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Why is Big Business Bad For America?

Updated on August 4, 2011

The Economy Will Always Be Bad

No matter what, the economy will always be bad. Sure it can get better or worse, but it never is "good." In the current state of America, there are plenty of reasons why people aren't spending money, but the simple answer is that they don't have money to spend.

The government is run by men and women, who are typically well off, older, white males. So their philosophies and thought processes usually don't fall too far from the way they were brought up; wealthy and fairly easy-going lifestyles. It's run by lawyers, businessmen, and politicians. These are all people who don't do manual labor, at least not regularly. These are people that use words to make a living.

The Middle Class

The middle class simply doesn't exist anymore. You have poor people, and you have rich people. The rich, these days, are old people, who have inherited their fortune from families, and a few young folks who have gotten rich off of the internet (Ex, Facebook). The poor consists of everybody else. Even if a person makes a decent living these days, they are still struggling to make ends meet. Nurses, doctors, police officers, secretaries, and the guy who fills vending machines all are struggling to make an honest living.

The complaint isn't about the amount of money everyone is getting compensated. Sure companies like Walmart (more on them later) will regularly screw over their employees, but for the most part, what people make should be enough for them to rely on. What is happening more and more these days is that large companies are dipping their hands into our paychecks every month, and taking way too much. Let's say a person in their 20's is working a 40-hour a week job at $10 an hour. He or she is making $1,600 a month. We'll break it down.

  • We all know that gas is almost $4 a gallon. If a person fills up once a week with a 10 gallon tank, it's $40 a week- $160 a month.
  • Income Taxes: Depending on where you are, this varies, but you can assume, working a full 40 hours, about $110 will be taken from the government. So $440 a month.
  • The next offender is phone companies. The average phone bill is $70 a month. So now, $670 of our monthly income is gone.
  • Car insurance: Depending on your age, you can spend anywhere from $35 to $200, and even beyond, but we'll go with about $50, leaving us with $720 gone.
  • Health Insurance: Again- it varies, but we'll use $30 as a standard, and that's a pretty low payment. So it's taken out of all four paychecks at $120 a month, - $840 is what we've spent so far.
  • Rent or mortgage: Again, we'll go with a low number here, just for the sake of being fair, but $500. $1340 is gone.
  • Utilities: If you rent, you may not have to pay all of these, but the average electricity bill is $90, and gas is $30 (during the warm seasons) and we'll tack on the $120 which takes us to $1460.

$140 a month to spend for yourself

Yeah, good luck with that. Sure there are ways to lower costs. You can ditch the cell phone, but good luck getting in contact with people, especially if you have a job that requires you to be on call, or if you have a family. You could ditch the car and take public transportation, but that costs money as well, and is extremely inconvenient. You can drop the health insurance and pray that you don't get sick. You can get a roommate to cut some of the expenses for rent and utilities, but if you have a family, it's pretty much out of the question.

True, not everyone makes $10 an hour, but it's becoming more and more clear that the people who DO make so little money are being overlooked when it comes to anything in the world. $10 an hour jobs are the most abundant jobs out there!

Look, the simple solution is that these companies need to get their hands out of our pockets. It's understandable that everything has costs- but your cell phone shouldn't cost nearly 1/4th of your paycheck. For those of us who haven't been in a car accident, car insurance shouldn't be as expensive as it is. It shouldn't cost $90 to be able to have light in your living room, or warm water, or to keep your refrigerator running.

Companies should be battling with each other to keep US as their customer. Have you ever called Verizon's customer service? It's horrible, because they don't care if they lose a customer. They have plenty of others, and you won't put a dent in their income. If you call T-Mobile, however, or Sprint, who have a substantially smaller client base, they will do anything in their power to help you, and keep you as a customer.


We all know Walmart euthanizes smaller companies. Yes, it's a great place to shop, and they have basically everything you will ever need. However, they kill smaller businesses and screw over their employees in the process. First and foremost, they pay minimum wage. We used $10 an hour as an example of someone's paycheck being taken away from them; but that number would be much uglier at $7.35 or whatever the minimum wage is in your area.

We've all heard about how Walmart is so terrible because of what they do to local businesses, but the best way to actually realize it is to educate yourself on what they actually do. The movie to the right actually changed my view of Walmart and explains how they cheat their own employees and drive mom and pop stores out of town. It's also available on Netflix, so I'd highly recommend giving it a view.

This Is Our Life

We are not slaves. We are hard working Americans who deserve to live happy lives. It's time to drop these companies who make a living by taking our money and moving towards companies who are fighting for our business. Switch over to Revol, or another small phone company. Switch over to a smaller, local bank. Shop around for better car insurance prices, and don't settle. If your car breaks down, don't go to Midas, or another major car repair shop, take it to a small, local mechanic, or even, take it to a local vocation school so the students can work on it. We are consumers, and we are going to spend money, but we don't need to have these large companies wreaking havoc on our bank accounts just because they can.


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    • nickshamrock profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      It's funny... I wrote this article 3 months ago, before all of these "Occupy Wall Street" protests began. I'm just happy that others in this country are just as frustrated as I am.

    • Clarke Stevens profile image

      Will Mays 

      7 years ago from North Kingstown, RI, United States

      An interesting perspective on why our economy is so weak, and a spin on 'how the rich get richer.' Big companies definitely have found ways to save costs at the expense of employees. And you know they make the most from their connections with those who run the government. Also, I appreciate that you've offered a solution -- kind of like 'Buy Local.' It makes 'living off the grid' seem like a better option every day.

    • .josh. profile image


      7 years ago

      Very well written and interesting hub, Nick, and absolutely agreed that all would benefit from seeing 'Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price.' Very eye-opening documentary (and partially responsible for why I no longer shop there).

      Certainly, there's a problem with the distribution of wealth in the US (and elsewhere), and there's something fundamentally wrong with a society where people can't afford the basic necessities, but I'm not sure the problem is quite as simple is presented. At the same time, however, you bring up a lot of great points, and certainly give people something to think about.

      Really well done, I enjoyed reading this.


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