The culture of American Greed has gotten out of hand.  Trump himself is the poster boy for all things GREED.  Like the robber barons of the last Gilded Age in America, Trump also seems to really enjoy gold plating everything.  I guess the logic back then was everything was “wonderful” and “so prosperous” the wealthy would gold plate parts of their gates to keep the poor masses out and generously allow the poor to join in the “prosperity” by getting to see thin layers of gold as decoration as they walk by.  Meanwhile the reality was inequality was high and most people were not doing financially well (except for the people that could afford to gold plate decorative items).

 There used to be a business culture in this country where employers tried to take care of their employees so that they would work hard to make the company even more profitable.  This also reduced turnover at work and most people felt like they had some security and a future at whatever business or company they worked. There are still a few companies like this left that treat their employees with respect and loyalty, but they tend to be more of the exception than the rule anymore.

Now we have a culture of make everything a corporation and remove the ownership from having to deal directly with their employees.  The new system tries to make everyone completely dispensable and then make everyone fear losing their job so that they work harder, longer, and faster for overall less inflation adjusted pay.  Then, the corporations try to make up for the large amount of turnover by underpaying someone else to constantly do training.

I’m assuming that only caring about profit helps the owners rationalize everything in a complex business down to just one single figure.  I can only imagine that when some people feel they need their 10th yacht just looking at that one figure probably tells them if they can afford that yacht this year or not.

The process of oversimplifying everything down to just a single profit number I guess allows people to not have to consider the larger picture or have any guilt for what they are inflicting on others by being greedy.  Like how many employees had to get food stamps to be able to eat?  Or how many had to sign up for Medicaid (because their employer did everything they could to make sure they didn’t have to pay any type of benefit or fair wage)?    Or how many people went homeless because their wages could not provide them a place to live in?  How many people went without in general or struggled with poverty because their wages were too low?

People immigrated to America under the idea of a fair wage for a hard day’s work. Many wanted to escape a Europe where the aristocracy pushed around and bullied labor because they had all the wealth, resources, and power. America has now become an even more unequal system than what most of our grandparents or great grandparents fled in Europe. America has has an aristocracy but it is without titles. While now Europe has become more progressive and understands that there are a lot of societal ills that exist when inequality becomes too great and the few and the very wealthy take advantage of people that work for a living.

The way I see it is we need to return to some of those older ideals and ensure that America really is a place where someone earns a fair wage for a hard day’s work. We need to write laws and organize so that once again this can be a reality.

Personally, I feel we as a country need to swing hard left now after being subjected to the current policies of the extreme right. We, the masses, need to demand that people are put before corporations. Putting people first also means we stop unnecessarily bombing people and invading other countries simply so that defense contractors can have a record year in profit. We, the masses, need to demand that corporations pay fair wages and their fair share of taxes and benefits and stop trying to unnecessarily and greedily push their employees onto financial assistance to help them earn more profit. That is simply socialism for only the very rich, meaning if you are rich enough already this country will help keep you rich and make you even richer by placing what should be your burden on to other less powerful, poorer people. If we want to talk about making America a better place to live and work again the solution involves making sure we have a system that works for everyone and not just the few.

Chris Madsen