Thursday, February 5, 2009

pity the poor poohbahs

did you know that 500K is not very much money to make in a year?

not according to this expletive-deleted, anyway... James F. Reda, founder of a compensation consulting firm, who was quoted in a New York Times story about obama’s restrictions on executive pay. he said it would be difficult to staff companies forced to accept the limits. awww.... poor poohbahs!!!

excuse me, mister reda and mister limp-ball and all the other poohbahs and pundits squawking about this... aren't you and your ideas and your policies and your decisions responsible for this mess? five hundred thousand dollars sounds like QUITE a lot of money to ME - and i live very comfortably on nowhere NEAR that amount. even obama only makes $400,000. why should the guy who gets paid to dig us all out of this mess make a pittance besides the people who created the mountain of expletive-deleted in the first place?

personally, i think the poor poohbahs should consider that maybe there're other rewards besides money for doing what you do and if there aren't... should you really bother to do it? people who really love what they do - do it whether they get paid or not. ask any artist, any writer, any musician. my husband frequently says he'd do what he does for free...and pretty soon, the way the economy's going, he just may be doing that. no one's paid me for anything i've written in the last couple years, but that hasn't stopped me from writing.

call me crazy, but i think we should consider doing the very same thing in every over-the-top salaried industry.

like sports. let's cap all the player's salaries at say.. oh, a million dollars, and then maybe tickets to see games can be back where they used to be. maybe sodas wouldn't have to cost ten dollars and a hot dog fifteen. maybe t-shirts could be twenty dollars instead of fifty. that way, the people who only want to play for the money or the fame will leave, and the guys who WANT to play ball - who WILL play ball for as long as there are balls to play with... CAN. i'm not saying don't give them a reasonable amount of money - like 500,000 or even a million if you want to be really crazy. but seriously, shouldn't you play a sport because you're so good at it and you love it so much they couldn't keep you off the field?

does anyone reading this seriously believe derek jeter is going to have trouble finding something to do with his time to earn a few dollars when he can't play for the yankees any more? and as for the people who own sports' teams, well, maybe they should be responsible for the neighborhoods around their sports' complexes, so places like the bronx don't become the rat holes they are. or maybe, if we are going to continue to pay people insane amounts of money, we expect something of value back.

in the off season, for example, football players shouldn't get to spend their time doing things like dogfighting. they should spend their time in classrooms with underprivileged kids, or in gyms, coaching. or using all those big muscles to help lift old people in nursing homes. and not just when they FEEL like it or when their press agents arrange for it - i mean they should do it every day, forty hours a week, at least. like most people who work at something all year round, no matter how much - or how little - they get paid.

i think it all comes down to the fact that anything that requires that much money to make a person feel adequately compensated for doing it can't possibly be worth the trouble of getting it done. i can hear my daddy saying, oh honey, these guys really EARN what they get. heavy, as the saying goes, lies the head that wears the crown.

with all due respect to my daddy, if the head that wears the crown lies so heavy it needs more than five hundred thousand dollars a year to make it worth having the crown in the first place, i submit there's something seriously expletive-deleted with the world.

we've made money the measure of success, and degraded and devalued everything else that makes a person really successful. money may be a necessity in our culture, but it is a culturally created necessity. WE are in control of creating our culture. WE must decide that money is but one tool out of many, and that by allowing it to become the ultimate measure of success, it has come to dominate our values and poison our ethics.


April said...

Cranky crone??? NEVER! :) Have a good one!

Lynette said...

well money may not buy happiness
but it does finance the way

Laura Rose said...

May I allow a bit of my own cranky crone? The bail out of the banks gave them insane money. They also seem to be raising interest rates on credit cards willy nilly...just cause the can (regardless of payment history)...and lowering credit limits in the same vane. so not only are they NOT using the $ to give credit, but they're gauging us for more. which will add to this economic 'crisis' b/c the payments will raise to levels that ensure defaults. ~whew..

Dina said...

oh you have said exactly what i have been thinking...but i have been a part of the corporate greed animal...and make no mistake about it, these people do these jobs for no other reason than their need for money and power. it is certainly not to feed their souls or the souls of their employees. they need to go spend a week in an ashram and learn about work that feeds the soul, compassion and non-greed...that is what obama should do with the greed laden fact i may put that out there. now you really got me going because i have really been stewing over this. btw thanks for your props on my post..if you don't mind me segueing into this one..i am going to write about the yoga of business.

