America trusts the greed scorpion
The Scorpion and the Frog
A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, "How do I know you won't sting me?" The scorpion says, "Because if I do, I will die too."
The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown, but has just enough time to gasp "Why?"
Replies the scorpion: "Its my nature..."
So we get the story today that American corporations at some level have begun to grasp first grade math. And people say we need to reform education! Seems a light went on somewhere that companies who sell things need - drum roll, please - customers! A little late to the game but better late than never (maybe).
It's not just middle-class America that is feeling the crunch of dismal wages and stubborn unemployment levels. Even the corporations that sign the paychecks say workers aren't making enough money.
Sixty-eight percent of the top 100 retail companies in the U.S. -- a group that includes, Walmart, Apple, McDonald's and J.C. Penney -- say the country's stagnant wages pose a major threat to their bottom lines, according to a new report by the Center For American Progress, a left-leaning think tank.
Researchers analyzed the most recent SEC 10-K filings of the largest 100 retailers in the country and found that more than two-thirds of these corporations issued warnings to investors that profits could be hampered by flat wages, high unemployment and low consumer spending. The trend is hammering companies that target high-income customers, like Whole Foods and Dillard's, and those that market to low-income shoppers, like Dollar General and T.J. Maxx, according to the report.
The researchers pointed out that only half as many top 100 retailers identified flat wages as a business risk in 2006, the year before the Great Recession.
"Both corporate America and our relentlessly squeezed middle class are stuck in a vicious cycle of low wages and low demand, an economic crisis that trickle-down solutions can never fix," wrote Brendan V. Duke and Ike Lee, authors of the CAP report.
Guess not every industry can have their endless and relentless greed subsidized by the greatest mandated shift of wealth in history. Even with a thoroughly bought and cowered Congress the laws of physics still apply: suck all the blood out of your victim and your victim dies. Over and over every day I hear people claim that the concept of cause and effect is "negative thinking" and "closed-minded". They claim it's impossible to foresee the consequences of one's actions! In the end, they will share the fate of a cockroach who refuses to move from under an oncoming shoe.
In the meantime, we're stuck living with cockroaches in all their misery. And the cockroaches rule the roost for the moment. Our culture of greed worship has perversed our perceptions of reality. Workers who stand up for their rights are labeled greedy. Greedy CEO's are to be ungrudgingly regarded as "achievers". And generally we don't want to hear we're on the path to ruin and therefore must, gasp, change. We're the good guys - just ask us!
I don't believe it when people say we aren't a democracy. We most certainly are. If it were our wish we could elect honest people to each and every office in the land. Once you stop lying to yourself, no one else can lie to you, either. Simple as that. But if we continue to naively trust in the nature of greed then we are as doomed as the stubborn cockroach who refuses to see the oncoming danger of his position.
Yes, I realize there are all sorts of intellectual and political and other arguments disconnected from reality on how everything is going to be just peachy! People can pretty much convince themselves of anything. But it won't make that shoe any less lethal when your head explodes! History will not be kind to us and will laugh at our ready made excuses we so readily accept now, one idiot congratulating another on the cleverness of his idiocy. This is the bed we have made.