...I think something needs to be done to straighten out our flawed capitalist system.
Between overseas outsourcing and the push to bring in millions of new slaves -- sorry, low-wage workers -- from Mexico, Corporate America is destroying the lives of many hardworking people to keep shareholders happy.
Consider this, as reported today by Bloomberg News:
Circuit City Stores Inc., the second-largest U.S. electronics retailer after Best Buy Co., fired 3,400 of its highest-paid hourly workers and will hire replacements willing to work for less.
The company said its eliminating jobs that paid ``well above'' market rates. Those who were fired can apply for the lower pay, company spokesman Bill Cimino said today. He declined to give the wages of the fired workers or the new hires.
Later in the story, another source is quoted as estimating that experienced Circuit city works make something like $11/hour.
And then, this:
Chief Executive Officer Philip Schoonover was paid $8.52 million in fiscal 2006, including a salary of $975,000.
This is the standard pattern these days. Companies shut down research and development departments, close outlets, fire employees, set up operations overseas and chop services, all of which makes stock prices rise.
Again, I am a big supporter of the capitalist system. What I find abhorrent is the dominance of Wall Street and company shareholders who, eager to increase income right this moment so they can turn a short-term profit on their stocks, are willing to hurt workers and, in the long run, damage the competitiveness -- and viability -- of the companies they "own."
Certainly, any good company should try to keep waste to a minimum. An $8.5 million annual compensation package for a CEO is waste, in my opinion.
But if current trends continue, the number of people in this country to can afford to buy anything beyond basic survival needs will dwindle to a point where sellers of "luxury" goods will have no market.
If indeed sacrifices must be made, they should begin at the top.
But in our current greed-driven system, they don't.
I have no answer to the problem -- not a practical one, anyway -- and am certain government should not meddle.
Maybe this, like so many problems we face, can't be dealt with without a miracle, in this case corporate executives accepting sensible compensation and putting the good of their companies and employees ahead of the stock market.
As I said: only a miracle can fix this.
8 hours ago