Cartoon for January 24, 2009

The New York Times is selling display ads on its front page, whoring out the Old Grey Lady. What next?

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35 Responses to “Cartoon for January 24, 2009”

  1. devil Says:

    LOL@ “Texaco Times!”

    But as for the panel about editorial positions– isn’t that pretty much what they already do, just not quite so blatantly..?

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I agree Ted, it’s out of control. This corporate takeover of America has gone too far and it must be stopped!

    [This blog post brought to you by Carl’s Jr.]

  3. Anonymous Says:

    As usual, MAD Magazine was way ahead of NYT, but at least MAD retained an element of dignity.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    As usual, MAD Magazine was way ahead of NYT, but at least MAD retained an element of dignity.

  5. Aggie Dude Says:

    I get royalties for having Honda tattooed to my forehead, Ted.

    [This blog post brought to you by Pepsi-co]

    Yes, I ripped off Anon 9:24 AM, our Taco Bell sponsored Lawyers are on their way to the University of Phoenix Courthouse to negotiate a settlement as we type.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    This corporate takeover of America has gone too far and it must be stopped!
    Corporations provide services and products people need or desire. They cannot take your money, raise your taxes, imprison you or make laws. If your fear is of corporations, you aren’t paying attention.

  7. Jesus X. Crutch Says:

    I can’t recall who said it or where I saw it, but some witty person recently said that all elected officials should have to wear jumpsuits of the type that NASCAR drivers have, completely covered with corporate logos, that way an ordinary citizen could tell who they represent.

  8. Grouchy Says:

    Corporations provide services and products people need or desire. They cannot take your money, raise your taxes, imprison you or make laws. If your fear is of corporations [sic], you aren’t paying attention.

    Hurray for corporations! I want the world run by dictatorial profit driven organizations that don’t have any accountability to anybody other than their boards, CEOs and shareholders (and in that order, please).

    And fuck the government! The government could never provide me with services I need or desire! It’s a shame the government still has any hypothetical power to regulate corporations.

    (Un-sarcastic postscript: If I lived in the outer-empire, I’d surely fear corporations like Blackwater, who can pretty much shoot you in the head and get away with it…)

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Corporations provide services and products people need or desire. They cannot take your money, raise your taxes, imprison you or make laws. If your fear is of corporations, you aren’t paying attention.

    This is just too funny. In response, I’ll paraphrase Michael Coleone:

    “You think corporations can’t take my money, raise my taxes, imprison me or make laws? Who’s the naive one?”

    LOL!!! Too funny. Some people must have a blessed life being able to sleepwalk so blissfully past reality.

  10. Always Right Says:

    Grouchy,
    Do you really fear corporations? Seriously, do you wake up in the morning afraid of what a corporation will do to you? If you work, check out your paystub and look at how much government is stealing from you.

    As for Blackwater, well no they cannot shoot you in the head and get away with it.

    If you want to have an intellectual discussion try not to sound like a shrill sarcastic 12 year old anarchist.

  11. Incitatus Says:

    Funny how that could supposedly stain the sacrosanct front page of the Manhattan Pravda, but using the city’s force via eminent domain to get its choice of top real estate and lying about WMDs in Iraq is just playing ball, right?
    I say give more ads and less lies (for Bush or for the new emperor).

  12. Incitatus Says:

    For those of you claiming to fear corporations more than established governments, at least noone’s doing this (“I pledge to be a servant to Steve Ballmer?”) on behalf of Microsoft’s CEO.

    I guess blue-state fascism is more palatable to some than red-state fascism is (now you have P. Diddy cheering for the Dear Leader instead of Toby Keith, yay!).

    As for me, I like the Spanish saying: “¿Hay gobierno? ¡Soy contra!”

  13. Incitatus Says:

    For those of you claiming to fear corporations more than established governments, at least noone’s doing this (“I pledge to be a servant to Steve Ballmer?”) on behalf of Microsoft’s CEO.

    I guess blue-state fascism is more palatable to some than red-state fascism is (now you have P. Diddy cheering for the Dear Leader instead of Toby Keith, yay!).

    As for me, I like the Spanish saying: “¿Hay gobierno? ¡Soy contra!”

