Republican economic theory rests on the principle that the rich deserve to get richer regardless of the cost to everyone else. Members of Greed’ s Own Party rail against people banding together to try to protect themselves from corporate avarice. “Socialism” becomes pejorative, as if working together isn’t what built this nation.

          They’re silent, of course, about the system of corporate socialism which favors their donors.

          Corporate socialism is best exemplified by the special treatment afforded the oil and gas industry by Oklahoma politicians. A gross production tax of 2 percent for the first three years (the most productive years) of a well’s production makes sure that petro-polluters will remember their pals come election time.

          In 2015, those GOP local-control advocates banned municipalities from protecting themselves from oilco fracking activities that might trigger earthquakes or threaten water supplies.

          This spring, a new push by Republicans would force any city that challenged Big Oil’s superiority to compensate the producers for any regulations or restrictions that resulted from them not getting free rein to act as if they owned the state – and not just its politicians.

          And, while cities, counties and entire states try to address the pollution of plastic bags, Oklahoma proudly banned those irritating local municipalities from imposing restrictions on that petrochemical by-product – a symbolic act of subservience. Get off your knees, Oklahoma!

          Legislators regulating their own businesses or those of their employers is standard operating procedure.

          On the national scene, of course, the 2018 tax scam exemplifies putting corporate (donor) profits ahead of the general welfare. Corporate leaders spewed a lot of hogwash over the economic benefits of them getting massive tax breaks.

          I’ve detailed other examples previously, but, in one week in May, Politcus reported, “CEO who claimed he gave raises because of Trump’s tax cuts lays off 150 employees”  and Common Dreams noted “While reaping $21 billion windfall from Trump tax cuts, report shows, AT&T slashed 23,000 Jobs.”

                    Dismantling consumer protections is another favorite GOP tactic for putting corporate profits ahead of people. Some of the most egregious examples concern the ravaging of our nation’s public lands.

          After rolling back drilling regulations resulting from the 2010 British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon rig disaster to going soft on asbestos and watching the EPA become Enhancing Pollution Advancement, it comes as no surprise that The Daily Kos reports the Bureau of Land Management is changing its official mission statement from “to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations” to the developer-friendly “the economic value of America’s public lands.”

          And, of course, that “economic value” belongs to polluters, who get access to  OUR lands at sweetheart rates. Corporate socialism in its most obvious form.

          Don’t overlook the inaction from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that leaves college students in the grips of loan sharks.

          Here’s The Daily Kos again: “A federal judge had to tell Betsy DeVos and her Education Department to forgive loans of students defrauded by for-profit colleges—and even after that court loss, DeVos’ department is blocking help for more than 150,000 fraud victims….In one year, the Obama administration approved relief for 30,000 students. In two years, the Trump administration approved just 16,155 claims, with DeVos whining that relief for such claims is ‘free money,’ and the department actually referring some defrauded borrowers to the Treasury Department to have their tax refunds seized even though they have relief claims pending.”

          I guess, when the president’s own sham university gets socked with a $25 million judgment for its nefarious actions, we shouldn’t be surprised where the sympathies of his administration lie.

          Corporate socialism exposes the myth of the rugged capitalists carving out their fortunes with grit and determination. Instead, we have an organized movement to make government work for corporations at the expense of individuals: GOP Economics 101.

          (Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democratic Party: or

GOP economics: self-serving greed

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