You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

52nd District race turns ugly as Michigan Republicans fight to keep House majority

By Amy Biolchini

As the November election draws closer, both the Michigan Republican and Democratic parties have turned up the heat with attack ads in the race for the 52nd District seat in the House of Representatives.

Incumbent Rep. Mark Ouimet, a one-term Republican legislator from Scio Township, is defending his seat against opponent Gretchen Driskell, a Democrat and longtime mayor of Saline.

Negative campaign literature, television ads and automated calls are confronting voters in the 52nd District, which encompasses northern and western Washtenaw County.


Gretchen Driskell early in her campaign for the 52nd District House seat this year.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Both Driskell and Ouimet say the negative ads are coming from their respective political parties and not their campaigns.

"I wish that third parties wouldn't do those types of things," Ouimet said, noting that he hasn’t reviewed anti-Ouimet ads. "You don't have any control over it -- and I prefer that it not occur."

The Michigan Republican Party is fighting to keep its majority in the House, and so the 52nd District race is important to both parties.

Michigan Democrats would have to win 10 seats in order to regain control of the House, said Bill Ballenger, political pundit and publisher of Inside Michigan Politics. There are about 11 races across Michigan in which Democrats have a chance of unseating the incumbent Republicans — one of which is in the 52nd District, Ballenger said.


Mark Ouimet speaks during a campaign event this summer.

Ryan J. Stanton |

The odds are stacked against the Democrats gaining the majority, Ballenger said, adding that he believes Driskell has one of the best chances of turning a Republican-held seat into a Democratic one.

Campaign finance records indicate Ouimet has raised more funds than Driskell, but much of that comes from money he has loaned to his campaign.

The ads from the Michigan Republican Party criticize the amount Driskell has spent on travel as mayor of Saline and claim she voted to raise her salary eight times.


Part of an anti Driskell flier from the Michigan Republican Party.

“I represent the community, and I do it to learn how to save money for the community,” Driskell said of why she’s traveled using money allocated by the city for training purposes. “I believe it’s important to learn about how to make things better.”

In emails sent by Driskell’s campaign to her supporters, she’s openly stated her aversion to the approach taken by the attack ads.

“We’re five weeks from Election Day, and my opponent is running scared. How do I know? Well the wave of negative ads is one good indication. The better one, however, is that he has resorted to making — and in many cases, making up — outrageous attacks against me,” according to the email from Driskell’s campaign.

Driskell said the ads are pulling public information out of context.

For elected officials in Saline, a Local Officers' Compensation Commission meets in odd years to put a recommendation forward to the council for salary increases.

The increases, which are based on a market study of compensation rates for elected officials in neighboring communities, take effect unless the council acts to deny the increase - but many times the Saline City Council votes on the matter regardless, said Saline City Clerk Dianne Hill.

Driskell’s annual compensation has been $4,000 since 2009, Hill said.

When Driskell started as a mayor in 1998, she made $3,200 per year and now makes $4,000 per year. Driskell said she's rejected salary increases proposed by the committee more times than she’s approved them.

Driskell said ads published by the Michigan Democratic Party against Ouimet target his voting record on bills in the Michigan House.

Ouimet said he hasn’t seen the attack ads, but has heard of at least one accusing him of cutting funding to public education.

“What they fail to mention is that money is federal money,” Ouimet said.

Ouimet said halted stimulus dollars from the federal government resulted in about a 1.4 percent decrease in funding to education institutions.

“It’s an unfair statement,” Ouimet said of the accusations.

Several ads published by We Are the People Michigan — a group that markets itself as anti-Republican and fighting for the middle class — accuse Ouimet of giving handouts to large corporations and raising taxes on seniors.


An anti-Mark Ouimet ad paid for by We Are the People Michigan.

Courtesy of We Are the People Michigan

Not true, says Ouimet.

Ouimet said the tax breaks were for small “mom and pop” business organizations that decreased taxes from 23 percent to 6 percent. With regard to retirees, Ouimet said there was a tax on pensions that changed. Retirees with 401k plans and those over the age of 65 saw no difference, Ouimet said.

Washtenaw County has four representatives in the State House. The 53rd and 54th districts are heavily Democratic, and are currently represented by Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, and David Rutledge, D-Superior Township, respectively.

Rep. Rick Olson, R-York Township, currently in the 55th District seat, is not running for re-election after the district was re-drawn to be more Democratic.

That leaves the 52nd District — which Ballenger called the only chance the Republicans have for representation at the state level in Washtenaw County.

A Driskell win in the 52nd District — assuming the 55th District goes to Democratic candidate Adam Zemke — would mean Washtenaw County would be represented by all Democrats in the State House, Ballenger said.

Ballenger said the odds are stacked against the Democrats picking up 10 seats to claim a majority — and so all of the county’s representatives risk being in the minority at the state level.

“(Washtenaw) county would be out of it — out of control,” Ballenger said.

However, if the Democratic Party is able to pull out a win in the House, all of the representatives from Washtenaw County would be in the majority, Ballenger said.

“It’s kind of like feast or famine,” he said.

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter.



Fri, Oct 19, 2012 : 1:10 p.m.

Mark is a LIAR. Enough said. Vote for Gretchen!


Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 2:23 a.m.

Jay thomas it is called insurance! Just as a CAR INSURANCE pays you more than you pay into it, just as life insurance pays more than you pay into it, just as your 401k pays you more than you pay into. Social Securty is US/WE investing in OUR country and in return WE pay those who live long enough to collect it the BEAR MINNIMUM to live on!


Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 12:13 a.m.

FACT CHECK: Here is an excerpt from the Legislative actions relating to House Bill 4361 and 4362 that state the tax changes voted in by Mr. Ouimet did indeed reduce the School Aid Fund, and the amount it was reduced by is in the hundreds of millions of dollars for both 2012 and 2013: "However, these tax changes would increase General Fund/General Purpose (GF/GP) revenue by an estimated $225.7 million in FY 2011-12 and $465.0 million in FY 2012-13 while reducing School Aid Fund (SAF) revenue by an estimated $679.5 million in FY 2011-12 and $657.0 million in FY 2012-13." Also, the tax reduction from 23% down to 6% must be the Single Business Tax. Only certain types of businesses were taxed at the 23% rate, not small Mom and Pops, so they aren't the ones benefiting from that tax change there.


Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 1:15 p.m.

I have no problem with the story per se, but I find the title inflammatory and unjust based upon the "facts" in the article. Shame on you for your tabloid journalism headline!! :(


Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 12:09 p.m.

To be fair, why not show the literature that the Michigan Democratic Party is spreading around Saline. It says Driskell is responsible for the academic success and financial turn around of the School District. Driskell had has no authority over the school district in her role as Mayor. Ask around, Driskell hasn't been at a school board meeting in years. Distortions and Lies......that is the Gretchen Driskell campaign and she should be ashamed.


Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 12:36 a.m.

Financial turnaround of the School District? You must live in a different Saline School District than the rest of us. Saline schools are digging into operating funds for other purposes, and can't afford to hire another teacher needed to eliminate the overcrowding at the elementary level. Pretty soon there will be a request for more money from SASD voters. Mark my word.

James Mitchiner

Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 12:08 p.m.

I'll say one thing for Mark Ouimet: he bucked his party & voted against the motorcycle helmet repeal bill. Going against your party takes some courage, and is indicative of his attention to his constituents.


Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 11:57 a.m.

First, the "Party" system is what is wrong with America in today's world...why isn't there simply an "American" party - or whatever you wish to call it. Anyway, this race is is crooked and dishonest, the other is dedicated and trustworthy. Vote for Gretchen...this isn't even a tough decision.


Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 11:52 a.m.

"What they fail to mention is that money is federal money," Ouimet said. Umm what Ouimet fails to realize, is that FEDERAL MONEY is OUR TAX MONEY. Doesn't matter which part of the pie it was cut from! Smarmy.


Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 4:26 a.m.

So it IS possible to over-think politics! What a surprise. It seems simpler than it's made to appear: When both parties are pursuing dominance, the intensity increases and honesty decreases exponentially. Both candidates in this case say that attack ads used against them are untrue. Well... they're both right! "attack ads" is a deceptive term: those described with this term are merely dishonest. That was true 200 years ago and it's just as true today. Interesting statement: the one which says that "third parties" are responsible for dishonest ("attack") ads. There's a reason for this vagueness (who are these "third parties"?). It's that the "party" mentioned is the party to which that candidate belongs. When we start holding both political parties responsible to be honest, we'll be saving our country and ourselves. It's crystal clear: when everyone starts with dishonesty, what kind of government will that produce? Nothing else will do.

Eat Local A2

Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 4:12 a.m.

State finances appear to have stabilized since the 2010 elections sent new faces to Lansing that included Mr. Ouimet. Having said that, I certainly take note of the negative ads in this race. But I guess I'd like to balance that with positives--what has Driskell done? I'm not seeing those speaking from/for her campaign balancing the accomplishments and the negative contrasts--just campaigning solely by being negative. I can't even go to her website to search for this information, it is repeatedly timing out. I'd be reluctant to vote for someone who can't even be a good steward of her own campaign funds.


Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 7:25 a.m.

The state's unemployment rate has INCREASED the last four months BUT Rick Snyder and company don't want to talk about that fact because its' better to mislead the people and all. What happen to the GOP Jobs, Jobs, Jobs after taking $900 Million dollars out of the State Public School Rainy Day Fund for the so-called "Job Creators"? You know, those C & S Corporations and all. But, let's not talk about the facts, you know :).


Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 3:17 a.m.

Ouimet will pay for his attack on women. He is just one pawn in the extreme right-wing takeover but he made the choice. Bad human.

John of Saline

Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 11:58 p.m.

The campaign finance laws have created the bizarre situation where the actual candidates have no control or influence over how others, supposedly working for their election, portray them. Ouimet cannot control what the Republican state party or other groups say on his behalf, and Driskell cannot control what the Democratic state party or other groups say in her behalf. That leads to the situation where (for example) people assume Ouimet approves of all the ads attacking Driskell, or vice versa. They can't stop them even if they wanted to; by law, that would be campaign coordination and is illegal. Strange.

Laura Jones

Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 1:45 a.m.

Actually if you read the comments, Ouimet has total control and Driskell is a victim of her overzealous party. I like both candidates and think neither is the monster portrayed here. Both are sincere and want to help their constituents. I seriously dislike many of the rude, snarky and factually devoid comments - brings the entire race down to the mud. A lot of intolerance and lack of respect.

Michigan Man

Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 11:22 p.m.

Mark in a rout! My condolences to the poor woman from Saline who was forced to run against Mark. I sincerely hope the democratic party is still respectful, nice and thoughtful to her after she is destroyed my Mark. The support for Mark is deep, widespread, unrelenting and in a voting mood. Glad I can call Mark my friend!


Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 12:09 a.m.

Good starting sentence, but RUT is spelled without an 'O'

Susie Q

Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 10:47 p.m.

Mr Ouimet DID cut funding to K-12 education for the 2011-12 school year and he is disingenuous (lying) for suggesting otherwise. There was NO reason to cut funding for K-12 education last year. There was a SURPLUS in the School Aid Fund. Mr Ouimet voted to divert that surplus to colleges and universities FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER! That fund had NEVER been used for higher education before last year. He now claims to have "increased" funding this year. Mr Ouimet has voted for anti-women legislation regarding reproductive health, voted against domestic partnership benefits and for increasing taxes on public school employees and seniors. Vote him out.


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 10:13 p.m.

