That’s the catch cry from millions of investors all over the world who are looking in dismay at the situation with Wall Street and the escalating price of oil.
But how did this happen? Why are stocks falling? After all, many companies are making mega bucks, so why is this not helping?
The truth is, the very people who invest on the markets are the ones who are causing it to fail.
Greed was good or so they said in the 1980s. It didn’t matter how you made it, as long as you earned the money – and lots of it!
Companies, in their lust for even bigger profits, slashed staff numbers by the billions, all over the world – especially in ‘first world’ countries. They realized that a person in a ‘developing country’ could do the same job and would demand much less pay. There was no ethics or morality surrounding the decision – it was purely motivated by greed.
So, the cycle was: Company makes profit, company wants more profit, company lays of staff in its founding country and hires people in a third world nation. The business continues to make even more money by cost cutting and other heartless measures and the bosses get higher and higher salaries for themselves. As long as the profits kept coming, the stock holders were happy.
Then the unimaginable happened!
The people who had been laid off couldn’t find new, well paid employment and they had no money left at the end of the week. With less available funds, these guys just quit spending. They didn’t buy the products from the big greedy corporations because they couldn’t afford to do so.
Oh what a calamity!
Then the stock market got jittery.
What’s that, you say?
The big corporations are not making as much profit this year? How could that be? We better ditch their stock and find another company to invest in – one which is still making mega dollars each year.
Oh no. How could you investors be so fickle?
Why are you deserting us?
What posses you to be so greedy?
Hmm. I wonder where they learned those ideals?
In the meantime, the price of everything we need to survive as human beings on this planet is continuously going up.
The oil companies are making billions of dollars profit and yet the price of oil is still being manipulated so they can make more.
Those who invest in oil drive the price up year after year.
Each summer they say “Goodness, we didn’t expect everyone in the Northern Hemisphere to travel and since there is such a demand for oil at this time, we must profit from this and tell the ‘consumers’ that it’s their fault for wanting so much of this product.”
Each winter they say “Goodness, we see that everyone is using more oil for their heating, we must profit from this and put the price up even more.”
So, each year the price of oil goes up further – pushed by unbridled greed.
But wait! What’s this? The people are fighting back?
What are they doing? They’re making hybrid cars and finding new sources of energy! How dare they do that!
Now, I may have tried to jest about the situation, but the reality is that the very people who speculated on the price of all our human needs are the very ones who have priced themselves (and us) out of the market place.
These big businesses and speculators are kind of terrorists.
Just think about it.
What do terrorists do?
They hold us to ransom and demand a big payout.
They put fear into us and threaten to take away our liberties.
They are bullies.
They are mean.
They make us afraid.
They undermine our ability to live in peace.
So, if these guys are terrorists, can we fight back?
Now it’s time to arm ourselves – not with weapons but with the power of numbers!
Sheer numbers of people, who say “We won’t take it any more!We CAN change this reality.”
Sheer numbers of ordinary folks who have had enough of the greed, of the inequity, or the immorality, of the oppression, can – and MUST – take a stand!
There are over six billion people on this planet and till now we’ve let others have all the power and all the say. We have just been tossed about like small ships on a rough sea.
Well, no more!
Unless – and until – we stand up and say, “We are going to find new, more ethical, caring, responsible ways to live”, we will always be downtrodden.
This is the 21st century, people!
We are educated and smart.
We know there has to be a better way to live and it’s up to us to find it.
If we don’t do this, we will always be beholden to a few greedy people who seize power and make us subservient to their ways.
There has to be a better way.
There IS a better way!
This is “The Employment Loop of Madness“
A. Corporations get rich by giving the majority of us low-paying jobs. We have little money – and what we do have is eroded by ever increasing taxes and higher prices for the necessities. We go into debt just to stay alive.
B. Since we’re poor, we can no longer afford to buy as many of their products, thus corporations make less profit and have to find other ways to cut costs. This means the retrenchment of thousands more regular folks.
C. When we lose our jobs, we may only be able to find lower paying, part time or casual positions. Now we have hardly any money available.
D. Since we have no spare cash, we cease buying. If we don’t spend, the corporations sell less and make less profit. To appease their stockholders they cost cut yet again, put prices up and …. Yes, you guessed it ….. They cut even more jobs!
Oh what a vicious cycle.
But you know what?
When there are so few people left with disposable income, these greedy, self-centered bunch of multi-national corporations and their shareholders find that you cannot continuously “bite the hand that feeds you” because sooner or later you will also be bitten!
There is a new language which has sprung up around the current system of economics and in recent times many new words have become commonplace in our world.
Politicians, corporations and the media use these frequently.
I call this “consumer-speak.” In a moment you’ll see why.
·Consumers = People (Oh how I hate being called a “consumer”.) I’m a person with feelings and not just some nameless percentage of your profit margin!
·Downsizing = We lose jobs.
·Restructuring = Big business makes more money. Our needs get lost in the scramble.
·Economic Market = The uneven monetary system on which our world is run.
·The Economy = How well corporations say they’re doing. This has little to do with the standard of living for the rest of us.
·Materialism = Shop till you drop and this will make you happy. (I say “Really?”)
·Voters = Those who must be pacified with temporary bribes – until the political party gets elected or re-elected and goes back to appeasing the lobbyists.
·Economic Reform = Policies to enhance the power of corporations at the expense of everyone else.
·Privatization = Selling off the very things all people need to survive, such as water, power and the right to produce seeds, plants or food crops, so big businesses can own these and have a legal right to increase the price of supply and decrease the efficiency and reliability of the goods or service.
·Supply and Demand = the more demand for a product, the higher the price. The lower the demand, the lower the price.
We should all be saying, “Stop hiding the truth behind words and quit lumping us into categories.”
So, what’s the answer to the falling stock market?
If we regular folks just sit and wait till the whole thing collapses, we will be in a heap of trouble.
Perhaps it’s time to start building a new infrastructure and an alternative economic system – one based around micro-economics and community businesses and a system which encompasses fairness and equality for all men, women and children.
Let’s not wait.
Let’s do it today and then we won’t merely be small ships on a rough sea – instead we will be an armada of ships making for smooth sailing to our peaceful destination.