So the Don, (Argus, that is), is copping flack for asserting that the only valid measure of a business is dollars.
First off, he’s an ex-banker. What did you expect?
But he does have a point. We wouldn’t measure a heavyweight boxer’s performance by how fast he could run a mile, right. Although, I can imagine times when the skill might come in handy.
Dollars are why businesses are started, bought or operated. Do you know anyone who kicked off a business planning to make a loss? No, neither do I.
And we measure boxers’ performance by punches landed, knockouts achieved.
But we humans being the weird creatures that we are, will do pretty much anything to achieve a goal. Especially those of us of the male persuasion. If we didn’t have referees at pugilistic events blood would be let. Think gladiators, mangled bodies, thumbs down.
As a society we’re - mostly – not crazy about public pain infliction. Unless you count listening to an Alan Jones rant. So we find ways of striking a balance between what matters to us and what matters to the boxers; of containing the, er, excesses. We have referees and strict rules.
Likewise, we need referees for business; referees with enough power to control corporate behavior because ethics go out the door when the smell of big bucks comes in through the window.
Business is in business for money but we live for a few other things. And there will always be conflict between them.
So, inadvertantly, the Dear Old Donald pointed out two things with his comment.
First, he explained exactly why we must have proper, effective regulations in place for all businesses, because the corporate measure, money, will always be in conflict with society’s measure, quality of life.
And second, why self regulation never, ever works. Never has, never will, in any industry. Because it sets up a fundamental conflict of interest. And we humans don’t do conflict of interests well, especially when one of the interests is money.
I wonder if Don realised what he was admitting to.