When all is said and done, the field for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination is going to be an absolute mess. We’re honestly looking at a situation where we might have somewhere between 10-15 candidates participating at a few of these debates. It’s going to make 2012 look tame by comparison.
And while each of those individuals would make an absolutely awful president in their own right, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina might end up being the most despicable candidate of the entire bunch.
While Republicans have often perpetuated the idea that we need a “business person” in charge of the country, insinuating the belief that the best person to know how to create jobs is someone who’s created them, those of us who’ve worked for large corporations know that they honestly couldn’t care less about creating jobs. The only time most of these companies really ever create jobs is when they absolutely have to. Otherwise it’s typically cut, reduce, downsize or consolidate as much as possible to squeeze every bit of productivity they can out of the smallest pool of workers possible. There’s a reason why over the last few decades the production output of the American worker has gone up while wages have remained stagnate. Companies are working us harder and longer, while paying us less and less when compared with inflation.
And guess what? Fiorina is exactly one of those CEOs who sees human beings as expendable assets. During her time as CEO of HP she was viewed upon by many in the tech world as an absolute train wreck and was eventually forced to resign by the board of directors in 2005.
During her unsuccessful 2010 campaign to unseat California Sen. Barbara Boxer, the California senator ran an ad stating:
“As CEO of HP, Carly Fiorina laid off 30,000 workers. Fiorina shipped jobs to China. And while Californians lost their jobs, Fiorina tripled her salary, bought a million-dollar yacht and five corporate jets.”
And while most campaign ads have only a sliver of truth (if any at all), this one was rated by non-partisan fact-checking site Politifact as “Mostly True.” The only caveat they found was that with a company as large as HP, it was impossible to know for certain over the long run if the layoffs were better for business, but they don’t at all dispute that she laid off 30,000 workers while tripling her salary as CEO.
If that doesn’t define a lack of ethics in its truest form at the executive level I don’t know what does. She was literally rewarded for putting 30,000 people out of work. How many jobs could those five corporate jets have paid for? And not only all of that, but by most accounts she was terrible at her job.
Hell, HP is still struggling to recover and become the tech giant it once was after she damn near ran it into the ground.
Besides, aren’t Republicans the ones always rallying against “elites” who don’t understand the plight of the average American? Well her father was a law professor and a federal judge; she’s worth around $80 million; she was educated at Stanford, Maryland and MIT; and she was the CEO of a major tech company – that pretty much defines what it means to be “one of the elites.”
But what Fiorina exemplifies more than anything is exactly what’s wrong with the corporate world and a big part of our society in general. She’s someone who was in charge of a company that laid off thousands of workers while rewarding those at the top for doing so. At a time when taxes were low, Republicans were in charge and tech companies were taking off – she managed to nearly run one into the ground, while somehow tripling her salary and walking away with a “golden parachute” of around $40 million in compensation, just as our entire economy was being engulfed in the worst economic crash since the Great Depression.
Nothing like getting a $40 million severance package after nearly running a company into the ground. I wonder how many of the 30,000 workers she laid off, many of whom probably performed their jobs well (unlike her), were given such a package?
So, while candidates like Cruz, Paul and Rubio have garnered much more attention, with Carly Fiorina’s entrance into the 2016 GOP primary we’ve seen possibly the most corrupt and unethical candidate of the entire bunch – which is saying something considering the group of liars she’s standing alongside.
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