Econ. 12; 8:00 – 9:05
Extra Credit Story
Eight Days Ago:
“I was inside the company building looking for a place where I would be safe. If I could elude the men that chased me, I could buy myself enough time to leave the country. I didn’t believe that I was guilty, but I was scared and I couldn’t think of anything else to do. All I wanted to do was make my product cheaper so that more people could afford it. Now, the government was hunting me as if I was a criminal! Ironically, in the eyes of the law, I was. I ran down the long hallway that led to the Regional Manager’s office and ducked underneath his desk.” Mr. Rollins paused, recalling the events as if they had happened yesterday. “A few minutes passed and I did not hear any sounds. I was reluctant to leave this hiding spot so soon, but my curiosity got the better of me. I peaked around the corner of the large mahogany table. With no one in sight, I quietly tiptoed towards the door and began opening it. At that moment, two large men grabbed me from around the corner and placed me under arrest. That was over two years ago.”
“Now, Mr. Rollins,” said Erwin Shustak, one of the best Corporate Attorneys in the nation, “the government has charged you with committing Treasonous Acts against the citizens of the United States, why should we believe any differently?”
“My company makes computers and the cost that consumers pay for the computers comes from mostly labor costs. I found a way to reduce labor costs, which reduced the price of each computer by over 10%. More people were able to afford our computers, people who bought computers had extra money left over to spend on other things that they wanted, and our company experienced an enormous spike in sales. Due to our increase in revenue, we were able to expand our company, which created jobs for construction workers, architects, software designers, and computer programmers.”
“Thank you Mr. Rollins,” said Mr. Shustak as he returned to his seat.
“You say you have not committed any crime?” questioned Jack McCoy, Assistant District Attorney and one of the top prosecution lawyers in the country. “You have told us how you increased your corporate revenue, but the manner in which you have done so is against the law! Mr. Rollins, please explain to court members how you lowered your labor costs?”
“We opened factories in countries, such as India and China, and hired the local labor from those countries.”
“And you don’t think that taking perfectly good jobs from Americans is a crime! You don’t think that breaking the law is a crime! Couldn’t you cut costs in other ways? Perhaps using tables made from wood that is less extravagant than mahogany?”
“That’s not what happened!” said Rollins defensively. “We have created more jobs with the money that we saved on labor costs. The millions of people who buy our products are saving money and we are helping the global economy as well. As for the people who have lost their jobs, they can easy further their education to stay competitive in the job market, or they can become entrepreneurs and start up their own company. And it’s true, we like to give our employees well-furnished offices because that gives them an incentive to work. If they work hard they are rewarded with corner offices, mahogany tables, and stock options. If we did not offer incentives to our workers to do well they might as well be working for the government! If the law requires us to use labor that is less competent and more expensive, then the law is wrong!”
McCoy stood in shock. He could not believe how delusional Kevin Rollins was. As he carefully planned his response to Rollins’ testimony, he thought of something very clever.
“So you think the law is wrong?” McCoy questioned. “I suppose the next thing you will say is that the minimum wage law is wrong because people don’t deserve to paid at least a certain amount? Perhaps the rent control law is wrong because building owners should be able to set any price they feel is just? Or maybe, you think that our entire system of law and order is wrong to begin with?”
Rollins was tempted to fire back. He had met types like Jack McCoy before that did not see the benefit of a free enterprise system. They did not realize that minimum wage reduced low paying jobs and hurt the poor, the very people minimum wage was trying to protect, and it coerced people into selling their labor legally for a minimum amount, they did not realize that rent control created poorly maintained buildings and unsafe living conditions, they did not realize that law enforcement would be better if it was privatized because government police have no incentive to help the public since there is very little accountability and reward. A privatized police force would have customers to please and they would produce swift results. Even the judicial system would be much faster, unlike in its present form where it is always tied up with litigation. Rollins was now a shining example of the problem with government-enforced law. He was arrested over two years ago. Since he was rich, he could afford to post bail. However, he could not leave the city until the trial was over because the government was scared that he would attempt to flee the country. This hurt his business contacts and even caused him to miss his brother’s wedding. Rollins thought better than to question the way society is run in the forum that he was in, and simply responded by nodding his head in affirmation.
McCoy could not comprehend how someone could think that the law was wrong. Publicly elected officials make the law; it is the will of the people! Confident that he had proved his case to the jury that Mr. Rollins’ distorted perception of the law was illegal, he ended his cross-examination.
“That is all for today. Counsels can make their closing statements tomorrow. We will reconvene at eight AM.” With that, the Judge ended the day of heated testimony.
Seven Days Ago:
“Kevin Rollins is not a bad person. The government would have you believe that he is a profit-seeking, money-hungry, heartless computer company owner who hired foreign labor so that his stock value would increase three cents. The truth of the matter is that Kevin Rollins is a hard-working American, just like you. He built his company from the ground up and has given jobs to hundreds of thousands of people. The government wants you to forget the people that have benefited from lower prices, the people who could not previously afford computers but now own one, the fact that hiring people from other countries makes the global economy better, or the fact that over the past ten years, his company has hired more workers than they have laid off. The government wants you to focus on those that have been hurt by his company’s tactics. The people who did not keep up with modern technology and were no longer able to do their job as well as others. When you are debating whether to convict Kevin Rollins, think about this: Is it just to have a law that hurts millions of people for the benefit of a few?” With that, Mr. Shustak sat next to his client.
Jack McCoy stood up from his seat; in his mind he was wondering what more the jury needed to hear to find Kevin Rollins guilty. “The question here is not whether Kevin Rollins did what was right or wrong. Does an admitted serial killer deserve to die? Maybe, but it is not your right to take his life. Killing him would be illegal. Kevin Rollins has taken jobs away from U.S. Citizens. It’s not as if he moved a McDonald’s to India and a few people who were making minimum wage lost their jobs. Kevin Rollins took jobs that pay six figures in America and moved them to countries like China and India, where people are willing to work for half the price. Not only does he exploit those workers, but he is hurting Americans. There are hundreds of Americans that his company has laid off, not just programmers and software engineers, but technical support workers as well. Why has he done this? Corporate greed. The defense was correct in saying that I want you to believe Kevin Rollins has done all of this so that his stock price would increase by a few pennies. I want you to believe that because that is the truth. Corporate greed will eventually eliminate America’s hard-working middle class, if you allow this trend of outsourcing to continue. Right now, it’s only a problem in the computer industry. Before you know it, every job will be sent to another country. Kevin Rollins would like you to believe that he only outsourced jobs that were performed better by people overseas, and that may be true. However, what’s stopping other companies from sending jobs overseas that are done almost as well by foreigners? In order to stop this terrifying epidemic you must find Kevin Rollins guilty of Treasonous Acts against citizens of the United States. Treasonous Acts against people like you.”
“All rise. The Honorable Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly Presiding.”
The Judge took her seat and began to speak. “Please be seated. Members of the jury, I am told that you are unable to reach a verdict. Is there any reason to believe that further deliberation would help?”
The Foreman seemed hesitant to speak. “No, Your Honor. We have voted and deliberated many times over the past week and I do not see any point in continuing.”
Judge Kollar-Kotelly was afraid this might happen. “Then I have no choice but to declare a mistrial. Prosecution will have three weeks to gather new evidence and retry the case if they wish. The members of the jury are released with the thanks of the court”
Although he paid a lot of money to his attorney and missed out on a lot of events over the past two years, Rollins was happy that the press coverage his trial received would educate at least a few people on the benefits of having a free market. He later found out that only one person voted him ‘not guilty’. Rollins laughed at this thought, at least one out of every twelve is sane.