Bailout or Interference?
We have heard and seen the debate among our country’s leaders to spend billions and maybe even trillions before this current economic recession subsides. The stock market has been swinging in wild percentages almost daily to discount the pluses and minuses of these efforts. The naysayers have raised questions of government interference into corporate activities. It shocks my sense of awareness that there are capitalist titans who would actually argue that the level of entitlement and greed that has been present in corporate boardrooms would need to be protected. I am first and foremost an advocate for capitalism and the real wealth it can create for the largest segments of society.
For all of you who would argue that the most highly paid and most important individual in a corporation is the CEO, perhaps a visit to the Hudson River would help you. How many of you would argue that the CEO of US Airways deserves to be paid 100 times more than Capt. “Sully” Sullenberger and his colleagues who fly the aircraft which we all fly? As he guided an aircraft to a safe water landing and walked the sinking aircraft to make certain all had escaped, who in their right mind would like to argue who is worth more to the consumer and to the customers of US Air? Their compensation is a fraction of that being paid to the bosses at the home office.
What about the teachers and coaches at inner city schools all over our country? As far as that goes, forget about inner city schools, what about all the schools in our country? Can you really argue that CEO’s are more valuable to our society by the multiples that currently exists compared to our teachers who are training the next generation?
The reason given by many about interference is compounded by their argument that shareholders have determined that CEO’s deserve these large payments. We know that this too is a sham as shareholder activism is barely alive and not very influential. Many of us are committed to changing this condition, but until the rules allow shareholders to actually have an impact, bringing corporate pay to realistic levels will not happen. When and until shareholders start to act responsibly, let’s applaud the government for at least recognizing these deficiencies and applying some rules to meet the current needs of all by placing a ceiling on corporate executive pay. That is not interference! That is correcting an insanity that has been running amuck for a long time.
Proverbs 23:4-5 (NIV) “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.”
Monday Morning Message Sent 2/16/09
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