Murderers in the Executive Suites

    What do you call two people who were responsible for the deaths of over 100 people and injuries to another 400?  Mass Murderers, perhaps?  Vile and disgusting?  Genocidal maniacs?

    How about if we call them the CEOs of Ford Motor Company and Firestone, Inc.?  That's right, gentle readers, as the evidence is slowly disclosing, these two criminal have known that their products were causing hundreds of accidents every year, killing and injuring thousands around the world.

    Were these accidents caused by poor workmanship of organized labor?  Nope!  They were caused by known defects in design and manufacturing processes.

    Were these accidents just recently disclosed to these innocent CEOs?  Nope!  They've known about these accidents and deaths since 1996.

    Did these CEOs rush to tell the government about the defects or even offer to begin a recall that would save hundreds of lives?  Well, if the victims lived in a Mid-Eastern or South American country in 1999 then there was at least a possibility that the dangerous tires were replaced on your vehicle but not if you lived in America or Europe or Asia or, well, you get the picture.  Too many tires in an area meant fewer chances that a costly recall would begin.

    Did the CEOs at least admit that there was a problem with their product once the general public got wind of the terrifying news?  Of course not, you silly, silly person!  Instead, they ran to the nearest microphone to proclaim that the entire fault should be laid at the feet of the other guy, not poor innocent little them.

    Okay, then, didn't the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission at least find a way to punish these two murderers or their companies for this slaughter once the news was out?  Again, nope!  The Highway Traffic Safety Commission can only ask companies nicely to obey the law since it has absolutely no enforcement capabilities and no power to punish or fine companies and executives proven to be the cause of death for Americans.  In fact, the Republicans in Congress even removed the Commission's normal protections from lawsuits, meaning that if it publicly states that a problem exists, that company can sue and, as a little Republican wet dream of a regulation, the Commission must prove beyond doubt that the company knew and that the executives knew and on and on, creating a wee problem in proving a negative (which, for those not versed in the art of scientific rules, is impossible).

    Okay, then.  Since these two executives have been forced to admit that they knew of the deaths being caused by their products, when will they be criminally charged?  Yeah, right!  Even though internal company documents from both Firestone and Ford prove beyond doubt that both knew of the deaths at least four years ago and did nothing to stop the carnage, the government has absolutely no power to bring criminal charges against these two repulsive creatures.

    So, what can we learn from this little example of the evil that is Corporate America?  We've learned that placing profits over human lives is easy for Corporate America and its executives since even the murder of hundreds if not thousands of human beings can be written off as just a cost to the American people but not to the stock holders on Wall Street.  We've learned that lives mean nothing to either Corporate America or the government (but I repeat myself).  We've learned that the Rabid Right has succeeded in destroying the most basic of protections that you and I once thought we could take for granted since he who owns the government controls your lives.  We've learned that America is pretty far along on that slippery slope into the Hell of Corporate America's wet dream of a Global Economy that cares nothing for human beings unless their picture is on the paper currency that it covets more than any other reality on Earth.

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Copyright 12/25/00