By Gary Brumback
There are many scholarly theories of leadership, but neither a scholar nor theory is needed, just ordinary common sense to define leadership. It is simply “the capacity to control the means to get desired ends.” One sentence replaces thousands of pages in dozens of books I have read on the subject. I may have just saved you a lot of unnecessary reading.
Great Corporate Leadership: Where?
If, instead of being evil, corporate leadership were great we could have great corporations. But we don’t—let me know if you know of any. A great corporation would be one that uses positive means to achieve positive ends. Another way to put it is that a great corporation would be one that is socially responsible, and no corporation can ever meet all six of my criteria for corporate social responsibility.
Here are the six:
A socially responsible corporation:
1. stays financially viable over the long haul;
2. Provides socially beneficial products and/or services without,
3. knowingly causing any physical, psychological, financial or ecological harm,
4. without externalizing costs (e.g., job outsourcing, waste disposal),
5. without seeking or depending on “warfare welfare” or other government favors such as corporate personhood, campaign financing, lobbying, subsidies, revolving doors, laissez-faire regulations, or criminal immunity, and,
6. conducts business ethically and legally while treating all stakeholders fairly and with dignity.
If a corporation and its leadership fail to meet any one or more of those criteria they are socially irresponsible. And the fewer they meet the more evil they are.
And all corporations I have ever studied, observed or experienced have flunked one or more of the six. I once followed up on two scholars’ separate lists of what they claimed to be 100 some great corporations due to their sustained profits. Their conventional bottom lines were indeed in the black, but these corporations’ unconventional bottom lines were indeed in the red, falling below the acceptable line of good corporate behavior as evidenced by the incidents in “The Different Police Gazette” to be shown later in this essay. They ought to tell us that corporate greatness requires far more than just being money deep.
BUSINESS CEOS: PHILISTINES OF THE WORST SORT .
“From my extensive review of the literature I have concluded that CEOs tend to be greedy, irresponsible shepherds of “their” companies (actually owned by investors), lack of virtue, materialistic values, moral frailty, narcissism (including unbridled hubris), narrowly educated and narrow-minded. These flaws usually go together.”
“From my extensive review of the literature I have concluded that CEOs tend to be greedy, irresponsible shepherds of “their” companies (actually owned by investors), lack of virtue, materialistic values, moral frailty, narcissism (including unbridled hubris), narrowly educated and narrow-minded. These flaws usually go together.”
What exactly keeps corporations from being great? After all, they have the capacity, or power, to become great if that were their aspiration and thus their standard of performance. But neither their aspiration nor standard of performance call for being a socially responsible corporation. Fattening their conventional line is their Holy Grail. But that is not a sufficient answer to the question. The conventional bottom line and the primacy given to it are just two of several intrinsic factors preventing corporate greatness. Other intrinsic factors include a hierarchical organizational structure, or pyramid, in which wrongdoing of any kind is orchestrated at and denied by the top while being carried out at the bottom; rewards for “negative” success (i.e., ill begotten success); and, above all, evil leadership. The latter thrives in a pyramid. Here’s how it works in a pyramid:
An ignoble expectation or order starts somewhere higher up and goes down the pyramid in one version or another until it gets to the doers who cannot get rid of it without doing its bidding or getting fired. Here is an illustrative scenario:
Top Level-Unrealistically high goals are set without issuing an explicit order to cut legal or ethical corners.
Next Level- Translates goals into specific targets and gives hints or wink and nods on unethical or unlawful means of accomplishing them.
Next Level- Tells subordinates, the doers, to “do whatever is necessary” or may even spell out the necessary means, such as get the “toxics dumped at night,” or “keep two sets of books.”
Thus, the expectation/order may start implicitly, gets less implicit, and eventually becomes blunt as it cascades downward. However it is couched, the expectation/order is expected to be met or else. Moral considerations become situational, and the situation is defined by the boss next up the line.
As for the intrinsic barrier, evil leadership, we shall return to and expand on it momentarily..
