Friday, December 20, 2013

Chicken Soup with the Employer/Employee relationship...

A few weeks after starting my first job way back when I was 16 years old my boss complimented my work ethic in what had to be the worst possible manner. He said, "You're a really good worker. You know the harder you work the more money I make?" He laughed when he said it and he probably thought he was being funny and clever.

He was funny. He was not being clever.

It was one of those shining moments where the truth came crashing in, never to leave. The peculiar nature of the Employer/Employee relationship suddenly presented itself in all its one sided glory.

If you are the CEO of a corporation and you work your employees hard, supervise them closely, and dump them whenever you can get away with it...and you reward all of that hard work and job insecurity by paying them as little as you can get away with, you will be described in business circles as a good business manager. They will say wonderful things about you in the Wall Street Journal and your company's stock will no doubt reach stratospheric heights.

Now let's look at it from the employee's point of view.

As an employee you decide to follow the example of your boss by demanding as much pay and benefits as you can get away with. You join a labor union that manages to consistently extract high wages and generous benefits from your employer. In return for all those goodies, you decide to work as little as possible, take as much sick time as you can get away with, read novels in the bathroom, and generally save your energy for more enjoyable pursuits, you will be described as an asshole who never did a day's work.

This is one of the more obvious double standards you'll encounter in a capitalist economy, yet almost no one is willing to admit that something's wrong with it. In fact, it's very common to encounter people who look upon corporate executives not as professional business managers to be rewarded for competently managing a business, but as deities to be worshipped. A CEO who's annual compensation is $23,000,000 is the equivalent of $11,000 per hour based on a 40 hour week. And you can bet that every CEO in America is wringing his hands and whining about having to pay someone $15 per hour. Mentioning this insanity to the average republican is like walking into church in the Bible Belt and questioning why God is so powerful and humans are so powerless. Bu..bbbut...but...he's the CEO!!

Here's my solution for better or worse.

Pass a federal law that requires corporations to limit the total compensation of their highest paid employee to no more than 20 times the total compensation of their lowest paid employee.

I can almost hear Ann Coulter puking from here.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Chicken Soup considers developing programs similar to Izzy Kalman's Bullies2Buddies...

Izzy Kalman's Bullies2Buddies program is an interesting business idea. I'm working on developing a few similar programs like Burglars2Buddies, Rapists2Romeos, and my personal favorite: Nazis2Nannies. I'll be basing my programs on the argument that criminals aren't really trying to harm anyone. They just want respect and when victims are harmed it's because as Kalman claims, "too many kids see themselves as victims and not enough are learning to respect their antagonistic peers." read that right. Victims of bullying aren't really victims. They're just being punished for not displaying that toadying, subservient respect young sociopaths are entitled to.

I'm certain that my programs will embolden America's more than generous stock of young sociopaths, legitimize the criminally incompetent parents who role model their behavior, and degrade victims every bit as effectively as Bullies2Buddies.

And I get to charge a fee as well...

Stay out of the hot sun folks and don't forget to leave a comment for Izzy Kalman on his Psychology Today site. I'm no longer allowed to.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Chicken Soup with the "affluenza" criminal defense...

Just when I'm tempted to believe I've seen or heard it all, along comes a trial lawyer who just couldn't resist providing the world's terrorists with yet another reason to sleep soundly.

Let's begin, shall we?

Ethan Couch is a 16 year old from Texas who has very wealthy biological parents...but apparently no parents. He was convicted of killing four people and injuring eleven others while driving under the influence of alcohol. His attorney conjured up a brilliant defense in an effort to keep his client out of prison. He argued that Ethan Couch suffered from "affluenza" by claiming that his wealthy parents did not teach him right from wrong or that his behavior has consequences.

Think about that for a moment...

