Flaherty, who serves as the NLPC's chairman and CEO, shared his group's two major projects. The first endeavor called the Government Integrity Project looks for and exposes corruption in government, while the Corporate Integrity Project does the same for businesses. Established in 1991, the NLPC aims to expose corruption and promote ethics in public life.
The "America Unhinged" host said while there are media and government watchdog groups, Flaherty's organization is almost a corporate watchdog group involved in exposing government and corporate corruption.
For his part, Flaherty recounted how the NLPC exposed the Boeing tanker deal scandal. The group's effort sent two Boeing executives involved in the scheme – Darleen Druyun and Michael Sears – behind bars.
"That was an instance where there was overlap," Flaherty told Diamond. "It was both government corruption and corporate corruption."
According to the theologian, people are seeing a lot of corruption involving corporations and the government such as drug giant Pfizer and others. James O'Keefe was responsible for exposing this corruption during his time at Project Veritas, which he founded. (Related: Pfizer buys favor with GOP, makes staggering political donation to new headquarters building in Kentucky.)
"It's almost hard to even anymore to kind of separate corporate from government – [with] Pfizer and a lot of the stuff that's going on there and the government corruption," said Diamond. Instead of corporations competing against each other, they are now colluding to destroy the middle class.
Flaherty noted that while there are groups who want better guidelines and more laws, their proposals do not actually address the real problem. The biggest reform that can be done to promote ethics, he noted, was reducing the size of government.
"The problem is that the government has its fingers in everything," the NLPC chairman said. "So it's natural for individuals and for businesses to seek influence with the government so they can get an unfair advantage on their competitors."
According to Diamond, corporations today have a lot of monopolies and that there is a two-tier system currently in place. Given this, he called on Americans to keep a close eye on the "unholy alliance" between corporate America and the government.
Meanwhile, Flaherty remarked that a middle class is necessary for a vibrant democracy. He lamented the shrinking of the middle class in America, with the scale for wage earners going down in the last 20 years.
"The rich gets richer," the NLPC chairman said. "Now, there are lots of reasons for that. But the biggest reason is that the captains of industry have sat down with the captains of government and figured out a way to take advantage of the situation. And the rest of us are the losers."
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