This article is dedicated to the hopelessly out of touch and once presidential aspirant Mitt Romney, who is proof that that people can inherit money from their parents but can’t inherent their wisdom. Mitt is the quintessential wealthy weasel who serves as an illustration why the rich will never get to heaven. Sitting atop a personal fortune in excess of $700 million dollars, his company Bain Capital nevertheless specialized in buying other companies using leveraged buyouts (debt financing) and then stripping them to bare bones in order to reap billions in financial windfalls. This is what billionaires and those aspiring to join their club do; they are human termites who eat away at this planet in order to fatten their wallets.
While Mitt was campaigning in Iowa during the heart of the 2012 presidential elections, a man yelled out “tax corporations”. In response, the imperious Mitt answered smugly “corporations are people my friend”. Barack Obama and the Democrats immediately jumped on Mitt’s faux pas as if they too are not equal toadies of corporate interests. The reality is that both political factions are on the payroll of multinational corporations as Wall Street tycoons have managed to gobble up every lever of power in our nation and throughout the world—in the process they have rendered once free people into slaves of the corporate state.
This article is thus five smooth stones being aimed at the heart of corporations and a flashing red warning sign of the perils that await us if we do not find a way to unwind the clout and wealth amassed by corporations and their billionaire owners. Let me state for the record, I am not anti-business nor against people monetizing their talents in order to garner wealth. Entrepreneurs and the small businesses they created are who truly made America great. A vast middle class was fostered and opportunity was afforded to those who were willing to work hard and provide goods and services to the marketplace.
Marxists aspired to do away with the ills of capitalism but soon enough Communism proved to be an unworkable ideology for two glaring reasons:
a) when people don’t have an incentive to work and their reward is the same irrespective of output, the race to the bottom invariably induces sloth over industry
b) when private property is abolished and the state becomes supreme master and landlord of all, what ensues is supreme tyranny and corruption by a few who invariably oppress the masses
What I described above about communism is the very same thing that is taking place now under capitalism (read Capitalism is Communism). The form of capitalism espoused by Adam Smith in “Wealth of Nations” is not the capitalism we have today. Modern day capitalism is really corporatism where government is in bed with multibillion dollar mega-companies as both set out to destroy competition and instead promulgate a system of global oligopolies. Capitalism is swallowing its own tail; a quest to attain perpetual growth will always result in a catastrophic fall. A house of cards built on debt will in short order implode from the sheer weight of deficits.
The motto of Marxism used to be “from each according to his ability; to each according to his need”, the corporate motto is “from all maximize profits; to each peddle dependency”. Corporations have transformed the human vice of greed as a virtue to be pursued. A moving goalpost of perpetual profits drives every corporate officer and manager to keep pushing the limits in order to realize more and more revenue. Corporate capitalism encourages corruption as long as profit targets are met. Enron and Bernie Madoff were not the exceptions; institutionalized graft and fraud is the norm because corporations know the cost of getting caught is outweighed by the benefits of crossing ethical and legal lines in order to gain the next marginal dollar. If a corporation can make a billion dollars by doing something illegal and the only thing they have to be worried about is paying a multi-million dollar fine, 100 out of 100 times they will choose unethical behavior over human decency.
This is how corporations are lethally flawed; the quest for the next marginal dollar inculcates an environment of immoral and often illegal practices. I’ve talked to many small business owners over the past two years from South Carolina, Iowa, Colorado and beyond and most of them tell me that maximizing profit is not their primary objective. Most small business owners are happy if they can maintain a profit margin that will allow them to keep up with overhead and have a life free of stress. If a coffee shop like Sidamo Coffee and Tea can make 15% profit on a monthly basis, they are happy as long as they can remain a going concern.
It is on this point that publicly owned corporations have a radical departure from small businesses and private companies. The minute shareholders come into the picture and equity owners demands are introduced, the pressure is to keep increasing profits no matter the cost to society and the planet as a whole. I used to work at Booz Allen Hamilton three years ago, from 2006 until 2012 when Booz Allen Hamilton was a private company, they treated their workers relatively well. The minute Booz Allen Hamilton went public and became a traded company on the New York Stock Exchange, everything changed overnight. All the sudden, Booz Allen Hamilton went from emphasizing quality to chasing year-over-year profits. What came next was layoffs by way of attrition and liquidation.
The sole existence of corporations is to maximize dollars by any means necessary. Let me give you a little insight into code words used in corporate boardrooms. “Reducing inefficiencies” means laying off people for the inefficiency is the worker. Every corporate officer sees workers not as a valuable partner in the journey to do good for humanity but as a liability to squeeze dry and discard once their services are no longer needed. “Enhance productivity” means giving you, the employee, as much work as possible before you are driven to the breaking point. When layoffs are announced, work is shifted to those who remain because executives know those who remain are thankful to have a job and fear objecting to a new workload lest they get fired next.
