I have to say that when President Obama (nice ring to it, eh?) was chastising CEO execs over their "shameful" actions and irresponsibility with finances and their personal salaries/compensation packages; I was shocked. I honestly was.
I sat looking stunned for a few moments and listened more...then it hit me. President Obama must have never worked for a Fortune 500 company before. I'm sure that if you go to an employee of XXX, Inc. and ask them about financial corruption and so forth, their response would be, "Yeah, and???"
The snip of video that I saw on ABC said it all: The CEO's were seated behind a desk begging for money. When a senator asked what was being done in order to help get their financial issue under control, the CEO rattled off dozens of "corporate america buzz words." The senator let him finish his gibberish and then said, "Now tell me in English." The CEO stammered and looked uncomfortable until the senator offered a suggestion: "How much do you make as a salary?" he asked.
The CEO hesitantly said, "7 million dollars in salary and 1.5 million stock options of company stock." The senator looked disgusted (I was enjoying this part of watching a CEO squirm) and asked, "Do you think you could pare down the salary and options a bit? I mean, you are laying off thousands of employees and you seem content to do that and keep a rather large compensation package." The CEO mulled it over for a few seconds and then slightly smiled at the senator. "I'm doing okay, thanks anyway."
Instead of getting a laugh to ease the situation, he got uncomfortable silence for almost a minute. Almost as if people couldn't believe that he admitted it and said it. And, he didn't mind screwing over his employees as long as he could live an extravagant lifestyle.
That CEO has been my experience in every big conglomerate corporate giant. When he made his last statement, I was furious. While I'm not one of his casualties, I felt so badly for the ones who worked for this sorry excuse of a human being. I was also furious because it reminded me of all the blood, sweat and tears I shed when I worked for corporations such as his. All the anxiety, the office politics, the invisible eggshells that lay on the floor daring us to not crack or break as we move about.
I'm still furious. So, when you appear surprised at the actions of these senior level employees of their greed, I'm jealous that I can't be surprised too.
So, the question "Is Corporate America corrupt?"
Slightly smiling I would reply, "DUH, Ya THINK?"