I don’t really have anything to say this week, so here’s a fun primer on America’s abusive relationship with corporations in the form of a listicle.
1. The time half the country decided the actor Ronald Reagan would make a good president
Yeah yeah, I know we’ve got some Reagan lovers out there. But he’s the first on this list for a reason. Reaganomics, the third biggest prank ever pulled on white people (nobody else fell for it), started the deregulation that led to pretty much everything else on this list. It’s also why your factory job is in China and you’re addicted to painkillers.
2. The time Wall Street decided you could bundle American homeowners’ subprime mortgages into a new product and sell it in completely unregulated markets
This one is funny, because it’s obvious Wall Street was just making up the rules as they went.
I mean yeah, lots of people lost their homes and futures, and no one responsible went to jail, but you’re going to get used to that theme by the end of this list.
As someone who lost nothing in the 2007 financial crash, the entire thing was an entertaining farce from beginning to end.
This is where we learned the phrase “Too Big to Fail,” which is terrifying when you realize they weren’t lying to us and it was actually true. This is also where middle class people playing the stock market learned that the stock market was not meant for middle class people.
3. Citizens United
This case proved that although this future may not be the one we wanted, it’s exactly the one we deserve.
Citizens United allowed corporations to dump unlimited money into influencing political policy, and political advocacy groups could do the same.
Now, when I donate to a candidate, I’m able to spare about fifty bucks. When Koch Industries or whatever George Soros is in charge of wants to donate, they drop a couple hundred million. I shouldn’t have to explain any further why this is a bad for democracy.
4. The time Amazon decided human worth was about $4
Remember when Amazon punished warehouse workers for “idle time” if they took too long going to the bathroom? Remember when this led to warehouse workers peeing in bottles?
The list of creative ways Amazon has bled its workers dry is long. Now, based on my past reader response, I know there are some with little sympathy for the working poor.
They just need to work harder, after all. But at the same time, instead of explaining why Amazon seems to actively try to burn through human bodies, I’ll just invite you spend a week at one of their warehouses.
They’re everywhere after all. You don’t even have to pick a busy season. That only correlates to how quickly you’ll have to find another job with health insurance.
5. The time Silicon Valley built a future where we were the products, then got confused when everyone got mad that their tech empires were ruining our lives
I can list on my hand the number of Silicon Valley Bros that have not used their massive wealth and influence to take complete and utter advantage of their users.
The number is zero.
From Twitter dropping the ball with election meddling, to Facebook selling our identities but still managing to get outsmarted by Cambridge Analytica, there is no end to the blatant manipulations of the tragically inept tech barons.
As a side note, Facebook donated to 47 of the 53 lawmakers questioning Mark Zuckerberg during the Facebook hearings. Ain’t that a bitch.
6. The time the GOP passed the biggest tax cut in history, managing to unilaterally destroy any chance of the middle class had of ever reappearing
I know, both sides are spinning this one pretty hard, so I’m going to have to break down some basic economics for you.
Are you a major corporation that wanted a repeal to alternative minimum taxes? Congratulations, you won!
Are you a small business owner, or perhaps an individual making under two-hundred thousand dollars a year? Go jump off a bridge.
7. The time corporate America stopped caring what happened to your personal information
I’m going to list everyone who had a data breach that resulted in at least one million Americans being compromised: Equifax, Target, AOL, Card Systems Solutions, Citigroup, Home Depot, JP Morgan Chase, Michaels, Monster.com, Yahoo, Bank of America and let’s stop there.
I know this week’s article may seem a bit of a downer, and I don’t mean it to come off that way. At the same time, how often do you have to get kicked in the stomach, America before you’re going to do something? It’s a slow death, and it’s hard to watch.
Colin Roberts is a senior English major. He can be reached at 581-2128 or [email protected]