Even at the gym this morning, the conversation was about the evil corporations and how everyone one of them has destroyed the universe. Anger is high. Frustration is off the scales. Fingers are pointing in a clear direction – them!
I drove to the gym in my wife’s Honda, bringing with me a wallet purchased from a major store, an iPhone with AT&T coverage, a Nike shirt from Sports Authority, wearing a pair of Asics from Fleet Feet and my desire to exercise at the gym, a chain called Life Style Fitness. Everything I have experienced from these corporations – the million-dollars ones up to the billion-dollar ones, has made my life easier. I have not experienced them as “evil” or destructive to the country. Quite the contrary.
In fact, I would go so far as to say that 80-90% of corporations (including small businesses) are hard-working, ethical producers who have helped people have a better life. They provide quality services or products, jobs for countless, pay a significant percentage of overall taxes* and improve the lives of many. They contribute. (The 80-90% is my guess based on experience and interactions, as I have never read any statistics or am not aware of any kept in this area.)
Are all corporations ethical and honest? Of course not. For example, there are the Monsantos of the world that are the devil incarnate. The largest corporation in America (and probably the world) is the US government. Few would characterize it as ethical, honest or efficient. Again, that devil incarnate descriptor fits rather snugly here. (Don’t you find it odd that so many of the anti-corporation people are supporters of big government?)
Like everything else, there are some corporations that are exemplary and some that if shut down today, the world would be a better place. Corporations are to blame. . . . but not all corporations and not the full blame.
How many people do you know work hard every day? How many people do you know work hard every day at government jobs (about 40% of the employed are government workers in one form or another)? Or jobs where they have tenure? Various answers here no doubt. Some are diligent, model employees. Others work about 5-6 hours for every 40 they are paid. Still others “mail it in” and collect their check nonetheless. Another piece of the puzzle solved.
47% of Americans do not pay taxes.** A percentage are either physically unable or have issues that prevent them from working. What percentage is this? I would estimate no more than 10%. Again, no legitimate stats are kept for something like this. It would probably cause rioting. Another piece found.
If anger, jealous, class warfare and other emotions were removed from the equation, a much different picture emerges. Some corporations are to blame for things — economic strain, environmental problems, manipulations of the market etc. Some employees are to blame — wasting time which is the equivalent of stealing from their employer, shoddy work, poor production, etc. Some individuals who are capable of producing have found ways of manipulating the system, are also responsible — living “free” for years in the house they foreclosed, excessive spending leading to bankruptcy, living off (stealing from) the government – us, “We the People.” Who picks up these bills?
At the end of the day, blaming others, protesting, complaining and other such acts really accomplish nothing. There are those who will read this statement and similar articles and dismiss it, laugh at it or curse it and continue to wash their hands and blame others. It is easier, sexier and more simple to go to an anti-something rally, instead of finding a job or starting a business.
There are some, albeit it very few, who will read this and wonder, question and take inspired action. They will take on two of life’s hard tasks — looking in the mirror and taking responsibility. It may be difficult. It may be painful. There will be obstacles but the end result for self, family and country make it all worth while.
The former will contribute to the problem. The latter will find solutions.
Which one will you be?
* According to the IRS, the top 10% of earners in 2008 paid 69.94% of all taxes.
** According to the IRS, a 2008 statistic.