The Abusive Boss

"Abusive bosses" is a time-old complaint that's back in the news, thanks to Washington politics. But leaving the Beltway for a moment, can this really be as big a deal in business as it's made out to be? I've seen statistics that say that having an abusive boss is one of the major reasons (if not the primary reason) people leave their jobs. (I googled "abusive bosses" and found over 200 references to articles, books, blogs on the subject—with no end in sight!) But isn't abuse in the eye (or ear) of the beholder? Is there something else going on here? Is this just a justification for people not doing their job? Or does this problem deserve SERIOUS attention given the costs of low productivity and/or turnover that abusive leadership is said to produce? If so, what should be done about it? (What have YOU done about it?)