Tag Archives: corporations

The Price of Freedom

It is a popular sentiment today to believe in free enterprise. Why the heck wouldn’t it be free, it has free description. It is “free” enterprise.  Many find it a great idea to have everything in our life be privatized. One for instance is health insurance. This is how awesome free enterprise and privatization works for the average citizen in regards to health insurance.

My doctor scheduled some pre-emptive tests for me. Today, I received a notice from the hospital that my insurance company has yet to pay for the service. If I were to not pay the hospital, they would call a debt collector and keep nagging me until I pay. To a big corporation like Blue Cross and Blue Shield this is just good business practices. Bi-weekly money is taken out of my paycheck for health insurance, yet they decided when and if they are going to pay my insurance. Somehow I do not see that as a fair exchange, but that’s the beauty of “free” enterprise.

But it doesn’t stop there, banks play high stakes gambling games with our 401K, corporations have off shore accounts so not to pay taxes, they make inferior automobiles that kill people, they have taken short cuts in food safety that is making the public sick and they have destroyed our Gulf coast. All this is done so in the name of “free” enterprise and privatization. They are self-regulated and above most laws.

I make these complaints to everyone – family and friends. And their answers are always the same, “It is the way it is. Deal with it.” Have we succumbed to the powers of the corporations? Are we going to roll over and allow them to play with our finances and health? Is this something we should really deal with?

So we may all say “free” enterprise is great, but at what cost to us – our health, our financial security, our environment? That to me is not freedom. Although I may live in a free country, I am far from free. It is the corporations gambling with my livelihood that is taking away my freedom.

Obama puts up his Dukes against Financial Critics

I was reading an article on Yahoo. What is most interesting to me is not the article itself but reading all the obvious “right wing” comments. Their main argument about President Obama cracking down on big business is, “Buyer Beware-Why should our government support stupid people.” My comment was, “Whatever happened to “the customer is always right, and good old-fashioned customer service.” What is being served are consumer asses on the silver platters of rich CEO’s.

Even in the article President Obama said he would be willing to listen to arguments if they are intellectual and of good faith. Article commenter #1 proved Obama’s example if your argument against overhauling our finance industry because the average person is stupid. What kind of person argues not to have legislation for consumers because they are not smart enough to understand the double talk of the fine print? We need to do away with that kind of talk. Thank you Westmass50, you just proved Obama’s point. And hey Westmass50, stupid people deserve the same rights as the rest. Don’t you find it ironic, as many claim “elitism” when it comes to the Democrats and Obama, but then these same people do not want to help the average consumer because they are “stupid?” Interesting huh? Smell the hypocrisy folks.

But what many are failing to recognize is Reagan’s deregulation of big business got us into this trouble (You know-Voo-Doo economics). How wonderful all of you to come out and support an economic strategy described as “Voo-Doo”. That’s smart. To all those criticizing Obama and the government – Let me ask you. Would you rather “corporations” run our country who regulate themselves (Food industry-why Nestle just yesterday had to recall food), KBR is killing soldiers in Iraq, many corporations are evading taxes making the citizens flip the bill. Do you seriously want to put the nation in the hands of greedy CEO’s? Do you seriously want this country to be run by CEO’s who are only intent to make a profit on American citizens? Seriously, people that is stupid and naive? Corporate CEO’s care so much less for the American public then our elected officials, yet so many of you are treating them like gods. I’m actually embarrassed for you.

We (in a democracy) elect a government to “serve and protect”. That is what our government is doing-finally. Finally, they are sticking up for the Average Joe. Ironic, since that was the main talking point of McCain and Palin-yet in reality they are standing up for rich CEO.

It is not however the government, it’s the people of this country and our lack of support for one another’s rights. Sadly, I don’t think we can be called “United” States anymore because we are certainly so divided. Why, why would an American citizen deny benefits to be granted to another American citizen? Why can’t we see the leveling the playing field for the entire nation is good? Are we truly that selfish and that self-centered that sticking up for someone else will destroy our livelihood? I hardly find that a true American quality. Our forefathers would be so disappointed in us.

Credit Card Reform – Standing up for the Big Guys.

Standing up for Credit cardsAmerica, let’s all hold hands and shed a collective tear for the credit card companies. Oh, woe is me! No more charging outrageous interest rates, no more changing billing cycles without notification, and now you have to send out account statements twenty one days instead of fourteen days in advance. Boo-hoo! Can someone pah-lease pass the tissues.

