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'The Games Business Plays'

March 12, 1985

Your editorial (March 5), "The Games Business Plays," is all too typical of the current thinking that someone else, in this case government, should be the one responsible for a given problem.

Shareholders have the responsibility for their company, as they are the true equity owners. They have a responsibility to look after and elect board members who hire management to run the company correctly. The public should not be asked to subsidize shareholders who cry foul after the fact that current management has run the company into the ground.

If people are willing to take the risk to earn from owning shares, they must also risk losing, for nowhere is it written in business that you can only win. There will be losers. The folly of increased government regulation can only be seen for what it is today: self-serving.

Most government agencies all too often look to the public problems and interest as nuisances rather than their primary goal. All too often government managers, like private business managers, hide behind personal sub-goals (personal advancement, hiding problems), all to make a given situation look better than it really is. The public or shareholders, in each case, will only receive what they demand and expect.

No nation, not even the richest nation in the world, can afford to squander money that could be productively invested to generate jobs by abdicating personal responsibility to third parties (government) without suffering the economic consequences of such actions.

Shareholders cannot arbitrarily ignore their equity interest positions and expect good performance. One only has to look at our government's current fiscal situation to see how it runs its business affairs, let alone private business affairs.

Finally, if our stock market becomes too riddled with poor administration and performance, the penalty will be the evaporation of sources of funds, for investors will choose not to put their assets into equity positions. This will hurt far more than any government regulations. Our free-market system has very effective penalties for non-performance, if we would only let the system work.

STEVE FREDRICKSON

Mission Hills

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