Many Things In Our Society Shouldn’t Be “For Profit”

for-profitI’m sure this article will get plenty of “you’re a socialist” and “communist” comments from right-wingers, but I don’t really care.  Especially when these “insults” come from people who can’t even define the terms they’re using to insult me.

But I’ve long maintained that certain areas of our lives shouldn’t be “for profit.”  Now by that I don’t mean that these specific institutions can’t make money, pay their employees well and provide solid benefits.  But I don’t believe everything in this country should be a corporate controlled “for profit” revenue generating machine.

For example – banking.  Banks should provide a service.  That’s it.  Banks like J.P. Morgan Chase shouldn’t be making $18 billion in profits.  Again, I’m not saying they can’t make money to provide their services, pay their employees a decent wage and provide solid benefits – but $18 billion in income from a company that provides a few basic services?  Come on.

Insurance is another.  Insurance is an essential item for most Americans in many facets of our lives.  Be it health, car, home – most Americans need insurance in several different forms.  But why the hell should companies be making massive profits in an industry where they promise to provide a service for people, then do everything possible to not provide the service their customers paid for?  I once went to an interview for Farmers Insurance where the guy conducting the interviews told everyone that their job wasn’t to find ways to cover people, but to find ways to not cover them.

Think about it.  When an insurance company operates, its profit is derived from not paying out money on claims.  That means every single time someone files a claim to the company they’re paying to insure them when disaster strikes, that company is actually doing everything possible to not pay out because not paying is better for profits.  It also means that insurance policies are often worded in such a way that it gives these companies loopholes to find ways to not pay out when claims are filed.

School is another thing that shouldn’t be “for profit.”  Why the hell should schools be making a profit by providing an education?  Schools can still pay their professors, staff, administrators, deans and all their employees a decent wage without operating like a company that’s trying to squeeze as much money from its students as possible.

You can add hospitals to the list too. Why should hospitals be operating “for profit”?  When someone’s life is on the line, I don’t think the quality or cost of their care should be based on what’s best for that hospital’s profits.  This also trickles out into the cost of health insurance.  Hospitals milk insurance companies for as much as they can and that expense is then passed on people who purchase health insurance.  The access to, and quality of, health care shouldn’t be based on how much we can pay or how much profit can be made from it.

There are several other services that I could have included but I didn’t want this to be too long.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not against companies making money.   Notice these are service industries I’ve listed.  Services that are crucial for most Americans.  Crucial services that many of these companies are draining the American people dry by extracting as much money from all of us for the sake of growing their profits.

And while I’m all for companies making money, I just don’t believe everything in this world should be based on a “for profit” system.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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