The problem with what Capitalism has become is that we are now being told that the well-being of the corporate entity is the most important thing – more important than the well-being of the individual. We are being fed – in slow, measured, half-truth doses – the idea that if the well-being of the individual needs to be trampled upon in order for the corporation to thrive, then that’s what needs to happen. And I use the word thrive on purpose. No corporation is content to simply exist. It has to grow. And it has to grow more this year than it did last year. If something comes along that slows that potential growth, or threatens to stall it, the corporation fights back. And they employ us to fight their battles for them. This belief that we’re no longer important, that we’re no longer a considerable part of the equation, is so ingrained that we will now come to the defense of the same corporate entities that consider themselves our superiors, and consider us as just tools.
Take the new Health Care law. Take Cap and Trade. These things threaten the businesses that make up the insurance and energy industries. They respond by making the argument that these laws will lead to higher premiums and rates, and that will hurt the economy/struggling families/the recovery/America. This is all they need to do to launch an army of screaming voices, howling that the law or the rule or the regulation is the enemy. “Kill the Bill!” “This law is bad for America!” Instead of holding the corporations and big businesses and mega-banks accountable for the indignities and injustices they pass down to us, we will loudly and righteously blame the law, and specifically the lawmakers for our predicaments. How can we not? Under this belief we’ve been fed that corporations (and of course shareholders) have an inalienable right to make a profit, we can’t possibly believe them to be the enemy. If we’re being burdened by high fees, or bills, or premiums – the fault must somehow lie with lawmakers. Lawmakers make businesses do these things to us. If lawmakers would just leave businesses alone, and not tell them what to do, everything would be just fine.
Everything would be just fine for those businesses. They rest of us can just pull ourselves up to the table for another serving of shit stew.
Big Businesses have no soul, and are guided by no morals. They are guided by profit only. Businesses don’t give a damn if you’re safe at work. They don’t care if you get paid a decent wage. They don’t give a fuck what happens to you if you get laid off. They have no good reason to treat you fair, and every reason to abuse you in order to make a profit. The ONLY thing that prevents them from doing this is our government, in the form of the lawmakers we elect and the laws they pass for our benefit. Laws passed by our government are the closest thing to morals that a business can have.
You have absolutely no say in who runs Bank of America, or Exxon, or Goldman Sachs, or any other business. You can’t tell them what to do. They don’t have to listen to you. You don’t get a vote (except in the form of stock, which you can buy). You do have a say in who runs your government. You can tell them what to do. They do have to listen to you. You do get a vote, and you don’t have to pay for it.
There are no lack of those who are telling you that there shouldn’t be laws that restrict how much businesses can pollute, or charge in interest, or fees, or premiums. If they argue that a lack of regulation will benefit you, you already know that’s not true. So you don’t hear this argument very often. Instead, you hear that the regulation will cause the businesses to take actions that will harm you. They say the regulation will lead to higher prices, higher premiums, job cuts, new and higher fees. They essentially make the argument that the regulation will result in the same negative outcomes that the businesses would be completely free to impose on us without the regulation. Somehow, unimaginably, there are people who see logic in this.
Your government, the one you are freely able to choose, is the only thing standing between you and the businesses that see you as no more than the means to a bigger profit. Your guns won’t stop them. Your god won’t stop them. Your outrage will not stop them. The only thing with a chance of stopping a business from doing whatever the hell it wants, to you, is your government – your elected representatives.
Would you choose to let go of your raft and trust that the ocean will treat you fairly? If you choose to elect people who insist that businesses have your best interests in mind, and that your government has no place in regulating them, you’re doing just that. And frankly, you deserve whatever awaits you as you drift helpless, having voluntarily given away your only chance at survival.
The government isn’t your enemy. Big businesses are.