Monday, January 16, 2012

My days of being a conservative may soon be coming to an end.

I just received one of those "Oh my God!" e-mails. You know, the kind that forewarn you of the world coming to a catastrophic end unless you call your Congressman's office and raise hell about stopping the passage of some nebulous bill or the other.

This one had me scratching my head, then navigating towards the Google and Bing buttons to do a little searching on my own.

Then I called my elected officials' offices and raised pure bloody hell. Screamed at them, I did. Loudly and profanely.

Told them my days of being a campaign-supporting conservative were quickly coming to an end.

The SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) is to the internet what Obamacare is to medicine.

A death sentence.

SOPA (HB 3261) effectively gives unbridled power to the Attorney General, the same one, mind you responsible for the murder of a federal agent ala Fast and Furious, to regulate the internet and not just "including" businesses, but especially businesses.

Right up to and especially including blogs like this one and online classified ads sites like craigslist.

The supporting corporate sponsorship of this draconian bill include some of the richest corporations, and their fat-assed CEOs, in all of America, such as:

RIAA, MPAA, News Corp, TimeWarner, Walmart, Nike, Tiffany, Chanel, Rolex, Sony, Juicy Couture, Ralph Lauren, VISA, Mastercard, Comcast, ABC, Dow Chemical, Monster Cable, Teamsters, Rupert Murdoch, Lamar Smith (R-TX), John Conyers (D-MI)

Now I'm a capitalist at heart, and have been since I mowed my first lawn for a dollar, and then went on to get my first paper route. I retired from the advertising and marketing industry, which is about as capitalist as it gets.

But there is no way in hell you can--or will--ever convince me that any CEO is worth $50 million dollars a year, plus stock and bonus options. For the record, you'll never convince me that any professional athlete is worth that, either. I've negotiated enough endorsement contracts with professional athletes to pitch clients such in the categories of sports drinks, soft drinks, fast food, etc., to know I have a leg to stand on here.

But there is a difference between a $10MM/year CEO and a $10MM/year professional athlete.

The athlete actually has to perform, has to have the ability, and fans pay money--by choice--to see or watch the athlete and his team perform.

Not always so with CEOs.

When is the last time the CEO of, let's say Walgreens or CVS or Walmart or Sears or Target spent a week working the cash registers--the source of all income for their companies? Or when is the last time these same CEOs had to unload the huge trucks that roll in all hours of the day--the source of goods for which the cashiers ring up the sales, and for which deposits pay the companies' expenses starting with the million dollar salaries?

And when CEOs perform badly, as most of them inevitably end up doing, and get fired, as most inevitably end up doing, why do they almost always get seven and eight-figure golden parachute bonuses to soften their fall?

I've been fired from a job exactly one time, and all I got was a severance check and shown the door (I was in college working part time for one of the above mentioned retail companies).

I saw a store manager get fired and all he got was his vacation he had "banked" and a one-month severance check. The man had over thirty years with the company and was fired basically to make room for the younger, greedier Number Two man to move up.

Two years later, the CEO of this company was fired when the company was underperforming horribly AND was sued by the U.S. Department of Justice for age-discrimination. The CEO walked away with over $15 million in cash payouts, plus the remaining fourteen months on his contract, plus health benefits, plus his life insurance policy was paid off.

Translation: The CEO fucked over the company and employees and shareholders and walked away with over $20 million dollars.

CEOs have only gotten worse, and now they are threatened by little people like you and me who may like to shop for stuff on craigslist. They claim we're "stealing" business from them--"them" being Walmart, Target, Walgreens, et al. The elected asshats claim we're "dodging taxes" by buying directly from our neighbors.

What a bunch of crap.

This nation was founded upon individual relationships of our own deciding. The business I retired from was based upon "build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your doorstep." Small business is THE engine that drives our economy--not the Wall Street conglomerates.

I have nothing against the acquisition of wealth so long as it's done honestly and ethically. But when our top business people have done nothing more than politic their way to the top, then appointed board members who continue to inflate each others' salaries and benefits and all at the expense of the very people making thos companies work who live in fear every single day as to how much longer they'll be employed, then we have a problem.

Likewise, when these crooked, greedy sons of bitches are threatened by individuals in Fish Bite Falls, USA who are selling their handmade quilts on craigslist, then we an even bigger problem.

Government and more regulations are not the answer.

More support of the "little guy" business is the answer.

I try to avoid publicly-owned businesses whenever I can. It gets harder at times, and even when I shop at my neighborhood hardware store, I realize that many of the products I buy end up supporting one of the CEOs whose ass I'd really like to kick.

And while that can't be helped, the initial purchase of my goods goes towards my community neighbor who opens his hardware store up each morning and who has put two sons and one daughter through college by way of his hardware store.

Likewise, I all but boycott corporate-owned restaurants. Their food sucks anyhow, compared to mom & pop restaurants.

There are exceptions to my shopping with Cabela's and Bass Pro Shops being notable exceptions. For a long time, I supported Sears because of how they correctly handled and treated their veterans who were sent off to war. There are some responsible large corporations out there and I will continue to support them.

But for those who want to support bills that will shut down mom & pop internet businesses?

Kiss my non-corporate ass.


Old NFO said...

Agreed, this is totally ridiculous, and one more step to 'Papers Please'...

Liberalmann said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liberalmann said...

Good for you! Also realize that it's the corporate owned GOP trying to push SOPA through.

And it's NOTHING like Obamacare. But don't worry, if you are finally using your brains, you'll get there, lol!

An Ordinary American said...


The CEOs and Fortune 500 own BOTH parties. Never forget that.

They continue to exist because we are too damned lazy, selfish and undisciplined to break our addiction to cheap Chinese shit made overseas.

Politics has nothing to do with this.

Our politicians are of OUR own creation, and now we either have to live with them, or rid ourselves of them.


tha malcontent said...

What ever happened to the "Good Ole, USA"?