Salary envy

I attended a family gathering not long ago, liberally populated with Liberal in-laws,  in which the mood was decidedly sour. Discussions revolved around the poor job market, employment uncertainty and health insurance.

In conversations, a lot of resentment was directed at corporations, CEOs and their “disgusting and greedy” profits, salaries, benefits and bonuses. I understand (but don’t excuse) much of this as pure envy, a failing that I see expressed far more in Liberal/Left circles than conservative circles. I should also point out that some of this is the bitterness expressed by people that were pretty casual about their own work ethics and careers and now, in middle age, confront an uncertain future, not to mention retirement prospects. We all make critical decisions at key junctures in life with which we have to live.

I have also known and worked with enough CEOs and senior execs with large corporations to know that they work under highly stressful conditions and in between short, sleepless nights. The ones that I have known were extremely hard workers 24/7 and I, personally, value my quality of life far too much to envy them their salaries and perks (we don’t need to explore how seriously pathetic many of their personal and family lives are). Anyway, I consider envy a particularly ugly member of the deadly sins.

One irony is that my Liberal/Left relatives (some of whom purport to be very well educated) apparently cannot draw the connection between corporate profitability, personal incentives and a healthy jobs market. I can understand this to be the case with college students (sophomoric minds full of mush), but working adults have no excuse.

However, what floors me, is that these same Liberal/Lefty in-laws seem to have no trouble accepting the extraordinary high incomes of a) sports figures and b) entertainment figures (newscasters, movie actors, television personalities, etc.).

Sports figures that play games to entertain, singers that…sing songs…, actresses that pretend to be people they aren’t (when they do work) and newscasters that read copy from teleprompters are idolized.

Corporate executives that manufacture services and products that improve our lives (drugs, fuel, cars, food, shelter, insurance, bank loans, etc.) are vilified.

Why is this the case? Any ideas? Please help to understand.

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  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Democrat CEO vote for Republicans some times and Republican CEOs vote for Democrats some time.

    Since they are CEOs, Danny, they are attracted to actual experience and leadership. They may vote for certain Congressmen for laws, but the President doesn’t make law. CEOs are known as ambitious and take charge kind of people. Internally driven and motivated. They tend to be attracted to people who are also internally motivated.

    Obama is a lazy person. Even CEOs would find it hard to like him, even if they were told to do so or else.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Btw, why is it that Zach evades the point Adams made about contributions and starts talking about who voted for whom?
     
    Is his world constructed such that a person can only vote for who he contributes to?

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    This is a standard approach for people who can’t make a sound argument themselves

    LibProgs and their Leftist allies NEED a Hive mind for their Utopia. They don’t really feel comfortable making decisions for themselves, by themselves. It’s like an instinctual drive ; )
    Oh, which ice cream do we pick? Well, which one is popular? Is my favorite movie star promoting this ice cream?

    All kinds of junk thoughts go through the Leftist cannon fodder. You don’t even want to know how much.

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Ymarsakar: Btw, why is it that Zach evades the point Adams made about contributions and starts talking about who voted for whom?

    Michael Adams: The figure I have heard most often in recent years has had eighty per cent of corporate CEO’s voting and donating Democrat, twenty per cent Republican and other.

    Please note that Michael Adams’ comment concerned voting and donations. More specifically, the conversation started with this qualitative exchange.
     
    Danny Lemieux: I propose that this is one of the reasons that Wall Street and so many other large corporation CEOs are reliably Democrat.

    Zachriel: As Democrats are usually seen as pressing for increased regulation on corporations and increased taxes on the wealthy, corporate CEOs are traditionally Republican, though they often donate to both parties, in order to hedge their bets.

    Typically, business leans Republican, labor leans Democratic. Minorities and women lean Democratic, while men lean Republican. These are just general trends, though, and many people will change their political loyalties depending on the prevalent issues and the individual candidates.

    We have already provided quantitative support for chief executives leaning Republican. Here is information related to how corporations tend to hedge their bets in their campaign contributions, or support candidates based on narrow criteria, such as committee assignments.
     
    The 10 Biggest Corporate Campaign Contributors in U.S. Politics
    http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/company-news/the-10-biggest-corporate-campaign-contributors-in-u-s-politics/19652265/

    CEO/Chief Executive Officers – Political Campaign Contributions
    http://www.campaignmoney.com/ceo.asp

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Please note that Michael Adams’ comment concerned voting and donations. More specifically, the conversation started with this qualitative exchange.

    So you focus on the voting because you have conceded the donation issue. And this matters because?

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Ymarsakar: So you focus on the voting because you have conceded the donation issue.
    The latest comment includes a previous quote addressing the issue of donation, “corporate CEOs are traditionally Republican, though they often donate to both parties, in order to hedge their bets“, while providing quantitative support. Not sure what else we can do for you.
     

  • TommyC

    Perhaps CEOs are more inclined, personally, to vote GOP.  But it is in the best interest of most large corporations to elect Democrats.  Over the last several decades, I do believe that Corporate donations have leaned Democratic in spite of the general perception that the GOP is the ‘party of big business’.
     
    I have a simple rule I use to determine whether the media, overall, is doing it’s job.  If public opinion is totally at odds with the facts, then the media is not doing a good job.  I think this is the case with political contributions.  I think the public perception is that the GOP gets the big donors and the corporate money.  Does the media deliberately promote this or do they simply not clear up the misconception?

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Not sure what else we can do for you.

    You have yet to answer what this demonstrates, explains, or refudiates (proves).

    Explain, in your own words, why CEOs voting Democrat or Republican has anything to do with the media portraying CEOs as donating GOP when the donations are skewed towards Democrats.

    Trying to prove the ocean is wet by holding up a wet dishtowel is doing no good for your position, Zach.

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Ymarsakar: You have yet to answer what this demonstrates, explains, or refudiates (proves).

    We responded to this statement.

    Michael Adams: The figure I have heard most often in recent years has had eighty per cent of corporate CEO’s voting and donating Democrat, twenty per cent Republican and other.

    We showed why the statement was incorrect on both voting (skews Republican) and donations (hedged and industry specific). Note it has nothing to do with media perception.
     
    Ymarsakar: Explain, in your own words, why CEOs voting Democrat or Republican has anything to do with the media portraying CEOs as donating GOP when the donations are skewed towards Democrats.

    This is a separate and loaded question. You might want to substantiate the presupposition that the media is incorrectly presenting the facts.