Monday, July 26, 2010

A Call for the End of the Golden Parachute Age

The whole concept of the "golden parachute" has bothered me ever since the phrase was coined in the 1970's. It is hard for me to understand the action of giving a company executive a financial incentive to leave after he/she has caused problems due to poor decisions in the running of a company. After all, the reason that America CEOs "earn" 400 times the salary of the average worker in a company is their expertise. If their "expertise" is faulty, the logical action is to fire them, not to reward them for their mistakes. How bankers and stock analysts received bonuses after their 2008 efforts is difficult for anyone to comprehend.

Combine this offering of a golden parachute practice with that fact that the present CEO of BP is about to leave. This is the man who left the Gulf oil crises scene to attend a yacht race across the Atlantic before the environmental crisis was resolved. What would happen to a firefighter if he left the scene of a fire emergency to attend a baseball game? He would be fired and would never even be allowed to interview for another job in a related profession. What is the future fate of BP's present CEO, Tony Hayward?

""NEWSMAKER-BP's diplomat Dudley in line to become CEO
4:05am EDT

BP expected to install Bob Dudley as CEO soon

LONODN, July 26 (Reuters) - BP Plc (BP.L) (BP.N) Chief Executive Tony Hayward is to be nominated for a board position at its Russian venture TNK-BP (TNBPI.RTS) when he steps down from his current role, Sky News reported, citing sources.

TNK-BP declined to comment on the Sky News report on Monday when contacted by Reuters."

What it comes down to in my own mind are two questions:

1.Is Tony Hayward being given a golden parachute for leaving BP without a fuss?

2.Who in his right mind would sponsor Hayward for another position of
responsibility, much less hire him for one?

It is time for responsible decision-making and ethical business practices. This statement, naive on my part, brings to mind the lyrics to the song that goes,"To dream the impossible dream....."


Two hours after first posting my thoughts:

My worst fear about the continuity of the "golden parachute" has been confirmed. Damn! BTW 6 million British pounds= $7,500,000! Not bad for being a loser.

BP boss Hayward to get immediate £600000 pension
BBC News - ‎1 hour ago‎
BP chief executive Tony Hayward is receive an immediate £600000-a-year pension when he leaves the firm in October, the BBC has learned

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Birth of the Atomic Age Remembered

“The Atomic Age began at exactly 5:30 Mountain War Time on the morning of July 15, 1945, on a stretch of semi-desert land about 5 airline miles from Alamogordo, New Mexico. And just at that instance there arose from the bowels of the earth a light not of this world, the light of many suns in one.”

William Laurence, New York Times September 26, 1945

“And now I become Death [Shiva], the destroyer of worlds.”

Robert Oppenheimer, atomic scientist paraphrasing The Bhagavad Gita

If the radiance of a thousand suns
Were to burst at once into the sky
That would be like the splendor of the Mighty one
I am become Death
The shatterer of Worlds.

The exact quote of the Bhagavad Gita

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Midsummer Madness: Senate pauses in its debate of unemployment benefit extension

The purpose that Congresspeople become elected is so that they can serve their constituents. If that is the actual truth, then there should be no question in their minds that unemployment benefits should be extended. Millions of conscientious American workers are unemployed due to no fault of their own. The recession and the practice of out-sourcing have created a situation in which people who pride themselves as American workers are sitting idle, frustrated in their concern of keeping their homes and feeding their families. Very few, if any, of them want to be dependent on the government for their basic needs. Until the job market is restored, however, these unemployed workers and their families need the resources that the unemployment benefit extension will provide. This extension is not a luxury, it is a bare minimum necessity. I feel that the benefits extension should be voted on, signed, and implemented NOW.

Once the benefits extension is in place, I would suggest that Congress seriously act on the factors which have contributed to the need for the extension. Companies that increase their profits by outsourcing jobs in other countries should NOT be given any tax breaks. It might even be appropriate to place a tax on those profits specifically generated by outsourcing and use that revenue to help pay for unemployment benefits. The other area that Congress should act upon is the stimulus money that seems to not be actively used in restoring jobs inside the USA. The money is there, available, and should be used.

A final comment. As Congresspeople are elected to serve the people who they represent, their constituents should carefully watch how they vote on the benefits extension bill and later follow up actions. Those who vote to the benefit of their constituents should be rewarded with reelection,those who don't should be voted against the next time they run for reelection. This is how the partnership between Congress and we, the people was drawn up.

What do YOU think?


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Lessons of History?

The war in Afghanistan is now the longest war fought in U.S. history. During the Cold war, the former Soviet Union's war in Afghanistan was their equivalent of the USA's war in Vietnam. Having made that analogy, it can be perplexing that a lesson was not leaned from history. Consider the following statement:

"Vietnam presumably taught us that the United States could not serve as the world's policeman; it should also have taught us the dangers of trying to be the world's midwife to democracy when the birth is scheduled to take place under conditions of guerrilla war."--Jeane Kirkpatrick, 1979

I understand the concept of the "War on Terrorism" and strongly support the prevention of terrorism. I do NOT believe that terrorism is an acceptable way to further any cause and have no sympathy for those who condone terrorist acts. On the other hand, I question the appropriateness of the USA staying in Afghanistan to create a democracy. Democracies are only successful when established through the initiative of those who will benefit from them. Until there is a majority movement to create one, an attempt at establishing a democracy will not succeed. I am not ready to put my life on the line for the democratization of Afghanistan, nor am I ready to send my family members , neighbors, or community members to do so.

I firmly believe that we should heed the lesson stated by Jean Kirkpatrick four years after our war in Vietnam ended. It is time to revisit and revise our foreign policy in Afghanistan. Support our troops, bring them home now.