3.11.2008

Executive privilege

MEMORANDUM from:
N. Ron Andersen
President and CEO
Upuhrs Industries, Inc.

Dear trusted employees:

It has come to our attention here at headquarters that some of you are dissatisfied with recent developments in the company's economic condition.

Let me be honest. Yes, our great ship of industry has hit the rocks. Yes, our stock, which topped out at nearly $100 a share, now is so worthless that even panhandlers won't take it. And yes, all of your retirement benefits were tied up in that same stock.

But this is no time to despair. You should look at this financial cataclysm as a learning opportunity. As our government officials have declared, the falling fortunes of Upuhrs Industries prove a valuable lesson in the vagaries of capitalism, the economic system that made this country great.

Capitalism, a word derived from the ancient Greek for "every man for himself," gives every American the opportunity to ascend the corporate ladder and amass immense riches. Sure, it helps if you're a white male with friends in powerful places. But the very founders of this country were white males with powerful friends, and where would we be today if it hadn't been for those slave-owning white males? To question our great corporate culture is simply unpatriotic.

(To those churlish employees who spray-painted "Eat the Rich" on our $300 million corporate headquarters, I can only say: You are un-American. By the way, we know who the culprits are, and they can expect a late-night knock on the door of the cheap motel room where they've been staying since the company's fortunes went kablooey.)

As I was saying, capitalism allows every American the chance at great wealth. Need proof? Then look at the corporate board of Upuhrs Industries. Each of the suits who sits on our board made hundreds of millions of dollars by selling off his Upuhrs stock before the "crash." They remain what's commonly known as "filthy rich," even though our company has tanked and all the employees are now broke. If that's not filthy, I don't know what is.

But to resent the good fortune of our corporate leaders is to take the short-sighted view. We worked hard to reach the top of the ladder, climbing and striving and pushing competitors off the rungs. Sure, we had the advantages of Ivy League educations and inherited fortunes and friends in the White House. But, otherwise, we're no different from you lowly employees. We struggled, believe you me. I myself still bear the scars from injuries suffered in a college lacrosse match. And I know each of our board members has, at some time in his life, suffered a wicked hangover.

But why, you might ask, has this suffering made us wealthy, while you regular employees are off to the poorhouse? It's for the greater good of society.

Republicans have argued for years that we at the top should get all the juicy tax cuts because we'll use our money to benefit mankind, and that same philosophy applies here. What would you employees do if you still had money? You'd use it to retire, send your kids to college, buy a new boat, make mortgage payments. These are all selfish reasons. We, on the other hand, will use our vast gains for the greater good, such as buying a new yacht. By doing so, we'll keep this country's yacht builders at full employment. And that benefits the American economy.

To those who believe we lied, stole and "cooked" the books to get rich while you got nothing, I can only feel pity. I would gladly dispute those contentions, but our corporate attorney, H.R. "Stonewall" Jaxon, has advised that I should not go into specifics here.

Instead, I would ask you to look at the bigger picture. You've all worked hard for years to make Upuhrs Industries a great company. We at the top appreciate those efforts, and we've profited greatly from them. Thanks to you, we can afford congressmen and teams of lawyers that will keep us from being prosecuted for our alleged misdeeds. While you're pacing the floor all night, worrying, we will enjoy untroubled sleep as the waves gently lap at our yachts.

And that, my friends, is the true meaning of "executive privilege."

2 comments:

tmbceramicist said...

Steve,
I found your site! In my local paper your column was replaced by Abby's daughter. It is tradition to laugh on Wednesday AM's (your column), so now I can continue that. I am an artist (ceramics) and work at home also.
Terry in Idaho

STEVE BREWER said...

Hi Terry:

So glad you found the site. I'm still writing the column, even if it's not available through Scripps Howard News Service at the moment. And, as you can see, we're rolling out old and new stuff here nearly everday. Welcome!

Steve