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Friends, I’m appealing today to your most charitable instincts. I want you to know about the terrible oppression being suffered by a minority of our fellow citizens. Once you hear their story of horror, I know you’ll be deeply touched and will respond with all of the sympathy they deserve. I refer, of course, to the CEOs of America’s largest corporations.
Well, yes, it’s true that this minority group is made up of pampered, phenomenally-wealthy elites, but even the rich have feelings, and they say that they’re feeling victimized by government regulators and prosecutors. The CEOs wail that these pesky officials are harassing them over such standard business practices as cooking the corporate books, inflating their own pay packages, and engaging in fraud.
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Surely we must help them. Last year, Americans opened their arms to Hurricane Katrina victims. Won’t you do the same for this year’s tragic poster child of charitable need: Overregulated Corporate Executives?
The CEOs – backed by a phalanx of their lobbyists, lawyers, front groups, and think tanks – are now going all out to reduce government oversight of executive wrongdoing. Leading the charge is the Cato Institute, a corporate-funded think tank filled with laissez-faire ideologues. The Cato gang has recently published a book that concludes that America would be better off if there were no criminal enforcement of laws requiring businesses to be honest.
Taking this “poor oppressed executive” theme deep into the abyss of absurdity, the book carries an endorsement from Mark Levin, a right-wing radio yakker, who blurts out this pitiful cry for help: “Did you know that in many ways the terrorists detained at Guantanamo Bay have more rights than corporate CEOs and their employees?”
This is Jim Hightower saying… Gosh, bosses treated worse than terrorists! Can you feel their pain? Yes, let’s give these corporate honchos all the sympathy they deserve.
“Pity the Boss, Treated Worse Than the Terrorists,” The New York Times, March 31, 2006.