The Oct. 29 editorial, titled ‘Stock Market disconnect’, pg. 6, brings a few thoughts to mind.
I understand the need for government to occasionally bail out large corporations, although the conservative within me would rather they didn’t.
Your position that government needs to insist on an equity position and board of director membership is correct. The capital injected needs to be compared to a hard asset valuation of the company to determine the equity position, not one based on stock market valuations, and not one containing goodwill.
The more complex problem is the increasing disparity between those at the top of the heap and the rest of us.
We are fortunate to live in a democracy where the government corruption level is very low. In my view the principal instigators of what does exist are the large corporations which incessantly lobby our politicians to enact laws and make regulations which favour their interests.
They have a habit of arguing that their proposals will be in the best interests of those who will bear the cost, not themselves. Our politicians and bureaucrats don’t always have the knowledge base to separate the wheat from the chaff, and get sucked in.
The leaders of these corporations invariably have inflated notions of their value to society, usually in the seven digit range, frequently eight, sometimes nine.
Contrast that with our prime minister, at about $350,000.
Are those corporate leaders really that much more valuable to society than the leader of one of the world’s larger economies? I think not!
So, the way to begin the education of corporate elite, a first small step, becomes obvious. For corporations needing government assistance, the maximum income derived from the company by any employee, executive, or director in a year shall be no larger than the current salary of Canada’s prime minister. Such condition to apply until the last dollar of government money has been repaid and the seat on the board relinquished.
I think I could comfortably give my vote, for one election, to any party willing and able to force all of these reforms through, against the howls they might receive from corporate donors.
Will I get any takers?