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FACE OFF: Free market means unchecked nonsense from American corporations

Collin Mims

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Corporations are deeply embedded into American culture to the point where they are even considered to be people by policy makers. Be it McDonald’s, Starbucks or the woefully depressing Walmart, it’s difficult to be anywhere in America without encountering some sort of chain company. But just because it’s common and essential to American capitalism doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that some companies are outright terrible. That being said, let’s have a look at some bad companies and what makes them so, so, so bad.

Let’s start with the magnum opus of Steve Jobs: Apple Inc. There’s a lot of truly wonderful things that Apple did, don’t get me wrong. The iPhone practically revolutionized the design and production of cell phones with it’s sleek design, touch screen and pretty solid phone camera.

Moreover, Mac computers are largely considered to be superb for visual design and art. That being said, while they offered a lot of wonderful aspects for the industry, much of the company has shied away from their innovation in the past few years by creating products that became increasingly less accessible or innovative.

To elaborate on that, Apple Inc. has reached a point where they are more concerned with producing generation after generation of tech without truly improving upon the last one. Because of this, the quality that made Apple products so revolutionary and impressive to begin with has been lost in favor of spitting out inadequate products.

But why would we buy these products if they aren’t as good or reliable as the older models? Well, that’s another distasteful thing about Apple: the company’s products are notorious for breaking down when then next generation comes out.

This is known as planned obsolescence, in which something is designed to need to be replaced within a certain period of time. It’s a nasty tactic that focuses on monetary gain over quality work, which is just repulsive, earning Apple a place on this two-company list.

The other company I despise greatly? Everyone’s favorite shopping site: Amazon. Again, don’t misunderstand me; Amazon supplies an excellent service, providing widespread and convenient shopping, offering resale opportunities to individuals and allowing for writers to publish their deliciously terrible literature (looking at you, Chuck Tingle). That being said, Amazon, in many ways, represents so much of what is detestable about capitalism, primarily regarding income inequality.

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, currently has a net worth of 120.4 billion dollars. Yes, billion. For reference, that is enough money to end American homelessness six times over and still have at least 400 million in pocket change. Yet that money belongs to one person.

In contrast, the average Amazon warehouse worker makes $12.63 an hour, which is still better than minimum wage, mind you, but it’s still short of a livable wage and the warehouse jobs are notoriously taxing on the body. It’s the sort of wealth disparity that contributes to class inequality in America, which is why Amazon takes the second spot on this list. Nice going, Jeff Bezos.

Companies aren’t inherently bad, but it can very easily get out of control in a free market. It’s important that we remain aware and critical of the role of corporations in our policymaking and in our day-to-day lives, before we let any more companies become as loathsome.

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FACE OFF: Free market means unchecked nonsense from American corporations