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Opinion: Comparing pay

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I've been doing a little research lately on salary comparisons for one of the boards on which I serve. It's been an eye-opening exercise trying to justify or modify salaries when compared with those in a similar field with similar experience and responsibilities.

In all too many ways, I've been comparing apples and oranges.

What is apparent is that there is no fair way to make these comparisons. I spoke with someone who handles a $50 million government budget but whose salary is below a starting junior loan officer in a bank. I also learned of a janitor at a government facility who makes more than a school principal.

The extremes of compensation in our society are obvious. Is any athlete worth Tiger Woods' $125 million annual compensation? Or at the other end of the spectrum, is it fair for some school teachers in our region to qualify for food stamps?

In a more broad discussion, there has been a lot of chatter lately on executive compensation in light of the federal government bailout of the banking industry. If some of those multimillion-dollar executive salaries don't give you pause, then you're not paying attention.

At least in theory, these executives make boodles of money for their customers, so perhaps the millions they are paid are worth their skills. If you compare that with a teenager rapper who uses filthy language for a living and still makes millions, then the Wall Street executive is looking more like a bargain.

As part of my salary research, I stumbled across a list of federal salaries in our region. Actually stumbled is incorrect. Look long enough and this information is obviously public record, though some agencies sure make you work hard to find these little nuggets of information.

Compared to the aforementioned teachers, some of these federal employees -- midrange at best -- are doing very well. Granted, it's that apples and oranges argument again, but common sense tells you which job is more difficult and more important.

If the issue of fairness came into the equation, then teachers and policemen and our military personnel would be paid much more than they are. But we all know that fairness flies out the window when it comes to salaries in most cases.

Here's one little dirty secret that I also discovered. Generally speaking, those with degrees in higher education tend to top the salary scale. But that is not always the case. In fact, the way to pull down relatively big bucks is to garner a federal job, keep it for years and enjoy your retirement. In many instances, no degree required.

Here's the bottom line. You don't always earn what you're worth and you rarely earn what you think you should. And adequate compensation for the value of your job is not always the prime factor.

That doesn't make it right, and it doesn't make it fair. But, as one source told me during my salary search, in today's economy if you have a job, keep it and be thankful. There's someone out there willing to trade places with you in a heartbeat.


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The marketplace has determined that Tiger Woods is worth $125 million. No force is used to provide for his income, which makes it very fair.

-- Posted by BCStoned on Wed, Nov 18, 2009, at 12:50 AM

If I like the filthy mouthed teenage rapper enough to purchase his products, then I am voluntarily contributing to his compensation. This is the definition of a free market.

On the other hand, regardless of how much I disapprove of public school education, or war, or corporate welfare I am forced to contribute to the funding of those state operated activities.

Us libertarians like to remind people that there is always a gun.

Which is why I consider prostitution or dealing drugs to be more honorable than working for the IRS.

-- Posted by Lumpy on Wed, Nov 18, 2009, at 8:56 AM

Mr. Jensen, its called the free market.

-- Posted by Ike on Wed, Nov 18, 2009, at 9:46 AM

All I can say is that the school principal should have been a janitor, or become one now.

-- Posted by Old John on Wed, Nov 18, 2009, at 6:00 PM

Please continue to do research into this topic, Mike, most people, including the entire lot who have posted thus far do not understand it, but profess political dogma which has no bearing on the topic, whatsoever.

I have thought about this topic alot. Why does a football, basketball, or, baseball player make so much money for playing a child's game for only a few months each year? Are they really the best of the best, and even if they are, they are playing a child's game. It seems to me that these so called atheletes are being paid to distract the masses. I suspect that their job is to keep the people, mostly men, occupied, focusing what limited attention spans and comprehension that they have on idioitic sports. How many adult dummies are out there with their imaginary friends, their "fantasy teams" instead of being involved in their local, state and federal governent?

