Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Platinum Kiss

Pretty good line in a recent USA Today story: "The golden parachute is evolving into the platinum kiss." About the recent exit packages that CEOs are garnering from companies across the spectrum in the US. It's this sort of thing, among other outrages, of course, that have spawned the nationwide "Occupy" movement. Is there a better example of pay inequity out there than this? To wit: IBM CEO Sam Palmisano will get $170 million when he steps aside; Gene Isenberg, $126 million from Nabors Industries. Google's Eric Smith got $100 million in stock when he departed as CEO. Smith is a real interesting case. The man had an equity stake in Google of over $5.5 billion. He remains chairman of the board, which could get him $7.25 million a year.

Are you kidding me? Surely in the face of the widespread suffering across this country, this is damn near criminal. But we have lost our capacity for outrage in this country. People ought to be out on the streets in thousands. But we are as supine as sheep in the face of the grossest kind of injustice. Whereas once some sort of solidarity among sufferers apparently existed, it is impossible to discern today, aside from the often inchoate occupiers scattered across the nation. It's almost as if people have decided to cower in their misery. It's a pretty good indication that people have essentially given up. Which makes the charade of selecting a president next year as if the choice will actually make a difference in the lives of ordinary people such a joke. I told Susan tonight that I'm actually sick to death already at the media feeding frenzy over the campaign for president. It's eleven months away, and it's overwhelming in its irrelevancy already. But that's another rant altogether.
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