The 5 Most Surprisingly Corrupt Industries in the World (and what you can do about it)

The 5 Most Surprisingly Corrupt Industries in the World (and what you can do about it)by Noah Bonn, Contributor

In my last article, I identified what I see as the 5 most blatantly corrupt industries on the planet, and offered solutions to the disharmony they create.

In the words of Johann Wolfgang van Goethe, however, “there are none more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.“

In most circles it has become well accepted that Banking and Energy are profoundly corrupt industries, but they are seen by many as isolated infections in an otherwise forthright world economy.

The purpose of this article is to address that assumption – to outline 5 of the most glorified, revered industries in the world, and display how they frequently are, in fact, just as corrupt as the Monsantos and Exxon Mobils of the world.

1. Values Investing – Most people assume that the credit crisis we’ve been facing for the last 4 years is entirely the result of foul play by the big banks and Wall Street. While they are, of course, the ones who triggered the ‘recession,’ they were far from the only ones who enabled it. Let’s consider a couple data points:

  • The US money supply (M2) is currently valued at just over 9.8 trillion USD [1].
  • The US Total Debt (Individuals+Firms+Banks+Government) is currently estimated at 57.6 Trillion USD [2].

Take a moment to process that ratio; there is 5.9 times as much debt as there is money in the US economy. No amount of clever budget rearrangement, therefore, can compensate for the fact that there is not enough money to pay off all that debt.

When an individual has a net worth of less than zero, their options are either a) work like a slave, or b) declare bankruptcy. This is the reality of our economic system – we are slaves to it. Thanks to movies like Zeitgeist: Addendum, many people have come to realize the fraudulent nature of the US dollar (aka Federal Reserve Note). Incorrectly, however, most assume that it is entirely the result of fiat mechanics and fractional reserve banking.

While those are, far and away, the greatest determining factors, it is important to understand that they are not the only ones. The very concept of interest-based lending creates the same inherent schism. This includes credit unions, venture capital, and even lending your friend five bucks with interest.

Consider this: when you loan your friend five dollars, the money supply of our economy does not change. It remains exactly the same. The Total Debt, however, increases by the amount of interest being charged on that loan. Any form of interest-based lending, therefore, widens the differential between M2 and Total Debt. This makes us (as a collective) more enslaved to our economic system, and more vulnerable to engineered credit crises such as we’ve recently experienced.

The Solution: invest in getting off the grid. Because money only comes into circulation through interest-based loans, there is no way for us all to become rich together and beat this game. It literally has nothing to do with how hard we collectively work. The only way to overcome “money” is to make it obsolete. Invest in things like growing your own food at home, installing solar panels – things that empower you to survive without the monetary system.

Today, the few can manipulate the masses because we are dependent upon their system for our survival (no money no food, right?). So use what money you have today to make yourself (and eventually others as well) independent from the globalist system. When you have all the food and energy you need in your own back yard, you will not be manipulable.

That is real activism. That is what’s worth investing in.

2. Software- Companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft are often held up as noble examples of progress through capitalism. Rarely, however, are they recognized as organizations whose model for business further compounds our dependency upon a fraudulent monetary system.

Let me explain: It is estimated that Microsoft, Apple, and Google operating systems account for over 96% of Internet usage [7]. Products released by these companies are written with proprietary coding, meaning that the only people who actually have access to the script for this software are people who work for that company. Anyone who freely disseminates that information would be violating intellectual copyright agreements. For the average user, this means that the only way to participate in that area of technological progress is by further involving themselves in a Ponzi-economy. But is that really how it has to be?

The Solution: open-source software. Juxtaposed with proprietary coding, open-source software is just that – software which allows anyone and everyone to access, play with, and improve upon the scripts for that product. In other words, it allows technology to progress, whether money is involved or not.

