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Cheaters Never Win

Posted by Larry Doyle on February 12, 2009 7:34 PM |

While our country has had high profile cheats such as Bernie Madoff, Barry Bonds, and the crowd from Enron amongst MANY others, we have other cheats permeating our lives every day. Tim Geithner offered that “he screwed up” on his taxes and Alex Rodriguez claimed that he was young and naive from 2001-2003 when he took steroids. In my opinion, I believe both of these individuals are representative of a society that has become far too lax in tolerating a lack of decency and integrity. This is not good business!!

In the midst of the current economic turmoil, we all want to look for individuals, groups, parties, and/or industries that are culpable and direct our indignation towards them. While we may gain some sort of short term gratification, are we changing the nature of the dialogue and in turn the course of our country? I think not.

The opportunity for the “silent majority” within the American public to voice their opinion, promote real core values of decency and accountability, and “lead” our country has never been greater.

The greatness of our country is in its diversity, but those who would swamp our core values of decency and accountability in pursuit of their own commercial success has vastly exceeded the level of acceptability. I am fully tolerant of those who make mistakes to be allowed the opportunity to make recompense and move on. However, in light of the current dynamics at work in the markets, economy, and society as a whole, I believe we are paying the price for the long term erosion of a set of core values founded on decency and integrity.

Where do we see this erosion? I guess the question could be posed as, where don’t we see it?

Sports….within every league, the pursuit of the almighty buck has decimated the virtue of decency and integrity. Speak up and don’t patronize those teams and organizations that condone cheating.

Politics…from both sides of the aisle, politicians collect excessive money and “buy” elections, rework districts, “pay to play,” cheat on taxes, and throw ridiculously exuberant celebrations. Inundate your representatives with messages of disgust. Let them know that a bill (the stimulus bill includes provisions that restrict bidding to union labor) that restricts a fair and competitive bidding process from both union and non-union labor is UNACCEPTABLE!!

Music…the invasion of vulgarity in every form into this medium far exceeds the freedom of expression. The same can be said for film. Don’t patronize them.

Families…when a father does not take the responsibility for bringing a child into this world, he is cheating the society that very often pays the cost. 70% of African American newborns enter this country into single parent units. 50% of Hispanics and 30+% of Caucasians. If Barack Obama wants to talk about RESPONSIBILITY, then let’s start right here!!

Business….why is it 2009 before women are paid equal wages to men? Why do business executives promote excessive profit versus doing the right thing by their employees and customers? Be vocal in your support of businesses that operate with integrity and equally vocal in your contempt of those that don’t.

While we can debate and discuss Stimulus Plans, Financial Stability Plans, market volatility, recessions (if not depressions), and so on, the real debate before our country at this moment in time is actually much larger than any of this.

Who are we as a people? What do we truly want for our children and grandchildren? What degree of sacrifice are we willing to make for future generations?

Will we be the leaders we want and know that we need? This is OUR country. I implore you to become that much more vocal in your own communities for the voice of decency and integrity. In doing so, we will be promoting good business principles. I firmly believe that by changing the nature of the dialogue, we can change the nature of our business and economy. Our markets may then begin to improve. Unless and until that happens, I am not encouraged that we will see the improvement that many political and business pundits would have us believe. While some may think cheating can be viewed in isolation, a society that tolerates cheating en masse is destined to failure. Cheaters NEVER win.

Share the voice of reason. Let us talk the talk, walk the walk, and be the leaders that our country needs!!!

Sorry if some view this as preaching but I, like many of you, am past the point of accepting the multiple corrosive aspects of our society that create a cesspool for our economy as a whole.


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