Then there are several extrinsic barriers to greatness that ought to be obvious to anyone reading this essay. They include government handouts even for, or especially for, corporate failures, government either looking the other way, giving wrist slaps, or making lawful in so many different ways what should be unlawful corporate wrongdoing that ranges from the “ordinary” to the truly evil, and, of course, global gobbling capitalism.
A Topsy-Turvy Metaphor
Roots thrive at the bottom, so my metaphor is topsy-turvy. The evil roots of corporate leadership thrive at the top, as I have illustrated. Evil corporate leadership is synonymous with evil corporations for the latter are under the stewardship of the former.
I have never been an insider at the top echelons of corporate pyramids, but I have studied them enough to understand the people there and their internal workings. What follows next are a few pertinent generalizations that obviously do not apply in every instance.
What I call “warped” boards of directors tends to have limited influence on who gets to be the CEO. Directors are generally handpicked and usually back the CEO.
The average tenure of nearly one-half million CEOs in America is about 10 years, and then a new CEO is ensconced. Nearly 70% of all CEOs are bred internally, which means they have back stabbed and clawed their way to the top. There’s no need to pity discarded CEOs. Their severance pay is more than the average American could amass in several lifetimes.
So CEOs come and go, but only the faces and names change. Their “PMU” or psychological make-up stays basically unchanged, one that only their grandmothers could love. CEOs tend to be imperious, if not before getting to the top spot, then while in it by being seduced by the power of the position itself. CEOs personal flaws don’t stop there. From my extensive review of the literature I have concluded that CEOs tend to be greedy, irresponsible shepherds of “their” companies (actually owned by investors), lack of virtue, materialistic values, moral frailty, narcissism (including unbridled hubris), narrowly educated and narrow-minded. These flaws usually go together. A CEO with one tends to have all of the rest, too. The flaws are not unique to the corner office but are more pronounced and more destructive there.
Conceivably great corporations could exist if they followed my models proposed elsewhere for corporate reform and for a socially responsible capitalism, but those proposals will never materialize so there is no point in referencing them here.
Then, too, Americans could continue weaning themselves away from corporations by turning to alternative forms of business such as cooperatives. That trend is occurring slowly but will never replace the corporation as a mode of doing big business.
The Different Police Gazette
Given the ubiquity of evil doing at the top of the corporate pyramid and the corresponding evil doing of government, is it any wonder why I was able for many years long ago to compile a different police gazette, one that records the corpocracy’s crimes and other forms of evil doing? I was motivated to do so because “our” government records everything about us but corporate crime, probably because doing so would clearly implicate government as an accomplice and often an instigator (as in forever buying weapons from the weapons’ makers). While my compilations have tapered off considerably over the last decade or two, the gazette would be book size had I continued to this day.
I am going to close this essay with a decidedly non-scientific sampling of incidents of corporate evil doings from my gazette as shown in Exhibit A. I simply chose some incidents and stopped choosing more when I got tired of choosing, an escape I could never get by with writing for so-called scientific journals. You will notice some redundancy among the incidents because the more egregious industry-wide incidents are repeated when found in the industry-specific entries.
While many of the incidents were the doings of people below the CEO, we can be sure the CEO didn’t disapprove. All of the incidents are taken directly from my files and are unedited, yet they clearly speak for themselves in their raw form, like unwashed and naked filth. By the time you finishing reading them you may feel more outraged and worried than before. Blame it not on me but on the corporate Devil.
The incidents are numbered across categories to facilitate any referencing. As you pour over the incidents think about how they deviate from the criteria of social responsibility and from the following universal moral values found by Michael Josephson, the lawyer turned ethicist (that’s a bizarre twist), to traverse time and place: accountability, commitment to excellence, concern for others, fairness, honesty, integrity, law abiding, loyalty, promise keeping, and respect for others. As you go along consider flagging the top 10 or so incidents that you judge to be the most evil in their intentions, in their means, and in their consequences, and perhaps also the 10 least evil ones in your judgment. I refuse to pick the 10 least evil ones. Evil is evil and I wouldn’t wish any of them on anyone.
The first group of incidents depicts the two scholars’ picks of “great corporations” that I cited earlier.
