The Death of American Values...?

Despite our divided political leanings, the majority of Americans share the same basic values and ideals. We all want to be able to work and be compensated fairly. We all want a work and life balance because spending time with our families and friends is not only desirable but necessary. We want to be able to go to the doctor for checkups and care so that we can remain healthy in body and mind without going bankrupt. We want our children to be able to get the education necessary to make them competitive and independent in the job market of tomorrow.

The only difference between the liberal and conservative-minded among us is the road in which we reach these ideals. Conservative individuals think that less government oversight and the free market will grant us access to these ideals while liberal individuals have a general distrust of the free market and believe that government oversight is necessary.

While both viewpoints are valid, looking closer one can see that the free market already has much more of an influence than we realize. Big business is driven by profit (value) and the biggest hurdle that most corporations have to overcome is government interference with their bottom line. However, large corporations have eroded the objectivity and power of the US Federal government through years of corrupt campaign financing practices. This erosion of proper oversight has influenced policy in favor of corporate value (profit) over the values of the general population.  The latest tax reform from 2018 is a prime example.

If we can move past partisan politics then we have a real opportunity for lasting change. Instead of relying solely on our government to uphold core American values, we also need to hold businesses responsible for doing the same. Are these corporations investing in their workers with fair pay, health insurance, tolerable work hours and retirement options?  Are they socially responsible for our communities through charity or outreach programs? Are they utilizing green practices so our communities and those around the world remain pristine? As consumers and laborers we give these corporations the time and money that makes their CEOs and shareholders wealthy. So it's only fair and wise of us to ask: What are they doing for us?

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