I have been CEO and founder of a regionally recognized business that built an international client base (multi-million dollar in receipts) as well as a corporate officer in a publicly-held firm. I was listening to CNBC this morning, a cable network that claims to be The Place for Business. Some broadcasters on that show (as well as GOP leadership), are consistently spouting conservative economic ideology and defending tax cut/deregulation policy as a way to stimulate job creation and economic growth. Well, as CNBC is The Place for Business, I decided that I would place these ideologues before the Board of Directors of a business that has reviewed corporate performance under the policies they promoted.
The following ensues.
“We have called you before the board today because we have reviewed corporate performance under your policies. We agreed to put your policies in place because we were sold on what you promised – that these policies would stimulate investment in our corporation and grow our business. Frankly, we are appalled at what has transpired as is outlined in the handout we have provided (see below).
The policies you have promoted have consistently produced deficits that outran the growth of our revenue, and the debt we have incurred has weakened our balance sheet. You have told us that the debt we incurred is due to irresponsible spending on the part of the corporation when in fact the largest single contributor to our burgeoning debt (48%) was the policy you said would stimulate our business and only 7% is attributable to increases in discretionary corporate spending. Regarding growth of our business, we have not seen the stimulative effects; during times that your policies have been in place our business grew at 10.7% as opposed to 12.6% when your policies were not in place and when our business grew at a rate faster than the debt we incurred. Additionally, the lack of growth is supported by the consistently depressed hiring we have experienced under your policies. Our corporation’s infrastructure is deteriorating, in need of modernization, and we lack the capital to train our workforce and increase our competitiveness. You state that the way to turn our business around and balance our books is simply to cut spending. We, and our shareholders, deem that what we need is a mix of targeted spending cuts to decrease waste as well as capital influx to fuel our future growth. Regarding our customer service initiative, the debt we have incurred under your policies has placed us at risk of cutting back on services that a broad base of our customers say they want from us. And, we are more than offended that the money we borrowed and the debt we incurred to support your policies, debt that is affecting our current and future shareholders, has actually been invested to the benefit of our competitors.
Now, we, don’t care to listen to your words and business ideology any longer. We are focused on the outcomes and are quite taken back by your continued claims that these policies are in the best interest of our business, our customers, and our shareholders, and we will no longer listen that the solution is simply more of the same. We have not taken kindly to your strong arm tactics to get what you want while placing our business at risk. Our shareholders are the true owners of our business; our obligation is to them, and they have made it clear what they want from us.
Now, we the board, are also fans of Jack Welch, as we know you are, who during his time heading GE replaced the bottom 10% of his corporation each year. And, guess what, that’s where you fall. You are free to take your business policies elsewhere. You’re fired.”