Saturday, April 4, 2009

Stevie Joe is Hopping Mad

Stevie Joe has not been posting lately for a couple of reasons. First, you need to understand that my brain is a sponge. I can spend hours on the innerwebs just absorbing information, but it often takes a while before I can squeeze some back out.

Second, I've been pretty durned PO'd lately about all the bailout baloney. It seems that the working folks are getting the short end of the stick. Not only are we all going to have to pay this back at some point or another, it's the blue collar folks getting laid off and taking pay cuts to make the plan work.

See, the execs all can point to their employment contracts and say, "See? Y'all have to pay me my bonus because I got a contract." However, the union folks got contracts, too. Why are their contracts the only ones being renegotiated?

Folks tend to focus on the abuses at AIG, but they are hardly unique. According to a recent study, the average CEO earned 431 times the pay of the average worker in 2004. In 1965, the ratio was 24 to 1. From 1995 to 2005, CEO pay increased at a rate 5 times faster than the average worker. In fact, the inflation-adjusted income of 90% of Americans has actually decreased since 2001. Yet, the fat cats keep getting fatter.

When you hear about the woes of the US auto companies, much is made of their "legacy costs," the costs to pay pensions to retired union workers. Yet, GM has to pay over $1.4 billion per year in pensions for retired executives. Given that their total annual pension cost is somewhere $3 and 6 billion (depending on what source you believe), it seems like executives are getting a pretty big share of the pension pie.

Health care is another common target. CEOs are pretty good when it comes to complaining about the health care costs they have to pay. These costs, according to the execs, put them at a competitive disadvantage against foreign competitors. So, what do they propose? Cutting health care benefits. Funny, that's not happens to the foreign workers. They generally get free universal health care. Why don't the US execs propose that here? Hmmm.

Enough for now, must go rest brain,
Stevie Joe Parker

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