;THE POLITICAL CLIMATE;
FIRE in a
For your corporate environment, you must take into account that people with certain political feelings may not be bigoted, but the message is going to be
received as bigoted—and oppressive. I’m not saying that
normal political discourse isn’t going to happen in the
workplace, but our current situation isn’t normal—it’s
explosive. Why? Although the stock market is rebounding,
our economy is under a great deal of stress.
; The number of homeowners
who are “underwater” on their
mortgage (meaning they owe more
than the house is worth) has been
climbing for some time and is now
; U- 6 Unemployment: The
percentage of workers who are out
of work, under-working (part-time
jobs when full time is desired) or
have given up hope has been around
17 percent for a year, double the
average of the preceding nine years.
Mass rallies include ugly images,
such as President Obama in demon-ic-looking white face. Resigned
Gov. Palin’s campaign map that
uses rifle-scope reticule images to
target Congressional elections. The
“Don’t Tread on Me” flags. The
tea bags. “Big Government is the
Problem.” “No more taxes!” There
is a decidedly racist tone to much
of what is going on—for obvious
What kind of climate do you
have? Check the bumper stickers
on the cars in your parking lot.
; There are 2. 4 million mortgages that are 60 days late, and it
is estimated that there will be 4. 5
million foreclosure filings this year.
Luke Visconti, CEO
; Healthcare expenses are now
17 percent of our GDP, up from 10
percent in 1982.
What I think this portends for
us is that a group of Americans,
mostly white, will have a lengthy,
if not permanent, decline in their
standard of living.
What you need to worry about
as business executives—especially
those of you interested in diversity—
is the backlash. We happen to have
a perfect storm of talented media
personalities (Glenn Beck, Rush
Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and Sean
Hannity) who are using phrases
and images to incite people who are
anxious about what they’re losing.
They are utilizing Joseph Goebbels’
simple theory: “History proves that
the greatest world movements have
always developed when their leaders knew how to unify their followers under a short, clear theme.”
A group of Americans, mostly white, will have
a lengthy, if not permanent, decline in their standard of living.
f me c n , mo ly hi
e h h ir tand dof i ing. “ ”
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