Corporate America Better Shape Itself Up or Someone Else Will

Unlike some of the “Democratic Socialists” (whatever that means) currently in office or running for office in the US, I consider myself a true capitalist.  I believe you should be rewarded if you take a risk and invest time, intellect, or capital and it works.  Likewise, I believe you should suffer the consequences if your efforts do not work; “bailouts” from the government should not exist.  To work properly, capitalism produces winners and losers.  Creative destruction is what powers improvements in quality of life. 

Stories like Boeing’s help me understand why socialists are gaining traction in the US.  In case you missed it, Boeing’s latest version of its 737 has been pulled off the market because of safety concerns.  Two crashes killed hundreds of people.  For months, Boeing and US regulators insisted the plane was safe.  After significant pressure from the international community, airlines stopped flying the plane and Boeing suspended its production.  Boeing’s board, populated by a who’s who of American business and politics, recently fired the CEO.  For his efforts, he walked away with $62 MILLION.  By comparison, Boeing settled some lawsuits with the families of victims of the first crash.  It is estimated the families received $1.2 million per victim.  I’ve written before that I believe “fair” is the worst word in the English language.  Everyone’s definition of fair is arbitrary and based on his circumstances. I’ll refrain from saying, “This isn’t fair,” but it sure makes a good stump speech on a campaign trail.

I’ll go to one of my other blogs: optics matter.  Somewhere along the way, corporate America has forgotten that the way things look matters.  Producing high-end brands in sweatshops where people die doesn’t look good.  Paying CEOs 271 times an average worker doesn’t look good.  And, yes, paying a fired CEO $62 million doesn’t look good. 

If the corporate world doesn’t police itself, the public will through elections.  The government has not shown the ability to solve problems in highly regulated industries (healthcare, education, and housing).  The government getting involved in more of the economy won’t be good for anyone. 

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