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Um Mitt: Corporations are Not People Nor Friends....

As Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine nears the end of its second week, most of the world has come together in solidarity behind the bravery of the Ukrainian people. A common realization on the preciousness and precariousness of peace has once again spread across much of the Western hemisphere, an area relatively unravaged by bloody conflict for over 70 years. The outpouring of support, and the welcoming of over one million Ukrainian refugees into neighboring countries has, for the most part, been a heartwarming silver-lining, showing human’s compassion in the face of brutality. Some will rightly point out, that the ugly face of racism has reared its head, even amidst the general empathy on display, manifesting in the unequal treatment of Afro-Ukrainian refugees at the border. More fundamentally, the difference in reception between Ukrainian and Yemeni or Syrian refugees on the global stage has revealed the some of the old hateful fault lines we’ve yet to overcome. Despite these shortcomings, the pro-peace, pro-democracy sentiment has reverberated clearly among the peoples of the world, with countless examples of humanity displaying some of its greatest acts of altruism and bravery. The response of the people to this war unsurprisingly stands in stark contrast with that of corporations. Even as gas prices at the pump rise along with other inflated prices, squeezing the average citizen, the revenues and profits of the world’s largest corporations have continued to rise unabated. In fact, for some companies, like the fossil fuel giants, war has been a windfall! Oil company revenues since last year: Exxon: +57% Chevron: +84% Shell: +49% BP: +45% Corporations profiting off the misery and suffering of others should come as no surprise, especially after two years of a global pandemic with record-breaking corporate profits! While there are many reasons for the inflation facing the global markets, from supply chain issues, to short-term mismatches in demand, it’s clear that businesses are also taking advantage of the confusion to jack-up their prices and profits well beyond what the market “demands.” When Americans are spread so thin, and with real wages falling in relation to inflation, the increasing costs come with real human suffering, and political consequences to boot. Thankfully, the American people, currently see what’s happening and understand who’s to blame:

Americans have not only correctly identified the culprit, but they overwhelmingly want them held accountable:

Unfortunately, corporations lack the empathy and humanity that has been so admirably on display during the war with Ukraine. As we point out each week, the corporate sector and the donor class only the speak the language of short-term profits, not matter the cost or context. If we are to bring the insatiable greed of the oligarchs under control, it won’t be by appealing to their goodwill, but by threatening their pocket books. Accomplishing this will take growing economic solidarity, in a movement that can outlast these greedy corporations. So join us each week on Tuesday as we build the economic cudgel to bring the crisis-profiteers to heel!

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