Blogs by Tom Hyland
The Age of Conglomerates
6/27/2006 4:17:12 PM
Once upon a time, also in a land far, far away, there was a “Ye Olde Adage” which stated, and I quote: “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world!”
As Edgar Allen Poe might now say, using familiar words from his poem,
“The Raven” – NO MORE! NO MORE!
The Age of Conglomerates
Copyright: June 24, 2006 – Tom Hyland
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived some people who were honest, and possessed a rare commodity nowadays, called “Common Sense.” In a sense, it was almost like a “Sixth Sense.” That is, they often used the five God-given senses of: smell, sight, touch, taste, and hearing, in order to contemplate, then make sensible decisions!
Perhaps a quick example will suffice to shed some light on the aforementioned statements above. But, in order to appreciate the ‘flavor’ of the past age, I shall endeavor to use their outdated vernacular, thusly:
“If it looketh like SHIT, and it smelleth like SHIT, and it feeleth like SHIT, and it soundeth like SHIT, and it tasteth like SHIT --- then, it musteth be SHIT!”
FIE! FIE! FIE! Why should it be necessary for a man of ‘letters’ or rather, a college educated person of any gender to resort to using such ‘FOUL’ language? Simple! To get your attention! Whether you are repulsed with negativity, or attracted by positivity (gee, just coined another word, methinks?) matters not. Either way, the ‘hook’ is now set, and I shall attempt to reel you in further.
Conglomerates! Boy, is that word a ‘tongue-twister’ or what? Just what does it mean? Well, Pilgrim, if you have ever read any of my other ‘ramblings’ before, you are well aware of the fact that, sometimes I take the time to look things up (research), and sometimes I don’t! This particular ‘brain fart’ is totally off the top of my head! OKAY?
Let’s just say that a conglomerate is akin to a company, or corporation, that operates like a Friggin’ DRAGON, devouring all within its path! The original, or Parent company might start out manufacturing ‘Widgets’ – is successful, makes tons of money, then decides to ‘branch out’ into other, associated fields. It makes even more money, then decides to try its luck gobbling up smaller, totally disassociated companies in other fields.
Just for the sake of example, suppose IT was originally a little backwoods printer, or publisher. Then IT became a newspaper publisher. Then IT became an associated press. Next, started buying up little radio stations – then television stations, then satellites, and so on and so forth, OKAY? Get the picture? Eventually, we wind up with a corporate GOLIATH that basically has the power to CONTROL news!
Oh, but IT isn’t satisfied yet, so IT uses ITS power to start controlling and manipulating ITS widespread and also powerful political contacts. In fact, IT already USED them to get where IT is now! This process is fondly referred to as “Campaign Donations.” Anyway, by now, through the use of costly, high-powered lawyers, and complicated legal terms and contracts, IT has formed so many subsidiaries, and ‘silent partners’ and international allies, that the ‘Common Man’ could never begin to understand, let alone be able to question ITS ultimate goal.
SO – along the way, IT has found out how to ‘hide’ money, avoid taxation (you know, like Oil Depletion Allowances, and other quite LEGAL loop-holes), create philanthropic foundations, and other so-called ‘charitable enterprises’ and now, IT can sometimes use these ‘fronts’ to buy ITS way (Donations, or Sponsoring) into highly respected and professionally done Mass Communication services, like say – PUBLIC TELEVISION, maybe?
“WHOA, Pardner – them’s HARSH words!” you might say! YEP! Is something starting to STINK yet? Let’s consider just a moment the final phrase of the preceding page – ITS ultimate GOAL! Surely, it’s NOT the mere accumulation of wealth, is it? How high is high? How much is enough? How much POWER does IT really want? How about guessing at a possible and highly probable answer – CONTROL !!!
Once upon a time, also in a land far, far away, there was a “Ye Olde Adage” which stated, and I quote: “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world!” As Edgar Allen Poe might now say, using familiar words from his poem, “The Raven” – NO MORE! NO MORE!
