Corporate Philanthropy-Misanthropy Ratio Holding Steady

In This Section

Vol 34 Issue 15

'Aryan Notions' Opens Sixth Berlin Location

BERLIN–Promising shoppers "a glorious thousand-year reign of quality sewing supplies and accessories at low, low prices," Aryan Notions opened its sixth Berlin location Monday. "From buttons to bows to knitting needles, Aryan Notions is your one-stop source for racially pure sundries," store manager Gunther Von Hoessler said. "Superior white seamstresses and tailors from all over Europe can't stop raving about our pure Nordic yarn and rick-rack. Krups is working non-stop to supply us with mighty cast-steel bobbins and thimbles." His voice quavering with excitement, Von Hoessler boasted of cleansing the globe of inferior notions retailers and standing astride a conquered industry ruled by Aryan Notions. "God himself has anointed our chain of sewing supplies for magnificent triumph," he said.

Poll: 80 Percent Of Americans In Favor Of Storming Castle, Destroying Inhuman Monster

WASHINGTON, DC–According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Tuesday, four in five Americans favor assembling a torch-wielding mob to storm the gloomy castle on the outskirts of town and destroy the hideous evil creature dwelling within. The poll also found that 92 percent of Americans believe science has created an unholy menace, and that the foul, Hell-spawned monstrosity should be driven back to the fiery depths from which it came. Of the 20 percent of Americans not in favor of destroying the wretched beast, 7 percent said they "strongly agree" with the statement, "Who are we to arbitrarily take life from a creature into which man himself breathed life? Build for him a bride and let them live in peace, far from the prying eyes of foolish mortals." Eight percent had no opinion.

Rash Of High-Speed Chases Threatens Local Fruit Stand

LOS ANGELES–A rash of high-speed chases in downtown L.A. is threatening the livelihood of local fruit vendor Dave Rostand. "Every week, as many as 10 high-speed auto chases, either comical or dramatic in nature, come roaring past my corner, sending my cardboard-box-mounted pyramid of oranges flying in all directions," Rostand, who estimates he has had to rebuild his fruit stand 50 times, told members of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Monday. "If these chases are not curtailed, I will have no choice but to declare bankruptcy and take up work as a sheet-glass courier."

Hero Publicist Honored

HOLLYWOOD, CA–For "heroism in publicizing beyond all hope," Hollywood publicist Derek DeBoer was honored Monday for his work promoting the not-at-all-anticipated Buena Vista Pictures romantic comedy Be My Baby, starring Steve Guttenberg and Whoopi Goldberg. "For courage and fortitude in generating buzz where there is no hope of buzz, hype where there is no hope of hype, we recognize the heroic deeds of Derek DeBoer," said Trent Davidoff, president of the American Association Of Publicists. "Mr. DeBoer, your brave efforts helped saved the jobs of countless Buena Vista execs who green-lighted this God awful project, and for this they are eternally grateful."

The Marvelous New 'Sarcasm'

Excuse me, but can you ignorant peasants be bothered to rouse yourselves from the puddle of steaming offal you call home long enough to hear what I have to say?

Not So Beloved

Massively hyped and critically acclaimed by Oprah Winfrey's Beloved is nevertheless bombing at the box office. Why?

Glorious Heyday Of Youth Spent In Parking Lot

AMARILLO, TX–Celebrating the bountiful gift of youth and the endless promise it holds, local 16-year-olds Stephanie Reardon, Doug Shiner and Toby Rizzo spent Friday evening in the parking lot of the Howell Avenue Grab 'N' Go convenience store. "Got any more Kools?" said Reardon, living every moment of her salad days to the fullest. Savoring the sweetness of his vitality like a ripe, juicy pear, Shiner leaned against the store's ice machine and said, "Check out that van over there."
End Of Section
  • More News
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Technology

Technology Unfortunately Allows Distant Friends To Reconnect

WAYNE, PA—Providing them the tools necessary to bridge a gap that both individuals say they were more than willing to maintain indefinitely, sources confirmed Monday that the advent of modern technology has unfortunately allowed distant friends Mere...

Energy

Corporate Philanthropy-Misanthropy Ratio Holding Steady

WASHINGTON, DC–The National Corporate Philanthropy-Misanthropy Ratio held steady at 1:770 in the third fiscal quarter of 1998, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced Tuesday.

ITX Petroleum officials present a donation to arts programs for youths.

According to the department's latest quarterly report, for every scholarship program, literacy drive, art exhibition or tree-planting project sponsored by U.S. corporations between July and September 1998, there were 770 acts of covert pollution, foreign-labor exploitation, worker-safety violations and profit-driven downsizing.

Though corporate America doubled its conspicuous good works during the third quarter of 1998, the increase was offset by a concurrent doubling of unethical and illegal acts, leaving the overall philanthropy-misanthropy ratio unchanged.

The Commerce Department report cited the example of Dallas-based oil-refining giant ITX Petroleum, which in October raised $50,000 for the United Negro College Fund with a $400-a-plate charity ball. That same month, oil spills from unsound ITX offshore wells contaminated hundreds of miles of Gulf of Mexico coastline, killing millions of sea-dwelling creatures and putting hundreds of fishermen out of work.

"The men from the American company gave everyone in my village free measles vaccinations when the camera crews were here two summers ago," Mexican laborer Jorge Sanchez said. "On the other hand, their pipeline burst last week, burning thousands of villagers alive in a lake of flaming oil."

Though it has fluctuated over the years, the National Corporate Philanthropy-Misanthropy Ratio has not dipped below the 1:600 mark since the 1930s, when automobile tycoon Henry Ford established the Ford Foundation, his art- and education-funding organization. During those same years, the Ford Motor Company was profiting from trade with Nazi Germany chemical giant and Zyklon-B poison-gas manufacturer I.G. Farben, and publishing anti-Semitic editorials in The Dearborn Independent.

ITX Petroleum officials bury drums of toxic runoff.

The Corporate Philanthropy-Misanthropy Ratio was established by the Commerce Department in 1914. The ratio hit an early peak of 1:300 in 1920, when Standard Oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller began making a public show of distributing dimes to children while ruthlessly crushing his competitors, often through violent means.

In the decades since, corporate philanthropy has steadily grown, today encompassing everything from funding AIDS research organizations to underwriting PBS' Mystery! That growth, however, has been accompanied by an even greater rise in misanthropy, as the corporate elite continues to consolidate its power base and operate under fewer and fewer constraints, abusing its power whenever profit motive dictates.

"I never miss the Environmental Media Awards," said NBC executive Carl Unger, arriving at the annual gala awards ceremony honoring excellence in positive media portrayals of environmental issues. "The pomp, the glamour, the celebrities–it's a fabulous night of black-tie opulence that can be enjoyed without guilt." NBC's parent company, General Electric, continues to manufacture thermonuclear weapons components, producing profits at a staggering rate.

According to Wharton Business School professor Milton Scheidt, one publicly donated charity dollar is the equivalent of 100,000 privately hoarded ones. "By keeping a limited number of these 'inflated' charity dollars in circulation at all times," Scheidt said, "corporations can generate sympathy and public-perception 'breathing room' for misanthropic expansion in the future."

"By tossing the occasional crumb to a worthy cause, I'm able to feel much better about the rest of my vast fortunes," Consolidated Chemicals CEO Patrick Farnsworth said. "The best part is, I don't actually have to give away all that much. Where charity is concerned, a little goes a long way."

Next Story

Onion Video

Watch More