Corporate Greed - The American Way!
Hello! It has been a long time since I have published a hub here...way overdue, I would say. This article is way different than my other hubs which many of you may have read. My financial situation prompted me to create this hub and know that many of us are in the same boat. With unemployment at such high levels, signs of a recession continuing month after month, and the financial nightmare in Washington D.C., with the fiscal cliff and too much spending, enough is enough.
Over the past few years, I have been living at just below the poverty level. I am college educated, have years of experience and can't even find a full-time job! Discouraging?.. yes! Frustrating?....Definitely! After losing my last full-time job over 4 years ago, each day is a struggle just to survive. Unemployment in my area is close to 9%. Even finding part-time work is difficult, not because of my skills, but because my age is now working against me as well as an advanced education! Am I angry...yes, I must admit that I am! A hardworking, honest person that really wants to work and provide for his family should not have to struggle so. After years of barely surviving, the hardships have been a horrible toll on myself and my loved ones...why? Why does this happen to hardworking families all over this country!
Well, I know one reason and that is the topic of this article! It is not the only cause, but I am discovering with research that a lot of our best companies are being run by immoral, greedy, SOB's that care nothing for their company or their employees! We see this all the time on the news...a local company going bankrupt or moving out of the country for various reasons. What isn't told is that many of these apparent causes are untrue..many reasons for the corporate decline is the direct result of corporate leaders being greedy and not looking out for the best interests of the people that they built their business upon...the average working stiff! it sickens me to see good people suffering while the unethical and even criminal activities of a corporation's leadership literally break the backs of their workers, bringing ruin and despair to thousands, while these fat cats are protected by corporate loopholes and outrageous, ridiculous incomes and perks! Everyone is entitled to a decent wage for their work, but it is so unbalanced that I fear it will never be the way it should be. Since when is having an income of over $200,000 a year not enough for anyone???? If it isn't enough, I pity you my friend! You missed the whole point of living. Money can't buy happiness, true, but when you can't even survive and have the basic necessities for a decent life, well, that is just wrong!
An article I read in my local newspaper is the trigger that finally got to me and prompted me to write this. Did it make me angry...definitely. Will it ever change...probably not since it is the status quo for corporate America and has been for decades! What am I talking about, you may ask? It is plain and simple...greed and nothing else. How corporate executives can live with themselves is beyond my comprehension. Before I get going, I am not saying all CEO's or corporate leaders are this way, but to be honest, many of them are and this is not restricted to Wall Street! Even our own elected officials, yes, the Senators, Representatives, and others fall into this category also!
I am going to use the corporate executive as my primary example, but again, it fits with any business leader, politician, public servant, yes this includes school administrators too! As a former teacher, some administrators made in one year, what it would take a regular teacher to earn in 10 years! And who is in the firing line all the time...the teachers, not the school district leaders sitting in their plush offices not having a clue as to what is going on in the classrooms....ooops...another topic for another time! LOL
But seriously, It is shocking and disgusting that this trend continues to happen over and over even when so many of us are unemployed, struggling to survive and pay our bills! Many businesses are failing due to the decisions and choices made by that business's leadership. The average Joe is the one that pays the ultimate price..usually being laid off, having their medical benefits cut or reduced, taking a hit in the paycheck, and even getting their hours cut. On the other hand, the CEO's continue to rake in their exorbitant salaries and ridiculous bonuses on top of that! Those two examples are bad enough, but most of these overpaid executives get many more perks, like stock options, car and housing allowances, and you name it! It just makes me sick to see this happening over and over. Even if the person does something illegal or very damaging to the company and they are asked to leave, they get compensation packages that would make your head spin! But of course, if the average worker does something wrong, they are tossed out like yesterday's garbage! They should be ashamed of themselves...little do these executives care for the families they have destroyed due to their greed.
For example, recently in our local paper, a CEO of a large company was collecting OVER $1 million in salary alone, which to me, is ridiculous considering most of the employees there were just making a little over the minimum wage. On top of this, he got total medical, dental, vision, insurance for him and his family, a housing allowance allowing him to own not only a mansion in the city, but a vacation home or two besides. Then, he gets a company car on top of it! Also, every year the guy got huge monetary bonuses, pushing his annual income over 2 million! Totally absurd! Nobody deserves that kind of income...I mean nobody! Corporate greed...you bet! But it didn't stop there...in addition to all of this, he got stock options and other perks that were just as outrageous! Does it end there...not a chance. To make this totally insane is that this CEO was caught red-handedly doing some unethical dealings and when caught, damaged the corporation severely. Many lost their jobs since the company couldn't stay float...thousands are now unemployed and just because there was so much mismanagement at the top and nobody could stop it! To top it all off, this man, after destroying many peoples' lives, he received a compensation package for his years of service! Can you believe that??? This man should have been charged with something since he blatantly broke the law. but somehow his attorneys, again company paid, found some loophole that got him off Scot-free! It is true and have no doubts he paid some officials off to beat a possible prison sentence! In my opinion, the dip should be drawn and quartered, all of his assets sold and given to the people he screwed over! I know for a fact since it was publicly announced that his severance pay alone was in the millions, plus he was allowed to keep his stock profits, which I heard he secretly sold before he brought this corporation to its knees! Just criminal! Nothing less!
This is only 1 example of something that happens every day in almost every city in the United States. Even when caught in criminal acts, these corporate fat cats not only get away with their wrongdoing, but get rewarded! What is worse is that the politicians do the same thing. Many just draw huge salaries and don't even show up to vote in Congressional sessions! They are living off of the taxpayers, yes, the real backbone of this country, our labor force! How dare these unethical, evil people continue to be parasites, living a life of ease and extreme comfort, while huge numbers of people can't even provide the BASIC necessities for themselves and their families, living in near poverty wondering why they are made to suffer while the rich get more and more!
Now don't get me wrong...I believe in the American Dream and always will, but when I see blatant examples of corporate greed over and over and over, and then see them getting praise for it, not to mention the huge monetary sums they continue to get even after they have done terrible things to their employees and company...well, it needs to be said! Then I see the huge government waste that continuously drains our tax base, jeopardizing social security, medicare, etc...well, these lowlife so called, business leaders should be ashamed of themselves! Add to that the politicians we elect to represent us and then find out they are already bought and paid for by lobbyists paid for by our financial institutions...corruption on top of corruption!
So, in conclusion, my hat is off to all the honest, hard working people in this nation that this country was built on. Please keep this in mind the next time we celebrate Labor Day in September. It is the average Joe, the American worker that made this country great, not the fat, rich SOB sitting in his penthouse office wheeling and dealing, often under the table for his own profit, not for the company, but for his selfish benefit! Kudos to you, the American worker who knows the real value of a job well done! May God Bless you and your families...always!