Friday, November 13, 2015

For Profit

Just so we begin here in the same place. The United States of America is not a country founded on the principles of capitalism. In theory, this is a representative democracy with a federalist system of governance.

We all know we are not operating as a representative democracy these days. We are, in fact, a wholly owned nation under the dehumanizing yoke of runaway capitalism.

'For-Profit' has become an obscene scepter of what the 'free market' might have been in the best of times.

I cite three prime examples: For-Profit Prisons, For-Profit Schools and most horribly For-Profit Hospitals, Nursing Homes and even Hospice.

Prisoners being housed like slaughterhouse animals. Rotted, unsafe food served to inmates. Cruelty and dehumanizing tactics by guards, these are all hallmarks of For-Profit Prisons. In addition, laws are passed that add to the growing U.S. prison population, only to keep the For-Profits in business.

Contributions to anti-marijuana laws come from the tobacco industry, the alcohol beverage industry and for profit prisons. Defending the right not to have equal justice and equal protection under the law but only to increase their corporate bottomline.

For-profit schools are even a bigger ripoff. Federally backed student loan programs are hugely in default because of the predatory enrollments in for-profit colleges and trade schools. I have first-hand experience with these degree mills. There is absolutely zero concern for what is being taught, if students are learning or even if they are participating in classes and doing the work. Students are never failed, degrees are alway awarded and student loan payments are always cashed.

But the most shocking examples come from the medical industries. For-profit nursing homes abuse and neglect elderly patients. Staff are overworked, underpaid and routinely fired for helping the patients. Food is barely about prison grade.

For-Profit Hospice abuse is almost too gross to imagine. In the end stages of life, we should at least expect comfort and care. Medications should be delivered, in particular, pain medication. But more and more investigations are turning up massive patient abuse and neglect.

For-Profit has become a dirty phrase. We have to recognize that corporate decisions that demand ever larger profits must be excluded from certain phases of our society. Leading that list of Non-Profit activities must be hospitals, nursing homes, hospice, schools and prisons.

Greed is not good. In the hands of heartless, soulless people we are trading profits for our humanity.

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