Exhibit A. Sampling “The Different Police Gazette”
Incidents from the Purportedly “Great” Corporations
1.Involved in antitrust lawsuits and settlements.
2.Accused of breach of contract and fraud in dealing with retailers.
3.Violated securities laws.
4.Falsification of financial accounting.
5.Infringement of copyrights and patents.
6.Disbarred from further government contracts (must have really irritated Uncle Sam).
7.Employment discrimination lawsuits.
8.False advertising consent decrees.
9.Filing lawsuits against public complaints.
10,Forcing applicants to sign dispute resolution agreements.
11.Hiring illegal aliens.
12.Implanting “spy” chips in products.
13.Privacy violation lawsuit settlements.
14.Serious malpractice lawsuits.
15.Serious product failures and liability settlements.
16.Racial profiling and redlining.
17.Selling returned merchandise as new.
18.Sexual harassment suits.
Incidents from Industry in General
21.Tell-tale documents were shredded to impede governmental investigation.
22.Knowing company was about to collapse, top management officials cashed over one billion dollars in stock options while preventing employees from selling company stock in their retirement plans.
23.During settlement talks on severance pay for workers, labor lawyers weren’t told about the lavish bonuses received by top management.
24.Board of directors twice voted to suspend its own code of ethics to allow for unethical activities.
25.Fabricated earnings to hide debt and inflate profits to give top management a windfall.
26.Pocketed millions in tax money from a subsidiary.
27.Puts positive spin on layoff notices.
28.Buys cheap labor overseas.
29.Hijacks the constitution (e.g. in proclaiming free speech).
30.Shapes the political agendas of both parties.
31.Lobbies for favors (e.g., subsidies) and against regulations.
32.Privatizes public services.
33.Gets favors through campaign financing.
34.Holds high government posts via the ‘‘revolving door.”
35.Ghost writes regulations favorable to corporate self-interests.
36.Stonewalls government investigations.
38.Promotes excessive consumerism.
39.Bullies vendors (e.g. suppliers and dealers).
40.Scams state and local governments for subsidies.
41.Abandons communities in bad times.
42.Plunders and poisons natural resources.
43.Treats workers as vassals.
44.Sells databases of personal information to parties known for defrauding the public.
45.After years of underfunding their pension plans, now go to bankruptcy court to dispose of employee pensions.
46.Freezes pension plans.
47.Fails to provide meal breaks to nearly 116,000 hourly workers as required by a state law.
48.Designs complex rebate rules to keep redemption rates low.
49.Initiates layoffs to take advantage of huge tax breaks meant to generate cash for hiring.
50.Retrieves foreign-held profits at a huge discount off the normal tax rate.
51.Gives kickbacks to buyers in foreign countries
52.Violates a USA embargo to deal with the embargoed country.
53.Foreign branch of a U.S. corporation aided the suppression and torture of troublesome workers during that country’s dictatorship.
54.Outsources to contractors in other countries knowing about their inhumane treatment of workers.
55.Brags to news media about its progressive stance in preferring to mediate instead of going to court, when in reality the company mediates only if there’s a good chance of losing in court.
56.Company buys a landmark plant located in one state, closes it down, lays off loyal workers with long service, opens facility in a less-taxing, adjacent state, and uses same product name to market to both states.
57.Fires whistleblowers after slowly and deliberately covering tracks to disguise the decision.
58.Underpays female workers.
59.Using illegal immigrants as slave labor.
60.Sold off a division and then declared that its employees had “resigned,” allowing it to confiscate their pensions.
61.CEOs engaging in insider trading.
62.Reduces allowable sick days.
63.Substantially increases employee contributions to and deductibles under their health insurance coverage.
64.Executives reaped millions with little financial risk by creating shell or phantom partnerships;
65.Establishes phony ethics and social responsibility programs.
Incidents from Some More Certain Life Threatening and Ending Industries
66.Sued a farmer claiming he was using the company’s patented seeds.
67.Outspending food safety and organic advocacy groups nearly seven to one to defeat a ballot initiative mandating labeling of food containing GMOs.
