JR'S Free Thought Pages
The Curmudgeon’s Lexicon of Business
“Cynic, n: a blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are, not as they ought to be.” – Ambrose Bierce, Devil’s Dictionary (1911)
A cynic is someone who has had his rose tinted spectacles stomped on and smashed thus vastly improving his perception of reality - “reality” aptly defined by the celebrated science fiction writer Philip K Dick as “that which, when you stop believing in it, won’t go away.”
A Curmudgeon is, according to George Orwell, “one who has a habit of noticing unpleasant facts.”
Idealism is what precedes experience; cynicism is what follows. [David T. Wolf]
Cynics regard everybody as equally corrupt... Idealists regard everybody as equally corrupt, except themselves. [Robert Anton Wilson]
"The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell." - Confucius
"I'm the most loyal player money can buy." - Don Sutton, professional baseball player and Hall of Famer
"Competition brings out the best in products and the worst in people." – David Sarnoff
Accountant: A dutiful book balancing drone whose role within a corporation is to tamper with the balance sheet within the confines of lax taxation rules and protect it from creative ideas and critical thought.
Advertising: The impetus behind supply-and-demand that conflates needs with wants, promoting useless junk that end up in your attic.
Alan Greenspan: (1) The most powerful man in America in the running of the US economic machinery and former acolyte and member of the inner circle of Ayn Rand, author of the inspirational book The Virtue of Selfishness and founding guru of the cult of "Objectivism". (2) When listened to on television, a great solution for people having sleep disorders.
Assholes: Comprising a large portion of the human male population, most of who are in management or real estate development.
BMW: Grotesque overpriced German hunk of metal that looks like an Oldsmobile engaged in oral sex – a trophy coveted by shallow upwardly mobile yuppies as a stepping stone to a Mercedes and Rolex watch combo.
Bailout: Another form of government hand-out and corporate welfare - a flagrant violation of capitalism’s Social Darwinian maxim of “flourish or die”.
Boot-licking and Ass Kissing: Two popular degrading activities engaged in by moles and newly minted MBAs climbing the corporate ladder.
Bored stiff: The mental state of 99.9% of people employed in wage labor.
Brown: The nose color of those climbing the corporate ladder.
Bucket: Difference between a bucket of sludge and a commodities trader.
Buy-Out (Golden Parachute): A lump sum fortune, courtesy of the shareholders, awarded to an inept bungling fired corporate official presumably because his departure causes the companies profits to take an upward turn.
Bear Market: The triumph of fear over greed.
Bull Market: The triumph of greed over fear.
Bullshit: Permeates the universe and finds a comforting home in religion and the business world. Perhaps this is what prompted H. L. Mencken to proclaim: “The most revolting character that the United States ever produced was the Christian businessman.”
Business Ethics: With the possible exception of Creation Science and Political Science, the most overt oxymoron in the Universe.
Business venture: An undertaking underwritten by the taxpayers and hence involving no personal risk.
Bankruptcy: A failed business venture, the cost of which is borne by the taxpayers.
CA: Certified Asshole
Capitalist: (1) A host who orders his guests to prepare a multi-course dinner, then proceeds to devour the largest and choicest portions for himself. (2) Someone who has inherited the family fortune. (3) A shallow philistine who finds meaning in life by the accumulation of money as an end in itself.
CEO: Corporate Ego in Overdrive.
Cell Phone: An annoying noise making contrivance found surgically implanted in the ears of realtors and persons belonging to certain cultural minorities. As a suitable repellent to these peasants I propose that boiling in oil and burning at the stake be reinstated particularly for those insensitive primates who insist on bringing them to restaurants, bookstores, funerals and movie theatres.
Chamber of Commerce: A propaganda machine designed to advance the interests of those with power and privilege in a community.
CIA: (Convenient International Assassinations) An clandestine vehicle of Corporate America but run by the American government. The sole purpose of this instrument of death is to erase democratically elected leaders of third world countries and replace them with fascist puppet dictators that can be easily manipulated to serve US corporate aspirations and interests.
Class Action Suit: (1) Farcical court case against corporate fraud by ordinary schmucks who lost their life savings by investing in companies with “creative accounting practices”. (2) Italian suit worn by lawyers in the aforementioned litigation who end up with all the loot.
