December 17, 2010
For years we have been urged to turn in our neighbors for all kinds of crimes. Citizen watch is based on that principle. Our government employees have been urged (at least publicly) to turn in thefts, cronyism, fraud and malfeasance. At one time our children were told to turn in their parents if they smoked pot.
Self examination and self correction for business has not worked very well, has it? There may well be just a bit of vindictiveness, but I am all in favor of protecting anyone who blows the whistle on corporate and financial crimes, questionable practices that should be crimes, and fraud. If someone had turned in the bankers and finance people early, we may well have prevented the catastrophic melt down we are now experiencing everywhere but on Wall Street and among big money players.
I would never let anyone with a dog in the fight be the one who writes the rules. That happens all to frequently in Congress. If business is not doing questionable things it has nothing to fear from investigation. That's what we are told by the Judicial system all the time.
As to the rewards of Whistle Blowing, I feel that 30% is commensurate with the risks faced when one does it. Loss of a job is only the beginning. Who will hire a Whistle Blower once they are fired? How many law suits will be filed against them...all of which must be defended?
Perhaps, if you do this the way Corporate America wants, there will be a Wikileaks for Corporate whistle blowers. People who are angry will do almost anything to assuage that anger. Isn't it better for all of us, not just the top 5%, to have a venue for people of good conscience to report malfeasance and crooks to the proper authorities...and have those authorities take a fair and detailed look at what is actually going on. An honest man or company should not fear such an inquiry. Should they?