People Need Not Apply

Monday, July 14, 2014
Article Tools
Print friendly
E-mail story
Tip Us Off
iPod friendly
Share Article

If corporations are people, then they should be held to some standard of human behavior. Corporations profit from selling things, ideas, and services to us all. Clearly these “people” should provide some semblance of that ancient social practice … customer service. Here is what I experienced. I am sure you have been there.

I purchased a refrigerator online, after examining the actual item in the store. How contemporary of me, how effortless, how facile. At this point the ease ended. Three weeks, three stores, three brands, three delivery companies later, I had a working refrigerator. The old one died immediately when I painted it “radiant orchid.” Go figure. The first and second new appliances failed to cool. Once I purchased online, no person was available. Once or twice I connected with a human voice, only to meet with the most unhelpful, unprofessional cyborgs, each with a scripted, tedious response, unable to solve a messy human problem. And I cannot begin to tell you about the deliveries … all five … three deliveries to the house and two refrigerator removals. Not one was on time or even within days of the scheduled time.

So now these corporations are in charge of birth control, have special tax brackets, can buy elections, and have limited, if any, liability for wrongs committed. And they can’t even deliver a refrigerator. I am glad I’m old.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Mr. Bill Clausen, please respond for the author...

dou4now (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2014 at 5:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

It must be a Frigidaire

Botany (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2014 at 6:26 a.m. (Suggest removal)


billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2014 at 6:26 a.m. (Suggest removal)

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2014 at 6:29 a.m. (Suggest removal)

While many of the OP sentences reflect reality, "corporations in charge of birth control" is patently false (for now).

Having ordered items large and small online, where the choice is wider and prices are better, I have had excellent experiences. Maybe, I'll avoid buying a fridge online if the need ever arises.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2014 at 8:14 a.m. (Suggest removal)

i'm looking forward to seeing a amazon drone refrigerator delivery.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2014 at 8:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Jane, how much more do you want to pay for your refrigerator to get the level of personal service you demand. Please put a dollar amount at proper "living wage" social justice rates for the level of personal attention you expected to be available with your purchase. It appears you went to a storefront and then searched the "best deal" online. Do you now feel you got the best deal after your bargain hunting? This is not a matter of corporations as you oddly accuse, but more about stingy shoppers such as yourself who demand value but refuse to pay for it.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2014 at 8:36 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Maybe she didn't pay state sales tax either.

Botany (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2014 at 8:57 a.m. (Suggest removal)

'have had similar grim experiences, Ms. Benefield, and while some online orders work out, when they don't there's no one to deal with directly. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg recently wrote in WSJ that if we can only bring “the other two-thirds of the world online…[and] connect everyone, all of our lives will improve dramatically”. [WSJ Int’l ed. July 8, 2014, pR2]. What a raft of self-serving BS: gee, would getting the whole world online help profits at his Facebook Corp.? Ya think? WSJ billed his stupidity as "an opinion piece" but it was totally an ad for his company and its obscene profits. Yeah, I know, JarvisFOOJarvis, you will worship Zuck.... thank god 2/3 of the world still isn't online and won't be anytime time soon.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2014 at 9:07 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Zuck is a real smart guy and he deserves everything he's got. I know DD would prefer that Facebook be made in China and the obscene amount of money Zuck paid in CA state income tax never existed in this country. DD is a "misery loves company" kind of guy.

Zuck could have been a civil servant instead and everyone in CA would be the poorer for it.

Botany (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2014 at 10:01 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Since California depends upon taxing the rich, we need to encourage the rich to keep earning and paying what is now called their fair share. Hard to keep a one-legged stool propped up, but this is what California has let herself become. Don't eat the rich because they are your seed corn.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2014 at 10:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

When we get the data from Guardian access to certain files, let's see how much of Zuck's wealth has been sent offshore, eh? And I thought "the People" and esp. the young would be the "seed corn", Jarvis.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2014 at 10:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

oops, forgot that for materialists we dare not challenge our digital lords who take the data we freely offer then sell it back to digital serfs who glory in their silly connectivity whilst deeper communication languishes. You eat the sh!t of the rich every day as a gilded mouthpiece of the robber barons, Jarv; grown to like it, eh?

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2014 at 11:01 a.m. (Suggest removal)

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2014 at 11:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

It's clear that Dr Dan would like to bring down the rich much more than he would like to help the poor.

