Monday, July 31, 2006

Inner workings

I'm feeling no confidence in capitalism at all these days. My (nameless) place of business is owned by (nameless) private equity investment group, who have revolutionized corporate hackery in the fiercest manner possible since they bought us.

These guys make David Brent look like Jack Welch -- they fired half the total employees at our paper upon purchase and then proceeded to wrap their impecunious fingers around the windpipe of capital improvement. They have nickel and dimed us at every turn for such frivolous purchases as "light bulbs" and "windows." Seriously, half the floor works under dimmed lights because fluorescent bulbs run $80 a throw. The walls are cracked from moving abuse, and the air conditioning fails frequently enough to threaten all of our IT. We have routinely gone 48 hours without e-mail because the server was toasted by kiln-like temps. A daily newspaper -- going without e-mail for 48 hours. Why not have us do without voltage, too?

The worst thing to come down the pike recently is the realization that the world of capitalism, the Adam Smith laissez faire fantasy world of consequence-free material accumulation, is run very much like this throughout the country, if not the world. There is no thought given to people -- the workers, comrades -- who make it possible, only the tunnel vision that drives managers and execs to wring a stone dry of every last droplet of blood they can squeeze from it.

There is a serious climate of antagonism at work here -- bad secret-keeping, continual withholding of raises and bonuses and 401k contributions, the constant threat of relocation to Long Island. It feels like the late 19th century, where corporations were allowed to beat their employees with glowing-hot lead rods when the caprice struck them. Sometimes, the worst times, it's not even like there's an outright intent to harm, but rather, what we deal with is merely the capitalistic fecal matter resulting from gross negligence and incompetence.

I advocate utopian anarchy, where valued commodity is phased out, food and product distribution occurs on an as-needed basis, housing is provided willfully and responsibly, and rainbows shoot out of my ass as I ride a Loch Ness Unicorn with Sasquatch.