By Scott M. Coen

When will it end? On Dec. 14, CBS Nightly news reported that the retirement plan for the troubled Delta airlines is in jeopardy of failure and is possibly being sent to a failing government agency. The big kicker of this problem is that this government program is in debt, big business can dump retirement plans into it and let them administer the funds, putting the agency into more debt and letting you and I — the overtaxed American — pick up the tab.

They, Congress, let us pick up the tab for the savings and loan debauchery years ago that should have been fixed by the executives that caused it. The wages and benefit packages for the “Upper Echelon” of major and even minor corporations is out of control. I have never in my life seen a person that deserves a salary of a million plus, bonuses and who knows what else even though the company is losing money.

The folks that are making money for the company do not get paid anywhere near a million dollars, but if that person makes any type of mistake that management doesn’t like, can be fired, but, the CEO of for example Delphi Automotive can take a company that was profitable and run it into the ground and then tell the workers that they need to take cuts in their salary, benefits and possible pensions to bail out the company while the exec’s took care of themselves.

If I were a stock holder of that company I would be furious. The boards of these companies think that the stock holders and the American public are pretty gullible. I agree. Common sense doesn’t seem to run rampant with investors let alone the general public. A funny thing happened on the evening news awhile back while they were covering the “restructuring” of General Motors The auto icon of the good ol’ U.S.A. while the CEO laid out his plan to the stock holders, a gentleman asked him if he considered resigning, since he is responsible to the performance for the company he represents. He told the stock holder “That is not a option.” I about fell over laughing thinking I am so happy I do not have any stock in GM, but then I remembered that my father does,. He retired from GM.

I looked at my wife while we watched this display of corporate arrogance and we were appalled with the response, I said that the stock holder should have told the CEO “You’re fired!” — sorry Mr. Trump I had to use it. That person that ran the company into the ground should be fired, not asked to leave with ungodly amounts of money and benefits, and the predecessor should be told that he can turn the company around and answer to the stock holders, or if not, you’re fired too.

I am a simple man that lives by the common sense that the good Lord gave me. It appears to me that we need to be responsible for our actions. Corporate America is getting enough money that CEO’s are getting proathlete pay and benefit packages, while the American worker keeps picking up the tab. The days of creative accounting are coming to an end. Just because you predict that you will make $6 million dollars and only make $5 million does not mean that you lost $1 million dollars, anything over breaking even is called a profit (high school general business classes).

I believe that the way this country is headed scares me. I am 43 years old and would one day like to retire but it appears that I will have to work until I die. Utility companies are raising rates because they are losing money, but can pay bonuses to exec’s for the company losing money? Did the turnip truck just stop! I believe that unless the taxpayers, stock holders and the American public take a stand, you will relive a greater depression than the last. I hope that I am wrong, but the writing is on the walls and the interpretation is up to all.

Scott M. Coen, is a Fort Worth, Texas resident

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