In today's economic climate, a corporate CEO can be a good CEO only by using his enormous personal power and the unlimited power of his corporation to work against the best interests of the nation and its people.
And now that the Supreme Court has removed the last vestiges of control on corporate spending to influence government, the end of participatory democracy in the United States is inevitable.
Endless war is not in the best interests of a nation and its people. It kills our sons and daughters, drains our treasury and profits only the defense industry corporations and their allies in the military industrial complex. And yet Congress, soon to be entirely owned by corporations, mindlessly continues to vote funding for unwinnable wars that were illegal in the first place. The few members of Congress who led opposition to the funding will almost certainly lose their offices in November.
An overpriced and under-achieving health care system is not in the best interests of the nation or its people. And yet even a feeble attempt at reform met such vigorous and effective corporate resistance that even many of the people who needed it most wound up buying into the propaganda slogans like socialized medicine, killing grandma and forfeiting personal medical decisions to government bureaucrats.
American unemployment is at its worst depths since the Great Depression, but Wall Street is hiring and its salaries are rising. The very same Wall Street that brought on the the economic collapse of 2008-2009 and received trillions in tax funds to save it from itself. The same Wall Street that rewarded its CEOs and top executives with bonus dollars to match the number of jobless Americans walking the streets in poverty. Corporate America succeeded in taking virtually all of the teeth out of the financial reform bill, just as it succeeded in emasculating the clean energy legislation.
Polluted air, waters befouled by mountaintop removal mining, unrestricted drilling for gas and oil are not in the best interests of the nation or its people. And yet when a drunken captain ran the Exxon Valdes aground in a pristine bay in Alaska, the corporation eventually escaped with less than a slap on the wrist. A federal court ordered the company to pay $287 million in actual damages and $5 billion in punitive damages. Successful appeals by Exxon-Mobil halved the punitive damages and a successful appeal to the Supreme Court knocked off another 80 per cent: judicial corporate welfare for a company that posted the highest profits in United States history and today earns more than $1,300 per second in profits. Last year Exxon Mobil paid not one thin dime to the IRS in United States income taxes.
Much has been made -- by corporate-owned politicians -- of the $20 billion compensation fund President Obama persuaded BP to post for the oil drilling disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that replaced Exxon Valdes as the most heinous man-inflicted environmental disaster in history. "Extortion," one called it. The $20 billion itself is a pittance against the likely final cost of the disaster, just as the original $5 billion has proved to be in the case of Prince William Sound. But the corporate-owned courts and politicians have already begun pecking away at government's cautious response to the BP crimes. A federal judge who owns huge shares of oil stocks overturned the government's temporary ban on new drilling. When BP's legal team has had time to study and employ the Exxon-Mobil strategy, the $20 billion will go "poof."
Cancer is not in the best interests of a nation and its people. When science provided overwhelming evidence that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer, Phillip-Morris and other big tobacco corporations decided to attack the science. They hired pseudo-science frauds and trained science whores to produce "studies" that challenged the real science.
When real science demonstrated that human activity, principally the discharge of carbons into the atmosphere, has been changing the climate of the planet in a way that threatens its living things, Exxon Mobil and other giants in the extraction of fossil energy took a page from the tobacco playbook. Thery hired whores and frauds -- even, in fact, some of the same ones who were employed by Big Tobacco -- to contest the real science. Thus has it taken the teeth out of any legislative efforts to solve the climate problem.
As in the case of health care and tobacco, among the citizenry the same poor fools who bought the corporate propaganda have taken up the anti-climate science crusade. They'll be the first to blame the government when living things that are important to them begin to die.
As will all those "good" CEOs whose companies, like Exxon Mobil and the great banks, are too big to fail.