Friday, October 26, 2012

Again; and Maybe this Time with Feeling

One can hardly write opinion pieces anymore. The rich are rich and just keep getting richer and the rest of us are stagnant if we're lucky and worsening if we're not. All three branches of government in The FUSA (The Formerly United States of America) are owned by The Corporatocracy and one has to be wealthy to even think about running for national or even state office. This means that one has to be part of the wealthy class before one gets into office. Once in office, who do we think members of the wealthy class will support?

The Corporatocracy owns the media; so I ask, is there still an Occupy Wall Street?

So all OpEds are the same. They state what I just stated or they play along with "let's play American politics." Some people actually still believe that there will be a difference if Barack Romney or Mitt Obama is elected corporate front man.

However, I was inspired to write this piece by a bait and switch which one of my service providers is attempting to pull on me. This service provider has very few competitors and is one of the largest American corporations.

I will not go into detail about my own personal situation. What follows has been written and said thousands and thousands of times, but Americans don't seem to want to bother doing what has to be done to change the status quo. Consequently, the only difference I see between what I and others have previously written and what follows is the intensity of the ultimate conclusion, however one wants to take it.

The earth has just so many resources. CEOs and top officers of many, not all, but many corporations, especially American corporations, are on their yachts, discussing where their third, fourth or fifth home should be. They continue to accrue riches by misleading customers like me. They also behave immorally in other ways for certain. Mistreating customers is not the only way they become wealthier and wealthier. I'm not writing this because of my heritage, but the Cosa Nostra has nothing on these corporate miscreants.

Naomi Klein brilliantly showed us how corporate villains take advantage of disasters which befall nations in the global south in her book SHOCK DOCTRINE. In fact, these billionaires are probably wondering how to reassemble Haiti to make it a paradise for other millionaires and billionaires to use for vacations. As they do in Jamaica and other nations in the global south, they are most likely planning to use the people who live in Haiti to work at their resorts, paying them, at most, subsistence wages.

This opinion piece is about people who are worth billions continuing to behave unethically and immorally in order to get more billions! This is about CEOs and top officers of corporations talking about buying more homes or yachts or jets or other luxuries that the vast majority of us believe that one does not need. Even if we were given the opportunity, I believe that most of us would gladly pay more taxes to help those who are less fortunate in lieu of owning such unnecessary luxuries.

What do Americans do about it? We "occupy Wall Street". We purchase Halloween costumes which depict skeletons so that we can show our fellow citizens that people in the world, like the people in Haiti, are starving and, hopefully, we tug on the heart strings of the billionaires. We carry fake coffins while walking down the middle of streets in major cities. Or, as some would have us do, we get arrested daily for blocking entrances to certain buildings or handcuffing ourselves to fences.

We find our way into meetings of wealthy people and either do what's come to be known as a human sound check or break out into song and dance. We're removed from these places within seconds and the people at the meeting get quite a laugh out of the stunt. It, for sure, doesn't move even one of them to think of income disparity differently than they thought of it before the stunt was undertaken.

Our children and grandchildren will, as surfs, or possibly even as straight out slaves, appreciate our walking down the streets of this country dressed as skeletons or carrying fake coffins. Protesters in the Formerly United States of America aren't peaceful, they're chicken shit.

How has this worked so far?

We "peacefully" demonstrate, looking like fools with our painted faces, our costumes and our fake coffins and they respond with violence. They pepper spray us and throw tear gas canisters into crowds of unarmed people. Do you know why they respond with violence? They respond with violence because that's all they understand and it really works for them. They want the oil in Iraq? They tell the so called government to start a war. Is this not correct?

They respond with violence because they know we're peaceful and we won't physically force ourselves into their gated communities and disturb their lives or force ourselves into their offices and truly occupy those offices.

As the Vietnam War progressed, The Students for a Democratic Society, The Black Panthers, The Weathermen and other groups became less and less nonviolent. Finally, the war, the true war at home, became too much for the government and the hawks to handle and, just like that, after 58,000 Americans were killed on the basis of lies told by the president of the United States, we were no longer at war in Vietnam. In fact, the Vietnamese people are, today, just another civilization that billionaires keep in squalor by using their labor but paying them little to nothing. Feel good about any of those 58,000 deaths now?

The CEOs, top shareholders and top officers of most American corporations no longer serve a useful purpose in American society. They add nothing of value to it and take as much from it as they can. When someone or something not only has outlived its usefulness, but is standing in the way of true human progress, it is removed. The people to whom I refer are impediments to the success of most of the citizens who live in The FUSA. In fact, they are the reason I've been adding the word "Formerly" to The United States of America for quite a while. The most fruitful interaction that these filthy rich people have had with most American citizens is to turn those citizens against one another. They've done this to prevent American eyes from seeing who the people behind the downfall of the working class really are. They are no longer needed and they have to go.

They're not impressed by Halloween costumes or painted faces.

They're not impressed by fake coffins.

They're not impressed by human sound checks or spontaneous song and dance.

They're not impressed by people who continue to get themselves arrested for temporarily blocking building entrances or handcuffing themselves to fences.

The good news is there is no need to impress them. They merely have to be removed from the picture.

People can remind me that Martin Luther King was arrested frequently and he and his followers protested peacefully while the authorities used violence. At that time, it looked bad for a president who was killing young Americans in Vietnam. What made it look bad was the fact that the media actually showed the protest activities. Johnson finally had to do something about it.

However, that was then and this is now. Today, Martin Luther King or Gandhi or any of those we hold up as peaceful resisters would be laughed at just as much as today's protesters are mocked and ignored. In 1965, corporations did not totally run this nation -- this world. If Martin Luther King was protesting peacefully today, we may not even know it. The media would not allow the rest of us to see the speech he made from the Lincoln Memorial, one of the greatest speeches ever delivered. Unethical corporations own all of the media and that speech might or might not be mentioned on the nightly news. Of course, Fox News would cover it as if King was an outlier, a troublemaker who hated successful people and the millions of people who mentally fellate each and every reporter or pundit who works for Fox News, as well cretins such as Rush Limbaugh, would believe them. Don't use Doctor King as an example to prove that peaceful resistance works; use Doctor King as an example to show that peaceful resistance worked at one time.

