When ‘excessive pay’ for many is not ‘excessive pay’

United Auto WorkersHobbes, what really angers me is the utter hypocrisy of our governments. They set up a committee to stamp on three CEOs who reportedly (made too much money by who? clearly not the companies’ executive pay committees or their stockholders) when the housing bubble started to melt down. If they created the situation, that should be proved and they should be put in jail. Calling them selfish or only blaming them for only being interested in the money is too easy. I think is an over-simplified argument that stinks of double standards.

But what happens when a company goes burst because some of its workers refuse to talk down their own perks for the future survival of the company? In my view, United Airlines, US Airlines, General Motors and Ford’s employees (some, not all of them) to name just a few companies fall into the selfish and ‘only for the perks and money’ type. And we are talking billions every year in full private health insurance for oldest members and retired workers. Selfishness is insulting to the point that two workers doing the exact same job but one with 20 years in the company and the other with 2, get completely different pension packages.

Is the above fair? I doubt it, specially when the company might go burst under the financial pressure of covering retired employees costs (thousands of people who have not worked for the company in 5, 10, or even 30 years!). But when this happens, governments jump in to ‘mediate’ between workers and employers to find the best solution for the parts involved: The company on one side and old and retired workers on the other. Nobody cares about the future of the younger generation, they are young enough to find means of having a sustained income stream, and provide for their families, or do they? Talk about double standards.

I don’t see or foresee any collapse in the financial world because of a $100m, £200m or €400m severance pay to a former CEO, plus this companies have normally astronomical employee-to-profit ratios. But the young worker might end up with no job, a water-down pension and health package, and a pat on the back from the government. At the very list, governments should be dead honest and frank with the new generations: No health provided for, no government pensions, no benefits. You are on this on your own. Solo. Tout seul.

After the first shock, at least s/he can start planning and adapting his life to the new reality.

I look forward to your commentaries, Hobbes.

.Calvin

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One Response

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