Good Business Practices

Volkswagen is terribly sorry about the mess. You know, programming an emissions-control gizmo so it would work only during test sessions, as might be run during a vehicle inspection. Out on the road though, hang on baby, diesel goodies coming your way.

They did it for the customers’ benefit, you understand. Would have cost VW an extra $350 a vehicle to include full-time emissions control. Adjust that for profit margins and wrapping and packing — or whatever the term is in the automotive trade — and it could have bumped the sticker price up by, and I’m guessing here but it won’t be far off, close to a thousand dollars.

Oops? The Bug now costs a thousand more? Maybe I’ll see what Fiat has to offer. Or GM.

So as good business practice demands, VW continued for eight years to hoodwink the public and inspectors. Now it’s going to cost them a big hit in market image and upwards of 25 billion dollars in repairs and fines.

And us? We are breathing air that is just that little bit more polluted than we thought it was. (Pay attention. Basic argument coming.)

Volkswagen was not alone in this scam. How many times have we found out some large corporation had rigged the game, doctored the books, switched the bait, bought off the regulators. And then when the shit hit the fan — as occasionally it does — how many times have they pleaded ignorance or missed communication, how many times have they cried they were being mistreated when ordered to clean up the shit and pay restitution to those shat upon?

Compare the life style of an ordinary Bangladeshi who’s forced to live and raise a family in the muck, with that of a corporate CEO whose multi-million dollar condo is fifty stories above it.

In one frustrating way, it’s the difference between Ralph Nader and Donald Trump.


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