And the wealthy keep getting more of our money. Do you not believe that we're tucking Mark Zuckerberg more comfortably into the 1% by letting him and his sponsors lead us to see Facebook, Twitter and other publically traded "social media" as positive entities? Were there not so called unsponsored, untraded Message Boards online at one time that basically served the same purpose? This is how we will lose -- are losing - the neutrality of the internet, folks. Corporate America has figured out a way to take over the internet and we're helping them.

As I originally mentioned, we know who's destroying the lives of so many people in The FUSA and around the world. If they were no longer in power, what a wonderful world it could be! However someone has to remove them from power. There are many, many, many more of us than there are of them. I'm just sayin', ya know?

There's a line in a song made popular by The Who. The song is "We Won't Get Fooled Again". The line is, "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

Maybe this opinion piece might lead one to believe that, if we get rid of them, we'll just get more of them in their place. This lecture by Economics Professor Richard Wolff presents an alternative to that. It's long, but anything but boring. He's a dynamic speaker and makes a whole hell of a lot of sense.

Meanwhile, I bet you'll be able to buy Halloween costumes cheaply on November 1.

To friendship,
Michael

“Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.” - ThomasH. Huxley
 
CDs
“Soldiers Of Peace”

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Preparation for War Should not be Used to Entertain Us


The following is from a mailing to those who are on David Swanson's mailing list. I believe that David Swanson should be the next presidential candidate of the Socialist Party of the United States of America.  I believe that all of us who think we're "progressive" because we're "Democrats" ought to hearken back to George Wallace's pre-assassination attempt 1968 statement that "there ain't a dime's worth of difference between Republicans and Democrats".  

I'm sure most of us were repulsed by Governor Wallace's racist preaching, but the man made an attempt to change once he was shot.  In the case that I mention, he was correct.  The only difference between Democrats and Republicans is what is said during political campaigns. Once elected, they govern the same.

If Clinton and Obama haven't convinced you of that by now, I believe you're a lost cause. Those who believe that if we just get the right Democrat or if we change the Democratic Party from within, the party will become the progressive party that we know it to be, never knew the Democratic Party. It isn't now nor has it ever been a progressive party. Most of the wars of the twentieth century were begun under Democratic administrations. The Glass Steagall Act was repealed by a Democratic president and, although the bailing out of the wealthy was begun by a Republican president, it was finished up by a Democratic president.

The Socialist Party of the United States of America may fail every bit as much as any other party has failed, but it's time to change the choices and it's time to give Democratically elected Socialists their chance. I would suggest that everyone join Mr. Swanson's mailing list.

To friendship,
Michael

“Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity.” - Frank Leahy





WAR ISN'T ENTERTAINMENT—

AND SHOULDN'T BE TREATED LIKE IT IS

August 13, 2012

An Open Letter to Mr. Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of NBC Entertainment, General Wesley Clark (ret.), Producer Mark Burnett and others involved in "Stars Earn Stripes":

During the Olympics, touted as a time for comity and peace among nations, millions first learned that NBC would be premiering a new "reality" TV show.  The commercials announcing "Stars Earn Stripes" were shown seemingly endlessly throughout the athletic competition, noting that its premier would be Monday, August 13, following the end of the Olympic games.

That might seem innocuous since spectacular, high budget sporting events of all types are regular venues for airing new products, televisions shows and movies.  But "Stars Earn Stripes" is not just another reality show.  Hosted by retired four-star general Wesley Clark, the program pairs minor celebrities with US military personnel and puts them through simulated military training, including some live fire drills and helicopter drops.  The official NBC website for the show touts "the fast-paced competition" as "pay[ing] homage to the men and women who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces and our first-responder services."

It is our belief that this program pays homage to no one anywhere and continues and expands on an inglorious tradition of glorifying war and armed violence.  Military training is not to be compared, subtly or otherwise, with athletic competition by showing commercials throughout the Olympics.  Preparing for war is neither amusing nor entertaining.

Real war is down in the dirt deadly.  People—military and civilians—die in ways that are anything but entertaining.  Communities and societies are ripped apart in armed conflict and the aftermath can be as deadly as the war itself as simmering animosities are unleashed in horrific spirals of violence.  War, whether relatively short-lived or going on for decades as in too many parts of the world, leaves deep scars that can take generations to overcome – if ever.

Trying to somehow sanitize war by likening it to an athletic competition further calls into question the morality and ethics of linking the military anywhere with the entertainment industry in barely veiled efforts to make war and its multitudinous costs more palatable to the public.

The long history of collaboration between militaries and civilian media and entertainment—and not just in the United States—appears to be getting murkier and in many ways more threatening to efforts to resolve our common problems through nonviolent means.  Active-duty soldiers already perform in Hollywood movies, "embedded" media ride with soldier in combat situations, and now NBC is working with the military to attempt to turn deadly military training into a sanitized "reality" TV show that reveals absolutely nothing of the reality of being a soldier in war or the consequences of war.  What is next?

As people who have seen too many faces of armed conflict and violence and who have worked for decades to try to stop the seemingly unending march toward the increased militarization of societies and the desensitization of people to the realities and consequences of war, we add our voices and our support to those protesting "Stars Earn Stripes."  We too call upon NBC stop airing this program that pays homage to no one, and is a massive disservice to those who live and die in armed conflict and suffer its consequences long after the guns of war fall silent.

Sincerely,

Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize, 1997

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize, 1984

Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize, 1977

Dr. Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Prize, 2003

President José Ramos-Horta, Nobel Peace Prize, 1996

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Nobel Peace Prize, 1980

President Oscar Arias Sanchez, Nobel Peace Prize, 1987

Rigoberta Menchú Tum, 1992

Betty Williams, Nobel Peace Prize, 1977

Fall Equivalency? I Think Not


(originally published at OpEdNews) 

I’m sixty-two years old and was raised in a family of bigots.  I have a sister.  So, it didn’t take long before I first heard the statement, “If she ever brings home a (fill in the pejorative - based, of course, on color of skin and/or ethnicity), I’ll kill him.”  Do you know how many times I’ve heard that statement or statements very much like it in sixty-two years?  Well, neither do I.  I just know it’s too many. 

About week ago, while standing in the cereal aisle at my local Safeway, there were two manly men talking at each other and, wouldn’t you know it, one was talking to the other about his daughter.  And, again, wouldn’t you know it, he said those infamous words, “If she brings home a “nigger” - would it mean the same if I wrote, “if she brings home an “n-word” - I’ll kill him.”

