America the Corrupt
Corruption is defined in the dictionary as “dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power.” It can no longer be denied that in every area of government and business, present-day America fits this description like a glove. Throw in a decadent culture, and a beaten-down, largely amoral populace, and you have America 2.0.
Our legal system is a laughingstock. I am just starting to write a book about our injustice system, and the statistics and personal stories are stunning. Cops routinely harass innocent motorists or pedestrians (but never threaten gang members, for instance). Prosecutors cling to cases with no real evidence, and push forward to convict those they know aren’t guilty. It’s all about winning under our adversarial system. Juries rubber-stamp dubious cases with guilty verdicts most of the time. And politicized judges rule over the mess like feudal lords, with bias and inconsistency.
Our medical industrial complex, which I worked for during my entire adult life, is worse than anyone outside of it can imagine. Arrogant doctors and uncaring nurses provide patients with a Third World level of care. Big pharma, insurance companies, and wildly overpaid healthcare executives ensure that patients pay outrageous prices for even the smallest things. Insurance companies charge more each year, and cover less. Big pharma’s deadly products can be obtained in other countries for comparative pocket change. And yet even those victimized by this horrific system swallow the industry’s propaganda that it is somehow superior to single-payer systems.
Our media, which we should theoretically rely upon to expose the corruption and tyranny within our decaying society, is essentially controlled by the state. There are no investigative journalists left in this country in the corporate media. What research is done is conducted by people like me, in my books, and in articles like this one, and the many wonderful podcasts and bloggers out there providing alternative views. But too many Americans still scoff at us, and mindlessly trust the proclamations of the talking heads on television.
Big religion, from the ridiculous televangelists who somehow get gullible listeners to send them money, to my Catholic Church that continues to cover up the sexual abuse committed by priests, to the overpaid clergymen of all faiths (most people don’t realize how well paid rabbis are, for example), the corruption is obviously there as well. I’ll pay attention when I hear some of them loudly demanding a year of jubilee.
Professional sports are as orchestrated as anything else in our society. Are we really naive enough to think that businesses that can generate billions every year in gambling would leave all that to chance? Point spreads exist for a reason. The NFL and NBA, especially, are shady beyond reproach. The officials in both those leagues can control the outcomes of games by themselves, simply by calling penalties (or not calling them) at opportune moments.
As I exposed in my book Survival of the Richest, the vaunted marketplace is utterly rigged against the poor and working class, and what’s left of the middle class. If it’s all about the market paying what it can bear, failed CEOs like Carly Fiorina wouldn’t be given $40 million golden umbrellas to go away after being utter failures at their jobs. The big banks and corporations wouldn’t come crawling to the taxpayers for bailouts. Sports team owners wouldn’t threaten to move to another city if the taxpayers didn’t pay for their new stadium. Kind of takes the “risk” out of venture capitalism, doesn’t it? Socialism is only for the wealthy.
If we had true elected leaders “representing” us, they’d look out for the interests of the mass of people, at least once in a while. As the late James Forrestal told Joe McCarthy, before he plummeted to his death from a window at Bethesda Naval Hospital, occasionally they’d make a mistake in our favor. A true statesman, a Mr. Smith gone to Washington, would pop up here or there. The last politician with national power, who appeared to be the least bit interested in doing good, John F. Kennedy, had his head blown off in Dallas.
Even if we had real representatives, as the Iowa caucuses showed once again, the votes aren’t being honestly counted. Half the country doesn’t even want a voter identification required, which would seem to be the only way to ensure that someone doesn’t vote twice, or out of their precinct, or vote for the dead, or vote as non-citizens. “Vote early and often,” as they used to say.
Anyone who has been employed at any large or mid-sized company in America within the past few decades knows just how much hard work, loyalty, and competence matter in the workplace. In “right to work” states like mine, one can be fired for literally any reason. But at least you can’t be forced to join a union. The combination of “conservative” ideology, which puts profits (and executive bonuses) first and foremost, and social justice warrior favoritism and double standards ensure that the cheapest, most pliable, but “diverse” workforce is in place.
The customer is usually wrong in today’s business world. Try to get a company to honor a warranty. How about those “bumper to bumper” car warranties? From my perspective, everything is between the bumpers on a car, but these companies invariably find a way to wiggle out of covering something. It’s hard to blame the low-paid retail employees for not having a great attitude. They aren’t rewarded, no matter how well the company does. But you can bet management is. And ultimately, it’s the consumer who gets screwed. So, take your business elsewhere? And get identical prices, and identical service? Remember, John D. Rockefeller, one of the titans of capitalism, memorably said, “competition is a sin.”
Government is certainly no better than business, and probably worse in most cases. Try getting a government agency on the phone. After surviving the tortuous automated menu system (which all agencies and private businesses now employ, despite heartfelt opposition from the public, in the spirit of Rockefeller-style “competition”), you will be transferred by one rude, uncaring representative to another, if you’re not simply cut off or hung up on.
The mainstream media, including an entertainment industry that features more talentless performers than talented ones, is controlled by a handful of powerful companies. There is no competition, which would please John D. Rockefeller. The films, songs, television shows, and works of art are almost entirely forgettable. McCulture, if you will. Nothing uplifting. No real literature can be published in today’s America. To be fair, there probably aren’t enough literate readers left to appreciate it. We are becoming a cultural wasteland, a burgeoning Idiocracy.
We don’t even have the trappings of a First World nation any more. The infrastructure is like every other part of America 2.0- a gigantic, crumbling, figurative pot hole. But no one addresses it, or has for sixty years. Instead, the nonstop bombings and occupations of other nations continue, regardless of cost, as the wealth of those who are already rich increases, and the poverty of those who are already poor does as well. And the middle is being squeezed out completely. Half of America literally has no wealth. The bottom quarter has a negative net worth.
Everything I write about highlights some kind of corruption, or injustice. Needless to say, I never run out of things to write about. We are drifting listlessly in a sea of corruption. The country is full of naked emperors. And there are no innocent children to point it out.
You can’t leave the people out of this. As I’ve written about before, virtually no one seems to believe in the Golden Rule any more. They may never have believed in it, but as least they pretended to. Now, not only do hardly any people treat others as they wish to be treated, most would like to have those they disagree with fired from their jobs, if not prosecuted.
To begin to clean this mess up, you’d need the biggest vacuum cleaner imaginable. And a massive insertion of honest, competent leaders at all levels of society.