One of the latest rounds of political fisticuffs on social media has been over whether or not to boycott Home Depot because of its former CEO's financial support for President Trump. True political believers on both sides have been viciously fighting each other online over it.
This episode in a series of never ending political squabbles is part of a bigger pattern. It's a pattern where most Americans are constantly distracted by the political stupidity coming from both national corporate parties. It keeps us distracted from the real reasons why so many American communities have been hurting for decades. That hurt has been largely caused both national parties accepting money from corporations and their wealthy owners in exchange for preferential laws, regulations, and treatment. Those laws and regulations have allowed corporations and their ultra-rich owners to export vast amounts of wealth out of American communities and away from the hard working Americans who live there.
Outsized corporations came into communities and drove locally owned stores out of business. Home Depot, for example, forced many local hardware and building supply stores out of business. They took that money - money that should have stayed in the local economy - and shipped it off into the bank accounts of 1percenters who live in far off places. They sold cheap foreign goods to undercut local store prices, which contributed to the collapse of American manufacturing. In place of that local economic devastation, outsized corporations "added" a few dozen minimum wage jobs in the communities they ravaged - for which they want to be thanked as "job creators." Some giant corporations and their rich owners advertise that they give millions to charity and want to be thanked, but that is after they took billions out of American communities for themselves.
I believe in capitalism. I believe in a free market system where each person is free to put their own skills and talents to work for the benefit of themselves and their families. That is not what we have now. We don't have a free market system; we have a system where national corporations and their rich owners pay for tax breaks, favorable laws, self-serving regulations, and lesser penalties for breaking laws. We don't have a free market system; we have a system where government sells big corporations ever increasing advantages which take more opportunities and wealth away from the rest of us. We don't have a free market system; we have a system where millions of hard working Americans are denied opportunities to achieve self-sufficiency from the fruits of their own labors because they cannot compete with the advantages bought by big corporations. We do not have a free market system; we have a system where millions of Americans are economically compelled to work multiple low-paying jobs for the benefit of national corporations...and we are told to give thanks to those "job creators." That's not capitalism; that is corporate serfdom and it is tyranny of the 1 percent.
Most of the political nonsense that the national parties and their media outlets feed us only distracts from what is really going on. All of us in the 99 percent are kept distracted by fighting each other over fewer and fewer economic crumbs while the 1 percent keeps reaching into our pockets to take more and more for themselves. What we need is a return to a fair local free market system, one where vibrant local economies are protected from the predatory habits of big corporations. We need fair and free markets where locally owned small businesses can once again be the engines of opportunity for hard working Americans to become the masters of their own economic well-being. We will never even take the first step toward reclaiming that for the 99 percent of Americans who work hard to provide for themselves so long as we eagerly let the political stupidity from both national corporate parties rile us up, keep us distracted, and leap at a chance to fight amongst ourselves.