Here is what has happened to our nation, due to uncontrolled Capitalism and Corporate Greed:
Banks have become corrupt:
Our country’s largest banks lie and cheat customers out of Billions of dollars annually, force people out of their homes, and stick clients with additional fees for unwanted accounts that they did not ask for. All for increasing their profit margins which benefit only their stockholders, executives and Wall Street. Their corruption have caused thousands of people to lose their homes and forced many families into bankruptcy. Big banks and Wall Street caused the Great Recession of 2008. Rather than be punished for their greed, they were rewarded with taxpayer funded bailouts, from which they paid themselves huge bonuses. Their behavior continues unchanged. See the five biggest banks that are the absolute worst and should be broken up.
Auto technology hasn’t changed much in over 100 years, (until Elon Musk arrived):
Auto manufacturers have (for over 20 years now), maximized corporate profits by refusing to incorporate technologies that could improve vehicle mileage and lower emissions. They have constantly fought government recommended emission controls, cut corners in manufacturing causing defects that they hide from the public which have ended up killing people. They have helped contribute to global warming and poor air quality. They had the ability to implement electric technology 20 years ago but refused, until an upstart auto company (Tesla) forced them to grudgingly start to change.
Greedy Pharmaceutical Companies control drug prices. People are now having to decide between food and their medications:
Pharmaceutical companies have for years realized the huge profits they can make by peddling addictive drugs to unsuspecting clients. Through lobbying politicians, they have assured that drug prices remain higher than anywhere else in the world. This adds annually to their huge wealth which they spend on even more lobbyists. They have helped to create a generation of consumers that are sicker, poorer and more addicted to their drugs, with thousands dying every year due to overdosing. They even wrote their own drug legislation guaranteeing their high profits, and told Congress to pass it!
Processed Foods & Sugar makes us fat:
The processed food and sugar industries have been lobbying and promoting sugar for 40 years now. Through slick publicity and paid-for junkets with politicians, they have been able to convince politicians and the public alike that fat (as opposed to sugar) is dangerous to people’s health. This has created two generations of people who ingest 2-10 times the amount of addictive sugar they should be taking on a daily basis, making tens of millions of Americans incredibly obese. These industries have made billions of dollars in extra profits, yet our population is fatter, sicker and have many more health related problems (like diabetes) than previous generations.
The Media Industry (driven by ratings) polarizes us:
The Media Industry, driven by ratings and associated profits, have learned to skew their news and entertainment to specific groups, slanting their information to better appeal to certain population segments. Some cable stations are more propaganda and opinion than news. This has created silos of mistrust and hate within our country, as people orient themselves to those media organizations that support their own particular viewpoint. By watching and listening only to those outlets (whether television, internet, radio or print media), they solidify their own narrow viewpoints. Those outlets that push their narrow opinions and propaganda are able to increase their profits, due to higher ratings. Yet many of our citizens have become “brainwashed” (or “cult-ivated”) and are now less tolerant of others and believe in conspiracy theories.
The Defense Industry and their lobbyists keep us in the Middle East:
The Defense Industry is no different than the others. By lobbying and financially supporting certain politicians, they are able to insure a steady stream of revenue by wrapping “patriotism” around their expensive defense contracts. We spend more on our defense than the next seven countries with the largest defense budgets, combined! President Eisenhower warned about the “Military Industrial Complex” running Washington’s Pentagon and even developing our nation’s defense strategies. Today we have never-ending wars, and trillions of dollars wasted overseas, all thanks to the pressure they place on our representatives in Washington.
Oil and Gas Lobbyists control Washington:
Oil and Gas industries have been major climate deniers for decades. Their greed for ever more oil profits have helped to drive Washington’s interest in meddling in Middle Eastern conflicts (which have helped to stir up mistrust and dislike of our nation). In addition, major utility companies here at home continue to reduce line maintenance costs and inspections. This has increased their profits in the short term, but their shoddy maintenance has caused huge fires that have destroyed thousands of homes and have killed dozens of people. The oil industry has placed “their own” into cabinet-level positions, Vice Presidents and even Presidents. They make tens of billions of dollars in profits every year, yet still receive tax subsidies from the US government.
Boeing has rotted into an embarrassment for the US:
Our largest US airplane manufacturer, known since the 1940’s for building quality and safe aircraft for the world, has (since a 1997 merger), become nothing more than a scandal-plagued firm, more interested in their own profits than passenger safety. The company has been cutting corners in their manufacturing processes for over 20 years now; they hide negative information from their pilots, the airlines that buy their planes, and from the public. Their focus on profits as a priority (over passengers) caused two crashes that killed over 340 passengers due to defective aircraft design. The cobbled together 737 Max8 aircraft has been grounded for over a year now, with numerous design flaws. A European manufacturer has now become the leader in building quality commercial aircraft, replacing Boeing.
Our healthcare is an expensive mess:
Our nation’s healthcare industry is now the most expensive of any industrialized nation, yet provides some of the poorest healthcare. Many of us regularly have to do without needed medical treatment because of the overall costs. Hospitals have become profit centers and hide true costs from patients, charging tens of thousands of dollars when actual costs are only a fraction. Insurance companies do all they can to not pay for necessary treatments, drug prices are out of control and doctors are no longer in charge of patient’s medical treatments.
And unchecked capitalism has made the coronavirus so much worse:
Unchecked capitalism has made our ability to control the coronavirus a nightmare. There are eight different elements to controlling the virus’ spread and unchecked capitalism has infected all eight of them. Our inability to deal with the virus will make the US death toll higher than in any other country, and will inhibit our ability to eradicate this virus for the foreseeable future.
In short, all of these industries are making our lives miserable today due to their never-ending focus on cutting costs, raising prices and growing their profits. They must have their financials look better this year than the last, so their stockholders and executives benefit and their stock price rises. However, the average citizen in our country is sicker, fatter, poorer, and less tolerant of others, thanks to their uncontrolled greed and corruption.
This book has been written to help educate the average American on how bad unchecked capitalism has become and to show how much of a threat it is to our democracy, if we allow it to continue.
Earl B. Rynerson