Why should Americans avoid corporate-manufactured products?

Posted on January 7, 2011


“Unless you become more watchful in your states and check the spirit of monopoly and thirst for exclusive privileges you will in the end find that… the control over your dearest interests has passed into the hands of these corporations.”  –Andrew Jackson

Corporations hire lobbyists to lobby for bills that will benefit the corporations, even if it isn’t in the People’s best interest. 

Corporations “buy” and control politicians. 

Politicians tend to vote for legislation, even when the People are opposed to it. 

When bills are passed that don’t seem to be of any benefit to the People, there are usually corporations who profit from the passing of the bill. 

News Article:  Lobbyists Rule America

“Multinational corporations do control. They control the politicians. They control the media. They control the pattern of consumption, entertainment, thinking. They’re destroying the planet and laying the foundation for violent outbursts and racial division.”  –Jerry Brown, former California governor

News Article:  Corporations Have Unlimited Lobbying Power

“The press is the hired agent of a monied system, and set up for no other purpose than to tell lies where the interests are involved.”  –Henry Adams, quoted in Derrick Jensen, Remembering, April 1997 draft

News Article:  How Corporations Pass Laws

“Corporations have been enthroned…. An era of corruption in high places will follow and the money power will endeavor to prolong its reign by working on the prejudices of the people…until wealth is aggregated in a few hands…and the Republic is destroyed.”  –Abraham Lincoln, 1865 

Washington no longer listens to “We the People.”  Since writing your congressmen doesn’t seem to work anymore, why not try withholding your dollars from corporations–especially those corporations who spend the most money and influence the most bills (or the most oppressive bills) in Washington.  And while you’re withholding your dollars, instead of writing your congressmen, why not write the corporations?  I believe that we will accomplish more if we write every complaint we have to the corporation(s) who benefit most from the problems in question…..and who lobby the most regarding those problems.

Link:  Top Lobbying Spenders in 2010

In 2010, the top lobbying spenders were:  U.S. Chamber of Commerce, PG&E Corp., General Electric, FedEx Corp., American Medical Association, Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America, Conoco/Phillips, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, American Hospital Association, Boeing Co., Verizon Communications, AARP, National Association of Realtors, AT&T Inc., Northrop Grumman, National Cable & Telecommunications Association, Pfizer Inc., Chevron Corp., National Association of Broadcasters and Exxon Mobil.

When one of JP Morgan’s lawyers advised him about something he was about to do, “I don’t think you can do that legally,” Morgan replied, “I don’t know as I want a lawyer to tell me what I cannot do.  I hire him to tell me how to do what I want to do.”  –Ida M. Tarbell, The Life of Elbert H. Gary: The Story of Steel, 1925, p. 81

So, why should Americans avoid corporate manufactured products?  Because whatever the amount that the corporation profits from your purchase, adds more fuel to the fire in any cause (political, regulatory, moral, etc.) the corporation supports.

If the corporation is pro-healthcare reform, and you’re against it, you have contributed to their cause and lobbying ability when you buy their products!

If the corporation is pro-genetic modification, and you’re against it, you have contributed to their cause and lobbying ability when you buy their products!

If the corporation is pro-choice, and you are pro-life (or vice versa), and you buy their products, you have contributed to their cause and lobbying ability!

For instance, in 2010, some of the Monsanto Company’s lobbying issues consisted of:  Roundup Ready Alfalfa; Roundup Ready Sugarbeets; Roundup Ready Soybeans; Biotech acceptance; Biotech regulationsBiotechnology research; Agriculture Antitrust, Competition, And Related Issues; Agriculture Competiton Enhancement Act of 2009 (entire bill); Agriculture consolidation and competition; All issues related to patent reform; Chinese Generic Glyphosate; Climate Change Legislation; Convention on Biological Diversity; Deferral of Foreign Source Income; Environment Litigation – Lawsuits Involving USDA Approval of Biotech Crops; Issues related to the taxation of foreign earning of U.S. Corporations; Issues related to corporate governance; Mineral Licensing and Royalty Issues; Post- Patent Regulatory Support; USDA Deregulation of Roundup Ready Alfalfa; S. 2149: A Bill to Suspend Temporarily The Duty On Orthotoluidine; S. 1203: Grow Research Opportunities with Taxcredits’ Help Act; H.R. 422: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend the research credit through 2010;  Foreign Agriculture Biotechnology Law and Regulations: Korean Trade, China Trade, Colombia Trade, Japan Trade, Mexico Trade, Brazil Trade, India Trade, Pakistan Trade, Argentina Trade, Paraguay Trade, Chile Trade, EU Trade, Kenya Trade, Australia Trade, Turkey Trade, Ukraine Trade, APEC Trade, TPP Trade, Canada Trade, and Germany Regulations; US WTO Case on EU Biotech Moratorium, etc.

