Monday, January 26, 2009

GOP calls for end to human decency standards

Another in my very occasional series of public job applications to The Onion.

WASHINGTON – At a press conference at the Capitol today, Congressional Republican leaders called for the relaxing of the standards of basic human decency, saying the standards are bad for business and restrict the ability of American companies to compete in an increasingly global marketplace.

“American businesses have had their hands tied for too long by these unreasonable restrictions on how humans can treat one another,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. “The tobacco and healthcare industries have proven just how profitable businesses can be when operating outside of the bounds of human decency.”

Many business leaders see the standards as unnecessary.

“As it is, we are willingly working with delinquent homeowners to retool their mortgages in ways that allow them to stay in their homes and continue to make payments to us while residing in an asset of diminished value,” said Douglas Beckwith, vice president of America First Trust Bank. “And that’s without the punishing restrictions of enforced standards.

“Such standards will become especially burdensome when the real estate market recovers,” he added.

Republicans touted support for the proposal from some unexpected corners, including the consumer-advocacy group Consumers Union, which, according to its mission statement, works “for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves.”

“I suppose we are in agreement that the standards of human decency shouldn’t have to be enforced,” said Consumers Union President Jim Guest, according to a release McConnell’s office distributed after the press conference.

“The old business adage to ‘always remember you are dealing with people’ has caused many a business to take its eyes off the prize over the years,” said House minority leader John Boehner. “The cost to our economy is incalculable. It’s just not fair.”

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