You’ve probably heard some say ‘why we should pay taxes if rich people or corporations don’t?’. Why vote when our vote doesn’t count? Many feel their civic participation has no effect or their voice is not heard. Year after year everything we fear seems to get worse. The haves have more, and the have-nots, have less. The endless poverty and economic woes have reached bitter ends. If matters get any worse the entire country may collapse completely.
The pandemic revealed how fragile our economy was; how dependent upon low wage essential workers the country is, and how quickly corporations will profit from our pain and suffering.
It’s a problem that’s measurable and getting dramatically worse. And some say it’s by design. Corporate interests have been taking advantage of our laws and influencing the government to ensure they are heard and their interests come first, before and instead of the interests of the people.
And that’s a violation of our Contract. A contract is basically an agreement. In the USA, we are a society that has an agreement that ensures we live together harmoniously in accordance with the laws and regulations of our country.
That contract is the Constitution. A breach of contract is quite simply, a violation on the part of the government to adhere to the Constitution.
The Constitution is organized into three distinct and important parts.
- The first part, the Preamble, describes the purpose of the document and the Federal Government. This is perhaps the most critical part of the entire Constitution and most people don’t know it exists or simply don’t understand it. The Preamble is a contract between “We The People”, the government we establish, and the collective society we create. But simply put, it’s an agreement, a bargain, a deal, a binding contract (which means it is enforceable by law).
- The second part, the seven Articles, establishes how the Government is structured and how the Constitution can be changed. Clearly important, but open to change — by the will of the people — to address the evolution of the country over time.
- The third part, the Amendments, lists changes to the Constitution; the first 10 are called the Bill of Rights. These bill of rights are not rights given to corporations or to the government, but each right means to protect citizens from the government and from mistreatment of any entity. This too is often misunderstood, even by many legal scholars. The 11th through 27th Amendments are also critically important.
Broken down succinctly, the Preamble to the Constitution says the purpose of the Constitution is to ensure justice and domestic tranquility, defend the people, and to secure the benefits of freedom for the people, now and for future generations.
Despite that deliberate purpose, over time, the government has permitted corporations to take advantage of the people by unduly influencing the government to act in their interests rather than the interests of the people. That’s led to injustice, domestic unrest, mistrust of the government, an ever-encroaching security state that threatens our freedoms, diminishing returns on our civic participation, and an uncertain future.
The way corporations influence the government is by influencing elections, by controlling the two-party system, and by an ongoing and legal bribery scheme called, lobbying. Corporations even write most of the bills that congress is responsible for legislating into law. Corporate lawyers help members of congress prepare and write laws every day. Those lawyers make sure the legalese is so complex and confusing, that a simple bill to give aid to low income people can amount to a 50,000 page document that is impossible for members of congress to read before they are tasked to vote on that bill in a day or so after it’s written (by corporate lawyers).
Corporations even have massive bill-mills like ALEC and have giant conventions where members of congress are treated like rockstars and corporate lobbyists are given the complete attention of our lawmakers without any transparency. The amount of prostitutes and alcohol that’s consumed in a weekend at these corporate lobbyist conventions would render any prudent person speechless.
The Purpose of the Contract
The Preamble is by far the most important part of the Constitution because it clearly states the purpose of the Constitution, and the utmost importance of “We The People”.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
It says, “we the people” in the Preamble for a very important reason. Fundamentally, our society is built upon a contract with the people, not corporations. And the purpose of the government is to ensure our interests are paramount to the mission of the government. Period.
It also says that the purpose of the Constitution is to ensure domestic tranquility and to promote the general welfare of the people. When our government does what corporations want over what the people want, there is no domestic tranquility. When people go deep into debt and lose their savings over medical bills, the country hasn’t been promoting that person’s general welfare at all.
Any violation of the Constitution is a Breach of Contract with the People
According to the Constitution, the government is not supposed to guarantee businesses make a profit or that our economy should be solely governed by economic principles. When the government protects corporations over people, that’s a breach of our contract.
The government is not responsible for protecting corporations from failure. It is up to the people to decide whether corporations should be bailed out or not. And when unfettered capitalism fails because of it’s own fragility, the people come first, not corporate interests. When the government acts on behalf of corporate interests over that of the people, that’s a breach of contract.
