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?

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