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As I See It: Corporate greed

My left-sided counterpart’s writing switch got stuck on the “greed” setting in his last two columns. I’m not quite certain what his points were in either case, but the Banking Greed column made a lot more sense than the Corporate Conscience column.

At least he admitted that it was going to take some government action to fix the banking greed situations he spoke about. But if you read the Corporate Conscience column from another aspect, you come away with a sense of corporate stupidity.

But let’s think about this for a while. Very few people work for the sheer joy of working. Most of us work — hopefully doing something we enjoy — making a living and providing for those who depend on us, usually our close and extended families.

And once our basic needs are met, we strive to make some more money to afford the niceties and perhaps some luxuries as we go along. However, if you can afford too many niceties and too many luxuries, you run the risk of being labeled as greedy.

As you make your living and pursue your version of the American Dream, you might save some of your income in savings accounts, CDs and the like. Or you might be able to put some money away in a 401k or similar account that will grow over the long term and provide you some additional income after you retire.

In most cases, those accounts will invest in publicly held companies that make profits from selling their goods and services. It is in your interest for those companies to make as much profit as they can so your investments will give you a good return on your money.

In many cases, these are the same companies and corporations that are the targets of some other people for being greedy, uncaring entities.

Capitalism is not always fair. Capitalism is not always pretty. Capitalism is not always just. The same can be said for socialism, communism and virtually any other form of government and economic model you care to name.

The problem is almost always the people in the organization. There are greedy, uncaring, unfair and unjust people in every form of government and probably in every type of company or corporation.

And if the government fails to act to curtail the damaging actions of other parts of the government or organizations, aren’t we ultimately responsible for electing or re-electing the politicians who allow or enable this to happen?

Turning to the diatribe about corporate conscience from the Aug. 8, 2013, edition of the Echo, I had a hard time getting my arms around the problem of conscience, or lack thereof.

A large corporation chose to open a manufacturing facility in Jackson, Minn., a small town in the southwest corner of the state. As the demand for their products increased, the company needed to hire more workers and must have had to import them from elsewhere because the local area simply didn’t have the resources to fill the company’s need.

And my counterpart took the company to task for not looking seriously at the Brainerd area and the empty Wausau plant.

In the military, we had a saying about the five Ps. Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. “Poor” actually had a hyphenated prefix, but decorum prevents me from putting it in here.

Without a lot more information, it’s a real stretch to put this on the company’s conscience; I stand by my previous remark about stupidity ... or very poor planning.

What struck me even more were the comments about how the company relocation has caused a “great strain on the existing infrastructure, public services and the whole area, inhabitants and facilities.” Continuing on, he points out that, “Jackson area schools are understaffed and overwhelmed.”

Can’t all the same problems be found in communities that have experienced the largest influxes of legal and illegal immigrants? And if any of those communities have complained or tried to take actions to limit the impact of the illegal influx, they are excoriated or bullied into submission by our own federal government.

Our own federal government with President Obama at the helm has ignored or circumvented the Constitution on seemingly countless occasions to force cities and states to “suck it up” when confronted with the very same problems pointed out by Mr. Bye.

One could make a strong case that the continuing failure of the federal government to take credible actions to protect the integrity of the nation’s borders seriously compromises our security.

On Aug. 9, 1973, President Richard Nixon resigned his office and Gerald Ford was sworn in shortly thereafter. In his inaugural address, President Ford observed, “My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over. Our Constitution works; our great republic is a government of laws and not of men.”

I hope to be hearing similar sentiments expressed in the next presidential inaugural address, because right now, we seem way too close to a de facto government of one man.

And that’s the way I see it.