Slavery was one of the most prolific crimes of the rich and an example of when capitalism goes off on the deep end. Slavery was an emotionally, physically, and psychologically violent crime committed by well to do individuals against innocent others who had less influence. Slavery was forced hard labor imposed on other human beings paid a minimum wage of $0.00. The return on investment by owners was hard to ignore.
Getting an abundance of back breaking work done with virtually no cost or benefits to pay out transformed countries involved in the slave trade into economic powerhouses. Exploitation of the poor for a lifetime of free labor turned slave owner individuals, business's, and families into the richest and most politically influential in the country.
The national enterprise of slavery made the trade of humans the most profitable business to be in for hundreds of years. One estimate states that $100 trillion was stolen from the poor for 223 million hours worked of forced labor. A typical kidnapping voyage from Africa to the Americas with 1.5 million people could yield $13 billion (in today's dollars) by selling them as slaves. Merchants involved in the human traffic trade were among the richest people in society. Capitalism goes by the honor system and expects you to morally do what's right but for centuries many people ignored this concept.
The Bernie Madoff scandal is a classic crime of the rich and an example of when capitalism, greed, and crime gets dangerously entangled with each other. Some will stop at nothing to find riches and success even if it means defrauding others and wiping away their life savings. Close to $65 billion was invested over two decades with Madoff from high society individuals and institutional investors who respected Madoff as a well-established and credible financial expert.
Instead of investing the funds in a legitimate manner, Bernie directed a sophisticated Ponzi scheme even fooling the SEC to pay out investors suspiciously consistent returns. Some individuals invested upwards of $100 million of their own money in hopes of getting even richer through Madoff's investments. Investors received steady returns on their principal investments with Madoff only to later find out the entire business was a scam.
Chasing an abundance of things simply for the sake of having more has been the downfall of many. This is a trend that is unlikely to lose momentum now that the younger generation is successfully and relentlessly being programmed through entertainment to love, idolize, and worship money.
This is the ultimate crime of the rich that still affects us to this day. Capitalism in the oil industry began as enterprising refineries worked harmoniously with each other to make sure consumers got their kerosene and petroleum products at a fair price. Then came in Standard Oil headed by John D. Rockefeller who offered bribes to railroads that ship oil to give him a better deal than the other refineries.
With a sudden higher cost of delivery, competing refineries had to raise prices to stay in business while Standard Oil simultaneously lowered their prices to gain substantial market share. Standard Oil continued to drop prices until all the other refineries couldn't keep up anymore and finally went bankrupt. Some refineries even had to sell their operations to Standard Oil.
This new found market position allowed Rockefeller to offer even steeper bribes to the railroads making it impossible for new start-ups to enter into the industry because they would be unable to compete. When there was only one left who now had the power to banish future competition and dictate price to suppliers and consumers, a monopoly was born. Since we live in a capitalistic society Rockefeller had the power to raise the price of oil to whatever price he desired because there was no longer any other refiner to turn to.
This is an example of unchecked economic freedom in capitalism making it possible for one man to put a stranglehold on an entire market vital to consumers and industries everywhere. These capitalistic practices worked out for Rockefeller making him the richest man of a generation. Everyone else to this day suffers needlessly paying exorbitant amounts for a free flowing natural resource gushing non-stop out of the ground. Case studies like these have fueled movements like the sit in Wall Street and city hall protest giving rise to authors who write books out of frustration titled
"The Rich Must Die".
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•Violent crimes targeting the elite threaten to compromise the stranglehold the rich have on society.
•Desperate times call for desperate people to believe The Rich Must Die.
•Will law and order prevail or will the 99% overcome the richest 1%?
•If you have more than the rest, you may already be on The Rich Must Die list.
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