Subtle strike commentary? Perhaps
I disagree with Post columnist Terence Corcoran when I read much of his work - so much so that I tend to avoid buying or reading the Post to avoid getting a nasty case of "I can't believe you said that, do you have life?"
And yet, I can now forgive the last 100 times he's annoyed me after his spot on front page editorial piece in yesterday's Post:
While the Mayor goes down in the media and with the public, union
leaders chug relatively unscathed through their ritual assaults on
taxpayers, good sense and rationality. Mark Ferguson, head of Toronto
Local 416 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents
garbage and other outside workers, turned up in a weekend Toronto Star
profile as soft-hearted New Wave mystic. He reads works by the Dalai
Lama and allegedly seeks to avoid confrontation in favour of fairness.
What Mr. Ferguson also reads, however, is the same old union
class-warfare texts that have animated union power for a century. In
response to an angry Toronto taxpayer about the garbage strike, Mr.
Ferguson fired off a typical leftist diversion: "Perhaps you might
direct your anger towards the banks, financiers and Wall Street rather
than cannibalizing gains made by other working people." That's the
union way: When the going gets rough, haul out Wall Street bankers and
financiers, whatever their total irrelevance to anything at hand, and
leave your audience dumbfounded -- or, if they are already onside,
nodding in agreement.
I'm not anti-union. They do great work protecting vulnerable people in other scenarios.
But I am anti-idiot, especially in cushy urban environments where people are hardly being opressed.
And the above hot steaming pile of lamesauce deserves to get slammed, hard. Another good quote:
The union has also stuck to its various absurdist claims about
Toronto's sick-leave benefit. Moist and Ferguson dismiss it as just a
normal "severance" package. "In the private sector," said Moist, "forms
of severance exist in recognition of people who spend a career with an
employer." Actually, severance is normally paid to people who are
fired, but no CUPE worker can be fired, contracted out or even laid off.
I could rant on and on about these issues, but I'm satisfied to share these snippets. Go read the full thing, it's worth it.
I do look forward to seeing his overthrow from the position of incompetent union head. He makes Homer Simpson look like well educated and dignified.
I'm not retired from Big Four life, plus I can legitimately claim to be a little bit too busy to play "auditor of the auditors", so I stick to writing about what I know, and what seems to interest my readers - judging from the comments and e-mails I get, the focus has lately been on
- How to get yourself hired into Big Four life
- Do you really want to embrace this sort of life.
You will, of course, be considered, for various reasons, a gypsy of the business world if you join us.
My writing has been slow lately thanks to my early busy season, and an exceptionally busy period of "real life" which conspires to keep my offline for a healthy amount of time. It'll resume, as it always does.
Until then, a quick observation regarding the random threats to the Big Four coming out of left field.
I have only the tiniest of views of how things work, so I couldn't possibly know of all the shenanigans that could spell impending doom for any of the big firms. Get a bunch of accounting students working for them together, though, and ply them with beer and you might get many stories though. Of course this is still all a small given point of view which may or may not grasp the big picture.
Then you have the serious descriptions of wrongoing in publications like Checkmark, where you can read reports on the gross violations by individual CAs.
The juiciest reading though, the reports on public accounting firms, are kept secret.
The reasoning is ostensibly to encourage the CA firms to be more open to the outside inspectors - there are some massive confidentiality issues at stake - but it doesn't take a cynic to figure, "avoiding the stern gaze of Dennis and Francine and all which that leads to" is probably right up on that list too.
Does extreme secrecy really help anyone, though? You would think that learning from these reports would be better than studying the findings of lawsuits in school instead, where you learn about everything once the auditors have succeeded in getting everything done in the "completely wrong" format.
Better firms, fortunately, at least reveal sufficient details internally to remind people what they're doing wrong, and what could be improved.
It'd definitely be eye opening to see the magnitude and incidence of "things being done wrong" and "things which could be improved" throughout the different firms, though.
And a massive pipe dream that will not come about unless some brave or foolhardy politician decides that revising "legislation concerning oversight of accountants" is going to somehow be as sexy a topic as nuclear reactor maintenance.