Thursday, November 20, 2008

Jewel of Denial

The things you see when you don't have a taser.

The absurdity of the fat-cat CEO's of America's "Big Three" automakers flying to Washington, D.C. from the Detroit area on their own private jets to beg for government handouts totalling roughly $25 billion - that's billion with a "B" - while their companies are circling the drain is almost too much to believe.

Maybe in order to rise to a position of power and responsibility in a corporation employing tens of thousands of workers and selling products at prices higher than my parents paid for their house requires an ego the size of Lake Michigan; an ego so tremendously huge that you either can't see or don't care what people think. But doesn't it seem as though some savvy marketing person in one of those three boardrooms might have suggested the public-relations benefit their company could have reaped from having the head man fly to Washington via - gasp! - scheduled airline?

Think about it. A phone call or two to the network news departments, and the cameras would have been rolling as the bigshot strides through Reagan National after stepping off the 9:00 a.m. business class flight from Detroit Metro, while the other two out-of-touch phonies land in their Gulfstream G5's. What a publicity bonanza!

The savvy company could have constructed a whole marketing campaign out of it, and maybe even sold a few more cars without having to use your money and mine to stay afloat.

Sure, it would have been a largely ceremonial gesture, but on the heels of the AIG lunacy, you would think it might have occurred to one of these geniuses that the extravagant outlay of company cash required to fly a business jet back and forth to D.C. ($20,000, according to ABC News) would have been headline news all across the country and would have done nothing to help their company get their grasping hands on their share of $25 billion, with a "B."

How much does an assembly line worker make in Detroit? Maybe $60,000, $70,000 a year? So yesterday, a guy making probably $20 million yearly used up three to four months salary for one of his workers in order to avoid having to - ugh - sit next to a commoner! Eww, the horror of it all!

I have no problem with these guys making bucketloads of cash when they are the stars of their profession, but to drain your company of money it doesn't have when it's about to go belly-up is inexcusable. Now all three CEO's look like exactly what they are: out-of-touch elitists who have become instant laughingstocks. Sometimes what you see is what you get.


CarolynT said...

HALF! Hey, I saw your blazing hot word count on NaNoWriMo then your link to your Web site and blog. Wowsa! Mr. Prolific, I must say! I'm locked in at 242 words. I think it's over. Yes, yes, it's done. But I look forward to reading your novel(s!). well done. I'm sure they are terrific. = )
-CarolynT from FoxSports.

Al Leverone said...

Hi Carolyn and thanks a lot for stopping by! My word count isn't so blazing any more and I've unfortunately gone down to NaNo defeat this year, but there's always next year, assuming of course I live that long....