Maybe it is the weather or maybe the GUARDIAN is just getting old and cranky, but there isn’t much for informed realists to take pride in lately around town.
In the midst of the indignation over the Albertson’s executive compensation revelations, we were heartened to note that KTVB Channel 7 had the cajones to mention that two Boise firms made the Wall Street Journal list of worst performing companies in America.
Both firms have CEOs who live large at the expense of shareholders. Albertson’s ranked a disrespectful #26 on the list of worst performing companies, but not to be outdone, Micron came in at #13! These companies are constantly favored by local politicos with special tax incentives and assorted deals.
Doubt if we will see anything on the Boise City web site which loves to post national mentions of published rankings about Boise. Realistically, we are probably just about average when it comes to getting screwed by big business. The difference is when you live in a “small town” it seems almost personal to witness the unnecessary demise of once decent local firms.
Over the years we have watched Boise Cascade emerge, dwindle and become whatever it is today with a CEO laughing all the way to the bank.
We saw Bill Agee take Morrison-Knudsen down the path of destruction while the local media headlined every hair brained “visionary” scheme he offered.
The list of “local companies” with national importance is sad to recall. Extended Systems simply never made it, Micron does OK when they can get the government to lock out competition, Zilog is gone, Jabil left town.
Team Dave down at the mayor’s office gets excited when ten guys cash in their California houses and move to Boise to run a baby buggy factory–IN CHINA! That’s considered an economic coup.
The good name of Joe Albertson has been dragged in the mud and stomped on by greedy outsiders led by Larry Johnston. And yes folks, they are outsiders. The man and the stores we once knew, patronized, and considered “ours” have been ravaged.
Johnston is reportedly set to make $16.4 million in annual compensation. Our GUARDIAN calculator tells us that breaks down to $63,000 a day, $315,000 per week with no vacation factored in. But then when you make $7,884 an hour (8 hr day) it accumulates fast.
The most insidious part of the story is how our small town politicos cater to their greed, encourage growth, offer tax breaks, zoning changes, and put these people on their charity and civic boards.
We offer a plaintive, “Say it ain’t so, Joe.”
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