The government has decided to treat us to a listing of fat cats. This is, as is obvious, a basic error. For this is being advanced as a fault of capitalism, that those running businesses get paid large amounts. Quite why it is a failure of capitalism that workers with rare skills get highly paid is not explained. We tend to think that the workers, even if they have been hired to organise matters as bosses, get well paid is a feature, not a fault, of an economic system.
But it's not just what is being done, it is the manner as well. For the definition of who is on this little list is absurd:
Several of Britain’s best-known companies, including Burberry, Sky and Sports Direct, are included on a list ordered by the prime minister of firms rewarding bosses with “fat cat pay” and representing the “unacceptable face of capitalism”.
More than a fifth of Britain’s FTSE listed-firms are included on the “name and shame” register of companies that Theresa May said risk damaging “the social fabric of our country” by paying bosses too much money.
No, not really:
The public register was published on Tuesday by the Investment Association, a trade body of investment firms that manage the pensions of million of Britons.
The register lists every company in the FTSE All-Share Index which has suffered at least a 20% shareholder rebellion against proposals for executives pay, re-election of directors or other resolution at their shareholder meetings.
It's a list of those who haven't been listening to shareholder concern over pay. That is really something rather different, isn't it?
The public register, which will be continuously updated, also includes companies that withdrew or amended pay packages in the wake of shareholder discontent in the run up to votes.
What? Well, yes:
Companies on the register include:
More than 70% of independent shareholders voted against a proposed £11m payout to founder Mike Ashley’s brother, John. The payment was blocked and the company said it now “considers all these matters to be closed”.
We have a list of companies that don't listen to their shareholders. On it we include those who do listen to their shareholders.
Let's face it folks, if this were a racehorse we'd already have boiled it down for glue. And this is, by the time you read this, only Day Two of our little list. Government, bad ideas incompetently applied.