I believe that the same goal of distraction is the reason that so-called actors and recording stars are paid so extravagantly, as well. They are not worth it. Rush Limbaugh is not worth over $5 million a year. National advertisers do not line up to be on his program, nor, on the radio programs of Hannity, Beck, or, O'Rielly. The value in a Rush Limbaugh is his ablitity to deceive. To get listeners to agree on small issues, like "liberals bad," and "Republicans good," then, when they are needed to promote an agenda, like that of the New World Order, of the NAFTA agreement that most Democrats opposed, Limbaugh is used to get votes in Congress and confuse the people with his support of NAFTA. NAFTA passed with most Republicans voting for it, and most Democrats opposed to it, largely because of the efforts of Rush Limbaugh. That is where Rush is useful, in advancing agendas, so, he is paid extremely well, so that he will be there when another anti-American policy is wanted by these globalist scum.

Less than 15 years ago, the American CEO was paid about 40 times what his average worker made. Now, the American CEO is paid, on average, 400 times what his average worker makes. There has been no justification for this increase, it just happened. I suspect that the globalists wanted to create a super class that would support politically, and had the money to support financially, their agenda for gutting America.

I futher suspect that there is an IRS policy, or, ruling that makes it attractive for a company to pay outrageous salaries, there must be some sort of tax dodge attached.

A third grader at Albert Rasche could have gutted GE, sold off many of it's divisions, and assets, and moved manufacturing off shore, it didn't take Jack Welch, it only needed someone who understood the marching orders given out from the secret meetings in DAVOS, at the G-8, and Bilderberger meetings. Once you understood what they expected of you, to gut your country, in return for fabulous personal wealth, the task was easy.

This plan to disassemble the American dream, and the American economy began long ago, and was seen as early as in the LBJ adminstration. JFK was not a go along man, neither was Ronald Reagan, that is why one was killed, and the other was nearly killed by these socialist-fascist trotskyite scum.

Bill Clinton kicked the New World Order off into high gear by advancing NAFTA and GATT, with his conspirators, the Republicans. Then, Clinton, via Larry Summers, stripped Glass-Steagal so that the banks could run wild. Clinton was, also, ordered to attack Yugoslavia on a pretext, so that the NWO would rid itself of a strong national leader in President Slobodan Milosevic, who would not bow down to them. Bush pushed the New World Order agenda very hard, and it was with Bush that their Gestapo like agenda was to be advanced. That is why they dusted off the old Pentagon-NSA's OPERATION NORTHWOODS plan, substituted blowing up a plane near Cuba, for crashing planes into the WTC and Pentagon, substituted killing and bombing Americans in several cities, to focusing the killing and bombing in New York City, and they were set. They could bring about their New World Order by imposing a grid of terror scare, and get the dummies who had been watching their over paid sports heroes, instead of their government, to believe their lie about a foreign planned terror attack. These dummies were so pumped up with "proud to be an Amerikan" crap, and their brains softened from sports, TV, Movies, and song, that they took the plotters explanations as truth.

That is why you pay people more than they can be possibly worth. To advance agendas. You need the mouthpieces like Rush Limbaugh to promote the goals of the New World Order by developing trust among the people by telling them things that they want to hear, get them to continually agree, then, you pop an idea that they normally would not accept, or, at least question, but since they have agreed with Rush in the past, Rush must be right. That is why you pay Rush the $5 Million a year. Not because he is that good, it is because he is that useful. Then, the New World Order needs the distractors like Brent Farve, and Albert Pujols, along with the Britiany Spears, Micheal Jacksons, and a slate of movie stars, who have become the heroes of the people, instead of the real heroes who we looked up to in my generation.

The CEO's they are useful in forming a super class of rich who have the money to fund foundations and other front groups, to buy off politicans and judges, to sway public opinion whenever they can, and to back the New World Order agenda, in general.

No, it is no the free market, as someone opined. If we had a free market, we would not have been forced by Jo Ann Emerson to give our paychecks to the greedy, gambling Wall Street bankers and foreign banks. The free market didn't raise the price of a barrel of oil to $150, the Republican congress and Bill Clinton did when Senator Phil Grahamn pushed through a bill in 2000, that would let oil speculators go to foreign markets, where there was no oversight, and run the scams that they did to jack up the price artificially.

I am a PaleoConservative, with PaleoLibertarian strangths. However, what these Libertarians want, is to off shore our jobs, let the factory go where it wants, and let the market determine wage.