The biological parents paid an attorney to argue in open court that their decision to avoid doing their job as parents resulted in four deaths and eleven serious injuries. The attorney was supported by testimony from an expert witness. Psychologist G. Dick Miller testified for the defense that Couch suffered from "affluenza," a condition in which "his family felt that wealth bought privilege and there was no rational link between behavior and consequences." I smell a massive civil suit about to boil over where the jury will be repeatedly reminded of the parents' admitted criminal incompetence and depraved indifference. Yes...this is what happens when assholes reproduce.

Let's continue, shall we?

At a New Years Eve party way back when I was nineteen years old someone gave me something called a purple microdot. Those of you who know what that is can see where I'm going with this.

Purple microdot turned out to be a psychedelic drug that radically distorts reality. My teeth took on a metallic taste, my eyes turned black, the wallpaper seemed to be slowly flowing toward the floor, and the music was so loud I could see colored waves coming out of the speakers. At the time, the "affluenza" defense probably would have seemed perfectly logical. Today it sounds exactly like what it is: a desperate attempt to keep one's client from actually facing the consequences of his actions.

There's only one problem...

It worked.

I can only assume Judge Jean Boyd had been indulging in psychedelic drugs because the affluenza defense seemed perfectly logical to her. all the other head cases who've graced the pages of this weblog, it's entirely possible that she simply doesn't place any value on the lives of the victims or the quality of life for those whom Ethan Couch didn't quite kill.

And now for Dr. Chicken Soup's assessment of "affluenza."

Contrary to what psychologist G. Dick Miller claims, Ethan Couch doesn't "suffer" from anything. His victims suffer. Affluenza isn't cancer or smallpox. It isn't a disease or a mental illness. Ethan Couch's criminal behavior is the direct result of his parent's criminal behavior. He was knowingly taught to place no value on the lives or the safety of others and that's what he did.

Consider the following...

A parent's duty to the rest of society is to transform an infant member of an aggressive, predatory species into a civilized, young adult, preferably by consistent role modeling. This fact should be written into the laws of every state in the country, but don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen. Paying an attorney and an expert witness to admit in criminal court that they chose to neglect that duty, and that their decision was the principle cause of the death and suffering in question should result in a very long prison term for the parents. That won't happen of course. America is a Christian nation where parents, like the Pope, are considered to be infallible.

As always folks...

Terrorists, mass murderers, serial killers, and all those considering such behavior can thank Ethan Couch's parents, their defense team, and Judge Jean Boyd for making it that much easier to rationalize that victims simply do not matter.

Stay out of the hot sun folks. And stay the hell away from microdot. It's not a pleasant buzz and it lasts about ten hours.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Chicken Soup with early sociopath training...

My earliest memories of bullying date back to the first grade. That would be way back in the fall of 1966, just about the time I turned six years old. A group of five or six third grade girls formed a circle around me, held hands and began dancing around in a circle and chanting something. Then they began spitting on me and laughing. Each time I tried to get out of the circle I'd be kicked in the shins or elbowed back into place. One girl hit me in the side of the head hard enough to knock me off my feet. I was smaller than most of my classmates at the time and these girls were two grades ahead of me.

It gets better...

Recess was patrolled by women who were called noon aides. These were mothers who volunteered to help out at the local schools in one way or another. While I was being conditioned to hate, one of these women slowly walked by and scowled at me. She didn't seem to notice or care that I was busy wiping spit off my face with my sleeve. She just kept walking. When she was about ten feet away I caught the eye of one of my classmates. His real name is Frank but I remember him being called "Chip" by just about everyone. He was one of those big husky kids who looked two or three years older and bigger than everyone else. He charged into the circle, scattering the girls and almost knocking one of them to the ground. As I tried to run away one of them grabbed me by the collar and yanked me back. The noon aide grabbed Chip and began scolding him.

The circle closed and the early sociopath training continued.

When Adam Lanza massacred his way into infamy I was initially confused about his choice of targets. Then I remembered that he was an Asperger's sufferer and wouldn't be learning the social skills that allowed me to have a normal life after graduating high school.

All he had were his memories, possibly including some very ugly memories.