Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What Happens When Big Corporations Become Immune to Bad Publicity?

Poor Tracy Morgan. Many working class people in America have already been figuratively run over by the predatory practices of big corporations like Walmart, that ever since the go-go 1980s have been driving down their wages and offshoring good paying jobs even while conning them with "low prices" they have had to pay for in so many ways they are unable to see. Morgan, however, had the misfortune of getting literally run over by a Walmart, specifically by an 18-wheeler piloted by a company driver who'd apparently been no-dosing it for about 24 hours.

Given that Morgan is a popular entertainer with a large fan base, you'd have thought that the smart thing for Walmart to do would be to quietly settle the civil suit filed by Morgan and the family of his companion who was killed in the crash. Well, you thought wrong, Natch:
Walmart's attorneys said yesterday in a court filing that it doesn't owe Morgan and his fellow passengers anything because they should have protected themselves by buckling up. The company further denied any responsibility for how long the truck driver, who Morgan's lawyers claim was sleep-deprived at the time of the accident, had been awake.
Understandably outraged, as any right-thinking person should be, Morgan responded:
"After I heard what Walmart said in court, I felt I had to speak out. I can't believe Walmart is blaming me for an accident that they caused. My friends and I were doing nothing wrong. I want to thank my fans for sticking with me during this difficult time."
Morgan didn't call for his fans to boycott Walmart, but it's probably just as well that he didn't. Citizens Consumers Idiots in this country have become so inured to corporate malfeasance that even having one of their favorite entertainers struck down like road kill likely wouldn't be enough to get them to change their shopping habits. Then you have the morons who, every time someone calls for a boycott in a situation like this, immediately rally to the company's side and call for an anti-boycott.

There was a time not all that long ago when America had a fairly aggressive Fourth Estate which investigated corporate malfeasance, and when caught the companies in question instantly scrambled to do everything they could to at least give the appearance that they were setting things right. In recent years, of course, the so-called "free press" has been taken over by a few giant conglomerates, so it takes some really spectacular fuckups like poisoning half the Gulf of Mexico or having a speed-addicted truck driver crush a teevee star under his wheels to get the media to pay any attention at all.

And yet...British Petroleum continues to do business in the United States as if nothing ever happened off the coast of Louisiana, and Walmart continues to rake in massive profits despite suffering one public relations black eye after another. Truly, we have reached the point where there is no longer any real incentive for big corporations--who have had their so-called "personhood" etched in stone by the Supreme Court--to act as "good citizens."

The Ayn Rand-following, knucklehead libertarians have expended so much energy convincing their fellow citizens consumers idiots that big government is a threat to them. It isn't until they end up like Tracy Morgan, roadkill splattered all over the pavement, that they begin to realize that big business is every bit as responsible for creating our onrushing 21st century dystopia as any NSA spook.

And by then it's too damn late.

Bonus: A very special tune dedicated to Walmart

1 comment:

  1. Ayn Rand's philosophy is a hatred for anything undeveloped. Libertarians, by embracing this foolish notion, have betrayed the very foundations of freedom and liberty. Capitalism is not freedom. Development is not freedom. Destruction of the environment is not freedom. Destroying the habitat that keeps us all alive is not freedom.

    I examined the libertarian movement - and rejected it. It chooses to remain willfully blind to all of the above.

    Big government sucks. Ineptness rules (Peter Principle). Waste, abuse, fraud, corruption, you name it, we've got it. And even worse - we can't get rid of any of it.

    No hard to figure out where this is all leading.