Everything is a Lie in Corporate America

REI was the last straw for me

Everything is a Lie in Corporate America
Photo by Toomas Tartes / Unsplash

When it comes to worker’s rights I swing left, very left. After watching my father and mother work themselves to the bone for pennies and then seeing the generation after me barely scraping by, Unions and Worker’s Rights are a huge thing for me. If you asked me if I supported Unions and the right to organize a few decades ago, I’d say no. That was when I was toeing the MBA line, the corporate line.

The “maximize shareholder wealth” line.

Not anymore.

Uncontrolled and unchecked capitalism is cancer. It’s a disease that’s killing people, our planet, and our quality of life.

I moved to New Mexico back in the early 90s. I got my first job as a civil engineer and looked forward to earning a living and being on my own. I loved hiking and camping and New Mexico is a paradise for outdoor lovers. I made a good salary and was able to afford some quality gear for the first time ever.

I joined the only location of REI in Albuquerque and spent top dollar for great equipment. I became a long-time member and supporter of them. Their gear and return policy are top-notch. The customer representatives were knowledgeable and helpful.

Who remembers the carefully placed free REI shoutout in the movie “Wild?” I can’t find the spot in the movie but Cheryl Strayed is on a pay phone with them and is so thankful that they’ll take her boots back that she’ll never go to another outdoor store again.

Who remembers “We’re Closing on Black Friday” and their “Get Outside” marketing campaign? I loved it all! I believed they were doing the right thing and focusing on being better than the rest of Corporate America.

Now REI is union-busting their Cleveland Ohio location. They’re trying to stop the Unionizing wave that’s sweeping the United States, all so they can keep. Their carefully crafted brand and image are shattered in my book. Shattered.


REI was a great company, now it just exploits its workers and tries to sell you a dream.

The corporations are striking back. Tech is laying off thousands of workers, some of whom have been there for decades at places like Google or Microsoft. It’s done so callously, that they get locked out of their accounts and get a call to say “You’re laid off!”

After record-breaking profits and productivity for these tech giants and a lot of other companies, they just didn’t like all the freedom the workers got from working remotely or that they had competitive salaries.

Who cares that eggs cost $6 a dozen now, you’re laid off because we’re restructuring.

Restructuring is a code word for hiring your replacement for the same job and more for half your salary. Oh, and they have to commute to our office so we can monitor them.

How about this shit? The World Economic Forum unveiled a worker monitoring system that shocks the workers if they start to daydream. What. The. Actual. Fuck.

Hello Monkey Worker, get in your cage and peel bananas…faster.


We need to rise up and destroy this march to a new serfdom.

Did you ever play Monopoly? I’m sure you did. Did you ever realize that to win you have to amass all the wealth so that other players can play anymore? That’s what’s happening right now but in real life. People can't get healthcare and food. They can’t get housing and quality education.

Meanwhile, corporations tell us to consume more. We’re told that consumption is good, make more babies so they can become obedient workers and consume more in the future. All the while they exploit workers and destroy the earth.

We need to STOP and FIGHT.

We need to stop playing their game. Yes, we’ll need money to live in this society for now, but how about opting out? How about bartering again?

I’d recommend living frugally but many people are already there unwillingly. The generations after mine are already suffering from low pay and low prospects that they’re opting out. They’re moving into vans, they’re cohabiting far more than ever before.

My favorite solution is zero population growth. Stop having kids and lower that birth rate. I can hear the pronatalists and religious assholes freaking out, but you know what? I welcome a world with 200 million humans.

I want fewer humans on this planet because we’ve fucked up paradise. We evolved into these highly intelligent apes that are destroying this planet so that we can enrich a handful of apes at the top of an imaginary social structure.

We could be eating figs and having orgies, but no. REI and the rest of corporate America had to exploit their workers.

They got away with it for too long. Not anymore.