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Saturday, May 17, 2014

GM's $35 Million Fine: The Right Punishment?

General Motors received the largest fine that the federal government could levy as a result of corporate lawbreaking that resulted in more than 30 deaths of U.S. citizens.  The amount sounds large, but it is a pittance against GM multi-billion-dollar annual revenue and it certainly is not enough to compensate the families of the dead.
     I wonder:  The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that corporations, like General Motors, are considered as "people"--associations of individuals--for the purposes of being able to invest in political campaigns.  Perhaps, then, they should be considered as"people" when they commit crimes.  In this case, this particular association of individuals has been responsible, thus far, with the deaths of more than 30 other individual citizens through recklessness and purposeful hiding of information about the danger their product represented.  Perhaps, in a case like this, individuals responsible should be charged with criminal negligence resulting in 30+ deaths.
     Corporations should not have it both ways.



G.M. Is Fined Over Safety and Called a Lawbreaker - NYTimes.com