According to Occupy Wall Streeters, one per cent of the American population controls 40 per cent of the nation’s wealth. Where this number comes from is a bit of a mystery, but it doesn’t really matter. The point is that a very small percentage of people in the U.S. (and Canada) control a large percentage of the wealth.
Why is this so? The following is my opinion on the causes of this situation.
This is happening because we keep giving them our money. We buy their computers, their smartphones, put money into their banks, shop at their brand name stores and use their brand name services. We know darn well that when we buy a product the chances are it is made overseas and therefore does not provide a job to a Canadian. We know darn well that certain coffee outlets are charging people unbelievably high amounts of money for a cup of coffee, making profits that are funnelled into the hands of a few, and yet they remain as popular as ever. We know darn well what the consequences of getting loans are. And yet we do it, willingly. The power still lies in our hands as consumers.
We do not have to be handing over our money to these corporations, but we do, every day, often without giving it a second thought. We could support local businesses, but we know that we can get things cheaper at a big ugly box store and so we go there. Why are we doing this? How much of the money spent at these stores are on things none of us actually need anyway? And each time we buy something we don’t need from one of these places we give it needless cash and power.
A company announces they are putting out a new version of an expensive phone on the market — just a year or so after putting out another new version of the same product — and people line up for hours to get one. Each one of those phones is filled with components built elsewhere, which means the final product ends up in our hands but none of the jobs required to build the thing exist in our country. You can’t purchase goods imported from other countries and then be angry that there are no jobs in Canada or the U.S..
What is the best way to tackle corporate greed? Quit giving corporations your money! Quit giving them power. It doesn’t matter how much the government and corporations are connected if we don’t buy what the corporations are selling. Let’s stop buying from corporate entities and start buying from each other. Without customers, corporations do not exist. Let’s give jobs to our friends, neighbours and relatives. Support each other. Buy local, make local, sell local, consume less, recycle, reuse, barter, trade, grow, produce — stop buying corporate. That’s how you kill corporations, not by sleeping in a park tweeting about how you’re bringing down corporations on your expensive smartphone.
Chris Hearn thinks that if you don’t like corporations you should stop buying their products.