We often rant about how corporations make decisions based on money. That’s easy to pinpoint a scapegoat when looking at it climbing a tower. More difficult is to take the blame ourselves, to evaluate what people are spending, and to fill in the blanks for people as they make their choices to buy things from those corporations. Right now, every word printed by a corporation is tax-deductible as “advertising”. Consumers are taxed before they see the costs of running a government that is always playing catch-up to the corporations, and encouraged to go into debt (tax-deductible interest) to buy houses and fill them with products.
The scapegoat du jour is “capitalism” and its “capitalists”, but in a system where we don’t know the true cost of goods at the decision point (the checkout), all bets are off because any marketing is “good for the economy” and any taxes are “bad for business”. All of those decisions at corporations and now government are based ultimately on the choices we make the purchase point. Nowhere else.
We need all taxes and externalized costs to be brought to the forefront where individual consumers can make informed decisions about ALL products, not just carbon or oil or tobacco. That means sales taxes. High ones.
Nobody is going to intentionally choose non-market based systems anymore. People around the world are habitualised to buy what they want, when they want it. The market is human interaction and choice. Making those choices informed and appropriately costly is the challenge.
Cheap food makes cheap people and broken farmers but rich diplomats and processors. Cheap oil made fast transport and innovation but a warming planet. Cheap chemicals grew bountiful crops and versatile plastics but poison our waters and air.
If you want to fight something, fight “always low prices”. The rich get richer and the rest get poorer because we work for them and buy their cheap stuff. Sales taxes are a lot less regressive than a dead planet will be.