Location: Granite Falls, North Carolina, United States

I'm an ordained United Methodist minister no longer pastoring churches, a former media producer with skills ten years out of date, a writer trying to sell my first novel, and a sales associate keeping body and soul together working for the People's Republic of Corporate America. I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the world, who was my best friend for 17 years before we married.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

People's Republic of Corporate America

I have used this phrase repeatedly in my former job and in my present one. But I think it might be a good idea to clarify what I mean.

Countries that call themselves "People's Republics" or "People's Democratic Republics" or some variation on those labels give lip service, even in their constitutions, to empowerment of the proletariat. They claim that working people rule in their countries.

In reality, however, a closed group of commisars rule everything and put on airs calling themselves "comrade." If a commisar makes a mistake, he (and it is almost always a he) deflects the blame down to the workers, claiming that some lower level functionary or even front-line worker made the mistake and is not in tune with the spirit of the "revolution."

In corporate America, they give lip service to "empowering workers," and "entrepreneurial spirit" while anyone with a new, unique idea is squashed. The tight group of commisars (correction: managers) run everything, and they brook no dissent from the ranks. If a big manager makes a mistake, it rolls downhill to some lower level functionary, or even to the front line workers, criticizing them for not buying into the corporate mindset.

See the similarities?

Furthermore, in "People's Republics" if policies prove wrong, the people suffer, but the commisars never are held accountable by anyone, since they are interlinked with each other to keep blame away.

In corporate America, if policies prove wrong, and the company's stock price tanks, the CEO still walks away with multi-million dollar compensation packages, and their interlocking boards approve it. Especially since he (and it usually is a he) serves on their boards where they are CEOs.

The kleptocracy that run "People's Republics" is indistinguishable from the kleptocracy that runs corporate America.

Ergo: The People's Republic of Corporate America.


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