November 2010

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30 April 2010


Cheri Corrado

I think that is a bizarre statement for the President of a (not to mention THE) capitalist country to make. He clearly doesn't understand capitalism or those who are driven to embrace the opportunities that it yields. Having worked with many successful individuals, what I have learned is most often times it's not about the money. Money is merely a vehicle to get from point A to point B and it is also a measurement of achievement. Not that there aren't plenty of other measurements, but money is certainly one. Anyone who feels they have hit the max of their opportunity and growth is likely to feel discouraged and unmotivated. So why on earth would you take that away? Instead I think efforts should be directed at teaching and encouraging people to use their money for good. I bet the people of the 9th ward in New Orleans are glad Brad Pitt has an excess of money, or people all over the world are thrilled that he and/or Oprah have so much money.
Let's not focus on holding people back but on lifting people up!


Taking it a step further, think about the implications of this from the standpoint of an investor.

My 401K is made up of various investments, several of which are mutual funds holding small interests in the stock of many publicly traded firms. Let's call one of these firms "Company X", in which my investment is $50. Suppose Company X has a successful year and their stock price increases by 30%. Is this the certain point at which they've made enough money?

All I get is $15. Did I reach the point at which I made enough money?


I think that what your president meaned is that a CEO of a nearly bankrupt company or of a bailed out bank should not received hundreds millions of dollars as bonus if, at the same time, executive decide to decrease employees wages for the fate of the company.

sorry for my English, I am not English speaker

Ann Zerkle

Thanks for the comment Maggy!
I get wrapped up in thinking about this subject. I'm going to divide the "should" get paid from the situation currently at hand.

On CEOs getting paid after taking bailouts:
There are a couple of factors that make this particular situation less straight forward in my mind.
- These CEOs have contracts. Is it okay for the government to violate (or void) a contract?
- The weird incentives surrounding a publicly traded company make it really tough (I think) to think long term and evaluate long term value contribution. I think the one thing that consumers can do is vote with their dollars. If you don't like the way a company does business, boycott.

In theory, people should get paid according to the value they create for society. So, if someone can create $100M for society, I certainly hope they get paid enough to keep producing value.

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