“We whould have a corporate death penalty.” Says Timothy Hermach.
I beg your pardon? I would say people shouldn’t kill each other.
“I mean, we should have the option of ending a corporate entity when it is knowingly harmful and dishonest about it. If satisfactory corporate accountability is to be obtained such that the public health and well-being becomes paramount rather than corporate profits, we must hold both the corporation and the people making the decisions—the officers and directors—fully and completely liable. These companies should receive the ‘corporate death penalty.’ This means the seizure of all their corporate and personal assets and imprisonment of the business leaders.”
Which companies would be the first to be terminated and executed?
“Think of chemical and tobacco companies, or lumber companies liquidating forests which are the lungs of the earth. But there’s more. We feed our children junk food which makes them ill. We’re given medicines that are killing us. We drive cars that pollute the environment. These are crimes against nature and humanity. And some of these crimes are deliberately and on a very large scale. In the meantime, the CEOs, the members of the Board of Directors and the Senior Executives just laugh at the insignificant fines they need to pay every once in a while, and that’s it.”
What about shareholders?
“Shareholders must share the risk for bad corporate behaviour. Why? Because shareholders are also pushing corporations for higher returns at the cost of whatever. Corporations should not be allowed to ‘make’ money by liquidating the earth or causing harm to our health or the environment.”
Who would be the judge?
“How about the International Court of Justice? It must be somebody whose moral values are not determined by money and who will not be corrupted. But we must also never forget that all these corporate killers have an alternative. Everyone knows businesses can be sustainable and act in a just and honest way and still make money. But why should they, when we let them get away with murder? I believe this corporate death penalty need not be implemented too often before corporate leaders will self-police themselves. But nothing will ever change until we begin to hold corporations fully accountable.”
Timothy Hermach is founder and president of the Native Forest Council, which wants to protect and preserve “every acre of publicly owned land in the United States” (www.forestcouncil.org).