The Problem with Capitalism

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic
A diatribe on greed

Submitted: December 24, 2011

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Submitted: December 24, 2011



The Problem with Capitalism


The main goal of many, if not most, corporations is to make as large a profit as they can.  They do this – many of them – by:

  1. Paying their employees as little as possible;
  2.  Making products as cheaply as they can, even if it means laying off American workers and shipping their jobs to a Third World country, where laborers are forced to work for next to nothing in appalling conditions;
  3. Colluding with their “competitors” to fix prices artificially high;
  4. Bribing politicians so they won’t make laws to regulate corporations in such matters as pollution or any of the first three heinous practices listed here.

I envision a better corporate culture, one that strives to do the right thing in all regards. Greed is such a disgraceful thing. When we see a clear example of greed – say, maybe, the Bernie Madoff affair or the decision-makers at the major banks who sold those obviously awful mortgages to pension fund managers – don’t we naturally despise those people.

Greed is second, behind wrath, among the Seven Deadly Sins, so it’s maybe ironic that I feel wrath when I contemplate the greed that is rampant in America today. But that is neither here nor there. I only mention it for its potential for comic relief in an otherwise humorless scolding.

It’s so naïve -- isn’t it? – to think that corporate board members and executives might suddenly decide to start doing what’s best for the country, the world, rather than doing always what makes them the most money? But wouldn’t it be wonderful to live in world where we were all looking out for one another, a world where we all realized that a child dying from starvation was a horrendous thing?

We are an unenlightened people now, so silly in what we think important. Our future, more evolved selves will look back in disgust at many of our early 21st century ancestors. What were they thinking? How could they be so backward? Our ancestors will be looking back in clarity at what’s going on now and they will see clearly who were the heroes and who were the villains.

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