The (in)famous Canadian company, Bombardier, is the perfect example of how large companies — those who chant the benefits of “free enterprise” and deregulation — cannot survive without huge interventions by taxpayers. They have slopped up billions upon billions of our money, and keep asking for more.
I was reminded of this when watching “Power and Politics” yesterday during which one of their expert panels discussed the company’s latest demand for $1.6 billion. These experts spent a lot of time explaining that it could be a loan, a grant, an equity investment, and why it is was vital — for Quebec employment and national pride and politics — that the cash be forthcoming.
My own position is that no privately held company should receive public funds, period. However, until we straighten out our economy to be self-supporting, I would be prepared to lend Bombardier the money they need, but only under conditions that never came up in yesterday’s discussion.
- The company cannot issue dividends or share buy-backs or any other kind of profit-sharing until the loan is repaid in full;
- No executive bonuses or similar payments to be paid until the loan is fully repaid;
- No executive salaries or other payments to be increased until the loan is fully repaid;
- If the company goes bankrupt (or similar), the taxpayer loan is in first place for repayment after wages and salaries.
Who on earth could object to this? It gets the company the cash it needs and gives executives every incentive to repay the taxpayer as quickly as possible. I would push this idea for any and all companies seeking tax-payer assistance.