Crucifying America in the name of corporate interests

Unfettered Capitalism turns America’s cities and towns into Sacrifice zones.

Justin Yun, Writer

The American Dream was stolen by corporations who polluted rivers, abandoned factories and stripped a strong and proud working class of their unions and livelihood.


In April 2014, the city of Flint, Mich. switched its water supply from the Detroit water system to the contaminated Flint River in efforts to save money. Once recognized as an industrious hub of the American working class is now a dilapidated city plagued with an unsolved water crisis. What has happened in Flint indicates deeper problems afflicting towns and cities nationwide and warns all citizens to realize the violence cultivated by unfettered capitalism, corruption and the plethora of symptoms incurred by post-industrial decay.

The Governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, failed to address the water crisis on multiple occasions. Snyder’s administration failed to ensure the safety of Flint because of their commitment to apply the corporate business model into public administration. Flint was once a booming powerhouse for the automotive industry in the mid-twentieth century. Now, it suffers the same fate of many industrial cities in decline, where remaining companies export jobs overseas in the pursuit of cheap labor.

Flint, while wracked with major corruption and environmental issues, is certainly not an exclusive titleholder of America’s economic woes. Joe Mozingo writes in the L.A. Times about San Bernardino, “…once a blue-collar town with a solid middle class, has become the poorest city of its size in the state and a distillation of America’s urban woes.”


The decaying factories of Detroit, Mich. and Camden, N.J. are also evidence of the devastation created when companies fail to bargain with stakeholders, the workers and their communities. The widespread destruction of the white working class and their economic security cultivated the typical symptoms of urban decay and corporate-induced environmental destruction. Public infrastructure deteriorates, schools are boarded up, rivers become polluted with industrial waste and desperate workers turn to drugs, alcohol and suicide as a form of escape.

The list continues with Beattyville, KY., where the median household income is $14,871; communities struggle with poverty and addiction to painkillers after abandonment by coal companies.  


Towns surrounding the coal fields of West Virginia are constantly exposed to the erosion and toxic chemical created by coal companies. These large companies remove mountaintops with industrial explosive and lacerate coal seams with draglines to excavate the last bit of hydrocarbons left in the Earth. Like the resources extracted from the Appalachian mountains, human lives are commodified and marginalized for corporate profit.

In Pine Ridge, S.D. the average male life expectancy is 48, the single worst life expectancy rate in the Western Hemisphere outside of Haiti. Similar circumstances exist on Indian reservations, where communities like the Navajo territory in New Mexico became victims of radiation from 40 years of unregulated uranium mining.

Cities and towns like Flint, Detroit, Camden, Beattyville and Pine Ridge exemplify a few of towns and cities marginalized and abandoned by corporate America and corrupt government officials. What happened in Flint is not an anomaly or freak accident. The manufactured disaster by a corrupt state bureaucracy is a reminder of the slow yet painful crucifixion of America’s working class.

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