Monday, January 21, 2008

Corporate greed is killing us

By Libby

When I think of all the ways America has changed in my half century on this earth, the thing that strikes me as one of our greatest losses was the demise of professionalism. By that I mean, I remember when businessman was defined as a shopkeeper while doctors, lawyers and even journalists were considered practictioners of a profession. The bottom line wasn't measured solely on profit margins then, best practices and reputation mattered more than money. Now they're all businessmen first and practitioners second.

Avedon points me to skimble who digs down to the root of this changeover.
The American ship is sinking from the weight of its own economic narcissism. Our accountants and finance professionals have been richly rewarded for squeezing the last microscopic drop of profitability out of every other profession. That's why American newsrooms don't bother with news. That's why American old age homes imprison their residents as cheaply as possible. That's why American insurance companies refuse to pay out claims for sick people or destroyed homes. That's why we've proven that America is massively incapable of nationbuilding in Iraq or in Afghanistan or even in Louisiana.
That's also why your doctor can only spend ten minutes with you; why your lawyer won't take your case without a big retainer and journalists deliver soundbites instead of digging into stories. Time is money and money has become the ultimate barometer of success.

And speaking of journalists, I don't understand why the head honchos at the newspapers don't grasp the nexus between cutting the newsroom budget and declining circulation. We used to read the newspapers to get a unique perspective and detailed analysis of current events. If all they deliver is the latest wire story that we can find anywhere on the internets, why should we buy their product, much less stain our fingers with the annoying ink?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

p right up and see the liberal dnosaur lady!

your america doesn't and never did exist

11:16:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Don't discount the wisdom in 20/20 hindsight Lester. I'm figuring I got two decades on you. I'm talking about what I've lived through, not what I imagined.

7:43:00 PM  

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