Thursday, October 13, 2011

Whose job is it anyway?

Anyone who knows me will certainly agree that I can be a bit, how shall I put it, pedantic. People using words incorrectly drive me up a wall. (Having just written that I've virtually guaranteed that there will be a heavy sprinkling of typos, grammar mistakes and misspellings in this poost(sic)). 

Like most other politically-aware people I've been watching the growing protests around the country with interest and fascination. Never mind that the genesis point is, literally, at the other end of my subway stop on the way to work. And while it's hard to disagree with aims of a stronger economy, more fair wealth distribution and a better life for all Americans I do have a bone to pick with some of the key talking points of many of the spokeshumans. Do me a favor and read to the end of the post before reacting. I think you'll be surprised. 

I keep hearing complaints that corporations aren't looking out for the people or that they don't have the interests of the population in mind. (First of all, Citizens United notwithstanding, corporations don't have minds, but I digress.) The speakers there are absolutely correct. Because corporations aren't supposed to care about people, or the environment, or goodness or even cute and fuzzy bunnies. Corporations sole purpose in existence (I almost wrote "purpose in life". Curse you Citizens United!) is profit. End of story. Businesses are a money-making entity. That's it. They're not supposed to do anything but reward their owners with a shower of cash. 

So, whose job is it to watch out for citizens? It's ok. I'll wait for you to come up with your answer.

No. No I won't. If you don't know this you're not paying attention. 

That's the job of the government. It's even in the charter, otherwise known as the Constitution. Read it, if you dare, especially the part about protecting us from enemies "foreign and domestic". Asking corporations to keep you safe is like expecting a gun to heal a paper cut. Can't do it. Won't do it. Shouldn't do it. That's why we have the FDA, EPA, FAA, NIH, ATF, etc. They protect you. 

So stop shouting about the big bad companies who aren't playing nicely. They're not supposed to. That's not their job. Find the ones who are asleep at the wheel and kick them awake. 

Using the wrong tool for the job is a dumb thing to do: it's counterproductive, wasteful and just makes you look absurdly silly.