08-23-2011 by Linda S. Carbonell
Billionaire Las Vegas developer and casino/resort owner Steve Wynn, who’s only been able to hit #208 on the Forbes 400 with a net worth of $1.9 billion, recently praised the “business climate” in communist China. He loves the “human resources environment” where the government tells people they will work for him, trains them for the jobs he needs filled and provides their health care and even housing in some industries. He loves the lack of environmental regulations, or much in the way of regulations governing business practices. The 60-year-old insists that Federal regulations are a bane to his existence, even tough as a casino and resort owner, he is subject to very few Federal regulations. The Feds don’t have a Gaming Commission. Wynn hates having a government that makes him responsible for protecting his employees, but appreciates having a government support his businesses up the wahzoo.
The news from Beijing yesterday makes one wonder if Wynn understands the real price of doing business in China. Ma Cheng, 55, Chairman of the Board of China Railway Signal & Communications dropped dead of an apparent heart attack just as government investigations arrived at his office in relation to the July high-speed bullet train crash that killed 40 in Wenzhou in eastern China. The crash was originally blamed on a lightening strike, and then on a failure of the signaling devices that Cheng’s company makes.
Heart attack or suicide, Mr. Cheng’s death is a typical result of corporate failure in China. If the CEO doesn’t take his own life, the state will take it from him. Failure is not an option in China.
One wonders if Mr. Wynn or any of this fellow billionaires, people like the Koch brothers and the Waltons, would be willing to put their lives on the line for their businesses. Would they be willing to commit suicide if their companies had a bad quarter or if people died because of a failure of their service or product? Would they fight against a death sentence in court if they were held responsible for a faulty railroad signal or an accidental high level of lead in a paint? They have made it plain that they oppose living wages, union protections, employer-provided health insurance, nationalized health systems, taxes, environmental laws, regulations to protect consumers and employees, zoning laws. Would they be willing to stake their own lives in lieu of this “invasive” government intrusion into their ability to increase their wealth?
How about it, Mr. Wynn? Are you willing to die for your state-supported businesses in China?