Someone Needs To Tell The American People: Corporations Don’t Care

I’m still figuring out what Occupy Wall Street wants to accomplish. They may be as well.

But if Occupy Wall Street helps more people to understand that while our economy struggles and unemployment remaining high, large corporation and Wall Street profits have grown and grown and grown, I will celebrate them.

Large corporations are also seeing profits, but they aren't using them to help Americans.

(the photo source is also an excellent reference for multiple charts on that make the wealth gap and income inequality more understandable)

Corporations Are Supposed To Be Regulated

The current Bank of America scandal, charging customers $5 a month to use a debit card, is great example of how corporations are not patriotic entities on a mission to help the American public.

Our government changed the regulation on debit cards to help out small business owners by capping debit card fees.

First point, Bank of America didn’t decide on it’s own to help out small businesses during our economic crisis. Second point, Bank of America doesn’t respond to government regulations by saying: GREAT NEWS. We’re helping out small businesses. The economy will benefit.

No, Bank of America doesn’t want to lose profit. Extraordinary profit made from homeowners and bad loans and the ability to set fees because they’re the biggest bank in the nation. Instead, they decide to make the consumer pay $5 to use their debit cards. And they blame the government.

So who is in on the side of small business? Who is on the side of consumers wanting to spend their own money? Of course, our bank system with ebills and direct deposit now put us in a position where it is a HUGE PAIN to switch banks. They are geniuses who aren’t helping small business or individuals until their bottom line is taken care of.

The companies aren’t called for-profit for nothing. This need for regulation is true with medical insurance and the coal mining industry and daycare facilities and all these places that we think should be safe and reasonable are not helpful by choice.  Yes, one can only push a customer so far unless there aren’t any other companies selling milk or healthcare insurance or offering jobs, which also is regulated (some places better than others).

Those who believe that regulation is the problem and if we “just let business grow it would fix everything with innovation,” don’t understand the history of capitalism or what deregulation lead to (because they seem to have put on blinders during the past decade). Capitalism cannot be unfettered because it doesn’t work unfettered. Unless 14 hour work days on 50 cents an hour with no days off for anything including maternity or falling seriously ill, oh and child labor, are how people define “capitalism working.” Capitalism has always needs reigns to keep it from running people into the ground.  It is a balancing act and one we, the people, need to understand better.

Here’s Some of What I Believe

The American dream is about equal opportunity, not hiding our head in the sand about where opportunities come from.   Corporations already have too much power and the only controls available is the government whose elections are often funded by the corporations. If people don’t stand up and let themselves be heard today and on election day, we are no longer a democracy.

I may not agree with everything that Occupy Wall Street stands for, but if the movement give people perspective on the realities of greed and corporations in the United States, then they have done enough.

Can’t see the video? Click here.

I’m planning to do a follow up or two focusing on the wealth gap and maybe on the American dream.  My rant was too long for one blog post.

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

15 thoughts to “Someone Needs To Tell The American People: Corporations Don’t Care”

  1. I started a comment that got ridiculously long. I agree. Companies aren’t built to care about anything but the bottom line. That’s why relgulations are essential. And why watchdog groups of various sorts are necessary.
    Somewhat related question, have you read Deep Economy? I’m just starting it, but it goes nicely along with your rant by questioning if bigger is better, if more really makes us happier.

  2. Totally agree, I don’t love everything they are doing but they are certainly making waves and if those waves cause awareness and action then more power too them.

  3. The OCCUPY (fill in the blank) movement is about people who are mad about all the stuff you just said and think that if enough people go occupy city hall or Wall Street or whatever, somebody rich and powerful will actually be moved to DO SOMETHING about it. I was at the Austin one yesterday for awhile. Thanks for writing about this; I will pass it along. love, Marge

  4. you know I love your posts like this. It’s like you’re in my head, but writing it down for me.

    this is why no matter how backed up my google reader is, I ALWAYS read these posts. They are so spot on.

  5. My friend was one of the hundreds arrested Saturday on the Brooklyn Bridge during Occupy Wall St. I’ve been able to directly ask him questions about what is being said there, the atmosphere, the progress. And while I can never do his words justice I think it is about empowering people to stand up for what is going wrong, to show that as a government who is so funded in many ways by private business it doesn’t care about “the 99%” and won’t unless that changes. I think people who have been unemployed or lost their homes during the economic crisis have felt unheard, ignored & stomped on. And I will be honest, I was living in that bubble of being unaware of how bad things were. When I was in HS it was taught 80/20…the 99/1 idea boggles my mind. The richer are getting richer and the poorer are getting poorer. And I don’t think that will change until there is a true fundamental shift in the way that the government works together with private corporations.

    And I wrote this from my phone…so pardon any mistakes in grammer/spelling.

  6. I had an ethics class in college where a student argued that it was a corporations duty to fleece us so that the government would be provoked to step in. That way, the corporation upholds it’s duty to the stockholderby turning a profit AND helps the people by getting regulations passed so that companies can’t continue to fleece/injure/maim them.

    Then, I thought it was drastic and a stretch. Now, I’m pretty sure it’s how most major corporations think.

  7. Megan and I were just talking about how we are confused about what the movement stands for. But I totally agree that the overall message needs to get out.

  8. The problem I have is that corporations are going to get beat up by the “Occupy ___” crowd whether they “care” or not. I’d guess that every major corp that gets tarred & feathered by activist groups (think Southwest, Target, McDonald’s, Microsoft, etc.) has a specific office, department, or even division that is focused solely upon community/charity affairs. They put large, sometimes massive amounts of money and human capital into fundraising events, into community development and outreach, and into helping others, but it’s never enough to keep from being roasted by public opinionators.

  9. Also agree. Corporations don’t care and Bank of America is a joke. I’m glad people are leaving them. There are other options. Also agree with you on health care and giving those born poor a fair shot at middle class.

  10. “Born Poor”…Come on…feed us some more. We all feel that way as long as it doesn’t directly affect us. I wonder if it would be the same if it meant a drastic reduction in our net income, and we had to send our kids to public school? Please…you aren’t fooling anyone!!!

    1. Did you read the post ‘born poor’? I’m not trying to ‘fool’ anyone. The idea is equal opportunity. And I have said many times on this blog that I’m willing to pay more taxes to do that.

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