Corporate Greed is Killing America

Capitalism is screwing the working class people of our country and killing America. What will we do about it?

Corporate Greed is Killing America
Photo by Mike Erskine / Unsplash

I love capitalism and the opportunity to make money.

The thrill of entrepreneurship is exhilarating because there’s nothing like birthing an idea from scratch and growing it into a profitable business venture. The opportunity to pursue the American Dream is intoxicating and can be extremely rewarding if you succeed. No wonder so many people want to start businesses!

But capitalism these days is changing. It no longer seems to be about serving the best interests of society or creating opportunities for others; it feels like it’s all about corporate greed.

Don’t get me wrong.

I understand business owners or shareholders must make a profit. Why invest in any company to break even, or even worse, lose money? We all deserve to have a healthy return on our investment and to grow our bank accounts as large as we desire. Besides, relying on the “Go Fund Me” mentality is not a good strategy for taking care of yourself or the people you love.

But people are suffering because corporations and business leaders refuse to truly care about those who are most affected by their greedy decisions.

Why do so many people have to work so hard just to survive in our country today?

Amy works at the current hotel where we are staying. She’s a mother of three who puts in long, hard hours cleaning rooms from nasty ass guests who don’t care if they trash the rooms or not. She gets paid $12 per hour, works 40 plus hours if possible, has to get rides to work because she can’t afford a car, lives in Section 8 housing, and barely survives on food stamps.

Many people might say Amy just needs to work harder or get another job to make ends meet, but what they don’t know is her story.

This woman has no education, is a recovering drug addict, and was homeless a few years ago. She’s had to overcome some of life’s most difficult challenges just to get to where she is today. I sincerely applaud her! Yet it’s almost impossible for someone in Amy’s position and economic status to climb out of that hellish hole.

Meanwhile the owner of this hotel refuses to pay his workers more despite saving money by reducing services to guests and charging way more for these rooms than he should. Oh, he’s also building a brand new multi-million dollar hotel right next door to accompany the other four he owns.

The rich get richer and the poorer get more screwed.

It’s disheartening to see the people who do the shit many others would never do, only to have to struggle like this. These workers truly want to make better of their lives, yet are constantly stifled by those they work so hard to serve.

And her story is not unique.

I’ve heard it time and time again as we travel the country from people in all sorts of industries and various backgrounds. The chasm between those who are considered poor or rich is growing exponentially. More people are struggling to survive financially today in the “land of opportunity” than ever before.

Raising prices for nothing more.

Over the last several months I’ve received dozens of emails from companies about raising their prices. Netflix, QuickBooks, Adobe, Gumroad, Google Apps, and Amazon Prime are just a handful of services who have implemented price increases — yet don’t offer any more value for that cost.

The same goes for restaurants, hotels, amusement parks, and other businesses. None are making their product or service any better (in fact, most have suffered or lowered the standards) but are simply raising the cost to justify changes in the economy.

We are paying more and receiving less — all the while the work force for these businesses are experiencing ZERO increases in their wages.

How is this fair or acceptable?

So many larger businesses wonder why their help wanted signs go unanswered or they can’t keep workers. It’s not always because people are lazy or unmotivated; it’s because they don’t want to get paid so little for doing all the work while the executives keep padding their glorious bank accounts.

Again, I believe in the concept of capitalism and being rewarded for risk, but never at the detriment of those who actually keep the business going. I don’t agree with the mindset of charging customers more while refusing to provide livable wages to those who do the actual work.

Corporate greed is destroying families and people’s lives every single day, and regrettably, many of us support the brands and companies doing so.

Photo by Koushik Chowdavarapu / Unsplash

What can we do?

Simply writing about how things are isn’t enough to make a difference and awareness only goes so far. And quite honestly, I don’t know what the solution is especially when many of us struggle to keep going ourselves.

It’s hard to create change when we’re overwhelmed with our own lives, but inaction will certainly affect us all in some way.

The more we ignore corporate greed and allow billion dollar businesses to generate substantial profits while neglecting their employees, the greater the need will become for those who cannot afford to make a living. This will increase homelessness on our streets or raise taxes in order to support government assisted programs. How does this benefit society or create opportunities?

Allowing corporations to charge us more for services or products without adding any real value to what we pay for also hurts us. We’re choosing to give our hard earned dollars to businesses when they don’t deserve it and their bank accounts get fatter while ours become leaner. Why not give our money to causes that actually help people instead of hurting them?

Small steps can make a big difference.

The best way to help is by not supporting brands or companies blatantly abusing their capitalist desires. Diminished profits speak louder than words. Even so there are other ideas to consider.

  • We can speak out about companies who continually increase prices without delivering more value or just cancel them altogether. Bad PR hurts!
  • We can spend less in our own businesses, using our financial resources to pay employees or contractors better.
  • We can give more when tipping service related workers, especially when they do a great job of serving us or taking care of our needs.
  • We can vote for politicians and government officials who do a better job of ensuring the people in our country are treated fairly.
  • We can invest in economically disadvantaged communities or teach others how to build their own wealth.

No matter what the solution is, we can all do something to make a difference. We have to try.

What do you think about the current state of capitalism? Do you have any ideas on how we can make this country better for all? Please share your thoughts.

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