I’m five feet two inches tall as well as being sixty-two years old.  The shorter of these two guys had at least eight inches in height on me.  I think that my age equaled the sum of theirs.  Consequently, for these very legitimate reasons, I kept the fire inside inside.
Let me say that, yes, I overheard them, but I’m quite certain that the people at the deli overheard them as well.  I wasn’t trying to listen to what they were saying, I was merely looking for a box of Frosted Flakes.

Again, I don’t know how many times I’ve heard phrases like the one above, but, when I heard it about a week ago, it became, for me, the straw that broke the camel’s back.  I’ve also heard fathers say, “If she brings (one of them) home, I’ll kill her.”

Really?  With all of the violent death that happens on a daily basis not only in The Formerly United States of America, but throughout the world, the catalyst for another killing would be knowing that a man, whose skin is of a hue which is disagreeable to a father, might find that father’s daughter attractive?  That’s it?

July 20 came to mind.  Aurora, Colorado came to mind.  The midnight showing of a Batman movie entitled “The Dark Knight Rises” came to mind.  Some people in that town made the choice to go that theater to watch that showing of that movie.  Another man who obviously feels that the world is falling behind in senseless killings chose that night to enter that theater at that time and begin shooting people.  When it was over, twelve people had been killed because of the choice they made. 

Really?  It was their “fault” that they were killed?

First, let’s get one word out of the way.  That word is “fault”.  Since when is going to a movie theater a “fault”?  Indeed, it was their choice to be there at that time.  I’m relatively certain that, if they knew ahead of time that a man would walk into the theater, aim a gun in their direction and shoot them dead, they’d have chosen another showing.  This isn’t meant to be glib and, for certain, it isn’t meant to be funny.  It’s really meant to relate to what I heard at Safeway only a couple of days after that shooting occurred.

I’ve heard the statement that I referenced above far too many times.  I think that some fathers make such a statement, but probably wouldn’t actually kill anyone.  They may never speak to their daughters again and they may cut them out of whatever will they’ve prepared, but they wouldn’t actually kill a person.

I absolutely know that some fathers I’ve heard make that statement would, indeed, kill the man the daughter brought home or both the man and the daughter.  Killing people these days has become what 1950s and 1960s TV portrayed it to be like in “the old west”.  One person pulls a trigger and another falls dead.  Can you just imagine the killer blowing the smoke away from the barrel of his gun and putting it back into his holster, tipping his cowboy hat and riding off into the sunset?

The people who went to watch Batman chose to attend that particular showing.  I’ve heard people say that those who were killed were innocent victims.  They merely chose to attend that particular showing.  If they chose where they would be at that particular time, where’s the guilt in possessing a characteristic that one had no choice in possessing?

James Brown recorded a song entitled “I’m Black And I’m Proud”.  I love James Brown and, when I was a singer in a band, I tried, without success, to imitate James Brown.  However, James Brown didn’t earn his Blackness and, in no way, could ever truly be proud of that “accomplishment”.  However, the hue of the skin of the late Mr. Brown was not a punishment, either.  To say it wasn’t his “fault” that he was born Black is just as absurd as saying that he should have been “proud” to be Black.  It’s no more a fault to be Black than it is to be Brown or Yellow or White.  It is what it is.  It’s a fact, period!

And for this, there are men, all White in my experience, who, I truly believe, would kill a Black man for accompanying their daughters on a date.  Most people have gone to the movie theater and all people were born.  It hurts absolutely no one to go to a movie theater and, likewise, being born with Black skin hurts no one.  This is not a “false equivalency”.  There’s as much, or as little, logic in punishing people for going to a movie theater as there is for punishing someone because of skin color combined with an attraction to a certain human being.  In fact, and this is to in no way play down the tragedy of July 20, if we absolutely had to choose, it probably makes less sense to kill a person because of the color of his skin and because of who he is attracted to than it makes for a deranged person to walk into a movie theater and open fire.

Don’t get me wrong, they’re both crazed and evil acts.  And, again, this is not a false equivalency.  It is every bit as crazy for a man to kill either his daughter’s date because that date has Black skin as it is for a man to kill people in a movie theater.  In both cases, the killers have never taken the time to know those that they’ve killed.  The victims are obviously thought of by the killers as not human and are merely silhouettes of human beings.  The victims in each case have done nothing, with malice aforethought, to offend the killer.

Fathers who say, “If she brings home (one of them), I’ll kill him” or “I’ll kill them” or “I’ll kill her” are no more and no less crazed than the man who walked into a theater on July 20, 2012 and shot 12 people to death.

I didn’t take any room in this article to address semiautomatic weapons and the NRA’s insistence that they are what those who wrote the Second Amendment to The Constitution had in mind because the mere premise is batshit crazy.  However, British comedian Eddie Izzard uses a line in one of his acts.  The line is, “The NRA says guns don’t kill people, people kill people, but I think the gun helps.”

If we remove the “help”, it will at least become a challenge to kill someone and, as there will always be people who have the need to kill other people, it would be so much better to give the other people a fighting chance to either defend themselves or to get as far away from the potential killer as possible.




To friendship,
Michael

“Drugs have taught an entire generation of Americans the metric system” - P. J. O’Rourke

Sunday, June 24, 2012

How Citizens United Killed the Gettysburg Address

(originally published at (OpEdNews)

There is a more hideous side to all of the Supreme Court decisions which resulted in the Citizens United v The FEC decision, the 2010 decision that verified that corporations are, indeed, people.

In his Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln called the government of the Formerly United States of America (which was almost as true during his life time as it is today) a government “of the people, by the people, for the people”. Now where did he get such a radical idea? Do we think he tried to save the union, constitutionally or unconstitutionally as that may have been, to protect those homo sapiens who lived in The FUSA as well as corporations which were doing business in The FUSA? He may very well have engaged his army in military action on behalf of corporations. Nonetheless, he didn’t mention them in the Gettysburg Address and they hadn’t been anointed people at that time. He surely wanted those who heard or read his speech to believe he was talking about living entities like himself.

His opinion that the government of the country was “of the people, by the people, for the people” was very well based in fact. That fact was stated in The Constitution of The United States of America.

His idea that the government was a government of the people derived from several parts of The Constitution. Although stated in the negative, it's quite obvious.