Check out opensecrets.org to keep track of lobbying groups, top issues, top spenders, etc.

So, if you have a problem with frankenfoods, Agent Orange compounds in soybeans, herbicide-absorbing genes in your corn, etc., you might want to take your money where such produce isn’t sold, or grow it yourself, since there seems to be no long-term studies regarding genetically modified foods.  (2) (3)  (Search “GMO”, “genetically modified organisms”, “genetically modified food”, etc.)

I heard on the radio this morning, that CNN reported that vaccines do not cause autism.  Most of us who have spent years, or even months, studying this issue, have every reason to believe that there is a link between the two.  Not being a television watcher, my first question is this:  Who advertises on CNN?  Do phramaceutical companies advertise on CNN?  Do insurance companies advertise on CNN?  Does any company with a relation or affiliation to the American Medical Association advertise on CNN?

I did a quick internet search on startingpage.com using the phrase “vaccines don’t cause autism.”  My top result linked me to an article on parent.com (the home of Parents Magazine), entitled “Health Update:  More Proof That Vaccines Don’t Cause Autism.”  So, I researched the magazine and found that it is published by the Meredith Corporation, who also publish the following magazines:

Better Homes and Gardens
Ladies Home Journal

Family Circle

Ready Made
Traditional Home

Midwest Living

Successful Farming
Ser Padres
Living the Country Life

Diabetic Living

Heart Healthy Living
Beutiful Kitchens

Nature’s Garden
Kitchen and Bath Ideas

Country Gardens

I wonder how many pharmaceutical companies (and other companies who support the industry) advertise in these magazines?! 

“A newspaper must at all times antagonize the selfish interests of that very class which furnishes the larger part of a newspaper’s income… The press in this country is dominated by the wealthy few…that it cannot be depended upon to give the great mass of the people that correct information concerning political, economical and social subjects which it is necessary that the mass of people Shall have in order that they vote…in the best way to protect themselves from the brutal force and chicanery of the ruling and employing classes.”  –E.W. Scripps

“Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power.”  — Benito Mussolini

Why do we continue to listen to corporate-run media (largely owned by just five corporations) which is paid for by corporate advertising dollars?  These corporate advertisers, who rely on TV and magazines to advertise their products, are selling many products that have been found to be dangerous through independent studies and tests.  Those who perform these independent studies/tests either profit little, or not at all, from their claims!

“If monopoly persists, monopoly will always sit at the helm of government. I do not expect monopoly to restrain itself. If there are men in this country big enough to own the government of the United States, they are going to own it.”  –President Woodrow Wilson

Follow the money!  Who has more to lose?  The giant corporation who says _____ won’t harm you, or the advocate, association or magazine who performs an independent study claiming the opposite?  Who will lose more money by the opposite claim being true?  Think about it.  The giant corporation has much more to lose than those who perform the independent study…..and they have much more money with which to battle!

Those who advocate against vaccinations, fluoride, msg, pharmaceutical drugs, aspartame, genetically modified foods, etc., are trying to raise awareness and are often criticized by the corporate owned media, the corporations who manufacture the product in question, and those who watch TV and believe what they hear or read.  Who enjoys being criticized?  Who enjoys being a mockery, a laughing-stock, a joke? 

