On Profit, Deregulation and Discipline
Profit at any and all costs is a concern for me. In my opinion, such thinking lacks discipline. Deregulation to increase profits lacks not only discipline but also morals. When millionaires like Mitt Romney or Warren Buffet are taxed less than their secretaries, I think something is wrong: new and serious regulations should be introduced.
I am sure we can all agree that we need some rules and regulations when we as people try to live communally in societies. That is why I suppose we have laws, by-laws and such. We can do many things in Life but just because we can do something, it does not mean that we necessarily have to do that something.
When some people are only interested in making a profit and not at all in what the outcome of their actions will result in, I think everyone ends-up paying the price. We can think of those who died and the oil which spilled and devastated the lives of countless people on the south-eastern coast of the United States not long ago. In its quest to maximize profits, British Petroleum affected quite negatively not only the environment but also the lives of those who lived in that region. Cutting costs to make more and more profit cannot keep going to infinity without concerning consequences. Just because it can happen, it does not mean it should.
A few years ago, the financial system almost collapsed due to bankers gambling with people’s money. The banks were not allowed to collapse (taxpayers had to pay and are still paying, to bail them out), even though they clearly showed that in their chase for profits at any cost, they managed to nearly crash the entire system and they became failed businesses. The addiction to profit became too intense – the result was people losing their homes, their investments … their livelihoods. All this was the result of deregulation, greed and no discipline.
Just because I can lend money to someone at thirty percent interest, does not mean that I should. Just because I can sell a pair of running shoes and make three hundred percent profit, does not mean that I should. Just because I can go out on the street and rob someone, does it mean that I should? I could do many things but discipline helps me think twice. What will the result of my actions be? That always has to be in my mind before I take a decision.
How can some people still argue that deregulation is good? The banks that were too big to fail a few years ago are even bigger now. Their profits are soaring as the majority of people are struggling to make ends meet. The main international banks are worth more and more by the year and when they will fail (eventually they will because the debt system is not sustainable), the outcome will be felt world-wide. We have come to this point, in my opinion because we have given-up on discipline. When discipline was flung-out the door, greed, selfishness and corruption moved-in. I think it is time to reintroduce discipline, responsibility and accountability as soon as possible, to minimize the damage done. This is just my opinion.
“Just because I want to, it don’t mean I will
And just because I’m angry, it don’t mean I kill” – Gang Starr, “Discipline"
Note: My photograph, Timmins, Ontario, Canada, 2010