Capitalism is a component of American life that has undeniably taken over societal institutions. Not only has it affected many individuals partaking in any form of capitalism, but it has created a new feeling toward America’s democratic government in which American citizens no longer retain the assurance that everything is equally accessible.
Therefore, the government itself has slowly created an impediment in regards to solidarity within different communities all trying to accomplish the American Dream. Capitalism has taken over many aspects of American life making it extremely difficult to achieve economic prosperity because of the development of unfairly operated systems in the economy. Institutions such as stock markets, college universities, and the media have established such a large portion within the financial aspect of the economy, that it has inconveniently become ‘rigged’ for the reason that gaining profit is their primary objective. The media along with the information it provides for its consumers is no longer authentic or trustworthy in which a majority of the content is designated to attract attention. First off, take into consideration that there are six major corporations that control approximately 90 percent of all media provided in America. According to the Business Insider, these companies which are CBS, GE, Time Warner, Disney, News-Corp, and Viacom accounted for 275.9 billion dollars of revenue in 2010. Although this fact has reached extremes levels of simplicity, it supports the idea that the media is ‘rigged’ and money is its driving force.
The current economy has completely transformed the reasoning behind a constant supply of news reports containing tremendous amounts of arousing information. For example, in an article published by Macalester University, Michael Griffin demonstrates the difference of today’s media in comparison to media during the beginning of the 20th century where “television network leadership believed that providing news was a public service” (Griffin). Michael Griffin, a professor at Macalester University, argues the point that as time progresses, the value of relevant, truthful journalism has increased due to the overproduction of irrelevant news reports. Therefore, within this particular concept arose the indecisive argument as to whether or not ‘rigged’ media should be constrained or should the people interested in reliable journalism subsidize the authors themselves. On the other hand, to further enhance the idea of ‘rigged’ media outlets, in a Ted Talk titled “The Future of News Media Is in Our Hands”, Rickey Bevington provides first-hand accounts of a company depicting a picture to their employees of exactly how they would better attract the audience’s attention. Rickey Bevington, a local tv news producer at a media station in New England, describes the unrealistic depiction of journalism created by colleges and different influential journalist that were a part of her life.
During her speech, she elaborates on her personal experience in the news media in which her boss “wanted to grab more eyeballs because they more eyeballs they could grab, the more expensive advertisement they could sell” (Bevington). Therefore, she easily came to the assumption that her boss “was not particularly concerned with giving people news that could help them”, but instead desired to reach individual monetary goals. The perception of a ‘rigged’ media has pervaded the mentalities of many American citizens in regards to profit in which many have made the assumption that higher levels of education can also be considered ‘rigged’ or too costly.
The cost of attending a college university, which is extremely overpriced, along with additional payments that are necessary for means of life can be financially demoralizing for an adolescent trying to achieve economic prosperity. College tuition, to a certain extent, can be considered ‘rigged’ in a similar fashion to the media when referring to the financial aspect of these institutions. Although both institutions are providing a service, they are rapidly increasing in value which, in turn, has changed their identity from a public good to profitable businesses. Furthermore, this transition of identity is thoroughly displayed in an article published by The New York Times Magazine where they classify “higher education as a fascinating, complex business” (Davidson). Not only has this form of business become extremely successful, but “its pricing dynamics ripple throughout the rest of our economy, in effect determining who will thrive and who will fail” (Davidson). This article is in direct correlation with a Ted Talk titled “A Solution to Student Debts” in America which compares the present version of college tuition to college tuition a few decades ago.
Sajay Samuel, the orator of this speech, indicates his opinion directly to his audience by comparing the indentured servants of the New World to college students in America. In his analogy, a ‘rigged’ education system has generated a total “14 million Americans in suffrage of severe debt for a passage to the new economy” (Samuel). Therefore, students “now owe lenders more than one trillion U.S. dollars” which immediately creates an obstacle towards the broad idea of accomplishing the American dream (Samuel). Lastly, an article published by Forbes incorporates views vastly similar to those of Sajay Samuel and his theory of an overpriced education system. This article specifically supports the argument of how “American higher education has expanded from an elite audience to the mass market” over the past half century (Craig).
Although there are a few institutions that have purposely classified their population as superior high school students, many colleges have accepted a variety of students by lowering their standards which is oftentimes a source of advertisement. In result, the predominance of colleges with escalating acceptance rates have transformed the accessibility of higher education as displayed in the article by Forbes. Once again, the preponderance of attainable education within mass market institutions are generally interested in the surplus of profit instead of the development of young adults in search of a good future. Altogether, the correlation between the media and college universities as well as the stock market all display the simplest forms of a new, ‘rigged’ economy. The stock market has gradually imposed its effect on the economy to an extent where the desire for profit has put a majority of the population to a disadvantage.
The complexity of the stock market allows individuals with more experience and knowledge to accumulate profit much more efficiently. In a lecture given by Brad Katsuyama, he analyzes the stock market and demonstrates how it “systematically disadvantages certain people” especially those “that know the least about the stock market” (Katsuyama). Throughout his lecture, “Illusion of the Stock Market”, he dissects different elements of high frequency trading and how front running the market has ‘rigged’ every facet integrated in the process.
Although, he publicized a counteract to high frequency traders, the complicated intellect that it involves is not easily obtainable for specific communities. Similarly, in an interview televised by Bloomberg, Michael Lewis acknowledges Katsuyama’s claim in which he believes that “the system is riddled with a lot of bad incentives” for anyone who fully understands the stock market (Lewis). According to Mr. Lewis, it is remarkably hard not to believe the ‘rigged’ features of high frequency trading “if someone could have 4,000 trading days without a single loss” (Lewis). Therefore, not only is it obvious that traders located closer to the stock exchange building with faster internet connection are going to succeed, but it demoralizes the core of American democracy as traders across the country experience an unfair trading system.
Furthermore, to even become a considerable contender, traders have to entirely comprehend the trading process in which “the levels of complexity have gone through the roof” (Lewis). Lastly, in an argumentative dialogue between Brad Katsuyama and William O’Brien, Katsuyama disproves O’Brien’s aggressive approach towards the argument accusing him of utilizing the concept of a ‘rigged’ economy as a platform to promote his upcoming business. In this dialogue televised by CNBC, Katsuyama quickly validates his claim solely on the truth that “the view of the market for many is ultimately slower than other faster traders” (Katsuyama). Both Brad Katsuyama and Michael Lewis have revealed, in the simplest form possible, how the state of American democracy is steadily declining as a result of a ‘rigged’ economy. The economy has coalesced with capitalism in a collection of ways and has sadly created an obstacle towards democratic progress in America. In like manner, societal institutions, in particular, are constructing barriers to American solidarity mainly because the aspiration for excess profit has diluted the quality of public services such as the media.
In addition, several embodiments of capitalism have established a permanent divergence between contrasting social classes further affecting the levels of proficiency required to execute the ideal American dream. Therefore, the accumulation of individual corresponding aspects of capitalism have ultimately led to the formation of a ‘rigged’ economy in such a prestigious country.