Wage Slave News - Contents

Wage Slave News


Fair or Unfair?

30 May 2011

Two recent articles in the ever-reformist "Toronto Daily Star" should, at least, create pause for thought, each one emphasizing the enormous pay packages that some executives have received. In their issue of April 30, The Star featured that champion of working class rights, Mike Harris, who, as chairman of Magna Corporation's board, approved a US$127.53 million package for six executives in 2010, including $60.1 million for the company founder, Frank Stronach. Harris himself received $2 623 626 as a part-time director for the last five years, which may explain why so many workers are looking for part-time jobs. One must feel great compassion for Stronach's daughter, Belinda, who, when she resigned as Executive Vice-Chairman at the end of 2010, was short changed receiving only $20.3 million!

A few days later, a similar article appeared under the headline, "CEOs Paid more Than When Economy Was Booming". To quote, "Canada's best paid executives breezed through the worst of the recession with earnings 155 times more than the average Canadian income earner, according to a study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives." The study claims that Canada's highest paid CEOs pocketed an average of $6.6 million during the darkest period of the recession, whereas the average Canadian income was $42 988. Furthermore, CEOs were assisted in their struggle to make ends meet by more pay of various types such as bonuses, stock options, and perks. In all probability they also had expense accounts that some people of all pay scales have been known to enjoy.

It would seem the average worker has no right to complain. His pay grew 3% in 2010, double the rate of inflation, but his wage still totaled less than one half of one per cent of what the typical CEO made. CEOs did not always make 155 times more than the average Canadian. In 1998, the poor darlings only pocketed an average of 104 times the average worker. Now they have the chance to pay the mortgage, buy groceries, and put their kids through college!

This writer could continue in this vein but, by now, the reader will have got the general idea that whether the economy is in boom or bust cycle, the rich get richer and the little guys get the crumbs. It must not be thought that everyone has taken this inequality lying down. "It's an embarrassment to every corporate director who takes his responsibilities seriously. It's a joke", said Magna shareholder rights advocate, Stephen Jarislowsky. One may feel sure the directors are laughing uproariously at the joke, regardless of how they take their responsibilities.

Our concerned friend, Mr. Jarislowsky, froths on and on, a typical comment being, " They (the directors) should also be turfed out for not fulfilling their responsibilities." One may safely assume that many will share those sentiments. However, a socialist would ask what do such sentiments really mean? If they mean that directors should not get such fabulous salaries, bonuses, stock options, etc. and the fact they do is unfair, they are wrong. Capitalism does not exist to be 'fair'. The overriding premise in production is to realize a profit and, if a company is doing so, the only way fairness will appear will be the owners being more than fair to themselves as the above information shows.

For a profitable business to pay their executives less and for a government to make a law to that effect, will fundamentally change nothing. The basics of capitalist society will remain untouched. The working class will continue to produce the world's wealth that the capitalist class will legally steal and portion the loot out among themselves in the form of salaries and bonuses.

The only answer is a society where production is for use, where all may freely partake of the world's wealth, and money, in any form, does not exist.

Table of Contents - Wage Slave Newsline