Monday, April 27, 2009

GM, Swine Flu, and Other Big Topics

WARNING: The following probably wont be very funny. But then again, Opprobrious Readers are used to that.

What's good for General Motors is good for America! That used to be the standard that this country followed for most of the past century. If it was good for GM to use unions, it was good for the country. If it was good to offer health insurance, retirement benefits, or flex spending plans, it was good for the entire nation. If it was good to focus on math and science and engineer a better mouse trap it was what was in the best interest of the United States of America.

Up until that time when it wasn't. People of Flint Michigan think they know about when that time came. A time where the corporation stopped thinking about serving their customers and only focuses on serving their board of directors. When GM hired Roger Smith and abandoned the Steel City area for the low wages of foreign work forces? Cost went down but prices stayed the same or continued to rise. Profits became the driving force behind the big three. "Damn the customer, full speed ahead." Profits, bottom lines, black ink all wrapped up in investment banker lingo of stock options, deferred payments and eh, well... you know... (b-a-i-l-o-u-t-s). What was never mentioned was service. Sure there was a lot of talk about product loyalty, but somewhere along the line GM and Corporate America forgot to be loyalty, responsible, and truthworthy. The end result was they could build a nice paper report but they knew nothing about running a business. A business is a partnership with the customer. And GM, like most of Corporate America, was not interested in partnerships.

Boy Scout traits like that have no place in American Business of the later 20th Century. When Japanese autos started threatening the big three, there was never talk about creating new and innovative machines that were dependable and reliable. What was produced were pale imitations and medicine show financing schemes. Corporate America took the legacy of Henry Ford, Frank Buick and General Bob Motors and ...(OK I made the last 2 names up) ...and moved away from the concept of service for a price. They believed America owed them loyalty because what was good for GM was good for the country.

Well GM is going belly up. Can the rest of the nation be far behind?

The news reports are full of the newest end of the world. Swine Flu pandemic is here! Swine Flu pandemic is here! There is no cure! There is no immunity nor vaccine nor medicine to treat it! The world is about to end in a coughing, sneezing explosion of vomit and diarrhea. The good news is: maybe you will part of the 50% that lives. The bad news: Not all the people you love will make it.

As for me: Until people start dropping off like a Stephen King novel, I am going to assume this is another Y2K scare.

Finally, we have heard a lot in the news lately about the Pirate situation along the African coast. Yes it is bad. Yes there are people losing their lives. No, I don't really know anything about it. But I do think I found a picture of one of these bastids.

WARNING: The picture you are about to see is a graphic representation

OK admit it... THAT was funny! Right? Hello?

EDITORS NOTE: The editorial staff discussed the above joke and came to the conclusion many Opprobrious Readers will not recognize a Somali (small E) Pirate if it sailed up and fired a cannon salvo in their ass!

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