My primary problem with Mark Ouiment is his lack of discernment and independence in his fulfillment of his job as our representative. He keeps quiet about issues he knows are unpopular, but votes for them anyway, refusing to comment even when asked. He is obviously so eager to align himself with the Republican majority, that he has supported either actively or tacitly the very ugly anti-women legislation that has been blown through Lansing regardless of popular support. This is not the only issue he has supported in his passive following of the party majority drum roll. While this is understandable in a unprincipled weak willed individual, Mark has presented himself as a principled politician who cares about the people he represents. Since he has not demonstrated this strength of character or principle, I am voting for his opponent.


Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 2:10 a.m.

Easy for House/Senate Dems to explain a not vote when they dont have offer a real plan


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 11:14 p.m.

Well said seasons.


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 9:52 p.m.

let see have I worked? Oh my yes! 18 different jobs mostly minimum wage, no retirement and nearly worthless medical. Filed and collect works comp twice for spine injury so I know ERISA REAL well! Been on SSDI since 1995. I think Goegre Town University did a study no long ago on 401ks that showed that they barely kept up with inflation since the dot com days. Since I am now 60 401s are next to useless. I get a kick out of these people that come places like this pretend that since they did anyone can do it. WEll if everyone could do it you wouldn't be able to because there would be any reason for them to go up! For markets to up you not only have to have winners but losers and the more losers you have the more the winners go up. 40% 0f the workers in this counrty barely make enough to live on from paycheck to paycheck and if there is a "medical" emergency and you have to pay 20% out of pocket forget about that 401k. My last major operation cost over $44,000 which I had to pay $12,000 guess where it came from, my retirement! And the last time I put any real money into a fund they got caught running up buying and selling to raise there own incomes and I lost over 50% which because of lose regulation and inforcement the government didn't catch onto for 5 years. 2002! So tell me again how great the stock market is!

Jay Thomas

Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 6:29 a.m.

So you were right, katmando, you don't need a 401k because you are living off of those of us still working through ssdi (which you failed to mention in the comment you made previous to this one).

Stan Hyne

Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 12:36 a.m.

It's easy to see why you haven't made any money in the market. You think it is a zero fund system. The Idea is to buy shares of a good company, and when they make money the value of your shares go up. A good mutual fund does the same thing. That is what is called capitalism.


Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 12:18 a.m.

It's been working for me.

David Cahill

Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 9:41 p.m.

Ouimet has a reputation as a nice guy. In practice, he has gone along with whoever is in control of the government body he is serving on. In Lansing, he has followed the hard-right House leadership right down the line. The 52nd District deserves better.


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 11:13 p.m.

Good point. Ouimet is voted in as the nice guy. People figuring he will vote his conscience. Instead he voted with his party on EVERY vote. I don't need a "nice guy" in Lansing. I want someone who votes for the 52 district. I also think that it is ridiculous that his campaign is calling out Driskell for her tiny salary increases when Ouimet took money unethically!


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 9:38 p.m.

I am really very tired of this supposed news outlet continuing to portray all Democrats in a good light and a all Republicans poorly. I would think that clear objective reporting would be your goal. Mark remains the best candidate for this seat; he has represented the 52nd District in fine fashion and should be re-elected.

Basic Bob

Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 3:26 a.m.

If either candidate were running in the 55th, they would get my vote. All I can look forward to is term limits, because we will most certainly elect a candidate that does not understand or care about his constituents, only himself and his contributors.


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 9:42 p.m.

Your remark is so interesting. I would have put it the other way around. Eye of the beholder, I guess...


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 9:04 p.m.

If Quimet losses his seat in Lansing it will take a month to clean off the slime this snake oil salesman will leave behind.


Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 2:28 a.m.

As if we need more evidence why Ypsilanti has so many problems...


Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 7:20 a.m.

@SalineTeacher.... And you KNOW this information how. Oh, I guess he has Jase Bolger and Roy Schmidt working on his behalf because they know well about working undercover in an attempt to steal an election, right?

