The Inhumanity of Corporate Profits

spider-says-fuck-you

Thieves, the goddamn lot of you! Thieves and leeches! Fucking vampires sucking the will from people whose only goddamn crimes were to be frightened and tired! And you don’t help them! You don’t listen to them! They get no truth from you! All you do is scare them with stories of something that doesn’t exist! And you bastards are winning! Hundreds more of you every day!

Spider Jerusalem; Transmetropolitan

 

Corporations. Many people look at the corporation as one of the greatest inventions of modern civilization. Others will tell you they are a pox on all our houses. Journalist Matt Taibbi, profiling the bank, Goldman Sachs for Rolling Stone magazine in 2009:

“The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it’s everywhere. The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.” 

Let’s review just a couple of things that look broken once you get past the basic erroneous premise that allowed them to exist today. That premise is they are necessary, they are providing a service and the market will bear what they do, no matter how they do it:

  • Corporate-run prisons: A prison system that works by insisting on a quota for the number of prisoners to be found within. Corporate prisons insist on an “occupancy rate” such that if the population drops below a certain number, the state must PAY THE PRISON for its lost revenue. This is an incentive for a state TO FIND SOMEONE TO ARREST, rather than putting fewer people in prison. America already has the highest rate of incarcerated individuals per capita than any place else in the world. Corporate prisons will NOT be reducing those numbers, only INCREASING them.
  • Corporate manufactured food: What if I told you all of the manufactured foods you ate were addictive. Whether it came in a can, was processed for a box or found its way into a fast food restaurant, they were designed by food scientists to BE addictive by taking manipulating your pleasure center and your body’s natural tendencies to seek out fat, sugar and salt. What if I told you, it was the very fact that foods have been over-saturated with these three ingredients which accounts for the current crop of debilitating diseases sweeping most modern countries today: Obesity, diabetes, and hypertension/stroke. Since China has embraced Western ideals, in the last ten years their number of diabetes cases has reached over 300 million people. (That number is almost the same in India.)

Are you surprised no corporations have chosen to pay attention to the rate of diabetes increase in those countries, in relationship to their fast food boom? NO? Neither am I.

“It is this very cognitive dissonance which should make you pay more attention to corporations when they tell you, they are concerned about the environment BUT not enough to do anything about it. If your kids die from starvation due to climate change, its not our problem. We are only worried about the next quarter.”

Would a bank launder money for a crime cartel? Would they poison entire ecosystems to save money on a part for a refinery? Would they pay into contingency fees, to settle, in case someone died rather than replacing a five cents part? YOU BETCHA.

Here are a few other things happening in your neck of the woods, wherever you live…

  • Does their product pollute groundwater which might be used for farming? YES. (hydraulic fracturing)
  • Does their product require millions of animals to live in poor conditions to lower their cost of production? YES. (Fast Food Industry)
  • Does their product contaminate plants downwind of where my product is used? YES. (Monsanto and other genetically engineered seeds companies)
  • Does their product produce coal ash, which is highly toxic and need specialized technologies for disposal? YES. (Big Coal)
  • Does their product have a chance for spills, causing catastrophic yet, never considered, damage to the environment? YES. (Big Oil)
  • Does their product have a list of side effects a mile long yet still advertise it on television, telling people they NEED IT? YES. (Big Pharmaceuticals)
  • Does their product cause unrest and wars in foreign countries by needing rare earths and special minerals? YES. (Any Tech corporation)

And the list goes on. I could do this all day. So why do I bring it up? For the simple reason that corporations are never going to tell you what they are doing is harmful to YOU or yours. They will list the stock exchange and its variables as if it were a way to judge how profitable Humanity has been that day.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The Stock Exchange is an indicator of how much wealth is being made at your expense, how much of your environment is being destroyed, how much money is being made from the loss of lives in conflicts over raw materials in a foreign country. The Stock Exchange could just as easily be called the Murder and Mayhem Exchange because corporations have basically said they are willing to make profits OVER YOUR DEAD BODIES.

If they were being honest about it, they might make a video like this one:

So now you know. What can we do about it?

