As promised, I will continue my fight against this article that’s full of shit that just ain’t write. The piece continues:
Today, I still remember those Sunday morning trips to church — not because my parents were striking out at the inequities of a system that created such economic winners (them) and losers (us) — but because of what my mom would say as we drove past the glorious homes of doctors, bankers and lawyers.
“You see that house, Joey?”
“If you work hard in school and keep fighting every day to improve yourself, you can live in a place like that when you grow up,” Mom would say with admiration in her voice.
My Mom and Dad believed in the American Dream even when they were dealt a pretty bad hand themselves. And their faith in America paid off, not only for themselves but for their children as well.
1. “…winners (them) and losers (us)…" Welp, you sure got the loser part right! C’mon Joe, how much pity do you honestly expect us to have on you? You had a loving family, a car, a home, and much more. I think calling yourselves economic losers is losing sight of what it really means to have nothing.
2. “…Mom would say with admiration in her voice." This line is so cheesy and cliche that it (unfortunately) detracts from your readers’ sense that the story you tell could possibly be true. As far as "good writing" goes, this line is simply horrid. Horrid. I want to scream, man! Reading it is KILLING ME, Joe. This line makes me wish that I had the flashing device that instantly erases your memory, you know, the one Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith use in Men in Black? I need that. Now.
The images of these massive homes and $100,000 cars seemed to clash with the morning headlines announcing a downgrade of the United States’ credit rating and the death of 30 U.S. troops in an endless, expensive war. And while America stumbles toward default, millions of Americans are unemployed and the middle class keeps getting squeezed.
1. “The images…expensive war." The author does a particularly poor job here in explaining why $100,000 cars clash with the United States debt load. If anything, I’d argue that the two do not clash at all, but are closely correlated. What I mean is that the massive homes and $100,000 cars represent the reasons behind our debt load.
2. “And while America…keeps getting squeezed." Again, the two things you try to juxtapose against one another as not supposed to be happening at the same time…should in fact be happening hand in hand (as they currently are). So tell me: Would it make sense to say that while America stumbles toward default, we should expect our country to have a low unemployment rate? See what I mean.
In late 2009, Business Week reported that the divide in corporate America was only getting worse: “While we’re seeing record-low budgeting for base salaries, we’re seeing record-high budgeting for bonuses.”
The article showed evidence that CEO bonuses were at their highest levels in the 33 years the data have been recorded.
“What’s counterintuitive,” according to a compensation expert interviewed by Business Week, “is that the highest level of funding for bonuses is occurring in the heart of the recession.”
“Counterintuitive” seems to be a bit of an understatement. Shortsighted and stupid better describes a trend that cannot be seen as good for the long-term health of America’s economy.
While these income disparity trends were bad under George W. Bush, they have only gotten worse over the last three years.
Since 1970, executive pay has increased 430 percent while workers’ wages have crept up at a pace that barely kept up with inflation. The average executive’s pay has jumped over that time period to 158 times that of the average worker’s pay in those companies. It’s no wonder that the top 0.1 percent of income earners get richer by the day while millions of Americans are seeing their situations get worse.
This is not John Wayne’s America. This is Gordon Gekko’s America.
In fact, I’m pretty sure that if the Duke faced one of these CEOs in a John Ford film, he’d kick some ass and force the leech to start treating his workers fair. And you can bet that my Republican father would be cheering him on from the front row of the theater.
That’s not to say that Dad would ever want the government to step in and tell companies what to pay their executives. He wouldn’t — not in a million years. But he would ask what became of the America that he knew, where working hard and playing by the rules always paid off.
This weekend I began to wonder, 40 years after those Sunday morning drives, whether parents across the country still embrace the American Dream with the evangelical fervor that made a 7-year-old boy sitting in the back of a Buick believe that in America, anything is possible.
For the sake of time and my sanity, I’ll say I agree (from a critical reader’s point of view) with everything that I have not bolded, as they are facts. They are facts that I admit are not something for our country to be proud of. But I’m here to comment on your writing more so than the meaning behind the content. That being said:
1. “In fact…workers fair." Right. Instead of offering an intelligent solution, simplify what your idea of a "problem-fixer" would be by evoking a John Wayne character "kick[ing] some ass" and making everything all right. I thought you were once a Congressman? Oh, OK, makes sense now. You’re a silly cartoon of idealogical dogma. And oh yeah, the last word there should not be “fair,” but “fairly.” That’s minus five for grammar, young man.
2. “That’s not to say…paid off." So your dad would not question what the CEO pays himself (for he is a staunch conservative I imagine) and so would not be a union worker picketing and complaining, but would simply reflect a question upon himself and ponder… Hmmm…. I really don’t see your point here about what your dad would and would not do outside of just mulling things over and being sad about the state of corporate America. (But remember! Joe’s dad would NOT be against the CEO paying himself millions if he wanted to).
3. “This weekend…anything is possible." I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect ending to this article. This last paragraph makes me want to see Joe Scarborough stand up and sing and shake his booty to an original cover of 2 Live Crew’s “Me So Horny” with Joe changing the words to "ME SO CORNY."
…And I’m spent.
Shit just ain’t write.