Martha said...

Great post, it's such an outrage.

Maritzia said...

And at the same time, these people who just can't live on $500K a year are pissed off at having to pay their janitors minimum wage. I'd like to see them raise their families on minimum wage. Like they say of their low paid employees, if they don't like it, they can go somewhere else. That's my opinion to. If the executives don't like it, let them find another company to hire them so they can tank it.

Maritzia said...

@ Laura Rose,

Yep. Chase bought out WAMU, and I got a notice last week that they are raising the interest rate on our card to over 30%. Well, they know what they can do with that card. It's not in itty bitty pieces in the trash can.

Mama Krit said...

I loved this post so I had to have my husband read it too. He was impressed. His response, "wow, what a really solid take. Seriously. this lady knows what she's talking about."
Ok, so he's not one with words. But let's just say we both agree. :)
It seems that there are many ways to get us out of this crisis, but the people who have to sacrifice are not willing to do it.

Selchie said...

I love it when you get fiesty!!) Great post and yes I do agree and would argue 500k is way too much. As you say there needs to be some kind of realistic basis on pay structures. And actually how dare bank honchos pay themselves so much after the cock ups they've made. It wouldnt be so bad if they offered the same kind of leniency to their customers. Go cranky....)

I am Harriet said...

Hi Annie.
Seriously, once you have one million what difference does it make to have 10 more? :)

Walk in the Woods said...

"i think it all comes down to the fact that anything that requires that much money to make a person feel adequately compensated for doing it can't possibly be worth the trouble of getting it done."

These words and all the others you wrote here were read aloud with great passion here in this household.

I've been calling once a day these past few days to the offices of Dodd and that jackass Lieberman ... and I plan to keep the calls alive. That's what the Limp Ball listeners do ... so to shall I. The shameless agitator is back ... and this time not so alone.


Mindy said...

Oh boy do I agree with you! Hubby was reading a website that explained what a Trillion Dollars was last night. It was very interesting. I can't believe the way the uppity ups throw around money. It's amazing. It's amazing to me that they can't live on $500,000 and we are expected to live on $20,000... WHAT?

They really tick me off. They don't understand what is going on out here in the REAL world.

Our school needed a bigger special needs bus. The head bus driver was sent to D.C. to talk to the Mucky Muck that is in charge of these things. The Mucky Muck said, "Why can't the kids just ride the public bus transportation?" The head bus driver said, "There isn't a public bus transportation in Stevensville MT." The Mucky Muck was very confused. All big cities have public bus transportation... Stevensville isn't a big city, we are a small rural town. We were NOT given the bigger bus, parents have to take their special needs children to school themselves.

They really don't know what is going on up there....

April said...

You are so right on the money with this one...I agree with you 150%!!! Very well said, indeed!

Patti Gibbons said...

just stopping by quickly to say thanks for the great comments you made on my blog....much to talk about is too late, but I will definitely catch up with you over the weekend. hugs. ms p
(p= patti, pootie,pooped, period, peri-menopause, etc. lol)

Kim said...

And while these exectutives are making crazy amounts of money the people in their trenches make peanuts and struggle to provide for their families. I could go on but that would be a whole cranky blog of my own. Thanks for shouting what every working person is thinking. And on this point I believe you daddy is wrong.

annie kelleher said...

yeah, kim... me too :).

Spirit said...

Amen. I have been saying this same thing forever. However, People still support this kind of behavior esp the payment of sports and entertainment celebrities. It alway irks me just a..lot that sports stars get payed many millions of dollars to play a game while those of us that save lives, teach children or otherwise benefit society scrape by. Does not make sense to me.

ikkinlala said...

I think you've hit the biggest issue in your last paragraph. What some people consider adequate compensation may have less to do with how much money they actually make (past the point of comfort, anyway) than with how their salary compares to others doing the same job. Industry-wide salary caps make a lot of sense, but why not extend it further and just have really high income tax rates on anything above a certain level?