68.Industry is playing with “genetic fire.”
69.Controlling our everyday food-buying choices with misleading messaging, artificially low prices, and heavy control over legislation and regulation.
70.Causing more climate change from production and waste than any other source..
71.Clearing two acres of rain forest each minute to raise cattle or crops to feed them.
72.Polluting 35,000 miles of American rivers with animal waste.
73.Using 100 times more water and 5 times more land to raise animal protein than plant protein.
74.Causing billions of dollars to be spent yearly for healthcare, subsidies, environmental damage, and more from producing and consuming foods laced with pesticides, antibiotics and GMOs.
75.Factory fishing ships over fishing the world’s oceans probably leading in a few decades to the extinction of all commercially fished species.
76.Using unsafe antibiotics and growth hormones on animals.
77.Produced as much potentially harmful waste as a city of half a million.
78.Manufacturing unhealthy pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers for feed production.
79.Using forced labor living in shanties.
80.Refusing to compensate veterans and families for exposure to Agent Orange.
81.Producing and selling artificial sweeteners linked to cancer.
82.Making oil-based plastics that are never biodegradable and that release cancer-causing benzene into the environment for a thousand years.
83.Purchasing, trading and profiting from palm oil grown on stolen lands.
84.Sold millions of pounds of ground meat tainted with antibiotic-resistant salmonella.
85.Backing bills in various statehouses that would criminalize undercover investigations of livestock farms’ atrocious operations.
86.Hijacking a cultural exchange program to get a source of cheap labor.
87.Mass producing toxic chemicals.
88.Aggressively running small farms out of business or forcing them into factory farming.
89.Fooling the public with slogans like “life sciences.”
90.Coercing, infiltrating and bribing government officials around the globe to get their genetically modified products approved.
91.Smuggling its product into countries.
92.Using the “revolving door” to assume policy making positions and then squelching subordinates’ warnings about industry products.
93.Cooking the books of their research studies and/or hiding the damaging results.
94.Selling pills that kill about 100,000 Americans annually.
95.Using improper techniques to test drugs.
96.Intimidates and threatens their in-house scientists.
97.Used falsified trial results to swindle the U.S. government out of hundreds of millions of dollars for an inadequate vaccine.
98.Used animal antibodies to artificially inflate test results.
99.Hires ghost writers to write up studies avoiding unfavorable findings and signs on academics as “authors.”
100.Withheld data on side effects from final report to FDA.
101.In submitting a new generic product for testing, hid regular brand under the pill coating fearful that the generic brand wouldn’t pass the test.
102.Heavily outsources drug development to foreign suppliers, some with dubious records of quality control in order to reduce costs and increase profits.
103.Fabricated drug safety data and lied to the FDA.
104.“Sells” a disease (e.g., “it’s under-recognized”) to justify a new drug.
105.Gets quick FDA approval by saying its products are duplicates of other products previously approved.
106.Routinely bribing doctors with luxury vacations and paid speaking gigs.
107.Helping doctors overbill the state for medicines bought by the doctors.
108.Providing drugs to doctors at a discount so they can be sold to patients at a big profit.
109.Rewarded doctors handsomely for doing nothing more in their drug “research” than write down brief notes of their observations of patient outcomes.
110.Skirting the rules against advertising drugs for unapproved uses by sponsoring seminars where doctors are paid to make presentations promoting their drugs, including the “off label” uses.
111.Marketed a drug that is more expensive than alternative drugs and deadly among adults and children.
112.Sponsors health and illness awareness days in public schools and then blitzes them with promotions.
113.Secretly puts media stars on their payrolls to slyly slip in lines about some real or fake ailment and a drug cure on TV.
114.Spends sizeable percent of research on “me-too” drugs designed to make a profit, but are therapeutically useless.
115.Sales reps tells purchasers how to bill the government at full prices for free or discounted non-prescription products.
116.Charges what the market will bear rather than keep price increases in line with inflation.
117.Markets “off-label drugs,” versions of drugs different from those tested by federal regulators. Uses consumers’ private medical information for commercial purposes.
