In God We Trust Dollar Bills Spiral Down

Ireland: Yet Another Aside…

In God We Trust Dollar Bills Spiral DownA banker reminded me recently that capitalism creates more wealth than any other economic system. It just creates it very unevenly.

I think that it also treats disenfranchised people with little to no kindness at all–harkening back to that whole notion of “survival of the fittest.” And as jobs have been outsourced abroad to those willing to work for wages well below what a typical American can sustain in the average American market, wage earning capacity is dropping to precipitous levels. I suspect that, rather than passing along cost savings to consumers, corporate execs have enhanced their own wealth aggregation with corporate jets, fat pensions and bonuses, etc.

I worry that the capitalist machinery of this nation has lost its moral compass, and the situation will only get worse. As markets explode in Asia, the fact that they are drying up here in the USA is of little concern to corporate America who sees a new cow fat for the slaughter house. Is it possible that, in time, America will in fact become the largest third world nation on earth as people lose their homes, their jobs, their spirit, their influence on democratic government, their voice, their access to news and critical information…

While in Ireland I noticed local villages took a very dim view of corporate ownership. “Buy local!” the signs read.

When you know the face of the wo/man who made/purchased the product or provided the service, it’s more difficult to take advantage of her/him. You have an ancient social contract with them, as old as “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Corporations have mastered the art of hiding their faces, have become inaccessible and unaccountable for their egregious conduct, are perpetuating a growing divide between those who have more than they will ever need and those who need just to survive.

I’m paying far more attention to my own purchasing habits. I want to “buy local” more than I want to support big box impersonal corporations whose first allegiance is to the bottom line. Doing so generally costs me a little more, but is this the price for taking better care of people, of attending to community?