Botany (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2014 at 11:10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

getting skittish, Botz? The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists [ICIJ] will eventually get to Americans who offshore their wealth AND DO NOT PAY THEIR TAXES. Mel Gibson has been named, and some others. See for their work on Britons.
No, I work with plenty of wonderful wealthy folk who pay their full taxes, accept they'll soon get to pay more, who are generous good people.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2014 at 11:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)

It's quite true that 2/3rds of income tax in Calif. is paid by wealthier residents, and that's a good thing! Try this from the Sac Bee:
"Residents earning north of $200,000 control 39 percent of the state's income, but pay 66 percent of its income taxes....
Still, it's not fair to just say Californians pay more income taxes these days. For one thing, the state's residents have also gotten richer. For another, the state relies less these days on other taxes like the property tax. Also, it's generally accepted that the poor and middle class pay a larger portion of their income on other taxes like the sales tax. Income taxes, then, are, in a way, just a larger piece of a similar-size puzzle."

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2014 at 11:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The people you work with DD (teachers) have not been paying their full share of taxes because they have left their pension fund grossly underfunded. They will not be paying more taxes, but rather their proper fair share of taxes to cover their expected benefits.

California residents pay high gas taxes and sales taxes, not just income taxes. Teachers unions demanding more bond issues every year to balance their budgets make property taxes much higher, beyond the Prop 13 limit.

California voters continue to choose to tax themselves (and others) at these very high rates, while much of the state economy works under the table or sends their untaxed earnings back to their home countries. Interesting to learn who offshores their earnings more, Zuckerburg or illegal immigrants.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2014 at 12:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Pew Trusts research on remittances - US is the leading country where workers remit their earnings back to their home country - over $150 billion dollars a year in earnings leaves the US and is not reinvested directly back into the US economy.

DD - Does Zuckerberg offshore more than $150 billion dollars in taxes a year?

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2014 at 2:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)

For reference to the amount of income off-shored annually through remittences, or to Zuckerberg's alleged off shore tax dodges, the Iraq war misadventure was estimated to have cost the US $800 billion dollars total.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2014 at 2:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

What about the dolphins?

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2014 at 3:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

JarvisFOOJarvis, your statement here is meant to divert the discussion from Benefield's criticism of the inhumanity of corporations [despite Citizen's United SCOTUS decision which she could have referenced]: "(teachers) have not been paying their full share of taxes because they have left their pension fund grossly underfunded. " Our elected representatives from left, center, and right have made these deals with teachers and their unions, go after those representatives or vote some other ones in, Jarvis! Second, you love to bash the teachers, who are underpaid and under-respected in our country and this state. You hated Prop 30, etc. Since you represent the 1% and always lose, keep posting but it's useless and you know it, better to have stuck with Foofighter.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2014 at 7:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Poor people by definition make less money than rich people. It is a given they will pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes. However their collective amount of tax dollars paid to the state is very small, regardless of the percentage of their own particular earnings.. The key point is rich people pay the vast bulk of all taxes in real dollar terms and it takes real dollars, not percentages of income, to pay the state's bills.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 14, 2014 at 8:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yeah, and since you wanna just restate the obvious, Jarv, 'rich people by definition make more money than poor people' -- how does your statement or mine back at you help? By making lots more money, since we've had progressive income tax since at least 1913, by definition the wealthy will pay more of that sort of taxes: Good! as stated earlier. The wealthy, esp. the 1% you so adore (see Zuck comment by Jarv) and whom you consistently represent, can handle the freight and need to pay more. And as Botany represents the landlord class.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 15, 2014 at 1:57 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I wouldn't even have a problem with some being taxes a little more if our government spent less and just paid down the debt. We have endless spending on defense, entitlements and just plain waste. But we all know that will never happen. Tax people more, the government will spend more.

Botany (anonymous profile)
July 15, 2014 at 8:07 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Poor pay approx 10% of their income on various taxes, not just income tax. Rich pay approximately 8%. The disparity between the two rates is not large, but the monetary impact a the 8% on the rich is significant when one calculates the dollars each income group's tax percentage produces.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 15, 2014 at 9:01 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Well, this shows a bit of flexibility, Botany. I howled vs Bush's stupid wars FOR WHICH WE WERE NOT TAXED and are being laid on the young, you know, the young & the poor (I do care about the poor). And heck yes there is waste! Still, fundamentally we're opposite: I want the gov't to redistribute and get back to having more $ in the middle like in the 1950s under IKE, a Republican. Jarvis, I am glad the wealthy pay more, and they should pay a higher percentage and be glad they get the privilege, yes, privilege.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 15, 2014 at 9:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

America under Eisenhower can never be replicated. We were the last global free economy power standing post WWII. Life in America was far more stratified that it is today. An odd time to choose, unless you were one of the artificial beneficiaries and not one of the many on the outside still looking in.

The Eisenhower years were not based upon wealth redistribution, but upon a globally expanding economy when there was no outside competition. Those days are over. Adapt and don't lose ground relying on unfounded and romanticized nostalgia. Nor can you selectively chose what you liked about the Eisenhower years and reject what was also part of the package. Including the devastation of much of the rest of the world post WWII.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 15, 2014 at 10:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)

event calendar sponsored by: