I caught a little article in the Tribune (still clinging on to the sinking ship) about a slightly controversial payout of bonuses to executives despite the decline in revenues (or whatever it was) of about 30%. The justification, we are told, is that these executives need the bonuses as motivation to save the company in its current dire straits. The inference we draw from this is that without these lavish bonuses the executives will lack the desire to do their jobs, for which, I am perhaps naively assuming, they are already being paid a salary, likely of some appreciable magnitude.
From the rarefied air of the boardrooms hermetically sealed off from the tawdry squalor of the working classes, this bonus argument is not uncommon. Have we not heard this from Wall Street in the wake of giant bonuses being handed out to all those cuff link flicking bankers who, in their collective creative genius, had led their various firms to the financial abyss, only to be rescued by the average Joe's taxes. The financial world is evidently resistant to any kind of compensation restraint on the pretext that it would then be unable to attract the sorts of bright young things that it needs to succeed.
I might be inclined to greater sympathy for these executives and their precious bonuses if the same kind of thinking was extended to the ranks of the workers. Why am I not surprised that it does not. While these poor executives are unable to function without the bonus carrot dangling before their noses, the workers (the ones that actually do the work) are subjected to pay freezes or are simply discarded as being an unnecessary expense. The workers, it seems, should be grateful for the slightest crumb that is tossed their way. Methinks the executives could benefit from the same treatment. If they don't want to, I am totally convinced that there are plenty of others equally capable of performing the job for a normal salary.