Deplaning of United Passenger Shows Why We Need Corporate Regulation


In a democracy, We the People are in charge. We are the boss of the corporations. At least that’s how it’s supposed to work.

Apparently, that isn’t so much the way it is anymore. The United States used to regulate corporations to protect people from concentrated power. Now concentrated power has taken over our government, which fights the people for the benefit of corporate profits.

Or, to paraphrase John Kenneth Galbraith: In democracy, We the People regulate corporations. In deregulated America it’s the other way around.

The Face Of Deregulation

This is what can happen to you now in the United States if you get in the way of something a corporation wants:

We’ve all seen the videos. A guy gets beaten and dragged from his paid seat on a United Airlines flight because, in essence, he was interfering with corporate profits just by being in the seat. The airplane was full, the corporation decided it could make more money by moving some employees to another town, and a passenger was in the way.

Airline Deregulation

Airlines used to be regulated in the U.S. as a public utility that served citizens. They competed with each other by offering better service.

Then in 1978, airlines were deregulated and passengers were considered consumers instead of citizens. The airlines argued that more competition would bring benefits. Instead, as time passed, airlines did what corporations tend to do.

They consolidated, reducing competition. They reduced and reduced and reduced service to reduce costs. They cut employee wages and benefits. They changed routes to “hubs” for their convenience, causing passengers to have to wait hours in crowded airports. And they write contracts that said you can’t use their (essential) service without signing away every right you have.

Since deregulation, airlines intentionally overbook many flights. They scrunch as many people into smaller and smaller seats just inches from the next, and sell you more legroom. Instead of serving food, they sell it. They charge you if you travel a suitcase. They charge you to bring a travel bag on the plane.

Soon, they will put a large spike in the seat and charge you to shorten it.

And you can’t do anything about it. You can’t even complain without risking being considered “disruptive” and dragged from the airplane and jailed. And be careful how you dress.

Not Just Airlines

It’s not just airlines. All kinds of corporate deregulation have been harming We the People. There used to be regulations requiring broadcast media to act in the public interest in exchange for use of publicly-owned broadcast frequencies. Now, obviously, there isn’t.

Pollution rules are being deregulated. Pesticides that harm children are being deregulated. The list is long.

“Arbitration clauses” are now used in all kinds of contracts and agreements to keep you from being able to take corporations to court. “Tort reform” laws also restrict access to courts when people are harmed by corporations.

You get the idea.

“Burdensome” Regulations

Corporations complain that regulations are “burdensome.” They complain that regulations cost them money.

Of course, regulations that stop corporations from polluting streams place a “burden” on them to properly dispose of waste. Of course it costs money to require them to not just dump waste into rivers, streams, and the air we breath.

Carmakers used to complain that rules requiring seat belts in cars were a “burden.” Tobacco companies used to complain that stopping them from selling cigarettes to kids “cost money.” So far, government regulation has protected us from these abuses-for-profit. But for how long?

Who Is Our Country FOR?

Americans have lost our understanding of the meaning of democracy and of the powers democracy brings us and duties it places on us. We have become consumers instead of citizens and we think that markets should make decisions for us instead of our votes.

In a democracy, We the People are supposed to be in charge. In a democracy, our government by definition exists to serve us, protect us, and do things for us that make our lives better.

A democracy regulates corporations to protect people from concentrated power. If we let concentrated power make decisions for us, we end up getting dragged off of airplanes because the corporation decided the seat we paid for would make them a bit more profit.

Corporations should be regulated to serve the public interest. Why else would We the People want to allow these things called corporations to exist at all?

Via Common Dreams. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license.

  • Michael McNulty

    That brutal ejection shows how unsafe we have all become in the west’s “security state”.

  • Lophatt

    I wouldn’t argue with any of that. I saw it happen. I’m not sure what we do about it. They simply don’t care. I keep saying they won’t care until they’re chased through the streets. I think that’s true.

    The schools have done a remarkable job of convincing people that they are unworthy. Only corporations have “rights”. Well, that wasn’t always the case. I can vouch for the fact that it was better before. None of this is an improvement.

  • Vlad TheSkewerer

    Punish those F’ers by withholding funds and business, before they impoverish us and take that hammer away.

    • David James

      We will reply by Boycotting United Airlines. There ONLY hope of recovery is to give FREE flights to Doctors. They won’t though, they will suffer the “Target” effect. People will fly with anybody else.

  • Rick

    Those police goons need serious penalties and prosecution!

  • David James

    WRONG. Regulations are Mistakes for The People. Companies that SHIT on their customers will face what TARGET faced. Massive boycotts, putting them into BANKRUPTSY. United committed the FATAL mistake of shitting on a customer, now PAY THE PRICE !

  • SanityClaus

    The purpose of the FAKE incident referred to as ‘DEPLANING’, was to assert the lie that the value of U.A.L. stock can be affected by public awareness of such an incident. The fact is that the value of U.A.L. stock, like all other stock in the FAKE STOCK MARKET, is manipulated using fake trades. The purpose of the story is assert THE LIE of ‘the invisible hand of the market”. The “victim” was brought back on board after the staged event.

  • robertsgt40

    The dent in UAL stock and bottom line will do more than any regulations could ever dream about.