Semper paratus is the motto of the United States Coast Guard and it is defined as meaning “The definition of always prepared.” An example of semper paratus is what a United States Coast Guard member will say is his motto and is the reason he is ready for any emergency, however less and less these days, hampered by budget cuts.
The USCG has been moved around quite a bit in recent years, from DOD to Homeland Security and then to the Justice Department and their prorities have changed along with it, as could be expected. The emphasis is now on law enforcement with special attention to the war on drugs and illegal immigration. More tasks with less money due to budget cut after budget cut, all leading to less and less man power available for the inspection of ships which always had been a main goal. The outsourcing of the ship inspection to a commercial party was the direct consequence of this policy. Slade says this on the subject in the epilogue of her book:
Legislators continue to cut funding for the coast guard, undermining the ability to regulate America’s commercial fleet. The agency’s only optiuon is to entrust third parties with critical duties. One mariner at the hearings informed me that ABS was the “richest entity in the room.” A high level position at the ABS can pay more than $1 million a year in salaries and bonuses.
ABS is a commercial organisation that obviously is on the lease and in the service of people who only want one thing: making as much money as possible with ships, squeeze it to the limit and f*ck the crews. Sail and keep your mouth shut. How else could one explain the sending out to sea of a ship obviously overdue for the ship-breaker, deeply loaded and with a boiler which should not have been approved, which ABS did not even dare to test on full pressure?
ABS is a puissant or more unfriendly, stinking rich company, wallowing in wealth due to their tax-exempt since 1856, a curious institution unknown in any other country. Imagine never to have to pay tax! All they have to do to earn this right is to send in each year the magic sentence: “To promote the security of life & property on the seas.” Just ten words…
Question: What is there non-profit about ABS, they even have there own offshore hedge fund. What is non-profit about a hedge fund?
ABS’ board is very generous with perks for its officers, directors and highly paid employees. ABS paid Robert Somerville, then its chief executive officer, $21.7 million from 2004 to 2010. The company checked off boxes on its 2010 tax return showing it had provided some of them with first-class or charter air service, travel for companions, health or social club dues, and personal services such as chauffeurs, chefs and maids. The one guy left out in the cold is the American tax payer who misses out on all that money and will have to compensate for it. See also this article by a Bloomberg reporter with some more facts.