Sunday, August 30, 2009

A note to the new Pay Czar

From Michelle Malkin, on the compensation level of Obama's "Pay Czar", the individual tasked with determining how much money someone can earn:

Kenneth Feinberg made $5.76 million last year as a partner in his Washington law firm, Feinberg Rozen LLP, according to a government ethics filing obtained by Reuters.
And his assets, which include a stake in his law firm, two homes and dozens of investments, are worth anywhere from $11 million to $37 million, according to the filing, which places assets in broad value categories.
His homes are a $1.66 million house in Bethesda, Maryland, near Washington, and a $1.96 million vacation home in West Tisbury, Massachusetts, on Martha’s Vineyard.
Please allow me a brief digression about Martha's Vineyard....Who was Martha? Why is her Vineyard so popular with those of a certain political persuasion? Did Martha begin with a small summer camp for pious hypocrites, and it grew from there? Just wondering.

As long as I can remember, groups of Lefties have advocated topping organizational salaries at a multiple of someone else's earnings. I can remember people admiring the restraint of Ben & Jerry's founders (Ben & Jerry), who refused to take home more than, say, 10 times the salary of their lowest paid employee. I don't remember the exact number. This exercise in posturing didn't extend to Ben & Jerry's stock options, though, and after cloaking themselves with righteousness for a decade, they walked away with a lots more than 10 times the salary of the lowest 8 percent of the least compensated quartile of the blah blah blah blah blah. The whole thing makes me ill.

Anyway, the salary czar seems fixated on evil CEO's, Wall Street villains, people who burn orphanages, and the like. I think he should roll out something like this:

No lawyer can earn more than 12 times the amount earned by the paralegal who prosecuted Ted Kennedy's manslaughter case.

No actor, regardless of his political activism, can earn more than 17 times the director's salary of the Merigold Mississippi Community Theatre.

Take the cost of shipping one truckload of freight from Fort Worth, TX to a convention center in Chicago. Include Fuel, driver, use of tractor, use of trailer, road use taxes, and wear and tear on the vehicle for the 800 mile trip. From this number, subtract the cost of two union guys spending 20 minutes on forklifts unloading this freight at a Chicago convention center. Assume that this cost is lower than the freight cost. Sometimes it isn't. The leftover amount is the maximum monthly pay for any union leader.

No athlete can earn more than 7 times the annual salary of that guy from your high school who was a bust in the NFL draft, but who never learned how to do anything in school, and now spends his weekends watching his high school and college glory days on old videos.

No government official who leaves "Public Service" (ahem) to become a lobbyist can earn one cent more than the earnings of one of Fort Worth's Rosedale/Lancaster street whores. Equal work, equal pay.


Browncoat Libertarian said...

Bravo, Mr. Whited, bravo!

Whahappan? said...

Hey, that's uncalled for, insulting whores by comparing them to government officials.

TarrantLibertyGuy said...

Ocassionally, I hear "But corporate CEO's salary and incentives/bonuses are set by board members... and that CEO sits on their boards and approves their ridiculously high salaries and incentives. It's just logrolling!" And to that, I say it's collusion. Honestly, I think that would be an easy case to prove and that's why boards carry malpractice insurance!

However, if a CEO makes huge bonuses based upon their performance, more power to them. He/She works for the shareholders (i.e. the OWNERS OF THE FRIGGIN' COMPANY!)

The CEO of my company - regardless of many times my salary/bonus he makes - is underpaid! We've had 16 quarters of increased sales and earnings! The stock price is up, marginally, but up, over the past 12 months, vs. -20% for the DJIA. YTD, we're up almost 20% vs. the DJIA of around 7%. Heck, he needs a raise!

And to your point on Lawyers - like say, John Edwards - or Movie Actors, say Matt Damon or Alec Baldwin... or better yet, Producers, like Larry David should be pegged to 10x the craft services busboys! Hats off to you!!