Meanwhile only the Wall Street Journal of March 27th reported on how Mr. Coss managed to delight his stockholders. Green Tree's profits came from low income senior citizens who pay inflated loan rates for their "manufactured homes" because of what the American Association of Retired Persons describes as a lack of lending competition. Mr. Coss had the "vision" to see this captive market.
Explaining why his Christian Broadcasting Network was going to begin producing soap operas and game shows, Pat Robertson admitted: "Frankly, only a masochist would want to watch religious shows all day long."
Ryanair Chief Executive, Michael O'Leary, received £16.75 million in bonuses alone over the last three years. This is enough to provide all 650 of his low paid staff with £25,760 each. But O'Leary has refused employees' demands for improvements in pay and conditions because the company "can not afford it".
The 'market socialism' of the Stalinist regimes in China and Vietnam has moved into the slave market. At least 12,000 Vietnamese women have been sold to Chinese brothels or forced into 'marriages' with Chinese men since 1991, according to the official Vietnam Womens Union. Most of the women were kidnapped by criminal gangs and sold on to pimps, who prevent them returning home.
In the run up to the general election Fianna Fáil, Labour and DL all argued over who was most sincere in wanting to legislate for a minimum wage. So how come the Southern Health Board, packed with politicians and their supporters, only pays a miserly £1.40 an hour to their 2,000 home helps? These workers do vital work, looking after the ill and elderly in their own homes. The last increase they got was five years ago when they were given an extra 25p an hour.
US Vice President Al Gore visited Japan recently, and claimed that the United States and Japan would become leaders in persuading other industrial and developing nations (such as China and India) to pass environmental laws (such as limits on carbon monoxide and other greenhouse gases). Of course, no mention was made of the United States or Japan of passing any environmental laws regarding their own countries. And, or course, the press did not bother to point out this little irony.
The British advertising agency Impact FCA has created a new, insidious marketing plan for its German telecom company Siemens. They have employed 100 London cab drivers to insert little plugs and comments for Siemens products into their casual banter with their passengers. The drivers must mention three key selling points: German technology, a small but powerful battery, and the ability to upgrade the telephone for more services. What if this trend continues? Corporate sponsorship of waitresses, bartenders, even average citizens on the street?
The cheek of the bosses knows no bounds. At the annual shareholders meeting of Irish Life, the chairperon, Mr Conor McCarthy, said the firm's performance over the past year was "a cause for celebration". This did not go down well with the staff who have been locked out since February. "Celebrations for yourselves, the fat cats taking big pay rises" was the response from 100 workers present.