Friday, July 18, 2008

What's On Your Resume?

Being a someone who has difficulty with reality anyway, I take a great interest in the disparity between the major corporations and their television commercials which can be quite comforting. It is interesting to note that many of these companies have such legal entanglements that their chances of being hired through their own human resources departments are rather slim.

In Doug Hammerstrums brilliant essay "The Hijacking of the Fourteenth Amendment". He reminds us that the Fourteenth Amendment was a vestige of the the Civil War, it was meant to establish the legitimacy of former slaves as American citizens. However during this time corporations as we know them today were being formed and their savvy lawyers 'hijacked' this amendment to have their employers budding enterprises recognized as persons under the law. Hammerstrum states that of the 150 cases involving the fourteenth amendment brought before the Supreme Court 135 involved business entities. Read Hammerstrums essay,

All of which makes the Dennis Haysbert tie in kind of interesting.

Take for example AllState, the commercials which employs the admirable skills of the great actor Dennis Haysbert, Mr. Haysbert in character, informs the public that they are "In good hands, with AllState". He is a very convincing actor who persuades me to believe that AllState is indeed the company to turn to if I need insurance. He is much more convincing than the damn reptile over at the other company. However, the fact of the matter is that AllState is being sued in three states for using what policy holders deemed an unfair business model. It is not that the company didn't pay the homeowners who held the policy but the policy which was provided left them under insured to rebuild their homes to their specifications or match the improvements they made to their homes. More troubling, AllState was fined for simply dropping insurance policies of homeowners in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina as well, the California Department of Insurance fined Allstate after the Oakland fires in 1991 because their policy holders were under insured.

The case for keeping people under insured is based on the buisness practice of insurance companies like AllState to not disclose to prospective policy holders how much it actually costs to insure their homes. That kind of up front honesty leads most potential buyers to walk away from the sales offer without purchasing a policy.

Then there is Wachovia formerly A.G. Edwards whose headquarters in Missouri was recently raided by state regulators seeking information on Wachovias sales practices and an internal investigation of the marketing of auction-rated securities. Well, some of us may have lied on a credit card application but certainly nothing like this! We are certainly not the only ones in debt yet today we as consumers are chided for the irresponsible accruement of credit card debt we have and young men and women across the country are recruited into special financial literacy courses to sit at the feet of some mercantile guru who explains to them that the problem with the current economy is that their parents were incompetent and lax, however he fails at the same time to remind them that no one is beating down our door to investigate our check books and Quicken files. Yet when we see the commercials for this bank one gets the impression that this is a well order financial institution.

Frankly, I think these people are a bad influence on your kids. Banks like Washington Mutual for instance directly target younger Americans under the pretense of almost not being a bank or being different than other banks. They are not a bank for old people like your parents they are a modern Millennial bank where things are done differently but is that true? Maybe parents should not have their children associate with a 'bad crowd' like banks and bankers, "But, mommy these are my friends (my teachers and great influences)!" "Well, honey, uh, who is this WaMu anyway, generally it's not a good idea to trust people who nick name themselves." "Oh mom, you don't understand!" Come on let's face it Washington Mutual is just one commercial shy of using the animated camel.

There's of course Bear Sterns which we no longer have to worry about but what about UBS the Swiss Bank which had to fire 7000 employees and is currently under a federal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for allegedly helping their rich clients avoid paying federal income tax (a subversive and unpatriotic act) through illegitimate tax shelters. Meanwhile we are all asked to spend, not save our federal income tax returns at the local retailer, rather than having the federal government coaxes creditors to forgive chunks of our unrecoverable debt. I take a personal interest in the UBS collapse since I was one of the grand jurors (yanked away from my very pressing blogging responsibilities) to indict this bank on these charges. It is also interesting to hear that they are no longer providing off-shore banking services for Americans, what do you make of that? Fortunately I do not have any off shore account. Well, if you getting the impression that some of us poor folks are enjoying this your right! Forty dollars a day and all the white collar criminals you can put away, not bad !

I would be remiss not to bring up Merck Pharmaceuticals who although not a financial provider is a major corporation that would be deemed a practical sociopath if it were a real legal person. At this point not only would Merck qualify as a felon but would have to cop to a string of negligible homicide charges on an employment application. They would need to attach reams and reams of legal documentations to their application for employment or just bring it in on a flash drive. In addition to the 9000 lawsuits still pending against them for the pain killer medication Vioxx which had a 'killer-cure' for pain liable as it was for the deaths of several people who took this FDA approved medication. Additionally, the corporation is now facing another lawsuit over Fosamax an osteoporosis medication for withholding information that it could kill jaw bone tissues. The only product that has done well on the market is Guardasil which was the controversial HPV vaccine. A vaccine that was meant to prevent the contraction of the Human Papillomavirus which is acquired through vaginal contact. Somehow it was deemed necessary to administered the vaccine to girls who are supposedly too young to contract any sexually transmitted disease. Yeah Merck! This company most go down as one of the most public relations challenged corporations of all time. If Merck was an actually person as stated by law, would you really want to hire this person?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A service economy rank with bad service.

We here in the States have actually transformed our economy from a manufacturing economy to a service economy. The irony being most haven't the proper character to provide decent service. So many Americans have grown up with our self-indoctrinated profit driven ethos that the ends not only justfy the means they justify the purpose. To be kind, considerate and conscientious is to be weak and agitates the fears of the collective tribe.To be mean, irrational, proud and uncompromising is the mainstream American way of life. This conciseness has abrogated meaning; the interpreted experience, from the daily lives of many youths and it is these youths who serve us.

