MUHAMMAD: Unchecked Greed Running Wild in the U.S.

Askia Muhammad | 1/8/2014, 3 p.m.
Ken Langone, the billionaire founder of Home Depot, is worried that Pope Francis' recent criticism of the wealthy and capitalism ...
Askia Muhammad

Just look at the wildly popular Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson, whose TV “reality” show is the most popular such program ever, and whose family fortune (including merchandising deals and the like) is worth upwards of $400 million. His recent advice to men on wedded bliss, is that they should marry 15 or 16-year-old girls because when they get any older they become gold diggers.

A video of Robertson preaching has surfaced in which he advises his followers to marry young girls because “They’ll pick your ducks.”  He cautions:  “You wait till they get to be 20 years old ... the only pickin’ that’s gonna take place is your pocket.”

Overwhelmingly, Americans would rather be rich, than smart.

In Orwell’s 1984 he coined the expression “doublethink,” which is when ordinary people simultaneously accept two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct. For example, many on Wall Street still argue: “Greed is good,” despite the fact that their greed caused The Great Recession of 2009.

Exaggerated executive bonuses are rampant despite worker salaries in the dumpster: “Wall Street bailouts,” “Main Street sellouts.” Not enough of us condemn them. Too many of us want to be just like them.

Wal-Mart and McDonald’s for example earn billions of dollars in profits – this after huge, multimillion dollar executive salaries – and yet they pay their front-line workers less than a living wage, forcing the workers to rely on food stamps and other forms of public assistance to support themselves despite working full-time jobs.

I call it galloping greed. And I think it’s gone on way too long.