Anytime you hear a claim about a product, idea or conspiracy–before you dismiss the claim as hogwash, follow the money.  Determine who has more money, power and/or prestige to lose of the claim is found true or untrue.  Then, investigate.  Don’t believe something based on a claim!  Research it for yourself.  Find the facts.  Research the affiliations and corporations with which the individual, company or organization is involved.  Find out what other professionals say.

“Research is digging facts.  Digging facts is as hard a job as mining coal.  It means blowing them out from underground, cutting them, picking them, shoveling them, loading them, pushing them to the surface, weighing them and then turning them loose on the public for fuel — for light and heat.  Facts make a fire which cannot be put out.  To get coal requires miners.  To get facts requires miners too:  fact miners.”  –John Brophy, 1921 United Mine Workers of America Convention, cited by A.V. Krebs

If “boycott” is too strong of a word for you, then simply “avoid” the products manufactured by corporations to which you have moral objections.

Complain to the corporations!  As mentioned in the introduction of this article, this seems to be more of a solution than complaining to your congressmen.  BUT, complain to your congressmen too, and let them know which corporations you have boycotted…..and let them know why!

Get involved with like-minded groups that feel the same way.  Whether you protest, advocate, or simply educate yourself, you are taking a step in the right direction.  Some will tell you, “If you don’t have time, make time!”  For some people, this isn’t possible.  For others, it’s not important enough to make the time.  And still, for others, it simply feels hopeless.  Don’t give up!  WE, THE PEOPLE can make change, if we act together. 

The 2-party system isn’t working.  Both parties are well paid by lobbyists/corporations who promote the bills which benefit them, but do not benefit the People….or in most cases, further regulate and oppress the People..  Forget about Democrats vs. Republicans.  It’s not about that!  The parties do what’s best for the parties’ interests, not what’s best for the People’s interests.  Vote for candidates who believe in the Constititution and liberty.  Don’t vote for those who promote big business, big government and have a track record of promoting such things.

If you have never done so, READ the Constitution.  Study the ideals of our founding fathers.  Find out what liberty really means.  We throw that word around as if it had no meaning, but the concept was serious enough so that our forefathers fought and died for it.  Once this subject matter has been studied, the amount of corruption we see around us becomes so obvious that we tend to be astonished that we didn’t see it before.

As much as humanly possible, try to buy local!  Buy produce at the farmer’s market!  Buy local goods from local or small manufacturers or craftsmen.  Use tried & true manual products with as few moving parts as possible, as opposed to electric gadgets which tend to wear out and break down more quickly. 

If it’s made in China, that means that Americans aren’t fully profiting off of the item.  I know made in China products are cheaper, and I also know that the economy is in shambles, but what is it that you’re buying?  Salt and pepper shakers?  Do they really need replacing?  Can they be bought used at a thrift store instead?  (You’ll definitely want to wash them first, but I would suggest the same for new merchandise as well.)  Perhaps you’re looking for a higher-priced item, such as a lawn mower, or new curtains, etc.  Determine first if you really need a new one, or simply want a new one.  Then, try your best to find an alternative.  Repair, make-do, and if possible (depending on the product) re-design or update the look, as in adding lace to the old curtains, dying an old article of clothing, etc.

If you can’t find it new, try to find it used.  Thrift stores and yard/garage sales have often supplied me with needed items.  It does require a bit of patience, BUT the items for which I’m searching almost always appear when I exercise a little patience.  My most recent examples were a toaster oven and a cast iron dutch oven, both of which retailed for over $50, and both of which were picked up at yard sales for just $5 each.  Yard sales, garage sales, thrift stores, second hand book stores, consignment clothing stores, etc., are all excellent ways to avoid buying new, corporate-made products.  Also, why not borrow books and media from the library instead of purchasing them?  It not only saves you money, but it prevents the corporation from profiting from your purchase.

If you find that you are in need of a manufactured product, and you are unable (or unwilling) to find it used or locally-made, try to improvise.  Did the item break?  Is it repairable?  Can something else be improvised that will perform the same function? 

