I hope everyone is enjoying the latest rate increase from Central Maine Power, which they so badly needed to stay profitable — or did they? (“Southern Maine electricity customers can expect $6 monthly increase come Jan. 1,” Dec. 10).

CMP is one of Maine’s biggest wealth extractors, being no more a Maine company than Walmart. It is wholly owned by Avangrid, which is 85 percent owned by Ibredrola, a foreign company which cares nothing about your well being. According to the KMPG audit for years 2016 and 2017, available online, CMP transferred over $100 million to Avangrid in 2016 and $50 million in 2017 as stock dividends.

CMP isn’t the only large out-of-state wealth extractor. We have Walmart, Amazon, Spectrum, Hannaford, Shaw’s, McDonald’s, KFC, Irving, Cumberland Farms, Dunkin Donuts, and many more. They extract our wealth and send it to their wealthy owners (84 percent of stock is owned by 10 percent of Americans) through stock dividends and buy backs.

They enjoy this kind of income redistribution. Does a thriving economy need to give 60 percent of all wealth creation to an elite minority? For example, does Waterville really need two of every fast-food restaurant? There are over 75 nationally branded companies in town. Why does McDonald’s have locations in every U.S. town and around the world? To extract as much wealth as possible and redistribute it to the shareholders and corporate officers.

In your personal finances you need more money coming in than going out. Communities with too many extractive companies suffer from a negative cash flow, and that is the reason we don’t prosper as a state.

State leaders need to address this problem by fostering and supporting competition through locally owned companies, cooperatives, employee-owned companies, and nonprofit organizations. Locally owned companies can do anything extractive corporations do — and they don’t send our wealth out of state or overseas.

Brad Sherwood


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