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Prof. Ted Rueter Takes On "Corporate Villains" in Op-Ed Column

May 20, 2005

ted-rueter.jpgMay 20, 2005, Greencastle, Ind. - "According to recent best-sellers, liberals are responsible for the destruction of America," writes Ted Rueter, assistant professor of political science, in today's Herald-Times of Bloomington, Indiana. "Talk show host Michael Savage, author of The Savage Nation, seeks to save America from 'the liberal assault on our borders, language, and culture'... But I propose another explanation for America's travails: corporate villains. Numerous titans of American industry engage in bribery, toxic dumping, tax evasion, profiteering, pillaging, securities fraud, influence peddling, cultural degradation and the destruction of peace and quiet."

Dr. Rueter points out that "America's top CEOs average $37.5 million in annual earnings -- more than 1,000 times an average worker's salary," adding, "Corporate villains are guilty of many sins. Coal companies pour tons of nitrous oxide into the air, as hundreds of coal miners die each year from black lung disease. Hollywood pumps out violent and vulgar movies, targeted to teens and pre-teens. Recent history is replete with exploding Ford Pintos, cancer-causing Dalkon shields, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, toxic dumping at Love Canal and savings and loan fraud. Crime in the suites is alive and well."

The professor points to three individuals: Andrew Schindler, chairman and chief executive officer of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (for "Project SCUM" (Subculture Urban Marketing) "[a] scheme to convince gays and the homeless in San Francisco that their lives would be much better if they were addicted to nicotine"; Tom Whalley, president of Interscope Records (the label of Eminem, "the violent, misogynist, homophobic rapper"); and Robin Pendergast, chief lobbyist for Echo Manufacturing -- the nation's largest manufacturer of leaf blowers ("ridiculous devices [that] blare and screech like a dental drill gone berzerk, kick up dirt and dust, and pump thousands of pounds of CO2 into the air. They create as much tailpipe emissions in one hour as a car does over 350 miles.").

"Nicotine addiction, violence, misogyny, vulgarity, and noise are now part of the fabric of American life -- brought to us by Andrew Schindler, Tom Whalley, Robin Pendergast and their capitalist brethren. American culture was not destroyed by 'liberals.' American culture was destroyed by capitalists. As Vladimir Lenin said, 'Capitalists will sell the rope for their own hanging.' Anything for a buck."

Access the complete essay by clicking here. Learn about Ted Rueter's other recent opinion columns here, here, here, here, and here.

Source: Bloomington (Ind.) Herald-Times

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