Friday, May 05, 2006

Wretched Execs


I hate the rich. Everybody knows it. Not just for jealousy's sake, but from knowing that if I were rich, I would do a much better job of it than they do. It's not so much their having that much material wealth, and so little actual worth as human beings, so much as their attitude that they are entitled not only to have what they have, but that no one can take it away from them, which is of course, true, but that still doesn't make it right. I saw part of some tv show about extreme party planning, and the show was apparently about a bunch of rich kids planning their "after prom" party. I think the show just followed them as they planned and executed the party. Well, the few minutes I saw basically featured them whining to their parents that all they had was fifty thousand dollars to throw the party, and that just wasn't going to be enough. I think it was around ten couples throwing this obscenity. I consider most of the rich disposable people because of their wretchedly excessive disposable income. All of this comes to mind because of the recent retirement of Lee Raymond from Exxon Mobil. It turns out that aside from his 400 million dollar retirement package, the details of his employment have come out to the press. In his last year as chairman, he was paid approximately six thousand dollars an hour. I'll say that again, in numbers $6000.00 an hour. You would think, with a salary that high, he wouldn't even need to have a retirement package at all, let alone 400 Million Dollars. For six thousand dollars an hour, I bet I could sock at least ninety percent of that away for a rainy day. Sure, give me a try. But that's not the way the rich think. Too much is never enough for them. Greed is the sheer motivating force in their lives. Are they better people for it? I think not. The few hyper rich people I have known over the years have been among the most miserable excuses for human beings I can imagine. I actually heard one young man's mother tell him that if he was going to smoke, at least he could smoke a decent brand of cigarettes, like Dunhills, which at the time were selling for around 12 dollars a pack. Step back, people. And, back to the Chairman, what possible value could someone bring to a company that would justify six thousand dollars an hour? Does everything he touch turn to gold, or even silver? That might justify it, but I can't think of anything else that would. Maybe he has a magical sense of where to drill for oil. He just walks around in a trance and points to the ground, and if you dig there, Viola, OIL. Very Jed Clampett. I just can't get over it, that in a country where the minimum wage in no way approaches a living wage, these people can actually justify their wretchedly excessive life style. Ok, so maybe if he had taken, say, five hundred dollars an hour compensation, I think he could have scraped by on that, and the other five thousand five hundred dollars an hour could be put back into the company, or maybe used to raise the standard of living for the people who work in their gas stations. Yes, my dreams border on the delusional, but at least they're fun.

1 comment:

raymondburr said...

Perhaps the following quotes are apocryphal, as it doesn't seem that self-reflection or any type of introspection are qualities the ultra-rich are even capable of holding, much less displaying. Maybe the rich of yesteryear were a little different, but I doubt it. I'm not defending any of them, mind you, but at least Rockefeller established a foundation.

Someone once asked John D. Rockefeller, the richest man of his time, "How much money is enough?" He replied with a perfect definition of greed: "Just a little more."

A real estate tycoon said something similar: "I don"t want all the land in the world, just whatever touches mine."