retail news in context, analysis with attitude

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Hi, Kevin Coupe here and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy.

Today I want to offer some commentary that is a little far afield from the territory I usually work. (Though, to be fair, I've been known to wander and digress a lot here on MNB.) In the end, if you'll stick with me, I'll try to draw a business lesson from it.

I've been particularly annoyed by the behavior of some parents - all rich, entitled parents - who believed that they could get away with essentially bribing their kids' ways into colleges at which they had no right to go. I find this whole thing really galling, and to me there is no excuse for it.

The other day, actor Felicity Huffman, who pleaded guilty to these charges early in the process and seemed willing to take her medicine and put the whole embarrassing episode behind her, was hit with a fine, community service and 14 days in jail. This last part of her sentence was particularly upsetting to a lot of people, who felt that a lot of black people who have committed lesser crimes have been sentenced to more in time in jail because they don't have the resources to defend themselves and negotiate their way through the criminal justice system.

I actually think that as a society, we missed an opportunity with that sentence. How great would it have been if the judge had looked at Huffman and said that her rehabilitation for this crime would be to put four kids through college - full boat, including room and board and books. The court would find four kids who were qualified to go to college but could not afford it, and it would then be Huffman's job to pay their way. We've all put kids through college, and we know that this could amount to a million bucks, depending on where the kid goes.

Now that strikes me as an appropriate sentence. And, by the way, if I were Huffman's manager or publicity person, I'd urge her now to do the same thing on her own - it would be a great way to perform a little public penance and change the narrative.

The business lesson? I think that a lot of businesses, when making strategic and tactical choices, opt for the traditional - sort of like a judge handing out a prison sentence, community service and a fine. But I think businesses - and the courts - sometimes can do a better job by choosing the unconventional course, which may in the end also be the more appropriate one.

Anyway, that's what is on my mind this morning. As always, I want to hear what is on your mind.

KC's View: