by Locker Room contributor
In his latest “Value Driven” column for Fortune, Geoff Colvin tackles the business-bashing mindset that prompted President Obama to blast “fat-cat bankers” and that animates congressional debate over a new “Wall Street tax” on the financial services industry.
None of those sanctions will achieve their goals, because the intended victims can evade them or pass along the costs; they’ll just throw a bit of sand in the gears and impose a burden of inefficiency on everyone. Instead, these moves are all about payback: Voters love them because they punish the sector of society that so many blame for the recession and their own poor financial state. Unhappiness with the current state of affairs is entirely rational, but …
Blaming business is not only nuts, but also dangerous. It’s nuts because if you really want to name those who caused the recent recession, the list is long: stupid and shortsighted companies for sure, but also a government that encouraged and mandated risky lending as well as millions of people who willingly took on mortgages they never should have.