The Phaserl


Whither The Economy?

from Paul Craig Roberts:

The great problem with corporate capitalism is that publicly owned companies have short time horizons. Unlike a privately owned business, the top executives of a publicly owned corporation generally come to their positions late in life. Consequently, they have a few years in which to make their fortune.

As a consequence of the short-sightedness of reformers and Congress, the annual salaries of top executives were capped at $1 million. Amounts in excess are not deductible for the company as an expense. The exception is “performance-related” pay, which has no limit. The result is that the major part of executive pay comes in the form of performance bonuses. Performance means a rise in the price of the company’s shares.

Performance bonuses can be honestly obtained by good management or mere luck that results in a rise in the company’s profits. However, there are a number of ways in which performance bonuses can be less legitimately obtained, almost all of which result in short-term gains to executives and shareholders and long-term damage to the corporation and economy.

Replacing American workers with foreign workers is one way. The collapse of communism in Russia and China and the collapse of socialism in India resulted in the under-utilized Indian and Chinese labor forces becoming available to American corporations. Pushed by “shareholder advocates,” Wall Street, and large retailers, US manufacturing corporations began closing their manufacturing plants in the US and producing offshore the goods, and later the services, that they market to Americans.

From the standpoint of the short-term interests of executives and shareholders, this decision made sense. But to transform manufacturing companies into marketing companies, as happened for example to Apple Computer, which apparently does not own a single factory, was a strategic mistake for the long-term. By offshoring the production of their products, US corporations transferred technology, physical plant, and business knowhow to China. American corporations are now dependent on China, a country that the idiots in Washington are endeavoring to turn into an enemy.

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1 comment to Whither The Economy?

  • Ed_B

    “Whither The Economy?”

    Yes, and perhaps even wither the economy… by subjecting it to a tidal wave of rules, regulations, licenses, laws, and taxes that just about guarantee that businesses cannot be started or, if they are, cannot be profitable. Without profit, there is no way for a business to continue operating, pay workers, pay taxes, or buy the things they need to run their business.

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