Collateral Damage: The slaughter of innocent women and children after a US led “peace-keeping mission” to protect their corporate interests in a third world country. By “peace-keeping mission” we mean embargos for several years followed by carpet bombing of cities resulting in the destruction of infrastructure and social fabric allowing for a CIA coup and installation of a US puppet dictator.
Commodity: In capitalist cultures, a synonym for “person”.
Competitive pricing: A mythological concept at the same level of credibility as horoscopes, “yogic flying”, “the immortal soul” and “out of body experiences”.
Communism: A socio-economic system based on the dictum “man exploits man” – the opposite of capitalism.
Compassion: A word not found in the corporate lexicon.
Conservative: An ostensibly decent bloke who preaches the work ethic for those in his employ while he manages the inherited family fortune from an offshore tax shelter - also one whose ethics is restricted to the table manners of the Royal family, the Ten Commandments and the evils of homosexuality. In the former Soviet Union he was referred to as a commissar.
"People become so obsessed at hating government that they forget it is meant to be their government and is the only powerful public force they have purchase on….This is what makes the neo-conservative and market force arguments so disingenuous. Their remarkably successful demonization of the public sector has turned much of the citizenry against their own mechanism." - John Ralston Saul
“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy: that is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” - John Kenneth Galbraith
Cop: A law enforcement officer claiming “to serve and protect” who will throw you in jail for smoking a joint or driving after drinking two beers but who turns a blind eye to corporate fraud, tax evasion and insider trading.
Cop: One who “serves and protects” the privileged class and corporate hegemony.
“Poor people have access to the courts in the same sense that the Christians had access to the lions.” - Judge Earl Johnson, Jr.
Corporation: A miniature totalitarian fascist state governed by a hierarchy of unelected officials who take a dim view of individualism, free thought, criticism, egalitarianism and intellectual integrity - an abstract human construct that has more legal rights than humans.
"Criticism is perhaps the citizen's primary weapon in the exercise of her legitimacy. That is why, in this corporatist society, conformism, loyalty and silence are so admired and rewarded; why criticism is so punished or marginalized." - John Ralston Saul
“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of State and corporate power.” - Benito Mussolini
Corporate culture: A synonym for “fascism”.
Cost-effective: The only type of activity that would be worth pursuing if that group of drones called accountants ruled the world – which of course they do.
Credit: Something you can get if you don’t need it.
Critical thinking: The most important intellectual virtue in democratic societies that has been completely extinguished from public education, religion, journalism, and the corporate world.
"The purpose of education - both East and West - is the mass production of robots...who have so internalized social constraints that they submit to them automatically" - Maurice Brinton
Defense Industry: A sound investment whenever large numbers of people in third world countries are about to be attacked by the US military.
Depression: The denial of a regularly occurring state of economic decline in a capitalist system which since the early seventies has been referred to as a “recession” and since the nineties as the “R Word”.
Dictatorship: The preferred mode of government by corporate America in third world countries.
Docility: A valuable attribute for one entering the workforce or a religion.
Doberman: Something that is black and brown and looks good on a real estate developer.
Downsizing: Corporate euphemism for “Let’s save some dough by firing half our staff and making the remaining slaves work twice as hard for less pay.”
Drug Kingpins: The scum of the universe who will sacrifice the natural environment and life and limb of others in the pursuit of profit. The worst of this motley crew are tobacco and distillery CEOs.
Economics: An ancient form of mysticism not unlike Astrology, Voodoo, and Crystal Ball Gazing and having approximately the same predictive ability. John Maynard Keynes, perhaps the most celebrated economist in history, once said that “if all the economists of the world were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion.”
"If economists were doctors, they would today be mired in malpractice suits." - John Ralston Saul
Enron: The Corporation carried to its logical conclusion.
Entrepreneur: A professional opportunistic crass materialist found languishing at the government trough and who satisfies his own material cravings by catering to the lowest common denominator of the masses.
Ethics: An unwritten code of decency that once loosely governed most business, legal and professional discourse but which has been reduced to an oscillating commodity that declines in direct proportion to the amount of money at stake.
Excrement: The product of two businessmen engaged in serious negotiations.
Extinction: The fate of creatures with a classical liberal education and those who cannot or will not adapt to the increasingly hostile competitive environment of globalization - which is why the future belongs to cockroaches, lampreys, accountants and MBAs.
Farmer: The CEO of an efficient transnational multi-billion dollar corporation that manufactures chemically enhanced and biologically modified animal and vegetable products for mass consumption.
