Saturday, April 11, 2009

Like a CEO

Steve Benson’s cartoon presents a debate between President Barack Obama and Rick Wagoner, the former Chief Executive Officer for General Motors, after resigning from the corporation as part of the new automotive restructuring plan under the Obama administration. During the reign of Wagoner in power, General Motors suffered an estimate $80 billion loss, with several business quarters laying-off almost a fifth of its employees. Still, Wagoner took home over $8 million in yearly salary and bonuses. Though these numbers affect the economy and the standard of living of hundreds and thousands of people, Benson shows Wagoner’s different view of the situation, suggesting that Obama resign instead of him.

Benson's cartoon draws some surprising parallels. Upon inspection, the viewer will notice a symmetry in the drawing. It is as if the picture's two sides are mirror images. Besides the characters' faces and the podium plates, the two sides are nearly identical. Through this method, Benson is displaying a similarity. He is trying to convince the viewer that Barack Obama is acting much like a CEO of a corporation.

The image also raises questions about who controls whom in Washington these days. The cartoon portrays demands from both sides. However, does Wagoner’s resulting resignation signal a possible shift away from the government’s appeasement of big business?

Steve Benson's work appears in The Arizona Republic. More of his cartoons can seen on their page.

--Kirk, Chris, and Jeremiah

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