On February 4th, Obama imposed a $500,000 a year salary cap on executive pay at financial institutions that are receiving government funding (i.e. taxpayer’s money) to stay afloat.
Bankers and the like have been quite cavalier about receiving bailout funds that are coming from the pockets of ordinary Americans. Bank of America received $45 million in bailout funds, and then held a $10 million Superbowl party. After taking $10 billion in taxpayers’ money and laying of 5,000 workers, Morgan Stanley held a conference in a 5-star hotel in Palm Springs. And etc.
It is clear these people have no clue as to how 90% of Americans live their lives. They are demonstrating that they lack any ability to reflect upon how actions like those above will appear to regular Americans who haven’t seen a real wage increase in decades and who are experiencing rapidly-growing unemployment.
Today, Allan Alkin wrote an amusing piece in the NYT about how hard life will be for executives who *only* earn $500,00 a year: Trying to Live on 500K in New York City. (I am currently living on less than 1/20th of that amount, BTW. How do I do it??)
Does [$500K] buy a chief executive stockholders might prize, a well-to-do man with a certain sureness of stride, something that might be lost if the executive were crowding onto the PATH train every morning at Journal Square, his newspaper splayed against the back of a stranger’s head?
The man would certainly not feel like himself on that train, said Candace Bushnell, the author of “Sex and the City” and other books chronicling New York social mores.
“People inherently understand that if they are going to get ahead in whatever corporate culture they are involved in, they need to take on the appurtenances of what defines that culture,” she said. “So if you are in a culture where spending a lot of money is a sign of success, it’s like the same thing that goes back to high school peer pressure. It’s about fitting in.”
Uh oh, somebody call the WAAAAAAAaaaambulance! Read the full article to learn about the full extent of the hardships that will befall [apparently male] executives who may be forced to live on the paltry sum of half a mil a year.
I wish someone would force me to live on $500K a year, come to think of it. Obama? Get on that!