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Corporate Globalization Resistance

Money, Power, and Women: Paper on the American Decline in Morality
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American society has been drifting farther towards a society based on material wealth and instant gratification in the form of physical pleasure. However, morality is subjective and one person’s set of moral guidelines may differ from those of another. Universal morality can only be claimed from a religious standpoint and under religious morality it can be said America is in moral decline. American is in moral decline but not because of its lax attitude towards marriage and sex but with the way it treats the impoverished of its society. With the shrinking benefits towards the poor and low standard of wages, America must shift towards a society based on equality and justice rather than wealth and power.
In the United States today over thirty seven million people are living in poverty, about 12.7 percent of the population. The poverty bracket can be expanded to include almost forty eight million people, as the poverty income does not match with the reality of providing necessities for a family of four. The gap in equality of wealth has expanded to the point where the majority of wealth has been concentrated into the top five percent of society. Forty percent of all wealth is owned by the richest one percent of society and fifty percent of all financial wealth is controlled by the richest one percent of society. Since the mid-1970s, the top 1 percent of households has doubled its share of the national wealth. The top 1 percent of U.S. households now has more wealth than the entire bottom 95 percent. Inequality began decreasing during the Great Depression after it reached its peak in 1929 and continued until the 1970s when the gap between rich and poor began rising to match the same concentration of wealth there was pre-Depression. Inequality began decreasing when the government expanded benefits to the poor, decreed a minimum wage, protected unions under the law, and provided various other reforms. More wealth was being handed to the working class, which allowed a large middle class to form over this period. However, he Reagan era turned back the reforms of the New Deal, provided tax breaks for the rich and stagnant real wages for the working class with a minimum wage that did not allow a family to provide for their basic needs. Corporate welfare and tax breaks have created a system where the poorest of society feed the richest, who have well beyond their needs. A society where the wealth is skewed towards such a small section of society while the millions at the bottom struggle for basic necessities cannot be a society based on equality and justice. America is declining in morality as countless are entering into poverty with little benefits and assistance left to help provide for their basic needs. A society that has left the poor stranded with a large disparity in their share of the national income with that of the wealthy can never be a just system.
The United States can be compared to other industrialized countries and shown to be the most uncharitable with the smallest percentage of foreign aid and the weakest welfare state. Only 0.17 percent of the gross national income of the United States is given for foreign aid, the lowest amongst all industrialized nations. Social services provided by the government began to be cut under supply-side economics in the 1980s and government regulation of businesses began to lax. The ability of workers to form unions became increasingly difficult as government power began to side more for defense of the employer’s freedom to exploit than the worker’s freedom to organize and empower itself. Government funding for the poor was transferred to military spending in the form of inflated defense contracts for arms corporations. So while the debate over welfare has traditionally been kept within the bounds of “big government vs. small government”, the matter is over whom public funding should benefit: the rich or the poor. The most vulnerable members of society are depicted as thieves, murderers, and criminals while white-collar criminals sends thousands of people off to kill and die in wars for profit while annually stealing billions more than street criminals. In our society, a man with a gun who sticks up a 7-11 to feed his hungry family receives ten to fifteen years while the CEO of company that profiteers off of the war is seen as a respectable businessman.
The drug trade is a primary example of government’s inclination towards the wealthy in the justice system. The jail sentence for possessing half a kilo of cocaine, or 500 grams, is less than that of somebody caught with fifty grams of crack in his possession. In the government’s “war on drugs”, the typical street dealer was the target of this campaign, not the drug capitalist or the governments that coincide with the interests of warlords who own thousands of acres of cocaine fields. While the drug dealers on the corner were working to attain a sustainable income in an economy with high unemployment and low wages, the landlords and capitalists moving tons of cocaine into the country control the drug trade on a macro level. The purpose of the “war on drugs” was to suppress South American liberation movements against U.S. governments and the domestic population as well. Lower class African American families and communities were shattered as the police cracked down on their neighborhoods. If they could break the back of the working class than worker’s power and organization could be dissembled, which would result in higher profit rates and more oligarchic ownership of the economy. Incarceration rates have climbed since the 1980s with little rise in crime and continued rising through the 90s even when the crime rates fell. Over two million people are in prison in the United States today, the highest incarcerated population of any country in the world. The incarceration rate is 1 in every 138 people, more than five times that in Britain, and 12 times that in Japan. The figures showed that 12.6% of black males in their late 20s are in prison, compared to 3.6% of Hispanics and about 1.7% of whites.
            Arrogance is not only a sin in the Bible and throughout most religions, but the forefront attitude of the U.S. population in its support of its government’s imperial foreign policy. Most Americans view their government as a global police force to control the “irrationalities” of the “Third World” such as terrorism and independence movements. They arrogantly succumb to the overall ideal of colonialism, that these states of “ignorant primitives” could not possible govern themselves but need our “highly advanced knowledge” to progress, and thus we must control them. In old colonial times, the idea that the “white Christian way of life” was superior in socio-economic and cultural terms had been accepted by the masses as pretext for enslaving the “savages” in Africa, Asia, North and South America, and Australia. Slavery and imperial expansion in the “New World” were promoted as positive for they would tame the “uncivilized beasts” and “save the pagans from eternal damnation”. The myth that Africans were jungle animals that lived in trees like monkeys had “proven” slavery had advanced their “culture” and given them a better life was widely believed and still a position taken by neo-Nazis as well as other fascist and racist organizations to this day. So held in faith, this idea, by the white, elitist plantation owners that they had been deeply surprised and offended when escaped slaves and the later “newly-freed slaves” migrated north. They sincerely thought the slaves would be and should be grateful for all that their masters had “done for them” that they had closed their eyes to the injustice and oppression of the most extreme form of slavery in history and their ears to the simple tune of humanity.
            Likewise imperial exploitation was viewed as benefiting to the economies of colonial nations; raising them from tribal life to “civilization”. In current globalization, the system of neoliberalism or neocolonialism is used to enslave the “Third World” population to corporate servitude and provision of cheap resources for “First World” countries as they wallow in extreme poverty; much like classic colonialism but without overt control. The cheerleaders of this system proclaim the same excuse and lie as their predecessors, “We may be paying them extremely low wages but its better than any other job they can get, in fact we’re giving them a higher standard of life”. No different in principle from the arguments for slavery, imperialism, or for that matter, the wars on “Third World” nations such as Iraq. The “white man’s burden” was used to describe nations that the white elite had forcefully underdeveloped for the purpose of vast profit; this was a sort of degradation of these nations’ peoples as lazy, ignorant, beastly, and in need of the “enlightened west” to show them how to prosper or even live a decent life. This is the consensus among mainstream political ideology, not in exact words, but both liberal and conservative agree that the United States should take a parental status in its “Third World” foreign policy.
            In my own subjective view of morality, justice and equality are the foremost values one must take, not “family values” involving sex, homosexuality, and abortion. So in my view, the United States has been on a moral decline for many years as it increasingly neglected and exploited its poor for the further enrichment of the wealthy. The majority of people, workers, blacks, and women, have been at the frontline taking the battering oppression as they were at the frontline of the wars they are sent off to die in for no benefit of their own. The United States must change from its greedy ways before a social explosion occurs that will bring it to its knees.