February 7, 2009


When too much is too much

by DJ
Categories: Economics, General
Tags: , ,
Comments: 3 Comments

Recently I joined the twitter movement. My personal jury is still out on twittering, but I have gotten at least one positive out of the experience: I am learning new things. This post is about one of those new things.

I am following a girlfriend from work. She’s a marketing guru. If she reads this, she would say, no, I’m not a guru. Well, in my eyes she is. She’s very smart and I admire her a lot. She twittered overnight this interesting little blurb that caught my attention this morning when I logged in: Hard to recruit top talent for $500K” look @ what *top talent* got us. let’s look @ some new talent shall we? Then she included this link http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/04/business/04pay.html?_r=2&hp to an article in the New York Times. This article discusses President Obama’s wish to put a cap on executive salaries.

I followed the link and after reading the article, I had to come here and post my two cents about what top executives earn.

In our current economic state, I think it is truly appalling that these ‘top dogs’ are paid the millions they make in total compensation. I’m not saying they aren’t worth it, but let’s deconstruct for a minute. For each $1 million they make, 20 average-income earners could have a job. According to a quick google of the average American household income revealed an income of $50,000+/-. Personally I find that to be a bit surprising as I thought it was still much lower and closer to the $40,000 mark. I digress.

Without getting totally off track in this post, here is my point: unless you *own* your own company, why should an employer pay you such an obscene amount of money? Let’s be realistic here folks. Yes, we are the land of the free, the home of the brave, and a country built on the promise of equal opportunity and success. We have immigrants who prove you can start with nothing and build a comfortable life here. I understand the need to want to attract top talent, I understand you have to sometimes sweeten the pot to keep talent, but total annual compensation about and beyond $1,000,000 is pretty outrageous (that’s not really the word I want, but it’s all I’ve got right now). I am glad these people have been successful, but let’s get realistic, what did they really do to earn those multi-million dollar salaries? Did they bring in revenue that could pay the salaries of those around them being let go? Did they bring in revenue that more than covers their own compensation and help the very company they work for realize a profit? Obviously not. In the wake of all this bailout frenzy, how can these people keep straight faces and accept their paychecks? I know this is not what my girlfriend was driving at when she shared this article, but it is what was sparked in my brain the more I thought about. What truly makes someone’s work worth millions and millions of dollars? Doctors don’t even make that much money, neither does the office the President. It’s just plain wrong.

And yes… you, too, can follow me on twitter at www.twitter.com/djhornsby.