What a Kettle We’re In

“A system is corrupt when it is strictly profit-driven, not driven to serve the best interests of its people, but those of multinational corporations.”

― Suzy Kassem

“Many companies expect loyal customers without providing loyal service.”

― Steve Maraboli

“I don’t know what’s worse: The fact that they’re doing it, or the fact that we are letting them do it to us!”

― Joseph Rain

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’ll say again how unbridled, unregulated, laisse faire corporate profit-making at the expense of the very people who – out of necessity, lacking alternative options – must give their hard earned money to corporations who spit in their face in return is simply wrong.

I read in the news that JPMorgan Case is going to close down hundreds of branches. Bank of America announced its going to reduce its workforce for the same reason: they will make more profit through less employee costs (transferring it to increased public cost through unemployment benefits), but also forcing customers to shift to ATMs and online banking (and thus profiting more, e.g., making a deposit through a human teller costs 65 cents, whereas one done over a smartphone is only 3 cents). Chase says this will make them $1.4 billion a year more. Citigroup predicts that the banking industry’s additional goal of shifting completely to automation will result in 2 million bank workers loosing their jobs.

I read where U.S. airlines netted $25.6 billion last year, 241% more than 2014, by eliminatng flights to maximize seat occupancy, and by maintaining fuel surcharge-fees even though fuel costs have dramatically dropped. And now, in addition to charging for checked bags, some are now (or are thinking about) charging a fee for carry-ons and extra fees for any seat other than the middle seat.

I wouldn’t really have a problem with any of this if these profits, in turn, reduced the cost of banking fees or airplane ticket prices.

But they haven’t. And not only are they not passed down to the consumer, they are also not taxed – according to Moody’s Investor Service, U.S. companies moved nearly three-quarters of $1.7 trillion in profits overseas last year for tax-avoidance purposes, screwing the taxpayers who wind up paying more to compensate.

Apple, for one, has said they won’t stop doing it, while still charging $1,000 for an iPad.

So where is this money going, besides bloating Director’s and CEOs paychecks? Shareholders get a small percentage (Chase just raised its dividends 9% in May), but the lion’s share is elsewhere. (I suspect alot of it goes to PACs funding political elections.)

Corporate wealth is being generated on the backs of employees and customers.

And it’s only going to get worse. As mergers continue to be allowed by the government, oligopolies emerge without alternatives for the consumer, and they aren’t required to pass anything down to their customers. 

Our governnental system is corrupt, it cares more for businesses than its citizens, corporations care more for themselves than their customers, and we – the people – get (you know what) at every turn.

Maybe we’re a nation of people suffering from Stockholm Syndrome.

Or masochism. Maybe we like the pain. It gives us something to complain about.

Nah. We’re more like the proverbial frog in the kettle of water on the stove who doesn’t feel how hot the water is getting until it’s too late to jump out, he’s cooked and served on the corporare dinning table.

Why do we allow it to happen?

– Bill

 

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