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I recently heard a speaker state that publicly-traded companies create no job growth. For every job they add, they take at least one away. He said most of our job growth comes from privately-held companies. I couldn’t find corroborating statistics either way on that, but it made sense to me. By way of example, when companies acquire other companies, it often is to create a net gain of profit via a net loss of jobs. Or when a Walmart comes into a small town and decimates the small-business competition, they replace the existing jobs with fewer, and at lower wages. So I take him at his word.

The reason this is an important statistic for me is because, especially in light of the upcoming national elections, I have been giving a great deal of thought as to what entity or entities have the most oversight and impact on our lives.

I would assume dictatorial governments such as the USSR and fascist Germany exerted the most direct and obvious impact on their citizens’ lives within their country’s culture. Today, in the U.S., it seems pretty clear to me that large corporations have steadily taken over that role.

For instance, corporations such as Google and Microsoft have a great deal of control over what information you see on the internet because they created and control the search engines. Is it better for them to do that than governments? I don’t know the answer to that, I’m just stating an obvious truth.

It’s easy to see some of the other substantive changes that have come due to large corporate influence. They have created virtual holidays (Black Friday and Cyber Monday for example) that are –no surprise– essentially shopping holidays. They have highjacked Christmas and turned it into something that’s all about commerce, and now some of them are even opening up on Thanksgiving to beat the other Black Friday retailers to the punch, trampling on family get-togethers and forcing employees to work instead of be with their families on one of the few days out of the year that it’s supposed to be all about families.

Corporations tell us what we should buy, they control most of what we eat, they tell us what will make us happy, and provide most of the entertainment we see. That’s a lot of control… much more than the government. To some extent I think this is why a lot of people aren’t as concerned about the elections as they used to be… you can elect whomever you want, but since most, if not all, of the national politicians are essentially in the pockets of big business, it really won’t change how our lives are influenced.

None of this is liberal vs. conservative politics, by the way. I think those definitions, other than a few social issues, are going by the wayside. I believe the world has changed so much in the last thirty years that any point of view you developed thirty years ago has become largely irrelevant.

If you agree with any of this, and you really want to vote to make a difference… vote for privately held companies with your purchases. Every purchase is a vote. When you go into a Walmart, you’re voting to keep them in business at the expense of smaller, privately-held companies. That is, of course, your business and your vote. All I’m saying is that you should consider the impact of that vote in regards to the state of this country, our freedoms, and our distribution of wealth when you do so.

You may view all this control and big-corporatism as a good thing… in which case just keep sending your money to all of them. But if you worry about entities that have gained so much money and power that they have essentially taken over control of a huge portion of our lives, perhaps even more so than any dictatorship in history, seek out privately held firms when you’re ready to cast your purchasing vote.

Personally, I try and funnel as many of my purchases through companies like PowerMax that I can. I don’t want entities, especially ones that weren’t elected, telling me what I can and can’t do. I also want this country to prosper, and as the number of transactions sent to publicly traded companies grows exponentially at the expense of privately held ones, it’s easy to see why our job growth has stagnated, and why the top 1% of income share has now reached the levels that led us into the Great Depression. (Wikipedia)

No one else is going to restore balance to this new form of “government,” except the people. And that will largely come from informed voting… the voting with dollars kind of voting. You can debate whether it’s necessary to be concerned by these developments, but you can’t debate the fact that every dollar you spend is a vote, and one that is ultimately more powerful than the votes you cast in political elections.