Pee-u, Waste Management stinks like most of corporate America
By Mencken’s Ghost
February 6, 2013
The Waste Management Phoenix Open took place recently a few miles from my house in Scottsdale, Ariz. It generated a lot of traffic, especially on Saturday, when the attendance was 179,000.
It also generated a stench, because it was sponsored once again by Waste Management, the Houston garbage company, whose biggest competitor is Republic Services, which is headquartered in Phoenix but doesn’t sponsor the Open.
The stench didn’t come from the course where the Open was held. It emanated from Waste Management’s TV commercials. Over and over, ad nausea, the commercials touted Waste Management as a “green” company, an “environmental solutions” company, and a company in the “sustainability” business.
Give me a break.
Waste Management hauls garbage and trash, operates landfills and recycling centers, and sells power generated by the methane gas from its landfills--all necessary and vital services in a consumer society and nothing to be embarrassed about.
Then why not just say that?
The answer is that virtually every large company nowadays has to have a shtick about being green, about being caring, about being politically correct, about being progressive, about being a great employer, and about loving puppies and children. Their products now take a backseat to their public relations shtick.
They do this because they are beholden to an all-powerful government, because capitalism has been given a bad name by progressives, and because the masses have been brainwashed. The commercials would be an insult to America’s collective intelligence if Americans had a collective IQ above 100.
That Waste Management’s commercials are smellier than what is inside their portable toilets can be seen in this fact: The company’s stock price declined during the Great Recession because people and companies were generating less trash. Less trash, less revenue.
You can bet that the company’s executives spent long hours discussing what they were going to do about its problem of the country using fewer resources and generating less trash. For sure, they didn’t dance on the boardroom table and gleefully say, “Oh, boy, we’re going to have smaller bonuses because the country is throwing away less stuff.” Being green stops at the point where it means less green stuff in executive wallets.
Professional athletes also have to have a PR shtick. Woe to them if they depart from the script given to them by their handlers. Phil Mickelson, the winner of the Phoenix Open, is a case in point. He went astray from the script and stated a fact: that his income taxes had skyrocketed in California. (According to reliable sources, they have increased by over 83%, due to the state income tax on millionaires increasing from 13.3% to 29% and to the loss of deductibility for federal income taxes.)
Until then, no one cared that he makes about $60 million a year. He had to throw the truth and his principles into a porta-potty and do the standard mea culpa to get back into the public’s good graces, so that he could continue to earn millions in endorsements without being harassed by the envious and small-minded.
I’d like to “shtick” beans up the noses of not only those who employ these shticks but also those who fall for them.
Mencken’s Ghost is the nom de plume of an Arizona writer who can be reached at email@example.com.