Capitalism: When Does Profit Turn Into Greed

This is the twenty-fifth Blog in a weekly series regarding the state of leadership in America. The main goal of any business is to successfully compete in the marketplace and make a profit. These earnings are then used to pay the salaries and wages of the workforce, meet business expenses, and determine if a pay out in the form of dividends to shareholders is warranted. Further, a percentage of the profits are often used to expand the business and create additional jobs. Vibrant and successful businesses are essential for a robust economy which greatly contributes to sustaining a strong nation. Good business leaders recognize this fundamental and vital connection between a thriving economy and the health of the nation. Both government and business leaders understand that the government through the laws it passes and the taxes it enacts can create an economic environment conducive to business growth and profit-making, or the government can suffocate new businesses and cripple corporations under a mountain of regulation, or even worse it can do nothing and make no decisions, which can leave businesses uncertain about how to proceed with their plans to expand and hire additional workers. Similarly, while business leaders want to be unrestricted in our free enterprise system to conduct their business and pursue profits, they must acknowledge their responsibilities as good stewards to their workforces, the environment, shareholders if any, and the nation. It’s in the best interests of both government and business that the relationship between the two be grounded in the need for both to accept their obligations to our Republic and its citizens first and foremost. Profits are a sign of business good health while decision-making is a sign of government good health. Both benefit from the acceptance of each other’s role in maintaining a strong America.
However; how many times have we heard about Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) leaving failing corporations or financial institutions and being rewarded with millions of dollars as they’re walking out the door? These CEOs were concerned about themselves and not the businesses and institutions they were in charge of. There is no acceptance of their responsibilities to their workforces, the environment, and the nation that gave them the free market place within which to operate and conduct business. Their personal pursuit of power and profits condemned the organizations they ran into the ground to at least an uncertain future or more than likely a bankruptcy. Workers will lose portions of their salaries, many will be laid off, and retirement plans will be reduced or lost altogether while CEOs walk away with a pot of gold.
In addition to this mismanagement scenario, we are witnessing the rapid expansion of a global marketplace where businesses are moving their operations outside America to the foreign countries with the lowest corporate taxes rates and cheapest labor. In this global marketplace, there is little recognition by many CEOs of their obligations to America and American workers. Jobs and dollars are sent oversees to finance and produce goods previously manufactured in America while many CEOs turn a blind eye to the sweat-shop working conditions in the foreign countries producing these goods. Once again, the motive of many CEOs is profits over responsibilities, of market share over their obligations to support a strong domestic economy and America. Capitalism does not give CEOs the right to do anything they want in any part of the world because they have the money and power to do just that. The all-encompassing quest for profits no matter the cost to the environment, workers, and the nation drive some CEOs to measure business success or failure by a single standard: profit. And when that happens, greed for more wealth than is needed becomes simultaneously the motive and objective for too many CEOs. Good business leaders recognize and affirm their obligations as Americans to our Republic. As a nation, we cannot remain strong and a force for good in the world unless we have a strong domestic economy. While Capitalism is clearly the appropriate engine upon which our economy and business enterprise should be conducted in an open marketplace, we cannot allow irresponsible CEOs to turn this engine into a personal instrument for them to amass power and profits for their own enrichment. Good business leaders will not allow the healthy competition for profits turn into a motive for personal or corporate greed.

This entry was posted in Business, Government, Leadership, Leadership DNA, Management, Paul Okum, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Capitalism: When Does Profit Turn Into Greed

  1. bbom says:

    i guess i partially agree. bbom bbom bbom bbom bbom

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