Monday, August 23, 2010

"Don't blame us," said the guilty men

When I first heard about this article in the Washington Post the other day, I honestly thought it was a joke. I really thought that someone from The Onion had snuck into the Post offices and wrote that article as a gag, a sick joke. But to my surprise and to my chagrin, it wasn't a joke, the CEO's of some of America's biggest corporations were blaming American workers for the lack of an economic recovery.

According to the article, "They (the CEO's) blame their profound caution on their view that U.S. consumers are destined to disappoint for many years. As a result, they say, the economy is unlikely to see the kind of almost unbroken prosperity of the quarter-century that preceded the financial crisis."

That's a pretty funny statement isn't it? They blame us for disappointing them. For not buying enough, for not making them enough profit, for not being good little consumers who spend all our money on their shit and services.

Hey, CEO's, here's a news flash for you: We can't buy the products you make or use the services you sell if we don't have any money. See guys, you cut wages, benefits, and jobs to make your bottom line look good to Wall Street. And as a result of all that your short term profits rose and your stock price went up but after you cut all the wages, benefits, and jobs, nobody had any money left to buy anything because they had no discretionary income left. The money they used to spend on buying the latest greatest version of microwaves, cars, or whatever now goes to paying the light bill, the mortgage, and it buys groceries and clothes.

In your mad rush to maximize shareholder value you minimized your employees. Instead of taking care of the people who built your companies and who paid your salaries, you shafted them by moving their jobs China. You downsized and laid off the very people you want to buy your products. If people have no money, no jobs, no hope because American business has failed them, how do you expect them to buy your products? If people can't make ends meet on what little you pay them now, how can they be expected to buy more so that your company can make more money?

Your economic model makes no sense. You can't ship jobs to China and expect the Americans you put on the unemployment line to buy what the Chinese now make. You can't expect people who have nothing to keep buying your products. You can't keep taking with both hands and then expect those you took everything from to bail you out.

So, the fact that we have no economic recovery in this country isn't our fault, we've done everything you've asked. We worked hard, we paid our taxes, we built your shit, we bought your shit, we took your shit, and then you shit on us. So dear CEO's, the fault lies with you and your insane expectations and your nonsensical Milton Friedman-esque economic theories. We here outside of your cloistered boardrooms did what we were supposed to do, and we continue to do it, it's you who changed the rules and rigged the game. It's you who lied and who disappoint. It's you who are causing economic stagnation. We swallowed your lies for years, especially the lie that if you work hard enough then great things will happen. The smart ones among us know that millions of us work hard every day and all they get for it is a handful of shit courtesy of your big heartless soulless corporate culture that prizes shareholder profits over everything.

I can't wait for this economic house of cards to collapse and for your corporations to fall. Maybe out of their ashes will rise a fairer system that puts people before profits and has safeguards against big corporate bullies. You know, kind of like the stuff the late great FDR enacted in the aftermath of the Great Depression. Mr. and Mrs. CEO, the time of reckoning will soon be at hand and it's not going to be pretty or fun for any of you.

1 comment:

gmb said...

And the corporations are sitting on $1.84 trillion in cash (or so I've read). Maybe if they invested in infrastructure, manufacuturing facilities, expand...right. If the corporations collapse, the small investor will be screwed, our pensions (if you have them) and 401ks will crater and the former CEOs and four or five other former high level executives per corporations will be doing quite nicely. Because their money will be safe and stuff for sale is going to be really really cheap. The filthy rich do well during depressions.