Exposing Corporate Progressive Alliance
by Lewis Loflin
One of the most tragic problems in Southwest Virginia is the people that claim to work for the common person often work for themselves. Progressives, liberals, or whatever they call themselves do not speak for the downtrodden, but often their own agendas.
Because of the corruption of government money going to everyone with political connections, well meaning people will jump on the proverbial bandwagon tapping into the millions in pork dollars. They do this in direct partnership with the very people they should be wary of to begin with. To quote a local activist:
"...the environmentalists have been fighting the economic developers and vice versa for years and look what we have: high unemployment, high underemployment, high poverty rates and a host of environmental problems."
So says Anthony Flaccavento former head of Appalachian Sustainable Development. He should know this as a life-long political activist. Like many Progressives in Washington County Virginia he places "Green" before people. So how does a Progressive environmental activist team up with a far-right Republican lawmaker like Virginia Del. Terry Kilgore to ream (legally) the taxpayers for millions of dollars? To quote Mr. Flaccavento:
"If you're sort of a conservative Republican what you relate to is the self-help dimension, helping the family farmer, the entrepreneurial component. If you're kind of a liberal progressive it's the environmental values; it's the social justice thing. And it all kind of comes together in that way."
Appalachian Sustainable Development was a creation of tax dollars that has failed to become even remotely "sustainable" without constant infusions of more tax dollars. This cozy relationship bypassed and produced little benefit for the average citizen, and was plagued by incompetence from the beginning. Conservatives are simply buying off people that should be critical of this kind of politics.
It seems Mr. Kilgore was instrumental in getting government funds for Appalachian Sustainable Development, headed at the time by Mr. Flaccavento. While all legal as far as I know, there is a question of judgment in regards to wasting millions of tax dollars for over a decade with few results. This is much more widespread than an alliance between a non-profit and government hacks.
This is a system where people are segregated by income, culture, and social class. Where economic and personal relationships are near totally severed between the higher income ruling elite and the typical working person. There's no social interaction and it's often outright hostility between various groups at times.
Here the massive gaps in income and education creates an often exploitative and socially disconnected economic system. We have one economy for the "haves," and an altering economy for the "have-nots" where many are under-employed, under-paid, and politically marginalized.
Our local newspaper the Progressive Bristol Herald Courier cheers on the importation of illegal aliens as promoting "diversity" even as local business uses these people to undermine the wages and take the jobs of an already exploited population. Unions are completely useless, or in several cases support the illegal aliens!
In Tri-Cities, Bristol and Southwest Virginia the "haves" are divided into an ideological war Mr. Flaccavento mentioned earlier that catches the "have-nots" in the crossfire making any efforts at solving social or economic problems, if they can be solved at all, simply impossible. The elites work together for their own mutual interests as the case of Mr. Flaccavento and Del. Kilgore illustrate. What we have is a system I call Corporate Progressivism or perhaps corporate socialism. To quote Corporatism and Socialism in America by Anthony Gregory,
Indeed, corporatism, implemented by the state - whether through direct handouts, corporate bailouts, eminent domain, licensing laws, antitrust regulations, or environmental edicts - inflicts great harm on the modern American economy. Although leftists often misunderstand the fundamental problem plaguing the economy, they at least recognize its symptoms.
Conservatives and many libertarians, on the other hand, frequently dismiss many ills such as poverty as fabricated by the left-liberal imagination, when in fact it does a disservice to the cause of liberty and free markets to defend the current system and ignore very real and serious problems, which are often caused by government intervention in the economy. We should recognize that state corporatism is a form of socialism, and...(this) consolidate(s) wealth in the hands of the few.
...What is more often neglected is that the history of the American domestic welfare and regulatory state also corresponds closely to the rise of corporatism. It is no coincidence.
...In more recent years, corporate interests have often cheered on big government programs...(it) is also vitally important to make clear that America doesn't have a free-market economy, and indeed many of the ills associated with free markets are actually the result of state capitalism - or socialist corporatism. That the expansion of government regulations, often done in the name of combating corporate excesses, is frequently supported most enthusiastically by corporate interests...
The worst example in Virginia is this Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program that allows companies to lobby for billions in often no-bid contracts. This is a major source of graft and political corruption when these deals are conducted in "closed session" where the public/press are banned and no records are kept. This assures the money flows into the right bank accounts and the public is helpless to stop it or even track what is going on.
- How "Closed Session" Betrays the Public Trust
- A Look at the Corporate Progressive Alliance
- Poor White People and Social Apartheid
- A Suggestion for Reform in Southwest Virginia
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