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Is Corporate America Ruining America?

Is Corporate America Ruining America?

Remember the American Dream? The land of plenty, the land of opportunity, the land built by the blood, sweat, and tears of small businesses? That vision is fast disappearing in the rearview mirror.
Buzzle Staff
By Linda Orlando

Every person in America, every day, every minute, uses products designed and manufactured by major corporations. There's no way around it. Even if you wanted to use only products provided by small independent businesses, you'd be pretty hard pressed to find a mom-and-pop operation that manufactures light bulbs, or toilet paper. How about grocery bags (paper or plastic), batteries, paper plates, ballpoint pens, asphalt, basketballs, gasoline, and salt? There are billions of things produced by giant corporations that every American simply must use, because there is no other choice.
Obviously those corporations are necessary to keep our economy thriving, and to satisfy the material needs of billions of people worldwide. The products produced by American corporations are the best in the world; my first choice is always to buy American, and I'd never live anywhere else.
America was built from the sweat and toil of small businesses, and many of those small businesses in time developed into corporations, and later giant corporate entities. No problem with that when you're talking about commerce, contributing to the economy, and healthy competition that increases product quality. But our government was supposed to be of the people, by the people, and for the people - but nowadays our country is increasingly being ruled by corporations. They have insidiously weaseled their way into controlling and influencing every single facet of our lives, and most Americans aren't even aware of it.
As for small businesses nowadays, it's an uphill struggle all the way, if the product or service the small business is selling is also being sold by a corporation. Corporate products and services usually aren't nearly as well made or dependable as those provided by small businesses. But because corporations mass-produce them, often from components bought cheaply overseas, they can offer their products for much cheaper prices.
Over the last decade or longer, large corporations that used to sell wholesale only to businesses, have begun to sell directly to consumers, thereby cutting out the middleman altogether. Small businesses don't have a chance reselling products for a profit, if they have to buy those products from the corporation at the same price consumers can get them for directly. But it's not just the small business that suffers - the consumer also suffers. If there's a problem with the product, then the corporation can't or won't provide the quality product support, that a small business owner would provide.
Corporations pad the pockets of our elected officials, after which they no longer represent the people who elected them. Politicians represent the people who pay them the most money. Corporations completely control the media, from the television shows you watch to the radio stations you listen to, the movies you see, the music you buy, and the newspapers you read.
Thanks to giant corporations, advertising has completely infiltrated America and is ruining every single leisure activity we enjoy. Go watch a movie and you'll pay $12 or more just for two [i]matinee[/i] tickets, but then you'll have to sit through eight or ten ads before the movie starts. Ads for cars, cell phones, soft drinks (I'd like to strangle those Fantasias), and even chewing gum and toothbrushes. And then all through the movie, "product placement" is painfully evident.
But the worst corporate infiltration of the media is the news. There is absolutely no network or news channel that is completely objective - every one of them has an agenda, and most of those agendas are orchestrated by corporate America. The 118 people who sit on the boards of directors of America's ten largest media organizations (NY Times, Washington Post, Knight-Ridder, Viacom, etc.) also sit on the boards of 288 major corporations (GE, Disney, Johnson & Johnson, Citigroup, Dun & Bradstreet, etc.). How fair and objective do you think those media organizations can be, if the people running them are also drawing huge paychecks from giant corporations?
There are a few corporations that still exhibit traditional American values and ideals by treating employees fairly, sharing profits with the people who help create them, keeping jobs at home, contributing to local communities, and sticking to their business while keeping their noses out of government. But such corporations are fast becoming a thing of the past. This country was created by the strength and dedication of its people, but unfortunately, now the will of the people to shape it, is being replaced by the will of corporate America.