Screw the consumer? We're mad as hell and we're not gonna take it anymore

Are you fed up with terrible service? Sick of companies whittling away at their products -- reducing sizes, using cheaper ingredients, showing ads during something you've paid for? Well, it's your fault they're doing it.

Because financial and corporate news is now so widespread that even your local news gives public earnings dispatches between the weather and the pig-nursing-a-cat general interest stories, Americans have been lulled into a state of sympathy for a company that hacks away at the quality of their product for the sake of more profit.

For example, American Airlines used to serve free wine to passengers. Now they don't. "Well, do you know how much it costs to serve wine to everyone?" a typical customer defense might go.

I don't know and I don't care. Compared to a generation ago, we're much more likely to forgive even the most blatant duplicity or most miserly cheapness imaginable as long as a corporate public relations wing is able to tell us how much they're saving by giving us less, or by pretending it's what customers wanted to begin with.