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Eye opener for January 5, 2024

Updated: Jan 9

I am curious as to how far my fellow Americans will allow our leadership to propose, support and push for the immorality, injustice and outright theft that is running rampant throughout this nation.

As examples of the impropriety of which I speak, I would like to present several businesses that are completely legitimate in the eyes of our Government but fall under what I deem as immoral legalities.

While there is legislation in the House and the Senate to force corporations like Blackrock to sell all of its residential properties over the next ten years, why were they allowed make housing so unaffordable in the first place. It seems to me that a lm intelligent and caring Government would have recognized and had the foresight to see that allowing a corporation to outbid individuals seeking to buy their first home could never end well. It actually seems odd to me that our Government recognizes the problem now, but didn't see it as it was happening in real time. Now, across America, there are neighborhoods in which people whose families lived for generations can no longer afford to live. How does this strengthen neighborhoods? Weaker neighborhoods lead to weaker communities which lead to weaker counties and cities, which leads to weaker states, which leads to a weaker nation. In other words this crap rolls uphill.

Related to corporations outbidding regular prospective homebuyers are laws that allow for 1% down mortgages. How does Erica's Government allow for such obvious wreckless financial policy? While to some 1% down on a home mortgage may sound opportunity for those who can't afford to put more money down, it sounds like the same "buy here, pay here" scams that used car dealerships use to sell the same car over and over again. You see, when someone buys there and pays there with so little money down, the loan on the car remains huge. The car leaves the lot with the dealership getting a down payment and the potential for future payments and the customer gets to drive the car around until they can no longer make the payments. At this point, the dealer repossess the car and put it back up for sell. For a potential home owner to only have to put 1% down, this sounds like a bargain until some emergency requires that they divert their mortgage payment to some other pressing issue in their life. In an America where so few Americans have enough saved to even afford a $1000 Dollar emergency, what happens to their new home when they can't make their mortgage payment? Like the used car, their home is repossessed or foreclosed and repackaged for the next 1% down customer. This may be good for corporations like Rocket Mortgage but it's bad for America.

Staying with the theme of home-ownership, let's consider real estate scams like rent-to-own where you rent-to-own NOTHING. While there may be a model in which a prospective home-owner does rent a house with the opportunity to eventually own that house, there are plenty of opportunities to simply rip off prospective home-owners. Of course there are those rent-to-own scams that are outright illegal, but there is actually no need to risk jail time for ripping off people seeking the American dream. If you are not the type to do your due diligence, you could become the victim of a company like DIVVY. Divvy offers home for rent that can eventually be bought by the renters. This sounds great until you hear about all of the ways in which the renter is losing out on what seems like a bargain. From the bad appraisals provided by appraisers employee by Divvy, to all of the fees that eat away at the money that is supposed to be going towards the purchase price, to fees that Divvy simply charges for its service. The deal looks more like a steal (for Divvy) the more you look at the details, but this is all perfectly legal. Immoral legality, as described in the Regaining American Democracy (R.A.D.) dictionary.

There are more examples related to the ways in which corporations are confiscating/stealing the futures of millions of Americans, but let's move one. Let's talk about the ways corporations are confiscating/stealing future through other forms of debt that many canNOT avoid.

Walmart, a corporation that has thrives on immoral yet legal business practices for decades. In its time as one , if not the largest employer in America, Walmart has been caught doing all of the following: Taking out life insurance against the lives of its employees who were most likely to die. For years, Walmart held life insurance policies as the beneficiary against the lives of their employees and once they were sued for such practices, Walmart turned around and sued the companies that sold them the life insurance policies in question. And, what's worse is that Walmart was not alone in this practice. This sort of morally repugnant behavior was legal in certain states. The argument for such policies being that a company could take out a life insurance policy for those employees whose death would cause sever harm to the corporation named as the beneficiary. If you have an employee whose death would cause such harm to your company, maybe you should hire abother employee who could cover that all-inportant employee's duties. Maybe you should have several employees who could cover a certain portion of the workload of that worker for whom your company "needs" insurance.

While the practice of taking out life insurance on your employees may be the most grusine act committed by Walmart it was not the only one that seemed to work against the best interests of its workers. At one point, Wal-Mart's wages were so low that every Walmart store cost the American taxpayer close to one million dollars in safety net spending. Walmart paid it employees suxh low wages that they needed to collect things like food stamps and other forms of welfare, all of which came out of every American taxpayer's pocket. Here Forbes writes about the way in which Walmart's wages were subsidized by the American Public Too bad none of those taxpayer's received any of the profits Walmart made in those years of such low wages. And, speaking of the impacts of WalMart's low wages, the company has held food drives for its own employees. Should Walmart's business model include government subsidies to compensate for the poverty wages Walmart chooses to pay its employees? Should taxpayer's have to pay for businesses like Walmart that only perpetuate the increasing poverty in Amarica? Maybe our leaders should mandate that some of WalMart's profits be diverted to pay living wages before it gets allocated to their shareholders. Maybe then we would see business innovations that don't require poverty wages as one of its most important tenets.

