California’s Drought Issue and Nestle

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Nestle is an international organization that boasts millions in profits from different products, one of them being bottled water. The focus of this piece will center on the drought occurring in California, United States and how Nestle is causing further damage. The presence of a bottled water industry in the United States is beyond reason as water has been regulated and filtered to the point that tap water is as clean as bottled water. Furthermore, the documentary Last Call at the Oasis from Jessica Yu reveals bottled water is less regulated than tap water. In the case of Nestle’s presence in California, bottled water sold by the organization is actually taken from their capitol, Sacramento, and resold at a significant profit.

The California drought has been around for four years now, but it has escalated significantly as a result of a record high temperatures this winter, which causes dry conditions that are not favorable for farming. The agriculture industry in California relies heavily on water as it consumes 41 percent of the state’s total supply. Due to this scarcity, farmers have begun practices that are causing more environmental damage such as drilling deeper for groundwater, but many have been forced to seek other means of employment. Another important angle to view this is that many of the nation’s vegetables and nuts are grown best in that region. For example, almonds from the United States are grown there exclusively, which is why affects the country as a whole. For that reason, this should be viewed as a national state of emergency as opposed one at only the state level.

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Meanwhile, Nestle continues to do what major corporations do best, exploit resources without a regard to the quality of life that they are damaging. How can this be? Their website explicitly states that they are committed to environmental sustainability. This may fool the uninformed citizen, as many wish to remain, but many have taken to protesting the organization’s presence in Sacramento. Recently, the governor of California unrolled a new plan in which billions of dollars would be reallocated to dealing with this crisis. The real issue here, however, is that corporations such as Nestle continue to exploit already depleted resources for their own personal gain. This is the issue that must be addressed moving forward as the quality of the planet’s environment is decreasing and the global footprint of large multinational corporations continues to grow.

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The American Government and Corporations: A Love Story

The United States government fights harder for its corporations than for its citizens. This is a statement that should be refuted by the  American citizenry, who have faith in their elected officials. Unfortunately, an assertion such as this will find very little opposition given the current state of politics. Shockingly, a study has found that 79% of Americans believe their government is corrupt. This demonstrates an established belief system that reflects negatively on the nation and its leadership.

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It cannot be said how it got to the point that it is now. When politicians leave their positions in order to pursue business ambitions and vice-versa. What can be examined, however, is that the current state of politics is a mess because of the goal has not been to change the country for the better, but to shape perceptions. Upon receiving office, re-election is amongst the first things that crosses an incumbent’s mind. As a result, campaign donors are always in the back of their mind. Logically, it can be concluded that this is the vicious cycle that reinforces the powerful connection between the public and private sector.

This is not only an issue of perception, as it is increasingly making headlines and undermining the credibility of the nation’s leadership. Specifically, there exists an image of the GOP cozying up to big business and Wall Street. More often than not, these public views are misleading, but in this case they are not far from the truth. There is no better indication of this than the battle that is being held between the Obama Administration and Congress. Given the revelation that corporations are moving their headquarters abroad in order to avoid paying larger taxes, the administration rolled out a plan to make them pay for those taxes that were being dodged. Republican politicians, however, have already vowed to stop this from passing through congress. These organizations are not held accountable for not honoring the taxation system when the average individual faces serious consequences when they make a mistake. This reality is extremely troubling and is not something that would be expected from a representative democracy, especially not the United States.

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This problem is not simply a GOP issue, its an problem that extends to the entirety of the government.The current issue surrounding corruption regards Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey. The government is close to charging him with corruption charges for actions that have been carried out for several years. He is a Democrat. Corruption is not partisan, it has no preferences. Last year, Republican Eric Cantor was voted out of office and immediately found a new home on Wall Street. What does this suggest? It sheds light on the fact that big business and politics may be more interwoven than is immediately evident. If this is not frightening to the American public, what the future holds might be.

Their is one absolute certainty in regards to American politics in the future, besides the fact that the government will more than likely remain a mess. That is Hillary Clinton’s bid for presidency. What many fail to understand is that the democratic politician is more in bed with corporations than most other individuals in Washington. Having served on the board of directors of Wal-Mart and considering they have been nothing less than generous to the Clinton Foundation, there is no doubt that she will not be leading the charge to condemn corporations. Due to these facts, some are claiming Clinton may be a favorite for Republicans, also. Moving forward the American citizens must ask themselves, do they want someone to fight for their rights or the rights of corporations?