Look past the whole issue of class warfare and instead, just read and reason with me. Think about the effect of large corporations. Do they help or undermine our country? Is the sheen of their donations so blinding as to cause us to ignore the actual outcomes of their supposed generosity? I sincerely hope not.
Let's look at the Koch brothers, for example. They derive many of their millions from oil. Of course, it would seem obvious that how they spend their profits is their business...but is it? For example, if they shield their earnings in shelters and off shore accounts, they conceivably pay substantially less, or in some cases, no income tax. They might then leverage that money in the form of campaign contributions, lobbyist income, or the underwriting of favorite charities or universities. Obviously, the middle class ends up footing the bill for out-of-control government spending. Is this actually happening? Forbes magazine in November of 2011 cited 29 Companies that Paid Millions for Lobbying (and didn't pay taxes.) The article cited research conducted by the non-partisan watchdog group Pubic Campaign Naming Corporation, and heralded a resounding yes, it is happening. A lot.
Aside from escaping their tax burden, is it so horrible that they donate to a favorite university or cause? Robert Reich in "Colleges, Churches and Non-Profits Doing the Wealthy's Dirty Work" (AlterNet, April 7, 2015) described the control issues these funds use as a stranglehold on university curriculum and policy. "When the Charles Koch Foundation pledged $1.5 million to Florida State University's economics department, it stipulated that a Koch-appointed advisory committee would select professors and undertake annual evaluations." I'll just bet environmentalists opposed to fracking didn't earn a position there. I might agree or disagree with their politics, but that isn't the issue. The question is simple: Should they be controlling the curriculum? Was it a donation or the purchase of rights to young minds? The Koch brothers now fund 350 programs in more than 250 colleges and universities, while we sit and debate the morality of it all.
Corporate America's far-reaching tentacles have indeed subtly and carefully woven themselves into the fabric of our society. The sad reality is, the cure of extracting them may kill us. But sadder yet, not extracting them ensures the demise of the American dream. Is it too late for a sleepy America to wake up to what is happening and reverse the damage? I hope not. Because as it is, corporate big shots are the puppeteers behind an ineffectual Congress and the brainwashing of an entire generation of young citizens. Yeah, they're running the show. They're running America.