CONTROL – let’s take a quick inventory right now of all the things that the AMERICAN PUBLIC CAN CONTROL, OKAY? You know, mostly via that other old adage called ‘Supply and Demand’ ---
News? Job Security? Taxation Without Representation? Food Prices? OIL prices? PUBLIC UTILITY COSTS? Gasoline Prices? Pharmaceutical Prices? Housing Costs? Rent Controls? Mortgage Rates? Hospitalization Costs? Doctors’ Fees? MEDICARE Costs? Part B –Part D – SUPPLEMENTAL? MEDICAID Costs? SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS PROTECTION? National Health Care Program? Research & Development to find CURES for: CANCER? - AIDS? – FLU VIRUSES? DIABETES EPIDEMIC? OBESITY EPIDEMIC? Ambulance-Chasing Lawyers Fees? Frivolous Suits? The Judicial System? The BILLS and AMENDMENTS PROCESS IN CONGRESS? And ON, and ON, and ON………………………..
NONE !!! We, The People – CONTROL NONE OF THE ABOVE !!! Oh, sure, we do have the Right, and the Duty to VOTE --- but guess what, Pilgrim --- the same ignorant, ill-informed American Populace keeps RE-ELECTING the SAME CHUMPIONS! (no, that’s not a typo, it’s another word I coined awhile back – instead of Champions that DEFEND and Protect the Citizens, CHUMPS WHO DON’T!).
Can you detect the odor, or STENCH yet? Does IT SMELL LIKE SHIT? Does anyone out there appreciate the fact that my simple exercise here of the FIRST Amendment’s FREEDOM OF SPEECH could very well get me in TROUBLE? GEE! Someone might think I’m some kind of ‘Rebel-Rouser’ --- but I’m NOT! I AM A PATRIOTIC AMERICAN WHO STILL HAS FAITH IN GOD AND BELIEVES IN HONESTY AND JUSTICE!
Once upon a time, if companies or corporations got TOO LARGE controlling specific industries or commodities, we had an ability to STOP them, it was known as The Anti-Trust Act. But a mere handful of “WIZENHEIMERS” figured out how to get around such a road-block, or impasse. Let’s gobble up EVERYTHING, ANYWHERE, ANYHOW – we’ll become rich and powerful, and they’ll call us ‘magnates!’ AND – the best part is that, because we’re not cornering any particular, specifically identifiable MARKET – no one can do SHIT about it! What a Country!
Instead of our “Bill of Rights” and our CONSTITUTION and its Amendments being UPHELD, We have been ‘SOLD’ a ‘Bill of Goods’ that, in all truth and honesty, STINKETH to the HIGH HEAVENS!
Oddly, another old adage springs to mind: “The Rich get Richer, the Poor get Poorer, but in the meantime, between time – Ain’t we got FUN?”
Rarely a day goes by that some small, seemingly insignificant RIGHT of some American, somewhere, is TRAMPLED DOWN, by some branch of our American government! The truly sad fact is that everyone is too BUSY, in his/her own little world to even “Give a Tinker’s Dam” about it --- UNLESS it affects YOU personally!
Is there any HOPE? Can anything be done about this untenable situation? I can only SUGGEST! About twenty-five years ago, I personally started VOTING for any WOMAN running any where, for ANY office! Did it do ANY good? I don’t think so, but at least it was a first step. The main concept is to NOT vote for whoever is already in office, and has already had a chance to FIX things, and DIDN’T! Continuing along with this thought, what about our “Two Party System?”
I think it SUCKS! It is time for a strong THIRD party of Independents to take over the reins of government at ALL levels! Nothing would please me more than to see a “Grass Roots” upsurge of concerned citizens, all across this vast nation, to vote for CHANGE!
Imagine people without huge financial backing of special interest groups, who truly have the PEOPLE’S interests at heart actually being elected to do a job – OF the people, BY the People, FOR the People! Sound too unbelievable? WHY? Because it goes against the ingrained grain --- against the established MACHINE of government. Those who have been “IN CHARGE” for about two centuries now, the Rich, the Powerful, the Affluent will not like these words! They will not appreciate being DE-THRONED by an intelligent mass of thinking citizenry, who finally have awakened and now actually DO something about all the ills of our society --- by ACTION!
