There’s something about massive corporations that just gets our collective hate going. Is it the obscene amounts of money they seem to hoard in nothing more than a pathetically childish way of keeping score over their competition? That is bound to have some influence – who can say they really need half a trillion dollars in their bank account? Even for those who like to keep some cash under the mattress for when the banks eventually collapse, that’s a bit too much.
For most people, a moral case can be made against many of these companies as it’s become painfully obvious the majority simply don’t care about people, be they customers or employees. It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes teaming up with Poirot to identify some glaringly obvious cases of corporate greed not only standing in the way of the public good but also actively going against it.
The bigger you get, the more haters you’re bound to have. In some cases that rule might be unfair, so let us have a look at some of the most hated companies in the world and see if there’s any evidence to support such negative perceptions of their work.
15. Coca-Cola has nine years worth of drinks for you
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more dominating company in its field than Coca-Cola. The title might seem hard to believe at first but it is completely true. At the pace of one drink a day, it would take you a staggering nine years to drink every drink Coca-Cola has to offer.
With a portfolio containing more than 3,000 different beverages, across 500 brands from sodas to energy drinks and soy-based drinks, Coca-Cola’s product offering is a testament to their willingness to have you drinking their stuff every day. But don’t worry, they’ve already removed all traces of cocaine from their drinks. Coca-Cola is cocaine-clean since 1903.
14. United States of Walmart
Walmart has a less than stellar record as a company. From substantiated accusations of paying its workforce below minimum wage and forcing its employees to survive on food stamps, you would think their reputation would have taken a tumble at some point.
You’d be wrong to assume that as Walmart will apparently last forever. Out of every $1 spent in the United States, 8 cents are spent at Walmart. Each week, nearly one-third of Americans will go to Walmart. As morally reprehensible as they can be as a company, they sure can keep people getting their wallets out at their stores – I guess it pays to keep costs down?
13. Facebook Is Keeping Tabs On You Like Big Brother
From a tool designed to help college kids get laid to an international brand recognized by anyone on the planet, Facebook’s rise to power in roughly a decade is the stuff of legends. Its founder’s “particular” personality has been well-documented but the site’s preference for operating behind everyone’s back is interesting, to say the least.
While presenting the company mission with the heart-warming goal of connecting the whole world, Facebook is known for its unilateral approach to data collection and overstepping its user’s privacy. Several reports have emerged of how its buying offline information about its users’ income, assets and debt in addition to all it can collect from its Instagram, Whatsapp and Facebook platforms.
12. Goldman Sachs Crashed The World Economy in 2008
From toppling governments all over the world to infiltrating pretty much every power structure there is in order to secure the infallibility of the bank, Goldman Sachs is as much of an embodiment of evil as one can find in today’s corporate world.
This company’s executive team seems to be a revolving door into the Secretary of the Treasury role which is particularly odd when you consider the latter should be supervising the former. This fact is particularly scary on its own – three of the past seven secretaries of the treasury have been former Goldman Sachs employees. These men actively pursued the policies that crashed the world economy in 2008.
11. JP Morgan Chase Payed Also Responsible For 2008 Economic Crash
As one of the four biggest banks on the planet, JP Morgan Chase will always have a place on this special list. In charge (along with a few other banks) for steering the world into the financial crisis of 2008, JP Morgan Chase had no reservations whatsoever in deceiving the market with crappy mortgage-based products.
When the loans started turning bad, investors lost faith in the banking system, and a housing crisis turned into a financial crisis. JP Morgan Chase was complicit with this way of acting and they’ve had to pay a $13 billion settlement with the US in what was one of the few steps taken in terms of holding banks accountable for their behaviour. Now it’s back to business as usual.
10. United Airlines’ shocking customer service
When this American airline company is not busy aggressively throwing its paying passengers out of their planes, it seems to focus quite a lot of its efforts on a relentless pursuit for the title of the most despicable airline on the planet, which given the aviation industry’s sorry state is quite the achievement.
More than one isolated incident, United Airlines consistently shows its careless treatment of passengers and appalling customer service. They’ve kicked a girl who suffered from autism out of the flight, forced a man who suffered from cerebral palsy to crawl out of the plane and sued a guy for running a website that allowed people to book cheaper flights. Not enough for you? Their former CEO was paid over $30 million as he quit the job during an investigation into corruption charges.
9. Bayer – From Aspirin to Aids
Bayer is one of the top pharma companies in the world, and as such, it is no stranger to controversy. In 1984, a medicine supposed to induce blood clotting was actually infecting people with HIV. In a sensible decision, they ceased to market it and began production of a new, HIV-free medicine. What to do with the excess stock of the old stuff? Sell it in Asia and South America, of course.
Bayer continued producing it as it was cheaper than the previous version while offloading it in the rest of the developing world. Just how many people were directly affected by this? It was around 6,000 in the United States although over a hundred thousand units of the medication made their way to Asia and Argentina after Bayer stopped selling it in America.
