Every day we read about new malefactors who have scammed the system to enrich themselves. Some break the law, like Bernie Madoff and Nicholas Cosmo, purveyors of the Ponzi scheme.
Others, like John Thain, the former head of Merrill Lynch, didn't break any laws that we know of, but could, without challenge, park in a handicapped zone because the guy is without question a moral and ethical cripple.
If you haven't been following the outrages of the economic collapse, John Thain presided over fourth quarter losses of 15 billion. Then he rushed out a few billion in bonuses to reward the incompetent fucks under him who lost the savings of decent people who were actually suckers enoough to play by the rules.
As icing on this big manure cake, Thain spent over a million bucks redecorating his office last year, shelling out 1400 bucks for a now famous trash can, which is where most of the money he was entrusted with landed.
Then there are the staunch free marketeers who hate socialism but don't mind taking a little something from the taxpayer, like $25 billion in federal bailout funds, and then using part of that money to lobby against workers. You know, the people who pay taxes.
Bank of America got together with other free-market absolutists, including one guy from taxpayer-rescued AIG, and urged everyone to fight the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), legislation that would make it easier for workers to unionize.
And why would workers want to work together? Could it be because they're catching it in the shorts?
One of the leaders of this effort is Bernie Marcus,* the co-founder of Home Depot. He called this legislation "... the demise of a civilization. This is how a civilization disappears..."
That's right. If we give employees the right to collectively bargain, to hold corporations responsible for how they treat their workers, to demand fair employment practices through strength rather than depending upon the kindness of cold-hearted strangers like Marcus and Thain, that would be the end of civilization.
Just look at Europe. With all their unionized workers, it's just a smoldering, post-apocalyptic hell.
Gentlemen, perhaps, and this is just a suggestion, if you had been more responsible business leaders, if you had not resorted to accounting tricks to look successful, if you had put community over the next quarter, if you had acted less like hogs at the Treasury trough or passed up a million dollar bonus when you knew your company was deep in the red, just maybe workers and taxpayers wouldn't be in this pickle now.
So, my modest proposal is this. We trundle one or two of these rapacious bastards up to Dr. Guillotine's clipper. That's all it would take. One or two. I guarantee the others would start flying coach.
Just a thought.
*A personal note to Bernie Marcus. I was going to drop a few hundred bucks at Home Depot this weekend. But I think I'll take my business elsewhere. That's called the free market, Mr. Marcus and I advise you to suck on it.