Friday, January 30, 2009

My Seven-Figure Income

I had to laugh when I came across this news item earlier regarding Wall Street bonuses. In part, I found it humorous because of the need to try and justify some of the outrageous salaries some of these people make to begin with. Except for the ones who are crooks, I don't begrudge them what they make. Just don't try and convince me you really are worth all that, 'kay?

Regardless of how you try to explain it, a bonus that is easily 10 times your salary is more like the lottery than a bonus. You see, in middle-class America, a bonus is a percentage of your salary – not the other way around. So the gist of the article is, “All you folks who don’t have six-figure incomes just DO NOT get our seven-figure bonuses – so let’s explain it to you so you can see how we are so worth all of it.”

The other reason I laughed is because I got a weird email this morning. It was prompted by my casual mention of a bonus in my evening post yesterday – and a mention that shed doubt on whether I’ll actually get one this year or not. For some reason, this dear disgruntled reader has confused me with a Wall Street type.

The email said: “Do you work in a bank? If you do, you are a sleezeball who doesn’t need one anyway. Now that they are getting taxpayer money, can they not afford to give you a bonus because it would look bad? I hope you were listening to what the president said. He hates you.”

Hmm. Well. OK, nutjob. Since you didn’t have the guts to send email from an account that doesn’t reject my replies, let’s clear some things up. First, I do not work in a bank. And second, even if I did, that doesn’t make me someone who is/has been/ or will benefit from TARP money.

Third, the bonus I mentioned usually represents a small percentage of my annual salary. I assure you, it is statistically impossible for that to amount to a seven-figure –even a five- or a six-figure— bonus. And, if you’ve been reading, you know I qualified for last year’s stimulus check. (It helped pay for the nice new fence Lawrence and I put in back in July.)

Guess what? I’ll qualify for one this year, too, if it’s approved. Do the math, nimrod. Besides, why the hell would I live in a tiny, 2BR, one bath home if a single bonus could more than afford me something three times larger? And why would I take on all of these massive, insane projects in an effort to save a few bucks to fund the next thing? You know, like ripping out a sidewalk. In 100-degree heat. With a sledgehammer. Dolt.

Oh yeah. And, the President really, really hates me. Pardon me while I laugh some more.


StuccoHouse said...

I've been thinking about this CEO bonus situation for a while now. Here's the conclusion I came to. So, these folks get a kajillion. Then they go out and buy a new car, remodel their house, throw lavish parties, etc. It's hard for us regular folks to swallow, but the fact of the matter is....they hire a lot of people in the process (the car salesman, contractor, caterer). The trickle down effect. It is sad to say....but I trust these overpaid regular folks to stimulate the economy a whole lot more effectively than Washington DC ever could.

I'm being philosophical today and your post caught me at the right (or wrong) moment :-)

Karen Anne said...

I'd rather have 1,000 regular people stimulating the economy with 1/1,000 each of what one CEO makes :-)

Besides, we work for our money. Does anyone believe someone who runs a company into the ground is worth $50 million or more a year?

Why S? said...

I was just thinking earlier today how in our society, those who do the least useful things (bankers, hedge fund managers, etc.) get paid so much more than those who contribute things a society really needs (artists, musicians, teachers, farmers).

I guess the President hates me too because I also got a bonus this year, although it was in doubt (and smaller). But sadly, my annual bonus usually goes to pay my spring property taxes. I guess it's just the circle of life.

NV said...

I LOVE the fact that we are a nation of differing views -- and some who still get bonuses that don't rival their salaries. :-)

Here's hoping that something can be done to help us all out. I don't understand how a tax break is going to help someone without a job as much as spending money to create jobs for them and others will. But that's just me.

Vicki said...

Oh my gosh! Why begrudge someone if they're going to make a bonus? I don't think for one second that presidents/CEOs of companies who ruin those companies should get one penny in bonuses. That should be written into their contracts. But for people, even ones who are higher up in the company, to be rewarded for their hard, why not? We all want to be rewarded for hard work, whether we work at McDonalds or run McDonalds. NOW, that being said, there are some personal responsibilities one SHOULD feel with the money that s/he makes. That's personal though and we should all think long and hard about giving more money. That was kind of rambling, anyway. I can't believe you got a nasty gram. Way to go!