8. Rio Tinto – because every mining company needs a private army
Rio Tinto is one of the largest mining companies in the world, providing aluminium, copper, uranium, gold, and diamonds whilst conducting most of its extraction activities in Africa amidst several reports of human rights violations, such as exposing workers to levels of radiation seven times higher than what’s allowed.
In the 1970s, Rio Tinto was exploring illegal uranium mines in Namibia and funnelling the profits to the apartheid government in South Africa, which allowed Rio Tinto to proceed as usual. Just to ensure the smooth running of the operation, Rio Tinto built its own army just to keep the black population from rising up for their rights.
7. Monsanto genetically modified their way to profits
This pesticide manufacturer is best known for having been the first business to genetically modify a seed to be resistant to pesticides and herbicides, with further accusations that these seeds will bear sterile fruit so farmers will have to go back to them for more.
These seeds will be the only thing that will survive in a field that’s been sprayed with Monsanto’s herbicide products, most notably their Roundup solution. With several reports and studies confirming that diets based on genetically modified crops have a higher risk of death than corn-based ones, this disturbing fact has serious implications. Can we even trust the food we buy and eat these days?
6. Siemens and Nazi Germany, a partnership between the private and public sectors
From cars to train systems and from vacuum cleaners to gas chambers, Siemens has an impressive variety in its product range. That’s right, this German conglomerate partnered with the Nazi genocide machine to sort out all the logistical issues that arose with the Holocaust.
Siemens built the group gas chambers that signified the end of so many lives and possibilities at concentration camps, like Auschwitz, while also developing the intricate train systems that led so many Jewish lives into the Nazi death factories. In addition to funding the rise of the Nazi party, it also used Jewish labour from the camps in their 400 factories.
5. Bank of America is officially the worst
This bank is known for having a bad reputation even amongst banks, which is a great start as far as our list is concerned. After years of customer complaints, reports have finally emerged where former employees admit to purposely delaying getting back to customers and even unjustly denying mortgage modifications in order to be able to charge more fees later on, all due to the bank’s instructions.
In a very recent survey based on an analysis of five years of data on regulatory fines, Bank of America has emerged as the worst bank in America based on hundreds of thousands of complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and how these complaints were resolved. They probably don’t care but still, it’s good to know!
4. Halliburton’s Bloody War Profits
By far one of the most hated companies in the world, Halliburton came out as the obvious winner of the Iraq war, and the subsequent mess we still find ourselves in. After the “shock” of finding out Saddam Hussein did not have any weapons of mass destruction, the American-led war coalition left Iraq with unprecedented social disarray and destruction that constituted the perfect breeding ground for ISIS.
You could be forgiven to think that no one came out of that disaster unscathed, but you would ultimately be wrong. Halliburton made over $39 billion from the Iraq war by providing support services such as private security, building infrastructure and food for the troops – all services that was used by the US military. Along with several other companies, Halliburton profited massively from the falsely-induced Iraq conflict and you essentially paid for it.
3. American Cyanamid Co’s repurposing of nerve gas
Most of the pesticides sold by this company to developing nations in the late 1990s had actually been banned in the US due to their links with cancer. How is it possible that the sale even took place? Thanks to a legal technicality, it’s still legal to manufacture and export cancer-inducing pesticides, as long as they’re not being used in the land of the free and home of the brave.
Hundreds of millions of people suffer now as a result of these unbelievable practices but I’d just like to bring your attention to a simple example – the counter pesticide is being made from the same chemicals as the nerve gas used in Nazi gas chambers. This company is alive and selling the same pesticides to countries that now export food back to America. Vicious cycle?
2. Google’s shameful cooperation to stifle freedom of speech
The world’s top search engine has led the rise of technologic companies amidst fairly-substantiated claims of cozying up to political interests when it suits the company, which seems to happen quite a lot. While several companies can be accused of lobbying, it is, unfortunately, a legal activity. Still, why does a company like Google – ranked fifth among all companies in total lobbying expenditures in 2016 – need to have US congressmen in its pocket?
More disturbing are the reports of cooperation with the Chinese Communist Party to restrict the content that Chinese internet users are presented with. This claim involves complying with requests by the Chinese government to monitor and control search results by Chinese IPs, as well as provide Party-approved versions of information on its search results, essentially stifling freedom of speech by engaging in censorship. But hey, at least they have a fun logo which changes to celebrate whichever day it is and that’s really cool of them, right?
1. Apple’s worldwide sweatshop
Yes, iPhones and iPads rule and Macbooks are as awesome and durable – although the price point is not for everyone. Hey, it’s essentially a luxury item right? The products would be even more expensive if Apple wasn’t outsourcing as much of the production and assembly of these products as possible.
Amidst claims of cooperating with the Orwellian surveillance system in the US, rash litigation processes, and dubious tax-dodging tactics among other stellar achievements, the persistent use of sweatshop labour stands out. If Apple took into account employee benefits, vacation time and fair wages, an iPad would cost over $14,000.
The world is the way it is for a reason.
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