My Blog Week: October 27 to November 2
A Word on the Week
Fortune (magazine) Ad, New York Times, February 17, 1989
Black background, large white type in quotes: “You don’t build a company like this with lace on your underwear.”
Text: Think your boss is tough? How about this: at a crowded meeting, a chairman pulls the pin off a dummy hand grenade to see who’ll flinch. No lace on his underwear.
Or how about the boss who served—gulp—under Patton?
Or would you rather work for the “commando banker” who once considered “Crush the sons of bitches and have a nice day” as the company slogan? […]
Blurb for article “America’s Toughest Bosses”
Aside from the fact that the above leaves the reader suspecting these men all wore lace underwear, and garters, too, it is reflective (in seriousness) of a masculinity in business, circa 1989: an attitude insecure, worshipful of bullies. This was a year when Rudy Giuliani, for one, was in the actual news, contemplating a run for New York City mayor, and Donald Trump was touted in an adverticle about a Trump-themed Milton Bradley board game, by a flack bylined James Barron.
These young fellows of forty-something (back then), are the present-day GOP. Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Leader, offers tear-stained rhetoric in speeches suitable to the front man of a real estate pyramid scheme (at the teetering point where recruits are talking to reporters and filing lawsuits), using shaming language, silly slogans, and appeals to loyalty.
The Republicans traditionally have been the Tough on Crime party. To be tough on crime, you have to be savvy about crime. Speaking of lace, then, do they really want to be such Lillybelles, shooting at their own shadows, men and women who “can’t tell” what associating with criminals or engaging in criminal behavior looks like when they see it? Whose defense implies that a Lev Parnas is too sharp and cunning for the Trump circle and the erstwhile “America’s Mayor”? That our president bumbles through quid pro quos because he can’t spot one when he plies one? And self-deals with the naivety of a sheep for the fleecing?
Elizabeth Warren, who made some obvious points this week about how to pay for national health care, set herself up a bit for the Gotcha on the question of where will the insurance workers go? The problem needs framing in broader terms. While we’re looking back at 1989, let’s consider the size of the insurance industry. The Kaiser Family Foundation says: “On a per capita basis, health spending has increased over 30-fold in the last four decades, from $355 per person in 1970 to $10,739 in 2017.”
Depart from this for a moment and consider the heyday of the mega-mall. If you’re old enough, you certainly remember empty fields, where deer had browsed and hawks circled, paved over for giant shopping centers…this was the late ’80s to mid 90s, before the internet made itself felt. The defunct status of the mall, the “sadness” of its abandonment, is not a greater change from state to state, than the field that served nature being replaced with asphalt. The mall jobs lost were the result of bloated growth beyond the natural demand that could have sustained it. Today’s insurance industry is obese, and yes, some workers will be shed into the job market. We keep hearing it’s a good one.
But the inevitability of America’s need to compete worldwide by not gouging our population to death on health care, needn’t answer disproportionately for predictable ups and downs in segments of the economy.
On Monday, in “Bride to Be”, part five, Lady Tamarilde appeals to her father, and finds he has anticipated her secret. Tuesday’s Impresario was part thirteen, the prisoner in a bad way, but with friends to advise him. Wednesday, “Is the raven a raven”, another of they hybrid-storyline Ravense poems. On Thursday, Frédéric Boutet’s short story, “The Ghost of M. Imberger”, part five, in which a new and strange development clouds the case. Friday, a fresh Yoharie, with a conspiracy theory, and Savannah’s blues. Saturday, from Mystery Plays, “The Bull’s-Eye”.
Images on my posts often have a link to related information (click first image), sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, sometimes in answer to a direct reference. Since people can be leery about links, I include them here: what they are, what sites they point to.
My Blog Week: October 27 to November 2