Yes We Can Drink Fructose and Caramel Coloring, but Toward What End?
In the midst of the country's current wave of optimism comes
Capitalist Trick #6,427: a new, slick, impossibly entertaining ad from
the folks at Pepsi. Using quick cuts and iconic images, it
fast-forwards through a century of fads, from flappers to
James-Dean-era car races to mosh pits to hip hop before flashing the
punch line: "Every generation refreshes the world...Now It's Your Turn."
okay. Historically, the Captains of American Industry have been good at
this, at harnessing cultural moments and meanings to their own
profitable ends. How else would we have gotten Barbie For President and
Burger King's gay-friendly "Wake Up With The King" and Will Ferrell's
hilariously inappropriate takes for Bud Lite?
But still. The
Pepsi ad uses a cast of hundreds. It must have cost millions. It will,
presumably, make millions more, or the purveyors of all that fructose
and caramel wouldn't make it.
Which raises some questions: Where
will those millions, and all the other miilions from all the other
skillfully marketed, questionably useful products go? Just how large
are the pockets of the few CEOS who will make them? Then tell us again:
How many Americans are jobless, or will be soon? How many face
foreclosures? How many lost most of their retirement funds? How many,
teetering on the edge, will have to make their dispirited way to a soup
kitchen or shelter for the first time in their lives, having never
thought it possible they'd have to?
If ever there was a moment
that called out for a truly progressive tax policy in this country,
surely this is it. Given the economic times, the broad mandate the new
Administration now enjoys, and all that's gone before, it is time to
act on the seemingly sensible, fundamentally humane principle that
Republicans tried so hard to make fearsome in the days leading up to
the election – that of sharing the wealth.
We are, of course,
all in this together. If we are to climb out of the hole we find
ourselves in, it will only be through lending a hand to each other.
Those with more to give should give more. Therein lies the requisite
economic crux of Obama's "remaking of America."
Again, we are
hopeful those in power will do the right thing, and work to shape a more equitable tax system. If we make enough
noise, they might. Like the guy says, Now it's our turn. If it comes to pass, we might even drink some of that stuff.