Are Corporations People Too?

Thank you Mitt Romney, “Corporations are people too”. I was elated when I read those words from Mitt Romney’s speech in Iowa on August 11, 2012. Here’s why:

I have had several conversation with various industry executives over the past two years, from CEO’s to CFO’s to COO’s and just about every other TLA (three letter acronym) there is in business.

The topic has been around the American hourly or direct worker and the issues they go through financially, day to day, week to week, month to month.

The overwhelming majority of those who I have talked with feel that their workers really do not have those kind of issues.

Fact of the matter is, their workers do have these issues and as corporate leaders, ought to care about these issues as it affects their corporations.

Furthermore, they should try and help their people with this growing situation or continue to suffer the mutual ill effects it causes on their bottom line.

Most of this group are blind to why their people need financial help whether once a month or once a week. Believe me, I have heard it all:

“We pay them a good wage, it’s not our responsibility if they can’t make ends meet.”

“They should manage their money better.”

“If they stayed within their means, they would not be having these issues.”

Corporations are people too.

When Mitt Romney spoke those words, it hit me like a brick. Yes, Mr. Romney, corporations ARE people too!

In most corporations, like all people, they have to eat (Sales) they have to pay bills (obvious) and they even need to make sure they always have gas to keep going (workforce). The comparisons go on and on.

Here’s another similarity. Like people, corporate payments do not line up with cash flow.

So what’s a poor corporation to do?

If they are rich, they have the money. No problems. However if they are like most corporations, that works hard every day, services their customers and does all the things a corporation can do, they get a line of credit.

It’s magical gap financing that helps them get through their lean days, weeks or months.

Corporations don’t have to go to the equivalent of a payday lender, so why do the people who work for these corporations have to face sky high interest and in a lot of cases, debt traps.

I offered my comparison to a CEO recently by his observation that his employees did not need this help, was the same thing as say Apple telling it’s suppliers that they do not need a line of credit because:

We pay them a fair price, they should be able to make ends meet”

“They should manage their money better”

“If they stayed within their budgets, they would not be having issues”

You see, IF corporations were like people, then you have Apple (corporate executives) telling the struggling suppliers (direct workforce) they really do not need a line of credit (help with week to week financial issues).

I went on to explain that it seemed somewhat hypocritical that a CEO, CFO or COO would take the position that their employees did not require help when they themselves, rely heavily on the same kind of help, in the form of a line of credit.

He thought about for a minute (which seemed like an hour) and said: “I agree, now I would like to know more about this Workplace Solution”. LINK

What would you say? Comments welcome.

Is there a way to not use a bank?

With all the “charges”, “fees” and conditions that the banks have I have been thinking about “How not to use a bank”. I admit that this is a very complex item for discussion, but if I am thinking about it, I am sure that there are many more seriously pursuing it.

Here is what I hear from some of the banked consumers About 1/3rd of my wages were going to “fees” and “charges” along with taxes and other crap. Is there a way to not use a bank at all? I would rather spend $20,000 on a safe than have a bank nickel and dime every month. I was just wondering if there was a way to pay for stuff with cash. I tried paying my electric bill with cash and they would not accept the money. They wanted a check, money order or credit card… ***! Is cash worthless now?’

Many would add on to this by saying, you can take money orders but there are fees attached to it, if the bank is not insured you got problems, even if it is insured you are never sure.

There are consumers who are happily banking who would strongly disagree to the above. They boast about how good their banking experience is, not having to pay a fee for withdrawals, using direct deposit, free banking online etc, etc.

They will even be generous enough to refer the troubled to their bank.

Experience of banking customers varies on a case by case basis. It happens over a period of time if one has a disciplined financial accounting process. The deal is that we can never have it our way. It has to be a win-win situation.

So what if I am referred to a new bank by one of my friends or colleagues? Will I get the same benefits that they boast about? Well, it may happen that I may find out that there are conditions, charges or fees that my friends account type, which if I enroll will impact me because of my life style, not my friends!

Finding a win-win situation with a bank is a challenge. Today, when I do a ATM transaction I do take a moment and think if my bank is going to charge me a fee due to some legal paper that I signed while enrolling!

Safir Salihu Contributor