"Hundreds of billions of dollars are spent every year to control the public mind."
In an era where the world is driven by the profits of multinational corporations that give little regard to the health of the planet and its people, it is hard to know who you can trust. Corporations are perpetually accused of worker and environmental abuses, but the rage towards any given corporation subsides after a short while. The company CEO comes out with a big apology and says that they will fix the problem and they had no idea this was even an issue because they treat all employees fairly and would never condone child labor or dumping toxic sludge into our water. The truth is that many of these corporations do not give a flying fuck. Their bottom line for higher profits each quarter is all they can see. These big corporations have destroyed our environment, our ethics and values and most of all our government. Our congressmen and legislation are bought and paid for.
What is ALEC?
The American Legislative Exchange Council is the first line of defense for nefarious corporate activities. They carry on lavish meetings every year to discuss how to cover up their cost through tricky tax loopholes because they are technically a non-profit. Cue. Eye. Roll. Long story short, ALEC has their nasty boney fingers in all the cookie jars and controls so much of the garbage that comes out of Washington. (lookin' at you, Ted Cruz) Gracias por nada, you jerks. Read more about ALEC, here.
How Do Multinationals Exploit Third World Countries?
These powerful companies choose to establish their factories in developing countries where they know they can pay the cheapest wages and maintain the lowest levels of environmental and worker safety. Many of these countries have very low standards for workers rights and corporate takes mucho advantage. The only reason for this kind of behavior is to get the largest profit margins available while disregarding living human people. They even exploit children in the name of higher profits. Gross. In addition, women are subjected to violence and are ignored when they try to raise their voices. Gross again. To learn more about the fast fashion industry, click here.
The Corporate World and Government
Unfortunately, the lines between these retched companies and our governments have become so blurred over the years that it is hard to tell where decisions made solely for profit meet true government decisions made for the betterment of the people. As many powerful corporations become more and more globalized each day, they tend to take a tighter grasp on influence and policy. ALEC is a great example of how this money, power, and greed has our government in a chokehold. These companies have so much money that they can LITERALLY buy whatever policy will best suit their needs. More often than not, these policies are detrimental to everything except profit. Any company that puts profit over people gets a big fat thumbs down. Yet, we continue to support these companies every day with our purchases.
Corporate World and the Environment
The environment is entirely neglected in the name of profit growth. I mean, who really needs clean air, water or trees. That ish is for the birds, right? WRONG. Big corporations tend to use non-renewable resources, undermining sustainability and putting future generations at risk. Over the years there have even been murders in the name of companies trying to silence environmentalists. It would seem that the companies with the largest wallets and muscles are the ones who end up controlling natural resources, much to the disdain of public interest. Little do these corporations realize that no one will be able to buy their products if there is no planet...
How do we fix it?
Once you start dissecting the information it can be extremely overwhelming, but there are so many small changes and choices you can make on a daily basis that will make a BIG difference. It is important that we vote for government officials who understand the genuine needs of the public. Our voting right is the only way in which we can shackle the hands of powerful, self-centered companies. Voting at the polls is important, but I would argue that voting with our wallets is even more powerful (and you don't have to wait for November). As consumers, we do not appreciate the true power we hold. Every time we make a purchase we are voting for the kind of future we want. So if you are buying that jacket from The Gap, you might as well be saying, "Child labor is totes awesome.' Sorry to be so dire, but it's the effing truth and we need to wake up to it. Let's start the conversation!