Recently the U.S. government accused five Chinese military officers of having roles in hacking American companies to steal trade secrets. The Chinese, of course, denied the charges but the matter did get Mr. Crumb to thinking. What would it be like for U.S. companies to have our government “bend” the rules for us the way the People’s Republic of China allegedly aids and abets unfair/irresponsible/illegal activities carried out by Chinese business concerns?
It wouldn’t take Mr. Crumb long to say, “No thanks.”
Oh sure, it would be nice to compete on a more level playing field, and the old “eye-for-an-eye” rule has some appeal (we at RubberForm ourselves suspect instances of patent infringement by Chinese companies). After all, it gets tiresome always playing Dudley Do-Right to your competitor’s Snidely Whiplash. But honestly, there’s more value in doing things the right way.
Like most U.S. companies, we at RubberForm occasionally take issue with some of the regulations imposed by the Federal government as well as by our state governments. Laws governing business operations inevitably drive up costs and, in specific instances, they might not be especially worthwhile. However we know that efforts to protect the environment, promote worker safety, and ensure consumer well-being are ultimately indispensable to peacefully living in a shared world.
It’s true that research and development require a greater investment than industrial espionage. And manufacturing shortcuts, inferior raw materials and cheap labor get a product to market at a lower price than quality workmanship and living wages. But any business that depends on stealing another company’s ideas is always going to be in the position of playing catch-up. And a company that takes care in its production processes and emphasizes pride in its brand will see real dollar dividends from happier employees and more satisfied customers.
As a company whose business is making green products from scrap tire rubber and recycled plastic, we trust that there’s truth in the concept of “doing well by doing good.” But regardless of the financial outcome, we’re happier with a government that isn’t an accomplice to crimes. For in striving to consistently operate in a fair and responsible manner, we’re confident of providing one essential product benefit to our customers, our resellers and ourselves—peace of mind.