Today, in the New York Times there was a story about Wall Street and bonus checks. Now that we are in the recession, and bailouts were sadly widely misused, are companies going to start rethinking exorbitant bonus checks to their CEOs? No. "Goldman Sachs is expected to pay its employees an average of about $595,000 apiece for 2009, one of the most profitable years in its 141-year history. Workers in the investment bank of JPMorgan Chase stand to collect about $463,000 on average".
Jesus H. Christ, a half million dollar bonus check! I would like to know where the line between fair and greedy is. These are just bonus checks, they are icing on the cake for their normal salary. It would take a person making minimum wage 31 years to make half a million dollars - if they didn't spend any of it.
The difference between the top and the bottom are staggering. During my recent job hunt, I pondered working at a bank - good hours. But bank tellers make like $9.00 an hour. So, a bank teller at Chase makes about $18k a year and the bank executives on Wall Street get $463,000 just as a bonus. Somewhere in college I read that the average joe's paycheck had not really risen in the last 20 years, but CEO pay has risen 300-500%.
The more and more I look at it, these gross injustices are all our fault. The rich people have seemed to hijack everything in this country and the rest of us are left to survive. Did not one worker at Chase Bank stand up and say "You don't even pay me enough to raise a family on! How dare you hand out bonus checks in a recession!" Probably not. Or they did and got fired.
Again, I have no answers. I think bank workers would benefit from unionization. Then maybe the high-rollers would have someone to answer to - the workers. I do know, however, if we keep shrugging our shoulders it will just get worse. One thing in the article that made me happy was:
"Some bankers worry that the United States, like Britain, might create an extra tax on bank bonuses, and Representative Dennis J. Kucinich, Democrat of Ohio, is proposing legislation to do so."
Thanks Kucinich! If these guys are getting paid so much, they can afford to give some back. It's not going to hurt them. But back to shrugging shoulders, many of these things that make our stomach turn happen because we allow it to. No one says anything. When was the last time you wrote your Congressman?