Cheaters, Liars, Cons, And Price Gougers …
— Are Penalties Enough For Crime?
October 6, 2016
NOTE: This editorial was written two weeks ago, before $41
million was set as a possible penalty for the Wells Fargo
CEO for his actions, or inactions regarding the unauthorized
charges in millions of dollars from clients checking accounts.
the penalties enough for the high profile corporations that
cheat, lie, steal money from bank accounts and increase
prices 600 percent on life-saving drugs?
We have had a rash of abusers this year and in the past,
starting with Volkswagen, and then Well Fargo Bank and even
British Petroleum. They have paid and will pay, however,
is it more than just a slap on the hand, compared to what
they should be paying.
These white collar crimes cost millions of dollars, but
there has been a much greater cost, and that is in the distrust
of those who had a responsibility and did not live up to
Volkswagen, the world’s largest corporate auto producer,
knowingly cheated on the emissions tests on some of its
cars. The CEO resigned as he should have, but how much personal
penalty did he have to pay, and how much personal penalties
did his administrators have to pay out of their own pockets?
Sure, the corporation is paying a large penalty, but that
payment is being paid by the stockholders who likely had
nothing to do with the decision to cheat on the emission
Is jail time even a penalty which needs to be considered?
Wells Fargo Bank cheated millions of customers with charges
which they never approved. Isn’t this stealing? So
thousands lost their jobs, but these were not the higher
ups, the administrators who knew about these practices and
Cheating can be a criminal offense and the penalty can be
prison time. The perpetrators may have been forced to pay
back money which has been gained by cheating. Is there a
follow up investigation as to the actual persons responsible?
Or, are once again the stockholders having to pay the penalty
when these people did not know what was being done behind
The CEO of Mylan defended her pharmaceuticals company on
the grounds that it spent money on research, but what about
the millions she gained in salary and benefits as the price
of Mylan’s asthma drug went from $100 to $600 in five
years — all at the expense of asthma suffers? Who
makes the policies which set the rates? Are they being held
responsible? These decisions come down from the top, and
the top people should be made to pay.
How many lives were effected by the BP oil spill? Were the
penalties enough to keep other oil companies from making
the same kind of mistakes which could damage the environment
and the lives of thousands who depended on the shrimp and
the gulf for a living? Did the top decision making people
pay anything out of their own pocket in penalties? Or was
it again, the stockholders who ended up paying the bill
with the culprits getting off scot-free?
There was a time when we were proud to be a member of corporate
America. We still see and report on big businesses who are
shining examples of what corporate America should be; however,
more and more, we witness examples like those above where
the corporations are self-serving and lie and cheat their
way to the top of the economic ladder.
They are not alone. The top of the political ladder also
join in the largess. Cheating and lying is also on their
table and if you have to pay for political favors, so be
After the first political debate, it is hard to believe
there is anyone we can trust.