Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Recently, the Florida Public Service Commission recieved a request from "consumer advocacy groups" to force the Florida utility companies to disclose the compensation of their "most highly paid" employees. The request asked that the utilites provide info on anyone making over $165,000 per year. The anti-utility groups want to create the impression that if the electric companies would just stop paying their employees so much, they wouldn't have raise rates. The utilities argued (correctly IMO) that disclosing this information would put them at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to attracting/retaining the needed talent. The PSC, bowing to political pressure, ruled in favor of disclosure. As of now the utilities are trying to get this overturned by the courts.
The problem with these kinds of developments should be obvious. First, with the TARP comapnies, since when in AMERCIA does the government set wages for privately owned companies? Although I suppose the government DOES own a big chunk of those companies...making them quasi-govermental institutions. Do you really think that the CEO of any of these companies is going to be motivated to continue to lead that company forward at 10% of his former salary....and half of his former total compensation? I'm willing to bet they jump ship in droves! And then what? Do we really want the kind of folks the reduced compensation would draw running our financial institutions?! And for those who think they can't do any worse, I have one word.....CONGRESS!!!
More importantly, I believe this to be only the beginning of wage control. Right now it's CEOs. Or it's just disclosing the salries of the "most highly compensated" utility employees. Anyone want to bet that the "disclosure" turns into a mandate to reduce salaries in order to get a favorable ruling on an pending rate increase? And after the "most highly compensated" employees have already been sacrificed to political posturing, and precedent has been set, how long until we have the PSC (or some other governmental panel) deciding how much ALL utility employees are allowed to earn? With the exception of the unionized workers, of course! So do you want your electric company to only be able to recruit it's talent from the pool of candidates who are willing to work for the pittance allowed by a governmental body?
I hesitate to employ the slippery slope argument, but....given the lust for power that is being demonstrated on a daily basis by the current crop of pols, and the class-envy/warfare tactic employed by the left to great success, it's a valid argument IMO. I envision a not too distant future where the most absurd-sounding Randian scenarios have come to pass. The only question is...who is Wesley Mouch?
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
A St. Pete Beach man accused of pummeling an elderly driver in a hospital parking lot after a road rage incident this summer received two years of probation Monday.
The lack of jail time angered the family of the victim, who was seriously injured. But the defendant's attorney says the case is not so clear-cut — that his client got injured, too.
George S. Hall, 64, pleaded no contest to a charge of battery on a person over age 65, and adjudication was withheld, said his defense attorney, Roger Futerman.
"He didn't feel he was wrong, but he wanted to get the case behind him," Futerman said.
According to an arrest report by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, Hall was upset with the 83-year-old Snyder on July 3 because he believed Snyder cut him off as he drove his motorcycle near the intersection of Gulfport Boulevard and Pasadena Avenue.
Deputies said Hall followed Snyder to Palms of Pasadena Hospital, then attacked him. Snyder was going there to visit his wife, who was recovering from a pacemaker replacement.
During the scuffle, Snyder pulled out a 9mm semiautomatic handgun and fired, striking Hall in the upper arm.
Deputies did not charge Snyder, who had a concealed weapons permit, saying he acted in self-defense.
The State Attorney's Office agreed that Hall should receive some jail time, said Assistant State Attorney Brian Daniels. But Hall's lack of a criminal record meant he did not qualify for mandatory incarceration. He was sentenced by Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Timothy Peters.
Nathan Snyder, a Holocaust survivor who retired to St. Petersburg from Philadelphia in 1984, suffered a fractured hip, spent nearly a month hospitalized and has had two surgeries. He needs a walker to get around, Lydia Snyder said, and has been having nightmares and panic attacks.
Through his attorney, Hall declined to be interviewed. But Futerman said his client refutes Snyder's version of events.
"He felt that when this dispute happened that Mr. Snyder overreacted, and that Mr. Snyder shouldn't have been carrying a loaded gun with 13 rounds of ammunition," Futerman said. "My guy got shot, and he felt that Mr. Snyder should have been charged with attempted murder."
So Mr. Hall gets his lil' biker panties in a wad because an oldster did what they USUALLY do, which is drive like crap. Truth be told, the biker was probably speeding, tailgating and/or crowding the lane marker...like they usually do! Instead of a rude gesture, or yelling at the guy, what does the tough biker dude do? Follows the old guy to a hospital parking lot and beats the crap out of him! Since the old guy, in full compliance with Florida law, shot him in the arm, now Missus Hall thinks the old guy should be tried with attempted murder?!?! For defending himself from a raging biker some two decades his junior? Puh-Leaze!
As I told some of the bikers who wrote in to the paper in support of their "bro": a) People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones...bikers are by far the biggest hazard to their own safety by the way they drive, and b) One of the given hazards of riding a motorcycle in Florida is the "seasoned" drivers. If you wanna take that risk, do so...but don't beat up the old folks for driving like....well, old folks! And when the old guy you're using as a punching bag pulls out a 9mm and shoots you, don't compound your already un-manly behavior by whining about it later!
And Judge Peters, you are correct that Mr. Hall didn't qualify for mandatory incarceration....but you could have locked him up anyway! Thanks a ton!
Saturday, October 17, 2009
“It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.” James Madison
If you haven't checked out Dr. Frank's place, you really should!