“No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen.” Article I Section 2 (emphasis mine)

Does the currently seated Supreme Court truly believe that Madison and those who supported The Constitution would actually walk through the doors of a corporation, look around and say, “He’s quite the corporation”? In decisions made by any court, are corporations referred to as “it” or “he”? Do corporations actually apply for human citizenship in The FUSA? These two words make it quite plain that The Founders and Framers meant that the members of The House of Representatives should be derived from the mass of homo sapiens who are human citizens of The FUSA.

“No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the age of thirty years, and been nine years a citizen of the United States and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state for which he shall be chosen.”Article I Section 3 (emphasis mine)

It’s equally obvious in the above quote that The Framers wanted senators to be human beings as well. These human beings could only come from the people (unfortunately White male landowning people at the time, but people nonetheless) who are citizens of the country.

“No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.

“In case of the removal of the President from office, or of his death,resignation, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the said office, the same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by law provide for the case of removal, death, resignation or inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what officer shall then act as President, and such officer shall act accordingly, until the disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.” Article II Section 1 (emphasis mine)

Again, the words “citizen” and “he” make it clear that the president and vice president are meant to be human beings and come from the vast pool of possibilities that the masses provide.

It’s quite possible that, as no real qualifications are given for those chosen to sit on The Supreme Court, the presently seated court might come to the conclusion that The Signers of The Constitution left open the possibility that their positions may be held by corporations. However, no president and no legislature have thus far agreed with that opinion.

So, according to The Constitution of The United States, only people may be elected to office on a federal level. If any state, in its constitution, has approved the election of a corporation to its legislature or governorship, it’s yet to be made public. So, Lincoln got the “of the people” correct, didn't he?

Let's examine “by the people”.

This is a little trickier. It could be argued that The Constitution doesn’t provide for the people to elect its government. When referring to the elections to federal office, The Constitution refers to “electors”. It does this in no more definitive a manner than when referring to the presidency. Although there are those who love nothing better than to remind us that we are a “democratic republic” and not a democracy, democracy has been how the federal government has been chosen throughout the years. As mentioned, the nation could hardly be considered a democracy in the early years as it prohibited what was the majority of its inhabitants to vote. One could only vote if one was Caucasian and owned land. That group consisted of a definite minority of the land’s inhabitants. However, as time has passed, The Constitution has made great strides in ensuring that the “democratic” part of our democratic republic has been strengthened.

First, the qualification of owning land was removed. Then the qualification of being Caucasian was removed, albeit there still were parts of the country that placed roadblocks in front of those that were not Caucasian. In 1965, those roadblocks were removed. Of course, the blackest eye of all which was given to the country’s march towards being a true democratic republic was removed in 1920 when women were granted the right to vote.

As of today, all of those elected officials who serve on the federal level are voted into office by a majority of voters in each of the respective states. It is only the presidency and vice presidency that is still out of the reach of democracy. As we saw in the year 2000, even if a majority of Americans choose one candidate, the other may still capture the presidency based upon a flawed and horrifically undemocratic system called The Electoral College.

The Electoral College, as we all know, gives each state a quantitative importance based upon the population of the state. This, in and of itself, carries with it unfair advantages and disadvantages to both large and small states.

For example, Wyoming, whose population is 568,158, has been awarded 3 electoral votes. That means that there are 49,315.67 electors per electoral vote. On the other hand, California, whose population is 37.7 million people, has been awarded 54 electoral votes. California, therefore, can claim 108,540.80 electors per electoral vote. Using the number of qualified voters in each of these states, in Wyoming, each person’s vote actually counts as one vote. However, in California, each person’s vote counts as .45 votes This is hardly democratic.

The Electoral College hurts small states as well in presidential elections. Presidential candidates feel as if they can ignore those states with a small number of electoral votes. This does not mean merely not visiting those states during the election, it means, literally, ignoring the needs of small states. Our presidential candidates are way into “What's in it for me” when it comes to campaigning and even governing. The media makes this clear and even perpetuates it.

Nonetheless, and maybe even more importantly, people vote for their representatives to Congress, as well as those who govern their states. So, even though the “by the people” isn’t totally true, even to this day, and was even further from the truth in Lincoln's time, especially on a national level, amendments to The Constitution still depend on who is put into office by the people. It admittedly takes 3/4 of the Senate and 3/4 of the House to pass an amendment, but it wouldn’t even get that far if 3/4 of state legislatures voted against the proposed amendment. "By the people” can be argued, but not dismissed altogether.

Finally, “for the people” is easier to verify. This is because the words of The Constitution are, for the most part, words written to protect the rights of “the people”, i.e., those members of the species homo sapiens who are citizens of The FUSA(united as they were at the time of the creation of The Constitution). In very few instances were the words of The Constitution, with malice aforethought, written to deny rights, not only to citizens of the then United States of America, but also to people who may have been in this country as visitors from another nation. The Constitution was written to protect the rights of people. This is true starting with The Preamble: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” That guideline can only be read and interpreted in such a way that the resulting effect upon the people is a positive one.

Article I describes the responsibility which Congress has to keep the people of this nation safe. It ensures that a majority of that (ultimately) elected group of many people will have the final say in whether or not citizens of The FUSA are sent to kill and be killed in war. It prescribes a fair method of keeping the U. S. budget as close to balanced as possible by raising revenue in as fair a manner as possible. It ensures that laws cannot be created to deal with an act that was legal when the act was committed but had become illegal after the act was committed. It ensures that titles of nobility cannot be accepted by standing members of Congress, which would be a marvelous way to put the leadership of The FUSA on a path toward monarchy, a certain killer of democratic republicanism. It ensures that a group of people has the power to determine if one person, in the person of the president, is kept in line and not able to “go rogue” in a dictatorial manner. Article I is written to protect the majority of people living in or even visiting The FUSA at any given time.

Article II is also written with safety and fairness to the vast majority of the citizens of The FUSA in mind. It makes clear that one person, a unitary president, may only make strategic decisions about war and peace only after Congress has decided whether there will be war or peace. The War Powers act of 1973 may give the president a small window in which to start a war, but that war can only be maintained if Congress decides to turn what the president has done into a Declaration of War. Again, the safety of the nation’s citizens does not lie in the hands of one person.

As mentioned, Article III merely states that nine people who have the ability to read and interpret that which is written in the English language is not being circumvented by either the executive branch or even the legislative branch of government.

