Author releases first in a series of books on big business and economy
By: Allison Chorney
| Posted: Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 11:28 am
Airdrie’s Robert (Bob) Abbott is helping decode the interconnections between big business and our economy with his new book Big Macs and Our Pensions.
“I think there is a need for the information in the book in order to encourage better public policy,” Abbott said.
The 37-page booklet is one in a series of 10 books Abbott hopes to release on the connections between big corporations like McDonald’s and Walmart, and the impact they have on the average person’s finances.
Big Macs and Our Pensions is currently available for $3.28 as an ebook on amazon.ca, but Abbott said it will be available in print in the next few weeks.
Abbott has a masters degree in business administration from the University of Calgary, was a radio news announcer and was a publisher of newsletters for various businesses and organizations from 1991 to 2000. He is the author of Managers Guide to Newsletters in 2000.
He is also a longtime volunteer with Airdrie Festival of Lights and was recently selected as their volunteer of the year.
Abbott said the connection between McDonald’s and our pension is in the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) premiums we pay that are used to buy stocks in these large corporations. The CPP stakes in these companies have grown steadily over the years and now constitute controlling interests in many of the large corporations.
Abbott said these stakes ultimately make us, the CPP contributors, the owners of these companies and adds as the owners we are depending on these big businesses to do well in order to fund our retirement.
“We may hate (big business) but at the same time we also are the owners of them,” he said.
The author said traditionally taxation of big businesses was used to help fund government initiatives, but today these companies provide retirement income in the form of CPP, which acts as a middle-class savings vehicle.
He said he selected McDonald’s in particular for this book because it is one of the world’s most recognizable brands and something almost all of us are familiar with.
“It is also worth noting McDonald’s is a huge player in terms of pension plans,” he said, adding in 2012 $5.5 billion from McDonald’s went back into share buy backs.
He said the series is targeted towards people who read newspaper editorials, opinion editorials, and who listen to or watch public affairs radio or television programs.
“It’s geared to understanding the full role of big business in our economic environment,” Abbott said.
Big Macs and Our Pensions will help readers learn about McDonald’s transformation from a drive-in restaurant to publicly traded mega player on the world markets, uncover how McDonald’s makes its profits, meet some of the working people who get these profits through their pension, as well as explore the impact of wages on the company and the fast food industry as a whole.
“I’m hoping (readers) will gain an appreciation of the holistic nature of an economy like ours,” Abbott said, adding that in our economy we can’t tax one part more than others without experiencing an overall impact.
Abbott’s next book in the series will by released in early March and will focus on productivity and use Walmart as a reference to illustrate this.
For more information, visit peopleprofitspensions.com