Whether you stitch your own dish towels, knit your own hats or build a set of book shelves, you are keeping your hard-earned dollars in your pockets and out of the pockets of the corporations!  If you (or somebody else) can make it, then why buy it as a mass-manufactured product?

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, and even before the Great Depression, going back to the infancy of our country, people took pride in practicing thrift.  Over-spending and need for everything to be “brand name” merchandise, is a relatively new phenomenon in our country.  Sure, people bought brand name products a hundred years ago, but the amount of “stuff” that they bought probably doesn’t even equal 5% of what we think we need today.  Shopping has become a disease for many people, and it needs to be stopped.  Who promotes this extravagance?  Why do we feel that we need so much stuff?  Why do we think we need to change our style every season of every year?  Why do we have to have the latest and greatest widget?  Why do you think this is so?  Advertising!  Advertising is the corporation’s secret word for “propaganda.”  Adverisements, originally in newspapers and magazines, told the housewife that she needed certain laundry detergents to get her laundry especially clean, certain refrigerators to keep her food especially cold, specific perfumes to attract a man, and men were lured by after shave, “better” razors, the newest lawn care products, stylish pipes, etc.  Then came radio, and radio advertisments…..then television and cable televison with commercials, informercials, product placements, home shopping network, etc…and then, the internet, with its many ways to advertise.  We are bombarded with so many advertisements today!  We are told what to buy and tempted with “new and improved” products.  We take pride in acquiring these products, and feel that if we don’t, we aren’t “as good” as those who have them.   It’s unnatural and it’s time to stop and start taking pride in THRIFT, rather than man-made products that increase the wealth of corporations and their stock holders! 

Whether you live in an apartment, a duplex or a house, you can grow something!  Whether you grow sprouts, grow micro-greens in your window, have a few potted tomato plants, turn a small patch of yard into a garden, or a turn your entire back yard into a garden, you are saving money and providing quality food for yourself and your family.  In addition, if you buy heirloom seeds or tried & true hybrid seeds, while avoiding GMO seeds, (GMO = genetically modified organisms) you can have a much healthier product than what you can generally find at the grocery store.  And if you grow organically, you will also avoid the pesticides that are used in the factory farming method.

People will not listen until they are ready to listen, but an easier way to get people to listen is to not approach the subject in a conspiratorial or threatening way.   Even though I’m aware of many issues which threaten our liberty today, I still get “turned off” by friends Facebook posts that say things like, “Wake up and pay attention!” or “You’re killing your kids with GMO foods!” or “When are you sheeple going to realize….”  Although such statements are intended to be of the “shock and awe” category, they are not.  They put people on the defensive, upsetting them so that they tend to ignore rather than read your message.  Shock and awe does work, but not when you’re insulting the reader.  For instance, my latest Facebook update, which linked to a Monsanto story, simply said, “Mmmm…  Agent Orange in soybeans!  What will Mansanto think of next?”  Such a statement will interest a reader more than, “You’re killing your kids with Agent Orange!”

Simply state verifiable facts, NOT theories.  Post public queries/questions that may promote others to wonder and investigate with you.  Let people know what you have learned and provide sources.  The more people know, the more people will act and/or spread the word to others. 

Calling something a conspiracy, however, or using such terms as “shadow government,” “corporate elite,” “powers that be,” “banking cartel,” etc., all have conspiratorial connotations that the mass-media has trained us to define as propaganda from the nutty conspiracy theororists.  It doesn’t matter that JFK warned us about a hidden government, or that Eisenhower warned us about the “military industrial complex”, or that Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson and others, have warned us about corporations taking over our country–the fact is, most people don’t know about these warnings and “shut down” as soon as key words are used which they have learned to identify as “crazy talk.” 

