Summary: We can only guess at our leaders’ plans for the New America they’re building on the ruins of the old. But on rare occasions they speak frankly about how they see us. We should listen. They’re not kidding.
Michael Kinsey’s definition of a gaffe “is when a politician tells the truth — some obvious truth he isn’t supposed to say.” As in this from Thursday’s quarterly earnings conference call with Boeing’s senior management:
Bloomberg News: Jim, you have a birthday coming up next month. … Will you be at your desk, and has the Board approvide you staying on past age 65?
Jim McNerney, CEO: Yes, the heart will still be beating. The employees will still be cowering (laughing). I’ll be working hard; there’s no end in sight. We’re continuing to build the succession plan … But there’s no discussion of it yet. So you’ll still be asking questions of me.
Boeing has worked hard to demoralize its workers (the most recent round early this year). McNerney exults in his success. In this Boeing joins other leaders such as Amazon, Nike, and Walmart in forging a new corporate-worker relationship. It’s natural that their great success creates contempt for their employees. They’ve weaken or broken their unions. Converted their workers into contingent, low wage, no benefit peons. Among their results: wage as a fraction of America’s gross domestic income from 51.5% in 1970 to 42.6% in 2012. It’s a victory on scale rare in our history.
America has strong social cohesion. The peons are quiet, and the leaders think as one. For example, McNerney’s comment matches the tone seen in Romney’s most famous speech during the 2012 campaign:
There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement.
And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what … These are people who pay no income tax … [M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.
How should we react to this information? Anger might motivate us to act, as described in these posts. Or pride. See these posts for more information about steps to political reform in America. We must act soon, for the clock runs on and a New America arises on the ashes of the America-that-once-was.
“Nothing is written.”
— Lawrence of Arabia, in the 1962 film
Listen to Mitt Romney tell his peers about America