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Capitalism, An American Tragedy

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In a Capitalistic economy there has to be a predetermined set of morals in which everybody adheres to. Sad to say that in the United States not everyone adheres to that code or for that matter any other code of morality either. For the past 40 years the base moral fiber of our society has continued to slide down that slippery slope, that proverbial path of degradation and an out right acceptance that morality really doesn't matter any more. When government steps in to impose their rule of law upon the capitalistic establishment to correct a situation from becoming what the government perceives as a greater threat the whole spectrum of values that are the basis for morality always seems to disappear.

Webster defines capitalism "as an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned and operated for profit." Income that is involved in a capitalistic system is categorized in two parts; one is profit and the other is wages. Profit is what is received by virtue of control of the tools of production {the people that provide the capital} Wages are received to those who sell their labor {the workers}. Simple enough, right? Not so fast. What happened in 2008 when the government decided to bail out these so called leaders of industry in the name of rescuing our economy our capitalistic system just became more convoluted. As a consequence of pumping billions of dollars to select industries that by the way were instrumental in causing the financial collapse in the first place did nothing to alleviate the economic woes of the public. All our government did was put a band aid fix on a hemorrhaging economy. A fix that only prolonged the inevitable. Today, what we have is a mixed bag of an economic system, a two tier level of economic theories. Governmental control of certain enterprises on one hand and private industry on the other all are now operating not in harmony with one another but are precariously close to rendering a complete collapse of our whole economy.

The United States government in the time of Teddy Roosevelt was when corporate leaders the likes of the Rockefellers, the Vanderbilt's, the Carnage's and others of vast wealth took advantage of the non-existent regulations concerning workers. The workers were exploited beyond belief during the so called gilded age of the Industrialized Revolution of the late 19th century and the early part of the 20th century. Had it not been for the Government's intervention during the early 1900's the workers would still have been at the mercy of the Robber Barons. As it was wages were so low, working conditions were too intolerable, and the fact that our youth especially school age children were being forced to work along side their adult counterparts. We must remember child labor laws were non-existent back then. All of these factors which had been coming to a head for years forced the government to initiate reforms. Reforms that improved working conditions for our labor force. We can thank Teddy Roosevelt for the initial reforms that eased the way for our labor force to have some semblance of improved working conditions. All because of his relentless pursuit to equalize the playing field, sort of speaking, in corporate America. We would be wise to remember what Roosevelt said in 1901: " The great corporations which we have grown to speak of rather loosely as trust are creatures of the state, and the state not only has the right to control them whenever need of such control is shown but it is in duty bound to control them." Incidentally, no President since Nixon has followed TR's advise. What we are witness to today as a result of unbridled corporate corruption is a disparate of wealth worse than in any third world country and an unemployment rate over 20%.

When the Depression hit FDR realized that to insure the solvency of a nation it was vital to implement greater reforms. The establishment of Social Security, the FDIC and other safeguards for the general public all of which put more control of industry in the hands of the Federal Government. The government had a large stake in our capitalistic economy. Every decade since has seen the government encroach more rules and regulations upon the way businesses are run and operated. In light of all this encroachment by Government the morality in our society continued to decline. A shadowy substance that only casts a very small amount of decency in the actions of businesses has evolved today in the United States.

Wage disparity in our capitalistic economy has become so wide it really is as though were are back at the turn of the 20th century. Corporate leaders [the Capitalists] are getting richer while the workers are becoming poorer is all too evident today. What continues to make this all possible is the continued intrusion of governmental policies that have been going on for the past 40 years. Instead of structuring the regulations in favor of the workers all the federal Government has done is created more opportunities for the "Capitalists" or more bluntly put, today's Robber Barons, to create more wealth for themselves.

Our government has now become so entwined with business that the enormous amount of regulations and procedures that have become an internal part of the way business are run today has only crippled the American worker. There have been many incidences that show how ridiculous some policies have become. One was a very tragic case where current corporate policies that were in place today prevented any attempt of saving a man's life just because they were prohibited from intervening. Where's the morality in this event. It just points how far our government has intruded by policies that reframed individuals or organizations from being a Good Samaritan and in this case save lives. Hypocrisy at it's finest hour where government has set up agencies such as OSHA just to prevent such disasters whether it happens.

The ever elusive balance between governmental intervention or intrusion into the way business are run today remains as elusive as ever. There has been very rare occurrences in which benevolence in the way policies are shaped, proposed, or implemented in our economy today. Had we followed the example of what Teddy Roosevelt did continually, government and business would have coexisted in a way that would have produced more balance in wealth distribution and a drastic reduction in unemployment all of which still remains as elusive as ever.

What we are still seeing today is that our government still is not only involved but in collusion with "Big Oil' and other prominent industries. We are also seeing a growing public turning a blind eye to what is actually occurring right under their nose. It really seems pretty strange and pathetic that the public acts so blazay to what is really going on. In every county and state all across the country we are seeing price increases of everything we buy. This in itself should set off a national outcry and yet there has been no noticeable reaction from the public. Questions should arise as to what is causing everything we buy to suddenly increase? Could it be those huge quarterly earnings that keep campaign coffers filled with ready available cash have a hand in the ever widening of the wealth distribution? The few haves amidst the multitudes of the have not's.

We must remember that in 2008 when the most recent financial calamity hit the price of gas rose to over $3.75 per gallon. At that time a national outcry of protest brought attention to the rising cost of fuel. Today, when the price of fuel again is rising faster than a speeding bullet to well over $4.00 per gallon there hasn't been a peep of protest. It is a well known fact that these price increases have a direct influence on the price of everything we buy. From the food we struggle to put on the table to the insurance we pay all have taken a larger chunk out of our measly disposable incomes. When we factor in the current employment opportunities and compare the cost of everything we buy just concludes that their is a very serious flaw in our economy today and the way capitalism is working. Could it be our form of capitalism has rendered the public at large incapable of realizing what is actually going on today. Or are we so apathetic or feel that we are no longer in control of our own destiny and assume that these events are out of our control. Individually there is not much anyone can do. But, collectively their is an awful lot that must be done in order to rescue our economy and save the future for all.

But, when we have Republican leaders in state houses and in Washington openly deny the fact that our economy is in peril when in fact too many Americans are already on life support just is another reminder of how out of touch our elected officials really are. What many are finding today especially when they visit their local grocery store or gas station they automatically come away with sticker shock. An example is just recently in Florida a major supermarket chain sold out to another. Sweetbay turned into WinDixi. When that happened immediately one noticed higher prices on all items.

What is happening not only in Florida but in every state around the country is a swift markup on consumer goods and services. One can only assume a plan so well orchestrated in it's subtlety where certain CEO's in collusion with governmental officials have managed to manipulate the press and deceive the public as to what is really going on. Behind close doors and under the cover of deception the powers that be who spin the wheels that turn the economy have found ways to corner the markets especially energy and that is oil. The price of oil and what we pay at the pump effectively dictates the price of everything else. What our capitalistic system continues to accomplish is nothing more than piracy on the American public. In essence the consumer is literally held hostage to the whims of a select few, the power brokers, Wall Street and even our own elected officials.

The problem at hand is to equalize the playing field between The Capitalist {our modern day Robber Barons] and workers. No longer can the United States afford to have so much disparity in our society, To have as such is only deepening the abyss that morality has fallen into. We must realize that for over 35 years our government has only perpetuated that deepening in the many policies that have been enacted. Only complete unequivocal reform of policies, regulations, sanctions, and treaties with a genuine sense of morality will solve our most elusive problems in our society today.


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