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“The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists.”  –J. Edgar Hoover

“I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”   –Thomas Jefferson, 1816

“Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul this unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of today.”  –President Theodore Roosevelt, 1906

“To achieve world government, it is necessary to remove from the minds of men, their individualism, loyalty to family traditions, national patriotism and religious dogmas.” 
–Brock Chisolm, former Director of the World Health Organization

“Mischief springs from the power which the moneyed interest derives from a paper currency which they are able to control, from the multitude of corporations with exclusive privileges… which are employed altogether for their benefit.”  –Andrew Jackson

“If you go back to the time of J.P. Morgan, the world of high finance was completely wholesale. The prestigious investment banks on Wall Street appealed exclusively to large corporations, governments, and to extremely wealthy individuals.”   –Ron Chernow

“The corporations don’t have to lobby the government anymore. They are the government.”  –Jim Hightower

“Private enterprise is ceasing to be free enterprise.  Private enterprise, indeed, became too private.  It became privileged enterprise, not free enterprise.”  –Franklin D. Roosevelt

“We all know that, as things actually are, many of the most influential and most highly remunerated members of the Bar in every center of wealth, make it their special task to work out bold and ingenious schemes by which their wealthy clients, individual or corporate, can evade the laws which were made to regulate, in the interests of the public, the uses of great wealth.”  –T. Roosevelt, 1905, at his Harvard Commencement address

“Let us disappoint the men who would raise themselves upon the ruin of our country.” 
–John Adams

“Thomas Jefferson, the man who wanted an amendment to the Constitution prohibiting monopoly, would be aghast at our billion-dollar corporations. Jefferson, who abolished primogeniture and entail in Virginia in order to prevent monopoly in land, would be appalled by our high percentage of tenancy. Jefferson as the man who dreaded the day when many of our citizens might become landless, would perhaps feel our civilization was trembling on the brink of ruin, if he were to find so many of our people without either land or tools, and subject to the hire and power of distant corporations. If the Jefferson of 1820 could see his name used by men crying `States’ rights!’ in order to protect not individual liberties but corporate property, then he would shudder.”  –Henry A. Wallace, November 17, 1937, former populist U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and Vice-President of the United States

“The power to tax involves the power to destroy.”  –U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall, 1819

“Subject to compensation when compensation is due, the legislature may forbid or restrict any business when it has sufficient force of public opinion behind it.”  –U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., 1926

“Lobbyists are the touts of protected industries.”  –Winston Churchill

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”  –President Dwight Eisenhower, farewell address, Jan. 17, 1961.

“If small business goes, big business does not have any future except to become the economic arm of a totalitarian state.”  –Philip D. Reed, in Money Talks.

The growth of a large business is merely a survival of the fittest, the working out of a law of nature and a law of God… The time was ripe for it. It had to come, though all we saw at the moment was the need to save ourselves from wasteful conditions… The day of combination is here to stay. Individualism has gone, never to return. (John D. Rockefeller, cited in Trachtenberg’s The Incorporation of America).

The freest government if it could exist would not be accepted if the tendency of the laws was to create a rapid accumulation of property in a few hands and to render the great mass of the people dependent. (Daniel Webster, cited in The Monopoly Makers).

Every man is equally entitled to protection by law; but when the laws undertake to add… artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society–the farmers, mechanics, and laborers–who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their government. (President Andrew Jackson, veto of national bank bill, July 10, 1832).

When the streets run with blood, I buy. (Rothschild, quoted in The House of Morgan, p. 13).

As we view the achievements of aggregated capital, we discover the existence of trusts, combinations, and monopolies, while the citizen is struggling far in the rear, or is trampled beneath an iron heel. Corporations, which should be the carefully restrained creatures of the law and the servants of the people, are fast becoming the people’s masters (President Grover Cleveland, 1888, quoted by Hughes, Jonathan, R. T. The Governmental Habit Redux: Economic Controls from Colonial Times to the Present, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1991, p. 112, citing Swisher, Karl Brent, American Constitutional Development, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1954, p. 422).

Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write. (John Adams).

Let them call me a rebel and welcome, I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul. (Thomas Paine, quoted in Rules for Radicals, by Saul Alinsky).

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it. (Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural).

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. (Edmund Burke).

A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance. And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power that knowledge gives. (James Madison).

Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants. (Louis D. Brandeis, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1916-1939, in Other Peoples’ Money and How the Bankers Use It).

The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid “dens of crime” that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails, and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like… the offices of a thoroughly nasty business concern. (C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters).