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Forum Post: Are corporate executives moral people?

Posted 2 years ago on April 15, 2012, 9:58 p.m. EST by myows (133)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I am trying to understand the mindset of the corporate executive. For example if you're the CEO of Verizon how do you reconcile the following things in your mind?

The company is a healthy and profitable. You just became CEO last year and your pay went from 7 million dollars to 24 million dollars. You continue to send American jobs overseas. You want to take away employees pensions, healthcare plans and a dozen other important benefits. You claim that the union employee is from the nonprofitable wireline side of the business when you have got to know full well that wireless traffic and FIOs TV and internet would not exist without the wireline side of the business.

I can certainly understand the obligation the executive feels to make the stock price go higher but at what point does he look in the mirror and say to himself

"As an American do I have any kind of obligation to try to keep the middle class alive in this country?" "If corporations send every American job possible overseas and cut the salaries of the remaining workers, is it possible that people will no longer have any spare money to buy cell phone plans, FIOS and other products?" "Is it unfair of me to take 24 million dollars in compensation in a single year as I look to take back 20k worth of compensation from a typical middle class worker?"

I personally do not understand how a person can totally disconnect these things in his mind.

16 Comments

16 Comments


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[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

my e-machine is around fie years old

[-] 1 points by ClearTarget (216) 2 years ago

There was a study proving the 1% were more likely to be less ethical than the other end of the spectrum.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/02/income-and-ethics/

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

Morality implies knowing the difference between right and wrong. There are many books and studies made that indicate that there are more sociopaths/psychopaths working on Wall St, by percentage than the rest of the general population:

"Watching the news some days, you’d think a lot of companies were run by psychopaths. And, according to a recent study, some might well be. One of the authors of the study was hired by companies to evaluate managers — mostly middle-aged, college-educated, white males — for a management development program. It turns out that these managers scored higher on measures of psychopathy than the overall population, and some who had very high scores were candidates for, or held, senior positions."

For more:

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/06/20/its_true_your_boss_is_a_psychopath/

[-] 1 points by JadedGem (895) 2 years ago

Oh, what I would give to see our trolls take that assessment!

[-] 1 points by craigdangit (326) 2 years ago

Every person has to rationalize the things they do in their mind. When people steal, "I didn't have any other options". When they help corporations pollute, they do it because "I needed the job". In reality, there are other jobs, they just might not pay as well. People lie to themselves all the time about why they do the things they do. "I couldn't stop myself" is another. Every person weighs the consequences and benefits of every action they take, and ultimately, the decision is up to them.

And, have you considered the possibility that the people saying all the execs are bad have their own agendas and exaggerations? There is a power struggle going on every day in this country, between the self interested, the self interested, and the self interested. Every single person in the country is trying to benefit themselves at some point, whether the payoff is monetary, social, or emotional.

Basically no one is genuinely altruistic.

[-] 1 points by JadedGem (895) 2 years ago

So you keep telling yourself that everyone is a squirrel just looking for a nut and would be just as unethical as you in any given situation? This is what you tell yourself yourself to comfort and appease that nagging conscious? I assure you you are wrong. Many, many, many people are better than that, a lot better than that in fact. I've died and come back. I don't measure my success in life in terms what I can acquire, or who I can screw. I know he who dies with the most stuff is highly unlikely to be rewarded further in the afterlife. I have seen the tendency of trolls to believe this line of garbage. Is it in the training seminar? Its it what has replaced ethics and compassion in the Oligarchy and therefore lapped up like mother's milk by every struggling wanna-be? Oh, well. Die and come back and then we can talk about the meaning of life, and the fact that the soul is eternal, everyone gets called to account and not what greedy people are inclined to do and think.

[-] 1 points by craigdangit (326) 2 years ago

If I understand you correctly, you are saying you are currently in your second incarnation?

I am not trying to excuse anything bad I have done in my life, I don't know how you would get that. I am saying, the executives who do bad things use the same coping mechanisms virtually every other person on the earth uses when they do things that are frowned upon.

And I don't measure success in monetary terms, I don't know how you would get that either.

[-] 1 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 2 years ago

" I am saying, the executives who do bad things use the same coping mechanisms virtually every other person on the earth uses when they do things that are frowned upon."

The studies indicate otherwise.

"Are some corporate CEO’s, doctors, lawyers, politicians and scientists psychopaths? The answer could be “yes” if you use a definition which labels individuals who are often intelligent and highly charismatic, but display a chronic inability to feel guilt, remorse or anxiety about any of their actions."

"Behavioral specialists now use the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised – a diagnostic questionnaire created by Hare – to detect psychopathy. But although there is finally consensus on the best way to identify the condition, there is still a lot of disagreement on why it occurs in the first place.

The dominant scientific model asserts that psychopathic individuals are incapable of fear or other emotions, which in turn makes them indifferent to other people’s feelings."

http://psychcentral.com/news/2006/07/03/improving-the-definition-of-%E2%80%98psychopath%E2%80%99/64.html

[-] 1 points by JadedGem (895) 2 years ago

Near death experiences are a common enough phonon, its not a secret that the soul is eternal. It is also not a secret that if God bothered to appear to a morally bankrupt person they would run to a shrink and start popping anti-psychotics like they were going out of style. Now what greedy morally bankrupt people do to justify their condition is now being called a coping mechanism and they are trying to project this condition onto others as they give it an innocuous label? Hmm, I think I heard you. I'm just not biting.

[-] 0 points by craigdangit (326) 2 years ago

You think pretty much everyone in the world is not morally bankrupt? Wow. You think well of humanity.

"coping mechanism" is merely a scientific descriptor for human behavior. I'm not saying it to make it sound "okay". I am merely answering the original question, concerning how rich people sleep at night.

A study I recall asked respondents if they thought they were personally going to hell when they died. The number is around one or two percent. When asked if they knew someone that they thought would go to hell when they died, the number is closer to 40%.

Basically no one thinks that they, personally, are bad people. That's all I am saying. One way or another, through psychological means, the human mind almost universally recuses itself of wrongdoing no matter how heinous the acts committed by it.

[-] 1 points by SteveKJR (-497) 2 years ago

As an American if you are that concerend about the profits of a company you along with any other person who feels that way can stop using their product.

You see the problem with the vast majority of the people in this country do not want to inconvience themselves. That's why they own IPads, internet service, latest greatest electronics, designer clothes, new cars, and anything else that they feel they need.

But yet they are hypocrits when it comes to them complaining about the "evil rich and wealthy". And you can be sure they will defend to the death their decisions giving example after example as to why they cannot do without these conveniences.

I say either "put up or shut up" if there are concerns about how much execs make working for companies that consumers cater to.

Apple is a prime example, so is ATT and there and I am sure there are lots more examples out ther.

[-] 1 points by JadedGem (895) 2 years ago

I favor boycotting too! I always thought Apple was over-priced for what it is. Not saying one should always value price at any cost. I just never bought the hype. I don't buy a lot of things and I go out of my way to shop at the salvation army and support thrift stores or show up at a farmers market. I am annoyed by the control of resources and the fact you can't always cut money from big oil or electric providers, but I do what I can.

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6587) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Very well put, Steve. Which is why I'm an avid boycotter.

[-] 0 points by Zombiefighter (-16) from Ione, CA 2 years ago

No morality can exist in this system.

[-] -1 points by calliope (25) 2 years ago

Nobody is moral, lol.

Give people complete freedom and they turn to into beasts.

[-] -2 points by MikeInOhio (13) 2 years ago

How much would you pay him? I have a hunch that if you set the limit at $500k you would see the company go down the toilet pretty quickly.

There is quite a bit of competition for corporate CEOs.