Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Reversing American History

There was a time in corporate American history when the directors of a corporation were held personally liable for employee wages. This is no longer true of course and corporations are not even liable for wages. Of course if a company didn’t pay wages no one would work for them but when a giant corporation like GM screws up and looses billions as a result of incredibly bad management what happens? They declare bankruptcy. That has the effect of making any employment contracts null and void. Of course, with today’s Republican dominated Washington mindscape banks and investors are protected at the expense of the working stiffs. This is wrong.

Investors take risks and expect returns on their investment commensurate with their risk. By its nature investing, either directly or indirectly through loans, is risky. People who accept regular employment are not seeking a risky investment. They are seeking exactly the opposite. Labor in exchange for money is the bargain. If part of that wage is differed as part of a pension plan it is still a wage in exchange for labor. As such it must be paid in full before banks, investors and other creditors are paid.

At the point where a corporation declares bankruptcy lets let the employees sit at the table ahead of the executives who usually walk away handsomely rewarded got an abysmal job and banks and investors who invested knowing there was a risk. It’s only fair.

So when will we hear an articulate Democrat take up the mantle of tax reform. The Democratic Party will never regain its influence with the American people until they stand for something the American people need rather than just standing in opposition.

No comments: