As each day goes by in the fiscal cliff debate, President Obama becomes stronger among the masses that view this as a fight between very rich guys against little guys barely making ends meet. Beyond the publicly fighting over tax policy, there is a battle waging in an area that businesses cherish most of all - the bottom line. It's all about greed and the notion of how much money is enough.
There is a growing consensus that profits should max out at some point and anything beyond that point is greed - the kind that hurts Americans.
I don't buy the argument, but I'm not walking through life with blinders, headphones, and getting my news from Comedy Central. More than elections are going to be lost if there isn't some way to educate the masses in ways that pierce limited attention spans and avenues of influence. The lure of socialism and disdain for even moderate success makes for a lethal broth equal to economic Kool-Aid.
There has to be a counter argument but that spokesperson hasn't materialized. It just can't be the Donald, or Romney, or anyone else that had a foot-up on the rest at birth, regardless of how impressive their personal journeys have been. The same thing on the political front, there has to be someone that can connect the dots on how strong American businesses with a laser-like focus on the bottom line propelled the nation to the top and have kept us there.
Of course, employee prosperity is critical and doing business in a way that mitigates impact to the environment matters. But these things are a given for long term success. What company wants to retrain workers over and over or ruin the world they serve? It's not a rhetorical question and the answer is a handful, but those companies become flashpoints and the source of movies hinting that all businesses operate in similar vein.
While that search for articulate spokespeople goes on, the business world has to figure out how to handle the onslaught of higher taxes and regulations and less support from the public and current customers. The problem will go beyond neat advertising campaigns and placating photos on websites and annual reports. Customers aren't saying they don't want goods and services, only that they want them with limited profit margins.
So, despite the fact that Uncle Ben has been promoted company CEO, it wouldn't stop a public relations campaign looking to portray the company as greedy, mean-spirited, or out of touch with emerging values, especially among younger people. Or if there had to be adjustments to account for higher taxes and more regulations. Where does this leave most businesses, especially those that are publicly traded?