Over the last year or so we’ve endured the pandemic and economic collapse. The fragility of the economy is obvious, but when congress debates solutions, the largest slice of the stimulus pie goes to corporations and businesses, not the people. In fact, economic assistance to the people is a hard-fought battle in congress with both sides staging an immense media tug-o-war, and yet, in the end, corporations seem to get the most money quickly, and the people get the short end of the stick, long after the debates have settled, and the people have resorted to desperate alternatives. And the promised amount of assistance to the people is almost always less and later than promised.
When the government protects corporations by passing laws to eliminate their liability while those corporations are tasked to concoct vaccines, but don’t act to protect the people, that’s a breach of contract.
That contract would still be in effect today if the terms of the agreement were not breached by ongoing influence by corporate interests and powerful people in our government. Corporate influence has diminished our freedoms and incrementally reduced opportunity and access to everything that we consider part of our pursuit of happiness.
Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident…” [paraphrasing] that we are all equal with rights that are impossible to take away, and among these are “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” This was clearly defined in the Preamble, but apparently forgotten over time.
Corporations vs the People
One glowing example of the government’s breach of contract is the manner in which corporations have influenced environmental laws to the detriment of our environment. The people have suffered greatly as a result. Millions have come down with illnesses because of pollution, and many have died as a result of climate change.
If corporations can run amuck while the people suffer the consequences, that is certainly not ensuring domestic tranquility. It’s not securing the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity either. Our contract is supposed to ensure a future for future generations. The way the government has been giving corporations a pass on protecting the environment over the last 50 years has greatly threatened the next 50 years.
Historically, a case could easily be made against the government for failing to protect the people from corporations. But our government is immune to civil lawsuits. The only recourse for the people against corporations is a long legal battle that amounts to David facing a 10,000 foot tall Goliath who is impervious to sling-thrown rocks. But in the case of the people vs corporations, the people will run out of rocks long before corporations will run out of money.
Has the government breached the contract with the people? The short answer is, yes. Books have been written on the subject of the failures of our government to govern. The list of injustices, civil rights violations, illegal acts, wars over oil, and usurpations of our domestic tranquility and freedoms are many. But merely ignoring poverty is enough to be a breach of contract.
Are laws and our government legitimate?
That seems like an astounding question until you read the words of Malcolm Gladwell.
“…legitimacy is based on three things.
First of all, the people who are asked to obey authority have to feel like they have a voice — that if they speak up, they will be heard.
Second, the law has to be predictable. There has to be a reasonable expectation that the rules tomorrow are going to be roughly the same as the rules today.
And third, the authority has to be fair. It can’t treat one group differently from another.”
― Malcolm Gladwell
Taking the United States to task on it’s legitimacy or legal authority is a big ask. However, when you take into consideration Gladwell’s standards of legitimacy, one must see how the USA fails to meet the standard. It is, at very least, questionable whether the United States is legitimate or whether the laws of the country are legitimate.
The Constitution claims to ensure the people have the right to free speech and the right to petition government for redress of grievances. If this is not a common practice, then surely the government has failed to hear the people. Due to corporate influence the freedom of speech laws have been incrementally reduced and the ability of the people to speak out has declined.
The people have also suffered under numerous instances of unfairness, injustice, and violations of free speech. Instances like these happen so often we are numb to them. Most people don’t even notice anymore.
Therefore, if the government fails the legitimacy test, then it must be due to a breach of contract with the American people.
There can be no mistake that the Constitution is therefore an agreement between the government and the people, not corporations or any other entities. Corporations must work within our system and corporate interests shall not influence the government to act in opposition to the interests of the people. Because the government has permitted, and in many cases, encouraged corporations to influence policy that’s not been in the best interest of the people, this too is a breach of contract.
Unfortunately, the government breached that contract long ago by failing to honor it’s legally binding agreement with the people.
The Government should hold itself accountable
When our contract is being broken, the government should step up and remedy the situation quickly in the interest of the people. It should also be the responsibility of our representatives in government to monitor adherence and handle violations of our contract. Currently, they leave that up to the people to complain when there’s a problem.
When it comes to matters that encroach upon the people, our current system is reactive instead of proactive. By contrast, the laws that are enforced proactively are all designed to control and prey upon the people. For example, when people in a rural town discover that a bunch of people seem to be dying from cancer at uncommon rates, they have to complain and beg the government to investigate, find what’s going on, and to put a stop to it. Which takes a very long time. And if a corporation is found to be illegally dumping toxic chemicals into the town’s water supply, it’s a civil matter that could take decades and result in most of the victims dying before ever realizing any remedy or settlement.
