Well we're officially one step closer to communism! Seems the "pay czar" appointed by Chairman Maobama has decided how much is the appropriate level of compensation for the executives running some of America's largest financial institutions. Since these companies took the TARP handouts (and can't pay them back yet!), they opened themselves up to this type of control by the government. And it's happening in other industries too!
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?