April 09, 2020
by Chris Ossman
While Humanity has not yet hit the dead end I predict, that does not mean it won’t. There have been, are and will be stops and sometimes even reversals along the way. The problem is that these course corrections have all been temporary as the disasters that led to them have been short-lived due to the fast actions and abilities of such leaders like Franklin Delano Roosevelt and… Well, FDR. This is not to say that there haven’t been other leaders who have changed the world for the better, I am limiting this discussion to American leaders who had the power to make dynamic and ubiquitous changes to Capitalism. For example, many people remember Martin Luther King Jr. for his push for civil rights for all, while they remain ignorant to his warning(s) about the economic injustice that persists to this very day. For those interested, click the following link to learn more about MLK’s struggle against wealth inequality.
As for FDR’s push for economic justice, it is well documented that his push for fairer policies was not based completely on a selfless need to make life better for the American citizens he represented until his death in April of 1945 during his fourth term as President of the United States of America. Before we get to those reasons, let’s first address his legacy. For those who don’t know, FDR’s ability to win four terms, was not only the cause for U.S. presidential term limits (two years), but was made possible because of policies he enacted that helped more than it harmed (something few, if any of our current elected officials can claim today). A few examples of the policies and laws that propelled FDR to the highest office in the land four times were the New Deal which helped America recover after the Great Depression, the Social Security Act which curtailed poverty to many people, especially the elderly. He also promoted Democracy as the threat of World War II loomed large. It was FDR’s leadership that helped so many Democrats win their seats in office. Now, juxtapose this last stat with Obama’s legacy, in which he had the will of the People but lost over 1000 Democratic seats during his two terms as President. If you make the George W. Bush tax cuts permanent and let the statutes of limitations for the fraud committed by the bankers who tanked the U.S. economy sunset, while allowing more than fie millions families to become homeless, is it any wonder why Trump beat a candidate who implied a virtual Obama third term? There are so many problems with Obama’s presidency, but that is a discussion best had in a book… A book like the one mentioned below which addresses America’s and the World’s biggest issues while providing possible solutions to them all. There is a whole section that, not only deals with Obama’s failures, but addresses all of the atrocities committed by all of the “Christian” U.S. Presidents from the recent past.
Solutions for Android devices $0.99
Solutions in paperback (I get the hypocrisy, but where else can you buy anything these days?) $16
Solutions for Kindle (I get the hypocrisy, but where else can you buy anything these days?) $10
Sorry for the shameless sidebar plug, but I believe ignorance is the biggest threat to all of Humanity. By this, I am referring to the ignorance that the masses exhibit in the face of the terrible things our current world leaders have done and are doing or the terrible things they allow malevolent corporations, organizations, charities and individuals to do. There is no good reason why the federal minimum wage in the U.S. has stagnated at $7.25 since 2009 and there are no good reason why Amazon workers are peeing in bottles and pooping in bags during work. There is however, an explanation… IGNORANCE, which can be diminished.
Now, I know the title of this article implies a discussion about the direction in which Capitalism is taking America, so without further delay, let’s touch on that topic. I have not made this claim lightly and I offer the following as proof. There is a saying that relates to Capitalism and most other economic systems that have been tried and failed throughout history. It is a “Dog Eat Dog” world which was true of economies that were controlled by barbarians, monarchs, slave owners and now Capitalists. Barbarians maintained control through brute force. Monarchs mimicked barbarians, but in a more “civilized” manner, while slave owners took it back to barbaric levels to hold dominion over other humans. In all of these systems, dominion was in fact one trait that persisted and does so under Capitalism. One would think that, as Humanity moves through time and civilization and societies evolve, those things that threaten the stability of those civilizations and societies would be resolved. To a certain extent we as a species was moving towards solutions to starvation, poverty, homelessness and more, but somewhere along the way, we (my generations and the previous one) grew complacent. We allowed our leaders a certain autonomy that they obviously did not deserve. They allowed the gap in wealth inequality to widen, decade after decade… Something that was documented in Forbes magazine’s richest people yearly ranking. Why did people continue to idolize the filthy rich, as all signs indicated that their increasing wealth occurring at the same time that everyone else’s wealth was declining? Why weren’t there enough U.S. citizens paying enough attention to see their bosses salaries pulling away from their own at an exponential rate in some cases? Why are most businesses being consolidated well past the point where anti-trust laws should have been enforced? Those questions are addressed in the book. Here I want to address the “Dog Eat Dog” Requirement of Capitalism. If you’ve stayed with me this long, here is the reason for my claim.
