Do Not Pass Go…

September 29, 2008 at 11:18 pm | Posted in Business, Hartford, School | Leave a comment
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There is a frightening undercurrent sweeping through our country. 

I was in class this evening (for my MBA), when a student proceeded to give a presentation declaring that  CEO compensation should be limited by the government. In Business School I heard this.

And the other students agreed. In fact, most of the other students agreed. Now, I can understand this opinion being thrown around in a union hall. Or at the University of Vermont. Or Cuba. But this was Business School! At an MBA program located in the insurance capital of the world (that’s Hartford, for you non-Hartfordites). The insurance industry – a business who’s very existence is predicated on the fact that they believe they are selling you something that you will never, ever use. These are the people that had an ethical issue with CEO compensation.

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened; this past summer, students in my Business Law class argued vehemently that the state should pass a law requiring businesses to offer paid maternity leave for everyone. They also pushed hard for an increase in the minimum wage.

These people (my fellow students) want the government to set the minimum wage. They want the government to set the maximum wage. The government should then dictate your benefits, health plan, and vacation time. Uncle Sam should regulate which markets you play in (can’t have a Monopoly) and the goods you can sell. And finally, when your business has utterly and completely failed under this crushing yoke of regulation, the government should buy a controlling stake in your company with taxpayer money.

It is no wonder that these students are all so enthused to finish the MBA program and go off to run a business: they are abdicating all of their decisions to the government. Running a business in this new economy is like being the designated hitter at a T-Ball game. You can’t fail and you can’t be blamed for anything because somebody else set up all the equipment. It’s nothing but upside.

What shocks me the most is that I’m encountering these opinions in Business School. I truly thought that this would be one of the last great bastions of capitalism. If not here, then where? If this is the overwhelmingly popular opinion of our future business leaders, what must the rest of the country be thinking?

This is beyond the pale, folks. Last train to crazy town stuff. This is Ayn Rand off the page and into our headlines. It’s not supposed to happen like this.

Not here.

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