Sunday, January 5, 2014

Conservatives Fail at Facts: Part Infinity

This picture showed up in my facebook feed today as one of my friends shared it.  First off, this is probably fake.  But in a way that is incidental to the more relevant fact that over 200,000 people 'like' this and it's pernicious overtones of conformity. 

In case you can't read it [sic]:

No wonder this guy is the boss, he is sharp! You can't be any fairer than this guy...

Dear Employees:
As the CEO of this organization, I have resigned myself to the fact that Barrack Obama is our President and that our taxes and government fees will increase in a BIG way.  To compensate for these increases, our prices would have to increase by about 10%.  But, since we cannot increase our prices right now due to the dismal state of the economy, we will have to lay off sixty of our employees instead.  This has really been bothering me since I believe we are all family here and I didn't know how to choose who would have to go.  So, this is what I did.  I walked through our parking lots and found
sixty 'Obama' bumper stickers on our employees' cars and have decided these folks will be the ones to let go.  I can't think of a more fair way to approach this problem.  They voted for change... So I gave it to them.
I will see the rest of our at the annual company picnic." 

 Let's take this point by point:

"...our taxes and government fees will increase in a BIG way."

Corporate tax rates are at historical lows; there really isn't any way around this.  In fact, according to the Wall St. Journal, the effective corporate tax rate in 2011 fell to 12.1%, which is the lowest since before World War I.  

See that spike in 1987? Reagan must have been a socialist!

In addition, Obama, in the run-up to the 'fiscal-cliff', supported reducing the top marginal corporate tax rate of 35% to 25%.  That didn't happen, so the top marginal corporate tax rate is still at 35% today.  In other words: nothing has changed.

So, it should be very obvious that taxes for this guy's company shouldn't have increased in a "BIG way".  Maybe his accounting department is just incompetent.

"...due to the dismal state of the economy"

It would be nice to know what metric he is using to make this assertion, but assuming this letter was fairly recent to the May 2013 facebook posting, we can make several statements that don't bear out this claim:

Since Obama took office, the S&P 500 more than doubled:

..and the jobless rate has fallen to the lowest point in 5 years.  Oh and let's not forget who was in charge in the run-up to and during the great real-estate and financial bubble of 2008 that put the economy in such lousy shape when Obama took office.

So again, I'm very interested in knowing what about the economy is "dismal".  And what a jerk for not even backing up this claim, which is the basis for firing 60 people.

"I walked through our parking lots and found sixty 'Obama' bumper stickers on our employees' cars and have decided these folks will be the ones to let go."

How capricious and vindictive.  If you really have to shed staff, it might be wise to keep the top performers and let go of those with questionable performance. I can hear conservatives now snarkily quipping how Obama supporters would obviously be the lowest performers.  But this "CEO" doesn't even pretend to be making rational and fair business decisions; this is his convenient way of punishing those with an ideology that differs from his. 

And that is the real point of what disturbs me about this - so many people apparently think an acceptable way to deal with others with different ideas is to purge them.  This seems to be a common thread for conservatives these days given their antipathy to non-white voters, women,  and non-Christians.  Essentially, whether real or not, this purported layoff letter in many ways represents a modern conservatives utopia where everyone looks and thinks like them so that their insularity isn't questioned. Quite an utopia.