Article IV basically says that we are states united by a federal government and that states must work together so as to protect citizens of one state from criminal acts committed by a citizen of another state.

Article V simply states that those who agreed with and signed Madison’s document were not soothsayers and/or fortune tellers and could not predict the changes in the landscape of the landscape years hence. It opened up a methodology to amend The Constitution in such a manner as to reflect any changes in that landscape. This assured the citizens that they wouldn’t be bound by laws that may have made sense in the eighteenth century but would not, and do not, make much sense in the centuries following it.

Article VI reinforces that, in spite of laws which one state decides to put on its books, the laws of The United States federal government shall take precedent over them. It basically says that The Constitution is the law of the land. The most important line from Article VI, however, is “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States”.  (emphasis mine)

Article VII merely asks those who would be signing The Constitution a three word question: “Are you sure?” and the signatures answer the question with one word, “Yes.”

Of the Amendments, the eleventh, twelfth, sixteenth, eighteenth, twenty-fifth and twenty-seventh amendments weren’t necessarily written to protect the rights of the vast majority of citizens. However, aside from the sixteenth and eighteenth amendments, the other four amendments mentioned didn’t truly inhibit the rights of citizens. The only two that, prima facie, were written to have a negative effect on citizens were the income tax amendment and prohibition. Of course, prohibition was repealed. And, as far as the income tax is concerned, there are arguments that can be made to support the hypothesis that the vast majority of citizens might be helped by an increase in revenue. That amendment is, to this day, controversial. Is the “take from” ethically warranted by the resultant good of the “give to” portion of that amendment? You decide.

Consequently, Lincoln was spot on in his “for the people” statement.

In fact, nowhere in The Constitution can one find the word “corporation”. Consequently, the fact that all of the decisions by past Supreme Courts that culminated in the presently seated Supreme Court verifying that corporations are people have, for sure, no basis in The Constitution, the document against which all courts are supposed to measure cases which they adjudicate. Nowhere in the majority opinion of Citizens United does it state how, in fact, one can tell what a corporation’s true opinion is. After all, what/who makes up a corporation? If one does not include the shareholders, the employees, starting with the CEO and working down to the janitor (for those corporations who still hire their own janitorial staff) and the customers, one is leaving out an important part of the corporation.

When corporations reach into their treasuries to withdraw millions, even billions, to give to campaigns, via PACs, do we believe they first take a survey to make certain that everyone who is part of the corporation agrees with their choice of candidate or their position on a particular referendum? If they do a survey, which, of course, we all know they don't, do they survey those who are part of the corporation who are not citizens of The FUSA? Do they take those “foreign” opinions into account? 

When they reach into their treasuries, do they, inadvertently, pull out some of that foreign currency and donate that to their PACs? If not, how do they efficiently keep the origination of the profits separate?

There are so many reasons, born of logic, proving that corporation are not people. Trees are not space ships. Beds are not dirigibles. Mice are not spaghetti. And Justices Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy, corporations are not people! End of discussion!

To friendship,
Michael


“Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth.” - Lillian Hellman
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Friday, June 01, 2012

Job For Sale!

(originally published at OpEdNews)

I’ve written about my employment history on several occasions.  It comes in handy because it seems that my personal employment history follows the decline in the esteem which American business, and, frankly, in which Americans hold towards workers.  When I began my true career in 1972, businesses and Americans in general were appreciative of the initiative shown by most American workers.  At the end of my career, it seemed that businesses lost that appreciation.  Just look at the change in the names of the departments which handled labor problems for most businesses.  When I started, they were called “personnel” departments.  At the end of my career, humans merely became just another “resource”, like fuel, metal, bolts, nuts and water.  When businesses began to decide upon which resources to cut back, humans were right on top of that list.

I’ve sort of beaten that truth to death.  I hope that at least some people who were sympathetic to the “poor” CEOs and their legal responsibilities were enlightened, at least just a little bit, by some of my articles.

Although I’m, once again, going to give examples from my own employment background in this article, the main object of the article is not about the relationship between employers and the employees who already work for them.  I’m going to back up a bit and talk about how I, and I know many, many others, got their jobs in the first place.  I’m going to try to contrast that with how people who work in one particular field go about obtaining their employment.

In my case, I wasn’t a college graduate.  I didn’t have head hunters looking at me and my accomplishments either in college or in previous jobs.  I had finished three semesters in college and came to the conclusion that, although I didn’t flunk out of school, at the rate at which I was going, sex and drugs and rock n’ roll became barriers that I placed between college classrooms and me.  I may even have somehow made it to graduation, but it would have been very difficult as I didn’t care nearly as much about graduation as I did about those other three “courses”.  So, I quit.

At that particular time, the manufacturing sector in The FUSA was still rather strong and one didn’t need a college degree to become an operator or technician in a production plant.  In fact, there were some with whom I worked who didn’t even have a high school diploma.

I didn’t consider myself un-trainable and some of the people without high school diplomas were outright sharp as knives in the areas necessary to be successful production workers.

The first step was to go to a manufacturing facility and fill out a fairly simple application.  At Dow Chemical, a mechanical ability test was given and I - I have no idea how - passed it.  I was hired.

Let’s back up just a bit.  I quit school and now needed money to support myself.  I got married just as I was applying at Dow and had, at least, one more person to support.  I needed the job because I needed the paycheck and whatever “benefits” Dow offered.  At that time, they offered quite a few and those “benefits” were solid.  I needed Dow, or some other company, to hire me because I needed to begin to make money.

I do know some people who graduated from college with engineering degrees.  In those cases, Dow, or other companies, did look at their accomplishments.  Whereas I showed up to fill out the application, to take the test and even for the interview in fairly decent looking jeans and a neat T-shirt, Dow invited the college grads out to dinner.  I’m sure that there was an application that these engineer wannabes handed to Dow, but it had a different name.  It was called a résumé.  When Dow met with the grads, the grads probably wore suits and ties if they were men or wore clothes that they thought would impress the Dow representatives if they were women.  Actually, in both cases, they tried to look as professional as possible.

Nonetheless, these college grads wanted one of the companies with whom they met to hire them.  Why?  For the same reason I wanted to be hired.  They also needed money to support themselves and any other dependents they had.  I’m sure that companies like Dow sweetened deals with these grads if they thought that a particular potential employee would add value to the company.  However, in the end, the grads needed Dow much more than Dow needed the grads.  In this way, they weren’t much different than those of us without a college degree.  We needed money and Dow had it.

