Corporate corruption or business as Usual economics homework help
DT2 is a bit tough as we’re in summer vacation season with fuel prices a bit high (but lower than last year) and wallets and 401(K)s drained from continued months of economic travails and stagnate economic growth. Several summers ago we watched oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico from the collapsed BP oil rig, bankrupting families and businesses along the US Gulf coast. The same has recently happened in California but not to the extent as along the Gulf. Over the past several Labor Day weekends more oil washed up on Louisiana’s shores and throughout the summer Gulf fisheries (and tourism) have been impacted. We could also be considering the Takata air bag recall that is going on now but that’s probably too personal. No one wants to think that our cars could harm us! Instead, letâ€™s consider who gets â€œblamedâ€ and who gets punished? We have an ample menu of corporate and political scandals from which to choose and in upcoming 2016 Presidential race, the menu will expand. In prior semesters, aside from the well known Lehman Brothers, Enron, Tyco, HealthSouth, and a few others, pickings were getting a bit slim and examples were getting somewhat staid. A Tyco/Enron era AP article of a couple of years ago implied that the sentencing of Tycoâ€™s Kozlowski and Swartz indicated that the “pendulum ha(d) swung too far”, meaning that corporate executives convicted of felonies were being sentenced to harsher prison terms than would-be mass murders, referencing the 22-year sentence of Ahmed Ressam, who plotted to bomb the Los Angeles airport a year or so prior to the article. This may have been dispelled with the recent Boston Bomber verdict, a pure criminal intent case. Today, the Enron and Tyco spotlights have faded; Boeing hasn’t had a good scandal in several years, Martha Stewartâ€™s saga is history; and we can look forward to new stories before the judicial bench with defendants from both the corporate and political worlds. Maybe, in a year or so, some CEO or former presidential candidate will argue that white-collar sentencing has gotten too extreme but I doubt if many will lend a sympathetic ear.
My question is this: Have criminal convictions and the accompanying sentencing, along with societal reaction to breaches of business ethics created a synergism that punishes the white-collar criminal too harshly; or, is a stiff sentence still needed to “send a message”; or has the publicâ€™s focus been blurred, that is, corporate corruption and political scandals are â€œold newsâ€ and the stumbling but improving economy is still the topicde jure.