Get back to regulating these corporate fuckers. This video is a parody but the real corporations just haven’t been willing to say this as directly. But the harm they do to your environment is just as real and just as long lasting.

They don’t give a fuck about you. Don’t wait for them to say FUCK YOU in plain English. It’s only a matter of time.

America, Fucked Yeah!

America, fucked yeah copy

What exactly ARE our national priorities?

Can anyone tell me? No, seriously. What DO we stand for today, because I am no longer sure.

We don’t feed the hungry or house the homeless. Shit we make them faster than ever these days. Now, entire cities can be rendered bankrupt in the blink of an eye. (See: Detroit, San Bernadino, Vallejo, hell just look the rest of the list yourself, try not to cry.) The hungry and homeless live in shanty towns or die on the street and we just take pictures of them.

We don’t cure disease (last disease we cured was polio and people are still catching it because we can’t stop waging war long enough to see it actually eradicated). Meanwhile we are only making diseases stronger in our factory farms so every meat meal you eat gives you the chance to experience antibiotic-resistant bacteria, first hand. Your next hamburger could be your last. Hope it was a good one.

Our government doesn’t lead, it harangues the poor and disenfranchised when it isn’t looking completely dysfunctional all by itself with conversations debating the wisdom of birth control for women and whether corporations should be allowed to pay for it, trans-vaginal ultrasound to embarrass women into NOT having abortions they won’t get but were supposed to legally have access to since Roe vs Wade, nor will the government be helpful if they are raising the children of their rapists, who will be, of course, looking for parental rights.

We can’t decide what education should look like, only that it should cost as much as possible and be as ineffective as it is expensive. Our police are now functioning as Judges dispensing justice from the barrels of their guns, or armored personnel carriers or coming soon to a city near you, aerial drones.

police-drone

We don’t allow people to retire in dignity for lives well lived, we allow pensions and soon we will be spending Social Security and Medicare (after we privatize them for flavor) to be gathered up by large corporations and gambled away enriching banks while they bankrupt the rest of the world. Don’t worry, though because we will bail out those pesky banks for still being “too big to fail” and socialize their losses while they capitalize their gains. I guess after a few more cycles of boom and bust with the remainder of our society in ruins we will actually consider putting those bastards behind bars and letting greedy banks go the way of the dinosaur, rendered down for their vital assets and turned back into a public service that helps people rather than impoverishes them. Banks in our modern society act more like bulimics than a financial asset. They eat all of the nations money and puke out the chewed remains of the people who trusted them.

So I ask you again, what does this country stand for these days because, I am not seeing much freedom (you are free to be analyzed, illegally wiretapped and edutained by corporate sponsored newscasters, blonde, perky and not too bright), justice (if you count the Supreme Court which has members who are both homophobic and in the pocket of the corporate powers who run this nation or the judges who put kids in prison for profit keeping corporate prisons full, or perhaps the inability of our justice system to protect citizens who happen to enjoy iced tea and skittles or using mass transit on national holidays).

And we still can’t get a decent set of wages if you aren’t a corporate executive. Wage stagnation, debt consolidation, and government subsidization allows corporations to pay people little or nothing while they work two jobs and still find themselves in need of food stamps, while corporations pocket MAD money from the privatization of the EBT service. Not to mention we still can’t get laws to provide protection from random NRA-mandated acts of violence.

I see a lot of the American Way, though. Exporting jobs, storing cash in foreign banks, utilizing child labor in Third World nations, (watching those underpaid people dying in poorly maintained factories for pennies a day so we can pay less for our clothing) avoiding corporate taxes AND managing to get corporate subsidies while spending as much as they want on the government officials who rotate between being Congressmen or Lobbyist depending on where they are in their cycle of governmental malfeasance.

So I ask you again, what exactly are our national priorities because I hate to tell you it looks a lot like greed, exploitation and good old-fashion buggery to me.

Oh wait. I have a video that sums it up nicely…

America Fuck Yeah, the Deluxe Edition

A parting shot from Tom Tomorrow

Gun Love - Tom Tomorrow