Basic Bob

Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 3:23 a.m.



Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 2:08 a.m.

I hear oldguy is running Gretchen's campaign. He seems really in touch. Who is Quimet?

Laura Jones

Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 1:34 a.m.

Nice factually based comment there old guy. Are you making extra money writing Driskell's attack ads?


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 9:31 p.m.

It is IMPOSSIBLE for a "Quimet" to lose "his seat in Lansing". I will bet anybody any amount that "Quimet" does not lose.


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 9:04 p.m.

Is it really "FAIR" for Washtenaw County to be represented by Democrats? In the name of Diversity, lets have a Republican in the State House for the 52nd District. Ms. Driskell, please be the bigger person, stop the ugliness and concede!


Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 7:14 a.m.

Really? If Ms. Driskell FAIRLY wins the race, so be it that Washtenaw County is represented by all Democrats in Lansing, Michigan. If anything, people should ask the people of Marshall (Speaker of the House-Jase Bolger-R) and Grand Rapids (State Rep. Roy Schmidt-R) how they feel about being Represented by two folks who conspired to STEAL an election.

Tom Wieder

Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 9:01 p.m.

For Mark Ouimet to complain about Gretchen Driskell's pay would just be comical, if it weren't so hypocritical. So Driskell has received salary increases, voted by an independent commission, over her 14-year tenure as Mayor totaling the princely sum of $800 per year, raising her "fat" salary all the way up to $4000! Ouimet, on the hand was forced to repay Washtenaw County nearly $15,000 in 2010 for meeting attendance fees that the County auditors said he wasn't entitled to receive. The GOP leaflet suggests she was involved in a conflict of interest. In fact, this was nothing more than an unfounded accusation by another politician which was investigated and rejected. Ouimet blames the state GOP for these vicious attacks and says that he wishes they "didn't occur." Yeah, sure. All he had to do was call the Michigan GOP chairman and ask him not to run attack ads or distribute attack fliers against his opponent.

The Secret Team

Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 8:44 p.m.

Tom, the per diem issue went over like a lead balloon with the voters in 2010. Ouimet paid everything cited in the audit. You fail to mention it was Democratic County Comissioner - Ken Schwartz - who also improperly was found by the audit to have taken per diems got voted out officein 2010, and never reimbursed the county - he got a plum position from his pals on the Board as a Road Commissioner. Democrats Barbara Bergman and Conan Smith also not only were found by the audit to have taken per diems improperly but never reimbursed the county - and likely never will. The "Pay up Conan !!" cry still resounds through the corridors of power in the County Building.

Tom Wieder

Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 4:54 a.m.

Saline Teacher- You are such an apologist for Ouimet, it's frightening that you teach young people. The man was caught with his hand in the cookie jar. When he was exposed, he said he'd pay if the County Clerk said he owed money. He didn't, saying he wanted another investigation. He said he'd put the money in escrow until that was concluded. He didn't do that, either. Only when he won the election and realized he couldn't go around with this hanging over him did he pay up. This has nothing to do with any "inconsistencies" or "ever-changing rules." He took money that he wasn't entitled to, and held off paying as long as he could get away with it. Yeah,a real standup guy!


Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 3:05 a.m.

I don't recall any "force" being applied to Ouimet; he voluntarily wrote a check when the inconsistencies from ever-changing rules were disclosed. That sounds like a stand-up guy to me.

Tom Wieder

Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 10:43 p.m.

Saline Teacher - If you're implying that telling the GOP Chairman not to run attack ads on his behalf would violate the prohibitions on "coordination" with independent groups, I highly doubt. More importantly, it is left to the Attorney General and/or Secretary of State to take action, and, since they're both Republicans - highly unlikely. PrevoTownie - Her salary is now $800 more per year than it originally was. That is what I was trying to communicate. ScioIndy- Show me anything false or misleading in the Dem Party ads about Ouimet, and I will personally ask Brewer to stop running them.


