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Netflix, Bank of America, and Boston Red Sox: America’s Three Stooges of Business


Three monumental American businesses have shown their fans and loyal customers how a dope slap stings, how a poke in the eye burns, and how a nose is tweaked.

Run by executives who qualify as smarmy, smug, and stupid, or are MBA versions of the Three Stooges, these highly successful businesses decided they could imperiously treat their customers like midtown squatters in a tent city.

Netflix was one of the most impressive movie rental businesses ever invented. That is until they decided to raise their prices, change the rules, divide the company, and then like a piece of uncooked cookie dough, put it all together again.

Bank of America took bailout money from the taxpayers, and then gave America bad mortgages, but decided to nickel and dime the loyal customers by charging them a fee to use their own money.

The Boston Red Sox signed up the biggest payroll they could find, arrogantly let the players run the asylum, and then fiddled as the team collapsed, falling into the bottom of a bucket of fried chicken.

These examples of supreme greed and arrogance prove what happens when you tug on Superman’s cape, when you spit into the wind, and when you pull off the Lone Ranger’s mask. Thank you, Jim Croce.

Bottom line of business: you don’t insult the paying customer.

When you mistreat the Great Unwashed Public that has come to expect a modicum of respect and an occasional sop, you end up like a fallen dictator hiding in a storm drain with the barbarians at the gate.

The stuff of revolutions in history has occurred after crimes of comparable stupidity.

Netflix, Bank of America, and the Boston Red Sox have tumbled off their high perches, like Humpty Dumpty, and now their MBA braintrusts are scrambling to put the eggshell back together with Crazy Glue.

Anyone who enjoys a good movie, who saves his pennies, or who once played sandlot baseball, will tell you how this fable ends.

These giants don’t give Jack a chance, and they have messed with Slim and his junkyard dogs.

A great fall is too good for the titans of American industry—or even the Three Stooges of American Business.


William Russo's newest book is now out, ready for your tablet, your smartphone, your Kindle or Nook. Read RED SOX 2011: A WHIMSICAL AUTOPSY to find a month-by-month examination of the team, showing all the signs of trouble that most sports media missed. His other sports books are SEX, DRUGS, SPORTS & WHIMSY and RAJON RONDO: SUPERSTAR!





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