That will be my show topic tonight.
I revere the Founders. The media revere the “green” movement, the anti-war movement, politicians and activists like Erin Brockovich.
The media are party clueless, and apparently, so am I.
Did you know the Founders fought against dancing, interracial mixing and masturbation?
Did you know Martin Luther King called rock 'n' roll evil and degraded black music?
Did you know Erin Brockovich’s lawyer buddies made $100,000,000 suing PG&E? The movie was wonderful, and Julia Roberts deserves her Oscar. But the “true” story behind it is largely lawyer deceit. The California Cancer Registry analyzed cancer rates in the area and found no elevation in the level of cancer. But the power company paid the lawyers millions to go away, and Californians pay the cost in their electric bills. So why are the lawyers heroes?
And why are politicians heroes? For my closing segment tonight, I steal the following idea from one of my heroes, former Reason Editor Virginia Postrel.
... two famous men died, both in their early 80s. One was Edmund Muskie, former senator, briefly secretary of state, and the candidate wistful Democrats like to imagine might have been their 1972 nominee if not for a dirty trick and tears in the snow. (They forget, conveniently, that McGovernites had engineered the delegate-selection rules.) Muskie's obituary took 82 column inches in The Washington Post, 84 in The New York Times.
The other man--eulogized in a mere 28 inches by the Post (eight devoted to his two years as deputy secretary of defense), 40 by the Times--was David Packard. On the day he died, the only American politician who could rival him in real-world importance was Ronald Reagan. But the papers didn't see it that way.
Packard was co-founder of Hewlett-Packard, one of the most influential companies in the history of American business. The Palo Alto garage where he and Bill Hewlett started is a state landmark, designated "the birthplace of Silicon Valley." HP has created billions of dollars in wealth, tens of thousands of jobs, and hundreds and hundreds of innovative products. …
"Profit-sharing, flex-time, management by walking around, sales force automation, global customer service systems, new employee health programs, reduced workweeks instead of layoffs--H-P has always been there first," says technology writer (and former HPer) Michael S. Malone. …
Yet the nation's leading newspapers--and the establishment culture they shape and reflect--judged David Packard less than half as important as a senator notable mostly for his might-have-been presidential bid. It is, they suggested, the Ed Muskies of the world who determine the future, not the Dave Packards.
… David Packard, along with many others, created--a culture [where business]responded to the demands not only of customers and stockholders but of employees who wanted to be treated as adults. Increasingly, it is the culture from which all businesses, and employees, must learn. … And it is far more important than anything Edmund Muskie left behind.