John Edwards “My Plan to Stop Corporate Abuses”

John Edwards has written a short commentary for the Wall Street Journal on what he intends to do to stop corporate abuses.

That’s right, abuses. All of us are familiar with the examples of corporate abuse, such as Enron and the loss of hundreds of pension by hard working people. The average CEO makes 400 times what the average worker makes. Is that the problem? Yes and no, it has more to do with the fact that less families can make ends meet. We have more debt as a nation than ever before in it’s history and so many worry that their children can’t have a better life than the generations before them. This is the problem, it’s not about redistributing wealth, but ensuring that we all can prosper from a strong economy rather than just the majority of us suffering so the very few can prosper at our expense.

Rather than focus on his usual pitch, the very true fact that many American families are having a harder time to make ends meet, I want to get to the meat, the three things he says he will do in order to stop corporate abuses.

The first thing we need to do is to make affordable, high-quality health care a part of the social compact. Not only are health-care costs putting a huge strain on American families and our competitiveness in the global economy, but a system that leaves 47 million Americans without health care is a moral disgrace. As president, universal health care will be my number one domestic priority.

Second, we also need to adapt retirement savings to the modern work environment. In the past, it was common for people to stay with the same company their entire career, and so it made sense for pensions to be connected to employers. Today, the average worker will probably hold jobs with multiple companies.


We can’t allow fundamentally healthy companies to go into bankruptcy just to avoid keeping their promises to employees, or to emerge from bankruptcy with millions for executives and nothing for workers. As president, I will ensure that corporations honor the pension promises they’ve made to workers, by giving workers a claim for lost pensions, just like lost wages.

Third, our companies should be run for the benefit of workers and shareholders as well as insiders. Today, too many companies in America are putting far too much of their earnings into excessive CEO and executive pay, when this money could be going to increased worker salaries, better benefits and investments in plants and equipment.

“Third, our companies should be run for the benefit of workers and shareholders as well as insiders.” Crazy thought isn’t it? It’s about bringing back some balance to the system and putting more power into the hands of those who make what America is today possible. That is why Unions are so important to the entire Country, they set the standard, they can pull workers voices together and they can insure that workers are fairly compensated, not only by wages, but benefits and the promise of a comfortable retirement after years of hard work.

Edwards is not anti-business, he’s basically anti-monopoly. So few have monopolized the power to control the system that so few also benefit from the profits. It has to stop and it benefits all of us to fight for those below us in the economic ladder, to bring everyone up a rung or two.

But for me it’s the ending, it’s the final words that put this all into perspective.

In order to fulfill our obligation to future generations of Americans, we must restore balance between America’s corporations and America’s working families. Only then will we be able to guarantee that anyone who is willing to work hard and do the right thing has the opportunity to share in our nation’s prosperity.

John Edwards’ ad “Time to Tell the Truth”


This message is so important and Edwards makes the strongest argument for “electability” than all the Democratic candidates. Everyone, despite their political leanings, are facing the same challenges from health care to education. I’ve read from other candidates supporters that Edwards is too “angry”, but a lot of us, from Republicans to Democrats, Independents to Libertarians, we are angry, but it’s the right kind of anger that unites the people, those who vote, together Edwards asks us to make this change possible. This is the kind of uniting we need.

Howard Dean was ‘too angry’ and this was used against him at the peril of our party. Please consider the fact that anger is not a bad thing, it’s a strong feeling of displeasure. I say, if you are not displeased, than you aren’t paying attention.

“To get real change, we need a president who will stand up against the big corporations and powerful interests who control Washington,” Edwards said today at his “Countdown to Caucus” event in Boone. “We need somebody who is going to fight this fight and win this fight. But I’m not talking about going to Washington as president and fighting politicians.

“I want to be absolutely clear that the corporate greed that is destroying the middle class of this country and stealing your children’s future, it is stealing the future of Democrats’ children, Independents’ children, Republicans’ children, ” Edwards continued. “I’m telling you, this is a message and a cause we can unite America around.”

  9 comments for “John Edwards “My Plan to Stop Corporate Abuses”

  1. TomP
    January 2, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    Great diary, Heather.

    John Edwards is fighting for real change.

  2. james s
    January 2, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    thanks heather for this Excellent analysis

    I agree,

    If you’re NOT angry —
    you’re NOT paying Attention!

    Anger can be a good thing
    when channeled toward constructive change!

