|OPINION AND COMMENT By Bob Weaver|
Medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas said of Greed: "It is a sin directly against
one's neighbor, since one man
cannot over-abound in external riches, without another man lacking them... It is a
sin against God, just as all
mortal sins, inasmuch as man contemns things eternal for the sake of temporal
In America it is being a good corporate businessman who understands
enterprise - getting rewarded by their associates.
The Dow Chemical Co. gave its top executive a $2.3 million bonus, a move that
South Charleston Mayor Ritchie Robb says sends a "bleak message" to a
community where the corporate giant has been cutting jobs for two years.
In addition to the bonus awarded in 2003, William Stavropoulos received a base
salary of $1.3 million, plus millions more in other incentives and benefits,
according to the company's last statement.P>
$2.3 million + $1.3 million = $3.6 million + millions more in stocks and other benefits.
Dow is one of the largest employers in the Kanawha Valley.
That's nothing compared to Dominion, which also serves West Virginia.
Executives of Richmond-based Dominion Resources Inc., parent company of
Power, received huge increases in their compensation last year.
At the same time, Dominion has obtained and continues to make requests to the WV Public Service Commission for large consumer increases because natural gas well-head prices have increase.
While laying off hundreds of workers and increasing natural gas rates in West
Virginia beyond affordability, Thomas E. Capps, Dominion's 68- year-old chairman
and CEO, received a salary, bonus and other
compensation of $7.22 million in 2003.
about 160 percent more than the $2.79 million he earned a year earlier.
Dominion raised Capps' base salary by 10 percent to $1.1 million, paid him a
$1.43 million bonus and awarded him $3.99
million in restricted stock, among other compensation raises.
Dominion earned a profit of $1 per share in 2003, compared with $4.82 per share
Nonetheless, corporate executives in Virginia got major boosts in salaries and
President and Chief Operating Officer Thomas F. Farrell
earned $3.7 million in 2003, nearly three times his $1.29
million in 2002. Farrell was promoted to his current
during the year.
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Chewning saw his earnings increase by 186 percent to
million in 2003. And Executive Vice President Duane C.
earned $2.6 million last year, a 247 percent increase
But, it's all in a day of doing business in corporate America, where millions of blue collar and white collar jobs are going abroad.