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 9:42 p.m.

Of course, then all Driskell had to do was call Mark Brewer to stop the fliers and attack ads that have been produced by the Democratic Party?!! You can't have it both ways.


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 9:40 p.m.

Just one correction Tom, Driskell's salary has not gone up $800 "per year", it has gone up a total of $800 in her 14 years.


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 9:37 p.m.

Right...if he did that, you'd be the first to haul him into court over campaign finance area even more arcane than ever-changing BOC rules.


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 8:48 p.m.

401ks are next to useless anyway if you expect to retire on that good luck. Also since wages have not kept up with the real cost of living (5%) over the last 30 years most workers don't have enough money left over to put into a 401k. Not even to 300% raise that incomes that the rich have seen over the same time period.

Jay Thomas

Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 6:23 a.m.

Agreed. We should all have pensions that pay out millions over the average life of a retire (like many public employees do). Now if we only find someone stupid enough to pay them....


Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 4:04 a.m.

I agree and commend you for pointing out the reality of retirement in this country. (joking) I'll only add that you're wrong - it's easy to retire in comfort when you start out (as an executive) making 20X the average wage and end up making 400X that amount. ;-) See, if the Republicans would only tell us how the 1-2% accomplish this kind of career math - they could say they actually have answers.

Michigan Man

Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 11:19 p.m.

Kat - My seven figure 401K is just smoking hot these days. My condolences yours in not doing well.


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 9:15 p.m.

So who do you expect to pay you in retirement? Me? I save as much as i can, when I can, and have done so for the 40 years I have worked so far! Are you saving anything? Do you simply expect me and others like me to take care of you? Your wage hasn't kept up? Get another job! Go back to school and start another career. Get off your sorry XXX and work for it! That is the beauty of the US. Check out some of the retired folks in what is currently Russia (former Soviet Union) They thought the government was going to take care of them and they are starving!


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 9:03 p.m.

I beg to differ, I did pretty good with my 401K, and I am far from rich or at least not the 1%'s you claim to have all the money, I just happened to live within my means and do not spend my money foolishly. Such a concept? 401K's are not useless and I do not know where or who advised you that they were? Best savings you can go with and save on income taxes.


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 8:28 p.m.

Thank goodness for honest Republicans who vote to have rules, tough rules, and not wishey washey feel good stuff. We were put on this earth to earn our own way, not to simply look the other way. The state is moving FORWARD with the current team in Lansing, so let's keep it that way!

greg, too

Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 3:05 a.m.

Oh wait, that wasn't sarcasm?


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 11:18 p.m.

Spoken like someone who is not a single mother, disabled person, person of color, economically disadvantaged, elderly... I could go on...


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 7:51 p.m.

The GOP is so classy....


Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 12:47 p.m.

The GOP is classy ... all of it being LOW class.


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 7:42 p.m.

Yay! Vote the Tea_publicans out! Every last one of them. I'm sick of their "malarkey".

Ghost of Tom Joad

Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 7:21 p.m.

Quimet will never get my vote after getting his hand caught in the Washtenaw County cookie jar. He is unethical and yet another self-serving politician.

Basic Bob

Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 3:22 a.m.



Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 2:04 a.m.

Who is Quimet? I know Ouimet is doing an okay job.


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 8:55 p.m.

Kinda like Kilpatrick?

Ed Kimball

Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 8:55 p.m.

nekm1: I beg to differ, and management guru Peter Drucker agrees with me. Companies are started to provide goods and services that people want. Profits are a reward for doing so successfully. Furthermore, I don't see what Ghost's comment had to do with capitalism. Your comment is out of context.


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 8:34 p.m.

Quit bashing the companies that employ people like you! Do you really think companies are started just so they can provide comfortable jobs for people? Companies are companies to make a profit. Unless you are just another "public" worker, or a Fed Grant worker, please quit complaining about capitalism.