American Airlines did something recently which got the ire of stock analyst Keven Crissey, something which, as tradition tells it would put a smile on the face of infamous French aristocrat Marie Antoinette.
Op-Ed by C J Oakes
I seldom want to call something criminal, especially something which relates to free enterprise, but recently I came across an article about the pay raise American Airlines gave to its workers.
First, bravo to American Airlines. They did what they believed best to both compete with its competitors and raise morale among workers. This should not be criticized nor berated by anyone outside of the company. That is free enterprise.
The foolishness, almost criminal attitude, however does not come from those in charge of American Airlines, but instead from some of its key investors.
In an utterance that sounds eerily like the infamous words uttered allegedly by Marie Antoinette. Allegedly, because it is highly unlikely that she, at the age of 10 did so. Regardless of who said it first, the expression gained traction as the attitude displayed by the French aristocracy toward the peasant class. It was an attitude that would eventually result in the toppling of the Monarchy in France.
Such expressions by those in society who are clearly more well-off than the average citizen do little more than inflame passions and cries of justice among the working-class masses. This was the rallying cry that led to the overthrow of the Russian Monarchy as well and many since. This is a key reason the English Empire, upon which the sun never set, is today a shadow of its former self.
Which brings us to the virulent statement by Citi analyst Keven Crissey. He drafted a note to clients who then sent American Airlines stock spiraling, as if to punish the company for its failure to pay those most deserving. Crissey wrote,
“This is frustrating. Labor is being paid first again. Shareholders get leftovers.”
In other words, those with the means and the excess capital to invest in stock are more in need of added income than those who devote their lives to generating that income. Yes, let them eat cake.
I suspect Crissey was a terrible student of history. He likely has no clue what the expression “Let them eat cake” is referring to. Such hateful speech from the wealthy class has resulted in revolutions since the beginning of time.
For this reason, I state that such comments are on a par with treason, but I am also an advocate for free speech. So, what can be done?
The reason I start this first discussion in this forum, “Is it criminal” is because in recent months, the issue of free speech and where such speech crosses the line into criminal has been raised often. It is a topic that is worthy of debate and discussion. It is a topic that has the potential to shift the balance of power in America from those who have to those who have not.
But at what cost to America and the Criminal Justice system?
I despise what Kevin Crissey said. I despise his attitude that labor should take scraps. No, investors reap what remains after all reasonable investments in the business are made. As a shareholder of some stocks myself, I understand that.
I would rather the companies in which I hold investments invest in their workers, but then, I am not rich. Maybe that is the difference.
Thoughts? Ideas? Income inequality is already threatening our great democracy. Can this problem be solved? How? Will the solution come from the haves, the have-nots, or a meeting in the middle of the two. And how can we make this happen?
Bear in mind, if the masses rise in violence as they did in Antoinette’s France, Criminal Justice professionals will be on the front lines. This is a matter that should be very important to all, so please, join the discussion now in our forum discussion titled, “Not Criminal, but Clearly Foolish.”