Friday, December 30, 2016

To Hell With Everybody Else!

In the 1949 film The Third Man, Harry Lime (played by Orson Welles), mastermind of a penicillin scam in post-war Vienna, and his na├»ve friend Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten) are in a cabin at the top of the Prater amusement park Ferris wheel.
Holly Martins: Have you ever seen any of your victims? 
Harry Lime: You know, I never feel comfortable on these sort of things. Victims? Don't be melodramatic. Look down there. Tell me. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you twenty thousand pounds for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money, or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare? Free of income tax, old man. Free of income tax - the only way you can save money nowadays.

From a Mother Jones report on Donald Trump’s choice for Secretary of Labor:
Andy Puzder is the CEO of CKE Restaurants, parent company of fast-food chains Hardee's and Carl's Jr. Since CKE is privately held, his compensation isn't publicly disclosed, but in 2012—according to CKE's final public disclosure after going private—Puzder made more than $4 million in salary and bonuses. Meanwhile, he has been a tireless campaigner against raises to the minimum wage and rules proposed by President Barack Obama in 2014 that would expand the number of employees who qualify for overtime pay.
It's not surprising that Puzder, who has been CEO of CKE Restaurants since 2000, would have strong opinions about overtime. Back in 2004, the company agreed to pay $9 million to settle claims that it had not paid overtime to store managers. In 2013, CKE was hit with a class-action suit for "allegedly failing to pay its general managers overtime, even while requiring them to be on call 24 hours a day," reports Law 360. The suit is still pending, with a hearing scheduled for December 14 in Los Angeles.
In response to widespread efforts to boost the minimum wage at the state and local levels, Puzder vowed earlier this year to replace workers with machines.*

Colonel Rudolf Ivanovich Abel was a master spy for the USSR. After operating successfully underground for many years in the United States, he was eventually discovered and was arrested in New York City on June 21, 1957. His court-appointed defense counsel, James B. Donovan, in his book about Abel, Strangers on a Bridge, tells of one exchange Abel had with a prison official during his incarceration: Abel told the official
that he was unwisely spending the meager funds available for vocational training in prison—that the bulk of the money should go to the more intelligent and more adaptable inmates, rather than those with lower IQs and less able to absorb training. The official said to me [Donovan], “A part of his philosophy was being expressed here; he always seemed to show a disregard and mild scorn for people who were not self-reliant and who had to depend on direct supervision and guidance.”


I suppose there’s a moral here:

Whether from a Criminal, a Capitalist, or a Communist, the cry is always, “TO HELL WITH EVERYBODY ELSE!”

See also my earlier blog post: