America; Not a Country, a Business

I watched “Killing Them Softly” a week or two ago. The movie got bad reviews, and I see why. All the right intentions, good cast, just fell short in many ways.

The best part of the movie, comes in the last few lines delivered by Brad Pitt, after killing three people the previous 24 hours and arguing over the pay owed to him.

I’m living in America, and in America, you’re on your own. America’s not a country. It’s just a business.

At some point during the last decade, I think society has become numb to how true this is. Lobbying congress is a multi-million-dollar industry. Corporations are people. PACs dominate unlimited anonymous spending to influence those in power. Companies use tax loopholes to pay pennies on the dollar, if anything at all.

Corporations and retail outlets are light years ahead of where the average consumer understands. Psychologists and lawyers are a stronger presence in marketing than anything else. Our laws are plagued with crafty wording that can be selectively abused, where crude oil is conveniently labeled as “diluted bitumen” so billion dollar companies don’t pay the same taxes, nor are they required to pay to clean up the mess they make. And it doesn’t matter that said company already admitted it was heavy crude.

We continue to spend staggering amounts on wars we can’t win; whether it is the war on drugs, Iraq, Afghanistan, or Terror doesn’t matter. Try to truly grasp those numbers and understand that war is an industry, and friends or family of our elected leaders profit heavily off these wars.

Meanwhile, our country lags in education, has millions in poverty or face hunger, maintains the biggest disparity in distributed wealth, and imprisons more people than any other country.

Our country is a business, and profit trumps all else. Until that changes, we are doomed to failure.

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