The Trump administration is hell bent on providing an uninhibited and unimpeded road for American business to travel. That may be exactly what this country needs in order to clear out the pipes. But the foundation of American business needs to consist of a universally visible, fair, and law-based set of ethics and principles. Executives meeting aggressive quotas should not be rewarded with “achievement-based” bonuses, particularly when leaving the company as a gutted shell incapable of growth or even survival. Executives responsible for the implementation of deceptive, dishonest, and or fraudulent activities should receive time at Club Fed, not Club Med.
In spite of all our “best efforts” and existing laws, people like Bernie Madoff are able to perpetrate incredible scams at a terrible expense to many. Executives like Wells Fargo’s John Stumpf are able to blatantly lie to Congress and even go so far as offer $41 million of his compensation as “restitution” for the scandal. He collected more than $131 million in company stock alone. Is this a new version of “Let’s Make a Deal”? Deutsche Bank got caught laundering $10 Billion and was fined less than a pauper’s interest. If we don’t get our basic economic “foundation” in line, then nothing we could possibly build on it has a chance of success.
In an American world, where we’re struggling to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, is it really fair for “executives” to make hundreds of millions of dollars for their time and effort? Moreover, if they are allowed to make that kind of money, shouldn’t the same risk/reward scenario apply that seems to work for every other employment condition? John Stumpf is protected by a deep-pocketed Wall Street Boys Club. Madoff was a maverick, without such relations. But if law is the common foundation, it does no good if its application isn’t equal.
I believe there could be tremendous benefit to allowing American business to flourish unencumbered by bureaucratic nonsense. But before that can be implemented, an ethical, equal, and universal set of standards needs to be clearly delineated, implemented, and enforced equally. I understand that companies need to be competitive when it comes to the recruiting of top personnel, but as the face of the company, those people need to be completely ethical and upstanding pillars of the community. They should be rewarded for their success, deducted for their failures, and punished for improper, unprofessional, or illegal dealings. Though none of this should be permitted to inhibit, derail, or detract from the ongoing success of the company or its employees. The days of the Golden Parachute need to be retired, immediately.