Fascism: A term used to describe the socio-economic systems of the Third Reich, Mussolini’s Italy, and corporate culture.
Financial Analyst: A corporate pimp with an axe to grind who only recommends stocks to buy (never sell) and that are either at 52 week highs or those he has sold short - a bogus bookie who, if he listened to his own advice, would be languishing on skid row.
Freedom: Enigmatic concept feared by religious devotees, people who will not retire after they are financially independent and lap dogs.
Free Enterprise: Neither free nor enterprising. If such a thing actually existed the whole edifice of the marketplace as we know it would collapse like a stack of dominos.
“...free enterprise, [is] a term that refers, in practice, to a system of public subsidy and private profit, with massive government intervention in the economy to maintain a welfare state for the rich.” - Noam Chomsky
Free Enterpriser: One who inherits the family fortune.
Free Trade: HA HA HA HA HA!
Free offer: An advertising offer analogous to a barbed hook giving one the right to be harassed relentlessly for the next several months by spam and telephone solicitations.
Free Speech: The inalienable right of every member of a modern “democratic” corporatist society to express their opinion but have no platform for its expression. The god given right to agree with the powers that be.
"It is very rare now in public debate to hear from someone who is not the official voice of an organization." - John Ralston Saul
Golf: A third rate athletic activity that ranks somewhere between bowling and darts popular with upwardly mobile corporate moles and disabled senior citizens.
Greed: The ethical foundation of a capitalist socio-economic system.
Greedy Douche Bag: Martha Stewart.
Hard Sell: Salesman making his pitch with an erection.
History: A subject once taught in High School and Universities chronicling the antics of monarchs, dictators, tyrants and other oppressors of the masses over the past several centuries – now replaced by banalities such as “career planning”.
Honesty: A word not generally found in the lexicon of business but often an attractive creative entrepreneurial strategy because there is less competition.
Hummer: The ultimate obscenity in SUVs - synonym for TANK and “I am a total asshole”. This is an extremely functional vehicle for driving your spoiled brats two blocks to school, to church bingos and to quilting bees.
Hypocrisy: The hallmark of American religious and business culture.
IMF and World Bank: Oppressive predatory institutions controlled by US corporate interests designed to manipulate the economies of third world countries in order to make them more amenable to exploitation.
Illegal Immigrant: A valuable commodity to the corporate world as a source of cheap exploitable labor.
Income redistribution: An Inverse Robin Hood approach used by governments such as across the board tax decreases and capital gains reductions that essentially take money from the poor and give to those in need – the super rich.
Income Tax: Something wage earners must contribute to keep the social security network and government infrastructure functioning while the financial elite, super rich and multinational corporations escape by setting up tax shelters in the Cayman Islands.
Inflation: Particularly since the advent of globalization and the WTO is a monetary index that raises our salaries by x percent and the price of everything else by x + y percent.
Infinity: The upper limit of the greed for American corporate executives.
Integrity: An inexorable impediment to success in politics and the business world.
Intellectual: Someone who demonstrates a high degree of philosophical, literary and historical erudition fatal to success in business and theology.
Intellectual Property: A shameless attempt by a business self-help guru to protect an idea that was plagiarized from a Greek philosopher.
Invisible Hand: A mystical concept created by Adam Smith that posits that greed and self-serving acquisitiveness will serve the utilitarian ideal of “the greatest good for the greatest number.”
Land Rover: Hideous looking overpriced box-like SUV coveted by certain self-loathing yuppies – the paragon of British automotive engineering and style that looks like it would tip over in a 20 km/h wind.
Law: An impediment to justice and the moral point of view and the societal norm that serves power and privilege.
Lawyer: An unscrupulous professional gunslinger with a fungal infection hired to manipulate laws and compromise universally accepted ethical rules on behalf of a greedy paying client thus paving the way for his entry into politics.
Leech: To engage in entrepreneurial activity.
Liquid Assets: Money that can be easily laundered or hidden.
MBA: A bearer of a bogus academic credential akin to a third rate vocational school certificate unencumbered by great literature, philosophy, science, critical thinking or history and therefore held in high esteem throughout the business world - generally hired by thriving entrepreneurial companies to help convert them into rigid anachronistic behemoths.
Ma and Pa Shop: An institution on the endangered species list.
Mail in Rebate: A marketing ploy and invasion of privacy facilitating access to your personal profile and e-mail address – in addition to the fact most people forget to mail in for the rebate – resulting in increased bottom line to the marketer.