Thank God, our forefathers were smarter than these Libertarians. Our forefathers understood that to provide jobs for our citizens, there must be a point to where you draw the line on free markets. That to protect American jobs, and American wages, because we are AMERICANS is one of the most fundalmental elements of a society. It a society, a nation's people are to succeed, they must be protected from the dumping of foreign goods, at below cost, into the market in an effort to obtain total control of the market.

Today's Libertarians, Republicans and Democrats do not subscribe to America First. They have become global *hores. To them, to make a buck, anyway you can, without killing someone, or, in some cases, as in the wars of aggression in Iraq, and Afghanistan, killing people as fast as you can is okay. There are no rules for these lowlifes. There is no America, only the New World Order, where corporations rule, and the only economy that matters is finance.

Take a look around you. Turn off that **** TV set, you will hear them talking about an economic recovery, while each month, a HALF MILLION Americans are losing their jobs. That is the ultimate in oxymorons, "A JOBLESS RECOVERY." How the hell do you have a jobless recovery? It is impossible.

I fully understand the people who wrote threating letters to employees of AIG. I am thinking that the first returning Iraqi war veteran, or, worker who just lost their job who goes to Wall Street, and does to Goldman Sachs what Major Hasan did in Kileen, that that person will become an instant National Hero, with a three day holiday named in his honor.

I am betting on a Marine to get the glory.

-- Posted by Defy Tyranny on Thu, Nov 19, 2009, at 5:30 AM

Please continue to do research into this topic, Mike, most people, including the entire lot who have posted thus far do not understand it, but profess political dogma which has no bearing on the topic, whatsoever.

I have thought about this topic alot. Why does a football, basketball, or, baseball player make so much money for playing a child's game for only a few months each year? Are they really the best of the best, and even if they are, they are playing a child's game. It seems to me that these so called atheletes are being paid to distract the masses. I suspect that their job is to keep the people, mostly men, occupied, focusing what limited attention spans and comprehension that they have on idioitic sports. How many adult dummies are out there with their imaginary friends, their "fantasy teams" instead of being involved in their local, state and federal governent?

I believe that the same goal of distraction is the reason that so-called actors and recording stars are paid so extravagantly, as well. They are not worth it. Rush Limbaugh is not worth over $5 million a year. National advertisers do not line up to be on his program, nor, on the radio programs of Hannity, Beck, or, O'Rielly. The value in a Rush Limbaugh is his ablitity to deceive. To get listeners to agree on small issues, like "liberals bad," and "Republicans good," then, when they are needed to promote an agenda, like that of the New World Order, of the NAFTA agreement that most Democrats opposed, Limbaugh is used to get votes in Congress and confuse the people with his support of NAFTA. NAFTA passed with most Republicans voting for it, and most Democrats opposed to it, largely because of the efforts of Rush Limbaugh. That is where Rush is useful, in advancing agendas, so, he is paid extremely well, so that he will be there when another anti-American policy is wanted by these globalist scum.

Less than 15 years ago, the American CEO was paid about 40 times what his average worker made. Now, the American CEO is paid, on average, 400 times what his average worker makes. There has been no justification for this increase, it just happened. I suspect that the globalists wanted to create a super class that would support politically, and had the money to support financially, their agenda for gutting America.

I futher suspect that there is an IRS policy, or, ruling that makes it attractive for a company to pay outrageous salaries, there must be some sort of tax dodge attached.

A third grader at Albert Rasche could have gutted GE, sold off many of it's divisions, and assets, and moved manufacturing off shore, it didn't take Jack Welch, it only needed someone who understood the marching orders given out from the secret meetings in DAVOS, at the G-8, and Bilderberger meetings. Once you understood what they expected of you, to gut your country, in return for fabulous personal wealth, the task was easy.

This plan to disassemble the American dream, and the American economy began long ago, and was seen as early as in the LBJ adminstration. JFK was not a go along man, neither was Ronald Reagan, that is why one was killed, and the other was nearly killed by these socialist-fascist trotskyite scum.

