Greed. What is greed? According to the New Oxford English Dictionary, “Greed is the intense desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food.” Greed is also one of the seven deadly sins.
Greed is a major problem in today’s world. It is visible in many places, like in the home, at work, in the government, in the banking system, and in the big corporations that make up much of our economy. I’m going to talk about how greed is prevalent in the big corporations though.
According to the Fortune 500 Company, in 1965, Eaton Corporation was ranked 111th in the nation for highest profit, with 559.4 million dollars in revenue, and 32.3 million dollars in profit. Coca-Cola was ranked 68th, with 833.6 million dollars in revenue, and 65.3 million dollars in profit. General motors was ranked 1st, with 16.997 billion dollars in revenue, and 1.7348 billion dollars in profit. Also according to the Fortune 500 Company, in 2005 Eaton Corporation was ranked 227th, but had 9.817 billion dollars in revenue, and a profit of 648 million dollars. Coca-Cola was ranked 92nd, with 21.886 billion dollars in revenue, and 4.847 billion dollars in profit. And General Motors was ranked 3rd, with 193.517 billion dollars in revenue, and 2.805 billion dollars in profit.
You may be saying, “But they all dropped in rank. If they were greedy they all would have climbed, right?” Well, that is true. But you also have to look at how much money they were making in 2005 compared to what they were making in 1965. Eaton increased revenue by seventeen times, and profit by twenty times. Coca-Cola increased revenue by twenty-six times, and profit by seventy-four times. And General Motors increased revenue by eleven times, and doubled profit.
Based on this, you’d think that working men and women would be able to make a decent wage to live off of right? Well you’d be wrong thinking that way. According to Motherjones.com, the increase in real value of the minimum wage since 1990 has been 21%. The increase for cost of living since 1990? Did you guess 67%? Because that’s how much it is. The average yearly income for someone working on minimum wage is $15,080. The average cost of living? It’s thirty-thousand dollars.