PUT GREEDY FOOLS IN CHARGE—AND THE CONSEQUENCES ARE PREDICTABLE.
SHAME ON AMERICAN MANAGEMENT
It has long been my contention that the U.S. has a serious management problem which lies at the root of a great many of the economic difficulties we are experiencing today.
As best I can determine it, the rot started in the early Seventies when the Powell memorandum galvanized the rich—in the form of major corporate interests—to mount a counter-attack against the perceived decadence and liberalism of the Sixties, and the threat of what were judged to be anti-business attitudes.
Much simplified, in effect, managements declared war on their own workers (and the unions in particular) and adopted the notion that management’s only duty was to optimize shareholder value—primarily as expressed in the value Wall Street put on the shares.
Corporate loyalty towards workers, suppliers, customers, the local community, and the nation went by the board.
Thus started the carnage which exported millions of jobs, destroyed much of our industrial base, virtually froze the earning power of workers for more than four decades, undermined the Middle Class, contributed to our losing ground in market sector after market sector, stunted innovation, eroded the tax base, corrupted Congress (even more than before)—and made CEOS, frequently executives of decidedly limited competence, extremely wealthy.
I was therefor not remotely surprised to read in THE BIG PICTURE, Barry Ritholtz’s outstanding blog, that nearly 40 percent of CEOs on the highest-paid lists from the past 20 years were either bailed out, booted, or busted.
People of true caliber and integrity don’t behave the way all too many of our CEOs have for decades. It’s morally wrong, financially irresponsible, short-sighted in the worse possible way, and very much against the National Interest.
We are now reaping what America’s top managers have sown—and what we are harvesting threatens the economic wellbeing of all but the rich.
The great recession was just a taste.