The rise of the corporate state has been happening since the founding of this nation. The federal government has been involved in helping out big business since the times of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson and it continues through today. From using federal troops to break labor strikes in the mid-1800s to bailing out failing Savings & Loan programs in the 1980s, the federal government has been the perfect big brother to big business and its owners. This has resulted in corporations and their owners rising to an even higher status, tax free, and interest free lifestyle.
With the beginning of industrialization in the United States, business owners here have been looking to the federal government for a helping hand not only to bail them out of trouble but also just to boost their profits. At a time when children as young as nine and ten toiled 14-hour shifts and adolescent girls labored from six in the morning until midnight for three dollars a week, the government has been in the business of helping the rich oppress workers by breaking up unions with federal troops (Parenti 64).
World War I escalated the relationship between big business and the federal government. Defense and weapons contractors made vast amounts of profit from producing supplies for the war effort while the worker came home with very little. Instead of federal troops, courts were now being used to break up unions. Tax credits, low interest loans, and government overspending are only a few of the ways in which the government is currently lending a hand to big business. The capitalist state uses taxation as well as public spending to redistribute income in an upward direction (Parenti 80).
The tax codes have been written with every attempt to make life for big business and the capitalist class a lot easier. The governments overspending is also out of control. The military was paying $1,868 for a toilet cover, $999 for a pair of pliers, and $668,000 for a fax machine (Parenti 89). The government now uses the military to oppress other nations in order to build a road for the great train of Capitalism. In the name of Democracy, the U. S. military now overthrows dictatorships in small countries that take from the rich and give to the poor.
We now help smaller countries by making it easy for American businesses to relocate to those countries to destroy their living environment and exploit their workers. On the home front, while the Capitalist class gets rich off the exploitation of smaller countries, the American middle class suffers more and more. The jobs are leaving, and the social programs are dwindling down into pathetic shells of were supposed to be and what they never were. Welfare benefits have fallen nearly 40 percent in the last twenty years (Parenti 102).
Education also suffers, as today low-income schools get far less revenues than well-off ones (Parenti 101). Programs and policies to help reduce the damage to the environment have also been reduced. The government not only fails to stop environmental damage, it actively contributes to it. The Army Corp of Engineers has spent billions of dollars building dams and levees that destroy habitats, and the U. S. Forest Service has built nearly 360,000 miles of logging roads in the national forests (Parenti 117).