If you own a business these days, it must constant grow or be swallowed up by a bigger business. This is Capitalism and it not only impacts that largest businesses which experience hostile takeovers all the time, but it impacts Mom and Pops as well. When was the last time you visited a store that sold the same or similar items that you could buy at Walmart or Target? Dog (Walmart) Eat Dog (Any store that sells same or similar items as Walmart). While there are markets in which a smaller company can find a niche, those too will be exposed to the threat of the bigger dog.
As an anecdote, I offer my own experience as an engineer for a mid-sized firm. I worked for a company called Edwards and Kelcey, which was a national firm with more than one thousand employees. It still has a Linkedin account, but when you click on it, you are taken to Jacobs.com. I loved working at Edwards and Kelcey, but hated working at Jacobs which at the time had 50K plus employees worldwide. The difference between a 1000 plus employee corporation and a 50K plus employee corporation was day and night and it wasn’t that E&K was not a good company… Why else would Jacobs choose to merge with it. As a matter of fact, the term “Merge” didn’t even really apply. Though, my supervisors continually called it a merger, the fact that E&K’s Linkin account takes you to Jacobs.com when you click on the website link says it all. In E&K, Jacobs saw a way to get into a smaller market: A market in which it had no previous interest. So, Jacobs “merged” with Edwards and Kelcey with the intention of steam rolling the engineering consultation competition in Miami simply because they were one of the largest firms in the world. While I eventually got laid off (as did most of the Edwards and Kelcey staff), I was there long enough to watch our replacements present losing proposals time and time again. I loved watching said replacements head out to a presentation with the exuberance of a kid learning to ride a bike, only to return with their heads hung low, as they crashed their proverbial bikes into a wall. What Jacobs failed to realize (in this case) was that the people who built E&K into a company that Jacobs wanted to take over was that it was those people who made E&K a winner. Their so replacements from Tampa did not have the network of E&K and they had not dealt with the Miami way of doing business. I don’t want to say Miami had its corruption, so I will simply quote a friend of mine: “We may have organized crime in New York, but it’s way better than the disorganized crime of Miami.”
While this example may be very specific to my own experience, it can be applied to every business that operates under Capitalism (Grow or die). This all leads to monopolies that need to be broken up which might be the answer until those monopolies exist in a time in which they control the lawmakers who fail to set policy that would break them up. Google should have been broken up years ago, but as it stands, they own Youtube, a medium from which many people get information about their world. The CEO of Amazon should be arrested for allowing his employees to be treated with such disdain and for the union-busting practices of that company. Bill Gates should be under psychiatric care, because only a Sociopath would watch his or her wealth increase as the World’s rates of starvation, poverty and homelessness increased in lockstep. If you would like to see how a billionaire with a conscience acts, look up Chuck Fenney. All other billionaire exist at the expense of the masses and for the millionaires out there, a billionaires pursuits don’t end with the poor because Capitalism dictates that we live in a “Dog Eat Dog” world. The poor were the first step towards a Neo-Feudalism. The middle-class is the current step towards a world in which indentured servitude will be returned: A world in which the claim is “If you don’t like your job you can quite.” to which I say “And do what. Starve or get another job that keeps you poor?”
Of course I can’t cover all the ways in which Capitalism is leading us all (including the rich) to an unsustainable and diminished lifestyle, but I will leave you with this thought.
“Capitalism is like the game Monopoly. Once a single player (or the 1%) have all of the wealth, the game is over.”
America is an empire in decline, exhibiting all of the signs of every previous empire that no longer controls the known world and Capitalism is to blame. A nation is a Man made construct that only exists as long as its people believe in it. How long can Americans believe in a nation that allows the rich to steal everything?
Jon me next and every Friday, when I address the biggest issues we face and sometimes offer solutions to those issues. The world is moving in the direction pointed out in the book “Solutions: Enough complaining. Let’s Fix America”, but there are solutions like the one presented below.
End the Job Creator Lie
If this petition got traction when I initially posted it, we might not have the 2017 Trump tax breaks, at least those tax breaks might not have inordinately benefited the rich. Perhaps more people would have realized the fact that the biggest issues we face, have faced and will face stem from the selfish dispositions of those with the largest treasuries. Maybe people would realize that the biggest welfare queens are the rich, who get the biggest tax breaks and cheapest interest rates as the largest socialized group in America.
For the reasons listed above and many more, I wrote my book “Solutions: Enough complaining. Let’s fix America.”, which is as necessary today as it is relevant. Get yours today and see why, even in theses times, I am optimistic about the future.