118.Raises drug prices before new legislation passed seeking to curb drug prices.
119.Sued to stop a program that lets states create preferred drug lists for Medicare patients and then demanded steep discounts from drug companies that want to get on the list.
120.Opposed pending legislation to create lists of preferred, lower-cost drugs for Medicare patients and hid their intent by secretly funding advocacy groups believed to oppose the same legislation but for different reasons.
121.Hires PR firms to establish diseases as “public health threats” and massive direct-to-consumer advertising.
122.The industry was aware for at least a decade of animal studies linking breast implants to cancer and other illnesses, but women were not told of the risks until years later.
123.Responded to questions about product safety and lawsuits with a full-court press to keep internal memos and studies from reaching the public.
124.Began buying the new ingredients of one of its key drugs from a new supplier and never followed up on the ingredient’s effects until reports of serious problems patients were experiencing.
125.Finally owned up to deadly products in wake of bacteria scandal.
126.Knew for 20 yrs that its product was unreliable, but didn’t believe it would cause a health problem, did very little testing, and stonewalled in liability case before finally trying to make amends.
127.Relied on its deceptive practices to earn billions of dollars selling potentially dangerous drugs to unsuspecting consumers and medical patients; didn’t deny any of it, simply paid the paltry fine, apologized to its customers, and continue doing wrongdoing as usual.
128.Compounds drugs that are often too week or too strong.
129.Sold a concentrated product even though executives were warned of the dangerous side effects.
130.Diluted cancer drugs to boost profits.
131.Mislabeled and adulterated several of its drugs used by millions of consumers and then masterminded a massive cover up of its activities.
132.Made a drug that caused thousands of deformities and then was again involved years later in yet another disputed drug case in court.
133.Hid behind court secrecy proceedings in defending itself against hundreds of lawsuits brought by patients and thus avoided the disclosure of several important documents sought by the congressional investigative committee.
134.Sells to other countries a drug taken off the US market because of concerns about the drug’s adverse effects.
135.Knew of many deaths among overseas users of one of its drugs before the FDA approved the drug for domestic sale.
136.The industry blocked state legislation designed to lower drug prices for state residents w/o insurance coverage.
137.Cut off supplies to Canada licensed pharmacies that continue to sell its lower-priced medicines to Americans.
138.Falsified production records to meet federal standards.
139.Kept a book entitled “Off-the-Record Production” in which unauthorized production changes and manufacturing short-cuts were secretly recorded.
140.Abandoned its headquarters in a town after getting big tax breaks and forcing people to move out of their homes so it could locate on their land.
Big pharma has over 600 lobbyists in the nation’s capital and outspends all other industries in lobbying politicians. As a result of its lobbying, the industry succeeded in:
141.Defeating mandatory discount pricing.
142.Protecting drug patents in trade agreements.
143.Preventing medicare price negotiations with companies.
144.Prohibiting government listing of preferred drugs.
145.Delaying availability of generic pediatric drugs.
146.Speeding up government drug safety reviews.
147.Defeating bill to make generic drugs more accessible.
148.Making it harder for government to issue warning letters.
149.Easing restrictions on direct-to consumer advertising.
150.Easing licensing and continuous reviews of new sites for making drugs.
151.Getting government to drop price controls.
152.Being allowed to pay fee for faster reviews.
153.Making it easier for brand-name makers to sue generic makers.
154.Places through the revolving door key people in influential government positions.
155.Goes around DoD to Congress to sell an expensive airplane DoD didn’t want anymore.
156.Lobbied to prevent foreign sale of the world’s most expensive weapon from being halted.
157.Pays picayune fines for defrauding the government.
158.Makes and sells weapons riddled with flaws and way above promised cost.
159.Named the “war profiteer of the month.”
160.Invested heavily in and profited immensely from adding spy contractor on its resume.
161.Gave a 10-year employee a layoff notice the very day the employee returned from bereavement leave following the death of the employee’s young son.
162.Provides technology to government for spying on anyone it wants to spy on.
163.Tells government what its annual war/security budget should be, what its war/security purchases should be, for what purposes, and how much they should cost, and what minimal legislation and oversight would be acceptable.
