It isn’t too often that I produce a rant like this, but after recently coming across some startling data, I was too appalled to sit here and do nothing.

Anyone familiar with my website knows that there is no love lost between me and cubicles, or giant corporations for that matter. After working in one for eight years before I began vagabonding, I know first hand the cold, soulless drive they all possess to make more money at the expense of humanity.

Even being a former victim, I still threw up a little in my mouth after researching the following numbers. Have I become too jaded or has the world lost its mind?

You read and I welcome your opinion:

The Research

I recently came across an article detailing how my local University of Kentucky had raised US $1 million dollars for Haiti relief — not bad for a small university in a relatively broke state.

This prompted me to go out and see what other universities and companies had donated…but what I found was an article on the Huffington Post disclosing how much money big companies had donated to the relief effort.

Banks

  • Fifth Third Bancorp: $100,000
  • US Bank: $100,000 + match employee donations
  • Visa: $200,000
  • Wells Fargo: $100,000

Yes, you are reading those zeros correctly. All the other banks such as Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs donated just $1 million dollars — the same as my local little university.

These are the same tyrants, that despite Obama’s best sword rattling and ridiculous slaps on their wrists, still continue to give bonuses much larger than any of the donations you see above.

But wait, it gets even better!

Other Giant Corporations

  • Coca-Cola: $1 million
  • Sprint: $50,000 ($1.5 Billion spent on advertising last year)
  • Wal-Mart: $600,000
  • Google: $1 million (the same Google with a revenue of $23.65 billion, stock price of $531 a share, and profit margin of 27%)
  • McDonalds: $1 million  (the CEO earns $12.32 million per year)
  • Microsoft: $1.25 million (once the richest company in the world based on cash reserves)
  • Walt Disney: $100,000 (the CEO earns $21.34 million per year)
  • Cigna: $50,000  (a giant health insurance provider)

The list goes on with very little improvement. I am not naive enough to believe that corporations in America have the ability or own the responsibility to fix every disaster that happens to every developing country.

But to think that a company with the sizes and resources of Walt Disney or Wal-Mart could only muster enough interest to give a portion of what one university’s basketball team could raise is frightening.

For a comparison, here are the salaries of the CEOs for some of the companies above:

  • Coca Cola / Muhtar Kent: $6.35 million
  • Sprint / Daniel Hesse: $5.39 million
  • McDonalds / James Skinner: $12.32 million
  • Walt Disney / Robert Iger: $21.34 million

Simply fascinating. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, and a dollar there goes quite a long way for relief effort. Just a wild guess, but the kids in Haiti would probably notice that dollar a lot more than someone making $20 million a year plus stock compensation.

People wonder why I now preach not to give the best years of your life to corporations.

If these guys can throw the equivalent of spare change at one of the largest humanitarian disasters of our time, how long do you think it would take them to help you out the door with a boot when cheaper overseas labor comes along?

In Closing:

If you found these numbers to be as disgusting as I did, share this with friends — this is public-domain knowledge and helping educate others might bring some awareness to just how deadly the cubicle can be.

Go check out www.thecorporation.com for a chilling documentary about just why and how these guys can think like that.

Sources:

Advertising budgets

Forbes

Huffington Post article