Really, come on-any person with (and I’m not going to say common sense) but with any sense of human decency would realize that charging more the 15% interest is consumer exploitation. Changing billing cycles without notification is just freaking sneaky and the twisted, double-talking jargon of the fine print is difficult for economists to understand. Look, it’s going to harm no one  for these credit card companies to make the fine print easier to understand. My bigger question is this, why do many in this nation want to stand up and defend the big guys. When did standing up for the little guy and the misfortunate become a bad thing? 

 Bill Maher said it best when he compared the love of money to religion, and for me these corporations are like God in the eyes of many-they are Omni-potent and Omni-powerful. We bow down to the CEO’s and beg for mercy for our decrepit, debtor souls. Have we not learned anything from AIG? These corporate Gods are not kind gods; they are the wrathful, greedy gods-who needs them!

So why do many fret to regulate corporate exploitation of consumers? One, I believe many people aspire to the wealth and power of these CEO’s, or they have a form of Stockholm Syndrome-identifying with your abuser. You know it’s kind of like taking the side of the bully on the playground so you, yourself won’t get beat up. I think mostly people are more concerned with their own well being. “I was good with my credit, what will happen to me? Will I still be able to get my rewards? Will I have to pay a higher fees and interest rates?”

Here’s the bottom line-if these credit card companies are in the practice of stealing from Peter to pay Paul, who do you blame-Paul? Why not blame the stealer-the credit card companies? Look, if a credit card company raises the fees and reduces rewards because they cannot charge another person 24% interest rate, then shame on the credit card company. That is bad business and bad customer service. Credit card customer service-that will be another blog.

I agree with many, the consumers with debt are responsible for their debt. No one is speaking otherwise. The point is merely this; do not exploit those with debt by making it impossible to pay down with a high interest rate. I shed no tears for the credit card companies-they bought it one themselves just like the people who overspent on credit.

Hypocrisy of Consumerism

consumerism 1There is absolutely no doubt there has been rampant consumerism which has caused many to go into credit card debt. It is a problem, yes indeed! But we also have to admit that blatant hypocrisy exists in regards to corporations and consumerism. Based on our capitalistic-free market economy, it is consumerism that churns our economy. We are not only encouraged to spend; our government has given us tax credits to spend more and more. And not only are we encouraged to spend, the government had in the past told us not to save. Don’t pad your savings accounts with tax incentives-spend!  We need to spend to jumpstart the economy. This has been the message to the American people for decades. But really, who does this economic theory benefit, you got it-Corporations! Hooray!

Still many want to condemn and criticize the American consumer, while corporations who spend lavish amounts of money on advertising and promotions get a free ride. Who is telling these corporations there is the need for responsibility and accountability? Perhaps corporations too should be more frugal. You see, here is the vicious cycle-corporations spend money to encourage us to spend money so they can make more money and give bonuses to their employees. Many Americans buy these products whether they can afford them or not and go into debt at the mercy of the credit corporations who in turn make more money off consumers. It is vicious and does no good for our overall economy.

So when we blame the American Public for consumerism and debt, isn’t that just a factor of a capitalistic, free market economy? If we saved and spent only what we could afford, would corporations make as much money? Would credit card companies even be in business? No, not if we spent what we earned. And what about all those entrepreneurs and future business leaders of tomorrow, can they hope to achieve their American Dream of becoming millionaires if the public didn’t buy into their consumer products? Heck no!

People have been complaining up and down about credit reform and what it will do to our economy and the credit industry, but it is the same people who blame consumers for doing what they are told to keep spending and keep these very companies rich and powerful.

If we believe in a fiscally responsible economy, then we cannot be narrow minded and blame one side or the other, because both corporations and consumers have been irresponsible. If we want a responsible, strong economy then we must have to learn that we cannot have everything we desire. We have to learn that we will have to earn and achieve our goals. Corporations simply cannot run over consumers in order to make billions, and consumers have to be responsible.

As Bill Maher has said on numerous occasions, “Can’t we just be happy with what we have? Why do we keeping wanting more?” I think that comment says tons about our society. We can’t be happy. We’re not happy when we need to keep filling ourselves with money and consumer goods to fill our hearts and minds. Remember the good old days when all we needed was love…., now we need love and all its material accessories.