|Lucrum fidelitas nullus|
In the past year, the unbridled greed and service of self that characterize U.S. society in the 21st century have become breathtaking in their scope, and nauseating in their depth.
A partial list:
- Between the 2nd quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2011, S&P 500 corporations saw a 45.8% increase in profits; during the same period, hourly wages in the private sector were off by 0.2%. Average weekly earnings saw an increase of 0.6%, simply because civilian employment figures showed a drop of 0.5% and there was more overtime.
- Congressman Paul Ryan's attack "budget" aimed to turn Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security into a sieve instead of a safety net. The fact that his fellow Republicans in the House forced passage of this piece of garbage with no hope of it ever becoming law speaks volumes about who they really work for: There are no corporate tax increases in Ryan's asinine proposal, only cuts to programs that serve the poor and vulnerable. And some jackass in what passes for the press in the U.S. these days called Ryan courageous for it.
- Oil companies are reporting record profits, but House Republicans refused to entertain the idea of eliminating $53 billion in zero-royalty drilling over the next 25 years and $36.5 billion in direct taxpayer subsidies over the next decade. In 2011, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Chevron, and Shell posted a combined $18.2 billion in profits for the first quarter. That's a 40% increase over 2010.
- S&P downgraded the U.S. debt from AAA to AA+, specifically citing the tantrum thrown by Republicans in the House over raising the debt ceiling as a major factor in the move. S&P called the behavior unpredictable. It was treasonous. It was also effectively ignored by the corporate media, conveniently.
- Corporations paying no federal income tax on record-breaking profits received tax refunds totaling billions of dollars.
- In states across the country, the full ramifications of Citizens United were felt as elected officials were bought by corporate "persons" and ALEC-written corporatist legislation was introduced and passed by the ream. Jobs? We don't need no stinking jobs. We need voter suppression/ID measures. We need corporate takeover of essential public services. We need to eliminate public education in all but name in favor of voucher schools so that money can be made, and the Word of the Profit can be spread among the young. We need to sell off the commons to our handlers without bids. We need to bust all unions, starting with the public employees and teachers because we can, followed by the rest as soon as we can draft the right-to-work laws.
It really boils down to the incontrovertible fact that corporations are not people. The only moral imperative a corporation has is to profit, regardless who gets hurt or impoverished in the process. Left entirely to their own devices, corporations attempt to eliminate things that constrain their ability to profit in any way they see fit. Corporations are not people. They are reptilian, and their unrestrained appetites are perhaps the truest and most widespread evil in the world today.
The desire for "freedom of will" in the superlative, metaphysical sense, such as still holds sway, unfortunately, in the minds of the half-educated, the desire to bear the entire and ultimate responsibility for one's actions oneself, and to absolve God, the world, ancestors, chance, and society therefrom, involves nothing less than to be precisely this causa sui, and, with more than Munchausen daring, to pull oneself up into existence by the hair, out of the slough of nothingness.
Friedrich NietzscheBeyond Good and Evil, 21