Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A modest proposal.

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.


Charlie Stella said...

Davey, Davey, Davey ... I've been calling for lining them up and shooting them in a schoolyard (to show the littlin's how it should be done) since they rammed this baby up our collective asses.

Where's Barney Frank (and his oversight--it's been missing for years, but on this, too)?

BOTH parties, Davey, Davey, Davey, are guilty of this (including the Messiah) ... they didn't take a fOcking second to think this one through ... no stipulations for workers (at all) ... this was a home run for big business and it's why we're closing in on 1930 all over again.


viva Fidel ...

or somebody (ANYBODY) who knows what the fuck he (or she) is doing ...

Tom said...

More on point then Stella's endless attempts to paint everyone with the same broad toxin-laden brush, here's an unfunny fact. Home Depot and its Scumlord Marcus made all the contributions they could to elect Neocons, those upstanding champions of free market fabulism, in the last three elections.

We do a lot of building and yardwork. They don't get our money.

Charlie Stella said...

It's for your edification, brother ... because if you really think dems are substantially different from reps you're doing too much yardwork (and maybe getting dizzy). Perhaps from too much toxin laden fertilizer.

You want real change, vote out both parties.

David Terrenoire said...


Charlie is our house anarchist and we love him for it.

But yes, Home Depot will get no more of my money, either. And we're renovating a house.

Charlie Stella said...

Grazie, Dave ... but i know you meant Charlie 3x's ...

And no offense, Tom. I'm still smarting from supporting W early on ... the way I figure it, things work out for the best. Slick Willy sent me running for protection (I was a long time bleeding heart liberal before him) ... W more than disappointed ... and sent me back (almost) to the extreme (except this time I no longer have blind faith in the left just because it's the left).

Besides, if I don't come here and stir the shit every so often, yous guys would be just another drama with no conflict.

What yous should've given me crap for is "sole" instead of "soul" in the Updike comment (if there's a God, please, please, please, forgive me that one).

For that, I should have my fingers chopped off.

I love(d) Harry Angstrom ... with all his foibles ... he was/remains Americana. I reread that entire series every few years because like some of Roth, Steinbeck and George V. Higgins, it should be reread.

Hey, Dave, I ordered a new set of DW's last night ... we're gonna hook up, my brother. I promise.

And go get your wife that puppy. We were frustrated by the adoption process too, but have had to put the adoption aside for now (the boss is going to nursing school and we just don't have the time to dedicate to a puppy with Rigoletto demanding what free time we have).