February 11, 2002
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(A few more Buds later...)
- Hey, Joe, about your job...
- What about my job? I just lost it, goddam it! What do you want me to say about my job?
- Cool down. I'm just trying to help you here, nothing more...
- Okay, have your say.
- Well, I've heard of this fellow, Terry McAuliffe...
- Terry what?
- McAuliffe... He's the guy who used to be the chief fundraiser for his buddy, Bill Clinton, when he was the Prez, and who now is the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee...
- So what?
- Joe, if you keep interrupting me, it's going to take forever to explain. Just listen for a sec, will you?
- So, this fellow, McAuliffe had another good friend, Gary Winnick, the CEO of Global Crossing, himself a golfing partner of Clinton. It just happened that the fellow, McAuliffe, a great defender of the working people, had $100,000 to spare. One evening, I guess over wine and cheese, as they were talking about the health of the nation -- remember these are big shots, after all -- they kind of agreed that the $100k should be invested in Global Crossing. Now, I don't know all the details but the fellow did invest that money in that company...
- So what?
- Joe, please... Okay, let me carry on. As I told you earlier, Global Crossing filed for Chapter 11, less than a couple of weeks ago. Poor Gary Winnick is going to lose control of the company though fortunately for his retirement plan -- you lost yours, right? -- he was able to keep $730 million for himself...
- Hey, you said the company went bankrupt. How can this guy get to keep so much money?
- Good question, Joe; good question. The answer's coming if you care to listen. Have another Bud.
- Okay, thanks for the Bud. I'm all ears... I'm wondering if I could get my foreman to spit out some cash for me...
- You're getting it, Joe, and McAuliffe can help you...
- Well, see, he was able to cash out his investment well before the company filed for bankruptcy, and thanks to the magic of the free market, his initial $100,000 returned a palsy $18 million...
- A what?
- $18 million. It's like if you had invested $100 at your corner store and gotten back $180,000. Not bad, wouldn't you say?
- I'd say I smell a rat. That's what I'd say. Here's a guy who reaps $780 million as his company goes bankrupt and here is another guy who get a 1,800 percent return or whatever -- at this point a zero here or a zero there makes little difference... I'd say these guys are fishy... Gimme me another Bud.
- Here you are. But wait till you hear about the folks at Enron, pals of the present White House office holder, His Highness Bush II...
- Hey, don't you joke with the Prez. He's doing a good job fighting corruption and the terrorists for our liber....uh economy. But I'd like to tell a word or two to those rascals...
- Umm, and what would you tell them?
- I'd ask McWhoever, "how the f*** can you cash out like this when so many small fishes like me are out of a job, with no health plan, and the like?" Shit man, I can't even afford to pay for my kids' education...
- McWhoever, that is, McAuliffe, would answer that that is what capitalism is all about...
- Well, I'd tell him to put his capitalism up his... if you see what I mean...
- I see what you mean, Joe. Actually, McAuliffe had an answer ready when some impertinent detractors dared to question the legitimacy of his gains. And that answer would fit your own question. He said, "If you do not like capitalism, move to Cuba or China."
- The Cubis and the Chinians? What's the f*** does he mean?
- I don't know Joe, but what I know is that in Cuba they have free healthcare and free education....and that you may want to brush up your spelling... But my point is different. Remember, I'm just trying to help you...
- Heck, then, what's your point?
- My point, Joe, is simple and straight-forward: Become a capitalist. Be part of the happy few; get rid of all the evildoers, all those who could claim to have an equitable part of the pie, start a war; cash out with your friends; don't bother about the future, the infrastructure of our country, the roads, the bridges, the schools, the health of your fellow citizens; forget about the environment; ignore the ozone layer; drill for oil and gas everywhere, from Central Asia to Utah, and the Arctic National Refuge, in Alaska; talk about safety and security, the attack on America, the challenge to the nation; Ratchet the emotions of your friends and colleagues; wave the flag; scapegoat the minorities; build a wall all along our borders; learn to play golf... But do not talk about the real world... And...
- And what? I'm already waving the flag like crazy...
- Enjoy the Olympics!
Scene II - The Lament
Scene I - The Situation
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