Readers Write: Aug. 14

Plant mismanagement affects shareholders, too

Jay Bookman faults Georgia Power and its parent, Southern Co., for the financial debacle of their Plant Vogtle nuclear project (“Ga. Power, Southern Co. nuked a lot of credibility,” Opinion, Aug. 9). The electric utility’s repeated failures to accurately predict costs and completion timetables cause Bookman to question the utility’s ability to “fully grasp their undertaking” and even their “corporate honesty.” (And Bookman omits equally deserved criticism for Southern’s coal-gasification project in Mississippi, with its similarly mismanaged costs and timetables.)

While the company’s executives were shrewd enough to place the venture’s financial risks on “the backs of ratepayers, and none on its own shareholders,” shareholders still face a lower stock price due to company mismanagement, and Georgia Power employees have been subjected to several rounds of job layoffs. Relatively unscathed are company top executives.

It’s time those too-smart-by-half executives are properly “recognized” for their half-smart decisions.


Less-fortunate do contribute to success

To the letter-writer of (“Getting a trophy,” Readers Write, Aug. 7): yes, we all make money on the backs of those who make less than we do. And who are these people, you ask? Anyone making less than a livable wage, including rank-and-file workers and service personnel of any kind. The promise of technology, which envisioned workers across the board enjoying its profits, has held true only for those in charge of distributing profits. These are the true “takers” in our society, aided and abetted by Republicans. Until such time as livable wages are the norm, it is only reasonable that there be even more government assistance for low- and middle-income folks, paid for by those of us who have benefited most from the blatant and unequal distribution of profits.


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