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Yahoo didn’t run this cartoon. Dorme bene…

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Bartholomew: Corporate society takes care of everything. And all it asks of anyone, all it’s ever asked of anyone ever, is not to interfere with management decisions.

    Jonathan!! Jonathan!! Jonathan!!!

    Dorme bene…

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Bartholomew: Corporate society takes care of everything. And all it asks of anyone, all it’s ever asked of anyone ever, is not to interfere with management decisions.

    Jonathan!! Jonathan!! Jonathan!!!

    Dorme bene…

  17. Grouchy Says:

    I shouldn’t have drawn myself into this stupid fear of corporations vs. fear of government riff–both are the same thing! Their leaders revolve in and out of each other (look at the careers of Rummy and Cheney, for example). Governments create corporations and corps. couldn’t function without governmental support and protection!

    I fear both governments and corporations. But I understand that government is the only one of the two that could conceivably function towards serving the whole society, not just shareholders and the business elite.

    And no, morons, corps. do not serve the whole society. They externalize costs, destroy the biosphere and suck money out of local economies. Every decision they make is done to either maximize profit or cater to their internal elite (and these two functions are often surprisingly at odds).

  18. Anonymous Says:

    devil,

    Dead on! Ironically, Ron Paul conspicuously lost that process.

    He’s also the about the only big name in contemporary politics who opposes using government power to further ensconce the powerful as masters of the universe. He’s got some wacky and callous notions that I won’t try to defend, but all told, he’s the best we got.

    He would not get the largest bid on e-Bay. Politicans, like any commodity are bought on the basis of their utility to the purchaser. Someone like Bush or Obama would hit the buy it now price well before Ronnie reached his reserve.

  19. Marion Delgado Says:

    Ted, as you know, I work in mainstream print journalism, and I wouldn’t put “Texaco Times” out of the question at all.

  20. Marion Delgado Says:

    Ted, as you know, I work in mainstream print journalism, and I wouldn’t put “Texaco Times” out of the question at all.

  21. Kurt Says:

    Incitatus and others,

    Frankly, I fear the stateless corporations just a little tiny bit more than I fear my government, as my government has become a wholly owned subsidiary of said stateless corporations. Fox News is a mouthpiece for international security firms, which are funded and owned by international construction and engineering firms. CNN isn’t too far behind. If you think that huge corporate interests are 1) good for the world, 2) part and parcel to a free and competitive market, 3) not as dangerous than a government can be 4) good for you, well, then I have some swamp land in central Arizona to sell you.

    Here is a clue… You should be concerned about both. It should bother you that a company that is mostly owned by other big corporations runs 56 prisons in the United States, and at least as concerned that our government has allowed this to happen. You should be concerned that Northern California’s biggest industry is illegal, and really illegal at the behest of Lilly, Wyeth and Weyerhauser. You guys talk about government and the world’s stateless corporations as though they are always one good and the other bad. They are both trouble waiting to happen. That is the point of this cartoon, I think… Without a free press to watch the government and those corporations that would steal your blood if they could… The government will make so those corporations can steal your blood.

  22. Incitatus Says:

    I shouldn’t have drawn myself into this stupid fear of corporations vs. fear of government riff–both are the same thing! Their leaders revolve in and out of each other (look at the careers of Rummy and Cheney, for example).

    It’s funny that your examples draw from corporations (Blackwater, Halliburton and their ilk) who are joined at the hip with government and do their dirty business mostly not by serving the market but on top of the state’s most disgusting occupation, namely, waging wars. Frankly, I don’t see Rumsfeld’s or Cheney’s “experience” helping them land a job at Goggle’s or Microsoft’s boards.

    I fear both governments and corporations. But I understand that government is the only one of the two that could conceivably function towards serving the whole society, not just shareholders and the business elite.

    How so? By wishful thinking and electing Prince Charming to office?

    And no, morons, corps. do not serve the whole society.

    What about their, uh, customers? You should take a lesson in civility from more mild-mannered Commies, like Kurt and Aggie, by the way.

    They externalize costs, destroy the biosphere and suck money out of local economies. Every decision they make is done to either maximize profit or cater to their internal elite (and these two functions are often surprisingly at odds).

