Class War?

Well, maybe not that.
But looking at those bank CEOs on MSNBC trying to discuss billions in bonuses handed out by companies we were bailing out because their executives had driven them straight down the FAIL highway…. well, I start feeling a little hostile, driving around town and seeing closed storefronts, hearing about job meltdowns….
Makes me feel a bit, shall I say, crabby.

And after all, they started it.

I was just reading an article explaining that you need $500K to live in New York City.
I mean, you have to be able to pay for private schools for your kids, two vacations a year (sun and snow), designer gowns, driver services, yada yada yada.
Because, ya know, how can anyone exist without all these.
Because anyone who is anyone is entitled to this kind of life style.
Okay, now before your blood pressure finishes spiking, you need to realize this:

Annoying as this article seems, the life it descibes is just for the underlings, the wanna-bes.

A real problem with the economy, and the nation, is that we support a modern-day aristocracy.
They've gotten a lot more canny these days, now they look just like anybody else.
They don't wear powdered wigs, so maybe they are a little hard to see.
But they live at the top of the wage pyramid, feeding like leeches.
They have, as a matter of course, salaries in the tens of millions, with extra perks beyond that, voted for them by their peers who man the boards of major companies.
That is, these obscene salary decisions are being made by other people who also have these kinds of salaries.
They form an inter-connecting grid of you-scratch-my-back,-I'll-scratch-yours, sitting on each other's boards, telling themselves and the public that you just can't get performance from people who don't make this kind of money.
Not just screw the public, but screw the stockholders too.
(Screw your 401K, screw your pension, screw your savings.  — their cut comes out first.)

CEO salaries were not always this extreme, this far above what other employees make.
(Remember, CEO's are employees.)
Here are some ratios and dates, btw (from here):

As reflected in the report's "Executive Excess 2008" title, Wal-Mart
Chief Executive Officer H. Lee Scott received $29.7 million in 2007,
which is 1,314 times as much as the average Wal-Mart worker.

[FYI, Obama's salary as prez is approximately 25 times the average federal employee salary….)

Overall, CEO salaries at big U.S. companies averaged 344 times what
workers get. If we compare CEO salaries to minimum wage paychecks, the
IPS said, the ratio was 866 to 1 in 2007.

All these obscene salaries are subsidized by taxpayers via tax loopholes and other breaks, the IPS report said.

The same article points out that in some other countries, this ratio is more like 20-30.

These are the people who made these big bucks making the so-called hard decisions.
Like moving jobs overseas.
Closing factories here.
Breaking unions.
I really have to ask, though, whether what you end up with is even a zero sum game.
Sure, cut labor costs… that improves the bottom line, sure.
But if instead the money goes out the door in sky-high executive salaries, where is the gain?
(And, when all that money is concentrated in a single salary, how many cars, how many dishwashers, how many shoes, can that one executive spend it on? compared to the economic activity that same money will produce, split among thousands of worker salaries….)

Just sitting, thinking.
(Pay no attention to me humming La Marseillaise over here…)

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11 responses to this post.

  1. Blood….reaching…boiling…point! ::storms off like Godzilla to wreak havoc on greedy CEOs::


  2. I know this. And it sickens me. Which is why I try to think of it as little as possible. I have enough to contend with without being reminded that one day of a CEO's work would release me from debt, pay my rent, car insurance with enough left over to buy a microbrew.Greed. The American way.


  3. [hums La Marseillaise alongside you]what aggravates is that during the go-go years we kept on hearing that the obscene salaries were in reward for the obscene profits to shareholders and the like. based on that math, now that shareholders aka "suckers" are taking a bloodbath we hear the obscene salaries/bonuses for CEOs and their executive staff are needed to "retain them". retain them?


  4. *hums along with you*


  5. You are more than a little correct, here. The middle class is vanishing. A new aristocracy is ascending. Somehow, we are all supposed to aspire to become one of these leeches.


  6. Atlas shrugged and the world fell down. The selfish shall inherit the earth.


  7. Clicking my knitting needles…


  8. You're right on the money…no pun intended. It's downright depressing when you think about it.


  9. more than depressing, is revolting……and happens everywhere.


  10. yes, well.really, it's infuriating.


  11. Those $#&*ing @#&*$%ers.gah.


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