There are many things going on in our world that drive me bananas, but one of the biggest is corporate greed. I saw a meme on Facebook today that said, “Corporate profits are at a 50-year high while unemployment is also at a 50-year high.” I don’t know if that’s true or what data source was being referenced, but it wouldn’t surprise me. The rich get richer while the middle class and the poor pay the price. It’s not about simple capitalism and entrepreneurship and pursuing/achieving the so-called American dream. It’s mostly about underhanded crap like this:
I hadn’t heard about this before today, but apparently some companies are stopping the traditional issuance of normal paychecks or direct deposits in favor of giving their employees prepaid bank cards. Yeah. Like that prepaid Visa card you got for Christmas that was such a pain in the butt to use, only this is their sole source of income. For them to withdraw cash from the cards at an ATM, they have to pay a bank fee. To use it as a debit card, they have to pay a bank fee. The first guy quoted in the article is paid less than $8 an hour and loses $40-50 every month to bank fees now that a prepaid card is his paycheck. That is CRIMINAL. It takes personal financial freedom out of the hands of the individual; it keeps them from having control of their own money.
Who profits from this? Well, the employers profit, first of all. The banks who back the cards make it worth their while, offering incentives for employers to use this payroll card system so that the employer saves money. And then, obviously, the banks profit on the insane fees that plague the use of the cards, the same banks whose greed largely caused the market crash into our most recent recession. Who loses? The employees, most of them people who make minimum wages or precious little more to begin with.
These enormous corporations – including the big banks – have already demonstrated that they care about nothing more than making more money. They don’t care about the environment; they don’t care about individual people; and they don’t care about our country or our infrastructure or our economy. This is just further evidence of that fact, and it enrages me to think of how many lives have been ruined or lost entirely due to corporate greed. All we can do is keep fighting the good fight, send a message with our dollars, and try as much as possible to buy things and food and services from locally owned companies rather than global mega-corporations. Sometimes it’s more expensive to do this because the little guy can’t compete with the bulk discounts the big guys can offer, but I guarantee the customer service will be better. Even more important, you won’t be supporting the seriously evil corporate entities that will stop at nothing to make another buck. Think about it, and choose your retailers and service providers wisely.