Posted 5 years ago on Jan. 1, 2012, 5:59 p.m. EST by dvc321
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
EXTREMELY IMPORTANT-- PLEASE READ IN ITS ENTIRETY. (Due to its length, the balance of this message will be carried over into the comments) PLEASE help spread this message. It is imperative that the power of this election is not lost.
If you are familiar with Edmund Burke’s proposition that “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing" then you will understand why this article needed to be written. Circumstances have come together to create a rare opportunity for meaningful change to occur. A President who appears to be on the side of the people, a growing movement (Occupy Wall Street) that has accurately identified executive greed as the primary villain in this economic crisis, and an upcoming national election together form the perfect storm for meaningful change. I hope the President reads this because it provides the blueprint for fixing the economy, restoring confidence in the government and righting past wrongs all at the same time. If he doesn’t read it, perhaps the Occupy Movement can draw his attention to it. This plan would dynamically strengthen the economy by stimulating job growth and, just as importantly, would make this country’s economy more resilient going forward by restoring and stabilizing consumer confidence. It would reduce the burden on Federal and Local Governments . The best part about this solution is that it is perfectly appropriate. The plan does not require anyone to shoulder an unfair burden. It addresses a major flaw in the current system and would simultaneously restore confidence in the government. How can all this be done? The answer is infuriatingly simple – by closing a legal void that CEO’s, their Board of Directors and fellow executives of publicly traded corporations have exploited for decades. These executives have been able to siphon off such obscene amounts of corporate profits into their own pockets that it makes Bernie Madoff’s billions look utterly trivial. These corporate earnings should have been used to first provide stability and security for the very employees that made the company successful, then as higher dividends to shareholders as a more reasonable return on their investments. By not doing so, theses executives have effectively “skimmed off the top” at a substantial cost to the country’s economy and to society in general. These executives were able to accomplish this massive heist by creating a simple fiction. Most states impose upon these executives a basic fiduciary duty to their shareholders. The executives easily danced around that obligation by defining themselves as a “unique talent”. Once they defined themselves as a mystical unique talent, the executives painfully rationalized that it would be in the best interest of the corporation to compensate that fictitious unique talent an exorbitant amount of money. Once the door was opened by the first corporation, other corporations followed. Very much like a price fixing scheme, they created their own inflated market. Having never encountered any meaningful, organized resistance, these executives became more brazen through the years. With each passing year, they exponentially increased their compensation packages and simultaneously jackhammered away at the stability and security below their fellow employees’ feet. Retirement programs were marginalized, crippled or completely eliminated. Health plans have consistently offered less coverage and higher deductibles. Severance packages for laid off personnel were, in the vast majority of cases, entirely eliminated. Employees with 30 years of service were shown the door empty handed. All of this was done at a substantial cost to society. Whether it was as taxpayers contributing to state and federal unemployment programs, corporate bailouts that were ultimately used to pay executives, or as homeowners whose property values continue to tumble because of neighborhood foreclosures, society has continually paid the price for the executive’s unabashed greed. The drain on the country’s economy has been like driving a car with the emergency brake on. Each year they would exponentially increase their own compensation package not only at the expense of the company’s employees, but the company’s shareholders as well. Profits that should have been doled out in the form of higher dividends to shareholders were instead diverted to executives. These executives have been gorging themselves on corporate profits for so long that they have deluded themselves into actually believing that they are that “unique talent” and deserve that obscene amount of money. As captains of the ship, these executives should be at the back, not the front of the line. Nobody is actually asking the executives to “go down with the ship” but they should not be rewarded for throwing their passengers overboard without a life preserver. (Part 2 following)