164.Strategically locating their facilities in their Congressional districts and States to ensure that contracts will be steered to them.
165.Give politicians junket trips and other goodies.
166.Exports for sale more weapons than any other country.
167.War industry’s investor relations people tell investors war is good for returns on their investing.
168.Gun industry executives say mass shootings are good for business.
169.The multi-billion dollar gun industry uses the NRA as their official pimp.
170.Bullies politicians into passing laws making it easier to sell more rifles and handguns.
171.Promotes gun sales by stoking fear and racism.
172.Links patriotism with gun ownership.
173.Got the U.S. Supreme Court to misinterpret the 2nd Amendment.
174.Slowly kills people from after effects of atomic testing and nuclear weapons development.
175.Makes and sells products that kill more Americans than auto deaths.
176.Makes and sells products deliberately intended to kill.
177.Makes products deliberately intended to spy.
Incidents from Some Other Industries
178.Controls supply and manipulates prices of critical resources.
179.Spilling countless barrels of oil offshore and onshore.
180.Despoiling mountain sides scraped clean to get coal.
181.Leaving elevated levels of arsenic and other heavy metals in groundwater near natural gas fracking sites.
182.Permanently contaminating aquifers.
183.Authorized an air raid during an anti guerilla operation at a village in South America where one of its pipelines is located, killing many civilians, including children.
184.Poorly designing and operating pipelines that burst and release contaminating spills.
185.Delays for years cleaning up after major spills.
186. Using super-hazardous, poisonous chemicals to extract oil.
187.Utility company cuts a secret quid quo pro deal with the government in exchange for price consessions.
188.Operated a nuclear power plant in violation of federal fire regulations and then lied about it to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
189.Used inadequate and falsified tests of the reliability of its nuclear power plant.
190.Hires a consulting company to teach nuclear power plant operators how to deceive the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
191.Knowingly sold transformers containtaining hazardous levels of PCBs, then acted as if they did no wrong when signing the consent decree.
192.Underground coal mine operators systematically cleaning dust samples before sending to federal safety inspectors.
193.An oil company executive personally ordered the rigging of gasoline pumps to shortchange customers.
194.Uses goon squads to intimidate, threaten, and harm striking miners protesting company policies and conditions.
195.Exaggerated the amountt and success of its environmental cleanup after one of its tankers spilled an unprecedented amount of oil.
196.Plant managers retaliated against a technician at a nuclear plant who had publically complained about safety by ordering him to do useless work in a room filled with toxic and radioactive materials.
197.Oil companies pressure dealers to keep long hours and push sales.
198.Oil companies raise prices in a time of pending war.
199.Energy company spins off an insurance company subsidiary, deliberately neglecting to tell buyers that there might be millions of dollars in suits for asbestos claims filed against the subsidiary.
200.Created and marketed fantasy financial products plummeting U.S. into 2nd greatest depression.
201.Planning on confiscating customer deposits.
202.Bank rolling the polluting coal industry.
203.Peddling falsified debt documents to collection firms.
204.Getting default payments by filing thousands of collection lawsuits against consumers expecting them not to contest the claims.
205.Selling unreliable credit card debts.
206.Succeeded in getting law separating depositing and investing banking overturned.
207.Big banks lobbying to end competitive credit unions.
208.Acquired risky loans to grow faster and increase executive compensation.
209.Preying on customers, hiding costs and penalties, downplaying the effects of variable rates, and pressing unaffordable loans for the purchase of fraudulently overvalued homes.
210.Publishes favorable but false stock ratings.
211.Helping corporations devise shelters letting them operate tax free while exaggerating profits.
212.Confuses policyholders about their benefits’ forms
213.Unduly denies insurance coverage.
214.Constantly raising deductibles while shrinking coverage.
215.Auto insurers coercing car repair shops to using cheap and sometimes dangerous parts.
216.Disputing in court and finally settling personal injury claims.
217.Overcharging policy holders.
218.Requiring in some areas, unlimited personal injury protection and no-fault coverage.
