“The corporations are the organized centers of the private property system: the chief executives are the organizers of that system. As economic men, they are at once creatures and creators of the corporate revolution, which, in brief, has transformed property from a tool of the workman into an elaborate instrument by which his work is controlled and a profit extracted from it. The small entrepreneur is no longer the key to the economic life of America; and in many economic sectors where small producers and distributors do still exist they strive mightily-as indeed they must if they are not to be extinguished-to have trade associations or governments act for them as corporations act for big industry and finance.
Americans like to think of themselves as the most individualistic people in the world, but among them the impersonal corporation has proceeded the farthest and now reaches into every area and detail of daily life. Less than two-tenths of 1 per cent of all the manufacturing and mining companies in the United States now employ half of all the people working in these basic industries. The story of the American economy since the Civil War is thus the story of the creation and consolidation of this corporate world of centralized property,” C. Wright Mills.
Damn, I couldn’t have written it any better myself. Who am I kidding, Mills is brilliant, his take on corporate America is simply dead nuts on.
What is really scary is that Mills didn’t write this for an article in the New Yorker or Esquire or last weeks Washington Post. Nope, the above is an excerpt from The Power Elite, a book written by Mills in 1956.
That’s right – nineteen fucking fifty-six. Let see, if my math is correct that is 52 years ago. Holy Crappola!
So to honor Mr. Mills I am going corporate and I am currently working on a bailout package presentation for my two pizza restaurants. I am going to do a nice powerpoint presentation and also bring a few pizza’s to give out to the committee members. I believe that there are two ways to successfully encourage political support. One is through the pocketbook and the other through the stomach.
I can pontificate for hours on my shitty cash flow and the continued rise in my costs. Maybe I could rail about the taxes I have to pay. Nope, I think the biggest hurdle I have right now regarding my bailout package is getting someone to loan me a Gulfstream G5 to fly to Washington. I think that the politico’s will respect me more if they know I’ve flown in on a G5.
I found a couple G5’s for sale online but not sure it would be a good way to tie up my money right now. There’s a 2001 G5 in Connecticut that I can probably get for $35,000,000. They’re asking $42,000,000 but I am sure there is some wiggle room there. Never mind the fact there is a 2004 G5 in Maryland for only$46,000,000.
I usually try to avoid politics in this space but I read an Op-ed piece in the NY Times the other day that was striking in it’s simplicity and clarity regarding the next proposed bail-out of the American Automakers. After reading it I looked up to see who it was written by and was shocked. Not shocked in that I didn’t think the author was capable of writing or thinking this way, shocked in that the author, a political figure, would craft a document that was clear, concise and actually took a position. Interesting in that his Op-ed position is a wee different from the position the author spewed to the Michigan electorate during his ill-fated presidential campaign but that’s for another day and blog.
Do me a favor – quit telling me what you think I want to hear, tell me something you believe. Then I will make the decision whether or not I will support you.
Here is a link to the Op-ed piece
I would encourage you to read it. I am sure there are people that will tell you it’s not as simple as the author makes it out to be.
I believe something needs to change.
Something/someone needs to wipe the slate clean so that we can refocus an entire industry on the future. A future that leaves behind fossil fuel burning internal combustion engines and is unencumbered by the political ties that have inextricably linked the auto and oil business.
I have to believe that America wants and will support affordable, safe, dependable and fuel efficient vehicles. This isn’t about nationalism it’s about building something that is better than what is available. Before you write and tell me GM is already doing that – don’t waste your time. A Hybrid Tahoe that gets 20 mpg is not my idea of outside the box engineering for the future.