Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Pass Go, collect $373,164,000

Free Press:

Hundreds of public employees in London made at least $100,000 last year, their pay and taxable benefits disclosed yesterday under Ontario law...

Topping the London list was Tony Dagnone, former president of the London Health Sciences Centre, who was paid $460,299 and drew another $79,233 in taxable benefits.

The second-highest paid public servant on the list was Cliff Nordal, president of St. Joseph's Health Care, who -- with Dagnone's retirement last year -- has since become the London hospital czar in charge of both hospitals.

Nordal was paid $433,477 last year and received another $58,618 in taxable benefits.

Hydro One chief executive Tom Parkinson pulled in $1.56 million in 2005, according to the list of public-sector salaries and benefits.

One month before Ontario homeowners are expected to see a hike in their electricity rates, the list shows the man in charge of Ontario's power transmission grid got a boost of nearly $500,000 in his salary.
The article goes on to tell us that Ontario's 2,827 public employees making six figures got an average of $132,000. Altogether, Ontarians were compelled to give these 2,827 Counts and Dukes a total of $373,164,000 in exchange for implementing various monopolies.
Conservative Leader John Tory said qualified people should be rewarded for hard work with performance bonuses. But the public has a right to know why public servants, such as Parkinson, deserve their large paycheques, he said.

"I have no ability to judge whether he earned that or not and that's not right -- he's a public sector employee," Tory said.
Well, exactly, John, but supposing an apologia were provided for each six figure income, how would you then proceed to determine whether the Archduke of Hydro is overpaid at $1.5 million? Overpaid compared to whom? No competition is permitted, so there is nothing to measure performance against and no threat of going out of business.

There are no stockholders with personal fortunes at risk who both care about and have influence over business decisions, just 12,000,000 Ontarians with no say and no rational reason to waste time investigating whether the Marquess of Coal-fired Plants is buying a few too many expensive tins of rare North Korean caviar while entertaining the Viscount of Carbon Dioxide Emission Standards and his courtiers at public expense. With so many state-imposed scams imposed at the expense of the entire population, it is pointless to complain about any one scam since the time would be better spent elsewhere. Each Ontarian paid out a lousy ($373,164,000/12,000,000) == $29.75 to this 2,827-member Aristocracy of Facilitation last year. If time is money, then I have now net wasted my time writing this post even if I get my droit du seigneur refunded this year.