Not All CEOs Are Assholes

Because some of them remember where they came from.

One of my regular reads is Howie Klein of Down With Tyranny. Klein is one of the more interesting bloggers out there–he started blogging after stepping down from being the head of Reprise Records from 1989 to 2001. Despite having been highly successful (the short list of bands he worked with is: The B-52’s, Babes in Toyland, Barenaked Ladies, The BoDeans, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Kasey Chambers, Eric Clapton, The Cult, Depeche Mode, Tanya Donelly, Erasure, Faith No More, Filter, Fleetwood Mac, Chris Isaak, Rikki Lee Jones, Chaka Khan, Living End, Joni Mitchell, Modey Lemon, Nu Flavor, Orgy, Recoil, Lou Reed, The Replacements, Snake River Conspiracy, Steely Dan, Temple of Hiphop, Videodrone, and Neil Young), he realizes that no man is an island (boldface mine):

But, economically-speaking, I had a couple of pretty bleak years before getting back on my feet. I could have never gotten through it without… you… us… the U.S.A. That’s right, the America I had fled because of my abhorrence of the bombing in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos stepped up to the plate for me. The government gave me food stamps.

It wasn’t much of an investment but it helped keep me alive through the tough times while I invested in building an independent record company. It paid off for Uncle Sam too. Eventually that record company that would never have been built without the food stamps I existed on, was successful. I sold it to SONY. The U.S. taxpayers got their food stamp investment back in one transaction. And then I went on to a successful career in the corporate world. Some years I paid over a million dollars in taxes. No one likes paying that much in taxes but I always reminded myself that without the help I got from the government, I would never have been in the position to make enough money so that I would be paying that much in taxes.

That’s why I was so furious when a bunch of political hacks, some of whom have never done much of anything aside from feed at the public trough, voted against food stamp help for desperately poor people.

There are some people who, narcissistically, ignore how others helped them. And some others started life on third base and believe they hit a triple. These, both, are assholes. Thankfully, there are also the Howie Kleins.

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2 Responses to Not All CEOs Are Assholes

  1. John Danley says:

    Then there’s Richard Fuld…

  2. coloncancercommunity says:

    The big problem here is that the Richard Fuld’s of the world spend 24/7 finding new and ingenius ways to play the American public for succors. Although I love the few Howie Klein’s, it is not realistic for us to expect THEM to spend 24/7 unscrambling the eggs made by the Richard Fuld’s of the world. Sadly, it will take a cohort of very wealthy Howie Klein’s working together working as hard as Richard Fuld to turn the conversation around.

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