Whether it’s with a manufacturing company, a bank or investment company, a construction company or any other type of employer, those who talked to these companies about the possibility of being hired needed to be hired.

One of the requirements was that there had to be a place for any of us who applied for jobs.  There had to be an opening.  Even back then, companies didn’t just hire people out of some philanthropic urge.  The company needed to fill a slot.

Now the contrast.  There was going to be an opening that needed to be filled in 2009.  Every American should have at least known that.  The twenty-second amendment to The Constitution of The United States limited the number of full terms to two that a president could serve.  George W. Bush was finishing up his second term in 2008 and, in January of 2009, there was going to be an opening.  Nominally, anyone could apply for the job.  Of course, if one had name recognition and at least some political or high level leadership experience, it helped.  That’s what the word “nominally” means in this case.  It takes a certain number of signatures on a petition to even qualify to be on the ballot in all of the states.  The number is so great that most of us could never be on any ballots.  So, we’re already narrowing the possibilities of applicants based upon name recognition and on experience.

It’s possible that, in some cases, those of us who applied for jobs knew someone who already worked at the places at which we applied and, to that extent, we may have had some name recognition.  When we filled out our applications or handed in our résumés, whatever appropriate experience we had became known to those who were hiring.

Here’s where it changes a bit.  I don’t know of anyone, with or without a college degree, who got their job by paying those that were doing the hiring.  I’m not saying it never happens.  Corruption is one of the biggest reasons why pure communism or pure libertarianism could never work.  If people are left to their own devices, many will do whatever it takes to beat out a person who is competing for the same position.  Too many people are too corrupt to trust self regulation.  But I digress.

The change, as it manifested itself in 2008, and had already manifested itself before that, is that the person who we hired as president in November of 2008 ultimately paid - someone - $700 million to get the job.  Barack Obama paid $700 million so that we would hire him to do a job that pays $400,000 a year.  Again, no one I know ever paid anyone to get a job.  They needed the job so that they could get paid and support themselves.  I certainly don’t know anyone who paid 95% more than what the job pays.  If I did my math right, that’s what Obama paid to get the job.

All other applicants for that same job, those who lost, paid similar quantities of money.

This year, that job is becoming open again.  It opens every four years, but the person holding it can be rehired after having it for four years.  President Obama wants to keep his job for the full two terms.  However, this time, he’s running against a man who is said to be worth over $200 million.  Mitt Romney asked people, most of whom are going to either hire him or not hire him, for money to help him get his job.  Romney has asked his future bosses for money to help him wrestle the job from Obama and they’ve obliged him by giving him $87 million thus far.  Let’s review.  A man worth $200 million asked his potential bosses for money and they gave him $87 million to facilitate his getting a job that pays $400,000 a year.

Obama, who already has the job because, in 2008, he paid - someone - $700 million for the job that pays $400,000 per year, has asked his bosses, yes, those who are already his bosses, for more money to keep his job and they’ve come through so far with $87 million, as well.

There’s no doubt in my mind that I could have gotten any job I wanted with the Dow Chemical Company in 1972 if I gave them $87 million dollars up front.  However, first of all, they, my future bosses, would not have given me the $87 million to give back to them.  Secondly, I’m not sure that anyone, college grad or not, would even make $87 million working for Dow or any other company during the span of his or her career.

Of course, here’s a reality check.  What I, or anyone else who applied for a job with Dow, could do for the entire nation would be almost nothing.  These two men are competing so that when we, the hiring team, meet in November, we hire the right person, the person who can do the most for the nation.  In an article I wrote some time ago entitle “Fighting for their Country?”, I tried to make it clear that a nation or a country is simply an autonomous piece of land and those who inhabit it.  That’s what a country is as far as I’m concerned.  I even gave some examples of what Dictionary.com considered a “country”.  Yes, being president of The Formerly United States of America can be a daunting job.  However, anyone who wants the job still has to convince those of us who are doing the hiring that he or she will help protect and defend The Constitution of the country - the land and those - all of those - who occupy that land.  And, admittedly, it is through the media that the applicants share their “résumés” with us and, through those “résumés”, we should be able to determine which of the two candidates is most qualified.

Herein lies another sticking point.  I don’t know of anyone who filled out an application or handed in a résumé who asked those doing the hiring for a little extra time to research and learn all of the mistakes, sins, controversies, etc., in which their competitors were involved and which, in the researching candidates’ opinion, would disqualify the competitors.  The applications and/or résumés contained information about the applicants by which those applicants spoke about themselves and the reason they were qualified for the job.  No, I was not given time to research one of my competitors so that I could write on my application, “John Doe beats his wife regularly.”  I was hired based upon my qualifications, not the disqualifications of others that I could bring to the attention of the hiring team.  I was not, and I believe most others were not, able to write about our competitors and obfuscate the entire process.  If I lied about what I did or where I worked, those doing the hiring were responsible for finding that out.

To compare applying for a job to running for president of The FUSA may be a stretch, but I don’t believe it’s really that much of a stretch.

Candidates should not have to raise billions of dollars to place ads on television which talk more about their opponents’ faults than about their own qualifications.  In that way, applying for any job should be similar.  “Why should I hire you?” should be the question that is answered, not “Why shouldn’t I hire your competitor?”

We all blame the ridiculous Citizens United v The FEC decision made in 2010 for this outrageous process and, yes, it was a Corporatocratic driven, bought and paid for decision which was the natural culmination of similar decisions made throughout the years since The Southern Pacific Railroad v Santa Clara County in 1886.  However, just because someone is given an unethical tool with which to work doesn’t mean that she or he has to use it.  It would show character and courage to, not only speak out against the decision as Obama did during one of his State of the Union speeches, but it would show true courage and character if Obama and Romney, and other presidential candidates  - there are others, you know - all agreed to turn their backs on this buying of the job of president and run on their own records, not sling mud at their opponents.

Finally, this has all been about the presidential election.  However, the buying of jobs has infested all of politics.  If one is running for a national seat, one is raising and spending money and speaking more against her or his opponent than trying to convince the hiring team - us - that he or she is the most qualified for the job.  It’s even happening at the state level.  Just take a look at the Wisconsin recall fiasco.

