It turns out Gordon Gecko was wrong. Greed is not good. The constant pressure for growth and higher profit has bankrupted us in many ways:
- Health technology and pharmaceutical companies contribute to an obscenely expensive health care system that’s unaffordable to millions.
- Our military-industrial complex drive for higher revenues and profits fuels world conflict and warps our foreign policy.
- The financial and political power of oil companies keeps us dependent on petroleum and the Middle-East.
- Giant media conglomerates control the message and craft it to sustain the status quo and maximize profit.
- The pressure for short-term profits moved the US automakers to produce Escalades and Hummers and now the market is looking to run them down like Biff Tannen gunning for Marty McFly in “Back to the Future.”
- Finally, our financial institutions are teetering because they supplied all of us the crack of cheap credit, but now since they “cut” their product so much, it’s diluted to the point we can no longer get high off the fake financial “reality” it provided.
I can’t say I have a solution to any of this…yet, but we need to start right at the core and address our economic system. I have my doubts whether we can sustain the infinite growth capitalism requires; certainly not at an accelerating pace. On a very basic level, the planet cannot support it, so we need to devise a system that moves us back to more local, sustainable economies and away from giant corporations feeding us Big Bombs, Big Hemi’s, Big Macs, Big Brother on Big Screens, and a Big Gulp to wash down big handfuls of Prozac so we can deal with it all.