Monday, January 30, 2006

Let’s start off with some facts. One, the average CEO makes 475 times what the average worker does in this country. In Japan that ratio is about eleven to one. Two, Exxon posted a record profit for a US corporation last quarter of about 10.7 billion dollars.

Is anyone else as pissed off as me about these things?

I don’t begrudge someone an opportunity to get wealthy. But isn’t a ratio of 475 to 1 a little out of whack? Especially when corporations are habitually downsizing and sending what were once good paying American jobs to China where people get paid squat. Also we live in an age where retirement plans and health insurance at your job is getting more and more expensive or just fading away like a sigh.

Have you ever heard the term golden parachute? Well if you haven’t let me explain. A golden parachute is clause in a corporate executive’s contract that if they lose their job then they get a big old payday. That’s pretty messed up right there. So are the 30,000 Ford workers about to lose their jobs going to get a big fat check with stock options?

You see friends and neighbors the average worker is getting screwed. While his boss is well protected. If Joe Worker fails at his job it’s hit the road. If the CEO fails he gets rich. Is there any justice at all in that? Can anyone justify that and do it with a straight face?

About that second fact, we live in a time where gasoline prices are as high as they have ever been and some people cannot afford to heat their homes. But, Exxon is posting record profits. You see in most economies the price of something raises when the demand exceeds the supply, the greater the imbalance the higher the price. So if the prices were raised because of some dearth of oil on the market just how did Exxon profit so much? Or maybe, and I hate to speculate but I will anyway, they were just price gouging. You think maybe that’s it right there? I tend to.

Greed and gluttony are two of the Seven Deadly Sins for good reason. This corporate greed and gluttony has got to end. It serves no purpose. What’s the worst that could happen you ask? A bloody revolution is the worst that can happen. If the gap between the have-nots and the have-way-too-muches continues to widen and more and more people continue to struggle to meet their most basic needs of health care and shelter and food. Then they will fight to get them. And if our government is still beholden to corporate interests and refuses to dictate change or provide help then I fear the worst.

There is a theory that every 80 years the United States goes through a great crisis. Around 1780 we were in the Revolutionary War. Around 1860 we were in the Civil War. Around 1940 we were in the Great Depression and fighting World War II. I’m not predicting that around 2020 we will be in the middle of another revolution. But if we don’t act now to make change peacefully and without blood shed then it wouldn’t surprise me at all.


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