Ultimately, running for office is asking voters, the hiring team, as it were, to hire you because you would do the things that would make their lives better and make the town, the city, the county, the state or the country better.  Running for office shouldn’t be much different than applying for any other job.

There are some solutions, of course.

1. Overturn Citizens United and any other previous rulings that led us to this buying of jobs.
2. Force all candidates to get whatever money they will need to run for office from a public supply.  I know, I know, there’s that terrible Socialism again because it may cost some money, otherwise known as revenue, anathema to Grover Norquist.  We must not forget that Grover Norquist was never crowned king of America.  Besides, some socialist activities aren’t terrible and, if you look at the word, those activities are done with the betterment of society in mind.
3. Severely shorten the time for campaigning.  The campaign is not the time for candidates to build name recognition.  If no one knows who they are before a six month campaign starts, then they’re not qualified.  Empower the FEC to disqualify anyone who tries to weasel more time for his or her campaign than is legally allowed.
4. I know some will say this is merely more government bureaucracy, but create a government, non-partisan (if that’s even possible anymore) FactCheck.org type department.  If a candidate is engaging in blatant, outright lying, either about his or her opponent or even about himself or herself, disqualify that candidate.
5. Get rid of that worthless Electoral College.  One person, one vote.  No gathering of unknown “representatives” of the votes, not the voters, but the votes, in December, after America has hired its candidate.

To friendship,
Michael

“Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.” - Peter T. McIntyre

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Does the Legal Responsibility of Business Outweigh the Ethical Responsibility?

I’m really tired of hearing two particular phrases.

The first is that “government should be run like a business”.

The second phrase is that CEOs send jobs to “developing” countries because business is admittedly all about making money.  After all, they have a legal fiduciary responsibility to their share holders to do all that they can to turn a profit.  It’s as if there was a law forcing CEOs to make a profit which turns meanings of words like “community”, “patriotism”, “society”, “humility” and, in some ways, “reality”, around 180°. 

I challenge both of those arguments.

First of all, I’ll see their “government should be run like a business” and raise them one “business ought to be run like a society.” 

Secondly, is ensuring the riches of shareholders the only law that CEOs have to follow?  Are they the only people to whom they have a responsibility?  If CEOs and their sycophants get their way, it may end up the only law they have to follow.  However, as of this moment, they do have other legal responsibilities. 

It starts with “small business”

When asked, “So, what are you going to do with your life?”, a recent graduate might say, “I’m thinking of going into business for myself.”  How many people who make that statement know that the “for myself” part only lasts a short time?  Once that graduate turned entrepreneur hires someone, he or she has significantly affected the life of another human being.  The employer hasn’t affected that person’s life only in ways that pertain to work procedures, but in very personal ways as well.  The employer has asked the employee to leave her family and home for eight hours or longer. The employer asks the employee to trust him when he says he’s done everything in his power to ensure that the employee doesn’t get hurt on the job.  The employer asks the employee to put aside any chances she may have of pursuing her own interests so that she can pursue his interests - the employer’s interests actually become the employee’s interests.  Most of the time, in far too many cases, employers ask employees to refrain from enjoying certain personal pleasures.  Employers indirectly ask employees to go to bed at certain times so they can get enough rest to effectively and efficiently pursue their (the employers’) interests.  Employers can directly affect their employees’ relationships with family and friends by asking them to work during certain hours and on certain days.  They, in fact, may very well interfere with an employee’s religious beliefs by asking that employee to work on certain days.  It would be in this case that right wing business shills would insist upon strict adherence to the “American idea” of separation of church and state.

Many would say that’s why employees get a paycheck.  I would partly agree with that. 

As the business grows and the employer has to hire more workers, the employees are around their workmates more than they’re with their families in many cases.  They’re in the presence of their fellow workers longer than they’re with their extended families and their friends, for sure.  Some may be as close to workmates as they should be to their spouses.

Some owners of small businesses may not be interested in growing their businesses.  They may own one retail store or one music store or one restaurant.  They stay in business, even if they don’t expand, if they’re successful.  As those who own only one place of business are not usually publically traded, success is measured by how much profit their business makes and how much of the profit that owner uses to progress towards “the good life”.

This is wrong headed and is not success, even for small businesses.  We hear people in Congress fight regulations because regulations cause “small business owners” to fail.  We hear members of Congress fight against the minimum wage because a “small business owner” can’t afford to pay what large, publicly traded companies can pay.

One, members of Congress fight regulations and labor friendly legislation because large corporations pay them to do so.  If small business owners can’t pay their workers a living wage, how can they possibly find the money to lobby Congress?

The second lie is that small business owners can’t pay a living wage.  If one is to open a small business with no plan to expand, one should factor into success the satisfaction of one’s employees as well as the satisfaction of the customer.  There is no “legal fiduciary responsibility” to share holders for small businesses that are not publicly traded.  If one plans on starting a small business, one should not use the excuse that the business is too small to pollute the environment or too small to pay employees a living wage.  If one is researching the possibility of opening a small business, these questions should be addressed before one launches the business.  If one is going into business “for himself” and means that literally, he’s failed already.  If the only reason one goes into business is to collect large sums of money for himself or herself, the business is bound for failure.

This, of course, is an ethical failure, a failure as a productive and contributing member of society.  It’s certainly true that, if one owns a restaurant for ten years, goes through a multitude of wait staff, cooking staff, even dishwasher staff in those ten years, he could sell the business and may even be significantly wealthier than he was before he started the business.  However, if a person is serious about having a top quality restaurant, he must hire people who he can encourage to care about their jobs; actually own their jobs.  If he can instill pride in his workers and make it worth their while to stay with him for as long as he owns the restaurant, he may be even wealthier when he finally retires.  Customers can tell when people who wait on them are happy.  Customers can tell when there is never any complaint about the cleanliness of the business.  Customers tend to revisit places that have friendly atmospheres, good service and quality products. 

Nothing says quality to workers better than being appreciated for what they do to further the cause of their boss’s business.  However, if they’re paid what people in those positions are normally paid, they’re constantly looking for something better or they’re working second or third jobs, which takes energy and may very well adversely affect their performance at any one job or all of their jobs.  When people go home to the very basics while they know their boss is driving his Mercedes to his large, beautiful home, they may lose any interest in making life better for their boss.