    Edwards has some very smart plans too.

  3. Bladerunner
    January 2, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    The nation is littered with the remains of angry candidates who lost. This year there must be a lot of people paying attention. The Huckabee supporters are angry, Ron Paul supporters are angry(when they’re not shouting out amen when their candidate blames Lincoln for the Civil War). Edwards supporters are angry but they are not nearly as angry as Kucinich supporters(especially the ones in Roswell). And no one is as angry as Mike Gravel and his two or three supporters.

    Anger is a great tool to feed and motivate the base beast but you have to be

    able to lead and govern. One of the arguments my Edwards friends use to boost their candidate is his ‘electability.” That he can get crossover Reps and independents. And they make a somewhat plausible argument.

    But then Edwards starts off on a divisive thread and I see the electability thing vanishing. Sorry to rain on the parade but the more he goes off on coporate greed(did he use that term in the WSJ article?), and tacking hard to the left to win in caucus states, the less likely he is to win the general election. it doesn’t mean he has to have his script written by Al From but if Edwards is going to win in November he has to carefully choose his words in January and February. Much of this is in the tenor of the comments as the substance but in both, my advice would be not to lose sight of November.

  4. January 2, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    I just disagree, it’s who he’s angry at. It’s not about Republicans, it’s not about Democrats, it’s about the system that is not working for the majority of the people. We have to talk about our values, about our goals and our FEELINGS. I think this is how Republicans have trumped us time after time.

    He won his seat in a red state, he’s won over Republicans because they are just as fed up as many Democrats. Republicans talk about how Democrats want to raise everyone’s taxes, not true. Just the top 1%, that’s the important issue, who is really gaining the most from the profit margins that are pretty much lowering our quality of life, etc.

    I know, I know, I know what you are saying, but I just can’t and won’t give up on this until he’s out of the race. I think it can win.

  5. Bladerunner
    January 3, 2008 at 1:42 am

    Maybe you’re right but I’m reminded that he faced a difficult re-election fight in North Carolina which had something to do with his running and failing to get the 2004 nomination. And of course the ticket he was on failed to carry North Carolina. But for all his blemishes(China/iraq/bankruptcy bill/Yucca Mountain)he does tend to best capture the dreams of the Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party of the current crop of candidates. Of course we know what happened to the last guy who represented that wing…

    In any event, watch out that he doesn’t end up like another angry presidential candidate–Tom Tancredo—yesterday’s news.

  6. January 3, 2008 at 10:27 am

    BR, your candidate is going nowhere and it’s making you cranky. Be nice to Edwards and he might pick Richardson as his running mate.

    You and I both know that Edwards is tilting left now because he is more desperate than Clinton or Obama to appeal to Democrats. He’s still got to win the nomination — Clinton and Obama can afford to be campaigning with an eye to November while Edwards can’t. And we also both know that the electorate has a short memory. What a candidate says today will be forgotten by most people long before 10 months go by.

  7. Bladerunner
    January 3, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    Gila, my candidate of preference would be Joe Biden who according to the Liberal OC poll is trouncing Richardson. So no, I’m not cranky. Just anxious that our nominee doesn’t win the battle only to lose the war.

    And while you and I might both know the electorate has a short memory, we both also know that the electorate has a nasty habit of getting its memory jogged. As in George Seniors “Read My lips. No new taxes,” coming back to haunt him 4 years later. Or Walter Mondale’s read my lips, I’ll raise your taxes line which never got forgotten in the 84 campaign. Or John Kerry’s “I voted for the $89 billion before I voted against it.” Or any one of Willard Romney’s flip flops being run up his keister with u tube lube. We’re stuck with Edward’s $400 haircut and his working the hedge. I’m hoping that if Edwards turns out to be the nominee we’re not giving away the general election store in order to make the activist base feel good.

  8. January 4, 2008 at 9:59 am

    I’m …. just anxious that our nominee doesn’t win the battle only to lose the war.

    Well, Biden has now dropped out along with Dodd.

    Realistically, neither Biden, Dodd, Richardson, Kucinich, or Gravel has or had a chance of getting the nomination. It’s down to Clinton, Edwards, and Obama (with a slight chance of Gore if the convention is brokered, I suppose). So who do you pick to win the war?

  9. January 6, 2008 at 1:35 am

    Heather, glad to see you posting!

    I think that Edwards did great on the Jan 5 debate. Go Edwards!

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