By Robert A. Vella
The art of collusion between government and industry, known as corporatism, knows no political boundary. Those who perpetuate the ruling establishment (i.e. plutocracy in America) can wear either party label. In fact, powerful monied interests have gone to great lengths in recent decades to secure control over both the Republican and Democratic parties at the highest levels. Their common goal, now largely achieved, was to defeat the forces of economic populism. Ordinary workers and consumers would not be allowed to exercise political power through grassroots organization such as that attained via collective bargaining in the 20th century.
Two nationally-known politicians are at the spear-point of this corporatist insurgency. They are the sitting governors of New York and New Jersey, Andrew Cuomo (D) and Chris Christie (R). Forget their insincere partisan rhetoric and superficial differences over some social issues. These two authoritarians are like peas in a pod, working an agenda antithetical to democracy and aligned against an empowered and prosperous middle class.
That agenda is inherently corrupt, pursuing power for its own purpose and devoid of any redeeming moral or ethical principles. It is tyranny without a visible tyrant.
The following development in the ongoing Port Authority scandals provide a vivid case-in-point.
From CBS News – NY, NJ governors veto bill to reform Port Authority:
ALBANY, N.Y. — The governors of New York and New Jersey jointly vetoed legislation Saturday aimed at overhauling the Port Authority and proposed instead a series of reforms they said would go further in bringing accountability to the agency.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced their vetoes of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey legislation in a joint statement.
The bill — which had the unanimous support of the New York and New Jersey legislatures — would have overhauled the troubled agency by requiring an independent annual audit, creating an inspector general’s office, restricting lobbying and creating a whistleblower protection program. It also would have required Port Authority board members to swear they’ll act in good faith.
The bill was designed to clean up an agency long known for dysfunction and scandals, including most recently the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge that ensnared Christie’s administration. Supporters criticized the vetoes.
“It’s really just an awful thing for them to do. Neither of them can ever stand up and say they’re for effective reform,” said former New York Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, a Democrat, who had predicted the veto. “In a competition between effective reform and power, power won. Reform ends on Christmas, but scandals go on forever.”
From NorthJersey.com – Christie and Cuomo offer their own Port Authority reforms, block legislators’ efforts:
Another sponsor, Assemblyman Bob Gordon, D-Fair Lawn, said that until reforms are implemented, the authority will continue operating as usual.
Gordon also said that due to the legislative recess on both sides of the Hudson, “the veto really sets us back a long time” because “we have to start the whole legislative process over again, and this just delays the process some more.”
And [Assemblyman John] Wisniewski [D-Sayreville] said that, since Christie and Cuomo have been in charge during a difficult time for the agency, they cannot be relied on to fix the problems. He also said the timing of the release “speaks volumes to their sincerity.”
“On a Saturday? Really? This is an insult,” he said.