Don’t you see what we are doing to ourselves? We are placing a collective noose around our necks the more we depend on corporations. A lot of social ills can be traced back to economic inequality; economic inequality can be traced back to corporations who are killing jobs and opportunity in order to enhance profits at the cost of humanity. If we are to bend the arc of history toward justice, it is imperative that we eradicate corporations from the marketplace. I know it sounds radical, but what I am proposing is not abolishment driven by our equally malignant federal government—top down management only manages to creatw more problems than solutions.
The mother’s milk of corporate capitalism is the quest to realize perpetual profits. This is the weakness of a system that is robbing wealth from nations and billions of people alike. If we reach a critical mass of consumers that make a dedicated effort to shop locally and, as much as possible, to patronize small businesses and private businesses only, big corporations will start to evaporate. Even if corporations never go away, at the very least we the consumers can empower local entrepreneurs and regional companies instead of giving our hands and necks to corporations who are nothing more than cancers of this earth.
Or we can do the opposite, we can keep feeding the monsters of Wall Street as they will continue to rob us blind one planned economic crash and recession at a time. Perhaps you should look at the historical chart of the DOW Jones (above) and you will see an odd occurrence; like clockwork, every 7 to 8 years the markets tank. This is what happens when a few have amassed enough wealth and power, they can crater the markets and then reap the rewards. Cash is king when recessions come; when most Americans start having fire sales during recessions in order to pay their bills, those who have money in abundance can buy up distressed assets pennies on the dollar.
This is what the grand larcenists of Wall Street and plutocrat thieves did in 2008 as they crashed the economy only to get rewarded with trillions by the Corporate stooge Obama as then concurrently dispossessed Americans of their homes and their life savings. The oligarchy are back at it again; the markets are at an all time high and just like the months leading up to the Great Depression, the Corporate State Media is reporting of happy days on Wall Street as if corporate health transfers to the well-being of Americans. I guarantee that this market is a bubble on its way to bursting; the exchanges are being driven to record territory based on pure exuberance and group think. We are one political crisis or international incident away (read Unity or Dissolution) before the markets take a violent swing into the abyss.
Consider this a friendly advice from a friendly stranger. If you have exposure to equities, perhaps think about hedging your bets and placing your investments in a more conservative position. You don’t have to liquidate your holdings—no need to pay penalties and fees for withdrawing your assets. Whether you have a 401K or an IRA, all you have to do is ask your broker to transfer your position into the most conservative hedge fund possible until we get through September and October. Ideally, utilities and companies that deal with vital goods and services are the safest havens. I’m not saying this as a student of the markets and macroeconomics who has an MBA from Johns Hopkins University, what I’m conveying is plain common sense. Only fools hang around when the markets are at record highs—chasing bulls always leads to being mauled by bears. But really, the focus should be our long term viability rather than the short term gyrations of the markets.
I hope you don’t read this article as a condemnation of all people who work at publicly traded corporations. We all are forced to bow before the beast; hell this article only reached you because of Facebook, Twitter or Google which are all corporations. My rebuke is not for those who have few options outside of working for multinational corporations but against those at the very top of the chain who willingly commit atrocities against humanity in order to inflate their top and bottom lines. Beyond that, the condemnation is upon the system of corporatism as a whole. If we do not find a way to return power to the people and away from corporations, we are going to suffer a continued slide down the economic ladder and our future will be that of financial anxiety and social unrest.
It is an imperative for our collective well-being and survival as a species for us to disconnect from corporations and localize our consumption and business transactions. The only way to uproot coagulated corruption is to shatter consolidated power and to disperse power back to localities and the communities we live in. If we don’t do this as a people soon, mass indigence and hopelessness will be the twin tribulations that will make us all equal irrespective of the endless labels we keep appending to ourselves. Shop locally and consume regionally or we will all be slaves globally. #CorpSux
“Greed is the inventor of injustice as well as the current enforcer.” ~ Julian Casablancas
If you appreciated the message behind this write up and share the passion to empower our community instead of powering corporations, share this article on social media using #CorpSux
Check out the Ghion Cast below where I talk about how corporations and coagulated power has managed to hijack our government and in the process has nullified America’s sovereignty.
Check out the Ghion Cast below where I discuss how we can all monetize our talents and become entrepreneurs instead of being indentured servants owned by corporations.
This article sponsored by Starbuck’s WiFi; the same way they keep transferring wealth from the poor to billionaires by selling Ethiopian coffee and coffee throughout the world pennies on the dollar, I wrote this article using their WiFi while sipping Yirgacheffe coffee. #Justice
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.