Detestable, deplorable behavior is engineered and instilled in many of the youth today through the media which includes the video games, commercials, and recorded music and videos. However, it also comes through talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern. As well as Oprah Winfrey and all the "soft school" secularist that promote this life as purpose philosophy. Does her Angel Network include Lucifer and if not why can't she expressly define what portion of Christianity she is exploiting? The use of the media to soften values and beliefs took place even back in the days when television was deemed harmless, take Three's Company for instance two women and one man simply "living togther" and how homosexuality was introduced as just a cover for the main character Jack to stay in the apartment. Then there was the 1970's sitcom One Day at a Time which portrayed single mothers to the general public as a noble struggle although to this day divorce for Catholics leads to excommunication, in effect, separating them from the body of Christ. Single mothers, once considered a source of shame are now portrayed as more noble than married (hetero) mothers because to be a single mother, like the life of a convict, is such a harder life, it's 'more real'. However, rarely if ever do we chastise these two groups anymore for thier share of the responsibility of getting into these predicaments in the first place, when you do that you are consider a religious bigot. Not to mention shows like Alice and Laverence and Shirley. Single women taking care of themselves and not a family. It seems at first silly to debate this right? After all these are all just television sitcoms but that is just the point, they are not family sitcoms, the family and long standing values have slowly but deliberately been eroded from our standards and expectation up until what we have now, gay "marriages".

Thus whereever there is this going against the grain i.e. selfish living , boats against the current and so on the template of a grit filled saga is transpose which ultimately brings us back to our national roots of struggle and independace from England, all obligations and bindings are rent from the base in the name of liberty. Yet when we look at ourselves as Americans we prefer to see ourselves as we believed ourselves to be two or three generations ago and when we go shopping and get that nasty sales person we prefer to displace this reality with the smiling faces we saw in the commercials, that is America not this! The disparity between the way we present ourselves in the media and how we actually behave is so wide one fears taking in too much of it, both the deceptively benign fiction of Stargate Atlantis where the entire crew is really dependant on the 'brillance' of the scientist who can solve every problem himself (and practically in his head) propagating the fiction that intelligence is some kind gift gems of the scientific community have bestowed upon them and they are to be awed and worshiped to the fictious portrayal of reality itself in the 'like it is' police and hospital shows, after the Sean Bell shooting amongst others showed how clumsy the NYPD really can be and so many people are turning to holistic medicine with the real drama being medical insurance, not the steamy personal relationships of two doctors in the broom closet. Not to mention (or fail to mention) the shunted and coercive news reporting which serve their masters and benefactors interest from the dangers of natural remedies, to the isolated aggrandizement of President Robert Mugabe, the actual history of Zimbabwe and the greed of the rebellious Bristish governor Ian Smith totally ignored. Then there are young black boys in a marvelous performance of extemporary exposition would use the word "nigger" no less than four times in a sentance but when talk shows aired their host like children with parents would feel compelled to use the euphamism "N word'. Who was it that they had to answer to that these black boys did not, could it be their parents and liberal white oppurtunist? At root is the philosophy that our evil natures do not have to be corrected. Are only our teeth to be straight these days?

You also meet people who are nicer than you might have expected as well. Yet, the rub of having our economy rest on the backs of sourly, evil teenagers and twenty somethings is a miscalculation of economic intent. The people that are aggressively selling to the kids are soft spoken until the sale is over and the actual vindictiveness of a capitalist aggregation itself reveals that the most selfish traits of a person are more esteemed than good character and with demand up (to use the new handy-dandy universally applied mercantile paradigm for every aspect of life, it cuts, it shreds families, healthcare and jobs but wait there's more!) we behave this way.
We teach people to be selfish and greedy because it is good for the economy.

Hence we develop a completely carnal and extrinsic attitude where self exaltation is ones primary goal. All the while we detour from developing into more psyhologically and spiritually mature human creatures, devolving instead into a mash of egotisical psychopaths. Of all the boasts of manliness I have heard in the last ten years none of it has exalted humility and with good reason, it can't be done. Who will know you are alive and how will you defend your self psychologically with out all the cursing and scratching that makes a man a man. No,everyone has pride as if it were a good thing. Pride, that mental disease which is actually designated as the first of the seven deadly sins in Catholicism is by definition "An undue sense of one's own superiority;" (Funk & Wagnalls Standard Desk Dictionary) but instead we have the homosexual community vaunting this, their chief possession, in the vanguard of thier legtimacy, "WE HAVE PRIDE!" they say, yes and we have Christ.

Global Warming theory itself is an ode to the evils of idolotry where scientist like secular prophets predict the end of the world in the form of polar ice caps melting, placing most of the agrable land under water. Yet even this was held in political contention, something this important and presumably apperant immigrated from a scientific reality to the possibiliity of it all just being a great hoax and languished on the teether of the layman's suspension of disbelief, were we the culprit?

The same convection took place in the market places where the exacerbating of the worst traits in people like selfishness and envy were playfully extolled by the marketers in order to sell to them and now the consumer faces these very character traits in every aspect of the service economy, quality may number one but service is definetly number two.