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Capitalism, American Style; Symbol Of Greed, Political Corruption

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Greed by freestylee

Capitalism, as currently practiced in America, could be facing a very uncertain future, as a great disconnect is developing between U.S. corporations and the American people. Sure, corporations are still generating massive profits but, just below the surface of their success, trouble is brewing. Millions of Americans, having been severely victimized by the greedy actions of corporations, are now up in arms and mobilizing against them.

There is nothing inherently wrong with capitalism, the economic system that has functioned in America for such a long time. But with the advent of world globalism, corporations have made dramatic changes in the way that they conduct business, how they interact with their workers and how they function in this society.

Here's the big problem for corporations who think that they are in the driver's seat and can operate as they wish with no one to curb them. It just so happens that the worker/consumers of America form the foundation of our consumer-driven economy; that is, they represent the majority of the purchasing power of this nation. Corporations seem to have forgotten that workers are also consumers and when they outsource workers' jobs to foreign nations, they are eroding their customer base.

I remember reading about the relationship between a corporate giant of the past and his work force. That was Henry Ford, the founder of the famous motor company, who had a good understanding of how capitalism should work. A very wise man, Ford knew that those who he employed in his plants were not only workers but that they were consumers that could buy his cars. So in 1914 he doubled his workers' pay with the idea that better wages would lead to better production and that well paid workers could the afford to buy the cars that they produced. And they did!

Ford said, "One's own employees ought to be one's own best customers," and that "Paying high wages is behind the prosperity of this country." He was emphasizing the importance of maintaining good relations between corporations, the worker/consumer and the consumer-driven economy. That kind of philosophy is no longer relevant in America as the typical corporations in this nation reject that concept and have become the antithesis of the Ford model of employer/worker interaction.

Corporate America could have learned a lesson from Henry Ford's economic philosophy but it did not. These corporate masters should have learned that the worker/consumer that remains employed produces their products, earns a fair wage, buys their products, and contributes to their profits and the nation's GDP. But the worker who loses his job to foreign labor goes on unemployment and contributes far less to corporate profits and the economy.

While corporations may be unconcerned about the disconnect between themselves and the worker/consumer this condition poses a very dangerous threat to them going into the future. Oh, they can revel in their profits and dismiss this threat as nothing of substance but they will do so at their own great risk. Corporate strategies and decisions are geared to maximization of their own profits, not to the impact that they will have on workers' lives or how they will affect the overall economy.

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Let's examine the extent of this disconnect; worker/consumers are thinking about jobs; if they can find one, and if they can keep one; about their healthcare, their retirement, their fear of home foreclosure, about their children's education, about their diminishing savings and their very survival. At the same time corporate masters are thinking about maximizing profits, outsourcing more jobs, eliminating workers' healthcare and pension benefits, getting more and bigger bonuses, and using lobbyists and campaign contributions to pressure the Congress for more tax breaks, incentives and elimination of regulations.

This relationship between corporations and worker/consumers is like a marriage gone bad; one that started as a marriage of convenience, not based on mutual affection, but one in which the partners found a way to co-exist. But then one of the partners began to cheat and when that partner got into bed with cheap foreign labor and corrupted politicians, the marriage experienced a steady deterioration. And, while each partner may be upset, under current conditions, it seems like there is no way to completely end the relationship. So it continues without a good solution and causes great harm within the household, that being America.

America needs an economic system that works, that is effective; this nation and this consumer-driven economy need workers and jobs that contribute to its prosperity and its GDP. America cannot afford to allow these corporations to benefit so greatly from generous tax breaks and incentives, together with fabricated low import tariffs that maximize their profits, while they have eliminated millions of American workers' jobs. At some point these corporations and their many congressional facilitators must realize that this system is no longer working, that it can't continue on its present course, and that it is a major cause of this nation's economic crisis.

One thing that the masters of the board room should understand; when their agenda is geared toward maximizing profits above all else, when they no longer show respect and loyalty to their worker/consumer base, then they are making themselves an enemy of the people. The people are now very aware of the collusion going on between Corporate America and the Congress and they are extremely frustrated because they can't envision how to break up that corrupt relationship, at least not yet. But the day is coming when they will figure it out and then both corporations and the politicians will pay the price.

Right now this situation is worsening as evidenced by the escalating protests and demonstrations taking place across America in which many thousands of people are showing their anger and frustration against Corporate America and this failed system of capitalism. This movement is gaining tremendous momentum and is sending a strong message and warning to corporations that they need to change their ways by supporting workers instead of using them as pawns to be disposed of at will.

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The depth and seriousness of this nation's problems are great but not insurmountable. What must happen is that the people, the government and the business sector must start working together to solve our many problems. The solutions will come through cooperative efforts to create new industries, new jobs, rebuild our national infrastructure, significantly improve our educations systems, maintain reasonable and fair regulations of businesses, and reestablish a good relationship between corporations and worker/consumers.

Corporations have to realize that they are only a part of America; their corporate charters do not give them the right to use their money, power and influence to corrupt our political system and attempt to dominate the nation's agenda. So far they have chosen to ignore such advice and warnings but with each passing day momentum is growing against them. If they don't heed the warnings and continue to anger and alienate the majority of Americans then they will suffer the consequences of their shortsighted thinking.

And as such it may be time to consider adopting and developing some other economic system that might prove to be a better fit for America. Within the science of economics there are various forms of capitalism; free-market capitalism, corporate capitalism, state capitalism, social capitalism and a few others that nations use.

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Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense (more...)

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What corporations must clearly be made to underst... by michael payne on Friday, Oct 28, 2011 at 12:08:37 PM
I wish I could have said that I was totally discon... by DonnaV on Friday, Oct 28, 2011 at 8:35:23 PM
Could you give me a list of those corporations tha... by bern on Saturday, Oct 29, 2011 at 12:14:25 AM
Please provide the list soon.  I need to get ... by bern on Sunday, Oct 30, 2011 at 1:21:51 PM
The political corruption is due to the immense amo... by Stephen Hansen on Saturday, Oct 29, 2011 at 4:46:58 AM
Some money is necessary to operate campaigns. ... by Stephen Hansen on Saturday, Oct 29, 2011 at 4:47:30 AM
"There is nothing inherently wrong with capitalism... by Perry Logan on Saturday, Oct 29, 2011 at 5:52:44 AM
Perry, that's quite a generalization, using a real... by michael payne on Saturday, Oct 29, 2011 at 11:05:29 AM
I have noticed the flaw recently in batteries. &nb... by Lester Shepherd on Saturday, Oct 29, 2011 at 11:30:23 AM
NOW, would you apply the same logic to any and all... by bern on Sunday, Oct 30, 2011 at 1:19:56 PM
Check this out for like minded people... http://r... by Richmond Shreve on Saturday, Oct 29, 2011 at 7:29:36 AM
The high cost of goods slows demand and with it ra... by David Chester on Saturday, Oct 29, 2011 at 3:30:41 PM
Just go ahead and try over taxing land in your are... by bern on Sunday, Oct 30, 2011 at 2:56:00 PM
"Capitalism certainly has its flaws and shortcomin... by kibitzer on Saturday, Oct 29, 2011 at 4:27:28 PM
A typical definition of capitalism: "An economic s... by michael payne on Saturday, Oct 29, 2011 at 6:29:42 PM