Macroeconomics: Big Time mysticism.
Microeconomics: Small time mysticism.
Management: A class of semi-skilled hirelings whose rise in the organization correlates positively with become a mole, golfing with the boss, ass-kissing and the ability to relegate real work to their more intelligent subordinates.
"A managerial elite manages. A crisis, unfortunately, requires thought. Thought is not a management function. Because the managerial elites are now so large and have such a dominant effect on our education system, we are actually teaching most people to manage- not to think. Not only do we not reward thought, we punish it as unprofessional. The primary approach to utility - a very limited form of utility - is creeping into general pre-university education. The teaching of transient managerial and technological skills is edging out the basics of learning." - John Ralston Saul
Marketable: Under a capitalist system, everything in the universe.
Market Demand: The conflation of wants and needs.
Marketing Research: Determining new ways to exploit the laziness and stupidity of human beings.
Martha Stewart: Greedy corporatist bitch masquerading as your loving aunt.
Merchandise: Human beings.
Middleman: A useless blood sucking member of the capitalist machinery creating or producing nothing.
Motivation Seminar: A class taught by a member of the unemployed who instructs directionless lame-brains with the personality of speed bumps and passion of a turnip. Curriculum includes toilet training, how to get your ass out of the fart sack, how to use a fork and other important “life skills” and common sense notions that should be learned in pre-school. A more effective motivational strategy is to strike them on forehead by a ball peen hammer.
Moving the goalposts and pushing the Envelope: Employing creative accounting practices and embellished financial analysis to pump a stock in order to facilitate the unloading of stock options by corporate insiders.
National Interest: That which enhances the wealth and power of the top 5% of the population at the expense of the other 95%.
Negotiations: Business discourse involving two distrusting people or groups attempting to screw one another.
Neo-conservative: A right wing zealot born into privilege and wealth who is a most avid supporter of the “self-made man” theory.
No-Load Mutual Fund: A mutual fund usually offered by banks that have hidden managerial costs and other undisclosed fees.
Office: A clean functional brightly lit cell inhabited five days a week by diligent docile slaves who forfeit their lives to earn a living.
Office Politics: An arrangement of secret liaisons, treacherous intrigues, back stabbings, deceptions, gossip and petty rivalries designed to relieve the banal tedium of working in such an environment.
Outsourcing: The destruction of decent paying jobs and union busting by a process called "globalization".
"Central governments everywhere are in a long-term funding crisis, in good part because they get less and less tax revenue from the large corporations who, in a global marketplace, play one country off against another." - John Ralston Saul
Parasite: A morally bankrupt organism that extracts a living from the lives of others, like a tapeworm, maggot, commodity trader or real estate developer.
Penny Stock: An efficient creative mechanism for producing value in the capitalist system designed for gullible investors to get in on the ground floor before the elevator of the stock ticker descends to the basement.
Performance Appraisal: An assessment of an employee by management, the approval rate of which is directly proportional to the number of asses kissed.
Pimp: Agent or business manager for ladies of the night OR an entrepreneur who rents out captive human beings for profit and then spends his fortune on a Mercedes Benz, Hawaiian condo and Rolex watch.
Piracy: One of the cornerstones of business ethics.
Politician: A bundle of pomposity and noxious gasses cleverly packaged by the corporate world to serve its needs.
Power of Positive Thinking: Self-aggrandizement through self deception.
Profit Sharing and Stock Options: A nefarious corporate scheme designed to line the pockets of upper echelon managers in accordance to the Eleventh and Twelfth Commandments– “To him that hath, more shall be given” and “Thou Shalt Not Get Caught.”
Prostitution: A deplorable depraved act of renting one’s body to the highest bidder – not to be confused with “wage labor”.
R & D: A breezy nickname for Research and Development; an intellectual ghetto at Universities where the corporate world gets a free ride on the backs the taxpayer and rival gangs of PHDs.
Recession: An exercise in self-deception referred to by economists as the “R-Word”. A synonym for “the economy is in the tank”.
Rottweiler: Something black and brown that looks good on a corporate lawyer.
Self-Made Man: Someone who inherits the family business.
Slavery: (1) A grossly oppressive feudal system that flourished for 1500 years during a period called the Dark Ages when Christianity ruled. (2) Capitalism carried to its logical conclusion.
