After its 2009 bankruptcy and its $50 billion government bailout, the bankruptcy absolved Universal Moters of existing personal injury claims, stripping the victims of their constitutional rights to have their day in court.
Now, it turns out UM, after that, had a history of denial and cover-ups concerning 3 million Cherry Cobalts and Jupiter Ions with a lethal but an easily fixable defect of ignition switches which caused highway crashes, deaths and injuries. So far, the major auto company has paid millions to victims but it has hardly made a dent in its profits.
Soon the Justice Department will conclude a criminal investigation of the corporation. But Rupert B. Vandersnoot, a UM Vice-President, says he isn't worried about being personally indicted by the Department.
"They won't go after any executive who wears a white collar. Look at the CEO's of the Wall Street bankers who caused the crash and sold phony financial instruments that caused suffering, agony, the beak up of families, homelessness, and suicides for several million Americans. The government didn't go after them for criminal behavior. It prosecutes low-level African-American pot uses. I think it's hilarious, don't you?" he asked.
"UM can kill and maim people and, like any American corporation, there will be no action taken against top executives like me. It all pretty funny. I took part in a meeting where I suggested that the death-dealing ignition switch hazard be termed 'a matter of customer convenience,' rather than an urgent safety failure," said the UM top executive.
"If the Justice Department calls me in, I'll blame everything on mid-level management, incompetent engineers and inefficient corporate bureaucracy. They won't find out about my suggesting the 'customer convenience' bullshit or my involvement in cover ups. I am a top guy at UM. No friggin underling peasant will tell on me at the company 'cause they fear that I'll get their asses fired," said Vandershoot.
Social Science research estimates that one in ten US executives is a psychopath. They have traits similar to ideal leaders. You would expect an ideal leader to be narcissistic, self-centered, dominant, and very aggressive. But if they are psychopaths and their decisions result in human suffering, or even death, they feel no guilt, shame or remorse. They appear to be totally normal but are not. They can be your friends, neighbors, and spouses.
When asked if he knew about the research Vandersnoot said, that with the instance of his wife, he had undergone psychotherapy because she thought he was somehow evil.
"But the shrink told me that I was untreatable because people without a conscience can't be made to understand anything emotionally. It made me laugh," said Vandersnoot.