    Oh my, I see your business acumen is probably helping your career thrive. You throw that “externalize costs” tidbit at job interviews to make you look smart, too?

  23. Incitatus Says:

    I shouldn’t have drawn myself into this stupid fear of corporations vs. fear of government riff–both are the same thing! Their leaders revolve in and out of each other (look at the careers of Rummy and Cheney, for example).

    It’s funny that your examples draw from corporations (Blackwater, Halliburton and their ilk) who are joined at the hip with government and do their dirty business mostly not by serving the market but on top of the state’s most disgusting occupation, namely, waging wars. Frankly, I don’t see Rumsfeld’s or Cheney’s “experience” helping them land a job at Goggle’s or Microsoft’s boards.

    I fear both governments and corporations. But I understand that government is the only one of the two that could conceivably function towards serving the whole society, not just shareholders and the business elite.

    How so? By wishful thinking and electing Prince Charming to office?

    And no, morons, corps. do not serve the whole society.

    What about their, uh, customers? You should take a lesson in civility from more mild-mannered Commies, like Kurt and Aggie, by the way.

    They externalize costs, destroy the biosphere and suck money out of local economies. Every decision they make is done to either maximize profit or cater to their internal elite (and these two functions are often surprisingly at odds).

    Oh my, I see your business acumen is probably helping your career thrive. You throw that “externalize costs” tidbit at job interviews to make you look smart, too?

  24. Incitatus Says:

    Also sprach Kurt:

    Here is a clue… You should be concerned about both.

    I am awfully concerned about corporations that seek favour from the state, after putting their dollars at the politicians disposal. Unfortunately, one of my favourite companies seem to be doing just that, after lavishing money on King Obama. My take on it, though, is giving less power to the state, so that it has less to bargain with business.

    Now, I’m curious: you correctly point out that Big Pharma uses the FDA to do its bidding. I hope your solution is not to expand and give more power to said government agency, right? Or your solution would involve filling these agencies with altruistic, angelic public servants (an oxymoron, if there ever was any)?

  25. Incitatus Says:

    Also sprach Kurt:

    Here is a clue… You should be concerned about both.

    I am awfully concerned about corporations that seek favour from the state, after putting their dollars at the politicians disposal. Unfortunately, one of my favourite companies seem to be doing just that, after lavishing money on King Obama. My take on it, though, is giving less power to the state, so that it has less to bargain with business.

    Now, I’m curious: you correctly point out that Big Pharma uses the FDA to do its bidding. I hope your solution is not to expand and give more power to said government agency, right? Or your solution would involve filling these agencies with altruistic, angelic public servants (an oxymoron, if there ever was any)?

  26. Grouchy Says:

    Oh my, I see your business acumen is probably helping your career thrive. You throw that “externalize costs” tidbit at job interviews to make you look smart, too?

    I occasionally add a gratuitous “moron” or “asshole” (and you ponce on me, maybe rightly), but I daresay every sentence I’ve added to these posts function to build a substantive argument. Here you have used a whole paragraph to attack me for using “intellectual lanague”–without saying anything about the ideas. This is worst kind of anti-intellectual bullying. If you don’t believe corporations externalize costs or that such externalization is in fact a moral activity that services the whole of society, why don’t you explain yourself, you moronic asshole.

    (p.s.: In another post you attacked the idea of a single-mom waitress being stuck in her position. If we were together in a restaurant and you did that in front of one of my single-mom waitress friends, I’d do more than call you an asshole: I’d knock your teeth out.)

  27. Grouchy Says:

    What about their, uh, customers?

    I said “whole society.” Why don’t you actually read the words I write before you launch into your nonsense. A corporation’s customers are NOT society as a whole. A corporation’s actions effect no less than five different groups of people:

    1. The customer–Provides them with products worth less than they’re charged for.

    2. The non-customer–Since a corporation’s mandate is to always externalize costs, oftentimes its activity ends up costing this group. Sometimes you can call this theft.

    3. The employees–They serve the corporation for as little as the corporation can get away with paying them.

    4. The stockholders–Theoretically, this is the group that the whole enterprise exists to serve. Not the whole society, which includes the 3 preceding groups.