Multinationals care even less

I am going to use The Dow Chemical Company as an example of how and why multinationals care even less.  I am going to use Dow because first, I worked for Dow for 25 years and, secondly, I know people who still work for Dow.  My intention is not to imply that Dow is any worse or any better than other multinational corporations.  It’s just that I can give examples based on what I know.

I began working for The Dow Chemical Company in 1972.  Obviously, communication technology wasn’t what it is today.  Consequently, although Dow had/has sites all over the world, it was broken down into divisions.  For example, I worked for Dow Chemical’s Eastern Division site in Connecticut.  I’m not certain whether the CEO ever visited our modest Connecticut site, but I do know that the Eastern Division Manager visited our site quite frequently.  It was an honor for us to see this manager up close and personal during those visits and we got to ask him questions, face to face.  Not only did we get the idea that he was listening to us, but it was obvious that he was.  We met with him and we brainstormed ideas to improve our plants and our work processes.  Some of those ideas were implemented either on a local plant/site level or on a division level.

Two facts should be kept in mind about this period of time.

First, Dow was working hard at shedding unions.  The site at which I was hired in 1972 was still litigating with the union which had called a wildcat strike in 1971.  The union ultimately lost - in the 1980s - but we employees had settled into the processes that Dow had put into place following the strike.  Many of these processes were actually employee friendly and many of us workers were naive enough to question what it was about Dow that the unions didn’t like.

Also, the income ratio between the CEO and those of us who actually made the products which made the profits was about 42-1.  We didn’t even give that ratio a second thought.  After all, the CEO had the responsibility to make profits, keep all of the production facilities in top running condition and to ensure that the employees were paid well for their efforts.  At that time the CEO and his staffs did a fine job of meeting those responsibilities.

Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980.  Very shortly after that election, Reagan sent a message to the workers of America. The message was that our jobs were incidental to the main goal of making money for shareholders - the top shareholders.  He manifested this message by unilaterally firing the striking Air Traffic Controllers and their union.  Dow, like most large multinational “American based” corporations, started to see how far that “brave” move by Reagan diminished the importance of the worker and the workers’ surroundings.  

It was at that time that workers’ compensation began to flat line while income for the CEO and his or her top staff began to skyrocket.  By the time Dow “delayered” me (Orwell was a genius) in 1997, the site at which I worked, which had 500 employees when I began working there, had 130.  The CEO to worker ratio had gone from 42-1 to over 400-1.  Many of the products that Dow produced began to be produced in nations in which people were paid anywhere from $.50 per hour to $2 an hour.  Dow had never promised these people living wages or benefits and felt no need to open that can of compensation.  However, Dow, like many “American” companies, was beginning to find “success” in mergers and acquisitions.

In ’72, the year I began at Dow, not only did we hear from our CEO and other people at the top of the Dow food chain, but the message was that we existed for the customer.  The message was, if we were falling behind a competitor, we needed to put more effort into improving the quality of our product.  Hard as it is to believe, Dow even lowered the price of some of those products, even after the quality was improved.  We were told that this was how Dow was going to become more successful.

Today, by way of mergers and acquisitions, Dow’s philosophy seems to be similar to that of other companies.  It’s a sort of “if you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em” philosophy.  And, in truth, this is one way to stay “competitive”.  On the one hand, Dow has bought up competitors while, on the other hand, it has sold most of the businesses it owned in 1972.  It owns very few businesses in The FUSA which still produce products and which pay workers a living wage.  Most of the jobs once done by Dow Chemical employees at these sites are now negotiated out to contractors.

The day to day production technicians that work at these sites still make what would be considered a living wage, in spite of the fact that their wages have remained flat for thirty or so years.  They’ve continued to receive raises, but many of the raises aren’t even cost of living raises.

Meanwhile, Andrew Liveris, CEO of what’s left of Dow Chemical, pulled in $19,274,624 in 2011.  While the few American workers’ wages have remained flat and while Liveris, who, by the way, is an Australian, and other CEOs, have attended to the rest of their “labor situations” by sending that labor to slave labor nations, Liveris has pulled in over $19 million.

We have been told that, when a company’s profits are in the billions of dollars, $19 million is but a drop in the bucket.  If that is the case, what “American” global corporations were paying American workers before sending those workers’ jobs to slave labor nations must have been a drop in the ocean.  How could $30.00 an hour times however many workers these corporations had in The FUSA hurt competition if $9,134.62 per hour doesn’t hurt competition.  That’s $19 million divided by 52 divided by 40.  That’s assuming that the CEO works a forty hour week.  I would be surprised if the CEO worked a forty hour month.

Of course, with all global corporations, we concentrate on the CEOs compensations.  So, of the billions of dollars the company makes, $19 million doesn’t seem like a lot, I guess.  I see it differently.

However, the CEO of the corporation isn’t the only absurdly compensated officer.   

William Weideman, Dow’s CFO, pulled in $7,356,087 in total compensation.

Executive vice presidents Joe Harlan, Charles Kalil and Geoffrey Merszei received $7,461,526, $7,179,372 and $6,739,824, respectively (but, hardly respectfully).  How does that kind of compensation figure into a competitive business model?

Additionally, Dow Chemical, a company that doesn’t sell retail products to the general public, spent $25 million for their so-called, and oh, so ironic, “Human Element” ads.  Why does a company, who is putting American workers out of work, sending jobs to slave labor nations and putting almost no money back into its few remaining American sites, have to spend one red penny on television advertising, especially if the reason they’re hurting so many American “human elements” is to remain “competitive”?

Next time one of your Teabagger friends who just love politicians who are fighting for the “job creators”, despite the fact that he or she was, at one time, thrown out onto the street like a ripped up old rag by these very same “job creators”, says that she or he understands that CEOs have a legal fiduciary obligation to their stockholders and can’t play nurse-maid to American workers anymore; or says that liberals’ “taxes” are making them move their jobs to slave labor nations; or says that unions, none of which most of these companies had to deal with before sending their jobs to those slave labor nations, were making them non-competitive; or says that regulations are the reason these greed heads are hurting what should be their fellow American citizens, tell them that it’s time they started to think again or, possible, for the first time. 

When we look at the incomes of small business owners as compared to the incomes of the people who work for them or when we look at the incomes of the top officers of large, global corporations, we can see plenty of room for them to be more ethical with their profits, help save the American economy and still be exceedingly wealthier than their lowest tier employees.

To friendship,
Michael

“Change starts when someone sees the next step.” - William Drayton

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