Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The unbearable lightness of being (wealthy)

The CBC has determined that the average Canadian CEO will have earned the average Canadian's salary by noon today.

That is where we can distinguish the difference between the 1% and the 99%. It is rather sickening to think that some scabby rich person will have already earned my salary by (or possibly even before) lunch today... It might still be worse: they could spend twice what I've earned by lunch today on 'lunch' today, and then even claim it as a business expense. And I am willing to bet that my salary increase will be under inflation this year, why? Because it has not matched nor exceeded inflation in any year since the turning of the millennium, that's over a decade folks! Yet, CEO's and the über-rich have seen salary increases of 27% last year, while they had to tighten our belts.

They laugh at us all the way to the bank, but oddly enough, I believe the companies would continue to run without them. Think about it for a second, what do we do? We make products, deal with the customers and suppliers, ship things, design things, fix problems, and move the product around. What do they do? Make their assistant reply to their emails and screen all their calls, play golf, speak at 'shareholder meetings', get important customers drunk and/or laid, make statements at press releases, sign pink-slips, yell at underlings when the numbers might indicate they may only be getting a 15% raise next year, and make sure none of us take full advantage of the open bar at the annual Christmas party, etc. Which of these jobs could the company survive without?

I am even inclined to think that with no CEO, some companies would actually run themselves better... Especially if the 15~30% raise for good company performance were more evenly distributed to the grunts. One might even claim that this is what the word capitalism should mean. It doesn't, however, in this end-game phase of western decadence. But that's OK, when it all crashes, we'll have plenty of healthy well-nourished rich people to eat, and well maintained golf-courses to grow food on.


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