Wednesday, November 13, 2002

The Steffans Manifesto-Part II-De-Demonizing the Corporation-I'll start this section with part of a David Hogberg (isn't that a great Iowa name) reply to Steffans' piece
The problem is that too many people think that corporations are opposed to the interest of the average American. Consider the following passage from an editorial by the Des Moines Register about the pharmaceutical industry’s participation in the recent election:
They've said that one plan is favored by the industry. That doesn't mean, however, that is the best plan for the American people. It most likely isn't.
I imagine that seemed non-controversial to many of the people who read it. The reason, I suspect, is that the word "corporate" evokes images of men in thousand dollar suits arriving at a large office high-rise in their limos. That makes it very easy for Democrats to demagogue the "corporate interest" issue.
Let's remember what a corporation, especially the big multinational types, is. A publicly traded corporation (one you can buy stock in via your broker) will have thousands (sometimes millions) of individual investors, each owning a small share of the company. The large number of investors is needed, for the multi-million (or multi-billion) dollar scale of a large organization often can't be financed by a small handful of people. Here's my rough draft of a GOP ad. Start with a cartoon villain, the cheesier the animation, the better. On screen; CEO Simon Sleazebag (show nameplate on desk) in suit behind his big desk "Hehehehe. Yes, we're polluting the Smallville River and are blackmailing the mayor in order to keep those uppity townsfolk in line, but it's all in the name of the bottom line." Show hero team (Powerpuff Girls homage/knockoff would work)-"Do you believe the nerve of the guy? We got to do something. Let's get 'em, team." Towards end of that scene, start showing shot on big-screen TV, panning to live narrator, I'm thinking 30-ish female with a lightly ironic sense of humor. "Now that's two dimensional. Corporations always seem to be the villain, but they're what make America go. They're not owned by Simon Sleazebag, they're owned by millions of people like you and me (show on big-screen guy at den desk writing a check, then mom at kitchen table writing a check) who put their hard-earned money in to stocks in order to save for collage or retirement or for a rainy day. Those millions of investors give the size to be able to make things less expensively (show panoramic shot of a warehouse store) and allow them to come up with most of the technical advances (show shot of computer chip clean room with techs in "spacesuits") that we use everyday. So when politicians start bashing corporations, they're not just bashing Simon Sleazebag, they're bashing the American economy and they're bashing you and me. Closing Caption-Corporations are people, too. Coming later today-part III-"The Merchant of Tennis."

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