219.Hem hawing in honoring claims and short changing legitimate claims.
220.Using various tactics to reduce, avoid, or stall home insurance claims in an effort to boost their own earnings.
221.Home insurers routinely refusing to pay market prices for homes and replacement contents.
222.Changing isurrance policy coverages with no clear explanation.
223.Asking claims adjusters to lie to customers and to overestimate their losses and vastly overprice premiums.
224.Soaking credit card holders with excessive rates.
225.Mortgage brokers rewarded for putting borrowers into the costliest loans possible.
226.Falsifying home mortgage program to increase defaults and then “sending foreclosure notices, scheduling auction dates, and even selling consumers’ homes prematurely.
228.Launders drug money.
229.A few big corporations control the news media.
230.Hollywood submits its war glorifying movie scripts to the military for review and gets access to dazzling military equipment to use for props in profitable movies.
231.Telephone company removes pay phones from low-income districts to prevent people from using them as “offices” to receive incoming calls.
232.Prominent newspaper belatedly and half-heartedly acknowledges its mistake in rushing to judgment based on questionable sources to publish very derogatory info about a person.
233.Newspaper publishes ads designed to look like news.
234.Network shows commercials disguised as talk shows, panel discussions, self-improvement seminars, etc.
235.Pays sources for information.
236.Editor prods reporters to be news hounds who stretch limits to get a source, a document, a witness.
237.To scoop the competitors, a mass media organization goes forward with a story before they had all the facts.
238.Plays to the lowest common denominator of audience/readership with sensationalism, sex, and violence.
239.National TV network shows reenactment of a newsworthy event without telling viewers it wasn’t live.
240. Knowingly misled the public on reasons for the Iraq war.
241,Builds cars “unsafe at any speed.” Does anything more need to be added?
242 A financially ailing airline routinely ignored vital repairs and maintenance to minimize downtime of planes and then falsified records to make it appear as if the work had been done.
243.Airline, knowing a flight departure will be delayed, boards passengers anyway to prevent them from seeking alternative flights.
244.Car maker stages a large truck being dropped from a crane onto a new model without telling viewers the car had been reinforced to withstand the impact.
245.A worker was crushed to death because an automaker was lax in ensuring safety measures in one of its plants.
246.Automaker set back the odometer settings and sold the cars as new to dealers.
247.Automaker knew millions of its transmissions were faulty.
248.Automaker knowingly allowed plant workers to be overexposed to deadly levels of lead and arsenic.
249.US tire manufacturer recalls its tires on foreign cars abroad after safety problems arise but delays a much more costly recall of domestic tires until after mounting fatalities cause publicity and outcries.
250.Automakers sometimes instruct their dealers to fix certain common defects free of charge or at reduced cost but only if auto owners demand that the repair be made under warranty.
251.Automaker goes to court to try and bar the use of cheaper copycat repair parts not made by the automaker.
252.It wasn’t until after pressure from federal and state authorities along with consumer advocate groups that an automaker recalled thousands of ambulances to correct mechanical defects that had resulted in some fires and injuries.
253.Ever since the early 20th century when auto and bus makers tore up the trolley tracks, the transportation industry has been hitting the public, especially the poor below their belt.
254.Imposing demanding and unrealistic schedules on truck drivers.
255.Skimping on truck fleet maintenance overhauls.
The End—Except for an Addendum
Incidents from many more industries could have been added to the 255, but it would have been more of the same generally, and there is more than enough evil to have read in one setting!
You will have noticed the incidents involving corporations where they mistreat their own people. I am reminded of Alice in the Dilbert comic strip bellowing “I am not a resource!” in reaction to the company’s “Human Resource Department.” Alice, be glad you don’t work for a real corporation!
And since corporations treat their own people so badly, it should come as no surprise how much they mistreat America and the world at large. The evil in the gazette is not evil in the abstract. It is evil that reaches out and afflicts you, me and particularly the powerless in so many different short-term and long-term ways through getting us killed, poisoned, injured, starved, homeless, unemployed, bankrupted, deceived, short changed, and ad infinitum. And it is not going to stop until—.
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