    5. The corporation’s internal elite–If corrupt, this group can become a parasite on group 4, which it is suppose to serve.

  28. Grouchy Says:

    How so? By wishful thinking and electing Prince Charming to office?

    No. Why don’t you stick to what I’ve actually said. I don’t have any illusions about Obama, and neither does Ted, in case you’ve missed that.

    How could a government conceivably function towards serving the whole of society? It’s called democracy, you dolt–and in some places, it functions a lot better than in the U.S.

    As I mentioned before, corporations aren’t democratic; often they’re dictatorships. But, you may argue, they’re sensitive to my needs because I’m a customer. But what if I’m either a non-customer or an employee? I’m pretty much powerless. The only way I can effect democratic change is to hope the government will listen to me as it drafts and enforces corp. regulation. But here’s the point: with government, at least I get a vote…

    Can you imagine the hellish place you’d live in if your government didn’t at least regulate some corp. activity? I don’t have to: I’ve traveled in the “3rd world.”

  29. Grouchy Says:

    It’s funny that your examples draw from corporations (Blackwater, Halliburton and their ilk) who are joined at the hip with government and do their dirty business mostly not by serving the market but on top of the state’s most disgusting occupation, namely, waging wars. Frankly, I don’t see Rumsfeld’s or Cheney’s “experience” helping them land a job at Goggle’s or Microsoft’s boards.

    You’re right. Google is Al Gore’s gig. He comes from the (slightly) more democratic sector of governmental power.

    Unlike a single corporation, governmental aims are not monolithic–government serves a spectrum of competing interests. Various corporations dominate–which is one of the U.S.’s main problems–but us, the lowly people, have a theoretical voice…

  30. Kurt Says:

    Incitatus,

    I don’t think that the better angels of public service are going to regulate the bad folks in business. They cannot, because the highest levels of the federal government are political spoils jobs rather than professional managers. Professional managers do a great job of protecting the public interest in most cases in local governments below 200k residents or so, so I disagree with you that public servant=corrupt. Full disclosure: I am an economic development director at a small city.

    If you want my opinion on how to manage the tendency for regulators to be captured by industry, it is simple… draw a bright assed line between the regulators and the regulated, and make sure that there is a free and diverse press to watch those bastards closely. If you have ever worked for an extraction industry, you cannot be an extraction regulator, and vice versa. Instead of having all the radio and TV stations be owned by Clear Channel and Infinity, make sure that a large portion of the available spectrum is only available for locally owned and operated programing. Instead of having Dan Quayle’s mother-in-law, the remainder of the Hersch family, and McClatchy owning 84% of all local newspapers, break it up so that there will be an incentive to be a cynical investigative paper (people would buy papers that don’t tow the party line, or at least read them for free on the internet).

    Lastly, I am not a commie at all, but since you called me one… I am a big fan of small business. I spend my days working with small businesses and helping them grow. I find them capital when the big corporate banks won’t. I lobby to keep their taxes low (small businesses pay infinitely higher taxes than corporations), I work with the staff here that does planning, fire and police regulations and try to find ways to save the business money in complying (and have actually rewritten regulations to ensure that small businesses are treated fairly).

    My heartburn with libertarianism is that they are okay with unchecked power for corporations. They are fine with a corporation engaging in predatory capitalism. They are okay with anti-competitive practices of large corporations. They are fine with media consolidation. They are okay with big corporations threatening small businesses to keep them from advertising on Air America (even though they have much higher ratings that Rush in EVERY market where they compete). I also think libertarians really are advocating anarchy and surfdom. My biggest complaint about libertarians is that they are okay with wholesale rape of the earth. I want my kid to be able to go to the Grand Canyon and not see a strip mine.

    Where I agree with libertarians is that I think competition is a good thing and that pot should be legal. If we taxed the pot production in the Humbolt, Mendacino and Lake Counties in CA, CA wouldn’t have a budget deficit. There also wouldn’t be the problems with stealing crops, enforcement of drug laws, and the environmental disasters that are caused by underground growers. That said, I think libertarian economic policy will result in 3 guys having everything and the billions with nothing being slaves. One cannot be free if one must labor for subsistence and is not free to pursue their own economic happiness.

