The will of the American people is being subordinated to the demands of giant money-making machines called global corporations that can now spend or threaten to spend unlimited amounts of money in support of any politician.
While their brethren parade to Capitol Hill, three bankers are pioneering new ways to invest in forest preservation, invent disruptive technologies for a clean energy system, and create a price on carbon.
I wonder what it must feel like to be BP CEO Tony Hayward, the most besieged person on the planet and the biggest poster boy for corporate irresponsibility in the wake of an oil spill that's ultimately his personal fault.
For decades we have engaged in a type of capitalism that is simply unsustainable, an approach to industry that is not only bad in some ethical sense, but also fundamentally impractical in a business sense.
The odds are that this spill won't actually be that big of a historical moment. I'm not a cynic, but there's something extraordinarily resilient about Americans' collective indifference to holding people and organizations accountable.
Regardless of how the investigation pans out, it seems that "criminal" may not end up being the right word to describe BP. That term doesn't fully encapsulate the frightening nature of this corporation.
We can't assume that companies like BP and Halliburton will spend the time and money to ensure environmental safety, just like we have learned the hard way that Wall Street will not safeguard our life savings.
The oil spill highlights the inadequacies of our present system. We need a system where large, systemically relevant firms pay into a transparently managed national clean up and environmental restitution fund.
Most CEOs agree that over the course of the last decade, it has become more important for firms to show that they are socially responsible. The case for corporate social responsibility is based on a few simple premises.
Leaving often seems like the clear-cut ethical winner in this debate. There often is, however, a case for companies to stay as well, especially if they can help usher in greater respect for human rights.
What strikes me about the Mahabharata is the emphasis on character development and integrity before skills are bestowed. Were this rule applied in business schools today, the BP rig leak may never have happened.
To create a better future, leaders and aspiring leaders must first envision their company as an authentically "good company" -- and then summon the creativity and the resiliency to overcome the obstacles that await.