Admittance to the Other Reality
What Paul Krugman calls an inequality-enabling political norm arced like a blazing meteor across the business world Friday: the utterly regressed and unfeeling turds of humanity who dare to have the arrogance managing Circuit City awarded themselves $1 million dollar bonuses after a disastrous year of reeking failure in their profits, their labor and public relations, and totally tarnished brand.
Dean Baker of the American Prospect plucked it out of buried obscurity from the Washington Post (instantly earning a grateful renewal to my subscription), then to be subsequently blogged by Atrios. The norm is that any abusive, polluting, short-sighted and cruel behavior by US business leadership is to be expected and accepted, no exceptions or limits. The execution is in deliberate ignorance and obfuscation, when the outrages are reported at all they’re buried and stuffed with weenie English of nauseating weakness.
"It seems like the top executives are getting paid more for poor performance," an obsequious business-class bleater offered in a pathetic Velveeta quote before he scurried back to his cruelty of capitalism ensconced in steel and glass, confident that his weakness was properly interpreted as tacit acceptance to the latest sickening outrage.
This time the leadership of Circuit City walked off the cliff by deciding cruelty and pain to humans was their path to holy profits by laying off their experienced staff, this is normal American business behavior, after all. Word got out in a public relations and profits disaster for the rest of this year, so what happens? $1 million bonuses for the flatworms of leadership of this public company.
That’s right, this is a public company, the leadership is allegedly accountable to shareholders, plummeting share price and a board, but in American business anything goes, so these bowel movements of men managing Circuit City still have their jobs. If a citizen is wondering how the country ever got to the point business behavior normality part of the answer was illuminated in a different way at Hullabaloo yesterday, CNN had reported humans were being bludgeoned bloodily to their knees, bummer there isn’t a toothpaste or something to make that better!
That’s how American business and mainstream press so blithely report losing a job, as if a person had lost a tooth or a friend, instead the screaming crisis it usually is, a job is the lynchpin to the American experience that so deeply effects the lives of our people in crucial ways. Read American business and mainstream press, though, and it’s always we’ll fix this for the next generation of American workers, sorry, want some 401k with that?
Then repeat the de-emphasis and the obfuscation day after day, year after year. A soul of a citizen is smashed with a job lost, children eventually get hungry and homeless, sincere bonds of love are torn apart in howling pain caused by the multiple extreme stresses of not making it in America, nothing to see here. That’s normal America, we’ve made it that way for thirty years now, move along.
What’s it like to belong to such a unique class of citizenship, part of the amazing Other Reality of Business of no rules or accountability anywhere, luxury, comfort and security everywhere? Just how the hell does one make it into that special class of American citizenry, anyway?
Fascinatingly enough, all that is required is business leadership in any form, no matter how modest, and simply a self-proclamation that greed and self-centeredness reign supreme as guidance for life, no matter the howling pain or lakes of blood that follow. The American business norm is to love all this, baby, go for it. It was bought and paid for, it’s been this way for 30 years, go on now, put some children on the street and buy a yacht, you earned it. You just say you earned it, that’s really how it works, we made it normal.
Not all in business leadership and privilege behave like the jackals at Circuit City, not hardly, millions of citizens with grave responsibility act with the best of ethics and fairness allowed to them. But far too many have decided they are indeed part of an Other Reality where anything goes just for them, they bought the press and almost all of the political apparatus to make it so, and their galling arrogance and gross excesses have no limits, even in public companies.
It is most certainly not normal to cause howling pain for tens of thousands, horribly fail and then get paid $1 million for it. Buying off the press and the political apparatus won’t change how horribly wrong it is, never will. The day cannot come soon enough politics and norms are forcibly changed to properly identify the Circuit City leadership as cruel freaks who are never allowed to keep their jobs after so much disastrous human behavior, it will be a rare occurrence, not a normal one, and there will be no Other Reality of America for sale.