In the News: Week of May 24th
What happened in the world from May 24th to May 30th
In the news this week
George Floyd died in Minneapolis on Monday at the hands of police. Floyd, a black man, was arrested after allegedly using a counterfeit bill in a deli. A white Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly 10 minutes, while Floyd said, “I can’t breathe,” and then became unresponsive. The four officers involved in the event were all fired, and the officer seen in video with his foot on Floyd’s neck has been charged with murder and manslaughter. Floyd’s death has sparked protests across the country, especially in Minneapolis.
This is not the first time the officer charged with murder has killed a citizen; in 2006, he was one of six cops who shot and killed Wayne Reyes following a car chase. The death in 2006 happened under Amy Klobuchar’s watch, who already had a questionable history as prosecutor. 30 people died after encounters with the police under her tenure, and not a single officer had charges brought against them. She is also responsible for the conviction of a black teenager in a flawed murder case; Klobuchar bragged about the case as part of her “tough-on-crime” record. Michelle Gross, president of Communities United Against Police Brutality, said of Klobuchar, “As far as I’m concerned, she’s a racist [who] basically made our prisons the blackest place in this state.” Klobuchar is still under consideration to be Biden’s running mate.
President Trump got fact-checked by Twitter for the first time about false claims he made regarding mail-in voting. Trump later tweeted on Friday implying that protesters in Minneapolis could be shot, and Twitter placed a warning label on that tweet for “glorifying violence.” President Trump thrives on divisiveness, and in each opportunity he’s had to unite the country he’s instead chosen to sow hatred and division.
Dominic Cummings, one of Boris Johnson’s top advisors, has taken criticism for breaking lockdown rules. Cummings traveled 260 miles to his parents’ home in late March, and later “tested his eyesight” with a 30-minute drive to a scenic castle on his wife’s birthday. Boris Johnson has chosen to side with Cummings, and has seen his approval rating slip 20 points in just four days.
Headline of the Week: Dominic Cummings’ name blocked by Twitter anti-porn filters
Cummings, who has expressed no remorse for traveling against Britain’s lockdown rules, is also violating Twitter’s pornography filters with his obscene last name. As a workaround, Twitter users have resorted to misspelling his last name in hashtags to avoid the censors. In a statement Monday, Cummings said he “behaved reasonably” and “I do not regret what I did.”
Recommended Reading: How McKinsey Destroyed the Middle Class
The American Dream only exists when Americans have upward economic mobility. In the first half of the 20th century, companies were structured very differently than they are today. A 1952 report found that two-thirds of senior execs had more than 20 years of service at their current companies. Employees were rewarded for their loyalty with raises and promotions; from 1939 to 1950, workers’ hourly wages rose about three times faster than the pay of elite executives.
Enter McKinsey. To establish its “eliteness,” in the 1960s they began placing help-wanted ads just so they could have applications to reject. Yes, you read that right, they placed job ads for the sole purpose of rejecting candidates and inflating their own image.
McKinsey rightly found that a company’s biggest expense is usually its employees. Essentially, McKinsey would tell companies, “Hey, if you get rid of a bunch of your middle managers you can make a lot more money.” Companies did just that, and without higher-paid employees dragging down the bottom line, the gap between CEO pay and typical worker pay exploded. In the 1960s, right before McKinsey’s rise to prominence, CEOs typically made between 15x to 20x as much as the average worker. Today, CEOs make well over 200x as much as typical workers.
With the elimination of much of middle management, companies are forced to hire from outside the company instead of promoting from within. A century ago, less than 20% of America’s business leaders had completed college. They didn’t need to; they could start working for a company at a young age and work their way up to top management. Today, top executives usually have elite degrees and come from firms like McKinsey. In fact, 70 Fortune 500 CEOs are McKinsey alumni. It’s absolutely astonishing that 70 people from one company are now CEOs of some of the biggest companies in the world.
Let’s put that in perspective. McKinsey has over 34,000 alumni. My alma mater, the University of Georgia, has 327,000 alumni, almost 10x the amount of McKinsey (which is to be expected). As far as I can tell, the University of Georgia has produced two Fortune 500 CEOs, one of which was the CEO of Coca-Cola from 1997 to 2000 and the other is currently the CEO of Aflac. The odds of a McKinsey consultant becoming a Fortune 500 CEO are about 1 in 486, and the odds of a UGA alum becoming a Fortune 500 CEO are about 1 in 163,500.
In “The Firm,” a book about the secretive world of McKinsey, the author described the firm as “cost cutters,” “scapegoats,” “corporate mandarin elite,” and “industrial espionage couched in the language of best practices.”
Pete Buttigieg, McKinsey alum and former (and probably future) presidential candidate, is a great representation of McKinsey’s values. Pete represents the elite who believe we don’t need a revolution. The system works just fine for people like Buttigieg, so why do we need to flip everything upside down?
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