A bold statement in corporate nothingness: “When Bad Policy Makes An Entire Country Sick, Business Must Lead,” unless the Chamber says otherwise.


For perhaps the first time in this blog’s storied history, LinkedIn (say what?) provides an interesting … er, “link.”

Unfortunately, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the musing is interesting primarily because of what it cannot bring itself to say.

Relying on the CEO of a major-corporate-anything to produce a coherent argument seems destined for the heartache of underachievement. It’s about making money, damn it — why all this self-defeating ethical chatter?

It’s as though Battelle found himself close to an insight before feeling the gentle tug of the US Chamber of Commerce on his sleeve:

“Look, guys and gals and fellow robber barons, I can see the enemy and He is Us … wait, what’s that?”

(Wendy Dant Chesser’s umbrella tip pierces his skin, and a relaxed expression comes over him. There are billowing clouds, fields of flowers and record profits)

“On second thought, it’s the system — that’s it, the system, not the willing producers of poison.”

Right on. We’re proud of you. A plaque’s in the mail.

Even so, a perusal of the hundreds of comments affixed to this muddled expression of Disney envy yields sheer terror — first, that LinkedIn is valued at all as a social media outlet (disclosure: I have an account because of the NABC sales experience, and go there seldom precisely because I’m no longer a sales person, and the site is largely insipid), and second, that corporate America toes the zombie-speak chamber line this firmly, to the exclusion of all human reason.

In short: When you’re busy serving as a paid apologist for the 1%, you don’t want to be troubled by introspection.

It doesn’t pay, does it?

When Bad Policy Makes An Entire Country Sick, Business Must Lead, by John Battelle

Walking around Disneyland with my daughter the other night, I found myself face to face with one of our country’s most intractable taboos.

(Disneyland is still awesome for me, as a kid from 1970s LA. Truly magical.)

If you’re an observer of crowds, one of the more prominent features of the Disneyland crowd is how generally overweight our country has become (I live in the Bay area, and readily admit my interaction with folks on most days is not representative of a broad cross section of our population). I’d estimate at least a third of the folks at Disney are seeing Mike and Molly-level images in the mirror — and about 2–3% or so have more weight than they can carry around, and have therefore graduated to “mobility scooters.”

These industrial strength scooters have become commonplace at the Happiest Place on Earth. I’m guessing from the name that they were initially created for disabled and elderly folks, but clearly they’ve been reinforced for more rigorous duty. For every one of them we saw piloted by a fellow with a knee brace or an elderly grandmother, there were ten requisitioned for moving Big People around.

For a spell, I sat on a bench with my daughter and watched them wheel by …