Optimistic jobs report
Friday Rant: Don't do the math
While we're on the subject of Wall Street bonuses -- actually, we were on that subject last Friday, but close enough. While we're on that subject, and while we're waiting for some accountability for the economic disaster (that would be JAIL TIME, and it's been two WHOLE weeks since I first mentioned it, and indictments have not yet been issued). I just wanted to make a little comparison. Say a Wall Street guy gets a $10,000,000 bonus, which is not unheard of. If you make around $50,000 a year and work a few months, you might think that was a lot of work for just paying the bills, and just sort of paying them. But that Wall Street guy, he earned as much in those three months as you will earn IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFETIME.
Now, I ask you, if you do that calculation, how can that not be a smidgeon demoralizing? Are the architects of the vast superstructure of economic complexity that brought the world economy to its knees REALLY contributing that much more to society that they should be paid that much? I guess we can continue to pretend that this kind of compensation has no effect on the psyche or value system of the country, but, channeling Bartleby the Scrivener, I prefer not to. You can say, “Oh, there are things more important than money, rewards greater than financial. That your contribution to community, friends, family are worth more than mere dollars, and if you focus just on money, you are deficient in the true values of what makes life worth living. These other, better values are what make this the country we want to work in and live in.” That advice isn't what the financial firms hand out at the end of the year. --Tom Toles
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