Bailouts – the values, morals, and ethical questions.

Many companies and individuals are asking for government bailouts and cash. This raises many values, morals, and ethical questions for the government decision makers:

  • Should employees be bailed out or should cash go to the companies for distribution?
  • How will the government decide which industries and companies will be long term-term survivors? g. will the cruise industry undergo a long-term shrinkage?  Many companies naturally fail each year – should the government keep these going?
  • Should payments to companies keep shareholders and bondholders whole? How much of a loss should shareholders and bondholders take?
  • Should payments to companies be loans with conditions that the loans be repaid before any dividends, stock options, bond interest or bond redemptions occur, any executive bonuses and related long-term compensation?
  • Should payments to companies be conditional on executive compensation reduction?
  • Should the government be funding people to work on long-term infrastructure rather than stay at home?
  • How long will payments go on for?
  • What about the longer-term when the new normal is established? Will taxes go up?  Will we continue to support the very poorest among us?
  • Should the government of Alberta establish a sales tax? Should the rest of Canada support Alberta lower tax regime?
  • Where are the board of directors? Are the directors foregoing their compensation or at least taking major cuts?  Many directors have said that the “tone from the top” is critical.  In this time of mass layoffs and demands for government bailouts are the directors focused on keeping their personal compensation untouched?

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