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Capitalism, American Style; Symbol Of Greed, Political Corruption

By       Message Michael Payne       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on Opednews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)

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