As an interesting side-note, it is commonly asserted by defenders of our economic model that without monetary incentive, there would be no forward progress in technology. The study of computer software indicates strongly otherwise. In the case of operating systems, Linux has evolved for generations with no big companies involved, simply because people enjoy playing with and improving upon scripts. Microsoft and Apple, on the other hand, have actually had to encrypt their codes to be top-secret, and use the threat of legal persecution to keep the general public from improving upon their software free of charge. Is it possible that modern economists are missing something about what inspires human behavior?

Open Source alternatives include Ubuntu (Linux) as an operating system, Mozilla Firefox as a web browser, LibreOffice for document processing (compatible with Microsoft Office), WordPress for websites and blogging, and many others for almost every application you could think of. They are almost all free to download, and, in my experience, are just as good as the big company’s products. They weigh lighter on your computer’s processing power, as well as on your soul. Try them out and see what you think.

3. Social Media - Similar to software, companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter are  revered as the “best of capitalism,” bringing people together free of charge. However, as anyone who’s looked into the matter knows, that’s not exactly where the story ends. Because all your information is saved for you on “cloud storage,” none of it is really your information. Every “like,” every” tweet,” and every private message you have ever sent (including email), are saved on a hard drive hundreds of miles away, even after you “delete” them. The way these companies turn a profit is by selling your “personal” information to marketing organizations, so that companies can cater advertisements specifically to your demographic.

Contrary to popular opinion, we are not the customers of social media companies. Just think about it – you never pay them a dime. The customers are the advertisers. You are the product.

To most, this seems harmless if a bit unsettling. That is before one realizes the endgame that is planned for these social networks. In the last year, four bills have been proposed to authorize more military intelligence involvement in social media. If one of them passes, it will effectively give the NSA and/or CIA the power to silence dissident free speech based on what it subjectively considers to be a “threat to domestic security.” Their hope is that the world will become dependent on social media like Facebook for all our communications, so that it becomes something that they can control from a centralized structure, with the push of a button.

The Solution: De-centralized social media. If you haven’t looked into this yet, look into it. The front-runner at the moment seems to be a project called Diaspora, designed by four friends from NYU. The concept is to make a Facebook-like entity with no central hub to store information.

Instead, individuals will setup their own “Pods,” which provide cloud info storage to themselves and others. So far this organization has around 40 pods, dispersed randomly around the US, Europe, and South America.

The benefit of this approach, is that there is no bundling of private information to give to marketing companies, because it does not exist in any one central location. Even if the founders suddenly decided to abandon their values and sell out, the information is distributed across too many pods, which they don’t even own to begin with.

And as for the military intelligence agenda, profiling “cyber threats,” becomes near impossible. Sure, if they had one Julian Assange-type individual they wanted to shut down, they could easily locate which pod he operated from and hack into it. But the centralized control center like Facebook would not exist.

4. Science - First of all, let’s not confuse our variables: it is the Science Industry, not the Scientific Method, which I am referring to here. The scientific method is the creative exploration of trial and error. It drives progress and deeper understanding in every area of our lives. The science industry, on the other hand, is largely corporate-funded, scripted research, designed to reinforce a product or practice. Because these two concepts are so commonly associated, many people have an almost religious reverence for science-related businesses and view those who question it to be all but blasphemous.

The point being made here is pretty simple: research that promotes corporate interest gets funded. Research that does not promote corporate interest does not get funded. In fact, the British Medical Journal concluded from a recent informational study that, “Systematic bias favours products which are made by the company funding the research [6].”

Surprised?

Of course, thanks to techniques like peer review and study replication, published scientific work is not likely to be a complete forgery. That being said, because of the bias in funding, our scientific mainstream still creates a very skewed lens through which we interpret reality.

The Missing Ingredient: Intuition. To some people this may sound strange, but it is absolutely essential. Why? Because the number of situations that we could research and collect data on is literally infinite. How do we decide what is worth studying, and what is not?

In today’s world, the answer to that question is money. Whether a study supports a financial interest is largely what determines whether it gets carried out. But should that really be the determining factor?

Intuition is our inner guidance. It tells us which ideas resonate with us, and which are BS. For what it’s worth, I believe that this should be the guiding force for which studies get carried out, and which do not.

