Saturday, April 01, 2017

16.6 - The love of profit is the root of all economic evil

The love of profit is the root of all economic evil

Because that's the focus for them. That's the deal for them. That's the whole game for them: a little more profit, a few more bucks, even if - maybe especially if - those bucks can be squeezed out of the lowest-paid workers, the politically and economically weakest workers, the ones most desperate for work, the ones who out of necessity will go along with and put up with whatever is inflicted on them.

I said it a year and a-half ago: The pursuit of profit is the baseline cause of economic injustice. It is the baseline cause of income inequality, the baseline cause of poverty, the baseline cause of unemployment, the baseline cause of homelessness, the baseline cause of hunger.

The pursuit of profit does not allow for the common good, it does not allow for the advancement or the benefit of the community as a whole, it does not allow for "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few - or the one." In fact, the pursuit of profit declares the opposite: not even the needs, but the desires of the one outweigh the needs of all the rest.

That is the way they think. That is what the corporate elite, the 1%, the economic powers of our nation, the Masters of the Universe, however you refer to them, this is how they really think. They hold that profit is not only its own reward, it is its own justification, and that everything else, including ethics and the law, must fall before it.

THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU! They never have and they never will. You are just a tool for their gain, a means to their end.

Profit itself is not evil. Recall that the statement from the Bible is not "money is the root of all evil," but "the love of money is the root of all evil." In a similar way, profit is not the root of inequality, poverty, and hunger, but the pursuit of profit, where making profit is itself the goal, is the root of inequality, poverty, and hunger; is destructive; is evil.

Consider the example of the so-called "New Detroit." That's a nickname Alabama has been trying on ever since 1997 when a Mercedes-Benz assembly line opened near Tuscaloosa, followed by Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai opening Alabama plants of their own.

With them came the auto parts makers. Alabama's burgeoning auto parts industry employs 26,000 workers, who in 2016 earned $1.3 billion in wages. It seemed like the relief the nation's 5th-poorest state had been dreaming of.

But Bloomberg News looked at records of OSHA - the Occupational Safety and Health Administration - which told of the human cost involved. The companies would make promises of delivery schedules impossible to meet and then demand the employees make good on those promises, forcing them to work insanely long hours, as much as 12 hours a day, six or seven days a week, for months on end, sometimes demanding they work on dangerous machinery for which they had had no training, in utter disregard for their health and welfare.

Hourly pay is low, turnover is high, and safety is an afterthought. In fact, safety violations often were ignored because it was cheaper to ignore the warnings and pay the fine than to fix the problem; proft was more important than the lives and safety of the employees.

As a result, quoting the article,
OSHA records document burning flesh, crushed limbs, dismembered body parts, and a flailing fall into a vat of acid. The files read like Upton Sinclair, or even Dickens.
Adam Wolfsberger, a former manager at a temp agency that supplied workers to one of the parts manufacturers, said the companies "treated people like interchangeable parts."

Which is to be expected because that's all they are, that's all you are, to the bosses: interchangeable parts. Wear one out then get another one cheap.

We now live in a national economy where inequality has grown steadily over the past four presidents; indeed it has grown steadily since the 1970s.

We live in a national economy where after eight years of supposed recovery, poverty is still higher than it was in 2009 and in fact higher than almost every given year since at least 1981.

We live in a national economy where the typical CEO makes 276 times as much as the typical worker. As recently as about 1965, it was only 20 times as much. And believe it of not, that 276 times is an improvement: Around the year 2000, it was 376 times as much.

We live in a national economy where real median household income has gone up just 5.5% since 1989.

And we live in a world economy where in 2010, just 43 people owned as much wealth as half of the world's population - and where in 2017 that number has dropped to just eight. Eight people - all men - now own as much wealth as half the world's population. That is the world we live in.

They do not care about you and they will not care about you. All they care about is "more." And they do not care about the price you have to pay for them to get it.

We need to realize that we are on our own, that the bosses and politicos will only respond when, how, and to the degree we make them respond, and we must stand up for ourselves because they will not stand up for us.

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