Bill Clinton kicked the New World Order off into high gear by advancing NAFTA and GATT, with his conspirators, the Republicans. Then, Clinton, via Larry Summers, stripped Glass-Steagal so that the banks could run wild. Clinton was, also, ordered to attack Yugoslavia on a pretext, so that the NWO would rid itself of a strong national leader in President Slobodan Milosevic, who would not bow down to them. Bush pushed the New World Order agenda very hard, and it was with Bush that their Gestapo like agenda was to be advanced. That is why they dusted off the old Pentagon-NSA's OPERATION NORTHWOODS plan, substituted blowing up a plane near Cuba, for crashing planes into the WTC and Pentagon, substituted killing and bombing Americans in several cities, to focusing the killing and bombing in New York City, and they were set. They could bring about their New World Order by imposing a grid of terror scare, and get the dummies who had been watching their over paid sports heroes, instead of their government, to believe their lie about a foreign planned terror attack. These dummies were so pumped up with "proud to be an Amerikan" crap, and their brains softened from sports, TV, Movies, and song, that they took the plotters explanations as truth.

That is why you pay people more than they can be possibly worth. To advance agendas. You need the mouthpieces like Rush Limbaugh to promote the goals of the New World Order by developing trust among the people by telling them things that they want to hear, get them to continually agree, then, you pop an idea that they normally would not accept, or, at least question, but since they have agreed with Rush in the past, Rush must be right. That is why you pay Rush the $5 Million a year. Not because he is that good, it is because he is that useful. Then, the New World Order needs the distractors like Brent Farve, and Albert Pujols, along with the Britiany Spears, Micheal Jacksons, and a slate of movie stars, who have become the heroes of the people, instead of the real heroes who we looked up to in my generation.

The CEO's they are useful in forming a super class of rich who have the money to fund foundations and other front groups, to buy off politicans and judges, to sway public opinion whenever they can, and to back the New World Order agenda, in general.

No, it is no the free market, as someone opined. If we had a free market, we would not have been forced by Jo Ann Emerson to give our paychecks to the greedy, gambling Wall Street bankers and foreign banks. The free market didn't raise the price of a barrel of oil to $150, the Republican congress and Bill Clinton did when Senator Phil Grahamn pushed through a bill in 2000, that would let oil speculators go to foreign markets, where there was no oversight, and run the scams that they did to jack up the price artificially.

I am a PaleoConservative, with PaleoLibertarian strangths. However, what these Libertarians want, is to off shore our jobs, let the factory go where it wants, and let the market determine wage.

Thank God, our forefathers were smarter than these Libertarians. Our forefathers understood that to provide jobs for our citizens, there must be a point to where you draw the line on free markets. That to protect American jobs, and American wages, because we are AMERICANS is one of the most fundalmental elements of a society. It a society, a nation's people are to succeed, they must be protected from the dumping of foreign goods, at below cost, into the market in an effort to obtain total control of the market.

Today's Libertarians, Republicans and Democrats do not subscribe to America First. They have become global *hores. To them, to make a buck, anyway you can, without killing someone, or, in some cases, as in the wars of aggression in Iraq, and Afghanistan, killing people as fast as you can is okay. There are no rules for these lowlifes. There is no America, only the New World Order, where corporations rule, and the only economy that matters is finance.

Take a look around you. Turn off that **** TV set, you will hear them talking about an economic recovery, while each month, a HALF MILLION Americans are losing their jobs. That is the ultimate in oxymorons, "A JOBLESS RECOVERY." How the hell do you have a jobless recovery? It is impossible.

There is no justification for the outrageous salaries. We know that these scum are not irreplacable, so, there has to be another reason that they are making this kind of money. While I may not be 100% on my rationale, I would bet that I am not far off the mark.

I fully understand the people who wrote threating letters to employees of AIG. I believe that the first returning Iraqi war veteran, or, unemployeed worker who goes to Wall Street, and does to Goldman Sachs and the private banker owned Federal Reserve, what Major Hasan did in Kileen, Texas, that that person will become an instant National Hero. I feel that the sentiment would be in such strong support of that hero, and for the action that they took, that a three day national holiday will named in his honor.

I am betting on a Marine to get the glory.

-- Posted by Defy Tyranny on Thu, Nov 19, 2009, at 5:39 AM


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