert of the NY Times entitled "A Sin and A Shame" discussing how workers are at the mercy of large corporations and the resounding effect this has on the economic recovery.
This caught our eye because of the iniquitous personal gains of the state of Alabama and some of their elected officials who are surreptitiously profiting from the disaster in the Gulf, while the citizens remain mired in red tape and are at the mercy of BP to be duly compensated for the loss of their livelihoods. Many of the businesses and local workers affected by the spill have turned to BP to sustain themselves since they are left with few options but to work for the company that put them out of business.
BP knows this and has utilized it to their advantage in more ways than one, they have created a situation in which even the elected officials are beholden to them to make up for lost revenues into the state coffers. Similar to the big corporations desires to "stay fat" from Mr. Herbert's article, Alabama seems to be taking the position of state first, citizens second.
What's wrong with this picture is that the lion's share of money is going into the officials pockets rather than the communities who are suffering the harsh after effects of the disaster in the Gulf.
BP is seeking to further limit their mounting liabilities by ensuring that the state and those in power will take a more favorable view of them since they are also now on BPs payroll. The vile wedding of the state to this corporate giant is beyond despicable.
Isn't that just another form of the corporate mistreatment Mr. Herbert writes about?
Bruce Freeman of the Alabama Environmental Commission, which is run by the Governor's office, stated there was "No end to the pot of money in making Alabama whole," from the effects of the spill. With its under agency ADEM receiving state submitted claims, which they then pass on to BP, Alabama has wide latitude on dipping further into BPs money pot.
The Alabama AG is seeking to file a lawsuit against BP but is met with resistance from the Governor Riley's office who claims the lawsuit "seems premature." Alabama claims it wants to restore the economic health of its Gulf region's businesses--but it thwarts that recovery by not holding BPs feet to the fire and forcing them to put a stronger effort into compensating those business owners.
In almost every news story on this subject the dominant topic is what the state has lost in revenue, but when the Governor is on camera he adopts a more empathetic tone to the small business owners losses and the effect this has had on Alabama citizens in the region. But if you listen carefully he gives himself away as to what his first concern is--tax revenues.
BP has already attempted to buy the entire marine sciences division of the University of South Alabama and when that didn't work, they set out to cozy up to the politicians and the state-- both of whom have a long history of being receptive to corporate monetary persuasion.
The state has become partners with the corporate wrongdoer instead of being a good steward to its small business owners.
BP has for all intents and purposes bought a firm hold on the elected power players and none of them are conducive to capping their own newly drilled personal wells of money that gush from it.
This too is a "sin and a shame."
POLITICAL CORRUPTION IS A NATIONWIDE ISSUE AFFECTING ALL OF US. ALABAMA RANKS #5 AS THE MOST CORRUPT STATE. *DOJ 2007 stats
Something is very wrong in the Land of Cotton
PERTINENT ENVIRONMENTAL AND CORRUPTION ISSUES IN OTHER STATES ARE ALSO DISCUSSED
NO OTHER COMMUNITY, RICH OR POOR, URBAN OR SUBURBAN,BLACK, BROWN,RED, YELLOW OR WHITE SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO BECOME AN "ENVIRONMENTAL SACRIFICE ZONE."
Dr. Robert Bullard
Environmental Justice Movement Founder
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