"For rulers to continue ruling it is necessary that those at the bottom of the social ladder not only accept their condition, but eventually lose their sense of being exploited" - Maurice Brinton
Slime bag: A redundancy reserved for emphasis when referring to lawyers, real estate developers, investment bankers, politicians or televangelists.
Socialism & Capitalism: Two socio-economic systems in which man exploits man.
Stock Analyst: A mystic who will know tomorrow why what he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today.
Stock Market: A popular casino game in which yuppies who have paid off their mortgage gamble on the nations economy and attempt to amass as much unearned money as possible until the greed of the corporate elite get the better of them or decide to withdraw from the fixed game and precipitate another recession.
Success: Personal salvation involving acquisitiveness and conspicuous consumption as pursued by those members of a capitalist economy generally resulting in sleep disorders, prozac dependency and heart disease.
Success in Business: The exploitation of the two most salient features of the human condition: stupidity and laziness.
Survival of the Fittest: Touted by those fortunate enough to have been born into wealth or inherit the family fortune.
Suspenders: Over the shoulder straps used to keep the pants on preschoolers or part of the uniform of pot bellied fast track stock brokers and climbers of the corporate ladder.
Sycophants: Shameless ass kissing, boot-licking, self-serving moles who earn their stripes by courting and flattering management in order to gain favors.
Tax Incentive: Corporate welfare in the form of risk protection courtesy of the working poor.
Tax Shelter: (1) An unethical tax avoidance mechanism designed and used by rich business people and our prime minister, leaving Joe Six Pack holding the bag. (2) Any Church or Religion.
Tax Write-off: Tickets to the Vancouver Canucks and Rolling Stones, Lexus SUV, dinner and Dom Perignon with your secretary, holidays to Cancun and scores of other gratuitous corporate rip offs courtesy of the working poor.
Team Player: A person having the curiosity of a barnacle and totally lacking in intellectual integrity within a corporate culture and one who never asks the question “why” or responds with “No” – an activity referred to by George Orwell as “groupthink”.
Telemarketing: Invasive predatory tactic borrowed from televangelists.
Think Tank: An expression used by right wing corporate pimps such as the Fraser Institute and CD Howe Institute to describe themselves. A more appropriate expression would be “thinking in the tank” or “theology”.
Third World: A country vulnerable to attack by the United States military, particularly if it has a dictator amenable to manipulation by American corporate power or has huge oil reserves.
Trinity: The traditional tripartite deity worshipped by power hungry businessmen – money, sex and power.
Troops: Gullible expendable members of the working classes sent to third world countries with huge oil reserves and deployed as cannon fodder for US “peace keeping missions”.
Truth: The first victim in corporate and religious cultures.
Unexamined Life: According to Socrates, the kind of life not worth living - the life lived by most yuppies who consume themselves with work, golf and Caribbean cruises with Club Med to avoid addressing the question that, if addressed, would dramatically increase the suicide rate.
University: An institution once renowned for intellectually demanding academic disciplines like philosophy, history, physics and mathematics where one was ostensibly taught how to think and exposed to the greatest minds of antiquity. This program has now been hijacked by the Mickey Mouse Club whereby students now study mundane banal courses which belong in a third rate vocational school such as “marketing” and “entrepreneurship”, thus reducing the University to an adjunct of the corporate world where economists, accountants and marketing specialists are churned out like widgets.
"As for the alignment of education and market forces, of course in some circumstances it may actually be useful. But in general those circumstances involve trade school disciplines - such as the schools of business management - which do not belong in a university at all…What the corporatist approach seems to miss is the simple role of higher education - to teach thought…. The entire education system is aimed at creating managers of every sort." - John Ralston Saul
Wage Labor: Death on the installment plan and the process by which one toils to enrich those who do not.
Waste Management: A typing error: it should read “management waste”.
Weasel: A small rodent often found practising corporate law, fudging the ledgers of small businesses, writing editorials for large corporate newspapers (see pimp) or found espousing unintelligible gibberish from a pulpit.
White Collar Crime: A reprehensible crime of infinite corporate greed that warrants a punishment commensurate with boiling in oil or the guillotine but which invariably lands the perpetrator in an exclusive country club for six months while the fruits of his rip-off await his release in a tax sheltered account in a Swiss bank.
Work Ethic: A mythological virtue promoted by corporate potentates and Protestant preachers intended only for their disciples and employees.