Sunday, July 18, 2010

Profit Above All

NATCA’s motto has been “Safety Above All” for as long as I can remember. That’s because I -- and a lot of other like-minded people -- made it that way. I’ve seen outsiders mock it, I’ve seen insiders “whatever” it and I’ve seen others dedicate their careers to it. Do you really think Lockheed Martin could “live it”?

How about ITT? Or Raytheon? Or any corporation? I’m not naive about this line of reasoning. I know what unions do. I know they have to deliver the goods to stay “in business”. (How’s that as an example of learned language use?) I know the good and the bad in unions. Just like I know the good and bad in government and in corporations. That is specific language use there -- corporations. There are major differences between corporations and the business owned by Mom and Pop -- no matter how hard advertisers propagandists try to conflate the two when advantageous. Mom and Pop -- the good, kind people that have lives and consciences -- won’t be running your ATC system. Corporations will (if the have their way).

Do you really think a corporation can have a motto of “Safety Above All”? I’m sure they could pay an advertising agency propagandists enough to sell it. But -- in the abstract -- is it believable? In the do-or-die world of corporations doesn’t the motto have to be “Profit Above All”?

I know some in the pro-business corporation crowd want to turn this argument around on unions. Okay. Unions have to deliver pay and benefits. That is what corporations would have you believe anyway. And to a very large degree, that is true. But you might have noticed that pay and benefits in government are pretty good. As a matter of fact, if you listen to corporations and their propagandists, government benefits are GREAT! I remember when they were rather dull. Pilots made 3 times what I made and the dentist’s receptionist said, “You need to get some better insurance”. Government employee compensation didn’t change that much. Corporation employee compensation did. Suddenly, government benefits look GREAT! And that was before your 401k (that was supposed to be better than your pension) tanked.

Everything is relative. If you want to see GREAT!, look at what CEOs make. (Please note: Mom and Pop don’t make that much.)

For all those returning to this page (from the above link) and thinking “propaganda”, I want you to think that even more. A lot more. Turn on your TV while you’re thinking. Notice what you are being sold and by whom. Not just during the commercials -- mind you -- but every minute the TV is on. “Beyond Petroleum”. “We Bring Good Things to Life”. “Fair and Balanced”. Mine starts with the programming guide. Today, DISH network wants me to watch “The Crazies”. And I just love it when my favorite characters use Apple computers. Take note. See how many times they show a union shouting (or even whispering) their message on a TV. Or Mom and Pop.

Believe it or not, all this was supposed to be a lead in to Martinlady’s newest post. She succeeded in getting me stirred up with this:

”All these rules aren’t to dumb it down to the lowest common human denominator – it’s to dumb it down to computer programming level and has the added benefit of forcing our new hires into a very simple, linear way of thinking.  Too bad no one on Industry’s side of the equation truly understands the danger of linear thinking in ATC. “

Sorry, I got carried away. You’ve got some more thinking to do.

Don Brown
July 18, 2010


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