Tong Yu

Advisor Department

Finance and Insurance




Finance; Business; Wealth; Politics; Freedom; Money

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License.


If we take a moment and observe our current societal landscape, we may be intrigued by what we find. If we paint a broad brush over the 21st century, we are engaged in war in the Middle East, we have allowed our politicians to purchase their seats in office, and have overcome two large economic downturns. The economic issues are the collapse of Enron, the world’s largest energy supplier, and the housing market collapse of 2008. How many know what actually created the housing bubble? How many know about Enron? How many American Citizens understand how our current society is being run?

This past fall, I was enrolled in Business in Society, a class that talks about how business has integrated into our society throughout history and the various roles it has played. Often there was conversation about our current societal landscape and how many people were ill-informed about our nation’s current affairs. It would seem difficult to understand why so many citizens are left in the dark given the extreme advances in technology over the past 20 years. Maybe social media and reality TV is to blame, which are much more attractive options compared to CNN or 60 Minutes. The one lesson that I learned from by business class is that capitalism and wealth rule this country. 1% of the population has acquired 99% of the Nation’s total wealth. This statistic was what created my honors project.

This project was a joint venture between my Faculty mentor and I to delve into how our so called, “free country,” is having its future dictated by a handful of the largest companies in the world. When has wealth and power overtaken the need for ethics and integrity?