Letter: It’s business | PostIndependent.com

Letter: It’s business

So you wanted a businessman in the White House. Well, you got him.

For 17 years, I worked at the Inland Steel Co. in East Chicago, Indiana. At first, it was a beautiful place to work, for a steel mill. They made lots of money and took good care of their people.

The company was founded in the late 19th century by a metallurgical engineer named Joseph Block. Aspen residents may remember his daughter Marjorie Block Weinburg, who, along with her husband, Herb, ran a show ranch just outside Aspen.

Block started with a small rail mill in Chicago Heights, Illinois, and it grew into one of the world’s largest integrated steel mills in East Chicago. The Blocks and the related Ryersons knew how to make steel. The business end was common sense. Keep costs down and prices up by producing a quality product. You don’t have to go to business school to know that.

Gradually, the Blocks and the Ryersons got out of the business and it was taken over by the MBAs. They knew nothing about steelmaking and they didn’t listen to those who did. Apparently, they didn’t know anything about making money, either, because they were totally outmanaged by the Japanese and my beloved steel mill went bankrupt shortly after I left in the mid-90s. I could say they couldn’t make it without me, but I think mismanagement was the real cause.

Nobody lies like a businessman. It’s expected. They give it a name to make it sound respectable. They call it marketing. I know there are businessmen with integrity, but with many, it’s every word that comes out of their mouth, like Trump.

I don’t even think business schools belong in our colleges and universities. It’s not an academic pursuit. Business curriculum belong in trade schools. It’s job training.

I had an MBA candidate for a roommate in college and I couldn’t believe some of the classes he took. Marketing was nothing more than deceiving the public, and another course, I forget its name, was basically about office politics, who to butter up to and how to do it and how to make yourself look good and your coworkers look bad, so you get all the promotions and merit raises.

Remember, despite incredible connections, W was rejected by the University of Texas School of Law, so he enrolled in the Harvard MBA program. Businessmen sure make great presidents, don’t they?

Fred Malo Jr.


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