He even takes a few shots at me for my New Years interview with his collegue, Neil Scott (Hubich slams auto CEOs) where I took a shot at CEO compensation in reaction to the recent report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives - Banner Year for Canada’s CEOs, Record High Pay Increase.
I was compelled to respond to Mandryk's column, so I sent off the following letter to the editor at the Regina Leader-Post this afternoon. I'll let you know if they print it:
Update: The letter was published in the January 8 Leader-Post: 'Greedy corporate decision-makers' to blame
January 6, 2009
To The Editor
In his column of January 6, 2009, Collective Shake of the Head Required, Leader-Post columnist Murray Mandryk comments on my New Year’s interview with reporter Neil Scott regarding among other matters, the salaries of Corporate Executive Officers (CEO’s).
Mr. Scott’s article which appeared in the January 3 issue of the Leader-Post dealt with a report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) “The 100 highest paid CEO’s of Canadian publicly traded corporations received an average of $10,408,054 in total compensation in 2007.” This was a 22.7 percent increase from the previous year.
The CCPA report noted a number of other facts regarding CEO compensation “The average CEO took home 259 times the pay of the average worker…that the average pay for the top 50 CEO’s was 398 times the average wage, up from 85 times the average wage in 1995.”
All Canadians should be interested and concerned with this state of affairs. Those that have wealth continue to accumulate more and more wealth. Mr. Mandryk seems convinced that such “entitlements” are coming to an end. Where is the evidence of that?
Instead of providing evidence Mr. Mandryk then criticizes my contention that CEO’s should be taken to task for their greedy ways.
Should automobile CEO’s be thrown in jail and the workers take over the factories? It may not be the entire answer to our problems but should it be totally discounted? Can we do any worse than the current corporate leadership? Perhaps forensic audits and criminal investigations would be a good first step.
The nearly trillion dollar corporate bail out in the USA mainly rewards those smart rich people who plunged the global economy almost to the bottom. And it doesn’t appear that their “period of entitlement” is ending.
Mr. Mandryk and I clearly have philosophical differences. I believe that the economy should be designed to serve the people while Mr. Mandryk seems to prefer having people serving the economy.
When the corporate leadership takes much more out of the economy then they contribute, this must be questioned. My suggestions were not far from the recent actions of Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams who took action to seize hydroelectric and forestry resources from a company that announced the plan to shut down a plant. Saskatchewan should consider similar actions to protect and properly husband our forest resources.
Mr. Mandryk and I will continue to both agree and disagree on various issues. His column is a platform that he can use to investigate issues and bring them to light. He should go beyond attacking the workers who actually produce wealth and examine why the idle rich have so much.
The powers that be want us to forget who is responsible for the economic mess we are in. Instead they want to blame workers for the current economic woes. Lost in the process are those most affected by greedy corporate decision makers – the people who have lost their jobs, their homes, their dignity and their hope.
Where did all the money go?