Unfortunately, many people have lost touch with their intuitive guidance, and have come to resort instead to finance or authoritative dictatorship as their guide. This point alone does much to elucidate the distortion we see in our world today.

5. Education - This issue is messy, sensitive, and taboo as hell. All the more reason, however, why it needs to be addressed. For that reason, I’ll keep my opinion out of it as much as I can reasonably do, and just share these statistics:

  • A recent informational study by NPR found that US medical schools receive up to 16 percent of their funding directly from pharmaceutical companies [3].
  • The Harvard Business School’s largest private supporter is Citigroup, providing an undisclosed annual donation somewhere in the six-figures [4]. As was done with Pharma-funding of medical schools, informational studies are needed to elucidate the banking interests reinforced through schools of business and economics.
  • Many universities receive the majority of their funding from government programs such as the National Institute of Health. This may seem to address the issue at the surface level, however when we consider the financial lobby involved in government, we realize that special interest bias still exists, if indirectly:
  • According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America spent $18.9 million on public lobbying in 2011 alone [5].
  • The US Chamber of Commerce spent $66.3 million last year to represent the interests of business and banking [5]

It is generally assumed that corporate donations are altruistic in nature, and that scrutiny of them is out of line. What such thinking fails to realize is that corporate donations and not just donations – they are strategically placed investments. At the executive level of any big company, nothing matters beyond the bottom line. So when they donate money to a school, or fund a campaign like “Procter & Gamble presents Thank You, Mom,” unfortunately, it is not simply out of the goodness of their hearts.

Finally, and beyond all that, the very concept underlying school deserves some consideration as well: you are paying someone so that they will tell you what to read. Does that sound a little crazy to anyone besides me?

The Alternative: Un-Schooling. While some educational programs are insightful (and not just indoctrinating), it’s a mistake to ever assume that someone else is responsible for your intellectual growth. I personally made the choice to withdraw from University last fall when I finally acknowledged that I (like 99% of students) had been going to school for the wrong reasons. I wasn’t there because I really believed I was learning anything mind-blowing – I was there because I was afraid not to be there. That’s no way to go through life.

The un-schooling approach simply means picking your own curriculum, rather than having it predetermined for you. Since I have started doing this, I’ve learned exponentially more impactful concepts than I was dealing with in school. I’ve studied metabolic pathways in strength and conditioning, the raw food approach to nutrition, the philosophy of sustainable design, and about how fiat economics really functions – all the last 9 months. In a sentence, it has  transformed the way I see the world - how many college students can really say that?

So am I advocating that everyone needs to drop out of school? No, what I’m saying is that whatever you’re doing – school, work, sports, whatever – just make sure it’s for the right reasons.

Conclusion

Hopefully this article has caused you to re-consider a few of the establishments that you took for granted. If we want to see real change in our world, simply asking the coercive forces to go away will not do it. We have to start with ourselves, and start supporting alternatives to structures that keep us locked into bondage.

It’s easy to look at something like a backyard vegetable garden and say, “this is so small – there’s no way it will make any kind of difference.” But it will. There is a momentum inherent to such small actions that will empower you and others around you keep taking those little steps, until they become bigger steps, and you are running full-bore toward a different type of tomorrow.

You are not a helpless victim of circumstance, you are all-powerful. You can continue with the flow of world right now, or you can generate momentum to create something completely different. In either case, it all starts with one little step.

Sources:
1. http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h6/current/
2. http://www.usdebtclock.org/
3. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4696316
4. http://www.alumni.hbs.edu/giving/corporate-partners/corporate-associate.html
5. http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/top.php?showYear=2011&indexType=s
6. http://www.bmj.com/content/326/7400/1167.full
7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems#Estimates_for_2011

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The original article with additional images can be found HERE. 

Noah Bonn is 21-years-old, born and raised in Seattle, Washington. He is into health, spirituality, and independent media. In his spare time he likes to run, rock-climb, and lift kettlebells. He can be found at his own site NoahBonn.com.

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