For love of money.

Never having met Mayo Schmidt of Hydro One, I really cannot pass judgement on the six million dollars he was reportedly being paid. Not that I think anyone is worth that much, unless he can also guarantee that the Toronto Maple Leaf hockey club will win the Stanley Cup.

But Schmidt is not a hockey player and I have no idea of what the going rate is for CEOs of electrical distribution companies. Besides, it seems like there would be a rather small pool of talent from which to choose.

That being said, my sense is that executive salaries have gotten out of hand. Not to the extent that politicians such as Doug Ford should be allowed to ridicule the man for his high salary. At the same time, there seems to be a rather vulgar stretch from less than $20 per hour for factory help to more than two million a year for the presidents of too many companies.

And please do not get me going about executive perks, corporate performance bonuses, stock options and golden parachutes.

I will make an exception though for those who persevere in starting and developing new businesses into successful enterprises. A friend of mine has worked long and hard to develop a successful enterprise and should have retired several years back. He kept on going to make sure the company had a good potential for continued success. His employees encouraged him to treat himself and he listened and is now driving a Rolls Royce.

The other side of the coin is how some of these entrepreneurial billionaires spend their winnings in the corporate game of chance. Thinking of people such as Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, I wish more of their profits could go into the tax pot that is controlled by the people through their elected representatives. Charity starts at home and education and health care can always use more funds and at the same time public infrastructure needs constant updating.

But it smacks of greed when we find CEOs making millions while our premiers and prime ministers make much less. We pay our politicians at a rate that is carefully studied and that they feel the public will accept as fair. That makes sense. Maybe our corporate executives can learn something from this political approach.

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Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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