I am getting close to crossing the line, I think.  Yesterday I saw a fellow in his mid 60’s who was wearing a startlingly red polo shirt with “Deloitte & Touche” embroidered on it.  I asked if his shirt came with a bonus?  As he got into his brand new, candy apple red Corvette convertible, I said, “I guess it does.”  D & T is not a bank.  However, they audit and advise banks, etc. on taxes and such, and claim to be ethical.  I wonder where they have been for the last eight or ten years or so.  Oh yeah, they have been buying new Corvettes.  We all know how ethical they must have been.  Maybe that’s not fair.  Maybe they have been the lone voice in the wilderness that has become our economic wasteland.

Speaking of ethical, how about that new movie that is about to be released?  “The Box” is about offering someone a million dollars if they hit the button in a box, with the catch being that someone they do not know is going to die.  I of course, have not seen the movie because it hasn’t been released yet.  Before discussing what I think would be a marvelous twist to the plot, I would like to examine what has been revealed so far.

Basically it is about someone getting rich at the direct expense of another’s hardship, (Eaugh! Death—the ultimate hardship).  However, that other person is a stranger.  But, this happens every day.  Banks and bankers are getting rich and richer while everyday someone is losing their house, their job, their health insurance, one of the above, or all of the above.  In essence, investment bankers are hitting the button, walking away with millions while condemning thousands to untold suffering, military fodder, and misery.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for rewarding good behavior and productivity.  However, at some point, gratuitous rewarding becomes obscene.  If a people could live comfortably, for the rest of their lives, on two or three million dollars, then what is the point of bonuses or salaries beyond that amount.  Doesn’t the head of a healthcare corporation, taking home $200,000,000,1 doing so because people are actually dying?  I mean, C’mon folks.  This has to stop.

This egregious profit taking has to become universally unacceptable.  Taxes need to redistribute this income and healthcare needs to be restructured so this cannot happen.  Banks should not be allowed to keep profits while people are being thrown out onto the streets because of loans that never should have been written.

As for the ironic twist to this “Black Box” thing, I would like to see that the “stranger” who is killed by the button would actually be the person who previously pushed the button.  Wouldn’t that be fitting?

Have I crossed the line yet?

1 CEO Compensation in the Health Care Industry