  31. Incitatus Says:

    Grouchy,

    I won’t debate the “intellectual lanague” (sic) (see how fun spelling cheap shots come back to haunt you?) you use in lieu of actual economic debate,but I’ll reiterate something that should be obvious to anybody with sense. To suggest that the single-mom waitress is stuck in a given job forever is deeply offensive, the more so towards the very waitress.
    Now, I really wish we were having this argument in your hypothetical restaurant. Internet bravado is so much fun coming from people who probably don’t know what a revolting mess real street brawling can be. Go back to your video games, please, and stop pretending to be a virtual knight in shining armour.

  32. Incitatus Says:

    Kurt,
    The problem with regulators, overseers etc is a bit more complex than simple corruption. These bureaucracies tend to grow overtime and spend most of their effort in self-preservation and expansion. On the other hand, they also tend to form a kind of symbiosis with big business, which in effect prevents smaller players from breaking through. In developing countries, at least the ones I know, the vast system of governmental entities turns into a vast ecosystem to provide cushy jobs for elites (drawn mostly from the upper strata of society, unlike in the U.S., at least in my experience).

    If you didn’t already, you should know that the “Commie” thing was thrown tongue-in-cheek. Anyways, I seldom come across “libertarian” literature that defends “predatory” behaviour. Of course, the focus is more on the predation done by government (specially central ones), which is a lot more damaging than that done by the private sector. You may well have your suspicions and fears about what a “libertarian” society would turn out to be, but right now in reality, particularly this side of the Equator, unchecked powers of the state tend to baloon, making the cut of the GDP consumed by it escalate from a worrying 27% to a suffocating 41% in as little as 10 years.
    Give me anarchy anyday, man 🙂

  33. Kurt Says:

    Incitatus,

    I agree with you 100% regarding the problems with regulators, but the solution is in organizational structure and decentralization. It isn’t to stop regulating. The absolute largest part of the federal budget (outside of Social Security and Medicaid which are funded by their own separate tax) is military spending, most of which could be called corporate welfare. I am not sure how you figure that 41% of the GDP is consumed by unchecked powers of the state, though as the entire tax burden works out to be under 20% of the GDP.

  34. Kurt Says:

    Incitatus,

    I agree with you 100% regarding the problems with regulators, but the solution is in organizational structure and decentralization. It isn’t to stop regulating. The absolute largest part of the federal budget (outside of Social Security and Medicaid which are funded by their own separate tax) is military spending, most of which could be called corporate welfare. I am not sure how you figure that 41% of the GDP is consumed by unchecked powers of the state, though as the entire tax burden works out to be under 20% of the GDP.

  35. Grouchy Says:

    I won’t debate the “intellectual lanague” (sic) (see how fun spelling cheap shots come back to haunt you?) you use in lieu of actual economic debate,but I’ll reiterate something that should be obvious to anybody with sense. To suggest that the single-mom waitress is stuck in a given job forever is deeply offensive, the more so towards the very waitress.
    Now, I really wish we were having this argument in your hypothetical restaurant. Internet bravado is so much fun coming from people who probably don’t know what a revolting mess real street brawling can be. Go back to your video games, please, and stop pretending to be a virtual knight in shining armour.

    Thanks. I don’t mind you pointing out my typos. It keeps me on my toes.

    You’ve ignored the points I’ve made. (Do you not understand what I mean by “externalization of cost”?) Barring a substantive response refuting the existence and/or morality of corporate externalization of cost (or a request to clarify the term, which should be easy enough to Google), I’ll consider this exchange at an end.

    Regardless of our respective views on the existence of a waitress stuck in her job, the real question is one of regulation. I believe that a society should regulate workplace conditions. I don’t know your views–you might oppose all regulation, and wouldn’t mind a repeal of all existing safety standards. Maybe you want all regulation removed, and you wouldn’t be bothered to see certain restaurants start catering to whites only. I don’t know what your actual beliefs are, but this is where a militant deregulation leads. Our “discussion” cannot proceed until you clarify whether you oppose all regulation, or just certain ones, like smoking bans.

    And since you didn’t reply to my vastly simplified overview of the corporation’s relationship to society, I’ll also assume you’ve conceded the ridiculous notion a corp. serves the whole society.

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