By contrast, if an employee is caught by a corporation illegally copying or transmitting their intellectual property to a home computer or to anyone not authorized, that corporation simply calls the police and the person is immediately arrested and prosecuted.
If a corporation cooks the books, it is rarely discovered and even if it is, the corporation is rarely held accountable, and corporate leaders are almost never held personally responsible. But if a regular person makes a mistake on their taxes, it could cost them dearly.
But those in power have created many layers of obstacles and difficult to reach avenues for the people to redress grievances. That, in an of itself, is a violation of the Constitution. Those same protections are granted by law to corporate leaders as well. But the people are left out in the cold, vulnerable to lawsuits, and an ever-growing encyclopedia of laws designed to economically oppress them into submission.
For example, if a corporation is caught dumping gasoline in a creek, they may pay a fine of $10,000 or so, which is probably 0.00000000000125% of their annual profits. Basically, not a dent. Not even a smudge on a coke mirror.
But if a regular person parks on a street and doesn’t see the street sweeping schedule, they may get a $175 ticket, which might amount to 10% of their gross monthly income. If the citizen gets a couple of those tickets or fails to pay one, they can get their vehicle towed. The cycle often puts a blue-collar essential worker out of money to pay bills, out of a car, and then out of a job all because they didn’t see a sign one day. It could mean they can’t pay child support and they lose visitation rights. No, I am not kidding. These are actual cases where people have been ruined because of minor traffic tickets that rich people merely laugh about.
The disparity of treatment between the rich (corporations) and poor (regular people) is immense, obvious, and significantly painful. All permitted by the government despite equal protection laws.
Accountability or Else
There’s a huge difference between being a regular person in America and being a corporation. Most laws, unlike the Constitution, are designed to hold people accountable. The Constitution is supposed to protect the people from the government. But when it doesn’t, there’s little recourse for the people.
We need Federal Attorney Generals to be tasked with holding the government responsible for most of the unconstitutional acts carried out by the government, officers, or elected representatives. And we need officials to be held accountable if they don’t act to protect the people.
Federal Laws that, in addition to the Constitution, may be used by the Government to hold themselves, agencies, officers, or agents accountable are many. Here are just a couple examples:
18 U.S. Code § 242. Deprivation of rights under color of law
“Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such person being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.”
18 U.S. Code § 241. Conspiracy against rights
“If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or
If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured —
They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.”
34 U.S. Code § 12601. Cause of action
“It shall be unlawful for any governmental authority, or any agent thereof, or any person acting on behalf of a governmental authority, to engage in a pattern or practice of conduct by law enforcement officers or by officials or employees of any governmental agency with responsibility for the administration of juvenile justice or the incarceration of juveniles that deprives persons of rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.”
Most people have never heard of those laws. I have never heard of any prosecutor using any of these laws to hold any police officer or public official responsible for any wrongdoing. And yet these laws are on the books.
If the people in power don’t hold up their end of the deal, and don’t hold themselves accountable, then they have breached the contract. There is, therefore, no contract. It’s invalid — null and void.
Should we keep up our end of the deal?
Why should the citizens of our society adhere to the contract if the government does not hold up their end of the bargain? Why pay taxes or follow the rules. These are important questions most people never thought we’d have to consider. But these are historic times.
So powerful are the words of Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence that we should consider these words once again is of utmost importance:
“whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
Despite my brevity, these are serious allegations that demand our attention. Perhaps we must consider the breach of contract, the infringement of our Constitutional Rights, and the violation of the terms of our agreement as grounds for our demand to alter or abolish the government, and to institute new Government, a new economy.
We could focus on altering our agreement to turn the country around, but given the political circus that is currently a profoundly broken system, I doubt we will ever be heard on this issue before it’s too late.
I am speaking up. I am one of many who are speaking out. But will the government listen and take action on behalf of the people? Will the government allow the people to make changes?
I’m wearing a mask but I’m not holding my breath. We need to do something now. We’re at peak prosperity. Climate change is a looming disaster that’s coming. Economic collapse is upon us. Those who would welcome a fascist government are planning for it. We must act boldly and change this country for the better as soon as possible — or else.