Once again the urge to write has been slowly and steadily building over the course of these past few weeks as I read the headlines. After reading today’s newspaper this urge has finally bubbled over and if I do not write to release frustrations and disbeliefs I feel that my health might suffer. Each of these issues deserve an entire post but I will do my best to shorten my thoughts on each topic although will most likely be unsuccessful.
1. American Automakers
After seeing a photo of the four chiefs sitting next together at a congressional hearing I could not help but think of the three stooges plus one. They show up in individual corporate jets with no specific plan and demand money as though they deserve it along with their multi-million dollar salaries. It was heartening to learn that they were rebuffed and ridiculed for such nonsense.
However, they now pull publicity stunts such as driving to DC in fuel-efficient cars and stating they will work for $1 for a year as though it is a great sacrifice. They should know that $1 is far too much of a salary for driving their companies into the ground and their failed business models. Regular people get fired for far less but they seem to think they still deserve a salary and should get free money from taxpayers!!
The downside to all this is the hard working people who will lose jobs due to their incompetence. Their main job function and large salaries as CEO are specifically to prevent the entire business from failing which they have failed to do. It seems illogical that a normal sales person will lose his job should he fail to produce but when a CEO crashes his company into the ground they start crying to congress.
I believe that the public recognizes that throwing money at companies whose products nobody wants to buy is a bad idea. On the other hand it would incredibly damage the economy as these giants are deemed “too big to fail.” I guess the old adage “the bigger they are, the harder they fall,” is perfect for this scenario.
The auto companies have done their best to stop fuel-efficient cars and public transportation development for far too long. Now the price is being paid and they believe the American public will get them off the hook. Let them burn but hopefully Obama will come up with some plan to lessen the impact on the American worker.
Just a short note that for all the demagoguery on how Capitalism is the “American” way and anyone who thinks otherwise is a Communist, let them be drawn and quartered. Capitalism does not involve asking the government to provide free money to help them make a profit. Capitalism involves failing if the business is inefficient and nobody wants the products produced. Yet, businesses obviously consider hypocrisy to be OK when their business is the one asking for money.
I was surprised to see the headlines “Terrorists targeting Americans and Britons!” splashed across the headlines last week. If one read the information carefully, that information came from a British diplomat who overheard one guy as an Italian if he was American or British. From that, it morphed into the whole operation was “TARGETING AMERICAN AND BRITISH!!”
Yet, the casualties where over 100 Indian nationals and less then 10 American and British wounded or killed. This makes no sense to me. Imagine if the situation were reversed, the attack happened here, with close to 200 Americans killed and only a few Indians, yet the Indian newspapers shout that the terrorists are TARGETING INDIANS!! I’m certain that the Americans would be up in arms and throwing a fit.
To come to a point, if one American is killed in a “terrorist act” it will spawn hundreds of articles, debates and so on. Yet, when it involves foreign nationals only a handful of articles will be written and soon forgotten. Unacceptable.
It would seem that I am having a very difficult time getting into the “Christmas Spirit,” these days. The dire economic news plays a small part, but much more it is the society which I have come to not like very much since coming back from Asia. Perhaps the pinnacle example of this is the Wal-Mart employee that was crushed by hordes of animals trying to get a good deal on some trinket. This once act really defines a society at large which has become nothing more than a consuming monstrosity. The point of life in America seems to be to “purchase” to “consume” and to continue doing so in larger and larger quantities.
It has come to the point that when I hear a Christmas song playing on the radio I expect it to be combined with a Gap or Starbucks commercial trying to hawk me some sweater or fancy coffee. The magic and feeling of goodwill has gone out of Christmas and been replaced by cheap sales pitches. When did we let these stupid companies hijack a very special time of year??? I guess it goes right along with being a Capitalist society and the belief that greed and every man for himself is a good idea. Consuming is what matters and any who disagree better get out of the way as exemplified by that unfortunate Walmart employee.
The fact is I hate what society has become but am heartened by the fact that Americans in general are great rational people and a backlash is sure to come. America has the amazing ability to correct itself as shown by the election of Barack Obama. I believe that people of any nation are inherently good but it is in America and it is in the basic nature of our traditions and character to be able to change at a more rapid pace than other countries.
However, greed and the constant pursuit of profits are formidable enemies and it may take some time to rediscover that caring for others is what is important in life.