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commentary on the social consequences of the greed of global capitalism

Copyright ©  1999 Ian C. Purdie. All Rights Reserved.



at the local level or even a national level but especially the international level and; particularly the social costs involved as a consequence of the greed of global capitalism.

Rampant financial gains at the cost of social justice, where ethics and decency are most often trampled in the dirt.

Consider this - the unscrupulous:

A local factory puts forward a plan for reconstruction. This plan was not brought about by the company being under any commercial pressure or for being in any financial distress. In fact the company is a rosy picture of financial health. The company enjoys record profits and the wider local community reflects this prosperity.

The plan was simply formulated because senior management had recently negotiated fresh personal contracts which include very, very substantial bonuses for profit improvement to the benefit of the new shareholder which happens to now be an anonymous overseas corporation. The company's sales are exclusively within the country.

There is no prospect of an export market. There are only minimal prospects for sales expansion at present, but additional product lines following quality research and development are a very real probability.

The company currently employs 2,400 people and it is the lynchpin underlying the economic well being of the entire locality which has a population of 15,000 people.

In fact the only people in the company's employ who do not live within the local community are the senior executives under contract. The area is considered too "down-market" for their tastes.

After a careful review of the company's purchasing, where it is found all the raw material and services are resourced locally, it is decided a saving of $8 million can be made by switching a large portion of purchasing from local suppliers to overseas sources.

Immediately following this the company prunes the work force by 400 people saving a further $12 million. The remaining 2,000 employees are told further redundencies will certainly follow.

Now the company's prima-face profit has improved by $20 million, but 25% of this sum must first be distributed among senior executives under the profit sharing scheme, leaving a $15 million improvement in profit before tax (but wait for it - there are ways to avoid tax because of the bonus of switching to overseas sourcing of material).

The overseas shareholder is ecstatic. They want more of this stuff. We'll teach you all about social justice!

Better yet, the already substantial salaries of the executives have now quadrupled. This is ethical. All 12 senior executives benefit by this largesse. Each is now a bona-fide millionaire.

With 400 employees "retrenched", the remaining 2,000 employees are fearful of losing their jobs, many now work 10 hour days daily instead of the previous 8 hours. Some even find it necessary to come in for unpaid work on Saturdays merely to keep up.  The inner souls of the employees are slowly being crushed. Work related accidents caused by work place fatigue begin to climb.

The local community has been devastated both economically and socially. This is social justice at it's finest and; all at the hands of global capitalism. A total of nearly $20 million has initially been withdrawn from the small community. Many local suppliers and associated businesses are forced to either close or shed staff. This of course has a domino effect on subsidiary suppliers such as local grocers and similar small businesses and suppliers.

The 12 senior executives relocate residences again to newer upmarket areas befitting their new found social status.

The government is faced with the double whammy of the loss of income tax on the incomes of the 1,156 now unemployed people and the profits those other small businesses formerly contributed AND additionally now has the burden of providing income support in the form of unemployment benefits to 1,156 people.

Overall, the cost to the government is estimated at $10 million in income tax revenue loss plus a further $8 million expenditure in unemployment benefits now being paid.

No tax was ever paid on the $5 million the executives received nor the additional $15 million the company's shareholder received. (THAT'S CALLED CREATIVE TAX-PLANNING).

Due to the downturn in business 3 of the 4 banks close their branches in the community.

Police resources in the community are stretched to breaking point owing to an upsurge in domestic disputes as well as an increase in petty crime from dispirited juveniles. Divorce rates and marital breakups rise to alarming levels as people try to cope with unprecedented personal pressures. The now distant, yet faceless banks further increase social pressure by beginning a regime of forcing people from their homes owing to arrears in mortgage payments. The local property market totally collapses.

The 12 executives and their families holiday abroad in the best places this year.

However Santa can't afford to come to many of our little community of battlers this year but social welfare organisations are run off their feet trying to cope with the demand.

Distant drug dealers smell a ripe opportunity.

The executives, before leaving for their overseas holidays over the christmas break announce on christmas eve that a further 400 people will be retrenched in the new year.

Suicides rise. A christmas of despair..........


Why does this happen?.

I expect it is because of ongoing rapacious greed by a small minority. The above scenario, whilst no doubt over dramatic, is endlessly repeated worldwide each day.

What I find eternally hard to come to grips with is why, as a wider community, either locally, nationally or internationally we allow our lives, our prosperity, even our inner well being to be dictated to by the predatations of a literal handful of people who in the name of pure greed are totally devoid of morality, social responsibility and social justice?.

This type of person all too often rises to their position of influence not by skill, talent or merit, but simply because they are born predatory mongrels with a probable corresponding early education from the School for Mongrels.

They are fawned over by politicians and media alike because of their oppulence and high profile. The community is encouraged to worship at the alter of their successes or as I would say, excesses.

Greed followed by envy.

Won't you please also worhip the great god of "materialism".

When faced with commercial problems relating to business, rather than attacking the root cause of a problem they will inevitably tinker with the symptom. Usually this leads to them trotting out their marketing spin doctors to lie and deceive all and sundry.

Intriguingly they never "create" or "build" anything valuable or enduring in their lives, they are simply "wreckers and spoilers". They all too frequently prey upon and misuse the labours, skills, talents and creative powers of countless others. They are pure opportunists driven by rat cunning.

None of this type of person have ever been known to mortgage the house, the wife and the kids to create a new business from scratch. To create or build something really worthwhile, to create employment opportunities for others and prosperity for all.

Why do we allow this to happen?.

I expect because we are so stupid we simply tolerate it. We don't see the big picture until it's too late. Then again you have to see through an awful lot of lies and deception.

Ah!. I be a most dangerous man. A man with a thought, an idea and a conscious.


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Copyright ©  1999 Ian C. Purdie. All Rights Reserved.
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Created:26th July, 1999 and Revised: 29th October, 1999