Someone much wiser than I once wrote: “Thy Actions Alone Determine Thy Worth!” It is high time for the Age of INDIVIDUALISM to be returned! Conglomerates be Damned! Let us do things that MAKE SENSE to help the individual, the little guy, the FAMILIES of America, the aging “Baby Boomers”, the SICK, the POOR, the UN-HOUSED, in short – THE BACKBONE OF AMERICA!
Think for a moment about that other “Bill of Goods” sold to us all by the Madison Avenue Advertising Agencies so many years ago – companies adopted slogans stating that “Our Employees are our most valuable assets!” Sounded good, didn’t it?
How good is it NOW? How strong is YOUR Job Security? How SAFE are YOUR employee Retirement Benefits? How many shares of STOCK do YOU personally own? Aren’t you sick and tired of playing DOMINOES, when you know the game is RIGGED by the ‘players’ up top, who always seem to win? What is wrong with this picture?
You study hard. You work hard. You get a so-called ‘good job’. You get married. (That is a sad statistic today – DIVORCE = 50 %). You put your kids through college. (Usually mortgaging your house to do it). You experience a job loss. (Another current phenomena we call ‘Down-Sizing).
OOPS! While I happen to be on this particular ‘sore spot’ ever wonder why almost every major Internet company has someone from another COUNTRY answer the phone, especially for Technical Support? Ever notice how frequently they are from East India? Are we to ASSUME that there are no Americans here that are CAPABLE of doing these jobs? Or is it simply CHEAP LABOR that puts larger PROFITS in the tills? Perhaps we can just ‘discount’ this practice, as being akin to the Mexicans doing jobs that Americans are UNWILLING to do? Or could this be another ‘Bill of Sale’ from the MEDIA?
So, now you are under severe financial stress, looking for a job, and having unbelievable disagreements and arguments with your heretofore understanding spouse, right? We then get into the ‘He said – She said” stage. Then someone says the wrong thing at the wrong time, and then someone says: “That’s IT! I’ve had Enough! I want a DIVORCE!”
Can you SMELL the STENCH yet? AMERICAN FAMILIES are dropping like flies, and our esteemed “DO NOTHING” CONGRESS tells us to ‘tighten our belts’ WHILE they vote THEMSELVES RAISES! I think a recent news report said about $3, 200 per year, and an average salary of about $158,000! How many of YOU pilgrims have ever earned that much money in one year? --- Especially, for sitting around with your thumbs up your RECTUMS, and your heads buried in the sand, like OSTRICHES?
As I approach the close of this RANT, or RAVE, or to be more politically correct, this BLOG --- I have to wonder, does anyone out there really care? Is this merely a therapeutic exercise that only helps ME? Another old proverb suddenly jumps into my feeble brain: “If you can’t beat ‘em – join ‘em!” EGADS! GADZOOKS! EUREKA! VOILA! By George, he’s GOT IT!
IT'S ALL OUR FAULT! The Public has watched the ‘Ostrich Syndrome’ of government, thought it was the natural thing to do – you know, “Follow The Leader” and WE THE PEOPLE just stuck our collective heads up our own little RECTUMS! Our lack of ‘Due Diligence’ along with the DEMISE of COMMON SENSE, and then coupled with our National APATHY, have reaped us exactly what we have SOWN --- S-H-I-T !!!
So, my Fellow Americans, as the Sun sets slowly in the West, in that same land, so far, far away, what used to be valued as The United States of America should perhaps now simply be re-named --- The United States of CONGLOMERATES ???
But, what’s in a name? As my ole buddy Will Shakespeare onct wrote, and had Juliet speak:
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose,?by any other word would smell as sweet."
And I say: “If it Stinketh, could be OFFAL!” Ciao! Tom.
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