Yesterday I published a post on my contrarian blog in which I suggested that the huge $1.2 Billion fine imposed on Toyota by US regulators was excessive. I argued that this and similar huge fines recently used to punish banks, BP and others were excessive, way out of proportion to the damage caused. Effectively a new, lucrative tax and a convenient method of redistributing wealth from foreign shareholders to the US fiscus.
I do not suggest that illegal or negligent practices that result in death or injury should go unpunished, I don’t want to open the same debate here, if you feel so inclined leave a comment on the post itself.
The reaction to the scale of the fines which I have read or heard is very interesting. It is generally, but not exclusively split between those who believe we have a duty to chart our own course through life, with all its ups and downs. Versus those who believe that the government should look after them and “The Man” and evil corporations are always out to get the “little person”.
Many of the former express concern at the scale of the fines and the dictatorial attitude of the regulators. Most in the latter believe that the government should punish big business as much as possible.
Of course, those with vested interests, people working for other auto manufacturers for example, view the Toyota punishment with some satisfaction.
My question to you is: Do you accept that you are in charge of your own destiny, responsible for your future?
Or do you believe that we are all pawns to be moved around or knocked out of the game by big business and big government?
Leave a comment with your thoughts.