As teenagers, before we know it we’re gonna be at the helm of the world’s operations. However, let’s face it: the world is going in a rather stark direction. Global warming, overpopulation, wealth inequality, lack of resources we are currently dependent on, and more are all issues that will have to be dealt with head on within a matter of years, and likely WE will be the ones in power when that time comes. There are a few pre-existing ideas to solve some of these solutions, which is a good thing. However, another major issue that we have today is larger, more oppressive corporations and governments, and most of these solutions involve using them as a tool to fix these issues. My problem with that is exactly what I just mentioned: the fact that these governments and corporations that most people want to use to fix our problems are extraordinarily large, repressive, and usually the source of our issues.
A good example of this is government tax breaks that the United States Federal Government gives to fossil fuels compared to renewable energy. The U.S. Government gives fossil fuels almost 7.5x what they give Renewable Energy in tax breaks (Roberts). Why does the Government do this?
To simply put it, money. The government and corporations have been in cahoots with each other for a long time, most notably in recent history, from the 1970s and onward, and back in the late 19th century during the “Gilded Age”, when industry barons such as John D. Rockefeller and Cornelius Vanderbilt existed. However nowadays, ever since the government put heavy regulations on companies in the 1970s during a slow economic period, large corporations have gained a massive influence over the government to use it as a tool to increase their own benefit, rather than let it harm their profits.
This corporate influence over government is very much to blame for the current dominance of fossil fuels and non-renewable resources even though there is an obscene amount of evidence to back up the fact that they are harmful to the environment and that we are set to run out of them within a matter of years. Government-Business collusion is also is a major player in the wealth inequality problem. Constant tax breaks for the wealthy, economic regulations and deregulations that benefit big business, at the expense of small business and workers are very real things that cause the inequality.
I could go on and on about the problems that come with corporate-government collusion, but I’ve said enough. If you’re more curious about it, I would recommend the book Friendly Fascism by Bertram Gross and some internet research yourself. And don’t even get me started on the government’s disregard of the Bill of Rights and the assault on civil liberties, the $22 trillion debt, and inefficiency in general. But that’s best suited for another article.
So, what should we do to fix these major problems? There’s no exact answer of course (at least not yet) but I’ll tell you what I know is the best way to go about this. Don’t just beg our government or corporate masters to make the change. Take initiative and solve the problem yourself and with your community. If you do this, then the institutions in power will have to follow. As young people, we have so much influence. Want to help deter global warming? gather up some friends to cut down on habits that aren’t good for the environment. Start a social media page or website to get others to do the same. Or maybe start a kickstarter to put solar panels all over your neighborhood. Want to fight income inequality? Use some counter economics. Start or join a worker co-op. Buy as many goods as possible from sites like Letgo and Craigslist. These ideas only scratch the surface. Get creative, and get out there and make an actual difference in this world. It may seem far fetched, but if you put enough hard work into it, you could make your dreams of social change a reality. Countless people have done it throughout history. We can too.
Wonk, New Americas Weekly. “How corporations turned into political beasts.” Business Insider,
Business Insider, 25 Apr. 2015.
Roberts, David. “Friendly policies keep US oil and coal afloat far more than we thought.” Vox,
Vox, 6 Oct. 2017.