Featured Quote

In 1913, Henry Ford wrote the following as the directors had been reaping the rewards of profits - "The wages we pay are too small in comparison with our profits. I think we should raise our minimum pay rate".

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Success

I've been thinking about Success a lot lately.  Many corporaphants (a word I just made up to describe the corporate psychophants who support Union Busing, Tax breaks to companies while cutting education, food and shelter assistance to the poor and stealing our Social Security money)...  starting over...  Many corporaphants say that wanting a more reasonable income spread in business is "punishing success."  They say that a CEO actually deserves to make 300 times more money that someone who actually works for a living - a non-executive employee.  ( Henry Ford - The People's Tycoon - famously said that an executive making more than 40 times the average worker was indecent. Kenneth J. Douglas said it was bad for moral.)

First off, I don't see how anyone can "Earn" that kind of income.  There is nothing that can possibly be done where I would feel someone "deserves" a million dollars a year.  That includes actors, writers, executives, sports players and politicians.  People who make a big difference, invent a new product, come up with an improvement - maybe those deserve a big benefit for their contributions.  Those who 'make decisions' or 'manage' others do not 'earn' outrageous paychecks.  More importantly, those who step on others, lie, cheat and steal their 'success' in no way can be said to 'deserve' it.  CEOs who get huge bonuses for cutting jobs, firing experienced workers to replace them with lower-paid newbies and cutting corners, do not 'earn' their pay nor bonuses.

Even fewer people can actually handle that much money in a responsible way.  For many, the success leads to excess and eventual destruction of their life.  But I suppose that is really a tangential side note to my point.

I am a big believer in Morality, Ethics and Personal Responsibility.  Whether you are a business owner, a CEO or a manager, you are responsible for the effects your actions have.  Period.  You are responsible for the low wages of your employees.  You are responsible for the working conditions in your company buildings.  You are responsible for the social, economic and environmental impact of your company.

So, how responsible is it to earn 300 times more than your average employee?  How responsible is it to help lead our economy to a depression and suffer no consequences?  These people should be ashamed of their role in the destruction of our economy.  They should suffer the consequences of their actions - not shrug it off onto teachers, hungry children and freezing elderly people.  "Success" gained by their methods is the ultimate failure.  They have failed their Nation, they have failed their fellow man and they have failed themselves.

How many times must we go through proving that without outside regulation, most businesses will behave poorly?  If it were a question of them only harming themselves, there would be no issue.  That is not the case - each excessive CEO salary damages the earning potential of each and every non-management employee.  Each case of systemic gambling and fraud threatens our national economy.

Capitalism is not "Privatize profit, socialize losses."  They gambled, they made huge profits and when they lost - the public had to pick up the bill.  That is not what should have happened.  They escaped all repercussions of their actions.  Now, their benefactors in congress are trying to use their failures as an excuse to destroy many systems that are beneficial to the common citizen.

The question now becomes - how do we correct this systemic failure?  How do we get CEO to Worker salary back down to below 100 to 1 - with 40 or 50 to 1 being ideal?  That right there would go a long way to fixing our Income shortfall by creating more tax revenue.  So, how do we do it?

ECSUS - Ethical Capitalism can Save U.S.