Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Best Talent

Some concern is being expressed in the last few days as the government "Pay Czar" Kenneth Feinberg reaches out for some of the lavish pay enjoyed by senior managers of businesses that have received a government bailout. 

Make no mistake about this, the concept that the United States even has a Pay Czar is abhorrent to me. The idea that our government should in any way decide what pay a job is worth in a free market economy (which we haven't really had in years I suppose) is frightening. The fact that a legal contract between an employer and an employee no longer means anything; and that a bureaucrat that was neither elected to office by the voters, nor confirmed by the Senate can rule on legal issues which Constitutionally are the province of the courts should be of great concern to all of us. 

That being said, I am amused by the released comments by these businesses that controlling the pay of executives may prevent the best and brightest from seeking jobs with these companies, and that such interference by the government may prevent them from recruiting necessary talent. My question is this: 
 
If these companies were getting the best and brightest in management before the Pay Czar jumped in to interfere with the salary process, why did they need the government bailout in the first place?
 

6 comments:

Roland Hansen said...

Well put5, Tim!

Tim Higgins said...

Roland,

Doesn't matter what side of the political spectrum you come from on this one. Both sides have shown their true colors ... yellow.

Dawn Wolf said...

It is hard to answer your question. Underlining the question and the issue are other questions, and issues. But one thing stands out in my mind. Are you subscribing to the notion that management should get the biggest rewards?

It is a compelling position. I struggle with our capitalist society, and the ideals it is based on conflict with moral codes endorsed by the Bible, and other holy traditions. I don't think I can answer your questions fairly, but they are worth the time I am going to take to ponder them. Good post.

Tim Higgins said...

Dawn,

You cut to the heart of the matter. Management should get rewarded, but only if they make money for the stockholders.

Morals in this have a place, as no corporation should do harm to mankind (when in doubt, use the Asimov three rules of robotics). Nowhere in this equation, does or should government have a place.

They are bureaucrats caught up in the power grab and should be in the cheap seats.

Brian Wilson said...

"..why did they need the government bailout in the first place?"

Therein lies the fault line of reason and scuttles the question.

Under Captialism, the fact - Constitutional and pragmatic - is that no privately held entity NEEDS anything from the Goverment except to be left alone.Profit, loss, "morals" are the sole perview of the Owner(s).

Everything else is rhetorical within your chosen hypothesis.

Tim Higgins said...

Brian,

Your logic on this issue is flawless.

I fear however that until more people understand that the Constitution is not a living document, that this document defines the limits of government - not its opportunities, and that a return to those founding principles is the way out of the current mess that we are in; that answering what should be rhetorical questions may fill the hours of those with their heads on straight.