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Benjamin Clarkebenjamin clarke

 

The Root of the Matter: Corporate Control or People Control?

When I ask people to choose me as Vermont’s next governor, they naturally want to know where I stand on the issues that concern them.  Many are concerned about affordable health care and livable wages.  Others wonder about over-development, the sustainability of our environment and the future of small business and farms in Vermont.  Some folks are struggling to pay ever-increasing property taxes and wondering why state officials are raising our taxes while large corporations and out-of-state land owners get the breaks.

I believe that the majority of issues facing Vermonters find their root in one greater issue:  the control of political power.  If the well-being of the people were the top priority of state government, then wouldn’t every Vermonter already have affordable access to doctors and dentists?  If our well-being were the priority of those who govern, wouldn’t rates of cancer, autism and depression be going down rather than up? 

If we held a statewide referendum, and asked Vermonters whether we would prefer higher taxes on our homes or higher taxes on corporate profits and pollution, what do you think we would choose?  If we were consulted, would we vote to allow corporations to determine the outcome of elections through gifts of cash to political campaigns?  Would we allow people to be caged for violating corporate monopolies on food and drugs?  Would we send those dedicated to guarding Vermont to foreign countries that have never evidenced an intent to invade green mountain soil?  Would we force ourselves and our children into debt in order to afford the education that many countries offer freely to their people?

What will we choose?

I believe that life in Vermont would be better if the people truly guided state law and policy. If we, as a people, can regain control of our state government, then surely we will choose our well-being over the limited interests of a few people disguising themselves as for-profit corporations.

Our Vermont Constitution states: “That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the common benefit, protection and security of the people…and not for the particular emolument (profit) or advantage of any single person, family, or set of persons, who are only a part of that community.”

As governor, I will serve the well-being of our people as I create a budget and policy agenda that encourages more democratic participation in politics, education and business.

Together we will restore democratic control of our government and insure that only real people may participate in the political process.  We will invest in education and develop a diverse and sustainable economy that features a broad base of local ownership.  We will help farmers and local business people bring their own products and services profitably to market.  We will make sure that all Vermonters earn enough to live and still have enough time to be with their children and other loved ones.  We will make sure that all Vermonters get the medical and dental care they deserve. We will enjoy clean water and air and delicious maple syrup for many generations. We will do these things because we care enough to take care of ourselves.

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