Thursday, November 11, 2004


The privileged man, whether politically or economically, is a man depraved in mind and heart. That is a social law which admits of no exception, and it is applicable to entire nations as to classes, corporations, and individuals.”
Mikhail Bakunin (1814 - 1876), Russian-born anarchist.

The Wall Street Journal’s front page article on Wednesday, Nov. 10, showed just how reprehensible and low corporations will go to rob from the workers to further enrich those at the top. Corporations are not all bad, but when a few heartless companies start suing their retirees to reduce benefits, it wipes out years of the goodwill businesses promote through charitable works.

Specific examples the WSJ highlighted are ACF Industries Inc. a railroad-car maker, which is suing its more than 600 of its retirees to alter their lifetime contract for health benefits. Company lawyers claim lifetime meant the duration of the contract, not the lifetime of the employee. General Motors, the auto maker, cut benefits to 50,000 salaried employees they induced to retire early. Asarco Inc., a copper company, sent summonses to its retirees telling them they were defendants in a suit it was filing against them to limit benefits.

This is where government needs to play an active protective role to ensure that good faith negotiations are upheld and the rights of the employee are preserved. It’s proven the people need protection from greedy executives and shareholders. Democratic Society is the loser here if the powerful corporations and its privileged management sustain their stock options and lucrative bonuses on the backs of its workers.

The Misanthrope abhors the legal chicanery, which the Bush Administration condones as free enterprise by sitting idly while retired senior citizens are used as pawns in the growing corporate aristocracy.

Corporation, n. An ingenious device for securing individual profit without individual responsibility.
Ambrose Bierce (1842 - 1914)

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