Did you ever let someone borrow 20 bucks because they were broke, only to discover that instead of getting groceries or gas, they blew it on something frivolous like lottery tickets? That’s how many of us feel about AIG.
Did you ever let someone borrow 20 bucks because they were broke, only to discover that instead of getting groceries or gas, they blew it on something frivolous like lottery tickets?
That’s how many of us feel about AIG.
Common sense says you don’t hand out $165 million in bonuses to executives when you’re taking a $182 billion handout from the federal government. It may be one thing when it’s your own money. It’s quite another when it’s the public’s money.
Yes, Congress is taking steps to get the money back, and a number of AIG executives are voluntarily returning bonuses, but it shouldn’t have come to this.
What’s worse is the AIG execs awarded the cash aren’t being rewarded for doing a good job.
They’re from the financial products division — the one that got AIG into its mess in the first place.
The company thinks those same executives are the only ones who can dig AIG out of the hole. In essence, it was money to keep them around. Some of them left anyway.
As appalling as this scenario is for hard-working taxpayers, imagine how much harder it is to swallow for people who have lost their jobs because of an economic meltdown brought on in no small part by the financial blunders at AIG.
They include workers at such venerable local firms as G.W. Lisk in Clifton Springs and Garlock Sealing Technologies in Palmyra, both of which have recently announced layoffs. Company spokesmen cited the economy as reasons for the reductions.
At Garlock, 60 jobs, both salaried and hourly workers, are gone, while at Lisk, 30 lost their jobs.
There are countless others in this area who have suffered a similar fate in recent months.
Their bonus? A trip to the unemployment office.
But it goes beyond the AIGs and other bailout recipients to a corporate culture where some top officials make money so insanely above ordinary workers’ pay that it’s almost unfathomable. Many of these corporations are laying off workers and cutting benefits but continue to pay salaries and bonuses to CEOs and other top-shelf executives equal to the employment of hundreds of ordinary workers. Are they really that much smarter than the rest of us?
If anything good has happened in these troubled times, it’s that many are learning to live with a more modest set of expectations and a greater understanding of the difference between wants and needs and what we’re truly entitled to.
Such thinking might serve the financial world — and maybe corporate America —