The next immoral business practice is one that literally stole one's freedom and potential and gives it to a corporation. The practice of private prisons profiting off the labor of this they incarcerate. As I wrote in my 2018 book Solutions: Enough complaining. Let's Fix America!" there are certain aspects of life that should never be driven by profit. One of those aspects is crime and punishment. While there is a need for such things, it should never be profitable. The state should operate and manage such facilities or you end up with corporations that not only need to maintain a certain number of prisoners to maintain or increase their stock price, but they also need to lobby for policies that will assist in increasing the number of cells they keep full. If you make more stuff illegal, you make more felons. Now, maybe private prison lobbyists only have the Public's safety at heart when they push for such policies, but there's lots of opportunities for corruption between a bill passed into law and the individuals incarcerated for profit. In Pennsylvania two judges were convicted of sending kids to jail for kickbacks from private prison corporations. In some instances, the crimes were graffiti. Another way in which private prison corporations line their pockets was by selling a felon's labor to the highest bidder. Corporations like Victoria's Secret and McDonald's paid up to $10,000 Dollars per year to have some convict make sexy lingerie or employee uniforms. Some of this labor has even been grounds for elected officials like former Wisconsin governor Scott Walker to lay off Public employees only to replace them with convicted felony who earn less thana dollar a day. What most people fail to realize is that the 13th Amendment abolished slavery for everyone, except those convicted of a felony. Imagine that, in the 21at century, America still has a legal form of slavery.

While some may argue that this practice is justified because a convicted felon owes a debt to Society, I would counter with the following.

"A convict may owe a debt to Society, but they don't owe that debt to McDonald's, Victoria's Secret or the private prisons that profit off the labor of the convicted."

Ok, I'm tired of writing about the ways in which too few elites are stealing the futures of too many Americans. You can read more about such travesties in my book "Solutions: Enough Complaining. Let's Fix America!" Suffice it to say that, Americans are being swindled daily and those who should be preventing such theft are actually assisting in it.

Even when you do what almost all financial advisors recommend you do, you can be swndled out of your life savings. When I say swindled, I mean swindled, everyone who invest anything understands the risk of losing their entire investment. What they don't understand is that those who are supposed to keep the game fair work for those who only want to take what is yours and make it theirs.

In the examples set forth above, I contend that our leaders have allowed business that appear less like innovative solutions that advance Humanity and more like poker games that ultimately cause more irreparable harm to Mankind then could ever be justified. In a system in which a small group of elites have so much money and power as to raise the stakes beyond any competitor's capabilities, no one wins. Though, to the elite who can outbid everyone else, victory may be sweet, it is relatively short-lived, for the masses will eventually be forced to reject the system that gave those elite their power, status and wealth. This is inevitable, because like the game of Monopoly, once a single player, or an extremely small group of elites have all the Monopoly money, said Monopoly money becomes useless to all other players and the game ends.

Imagine when all the currency remaining in America is debt. There is no currency, because a tiny cohort of trillionaires have hoarded it all. There is no fair exchange of property, because corporations like Black rock have bought it all. The food supply is owned almost exclusively be super rich people like Bill Gates who initially bought up all of the farmland which invariably allowed them to buy out the entire food supply chain. In fact, there is no fair or free exchange of anything of value because everything of value is owned by the smallest of minorities in America and around the world. If you doubt that this could ever happen, please cite examples of trends that suggest the rich will ever abandon their quest for it all. Hell, please explain how that would even be possible, for the saying, which usually pertains to corporations "If you're not growing, you're dying." could easily apply to the wealthy who seem to not only must, not only keep up with the Jones, but must take everything they can from the Jones or the Jones will take everything from them. I imagine that, when you have everything you could ever want, the only thing left is to take everything everyone else needs. In my opinion, the Uber rich are playing out that movie "Highlander" in real life. The only difference is that instead of inheriting some whinsical power they absorb such tangible as wealth and such whimsical as power.

In 2018, I wrote a book highlighting the problems Humanity would face if more power, wealth, and control was funneled to a small group of elite individuals, groups, or organizations. In my book, I provided solutions (from myself and others) to the inevitable problems and also a means for the Public to analyze, compare, and contrast the words and deeds of those we choose to follow against reality. In my book Solutions: Enough complaining. Let's fix America.

In "Solutions...", I provide the means for readers to disseminate information as provided by their news sources of choice, their elected officials, and any other authority they choose to follow. The book also offers a means to hold their leaders up, not just to a higher standard than is currently accepted but to one that would improve their lives and the lives of those for whom they care.

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