This is a continuation on a couple of themes that I have been pounding on for the past couple of days. The main theme of sin is going be woven through this.
I would recommend starting out over at Wikipedia (please make a donation) for a quick review of the seven cardinal sins and why they were placed there.....that being done, we can continue onto how here in the US we have really done up the greed and envy.
Greed is the driver of our current problems. The corporations that have defined us as a country for the last one-hundred years are constructs of greed. Nothing more, nothing less. Their sole purpose is to accrue money. Oh, once upon a time, long long ago, they were out to make things that folks wanted to buy. But in the 1990's, that fuckwad Jack Welsh put paid to that nonsense. Currently a corporation is a nothing but means to make its management and shareholders wealthy at the expense of people and the environment.
Now if your goal is to make things that folk want to buy, it is a pretty self-correcting mechanism. If folks don't want to buy, you shrink. What you want is a constant stream of customers coming to your door so that you can make enough to eat every month. You make your stuff well, you become a part of the community, you control yourself, because if you don't, you won't have any work next month and the wife and kids will begin to complain.
But, over the past hundred years, we have moved away from this, we have moved into the desire for money.
Money is an odd thing. Unlike too much food or too much stuff, it is nice and compact and tidy. You really can't see how you can have too much of it. So when you shift from making things to making money, you shift into the realm of greed. You make too much stuff and flood the market. You make crappy stuff because if you have good quality, people don't replace it. You begin to screw your workers, because if you pay them money, then you don't have it. You screw the environment, because being careful where you dump your shit costs money.
The creation of a corporation sends all of this into overdrive. Here you sell pieces of yourself to other folks (put into another context, a whore does the same thing, but she is evil, you are an upright member of the community). Now, these folks who buy into your company are not interested in anything but what their money is buying them. They willfully close their eyes to your actions so that that you can increase their return on investment. Now the gloves are off. The pursuit of "shareholder value" as the first virtue and the lining of your own pockets becomes all important.
Now you start experimenting in usury as this allows good returns.
Damn, those pesky workers are bugging us for more money, why don't we fire them and get some Chinese instead.
You know how the rest of the story plays out.
But the real sad part about this is how many of us bought into the greed with our 401-K and our IRA and our dreams of a golden future. We watched Martha Stewart and we sold our souls and the freedom of our grandchildren for a life of comfort.