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The big business of humans

Lynne wrote:

I got off of my lovely sun doused plastic slab [...] to do a "google" to see if it was true that there was such a thing as "dead peasant insurance", and even finding it was true in places like Texas (can you even imagine...?), I thought to myself, "Nah, that couldn't happen in New York!", but oops... sure it could!

Oh. My. Gawd.

"I pledge of allegiance to the flag of the CEO of America."

Ah, but perhaps actions of some American CEOs, including those involved in "dead peasant" lawsuits, have far-reaching ramifications. Not just concerning some American states and not even only global implications. Try superterrestrial.

It's torn cities apart from Inglewood to Chicago and engulfed the entire state of Vermont. Now the conflict's gone national as a presidential campaign issue, with John Kerry hammering the megaretailer for its abysmally low wages and Dick Cheney praising it for its "spirit of enterprise, fair dealing and integrity." This could be the central battle of the 21st century: Earth people versus the Wal-Martians.


(Disclosure: I prefer Costco, which pays decent wages, insures 90 percent of its employees and is reputedly run by native-born humans.) ["Wal-Mars Invades Earth" by Barbara Ehrenreich, New York Times, July 25, 2004]

I prefer Costco, too, and frankly, CEOs like Jim Sinegal give me some hope that there are companies that do care about fair treatment of their employees.

And, in the long run, it is better business,... including humane dealings.


Just want to mention something that caught my attention reading those links, and gave me more pause to ponder the horrors.

Forget that the greed and lust for more and more and more has caused the rulers of these corporate kingdoms to live better than kings ever dreamed of by pillaging and depleting the savings and retirements and investments of the employed, and plunging them into unemployment, welfare, and low paying jobs.

Forget that they duped us by convincing us that the stock market wasn't just a rich mans game, and invited us all to join their feast at their table and as we poured our savings and funds and hard earned money into their stocks they were simultaneously selling off theirs, knowing that they were sweeping our pockets and purses for a non-existant recovery.

Forget that a relatively large portion of what was once that esteemed working class is now gladly and gratefully accepting even the most menial and low paying of jobs with barely enough renumeration to survive, let alone build back up all that was lost in that plunder.

Forget all that.

The "dead peasant" insurance policies insure the employees, but name the holders of the company as the beneficiaries. The way I understand these DP policies to work, the policy is only good as long as the employee works at the company. In other words, the employee has to actually die while on the payroll in order for the policy holder to collect as beneficiary. If the employee leaves the company, the company is basically out the insurance premiums.

Now, I'm not insinuating anything sinister here, but I just don't think it looks nice for a company to take out "dead peasant" insurance on their employees, and simultaneously pay them abysmally low wages and take away their health insurance!?

One has to wonder at it all. Doesn't one?

A TV news program I was watching yesterday recounted consumer shopping habits,... how demographically for the most part Wal-Mart patrons are primarily Republican, while Democrats tend to frequent Costco stores. There are exceptions, of course. Some of my Republican acquaintances rave about Costco and might be appalled at this information.

However, a particularly scathing article from CounterPunch hits a religio-political nerve:

The Wal-Mart executives, most of them rock-solid Republicans and church goers, understand viscerally what George W. Bush meant when he called on Americans to practice compassionate conservatism. Unlike Scrooge, who transforms his mean-spirited miserly character through a revealing dream, the heavies at some of the globalizing corporations understand redemption through Rapture, not through changing their skin-flint practices into generous deeds.

The Wal-Mart God is the Lord of the Bottom Line. The Laws of Gods they translate in practice into exploitation of the most vulnerable sectors of the workforce. To protect themselves, the Wal-Mart execs and those of other globalizers pay the politicians, in campaign contributions. They are moving rapidly into food sales and other areas as well. Watch out, as Upton Sinclair warned in 1934 when he tried to End Poverty in California. "Autocracy in industry cannot exist alongside democracy in government."

So, anonymous, as you state:

One has to wonder at it all.

Doesn't one?

How will Tiny Tim fare in this scenario, possibly at poverty level without health insurance? Scrooge was transformed. Let's make sure that message is not lost.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Only, be afraid not of the things "they" want you to be afraid of, be afraid of the things they do NOT want you to be afraid of.

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